The other night, I was having dinner with a friend I hadn’t seen in a while, when the conversation turned, as it always seems to lately, to my weight loss. After covering the usual topics – how I did it, my workout routines, the longing for bread that I don’t seem to be able to shake – my friend mentioned something about how, when all was said and done, I will have the ultimate “revenge body.” This got me thinking a little bit about the phrase… and how much I hate it.
Like most expressions in the modern day vernacular, there is no precise origin of the term “revenge body.” Because it seems that most abhorrent things lately seem to start with a member of the KarJenners, I’m just going to go ahead and blame Khloé (even though she’s my favorite):
What exactly does “revenge body” mean, anyway? Looking at various internet definitions, it seems that the folks at Urban Dictionary have come the closest to an accurate meaning of the term:
Meaning: When you break up with someone, usually a cheating piece of shit who really wasn’t worth your time and you work your ass off to look the best you can just to piss him/her off and make them regret their poor choices.
Example: Can’t wait until he sees this revenge body, he’s going to regret fucking that hoe and losing me.
Anger at an ex, coupled with desire to make him/her regret dumping you, sure as hell seem like good motivation to work out and adopt a healthy lifestyle, right? Sure…except that it makes getting in shape less about you and more about them. That’s pretty much the opposite of a healthy mentality, right?
Now, listen. I’m not perfect. There is definitely a part of me that’s been motivated to lose weight by other people, whether it’s a guy from junior year, who didn’t think I was good enough for him because of my weight, or the girl in my sorority, who looked down on me because I was heavier than a typical sorority girl. And while I know that both of those people are assholes of the highest form, there will always be some small part of me that is getting up at 5:30 a.m. to go to the gym because of them. It’s inevitable that our experiences, and in particular, our negative ones and the people associated with them, will somewhat spur a decision to get in shape.
But, in my case, the point is that it’s a small part of me. Let’s call it an 80/20 split. The majority of my motivation is intrinsic – the desire to look and feel better for myself, not for anyone else. At the end of the day, I (mostly) know my getting in shape will only be successful if it’s (mostly) about me, not them.
So I don’t know how you guys feel about it, but I think we need to trash the term “revenge body.” Discussing Khloé’s show back when it premiered, Anna Kaiser, a celebrity trainer who has worked with Karlie Kloss, Shakira and Kelly Ripa, told The Hollywood Reporter this:
I think it’s a terribly negative way to look at your body and I don’t think it’s proper motivation to get in shape. I want the workout to be a positive experience, not a vulnerable situation tied to someone who has wronged you. The idea of revenge itself is not healthy. Feeling comfortable to move on and be a stronger person is much healthier than an idea like that.
Amen, Anna. Amen. But it’s still okay if I post my skinny pics to Instagram and hope that the asshole from junior year will see them, right?
Starting weight to Lose: 30 pounds
Week 1 Results: – 1.1 pounds
Week 2 Results: – 2.1 pounds
Week 3 Results: +0.4 pounds
Week 4 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 5 Results: – 0.2 pounds
Week 6 Results: – 0.1 pounds
Week 7 Results: -0.9 pounds
Week 8 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 9 Results: -0.5 pounds
Week 10 Results: -0.6 pounds
Week 11 Results: 0.0 pounds
Week 12 Results: -0.2 pounds
Remaining weight to lose: 24.5 pounds
If you want to follow along with me, friend me on MyFitnessPal or FitBit! .
Also, I’ll be chatting weekly about my progress with JR Hickey on our podcast, “Don’t Take It From Us.” New eps will be released every Wednesday, so check it out on Soundcloud below or Subscribe on iTunes!