February 15, 2008

Ask Cranky Fitness: Winter Blues and Swimsuit Snark

[Written by Merry and Crabby.]

Dear Cranky Fitness,

I’m soooo bored with winter! I am tired of indoor workouts but I don’t want to freeze outdoors. What can I do? How can I get my motivation back?

Signed, Dreary in Dayton

Dear DiD,
Dreary winter days
Grey skies stretch to March at least
Work out anyway.

(What? Crabby, why are you looking at me that way? Sheesh, I try to add a little culture to this blog, just one innocent haiku, and I get weird looks. Hmph.)

Anyway, a couple of thoughts:

  • Motivation is a summer creature; it flies south for the winter and doesn’t return until spring. Unless you’re in Australia, where it flies north for the winter, but let’s not go there. Actually, we probably should go there; Australia is warm right now, better suited to exercising. But if that’s not in the budget, my best advice is to fake it till you make it. Find a new workout companion, join a new class at the Y, take up aerobic whining for a couple of months. We’re almost there. You can make it.
  • Is it just the exercising that’s boooooring, or is it the weather, the traffic, work stress, etc.? If you need to lift your mood in general, exercise is the cure not the problem. Another way to alleviate the winter blahs – try something creative. You may not be the world’s best artist, but even so drawing or playing music or dancing will access areas on the right-side of the brain that don’t normally get a workout in our practical, left-brained society, and this can be immensely satisfying.


Dear Cranky Fitness,

I'm 19 years old and thin and gorgeous and hot. I have really rich parents, a bunch of cute boyfriends, a brand new BMW and I don't even need to go to college 'cause my Daddy got me this awesome job at his recording studio. Everyone wishes they were me.

Anyway, I keep hearing all this stuff about exercise and sleep and antioxidants and I have to laugh. I can eat anything I want and I look great! I can party all night and drink and smoke and snort pretty much anything I want and the next day, I'm still like, beautiful and thin and awesome! (Just a little sleepy).

My question is: Why should I eat gross vegetables and do boring exercises when it's no fun? Sweat is smelly and icky. And everyone knows smokers are way hipper than non-smokers, so why should I quit? Oh, and treadmills and yogurt and vegetables--those are just for the ugly fat people, right? Sexy people are perfect just the way we are.

So no offense but your advice, like, totally sucks.

Signed, Hollywood Hottie

Dear Hottie,

Oh gosh, my mistake. You are so right!

Sorry for all the previous advice I've given about health and fitness: I should have made it clear I didn't mean you.

Of course young, naturally slim, sexy people don't have to play by the same rules. Everyone knows you're special!

So don't worry! Enjoy yourself: party all night, eat crap all day, smoke, skip the sticky sunscreen, take lots of fun drugs, don't educate yourself, let Daddy and Mommy take care of everything that's difficult, and check back in about twenty or thirty years and tell us how you're doing in life! We'll be really curious.

Sorry again for the mistake.


Dear Cranky Fitness,

I’m always trying to eat healthy foods, but I share an office with coworkers who are addicted to Scottish cuisine, i.e. they bring back McDonald’s every day. One woman in particular is always ribbing me for eating “rabbit food.” The worst part is, she’s thin and never seem to gain weight.

Is there some snappy response I can make when she starts making fun of me?

Signed, Watership Down

Dear WD,

Some possible responses you could try:

a)“Yes, this is rabbit food, very funny ha ha” (and keep right on munching). Agreeing with someone is a great way to take the wind out of their sails. If they’re expecting an argument then it throws them off balance, which is entertaining to watch. Even if they feel the need to repeat themselves a few more times trying to needle you, just smile and nod and get on with your own life.

b)If you want to take the low road and be mean, start talking about how swimsuit season is coming up, and you’re planning on buying a smaller size this year. Ask her if she’s planning to go to the beach this summer. If she says yes, hesitate in a meaningful, significant fashion, as if you really wanted to say something, then change the topic to something innocuous. This will sow the seeds of doubt in even the most confident woman’s mind. (No woman is ever 100% confident about how she looks in a swimsuit.)

c)You could take the neutral road and not react at all. Tell her the subject has been thoroughly discussed and there’s really nothing more to add to the topic. Less entertaining than being mean, but probably more practical if you have to work with the woman on a daily basis.


