Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Work-Out Mags Do Not Inspire Me


um. i bought Shape magazine the other day on the idea that i would pick up some dieting/workout/get-healthy tips.

normally, i try and avoid these magazines when i'm not in a good diet/workout regime because they just remind me of all that i'm not doing.

so i thought -- ha, ha -- that since i'm getting into shape already, the magazine would be helpful.

instead, i ended up throwing it across the room.

i know a lot of women who like these kinds of publications, but i find them discouraging. most of the pages are filled with pictures of models working out...but the models they choose are almost all long and lanky and somewhat anorexic looking. i have a hard time believing these models spend every day weight training and eating 1200-calorie-a-day diets. i mean, no matter how stringently i stick to the lifestyle plans outlined in the articles, i'm never going to look like these poster girls.

so then there's the "real life" stories they include, about women who've lost tons of weight by changing their lifestyles. and this is the part that makes me want to throw myself off a bridge (or just give up).

this month, the feature "real life" lady was some woman who's about my age and about my height. when she started, she weighed about 10-15 lbs. LESS than i did when i started this. so here's what's discouraging:

* she has lost 75 lbs. and explains that she's still not as thin as she could be, but that the weight is "comfortable" for her. (translated, this means that if i lose 90 lbs. i might still have to answer for not being thinner, according to this article. that's 9-0!!!)

* her current workout routine involves weight training, aerobics, and salsa dancing several times a week. i added up the amount of time she spends exercising and realized she spends an average of 8 hours a week working out. this does not include the amount of time she spends getting to/from the gym, showering, changing, etc. let's add another 4 hours to that. so this woman has somehow managed to shift her schedule around to add 12 hours of "workout" time a week.

to which i can't help but say, "12 HOURS!?!?!" how is that possible? it's not just that i don't happen to have an extra 12 hours lying around, it's that if i did, i wouldn't spend them all at the gym. i am realistic about what i am willing to do, and that's just not it.

anyway, i come away from reading through an issue of these magazines knowing what i won't look like, how much i won't ever work out, and obsessing about things i didn't even know i could fix ("Shapelier Calves in Just 3 Weeks!").


note to self: next time, pick up issue of Gourmet.

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