fitness no nos

Welcome to 2015, loyal so-and-sos! It’s the second week of the new year, and do you know where your fitness resolutions are? I do! Let’s check in on mine:

  1. Using My Fitness Pal like everybody else on Earth? Check.
  2. Keeping meticulous track of my food and exercise? Check.
  3. Not making any actual changes to my diet or workout regimen whatsoever? Check.

Okay. So clearly I suck at getting healthy. Since I can’t lead by example, how about I lead through cautionary tale?  Without further ado, let me now present to you:



1. DO NOT attempt to exercise without bike shorts.

If you’re like me, you know that the whole phenomenon of Thigh Gap is decidedly Thigh Crap. If you’re like me, you’re barely breaking a sweat before the monster known as chub rub is rearing its evil head. If you’re like me, you know that once you start feeling chafed down there, the end to whatever’s currently passing for your “exercise regimen” is near.

But not to worry. The solution is simple: bike shorts. Wear them under your yoga pants, or your sweatpants, or your exer-pris (I just made that word up.) Bike shorts are not overly stifling and they prevent chub rub like woah. Oh, and don’t fret – if you’re low on funds or clean laundry, you can achieve the same basic effect with baby powder or Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder-Gel.

2. DO NOT attempt an exercise program taught or led by someone you dislike.

Okay. I realize that by saying this, I am risking an immediate attack on my person by a gang of angry fit ladies with shake weights and kettle bells – but I cannot stand Jillian Michaels.


Believe it or not, I’m telling you this for a reason. If an exercise program is taught or led by someone you don’t like, you’re simply not going to stick with it. This could mean a celebrity trainer such as Ms. Michaels, or a Zumba instructor that moves too fast, or a yogi at your local studio that’s a little too “helpful” with “adjustments” in the region of your “butt cheeks.”

Look, if you’re not comfortable with an exercise video, you’re not going to work it; if you’re not comfortable in an exercise class, you’re not going to go. Period. And that is why my copy of Jillian Michaels – 30 Day Shred has never been watched. Nope. Not even once.

3. DO NOT expect to become fit overnight.

This is a serious problem for many folks, and one that I in particular have never been able to overcome. I’ll count calories for a minute and then get frustrated when I actually weigh *more* than I did before I started. I’ll go for a long walk every day for three days and then grumble because I’m tired and sore and my kneecaps feel like those of an 80-year-old woman. I’ll eat healthy for a week, not feel any different, not lose any weight, and then become resentful at all of the missed pizza and cake opportunities.

And those are the times that I decide to just give up.

And giving up is NOT how you get healthy.

Basically what I’m saying here is this: if you harbor expectations for immediate fitness success, prepare to be disappointed EVERY TIME. You best believe I speak from experience. Only the patient, the determined, and the realistic will achieve results. And yeah. I don’t achieve results.

4. DO NOT go out and buy hundreds of dollars worth of athletic clothes and equipment until you are absolutely 100% sure you’re going to stay committed.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Here’s an example. 

Let’s say you’re thinking of taking up running. Great! Running is literally the cheapest sport in the world – you don’t even need a ball. You can just run right out the door in your busted high school gym shorts, that ratty “Where’s the Beef” t-shirt with the hole in the armpit, and a pair of decent sneakers. You literally do not need ANYTHING. ELSE.

Me. “Running.”

Sure, in time you might want to upgrade your running gear. No judgment here! You can buy the special sweat-wicking socks and the expensive running shoes and the infinite variety of little techy-type gadgets that measure every possible shit. Just buy them LATER. Do you hear what I’m saying? Because if you quit after four days, not only are you going to feel bad for quitting, you’re going to be in the hole for hundreds of dollars of gear you didn’t need. That’s a surefire recipe for a shame spiral right there.

Not that this has ever happened to me, of course.

*shoves pristine tennis racket under the bed with foot*

*shame spiral*

*eats entire bag of Sour Cream & Onion Lay’s Potato Chips*

5. DO NOT tell yourself continuously that you’ll “start tomorrow.”

I think I’ve done this every day of my entire adult life aaaand well lookie here! Now I’m almost forty. Yes, forty — arguably the most difficult time in a woman’s life to lose weight and get in shape due to the metabolic and hormonal changes accompanying perimenopause. If I’d stopped telling myself that I’d “start tomorrow” when I was 25 and I’d actually STARTED TOMORROW, I would have found losing weight, getting in shape, and staying healthy to be a whole lot easier than they are now. Now it’s an almost Herculean task fraught with frustration, bitterness, stiff joints, sore muscles, back pain, and strange smells.

Also doughnuts.

I mean, what?


An earlier version of this piece was published in July 2014 on fitness blog Kris on Fitness.

If you haven’t already done so, consider following est. 1975 on Facebook, Twitter, and/or Pinterest! I add fresh, hilarious material every single day.


