if “ifs” and “buts” were candy and nuts

I hate exercising. I loathe it. In fact, I don’t think there is anything that I dislike more in this world, except for maybe rapists and shitty tippers. There is no logic for my hatred, no horrific experience that has scarred my psyche. Well, there was that one time in my college gym when I watched my roommate lose her fingertip in between two plates of the rowing machine, but I digress.

I have never truly been a sporty person. One season each on recreational basketball and softball teams do not an athlete make. Feel free to ask my father about the week when I tried out for volleyball. He will regale you with tales of hellacious bruises, insurmountable fatigue and ceaseless complaining. Still, in high school I loved popping Bryan Adams’ So Far So Good into my walkman and running around my hilly neighborhood. Some of my favorite activities were playing tennis and basketball at the local playground and wandering forest trails and streams. I biked and walked everywhere in college, took aerobic dance classes and participated in my fair share of Frisbee related activities.

Nowadays, no matter how many times I wake up on the couch to a 4 a.m. P90X infomercial, I can not shake my lethargy. I still love a good bike ride, but usually under the guise of a bar crawl. Warm days often inspire me to pop in the earbuds and take a walk around my neighborhood, but I wouldn’t call my pace energetic. If I manage to drag myself away from the Food Network and let Jillian Michaels scream at me for half an hour, I feel amazing and proud.

But, aye, there’s the rub: that infernal “if” known as motivation.

I love the post-workout euphoria. I feel accomplished and strong. I drink more water and have unexpected energy. I am super productive in general chores and household tasks. The cobwebs in my cranium seem to dissipate. That’s right kiddies, you heard it here first: Those damn scientists really know what they’re talking about. Yet even with all of these benefits, the hardest part is talking myself into taking that first step. Oh, if only I could let you in on one of those conversations. They always take longer than the actual task at hand and usually involve a whole lot of but-I-don’t-wanna’s and just as many be-a-fucking-grown-up-and-do-it’s.

I am the Queen of Justification perched high upon her very own Shit-Mountain of Procrastination. I’m always too tired, too busy, have too many other things to do. I ate healthily today, so a workout would simply be redundant. I have to work a double tomorrow and I don’t want to be sore. The carpet is too dirty for crunches. All of my socks are in the wash. Neptune is in the sixth house. You get the picture.

Amidst the chaos of this busy life I allegedly lead, I still manage to spend a disturbing amount of hours on Facebook. I force myself to participate in some unnecessary retail therapy at least once a week. I somehow squeeze at least 2 major Fireball fueled benders into each month, peppered with dozens of trivial forays into the land of “just for one.” If you can find an episode of Law & Order that I haven’t seen, in all of its incarnations, then I owe you a unicorn. Nope, not a free moment to spare.

Three months ago, I made plans to join friends in Jamaica for wedding/ birthday shenanigans at the end of April. I wrapped myself in the determination of a girl whose bikini season would start prematurely this year. I dusted off my kettle bells, cleaned the junk food out of the cabinets and stocked up on green tea pills. A few unseasonably warm afternoons helped to ease my lazy ass off of the sofa.

I don’t know if you guys have noticed, but April is here. I can count the amount of times I have exercised on one weak little hand. Even the threat of being half naked on a beautiful beach surrounded by dreadlocked strangers and fruity frozen drinks could not kick my enthusiasm into gear. So here I sit, a desperate woman wearing a waist-trimmer belt, wondering how sore she will wake up tomorrow after a 20 minute ab workout.

Sometimes I like to let my feminism be my excuse, which does wonders for my moral compass. I mean, who is to say that my body is not perfect the way that it is? Why should I let this patriarchal society’s praise for heroin chic dictate my actions? My beer gut is gorgeous! My cellulite is my own and no one can take that from me! I refuse to compete with an unrealistic ideal of beauty just to satisfy the brainwashed masses! And plus, if I can still manage to get laid, then what’s the big deal?

Oh, who am I trying to fool? I am a lazy piece of shit.

I spend more time researching miracle cures on the internet than I do worrying about my own health and well-being. Just last night, in fact, I wasted several hours reading about these “Ultimate Body Applicator Wraps” that are supposed to magically melt the inches off of any body part within 72 hours. Seriously. Don’t bother checking out the website as it is simultaneously encouraging and disheartening. (Who has the intelligence to create something that produces such amazing before and after photos but doesn’t have the wherewithal to make a cohesive website with functional links?) Needless to say, these wonder wraps are currently in my amazon.com shopping cart and I still haven’t convinced myself to take them out.

Let’s talk about the list of herbal weight loss pills I have taken over the years: green tea, raspberry ketones, green coffee bean, African mango, white kidney bean, hoodia, kelp, cinnamon, raw kombucha, brown seaweed. All of these are actually good for you in one way or another and I am sure they really do help your body become leaner. You know, if you actually exercise while you are taking them.

And then there is all the money I have spent on equipment. I have previously owned a Pilates machine, several stationary bikes and an elliptical. Yoga mats and blocks, kettle bells, hand/wrist and ankle weights, a weighted hula hoop (yes, it does bruise your hips after the first ten minutes), resistance bands, jump ropes, stability balls and upwards of 20 workout DVDs. A few years back, I locked in a promotional $20 a month gym membership rate. After visiting the gym at least three times a week for two months, I just started calling it my “fat tax” and went back to the couch for the next ten months.

Ugh. That’s all I’ve got. I’m incorrigible. Even after publicly confessing this to the twenty of you that are reading, I will still probably weasel my way out of breaking a sweat tomorrow. I have found peace in the fact that this is the body I am taking to Jamaica, and everywhere else. But you know what? When I get there, I am still going to strut my negligent, pasty self out onto the beach in a cute bikini, sexy cabana boys be damned. I abhorrently refuse to return from my one vacation this year with a fucking one-piece tan line.