We all know the benefits of working out. Images of ‘fit’ bodies have been plastered on our television screens and in magazines well before our father’s sperm fertilized our mother’s egg and we were conceived in a moment of a planned fertilization or the POP of the condom breaking. Even sex is exercise. And I get it, I really do. Working out gives you a hotter ass, thinner waist, leaner legs, muscles to flex on a hot day or in the mirror on a particularly low day, and hell, maybe you’ll even get that thigh gap you’ve been praying for since you were thirteen.
There’s just one thing that I need you to know: everything you see about fitness is a lie. Working out is pretty much the equivalent of clubbing a baby seal, and you are the seal. It is full of pain and angst and smells you didn’t know could come from your own body. No one tells you this part. Everyone brags about how great their workout was in their trendy jeans and fitted t-shirts while smelling like a baby after a long bath who has been dipped in honey and wrapped in vanilla. People don’t want to talk about the moment they tripped on the treadmill, that time they farted while attempting to dead lift double their body weight, or their gag reflex while trying to down a spinach smoothie.
I blame the Internet for this gross misrepresentation. People buy into twisted perceptions of fitness without knowing what they are really getting into. No wonder four out of five gym memberships go unused. Once we know what it actually takes to be in shape we run to the closest bar and order a skinny martini, maybe we’ll just try the diet part. I actually just heard a woman in this coffee shop say, “I don’t lift things, I’m just trying to do it diet wise.” I must be a genius.
Case in point: this is an image that is generated when you google “yoga.”
Isn’t she beautiful? Look at her, just chilling on the beach busting out a hand stand and making her legs look super sexy in the sunlight like it’s just a Thursday evening and she’s feeling free.
Well I’ve tried to do this AND I DID NOT LOOK LIKE HER. I couldn’t find an accurate depiction of my pathetic attempt so I had to use a picture of a cat.
That’s right, I fell on my head. I’m not sure if you are aware, but Yoga isn’t easy. The teacher is the most annoying person you’ll ever meet because she keeps reminding you to breathe when all you want to do is scream. Also you never get a break. It is basically the equivalent of water boarding without water, or torture, or disregarding my constitutional rights. Okay, I’m being dramatic and you might feel great in a day, but during you’ll want to drown yourself in your own sweat. Savasana, the part where you get to lay down, catch your breath, and wonder what made you hate yourself enough to put your body through this stress, doesn’t come for an hour. By then you’re begging for a muscle relaxer and three glasses of wine to stop your whole body from shaking.
Don’t even get me started on running. Okay, get me started. Google “Running,” I dare you.
Once again, we have a gorgeous woman looking like she woke up mid stride and has never perspired a day in her life. Perfect hair, perfect skin, perfect body, perfect form, HOW IS ANYONE EVER THIS PERFECT WHILE RUNNING? Answer: They aren’t. Runners are monsters who will eat your heart out and ruin your sheets with sweat. And they’ll never return your phone calls. Did I mention that I dated a runner once?
I’ve seen myself run. I used to do track in high school. Every so often my coach would make me run the 4 x 4. He literally had to threaten me. Once I had that baton in hand, I’d take off sprinting while imaging a huge chocolate cake welcoming me to the finish line, but by about a quarter of the way through I was all…
And my feet were like…
DON’T BE GROSSED OUT, I’M HELPING YOU. I AM THE ONLY ONE TELLING YOU THE TRUTH.
While I’m on a roll, I’m going to set another Internet fitness myth straight.
Women, men who look like this aren’t at the gym to sleep with you, they are too busy trying to maintain this. I live in West Hollywood, so all of the men who look like this are interested in other men. Most of the good ones are anyway. Also, what is he looking at? His penis?
Men, this is only real in a weird intro to porn. Women who are actually into working out don’t wear their hair down, IT GETS EVERYWHERE. Wait, is she in high boots? What is wrong with our society? THIS IS NOT AN ACCURATE PORTRAYAL OF ANYTHING.
Listen, if you want to work out, go for it. I fully support you. I just want you to know the truth. Fitness can be wonderful, and life changing, and intoxicating, but if your goal is to look like these models with oil on their bodies and a twenty pound weight that is actually only five pounds you’re setting yourself up for failure. Working out takes time, energy, money, and a lot of patience. It will kick your ass and make you do things that you never thought were possible. But it is possible. Just know that it will be painful, and sweaty, and smelly, and full of moments where your arms shake, which can transfer over into sex, which is really awkward for the person you’re sleeping with because why is sex not good tonight and why are you shaking did you really just go to the gym and now your arms are too tired to hold yourself up are you kidding me?!?! Not that this has ever happened to me.
I just want you to know the decisions you are making for yourself and your loved ones. So go, little lotus. Fail and get back up and sweat and groan and have mediocre sex because you worked out too hard that day. But at least now you know what you’re getting into. Just remember, you are not going to look like this while doing so…
Drink that kale smoothie anyway and prove me wrong. Work out because you have that one pair of yoga pants that makes your ass look great. Do it to boost confidence and strength, and that chemical in your brain that makes you happy. I’m going to go back to my true love, this pizza man. Call me after your work out and we can grab dinner! I know you’ll be hungry.