Dear Cranky Fitness,

So what the hell happened to Random Friday? Where are the contradictory studies and the links that have nothing to do with health and fitness even though you pretend they do? Where are the animals exercising? Random Friday wasn't all that great but now that it's not here I miss it!

Signed, Miffed in Minneapolis

Dear Miffed,

Random Friday is not gone forever. Crabby has just been a bit busy of late taking care of her elderly mother-in-law still trying to decide between Revere Pewter or Coventry Gray for the P-town living room. She she fully intends to bring Random Friday back. Perhaps not every Friday but a least on a somewhat regular basis.

Fortunately, Merry, who has been saving Crabby's lazy ass all week, has an emergency Random-Fridayish contribution in the Animal Exercise department! (It's an ad, but not an annoying one).

Have any questions, concerns, or general irritations that you’d like to see Merry or Crabby address on Cranky Fitness so we can stop making so much of this sh*t up? Send them on the back of a $20 bill to crabbymcslacker at gmail dot com.

And have a great Friday!


  1. Dear Cranky Fitness: how far away is swimsuit season...?
    The Bag Lady hasn't worn a swimsuit since 1982, or thereabouts. She can't swim. (Thank God!!)
    Great post, as always - especially the letter from Paris...

  2. I'm so glad you've seen fit to apologize to Hottie for all your bad advice. I hope you're suitably ashamed of your past mistakes.

  3. : ) I like the one from the 19 year old girl- reminds me of half the sorority girls when I was at school...I wonder what they'll look like when they're 40 LOL!!

  4. Love the second one - yeah, I guess that people who are in that category don't live in human bodies and fall under the same physiological rules as the rest of us (LOL). :)

    On the first one re: motivation, if that was a "real question" (LOL), it's funny because I am more motivated in the winter than I am any other time of year. I love to workout on my treadmill but lately I've actually been getting outside and walking my 30 minutes.....it's better when it's "warm" (yesterday was frigid, could have used a face mask), but I've been enjoying it. Now I'm also a skier so I've been outside a lot this winter.....that bit would make a difference for others that don't like the cold weather.

  5. Watership Down! Priceless!

    Thanks for the entertaining read.

    Signed JavaChick
    (Wondering if she still has that copy of Watership Down packed in a box somewhere...)

  6. Dear M and C,
    I am a doctor with a minor in lecturing and pontificating, with lots of opinions and as it were, time on my hands. I have a column, and we even "pay" people to ask me questions, yet I have been asked very few. What's up with that.
    Thank you in advance!
    Dr. J

  7. Re: rabbit food, answer a),
    "No, that's not rabbit food, that's normal food, you know. On the other hand, what you have on your plate suspiciously looks like it's been ass-probed by aliens."

    But I like the mean streak in answer b). Sowing the seeds of doubt can be quite pleasant if someone has really been a bother regarding this food stuff. ;)

  8. One of my husband's favorite sayings when we are trying to get out the door and it is not going well is, "It's like herding cats." so that really cracked me up! I can hardly wait to show him the clip.

    Happy color selecting!

  9. oops, forgot to type in my name!

  10. I have a question for next time. What is the Crabby reason people name their unwanted body ailments after food? ie. muffin top, cottage cheese thighs, my Spanx made me feel like a sausage etc. Enquiring minds would like to know.

  11. That has got to be one of the best commercials of all time. I hadn't seen it in a couple of years, thanks for posting it!

  12. Want to pet the kitties...

    You know the best feeling in the world, is seeing the girls from high school that were SOOOO concerned with how they looked and being the most popular, looking like everyone else, or even better, fat and haggard...Am I a horrible person for this?? I see it as payback for the years of comments and sniggering at my back for my size...Screw you bitches, I bet I have a better life than you...Ahahahahahahahaha!

    Sorry about that, evil Sam took over the laptop for a minute...

  13. That ad is hilarious. I have been thinking of taking up swimming for exercise, but then I looked at the prices of swim suits! One day, I will have the courage to go look for a suit.

