This Is Not A Workout Blog

I think the title pretty much says it all here. But then again, I’m NOT here to bash workout blogs, much less exercise. On the contrary, I love browsing workout blogs for concise tips on short strength and cardio routines. Makes me feel motivated and all that.

But this is what I’m here to complain about:

Wait, what?

Now before you start defending this ridiculous statement, understand that I DO recognize the sentiment here. Running, exercise, athletics, all of these things are great for your body (football tackles and concussions notwithstanding). But running until you don’t “jiggle?” I hate to break it to you ladies, to whom I’m sure this statement is referring, you’re never going to not-jiggle. You may tone your stomach flat, work your thighs into muscular machines of speed, fight underarm flab, and sculpt your back into something the gods would envy. But you won’t be able to attain not-jiggliness.

Reason? Our lady parts. No not those, the ones on your chest. Those things that were designed to feed them babies that you may or may not decide to have using your OTHER lady parts.

Jiggle Exceptions: super-fit Olympic athletes, those suffering from severe anorexia, female body builders (actually I don’t think male body builders have much jiggle left either, even in their dangly bits – sorry, I’m not getting too graphic am I?).

Again, I will state that there is absolutely, positively NOTHING wrong with wanting to be fit. Being healthy, fit, active, and strong are foolproof ways to extend your lifespan and increase happiness and life satisfaction. Science says so. The problem here is that “jiggle” refers to fat, straight up lumpy, bright yellow, sexually undesirable fat, and NOT to a lack of muscle tone. By wanting to run until I don’t jiggle, in this blunt expression, implies that I’m focusing on merely the physical. Not physical rewards like strength and endurance, but physical attractiveness, which is determined arbitrarily. I’m not calling anyone shallow (I kinda totally am), but pointing out something that might have gotten lost in our zeal to get thin.

Having spoken to my boyfriend – who henceforth will be referred to as “The Boy” – about these things, which might illuminate how men feel about skinny women. Bluntly he said that if I got “thin” he wouldn’t be as attracted to me. Why? Because he’d have nothing to grab onto. And yes, he meant exactly what you think he did. He can be so honest. But regardless, the point is that, as a man, The Boy is attracted to my body as-is and he has no desire to see me significantly thinner. I think his attitude mirrors those of many other men and women who like women.

Why do we want to be thin? Is it because we want healthy bodies, or is it because we’re afraid of the social consequences of not being thin? Perhaps this will ring true for some:

Believe me, the Cornucopia would be my first and only achievement

Be fit, be healthy, get those Olympic muscles and work yourself until you collapse just for the joy of it. Not because you don’t want to “jiggle.” At any rate, I take a great deal more inspiration from these last two memes/ads than I do from the first. Your reason for exercise is your own, but I just wanted to inject some food-for-thought into the conversation.

How do you feel about women and their sometimes misguided pursuit of exercise?

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