A guide to #fitness for the not-so-athletically #blessed
by Kate Sheridan (actor/writer/picked last in gym class)
(Please forgive my title/sad attempt at a Kanye pun.)
I hate exercise. I feel like that's something you're not allowed to say anymore (especially as someone "plus-sized"... gag me, euphemisms) but it's true. I hate working out. I do it, pretty regularly and decently well, and I can appreciate how the strength & endurance gained through exercise improves my quality of life. But outside of a few choice shimmies in Zumba or the part of yoga class where you lay on the floor, I hate every damn second of working out. It does not relieve my stress. It does not clear my head. I get sweaty, I get self-conscious, and the only rush of endorphins I get is the joy of coming home.
That being said, it has to be done. So for those of us who may have a bit more difficulty dragging ourselves to the hallowed halls of the cardio room, a few (admittedly nontraditional) tips:
1. FOLLOW YOUR HEART LOINS
Look at pictures of people you find unfathomably attractive. Think about how you would like to kiss/touch/have sex with them. Think about how you will have to also become unfathomably attractive to do that. Go to the gym. While fitspo is all fine and well, I find that looking at pictures of hot people in an attempt to emulate their bodies can work, or make you feel like shit about yourself - but looking at those pictures in an attempt to touch those bodies ALWAYS gives you a kick in the ass. Stay on the bike until Ryan Gosling would fuck you! Some starters for your kissing hot dudes vision board:
2. COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS
If for some reason Ryan Gosling's torso didn't get your ass into a CrossFit class, make it personal. Do some Facebook stalking. Your friend who's always booking jobs. Your classmate with a hot fiancee. The bitch who's dating your hot co-worker. What do they have that you don't have? I don't know, but they probably went to the gym today, and that's one place to start.
3. WHAT'S MY MOTIVATION?
A good revenge fantasy can do wonders for a workout, especially if you're an actor/creative type. (Mindy Kaling, aka my spirit animal, outlines the basics in a chapter of her book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?", which you should read unless you hate hilarity/awesome things.)
You are a CIA operative shot in the line of duty who has 3 weeks to get back into shape before facing off with the Russian mobster who killed your partner. Your husband Ryan Gosling was trampled by vicious paparazzi and you're training to launch a stealth attack against TMZ headquarters. The bastard who broke your heart is going to be at the same party as you on Friday and you need to show him what he's missing... pick your poison, vengeance is a powerful motivator (and don't we all want to be Sydney Bristow/Annie Walker/Carrie from Homeland without the ugly crying?)
4. PRETEND YOU'RE BEYONCE
Pro tip: this applies to most things. But if you're not making your gym time a full-on arena show (at the very least, in your head), you're doing it wrong. Belting your ass off on the treadmill/elliptical/bike is a brilliant, multi-faceted fitness challenge. If you still sound good, run faster. Run until you probably shouldn't be belting. Make the next 30 seconds of your run the most important final callback of your life. This works in a few ways - singing will distract you from your running and you'll go faster, you'll work on your endurance & regulate your breath, and when you belt along in the car on the way home you'll be like "HOT DAMN MY VOICE SOUNDS AWESOME WHEN I'M NOT OUT OF BREATH AND DYING ON THE ELLIPTICAL." You will also appreciate Beyonce more, and isn't that a gift in & of itself?
I'm lucky enough to go to a gym that, at the right time of day, is deserted, and on a good day I will absolutely be shameless enough to strut my shit, but if you're not, lip-sync. If you go to a fancy gym or run outside/in a city/in public... well, sucks for you. But seriously, there are enough weird fucking people in New York, would anyone even give you a second glance for jogging around screlting "So Much Better"?
5. COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS (POSITIVE [sort of] EDITION)
When my gym is not deserted, the majority of my fellow patrons range in age from old to very, very old. Like, guy-who-walks-on-the-treadmill-with-a-cane old (seriously). I am obsessed with this fact, as I find young, good-looking, virile people endlessly intimidating, especially in situations when I am vulnerable/self-conscious/sweaty (fitness, meeting new people, drinking).
The terrible truth of this is, on those days where none of the above motivators work, and I'm bloated, and hobbling on the treadmill, and wheezing through a pitiful number of reps, and feeling like I should roll myself home & curl up in a cave of shame- I cut myself a break. At least I went to the gym. And if I didn't, at least I still have the physical capability to go if I want to. And I'm still worthy of love and good things if I don't. And even if the old lady on the next machine is probably in better shape than I am.... well, she's going to die first.
is an actor, writer, singer, and mediocre ukulele player from MA. She does not actually wish death upon old ladies & offers these tips merely as a last resort after healthy, positive self-encouragement towards a more fit lifestyle (but sometimes that's haaaarrrddd). You can find her on Twitter @ahhkatesheridan.
EMAIL HIM/HER | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | OTHER POSTS BY THIS AUTHOR