  14. I pee'd a little from laughing so hard at the Hottie letter, thanks for that!

  15. Dear Cranky Fitness:
    But--if the Random Fridays are "somewhat regular" they won't be Random, will they?

    Mary Anne in Kentucky

  16. Oooh, Crabby, Mary Anne in K. has a point. Maybe if Random Friday didn't suffer from occasional bouts of irregularity, it wouldn't be as much fun?

    Dr. J, no no no, the questioners are supposed to pay you for being such a font of wisdom and benevolence and all that kinda stuff. At least, I think that's how it's supposed to work.

    I always thought that people you saw on TV, celebrities and such, weren't actual real human beings, but aliens from another planet. Or another dimension of reality, like those "reality" shows.

    Javachick -- someone else has read Watership Down? Yay! (Go Hazel!)

    Jolynn -the f.s., I think that's a pretty cool attitude. Maybe that would have been a better response. You appreciate winter more if sports that you enjoy, such as skiing, are limited to that time of the year. (Not sure what to recommend for people who hate skiing.)

    Leah -- I thought it was quite gracious of Crabby to apologize like that. Clearly, she's a much nicer person than I am. :(

  17. Kery, isn't it tempting sometimes to take the mean route? Though I think a) was my favorite response, since agreeing with someone who wants to give you a bad time can really annoy them.

    Bag Lady, if you can't swim, I think you're excused from swimsuit season. I'll write a note :)

    Holly -- maybe we should encourage Crabby to post color swatches online, so we could all vote? I for one have no idea what the two different colors look like.

    Stephanie, that's definitely a candidate for another Ask Cranky post, should I be able to persuade Ms. C. to have another go. (Or maybe she knows that answer to your question already? Crabby?)

    Scrumpy's B, I'd never seen that commercial before. I didn't know if was a couple years old. But you're right, it's got a timeless quality about it :)

    Evil Sam? Next time Sambo lets you near the computer, come back and visit!

    Reb, I think swimsuit shopping is something that you should only do when you have a fully qualified therapist along. It's not for the faint hearted :(

    Emily, all I know is that most of the ultra thin fashionable girls that I went through High School have very wrinkled skin from too much tanning and too much dieting. Those of us who were unfashionably pale and chubby cheeked in our youth definitely look a lot younger :)

  18. Just a few random thoughts about the awesome comments today (in no particular order):

    Merry, you rock.

    For all who recognized the writer of question number two from your own lives: yep, it was her!

    Swimming is overrated even without the trauma of swimsuits.

    Cool glasses, Leah!

    I LOVED Watership Down when I read it long ago, but don't remember anything at all except there were rabbits. Time for a re-read.

    Dang, I forgot that at Dr. J's you get PAID to send in question. Readers: take note!

    Cranky Fitness needs more Alien Ass-Probing!

    Hey Holly, next up is bathroom tile. Any ideas?

    Body parts named after food items: great question. What IS up with that? We'll get right on it.

    Yay for Evil Twins who take over keyboards!

    Wow, peeing is the ultimate compliment!

    And Reb, you've got more courage than most, get any damn suit you want!

    So no worries, Cranky Fitness and Random Friday will never be "regular" in any sense of the word.

  19. Ask her if she’s planning to go to the beach this summer. If she says yes, hesitate in a meaningful, significant fashion, as if you really wanted to say something, then change the topic to something innocuous.

    That is cruel. And hilarious.

    Loved the cat herders.

  20. The cat herder video is broken. :(

    As for "Watership Down", my immediate thought upon reading the title was "Makes hraka."
    I doubt it will hold up well upon a re-read. ;D

  21. Video is back now, never mind.

    Did U no dere bees LOL Kittehs videoz n dere?#!?

  22. I can haz LOL Kittehs? Sum grate onez in dere, thanx TK!

    And Katieo, I can't imagine you ever saying anything cruel to anyone even in your imagination! Even if they dissed your awesome blanched rabbit food.

  23. Random posts live on
    Funny feline video
    Y'had me at haiku

  24. Hilary comes through!
    The only brave commenter
    To post in haiku

    Thanks Hilary, for yet again elevating the Comment section at Cranky Fitness!


Thanks for commenting, Cranky Fitness readers are the BEST!

Subscribe to comments via RSS

(Note: Older Comment Threads Are Moderated)