Enough with the ‘Dad Bod’ praise, please

The day my co-workers and I caught wind of Dad Bods, the Gchat windows that lined the bottom of my computer screen lit up like a Christmas tree. The whole idea made us LOL (or at least frantically type that much) … until we actually thought about it.

Suddenly, it wasn’t quite so funny.

dad bod

I mean, how is this: “We want to look skinny and the bigger the guy, the smaller we feel and the better we look next to you in a picture,” even remotely OK? A COLLEGE SOPHOMORE WROTE THIS. This is someone’s actual thought process, and it runs so much deeper than the funny memes and beer-slugging the goofy term has spurred.

Guys like Seth Rogen, Vince Vaughn, and “Parks and Rec”-era Chris Pratt are leading men and heartthrobs, celebrated for having a bit of extra weight on their bones. But what about the non-celebrated Mom Bods? Or, you know, women’s bodies after they totally GROW AND BIRTH A HUMAN.

The difference is stark and sexist. Dads, you’re cool to drink beer and eat pizza, and the end result is a bod that’s not just AS bangin’ as before, but EVEN BETTER. When will it be socially acceptable for women to do the same? We want to eat pizza and drink beer and be patted on the back for it, too … don’t we? Or is life just one big race to pop out a few kids, lose every ounce of baby weight, and spend our lives drinking Skinny Girl-brand drinks – which, I’m sorry, are not that great – and counting calories?

Guh-ross. And unfair. And, sadly, unsurprising.

What do you guys think about this Dad Bod trend? Funny and harmless, or so much more dangerous than we realize?

I’m not sure what SoulCycle is exactly, but it was crowded and hurt my ladyparts

soulcycle chicago old town fancykinsPerhaps my first mistake was not showing up wearing head-to-toe SoulCycle gear? Photo via SoulCycle.

I’m sorry if that title is TMI, but I feel like I need to keep it real with you guys. Remember that time I listed all the parts of my body that hurt after my first Flywheel class, including my crotch? Well, that’s about how bad I hurt right after my first SoulCycle class. Like, I need to sit on a doughnut at work, which is what women do after they’ve just BIRTHED A HUMAN.

Chalk it up to being super out of shape (most likely, hence my recent signing up for ClassPass), those tiny bike seats being hard as rocks (really, though), or SoulCycle being a super kick-ass workout (not entirely convinced), but I’m pretty darn sore. And the place was pretty darn crowded – I’m not sure the fresh ranunculus in the ladies’ changing room make up for the fact that the studio is just not large enough to fit SoulCycle’s hype.

ImageIf you’re feeling brave, you can see my post-workout mirror selfie with these flowers, complete with smeared makeup and frizzy hair, on my Instagram.

I’ve been intrigued by SoulCycle ever since I heard about its tendency to make riders inexplicably cry mid-ride and release bursts of pent-up emotion they didn’t even know they had. Also, it’s a spinning class that’s done in CANDLELIGHT, which makes everybody’s spandex-clad bodies look ultra bangin’. Who’s not into some Zen shit every now and then, especially if the lighting’s right?

soul cycle chicago fancykins 1

Knowing these things were possible  – rushes of emotion, candlelight, general chillness – I didn’t expect to spend a majority of the ride out of the saddle in third position, simultaneously dance-spinning and draped across my handlebars, dying. I mean, I’ll be the first to admit that the song “Booty” is enough to make me chair dance during work, but it didn’t do the trick this time.

Unlike Flywheel and Full Psycle (my personal favorite), SoulCycle’s bikes aren’t equipped with monitors that give you any indication of the work you’re putting in. So, yeah, you may be doing push-ups and tap-backs and side-to-sides to the beat of “Booty,” but the lack of accountability and friendly competition is sorely missed. Camaraderie is the goal at SoulCycle, apparently. And I don’t know about you, but I go to a workout class to be all up in my own head, not worrying about the resistance level of my neighbor’s bike.

soul cycle chicago fancykins 4

Also, I kind of had no idea what the instructor was saying most of the time, because the microphone feed in that room is THE WORST. Like, my cat chewed on my favorite headphones and the sound always goes in and out in one ear, and I’d rather listen to that than try and decipher SoulCycle spin commands.

Don’t get me wrong – the class, led by superhero-level instructor Anthony, was intense and still a pretty solid workout, but I can’t stress enough how disappointed I was with the SoulCycle facility – it was just so, so crowded. The spin room is large enough for 51 riders, which is fine and dandy until a full class is released, all sweaty and breathless, into a common area of 51 additional riders waiting for the next class while the spin room is cleaned. Imagine 102 sweaty, slippery bodies awkwardly brushing past each other. There are strange smells. There’s no place to sit down to take off those treacherous spin shoes. Some people actually stood IN THE BATHROOM STALLS to make room for other people to move around, which was only acknowledged by fleeting eye contact tinged with mutual sadness.

I’m sorry you had to stand next to a toilet while I wiped off my boob sweat, lady in pink workout pants. You’ll never see me ’round these parts again.

soul cycle chicago fancykins 3Imagine a full room of this. Also, DO NOT COME IN DIRTY CLOTHES, OK.

Have YOU tried SoulCycle yet, and did you think it lives up to the hype? Or would you, like me, rather spend your time strapped to bikes at Flywheel and Full Psycle? Eager to hear what you guys think!

I bit the bullet and rejoined ClassPass, and it’s the greatest

I know I was all “OMG, I’m a gym rat now, hold my bag while I pound out some exercise-type things with these 7-lb. weights,” but I’ve changed my tune and rejoined ClassPass.

And guess what? It’s fricking STELLAR to be back. Like reuniting with an old friend who’s in really, really good shape.

ClassPass Flywheel launchThe night I first learned about ClassPass and nearly died on a Flywheel bike,

My gym’s class schedule, while good, just didn’t have enough variety, you know? And, I’m sorry to say, I was tired of hearing those censored, gym-mixed songs during spin when really all I wanted to do was crank the resistance and sing swear words really, really loudly.

I know there are a bunch of fellow ClassPassers out there in the universe, possibly reading this blog. And if so, let’s take a class together. Yeah? Maybe something scary, like Shred415 or Sproing or CrossFit, which are always so much better when you’re not struggling (and sweating) all by your lonesome.

classpass chicago app fancykins

And, of course, I’m open to class suggestions. What are your must-visit studios and workouts? I tell ya what, I tried Zumba at Dance Spa for the first time last night thinking it would be a cute, fun workout, and my ass got KICKED. So much harder than I thought. Totally gonna use those moves on the dance floor, though.

Next Page »