Bateman: Girls, go for the barbells, too

By Oliver Bateman

Just before we got dumped by Emily Twiggs, we stole her diary so we could learn her innermost… Just before we got dumped by Emily Twiggs, we stole her diary so we could learn her innermost thoughts and thereafter devise a way to get back together with her. Unfortunately, the most interesting entry we found in there was this one, which we’ve decided to republish in its entirety in lieu of writing an original column:

“Dear best diary ever, this is your friend Emily again. After a crazy holiday season, where my friends always had to text me up on my celly because I was never at home, I realized that I had gained some weight in all the wrong places.

This one stupid gym mullet I work with told me that I should do some weightlifting to burn calories and build muscle. Well, according to Wikipedia and my intuitive understanding of how my body works, I can’t lift weights. If I started doing that, I would get super bulky and disgusting. I mean, Jessica Biel’s shoulders, anyone? Ugh factor times 10!

Anyway, the typical exercise routine for a no-nonsense modern girl like me consists of using an elliptical trainer, often for hours at a time, at that machine’s lowest setting. I try to set the machine to the highest incline possible, so that I can hang on for dear life with my forearms and do even less work than I would be doing otherwise. This is the only acceptable way to use the elliptical trainer, as it allows me to avoid developing sweat stains on my hot new Victoria’s Secret Pink athletic pants while I skim the latest issue of Cosmo or Self for pertinent information about beach diets and the latest trends in objectifying outerwear.

If I arrive at the gym and all of these trainers are occupied — undoubtedly by other women who have been using them for hours or possibly even days — there is nothing for me to do but stand around and wait. During these times, I can catch up on the latest gossip and commiserate with the other single ladies who have gained a few pounds in undesirable places. Even though we are probably surrounded by free weights and weight machines, we won’t use them. If I so much as my wrap my fingers around a barbell, I just know that I will develop a ripped physique that conjures up memories of a young Duane ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

If I spend hours at a gym waiting in line for an elliptical trainer but don’t actually exercise, I’m still entitled to brag to my friends about my grueling workout. ‘Oh, I deserve this Choco Taco,’ I can say, even if I didn’t burn a single calorie. My galpals will nod their heads in approval, because, after all, what woman doesn’t deserve a Choco Taco? ‘Girlfriend, spoil yourself,’ one of my friends will usually add.

Life is tough for me, dear diary. I know this and so do you. If I don’t get the body I deserve, I will never impress the other girls I want to impress with said well-deserved body. In much the same way that men develop biceps to impress other men, I work out so that I can cultivate the rail-thin body that most men find terribly unattractive.

However, it will take tremendous dedication to a fad diet and countless years spinning slowly on the elliptical trainer to reach such a state of perfection. Thankfully, I don’t have an ounce of muscle on my skinny-fatty frame, just a few pounds in all the wrong places. Some women, cursed from birth with bulkiness, will have to settle for having physical features that many men find attractive.

Now why on earth would any woman want that, dear diary?

Wishes for a great summer,


Oliver Bateman is the vice-president of the Women’s Elliptical Trainer and Cosmopolitan Magazine Reading Club of America. You can read the Club’s latest article, “I don’t need a man in my life. Love is the icing on the cake, not the cake itself!” at, or e-mail Oliver at [email protected].