The quest for a summer body


This whole “fitness” trend seems like a marketing ploy to get me to spend hundreds of dollars trying to attain a physique that’s primarily determined by genetics.  F*ck that.  I’m getting cheese fries.

Christina Anton | Cavalier Daily

It’s that time of year again! The gym is filled with people who haven’t been there since New Year’s Day. The ads on my Instagram feed are entirely comprised of super tan women with abs more defined than my future. The salad bar is constantly out of lettuce, and not just because there’s an FDA recall of romaine...  It’s ~summer body~ season.

As a #757 native, summer has always been a weird time for me. Everybody in my hometown is like, “Why put on clothes if I’ll just end up at the beach?” And I’m generally not one to go against the crowd. Unfortunately, walking around half-naked isn’t nearly as liberating as celebrity free-the-nipple activists would have you believe.  For one, my boobs and body look nothing like Miley Cyrus. I mean, she’s both skinny and looks like she can do many pushups. I, on the other hand, can do zero pushups and have a stomach pudge that I nicknamed Marlene. These kind of realizations are what lead me each year to weird online theories of how to get fit (read: skinny) fast. So, without further ado, here I go.

This year, I decided to kick things up a notch by going Paleo. Paleo, for the people who love themselves and don’t look up fad diets for fun, is when you eat like a caveman. No processed foods, no added sugar, and nothing remotely appetizing.

“But Katie,” you interject. “Why would you want to eat like a caveman?  They are all stocky and hairy.”

You make a valid point! Today’s beauty industry would never condone anything close to natural! But Megan Fox follows it, and she’s the definition of modern unattainable beauty standards, so I’ll give it a go.

As a disclaimer, ever since I found out UVA had 86 health code violations, I try to stay away from anything in the dining halls that requires human preparation, which basically leaves the salad bar. By lunchtime, the lack of carbs had left me so run down that I felt like the top of the truck that got stuck outside Boylan. I went back to my dorm and ate a cough drop to try and raise my blood sugar. After all, the Paleons can’t deny me medicine, right?  Wrong. I Googled it, and found out that not only are cough drops not Paleo, but neither are black beans, which I had for lunch. Well, that’s two strikes, so I’m just gonna scratch that and move on to the next way to get a ~summer body~.

I decided to download the app MyFitnessPal after some dude on Reddit said that weight loss was all about “calories in, calories out.” After I got back to my dorm, I had a light snack of Pringles and went to log it in my app.

“Um, Katie, are you sure you’re adding that in right?” my roommate asked me.

“Yeah. It says here that Pringles are 150 calories,” I replied, annoyed.

“That’s per serving. I’m pretty sure an entire sleeve of Pringles is more than a serving.”

Hurriedly, I checked the label. Alas, my roommate was right!  A sleeve of Pringles is 6 servings which puts me at... 900 calories. By noon. Embarrassed, I did what I always do with my problems. I deleted the app and pretended it never happened. Onward!

A lot of my friends have been following Kayla Itsines’ “Bikini Body Guide,” which sounds exactly like what I’m looking for, so I decided to give it ago. My friend sent me a screenshot of the program, since I won’t spend $40 on groceries, let alone on an exercise program that looked like it was going to make me cry. I dragged my friend to the gym with me for “moral support” and got down to business. I opened up the workout and read the first exercise: burpees. Oh hell no. I substituted a 10 minute walk on the treadmill and went home.

After a long, grueling week of trying and giving up on fad diets, I weighed myself.  My jaw hung open in shock. After all of that hard work, I GAINED 0.3 pounds! Healthy living my ass.  Or should I say, healthy living did absolutely nothing to my ass.  

Wait a minute — what kind of patriarchal society has the right to dictate what version of myself is acceptable to show the world? Is Marlene so shocking, so disgusting that I must forgo every tasty thing in O’Hill (read: the ice cream) to erase it?  In fact, this whole “fitness” trend is starting to seem more and more like a marketing ploy to get me to spend hundreds of dollars trying to attain a physique that’s primarily determined by genetics.  F*ck that.  I’m getting cheese fries.

Katie McCracken is a Humor Columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at

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