Naked People

February 4th, 2004

More on the naked people in a minute. First, I wanted to say that I had a very good birthday, mostly due to the HUNDREDS of people who emailed birthday salutations to me. Seriously, you guys are SO COOL, thank you SO much for thinking of me. I totally plan on emailing each and everyone of you a highly personal response.

But first I have to get out of The Big Trouble I'm in for not having met most of my other deadlines.

The good news, though, is that Princess Diaries 6 (official US title: PRINCESS IN TRAINING) and Mediator 6 (official US title, TWILIGHT) are both DONE!!! DONE. Now they are off to the printers. And in a year, you will see them on store shelves.

Please don't ask me why it takes a year from when I turn the books in for them to appear on store shelves. That part is not my job, so I don't know. I can only answer questions about my own job. Frankly, I'm just thankful it doesn't take LONGER than a year.

I still have a bunch of other stuff due, though. So I'll be working hard in the next month before I leave for my Princess Diaries 5 tour on March 23. Yay.

So. Naked people. If you watched the Superbowl (on my birthday), you might have seen Naked Janet Jackson. Or Semi-Naked, anyway. I don't know why everyone is making such a big fuss about this. I mean, it was just a boob. In Europe, they show boobs on TV all the time. Even on commercials.

Besides, Janet—Miss Jackson, if you're nasty—totally rules, and I personally don't mind having seen her boob one little bit, especially since her boob flashing appears to have been accidental (that's what Janet says, and so that's what I believe).

And okay, maybe I'm biased. With the exception of Lisa Bonet, whom I emulated stylewise all through high school and college, even getting her asymmetrical haircut circa 1987ish, Janet was my all time role model growing up. I wanted to BE Janet Jackson.

In fact, I STILL wouldn't mind being Janet Jackson. I just wouldn't want her creepy siblings.

But I will say this: television is the ONLY place where I want to see naked people. I do not want to see naked people in REAL LIFE.

Which leads me to what I really want to talk about here:

Exercise. I'm sure you've heard we're supposed to be getting 30-60 minutes of it per day. Yeah. PER DAY.

I used to love exercise. I rode my bike EVERYWHERE. I played on the Girl's Club softball team. I took ballet for like eight years. I was on toe shoes by the time I quit, which I did because I got athlete's foot. Seriously gross. I was like, I did NOT sign on for THIS.

As soon as I quit ballet, though, I gained twenty pounds. No exaggeration.

So I started doing aerobics instead (also running). For many many years. Right up until three or four years ago.

Three or four years ago, though, something happened. Exercise was no longer fun. I didn't LIKE doing it anymore.

I thought maybe I was burned out on aerobics. I've always done aerobics at home, to a video. Maybe, I thought, should join a gym.

BIG MISTAKE. I HATE GYMS.

Here are a few reasons why I hate gyms, in case you're curious:

Naked people.
Sweaty people.
People who talk to you.
Naked people.
People who look at you.
People who won't get out of your way.
Naked people.
People who hog all the equipment right when you want it.

Did I mention the naked people?

Anyway, I've belonged to many gyms—cheap gyms. Ultra expensive gyms. It's not the gym. It's me. I hate the gym. Any gym. Okay?

Why? Because there are naked people there.

I understand that at the gym, you HAVE to be naked for a little while. I mean, while showering. And while putting on or taking off clothes. And I don't have a problem with that.

What I DO have a problem with are the people who WALK AROUND THE LOCKER ROOM COMPLETELY NAKED. The ones who stand in front of the mirrors over the sinks COMBING THEIR HAIR, NAKED. The ones who sit by me in the steam room WITHOUT A TOWEL and do CRUNCHES. NAKED. The ones who ask me where I get my hair done. WHILE THEY ARE STANDING IN FRONT OF ME, COMPLETELY NAKED.

OH MY GOD. PUT ON A TOWEL. That is all I ask. A TOWEL, so I don't have a HUGE CLOSE UP VIEW OF YOUR GOODS.

Because, you see, unlike Janet, I KNOW they're doing it on purpose. I KNOW THEY WANT ME TO SEE THEIR GOODS.

But you know what? I DON'T WANT TO SEE YOUR GOODS. KEEP YOUR GOODS TO YOURSELF.

You know what else? I bet some of the people who are all upset over Janet accidentally showing us her boob are the very same people who comb their hair NAKED in front of the sinks at the gym to show off their goods.

Hello? Why can't I call the FCC on them? Huh? WHY?

You can see why I had to quit the gym. I took the money I'd been spending for my gym membership and bought a treadmill. Which I promptly broke my foot on. But that's another story.

Meanwhile, my butt was growing. Like a Chia Pet. Only not fluffy.

Then it happened: I got lyme disease. Only I didn't know it. All I knew was that all I wanted to do was lay in bed. I didn't even LOOK at my treadmill for a whole YEAR. I folded it up and put it in the corner. I thought I was just lazy. I watched Janet Jackson in her videos, and I was all, 'Wow, I can't believe she and I are the same age. Look at her jumping up and down like that. I sure don't have that kind of energy anymore.'

But then my doctor figured out that there was actually something wrong with me, and gave me these antibiotics. And I started taking them.

And guess what happened?

SUDDENLY I FELT LIKE EXERCISING AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not right away. Just a little, at first. I did some crunches. NOT AT THE GYM.

And it didn't feel bad! Like, my stomach didn't get punctured by my ribs or anything.

So then I did some push ups. NOT AT THE GYM.

Also not bad. My kidneys seemed to stay right where they were supposed to. My sore wrists held up like champs.

So then I took the Big Step: I got on my treadmill. And I walked for a while. Then I walked faster. Then I put on Maroon 5's Love This and Jet's Are You Gonna Be My Girl and Pink's Trouble and Janet's Control and I started RUNNING.

Not all in one day, of course. This was over the course of the past several weeks. Including when I was on tour, which meant I had to use the gyms in the hotels I was staying in. But that was OK, because I always exercise at weird times, like 2PM, so no one is ever there, FLASHING THEIR NAKEDNESS AT ME ON PURPOSE.

And now…I can't believe I'm writing this…but I actually LIKE exercising again.

I know! It's weird! I mean, to go from not wanting to get out of bed and watching 12 hours straight of cooking shows per day to RUNNING to Janet!

But guess what? My Chia Butt is getting smaller.

I think it goes to show that

a) laying off the Milk Duds and nachos

b) starting out slow, but steady, and

c) staying away from gyms (NAKED PEOPLE!!! NAKED PEOPLE!!!) and

d) being inspired by someone your own age who is totally buff—buff enough to not feel too bad about showing her boob to Justin Timberlake and 100 million television viewers

can equal success in the fitness arena.

So just think about that, all you couch potatoes. Because if I can do it, ANYONE can.

And all hail Janet, 37 years old, and still lookin' fly.

Next time: Why I Hate Valentine's Day.

Much love,

Meg