Archive for August 13th, 2008

Perhaps it’s because I’m getting major thigh envy by watching the Japan – Venezuela volleyball game during d’Olympics, but I’m getting a strange hankering to get my flabby derriere back to the gym. I’m also partly spurred on by Fatmammycat’s ‘motivational’ workout posts (she says she was in Belgium recently, but I’d sooner bet she went to Beijing…she’s in that gym like a fucking mad yoke!).

Like the wee Duracell bunny chubster that I am, I need some decent tunes to help me ‘break through the wall’ (that’s fitness speak, as far as I can tell. Ask a friend). All bets are off if I can’t bop along to a beat or two, and I get seriously irritated by my gym’s euro-disco-Lionel-Richie-ballad-madeover-with-a-techno-beat bollocks. So here is the latest workout rocking my iPod and (hopefully) shrinking my thighs…


Bat For Lashes – ‘Prescilla’

Not exactly a gym-centric stomper of a track, but channelling one’s inner Natasha Khan while doing weights is never a bad thing. The testosterone in my weights area would lift the feckin’ eyebrows clean off you, so I need some gentle female company while I’m in there.

Battles – ‘Atlas’

Seven and a half minutes of strangely hypnotic music with a fairly good tempo; get stuck into this and hey presto, half your time on the treadmill is taken care of. Thankyee, Battles.

Do Me Bad Things – ‘Time For Deliverance’

How this now-tragically-defunct English band didn’t become bigger than God, I shall never know. Pitched somewhere between Beyonce and AC/DC, this upbeat track is perfect for when you feel the need to pedal like fuck on the stationary bike. Or, if you’re a gym-phone, dance around to it at home; you’ll lose about 126,375 calories before you even get to the chorus. Yes, it’s that good.

Futureheads – ‘The Beginning Of The Twist’

Another high energy maniac of a song, and ideal for the elliptical trainer (if it’s on a criminally low resistance). Just don’t make the mistake I did of mouthing the chorus under your breath; the sight of a sweaty bird grunting ‘I can feel it/I can feel iiiit’ does no favours for anyone.

The Go! Team – ‘Bottle Rocket’

I’d gotten tired of working out to ‘The Power Is On’, so switched to the similarly kinetic track above. I adore its retro trumpet bit, and it’s just to darned uplifting. On the iPod for feelgood factor alone.

Kylie Minogue – ‘Come Into My World’

Frankly, this ‘pop pixie’ (arf) melts the jaw off me. Quelle headwreque. Still, I do like this disco/pop number, and not just because the heroic genius that is Michel Gondry directed the video.

Rocket From The Crypt – ‘On A Rope’

I should have a strained relationship with this song – for my 18th birthday I went to see them in the Mean Fiddler (now the Village) and proceeded to puke mightily all over my object of desire. Anyway, the song, still brilliant after all these years, is under three minutes long, so you can bump up the resistance on the bike and go like the proverbial clappers. Bye bye, saddlebags.

Sonic Youth – ‘Chapel Hill’

I always like to have a slice of Sonic Youth in the gym; ‘Drunken Butterfly’ was a workout playlist staple for a long time. It’s an angry track though, so I’m pretty sure that I would have had, as my mother would say, a right neb on me whenever I played it in the gym. Once those beefy guitars kick in, you really do end up putting your back into whatever you’re doing.

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – ‘Tick’

A few weeks ago, when my romantique life was in something of a jocker (of which, more later) I was playing this song non-stop; it just seemed to match the mad, frantic, helpless mood I was in. Anyway, it’s also a great track for a short sharp burst on the elliptical. One day though, I was going so crazy on the machine that the whole thing started to edge near the wall. No mean feat, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Girls Aloud – ‘Something Kinda Ooh’

Arguably the only decent song that shower of perma-tanned knackbags ever put out. But seriously, this track is an inspired slice of sexy pop/disco. Another great one for the weights room, as I find myself inadvertently pouting like Nadine Coyle while lifting the paltriest of dumbells. Go me.

 Because I’m the type who gets bored too easily, I estimate that I will probably get bored of this playlist by Tuesday (that’s factoring in one visit, but probably no more than two if I’m being honest). So if you have any workout tunes that you swear by, I am – as always – open to suggestion…

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Lately it seems like I’ve been stuck in a rut. My apathy knows no bounds. I come home from work with great intentions to clean my hovel of a flat and even whilst faced with the yawning abyss that is my kitchen sink, I somehow can’t seem to find the motivation. (Well now, I’m thinking, if I can’t find the motivation to get my mottled ass in shape and run around the park that is literally outside my sitting room window, how the hell am I supposed to care about the dishes?)

As I’ve mentioned somewhere before, my mother’s advice to me when I go into one of my black troughs is to keep shaving my legs and putting my face on (I swear she’s not Patsy or Eddie from Absolutely Fabulous).

I was brought up to make the best of what I’ve got, which means brushing your hair, putting an outfit together and never leaving the house without make-up. I used to be like this. I was the teenager who suggested we put more lipstick on my (beloved) granny’s corpse in the funeral home because she too loved her slap and would have been disappointed that the mortician chose a nude shade for her lip colour; I’m the girl who a few years ago had to buy a third, count ‘em, GHD because I had blown up two previously from overuse.

Makeover time on America's Next Top Model

Makeover time on America

Pah! It makes me ashamed to see how I’ve let myself slip. Somehow, without realising, I’ve sunk into a slow decline, where I’ve paid less and less attention to myself and gotten very used to being invisible. I suppose over the past two years I’ve had a job where my colleagues were almost entirely men (computer geeks) and a boyfriend who didn’t care too much for putting on the glad rags and somehow it all seemed to rub off on me.

Last weekend it felt like a bell rang in my head. I went out on Friday night, got very enjoyably pissed with friends and socialised with strangers, something I hadn’t done in a very, very long time. When I woke the next day, with a hangover, it really did feel like a bell was ringing in there. Still, I got up, cleaned the house from top to bottom, washed the car, then got into it and drove to Dundrum in my worn-out, greying clothes. I stocked up on jeans, a new top, shoes, Cons, cheapo jewellery and a shiny, shiny handbag.

The following day, I dressed myself in my new wares, stuck Fleet Foxes in the stereo and went to do the recycling. I felt great. For the first time in as long as I can remember, I had actually ‘made an effort’ and it made me feel good about myself. I was smiling to myself as I lugged the recycling to the giant bins. Then a man, total stranger, took the bag of papers out of my hands and emptied it into the bin for me. I swear I nearly swooned. And the man was 60. But still, Jesus, it reminded me of the wisdom in my mother’s words. I may even try some fake tan this week.

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