Beauty and the Beast

24 Feb
The keys to beast mode.

The keys to beast mode.

One of the main reason many people decide to diet and exercise is so they can look good. Is it shallow? Maybe. Does it have its benefits? Absolutely.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to drop a few pounds to be beach ready by summer. Some people want to drop a whole human in order to look good at their weddings. People who take this approach, I’ve found, are very sensitive about their appearance. These people will have a problem with what I call “the beast.”

The beast is what happens to you when you get in a zone in your workout. After weeks of trying, you’ve gotten into the supported headstand at yoga. You’ve completed that fourth mile and are on your way to the fifth. You’re able to peddle through third position in high gear without giving up. You’re in beast mode! Congratulations!

The price you pay for beast mode is sweat. It’s sticky, wet clothes. It’s limp hair. It’s the look of a drowned rat. Yay! You can work out. Boo! You look like you’ve just survived a shipwreck.

How can those of us who take pride in our appearances reconcile the process that does this to us? Here are a few tips to let your pretty girl rock while you sweat it out.

Bright Is Right. One of the reasons so many running clothes are bright is because you need to be seen, especially when you’re running in the dark. One of the added perks to these bright colors is that it can literally brighten your day. Wear that bright tank top to the gym one day. Think of your workout wardrobe as a mood ring. If you want to pump up your energy, wear something red. If you need a perky pick-me-up, try something green or yellow. Color looks good on everyone, so try one to boost your mood.

Post-Sweat ‘Fit at the Ready. I’m a firm believer in preparation, and this tip is all about preparation. If you know you’re going to bang it out on the weights, grunting and sweating all over the place, have your change of clothes ironed and hanging up in the locker room. Motivation is a good way to keep a positive outlook. If the beast comes out in the gym, at least you know she’ll stay there.

Tie It Back. Nothing says keep it moving like a good pony. When I was growing my natural hair out, I couldn’t wait until the day I could just pull it up into a ponytail. A sleek pony will do the trick every time. Right now, I’ve got my hair braided, which was my go-to style when I began my weight-loss journey. Braids can be pulled up into a pony with ease, and it always helps you put your best face forward.

Smell Goods. Your toiletry bag at the gym should be stocked with the following: your favorite body wash, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and lotion. If you need to wash your hair after the gym (I don’t), an unscented shampoo will work. You don’t want to overload the senses when you walk out. A light-smelling lotion will offer all the whiff you need when you step out.

Confident Strut. One of the reasons ‘Yonce can say she woke up like dih is because she worked her butt off to do so. If you are between ideal weights and still in beast mode, no one will really know but you. So strut your stuff, diva. You’ve worked hard. You’ve put in work. You may not have gotten right where you want just yet, but you are on the path. So get your get ’em girl shoes on and Naomi Campbell walk because you did the damn thing today.

Never let the thought of the beast keep you from embracing it. Getting into beast mode is what will get you to your goal. It’s the fire you have inside pushing you to where you want to be.

Plus, being in beast mode is just temporary. We don’t walk around sweating all day (I hope). No one curls 10-to-20-pound weights all the time. It’s something we do to achieve the goal. And if your goal is pretty, then you’re going to have to deal with the ugly.

How do you reconcile your inner beast with your need for beauty?

photo credit: Arya Ziai via photopin cc

5 Responses to “Beauty and the Beast”


  1. Work Out Burn Out | I'm Skinny, Now What? - October 29, 2014

    […] to be confused with it’s brighter, older sibling “beast mode,” work out burn out is what happens when you’ve taken beast mode too far. You start dreading […]

  2. Double the Fun | I'm Skinny, Now What? - October 13, 2014

    […] On my weight-loss journey, I’ve learned the importance (and the pain) of two-a-days. When I began, I was using the “Extreme Fat-Smash Diet” plan, which is rigorous in both diet and fitness. For three weeks, you’re doing at least an hour of cardio a day, with that workout sometimes being split in two. It’s what I’ve been doing for the past few weeks as I’ve returned to beast mode. […]

  3. Rest and Relaxation Time | I'm Skinny, Now What? - September 23, 2014

    […] Beast mode is no joke. I’ve been in beast mode for three weeks (and lost eight pounds in the process—yay!). I let things get out of hand over the winter, spent the spring enjoying the anniversary of my birth and the summer—well, I don’t have any excuse for the summer. […]

  4. I’m Only Good for Two | I'm Skinny, Now What? - June 11, 2014

    […] thing I learned, however, is that I’m only good for two of those three. So when I’m in beast mode, my apartment suffers. My poor dog has given me side-eye for how bad things have gotten. But […]

  5. Ugh, Cramps! | I'm Skinny, Now What? - June 9, 2014

    […] no other way to say it: Lactic acid buildup is a bitch. When in beast mode, it will slay the beast. Ask any runner, basketball player, football player, fencer, etc. When you […]

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