Unfortunately, that magical entity called your metabolism is in the process of retiring, just as you launch your postgrad career as an entry-level extraordinaire. This means you can’t drink beer or eat fast food every night and still look fabulous while maintaining an average of one or two gym dates a week.
One of the unfortunate forthcomings of adulthood is the ability to use the entire day. I work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sure, I could go to the gym on my lunch break but then I would smell the rest of the day, because let’s be real–I am not taking a full on shower in the creepy work locker room. I could try to be really ambitious and go to the gym at 5:30 a.m., but the reality of that happening is slim to none. As much as I want to just go home and veg out while playing Luigi’s Mansion when I get home, I have every intention of looking like a sexy creature while I venture to Vegas for my birthday in my new fabulous bikini. The gym after work is the best I can do.
The only problem with this is that it conflicts with one of the only benefits of having an adult life and job: happy hour. Half-price drinks and food? Who can say no to that?
I love happy hour! It brightens my damn day and helps me justify the entry-level bullshit that I feel way too overqualified to do. So to have to choose between exerting physical energy that, frankly, I don’t have after a long day of sitting on my ass or my $4 friend who gives me a nice buzz? You get the picture.
But what happens if we combine the two? No need to thank me for testing this theory.
First, I start slamming water at the end of happy hour. I only had two glasses of wine, but my cousin is bartending, so I actually consume double of what a serving normally is. I get in my car and contemplate going home, going to Target, or going to the gym. Going to Target is always a slippery slope, and I know I won’t get out of there without spending at least $50, so I go to the gym instead. Even if I just go sit in the sauna and let the wine seep out of my pores, it’s a good thing. “Dedication,” I think ambitiously to myself as I envision looking exactly like the Victoria’s Secret model sporting the new bikini I bought. Here’s the thing about dedication after you’ve had a few drinks: you are not nearly as capable as you thought you were 10 minutes ago.
- I stroll in the locker room, where I clumsily remove my boots, leggings, etc. I take out my workout gear, get dressed, go to place my keys in my back pocket, and realize I put my pants on inside out.
- As I undress in order to fix my pants, I knock my water bottle, phone, and book on the ground.
- Leaving the locker room, I make a beeline for the machines where I am certain there will be a plug for my phone on the metal power strips. Wrong.
- I nearly run back in the locker room to take a picture of my locker, just to make sure I remember which one it is, so I don’t try to unlock another person’s like a jackass.
- Getting on the elliptical, my legs begin to feel like Jell-O. Tingly, funny Jell-O. By giggling and Snapchatting my friends, I begin to draw more attention to myself. It didn’t help when I tripped over myself looking for an outlet five minutes ago.
- After I contain myself, I start to ramp it up on the good ol’ elliptical. I start sweating.
- People around me exchange concerned glances with each other, as the smell of red blend courses through their noses. With envy, as I like to think.
- I move onto the seated squat press and realize I have to adjust the seat. This evening, I just can’t make it work. I whack it with the force of Zeus before I can get it to move. Again, I draw more attention to myself.
- I nearly asked the guy next to me for help, but figure he would interpret that as a pick up line. Not now, chief. I am in the zone.
- Finally, I decide to go home. I text my BFF Jill to let her know what I just accomplished. Her response? “At least you tried.”