To Tone or Not to Tone?

Well here’s a disappointing discovery: you can’t crunch your way to a six pack in 24 hours (nor 24 years for that matter, and yes, I have been trying for almost that long).  It’s not that I want an actual six-pack, especially because as I’ve said before, it’s just dinner with Date #9 on Thursday so unless I buy myself some sexy underwear between now and then and arrive at the restaurant clad in nothing else, he’s not even going to see my rock hard abs.

(And even if he did—which would require me acquiring both the abs and the “outfit” to display them— what would he say?  “Hey Kat, lovely to see you, and I must say, great six-pack!”)

It’s just that I’d like to be a little more toned in certain areas.  Like my arms, for instance, my stomach, my inner thighs, my outer thighs, my posterior thighs (oh wait—I think there’s a word for that.  Hmm… derriere. Good thing I like to pretend I can speak French) and I’d love it if my calves didn’t scream “YES I AM A DANCER!”  But all in all, I’m happy with everything else— everything else being… well, what’s left?  My wrists perhaps?

I was at a poetry reading a while back and this little stick figure got up to recite a diatribe she’d written about the evils of the beauty industry.  It was a clever little poem, I’ll give her that (replete with dainty rhymes based on Cover Girl slogans and L’Oreal taglines) but I would have found the entire experience way more satisfying if the poet hadn’t had a peaches and cream complexion, perfect hair and accessories to boot.

I mean, sure, maybe you can tell Maybelline to go shove it because you’re a skinny-you-know-what, but what about those of us who are still suffering from teenage acne at the age of 25?  What about the thousands of women who need Maybelline?  What about the millions of us who have cellulite and stretch marks, with nary a pregnancy or an actual child to show for ourselves?  (It was a growth spurt in the seventh grade that did me in, and it left me scarred for life in the most horrible and literal sense of the word).

But let’s get back to my work out regime.  I think full-fledged six-packs are overrated.  If your boyfriend has a six-pack, for example, you can’t spend a cozy weeknight in cuddled up on the couch and eating Ben and Jerry’s straight out of the carton.  Of course technically speaking you can; there’s nothing stopping you (except perhaps for a pang of guilt when you realize you’ve eaten way more than your half of the carton) but trust me on this one: when your boyfriend looks better in your fitted jacket (a green velour knee-length homage to the French Revolution) than you do, you have yourself a bit of a problem.

(Actually you have yourself two problems, because what’s your ex-boyfriend doing trying on your jacket in the first place?)

One of my proudest moments was when I overheard one of my old flat mates mentioning my six-pack (that moment is right up there with graduating from college and publishing my first magazine piece, actually).  I ran upstairs to my bedroom, whipped off my shirt and stared at myself in the mirror.  I didn’t recall having had a six-pack when I woke up that morning but I was rowing crew five mornings a week at the time so I figured anything was possible.

Sadly, as indicated by my rather lackluster reflection in the mirror, I did not have a six-pack.  When I later asked my flat mate about his “observation” he replied, “When did I notice your six-pack?  I don’t know, but I can see it right now.”

“How?” I demanded.  (Note: I had replaced my shirt by that time.)

“You can see it through your top.”  He gazed cautiously towards my chest, clearly not wishing to disturb the platonic balance our gaggle of single twenty-something year olds had managed, just barely, to achieve.  “You know, below your boobs?”

Below my boobs?

I glanced down at my chest.  “You mean my ribs?”

“Those are your ribs?”  He shrugged.  “Go figure.  I just thought you worked out a lot.”

Let’s hope Date #9 makes the same mistake.

7 Responses to “To Tone or Not to Tone?”

  1. politeandparanoid

    My best friend had no stretch marks from her pregnancy, while I suffered them from puberty. Fair? I think not! I totally feel you about the abs, too. No matter what I do there doesn’t seem to be a change…

    Reply
  2. Brazilian

    I’ve found that many people who have a six-pack do, occasionally, have ice cream. Granted not every night, but roughly once a week or once ever two weeks. I’m sure if it is a choice between cuddling with a pretty girl and eating ice cream versus sitting alone and ogling one’s six pack that the pretty girl and ice cream wins, but that is just me.
    On the other hand I feel sorry for guys with a six pack, because they have only a six-pack, while I have a full keg. .. 😉

    Reply
  3. streetlightpeople12

    Haha, I identify with so much in this post. I used to joke that my forearms were my best feature (and come to think of it, I STILL like my forearms). 🙂 I still get teenage acne, at 30… how is that even possible? I once managed to tone my arms (somewhat), and it was nice while it lasted, but honestly? Way too much work.

    Reply
  4. Kara

    Kat, I love you, lol. I too have the acne-prone skin of a teenager. And my favorite part of my body? My collarbones. Weird, I know, but hey, a girl’s gotta like something right? And not gonna lie, the last bit about the ribs literally made me laugh out loud… I have so been there!
    Miss you!

    Reply
  5. Nicole

    I personally would not want to date a guy with a six pack for the reason you mentioned: no ice cream and movie nights. It would be boiled chicken and lettuce followed by a nice jog in the park…not.

    Anyway, I just wanted to say that I’ve read many of your posts and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. I like the ease of your writing style and your sense of humor. I also try to keep the same type of humor in my writing.

    Reply
  6. Dennis Hong

    Pfft, just make sure you bring Guiness to the next party you attend, and you´ll definitely get complimented on your six-pack….

    Reply

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