There are dozens of reasons to work out. I mostly work out in the hopes that I can carry a trillion pounds of groceries upstairs in one trip. I want to have the strength to lift a huge skillet with one hand while cooking and be able to drink a glass of wine or two without guilt. I want stamina, energy, strong bones, a strong heart and good health.
And while those are some very noble reasons for working out, I also have a few superficial ones as well. One of which is that I don’t want to have to shop for new clothes. I defy my womanly genetic makeup and don’t love to shop. Gasp now, that’s fine. It takes me a million years and many headaches to find jeans that fit me justright. It’s better for my sanity to work hard and maintain my weight and size than to go up a size and have to shop. I’d rather not shop any more than is needed to keep me a functioning member of society who doesn’t get arrested for indecent exposure.
Another superficial reason? I want to look good, of course. And I’m sure that most people who regularly hit the gym have this reason on their list. It might even be most people’s main reason for working out. We like to see progress in improving our bodies; we like to see new muscle definition.
Which is why it hacks me off that paleness isn’t conducive to showing off muscles.
You know how the camera adds 10 pounds? Well, it’s a little-known fact that paleness also adds about 10 pounds AND hides muscles. At least, I just made it fact. And seeing as how I haven’t had a tan in a good five years, I feel like my muscles don’t get to show off like they deserve to show off.
I refuse to hit the tanning bed for fear of oh, cancer. And sadly, also-pale Jenn and I suffer from an identical affliction that is a bizarre allergy to anything that claims to be a tan in a bottle. (I told you we were freakishly the same person.)
So I go pale. And while it slightly peeves me off that I don’t look as strong as I could with a golden glow, I deal with it. Because I know those muscles are there. Plus, I’m not sure the toxic orange glow like Muscle Man’s above would agree with me. —Erin
Self Challenge Update
I got my challenge under way Feb. 19. I did enjoy the strength workout Self has planned this time around, mostly because there were no Turkish Get-Ups. Although it took me 30 minutes rather than the 15 the magazine said, I was sweaty and got worked from head to toe. Plus, I was definitely sore the next day. In my first short week I got in 59 minutes of cardio and logged 40 minutes of strength.