dv1060037Okay, so I’m like totally diggin’ my better angel these days. Call it maturity, call it the Barack effect, call it too many damn yoga classes. Whatever the reason, ya girl is seriously workin’ her halo and channeling her inner Gandhi and sh*t (oops, Gandhi probably wouldn’t cuss like a sailor…my bad). Anyhoo, notwithstanding this potty-mouth’s occasional verbal slippage over starboard deck….I am almost totally on the good ship, lollipops. I’ve simply come to the “eureka” that LIFE…JUST…AIN’T… THAT….COMPLICATED. Seriously! We’re here to (1) love the people we love, (2) do the things the good lawd put us on the planet to do and (3) ….ummm, recycle! Man, if I had just listened to Spike in 1989 and learned to “do the right thing” then, I would have saved myself about two whole decades and a lotta grief! But, nooooo, I had to learn the hard way. Oh well. Tiramisu-flavored Coffeemate spilled. What counts is that I’m there now, in all my angelically loving, goody-two-shoes-spiritual glory….doing unto others, helping old ladies cross the street (okay fine, but I would) and throwing away rancid dairy products when they have passed expiration (within reason…no need to toss away a perfectly good wedge of Parmesan over a silly little spot of mold which could be cut off…but I digress).

Yep, on the whole, I’m being a very, very, good wittle goy-al, y’all. But, try as I might to maintain my do-gooder-ness-ness 24/7, there is still a teensy little corner of bad girl left in me, and she is steady begging to come out and play. And, if I’m going to be four realz about it, “own my truth” and all that …I LIKE that chick! Shorty is a party on purple platform heels, and I don’t never (nevah-evah-evah) want her to disappear entirely. Besides, she makes one helluva mean Pina Colada and the b*tch is being all kindsa shady about giving me the damn recipe!! So, I figure, rather than let my inner bad girl go, I’m just going to try to redirect her “talents” in a more positive direction. Smell me? And the very first project I’m putting Shawty on (after she’s done flirting with these lil’ boys via text message) is helping me drop a couple-a pounds! And you know this, man! I’m trying to tighten up my fitness game and, in the process, I’m willing to be as crooked, sneaky and low-down-dirty with myself as I need to be to get the job done. Morality and ethics be damned! Mama wants a six-pack, and so long as there ain’t no stomach stapling involved, no botched liposuction jobs in anybody’s third world plastic surgery shacks clinics and no stupid celebrity dieting tactics*, anything goes! So, if you’re down for a little harmless moral subterfuge to get your body right too, then check this out. As was brazenly promised in the title to this here article thingy, here are my top 5 Totally Unscrupulous Ways To Lose Those Extra Pounds:

LIE.. Tell yourself whatever it is you need to hear to get your derrière to that gym, on that treadmill, around that track or whatever method of madness it is you select to burn calories. My gym happens to be in the same shopping center as a Burger King (coincidence? ), so my favorite lie I tell myself is that if “I just go and workout for an hour, I can have a Whopper with cheese when I finish.” I’ve used this same ol’ con on myself so many times that I’ve lost count, and like a sucker I keep on falling for it over and over and over. Have I ever actually gotten the post-workout-Whopper sammich? Hell no. Because by the time I’m done putting my body through the inhumane torture of so many squats and tricep dips, there is just no way in Hades that I’m blowing it all to “have it my way” on a 47-second mouth orgy. And the funny thing is, after working out, I’m usually not even craving the cheeseburger like that any more. Well, not like talkin’ bout it, anyway.

