naked: exercise can make you a narcissist. in a good way.

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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
care of.

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?

  4 comments for “naked: exercise can make you a narcissist. in a good way.

  1. Anonymous
    July 24, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Long way ahead of me till I reach that version of myself. But I always tell that in discussions,the only reason I work out is ,pardon, to get laid easier.I think people who exercise primarily for health reasons do so because they already face a health problem

  2. Melissa
    July 25, 2008 at 12:15 am

    I finally realized through much help from friends, good blogs, and a great book (EBFA), that I am more motivated to do better and healthier for my body by changing my attitude. Laura Banks and Janette Barber, have done it again with their wickedly effective new book, EBFA. They changed my life by making me laugh at something that used to make me cry. Now, I am sharing this little piece of heaven with all of my friends.

  3. Sal
    July 25, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Totally agree. I still prefer myself clothed – or, at the very least, in bra and panties – but working out helps me begin to accept my naked self, and also ups my randiness quotient. And, as you point out, the version of myself that inspires a little swell of pride is my best self. No matter what that looks like!

  4. July 27, 2008 at 10:16 pm

    “How about feeling so fine after a workout you want to make sweet, sweet love to that hot, sweaty chick in the mirror?”
    It’s been a while since I’ve felt that way (due to laziness and lack of working out) …but I love how you put that! I definitely need to get there again. Thanks for the inspiration! :)

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