Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Exercise Endorphins

I have weight loss fantasies on a regular basis. They usually occur while I'm at the gym, listening to 90's hip-hop music. I guess it may have something to do with the exercise endorphins that we've all read about. I have always been suspicious of these endorphins. Do they really exist? Is it all just a scam to get us to buy gym memberships and Nike athletic wear? My predominant emotion when I exercise (pre iPod) was anger along with a running dialogue in my head that screamed, "When the hell is this torture going to be over?"

God bless my iPod. It has completely changed my workout attitude. I start jamming to Heavy D & the Boyz and completely forget that I am working out. I know I look like a fool because I do a little white girl dancing on the treadmill from time to time. I can't help it. Who can listen to Toni! Tony! Tone! and NOT sway their hips?

Back to the weight loss fantasies: Apparently exercise endorphins encourage elaborate delusions of beauty and fitness. It is not uncommon for me to imagine my reunion with an old friend after my inevitable dramatic weight loss. I like to imagine what jeans I'll be wearing and what they will say to me when they see the lesser me for the first time. I indulge myself in these fantasies on a regular basis and I usually look like a Barbie doll, complete with perky breasts, a tiny waist and the complete absence of a muffin-top.

Last Friday while on the treadmill, I was feeling great. My mind was going 100 miles an hour. I was thinking about my new body and how much better my life will be when my outside finally matches my inside. It was like watching a movie on fast forward. I couldn't catch all of it but I saw bits and pieces. I had to slam on the breaks when I saw some Mary Lou Retton moves and hit the fantasy rewind button. I slowed down the scenario and had to laugh at myself.

My deluded Barbie doll self was meeting an old friend for lunch. When I arrived at the restaurant to meet her, I walked in the front door and did a back handspring, a round off, a couple cartwheels and some aerial somersaults. I executed a flawless landing directly in front of her and nonchalantly shook her hand. My spry Barbie body not only gives me self-confidence, it also gives me super human gymnastic ability. When was the last time you saw a thirty two year old woman do a back hand spring? I learned two things from this incident:

  1. My expectations about weight loss are not at all based in reality.

  2. Exercise endorphins are not a Nike conspiracy. They exist and they are dangerous.


  1. Note to Jullianne's Sub-conscious; Be sure Blue Cross-Blue Shield is paid up before attending reunion lunches with old school chums. Hospitalization may be required after back handsprings.

  2. when you get that body you are going to be pissed you gave away all of your low rise jeans and old navy t's

  3. I can't stop laughing at the other comments! I admit to doing the same, without the back handsprings, though. I run into old crushes who immediately wonder how they ever let me get away. And I bust out with Mariah Carey's song "Someday."
    You were so blind to let me go
    You had it all but did not know
    No one you'll find will ever be
    Closer to all your dreams than me
    Believing the grass would be greener
    You told yourself "I just don't need her now"
    But I know you'll soon discover
    You're never satisfied with any other
    Someday, oooh, someday
    The one you gave away
    Will be the only one
    You're wishing for

  4. So funny. I have had similiar fantasies but what always gets me laughing is how after each of my pregnancies I would actually think I looked really good. Sort of like your Barbie image accept mine was a young Sophia Loren-But then a year would go by and I would stumble upon pictures from the exact night I thought I looked good. You can imagine my surprise when I saw a triple chinned girl with too much make up on smiling like she actually thought she looked good. So, I am that person that asks to see the picture right after someone snaps a digital so I can assure myself what I think I look like actually is.

  5. Hmmm. I dream along the same lines, but I'm usually dressed in really expensive clothes, with a really big diamond and I don't do the cartwheels. If only we could figure out how to harness the speed of our imaginations into a way to burn fat. We'd all be skinny, skinny skinny.
    Repeat after me - Plump is good. Plump is good.

  6. I don't think I've ever seen a thirty-two year old woman do a back handspring. Most impressive!
    I just love that fantasy rewind button!

  7. All praise to the iPod! Can't get enough old school on mine either, and you are so right about the weight loss fantasies while exercising. Mine usually come crashing to a halt when I am sure my skinny jeans are going to fit this time, and then they look the same as the last hundred times I thought this. Oh well, a little iPod and white girl shimmy is still good for the soul!

  8. I think we all need a little fantasy in our lives...

  9. I love the IPod!!!! Nothing is better than this old mama out running to the Beastie Boys! Seriously - old school rocks. Just wish I hadn't downloaded the explicit lyric versions of some songs from ITunes because I sure am sick of hearing Gwen rock it out with every other word being SH*&. PS/weight loss fantasies are a pass time of mine also - 10 lbs might as well be 100.