CHEAT. Sometimes, no matter what we say or do, the motivation just isn’t there. Straight up! Maybe you’re tired, suffering from menstrual cramps, or just not tin the mood. These are the times to remember that sneaker campaigns are the gospel and “just do it” anyway. I know, I know, it bites but hear me out. What I mean is, go ahead and workout, but give yourself permission to cheat. That’s right, just take it easy and do an itty bitty baby workout. No one is going to tell. Usually run five miles? Then walk two. Always get two sets of risers for Step class? Just use one or maybe even none this time. You are guaranteed to feel mo’ better just doing at least a little somethin’ than if you had gone home and plopped in front of the TV with a bag of fiery Cheetos and the remote. The trick is knowing when you are pushing your body beyond your limits. If you are genuinely tired or hurting, and not just trying to talk yourself out of exercising because you’re not feeling it that day, then listen to your body and by all means give yourself permission to play hooky.

STEAL. If you’ve ever looked around in a grocery store, I mean really looked, then you’d know there’s something to that adage, “You are what you eat.” I spend a good deal of my grocery shopping time spying on the healthy-looking people and their carts to steal ideas on what it is they are doing right. Notice I didn’t say I look in “skinny” people’s carts, because a lot of them eat junk. I try to steal my ideas for better food choices from the shoppers who seem to radiate good health in every way; glowing skin, hair, nails and obviously fit physiques. It makes me re-think the carton of New York Super Chunk Fudge to see some ultra-toned marathon dude picking up his pint of cottage cheese (with the cute little side-tray of pineapple?) and putting it into a shopping cart filled with bottled water, fresh fruits and veggies. I’ll be honest here. I still might not buy the cottage cheese, but chances are 50/50 that with a little inspiration from my grocery store role model, I’ll at least consider trading in my 1200 calorie pint of ice-cream for a fat-free mango sorbet.

BRIBE. Bribe yourself into a better diet and exercise habits with a special treat. It can be anything you want except, for obvious reasons, try to think up a reward system that is non-caloric. For example, my two biggest weaknesses in life are probably fashion magazines and high heels, so this is what I hold out as my carrot for good behavior. Little victories, like staying on the stationery bike an extra fifteen minutes, get rewarded with a little trip to the Barnes & Nobles to get the latest and greatest uber-glossy fashion mag from gay Pah-REEE! Bigger triumphs, like hitting the 10 pound marker in my personal weight loss goals, are rewarded in the form of whatever fierce pair of sling- backs, stilettos or strappy sandals I am currently lusting after (and/or find on the clearance rack at DSW with a 40% off sticker). It’s easy to tell when I’m doing “good” (i.e. eating right and exercising regularly) because I’ll have magazines stacked up to my ceiling and a shoe closet that would make SJP jealous. When I’m not doing so hot with my diet/fitness game? Ummm, you’ll catch me re-reading crumpled up copies of Crochet Weekly from like 15 million years ago and strutting around town in a pair of last season’s hideous striped espadrilles (SCREAM!!!!)

HOLD YOURSELF HOSTAGE. Make exercise the ransom. If my friends want to see me, they have to be prepared to move it. This is definitely my favorite healthy lifestyle trick because it helps the people I love get fit too, whether they like it or not. This guerrilla tactic originally came about because, like so many busy women out there, I always felt like I had no TIME to exercise. There just weren’t enough hours in the day, and I was constantly having to choose between hanging out with my girls on the one hand, or hitting that much-needed aerobics class, on the other. So, I came up with the bruh-zilliant idea of combining socializing with exercising, or “sociersizing” (soh-sure-sizing), if you prefer. If my sis or a girlfriend of mine wants to get together, then part of the bargain is that we don’t do anything sedentary. Instead of sitting around at some expensive coffee shop dunking apple fritters into $7 whipped-cream coated lattes, we go for a walk in the park. Instead of renting videos and veg-ging out on the couch all evening, we go get our Salsa on at the local hot spot.

So there you have it, five sinister, sneaky and totally inappropriate tactics to swindle your way into a better you. Try them out for yourself. Go ahead. Be ruthless. Be bad. Be back in those skinny jeans before you know it!

*celebrity dieting tactics – i.e. juicing, fasting, starving, cocaine use, consuming Starbucks as your primary nutritional intake source, etc.

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