I think most of us would say that we exercise for our health; for robust hearts and bellows-like lungs, big strong bones and big strong muscles that help us kick ass and take names. But I think a secret reason people exercise that we dislike talking about–because it makes us look vain, as if we don’t care about our health, as if we are buying into the beauty ideal that we ought to be kicking to the curb–is that we exercise to look better. Especially naked. I submit this: there’s not a thing in the world wrong with that.
There’s a problem, as with everything in the world, with taking it to
an extreme. We’re not talking about working out seven days a week for
three hours at a time, but the idea of working out as a way to become
the best versions of ourselves. The healthiest version we can get,
whatever size and shape that turns out to be. The most fit, best
cared-for, strongest version that we can get is arguably the greatest,
in every sense of the word. It’s the version who is proud of herself,
and who feels good about herself, who knows that she’s worth taking
It’s the version that will strip down naked without
any shame or fear, and let herself be touched and admired and lusted
after. It’s the version that takes advantage of the fact that exercise ups your mood and blasts your libido into space.
And that can take any form at all: walking around the block, or yoga
three times a week. Training for a marathon or climbing on the Wii Fit.
Whatever your body can do, and whatever makes you feel good, without a
weight goal or a size goal or some unattainable body ideal as a
goal. Abs so firm you can grate cheese on them? Feh. How about feeling
so fine after a workout you want to make sweet, sweet love to that hot,
sweaty chick in the mirror?