Exercise schmexercise

Tuesday, April 05, 2011


Minka Kelly (whoever that is), shot by Yu Tsai for US Esquire, November 2010

Ugh. I shouldn't even be writing this. I should be at the gym RIGHT. NOW. And yet - astonishingly! - I'm not.

If I spent as much time actually at the gym as I spend dreading going to to the gym, thinking about going to the gym, talking about going to the gym, planning on going to the gym and then berating myself for not going to the gym, I would be svelter (it's a word, ok) than Elle Macpherson and Gisele Bundchen put together. Come to think of it, I probably AM the same as Elle Macpherson and Gisele Bundchen put together. I'm so glad I thought of that.

I have always talked a good game when it comes to the gym, but there are a few reasons why my failure to engage in any exercise whatsoever has become a slightly more urgent issue of late.

Wowser. Image by Alyson Kate

First, there's the dreaded newlywed ten. Although we got a set of bathroom scales for the wedding, I don't make a habit of weighing myself (except at the gym. Another reason to avoid the place, if one were needed). So, while my clothes may have been getting a bit on the snug side, I wasn't really aware of having put that much weight on since the wedding. Until this weekend, when I decided it would be "fun" to try on my wedding dress. Well, I only got to wear the damn thing once, and it was fun *that* time.

Yeah. Not so fun when you have to heave it on and wriggle it over your arse and then cannot pull it closed. At all. Cringe. However, since fitting into my wedding dress is no longer a priority (one of the many unexpected blessings of married life), this is still not enough to spur me on to exercise. Back into the dusty wardrobe it goes.

The second factor that is upping the stakes on the gym-going front is the fact that we have just booked tickets to go and visit the in-laws in northern California for three weeks in June (yay!). We'll be mainly hanging around San Francisco/Sacramento, but we are spending the final week renting a house in Santa Cruz. At a beach. Full of American hotties. In bikinis. Playing beach volleyball. Oh God.

Via Aussie Babe. Yes, that's a real site and yes, it's as depressing as it sounds.

Even more pressing - and, for once, not motivated by sheer vanity - as I may have mentioned briefly before, I am running as part of a four-person relay team in the Edinburgh marathon at the end of next month. That's in SEVEN WEEKS, PEOPLE! Aaaaaargh!!

Why is none of this enough to motivate me into going to the gym? I've updated my ipod with some new tunes (hello Lady Ga Ga), I have a running buddy all set to go with me (hello Blonde Bridesmaid) and yet I cannot seem to get started. 

So, I thought I would share a little story from the Kirsty and Fin archives that might help to give me a kick-start, purely because it's so mortifying and I will do anything - even, God forbid, go to the gym - to avoid having to go through this humiliation again.

Image by Dane Shitagi via the ballerina project

When Fin and I first moved in together, it had a similar effect to marriage on my waistline. Eating boy-sized portions, doing zero exercise and basically spending every evening cuddled up eating nachos in the Love Bubble (yes, that's what we called it. Deal with it.) was not conducive to maintaining a slender physique.

Slowly but surely, my available wardrobe diminished until I was wearing the same pair of baggy trousers to work every day. Not cool. So that was when we first joined the gym. And, for a hot five minutes, I loved it. I went all the time and simply couldn't understand why people didn't love the gym, it's so amazing, I'll never stop going. Ha.

Flash forward to a typical morning scenario. Fin starts work later than I do, so he usually hides under the duvet while I rush around trying (and failing) to make up for that extra snooze that I really shouldn't have allowed myself. I am urgently flicking through my wardrobe looking for something to wear that isn't so-tight-it's-bordering-on-obscene or soul-crushingly boring. I spy a pair of smart grey suit trousers that I haven't worn since I started the Nachos and Cuddles Diet. But I have been going to the gym a lot lately... maybe they'll fit me now?

I pull them on and stand at the foot of the bed, looking at them this way and that in the three-quarter-length mirror. "Fin," I hiss. "Fin! Wake up. I need to ask you something."

Rustle rustle. Groan. "Whaa?"

"Do you think these trousers look okay? Are they too tight?"

An eye peeks out from under the pillow and surveys me sleepily. "No, no, not at all, they look lovely." Eye disappears.

Rustle rustle. Pause.

"Are they leggings?"

What? Not work appropriate? Come on, it's not like she's not wearing a JACKET.
Leggings, £30, asos

Needless to say, I didn't wear them.


10 boats moored

  1. I tell you, dancing and sex is *way* better exercise than the gym and a lot more fun ;)

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  2. Ha! I like your story. Just the kind of thing my fiance would say...
    Anyway, my problem with exercise is paying for it, and getting motivated to do it alone. We found this: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/series/get-fit-for-free. A little booklet came free with the paper a few weeks ago, and it's ace! Improved our fitness, strength and flexibility and we're more relaxed. Might be worth a try?

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  3. Ugh, I can't even motivate myself to do a 25-minute workout DVD AT HOME most days. I really need to, though. Really. Severely. Maybe that's what I should do this afternoon...

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  4. Ha ha Rachel your comment probably sounds quite random to people who didn't read your Bitch in the House post. But yes, you are probably right.

    Sorry Kristy and Esme, I can't reply to you, I'm just heading off to the gym...

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  5. Having been to the beach at Santa Cruz I can assure you that there will be plenty fatties and hippies and the like mixed in among any potential beach bunnies. You'll have plenty of cover.

    Besides, California is still in the US and we're not getting any thinner over here. The first time Rebecca came with me to visit my parents when they were still in southern California, she was terrified about being the only person under 5'10" with brown hair and more than 7% body fat. Then she actually saw the people on the ground (beached, in some cases), and felt much better.

    It's the same principle as escaping from zombies - you only have to be thinner than the people immediately next to you.

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  6. All i need to do here is change the names of the characters and this could be MY story! I've been getting progressively more Rubinesque during my 5 and a half years with the man and am now a good stone and a half heavier than when we met. But so is he! I actually stopped going to the gym last year because my car had a starter fault and unless i parked on a hill to bump start it, it wouldn't start. Well the car park at the gym was flat and i just couldn't take the chance! Car got fixed but i never did make it back to the gym!

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  7. Ha! (I thought they were going to be his trousers...)

    And Rachel, I think Dancing and Sex should be your new tagline. No explanation, just...

    Peacock Feathers and Diamond Rings: Dancing and Sex.

    :)

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  8. her up there with the flat stomach? the stomach that has never had two people living in it at once? she can fuck right off.

    and that's all i have to say on the matter.

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  9. I'm in the same boat as you, right down to the wedding dress try on attempt. I've been listening to audio books at the gym (and only at the gym) and that's helped my motivation a fair bit.

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  10. I'll bet you know this already but Minka Kelly's from Friday Night Lights - one of the best telly programmes EVER... Two words: Tim Riggins. One more: Coach. Seriously, it's great. Even though it's about American football - don't let that put you off!

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