Photo credits:
“Drinking Man”: Das Vesper; Date 1828; Source Ketterer Kunst; Author Constantin Schroeter; Licensing: This is a faithful photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. This work is in the public domain in the United States. — Modified
“Willam .gif”: Source unknown. Footage from RuPaul’s Drag Race, aired on LogoTV

46 Replies to “fitness no nos”

  1. I’m here to tell you that 45-ish is even harder than 40 to get into shape. So carpe diem on that running regimen. I’ve also found it an obstacle to despise exercising around other people (thus no gym, yoga class, etc.) and to hate running with a passion. Turns out it’s pretty hard to make significant gains when all you’re willing to do is walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes a few times a week (and by a “few” I mean “about two”). And also, wine. *sigh*

    1. I HATE exercising around other people and my husband keeps bugging me to join a gym with him. Um, hell no, my brother. Nobody needs to see my huffing, sweating, panting butt on a treadmill for as you say, two minutes.

  2. I didn’t set any goals for myself or make any resolutions because it’s so disappointing when you fail. Instead I’m just trying to move more and eat less. Like, duh. It’s working so far, plus it still allows for DONUTS! Because it says “eat less” not “don’t eat donuts.” It’ll take me a long time to lose weight this way but it’s better than giving up all together. #winning #arewestillusingthathashtag

    1. I’m kind of trying to do the same thing, honestly. Just keep track of my food and eat less of it. Not weigh every piece of lettuce or anything like that, just gradually shrink down my appetite.

  3. I am one of those people who love running. I was in fabulous shape at 40. Now, two concussions later, running is off my list. Whining about not being able to run is my new year’s resolution. And, crunchy cheezies. They are my bitch.

  4. All my favorite pants have “pilling” from the chub rub. By the way, I’m voting for the inclusion of “chub rub” in the new edition of Webster’s.

    There’s a box of donuts downstairs. Contraband that my enabling husband brought into the house allegedly “for the children”. So evil.

  5. I was supposed to go to the gym this morning. My alarm went off at 5 a.m. and I promptly silenced it. Because that’s the kind of dedicated health nut I am. Also, I may have had a bag of Salt & Vinegar potato chips for breakfast. But only because I forgot to buy a donut on my way to work.

  6. I thought this looked familiar! LOL! I totally get what you’re saying all jokes aside. I’ll be 45 next month and it is so difficult to lose any weight. I still plug away anyway because after all the soreness is gone I do feel better. BTW, I have no thigh gap either!

    1. Thanks for letting me lift this back off your site and being cool about it 😀 I needed it desperately … been struggling to get content up lately :/ You the bomb! Hope you see some traffic from it!

  7. These are great NOT to dos! And you ain’t the only one feeling the dislike of Jillian. I did a few weeks of one of her programs (a friend let me borrow it) and the woman is totally full of herself and she sort of does this purr sound (not sure how else to describe it).

  8. Amen to ALL of it! I use clothes as a reward, like damn I was great working out this month, time for a new cute top! LOL. And YES on the instructors. I taught group fitness for 10 years and I can still hate a class I usually love because the instructor is so so bad. It’s such a buzz kill when the Zumba instructor starts making you conga to Gloria Estefan.

  9. Am I the only jackass here that didn’t realize until I turned 35 that you’re actually NOT supposed to wear underwear with bike shorts? Seriously, sometimes I wonder if I just slept through a really important “Intro to Life” class when I was in the womb. That must have been when they also reviewed the importance of wiping from front to back.

  10. All that AND a William Belli GIF? You’re too kind 😀

    I once read it takes 4 weeks of exercise for YOU to notice a difference, 8 for your nearest and dearest to notice, and 12 weeks for random strangers in the street to notice.

  11. Chub rub is the WHOLE reason I hate exercise (that and idle-itis). At waaaay the wrong side of 40 the thought of running (shuffling breathlessly) makes me want a donut or 5. Classes I’ve tried in the past all seem to be full of lithe skinny women who barely get out of breath while I’m huffing like a dying hippo. Think I’ll stick to walking the dogs and trying to ignore the siren call of cream cakes.

  12. Let’s see what I have – a bike helmet, bike shorts, and bike shoes – you know – the kind that clips onto the peddles so that if you start to fall you break your ankle? But the bike went to a second hand shop. A tennis racket somewhere out there. I got that and remembered why I gave it up in high school. I actually have a helmet for when I rode a horse one summer. Again, in high school. I have the entire collection of Firm Tapes, plus the 14 inch step up box and their little wave balance thingie. They are in a VHS format and forever 22. Hags. I have some yoga paraphernalia. BORING. And shall I say that again? BORING. I have had success with a gym and a trainer. But I’m 58 and my trainer is 25. I like to chit chat when I work out. But seriously. How much chit chat is there with that age gap? I am working up to telling him we’re breaking up. Now I’m trying to find a book, or website or something that says, “Hey! You’re 58. Ease up. Relax. Retire from trying.” Your post is great! Thanks.

  13. Bike shorts made me smile as yes sadly I had to also learn this the hard way, as well as overall exercising and losing weight was indeed so much easier in my 20s then now as I inch closer and closer to 40. So thanks for the great tips 🙂

  14. Jillian Michaels bugs the crap outta me but man, what I wouldn’t do to live ONE DAY at the beach in those abs. Although I would not quit eating ice cream for ’em so… 😉

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