“Working Out Sucks” by Chuck Runyon, Brian Zehetner (MS, RD, CSCS) and Rebecca Derossett (MSW)

c.2012, Da Capo Lifelong
$14.99 / $17.50 Canada
224 pages



The year has barely gotten started, and you’ve already ruined a resolution.

Actually, make that all resolutions. You’ve already broken all your resolutions because the only one you made was to lose weight and even with the best of intentions, it ain’t happening. Not this year.

Why not?  You’re not lazy. You are motivated. The real truth is that “Working Out Sucks” but, as you’ll learn in a new book with that intriguing title by Chuck Runyon, Brian Zehetner, and Rebecca Derossett, it doesn’t have to. Seriously.

So you have a billion reasons why you aren’t exercising, starting with lack of money, lack of time, lack of commitment. Those are the three top excuses, says Chuck Runyon, but they’re just that: excuses.

The average American spends less on exercise than on car-related expenses. Annual beer cost is almost as much as the amount we spend on working the brewskis off.

Everybody in the world is given the same amount of time, and Runyon says that just 1% of our week – that’s 90-120 minutes – spent exercising is all most of us need.

And as for commitment, working out sucks but so does self-pity, lack of self-esteem, lack of energy, and setting a bad example for your kids.

Okay. So you’re semi-convinced. Now what?

Derossett, a behavior-change therapist says the first thing to do is to imagine yourself thin. Think of the things you can do without the extra weight. Get rid of negative thinking, divide your goals into small steps, and seek support.

But that’s not all…

Food doesn’t suck, but Zehetner offers advice on eating right.

Don’t deny yourself the things you love, just cut back on them. Know exactly how much protein your body needs (no guessing!). Drink liquids, but not necessarily water.  Mimic your cat with a good stretch, and know your NEAT.

So “Working Out Sucks.”  This book doesn’t, overall, but there was one thing inside it that did…

But first the goodness: authors Chuck Runyon, Brian Zehetner, and Rebecca Derossett made this book fun. Brutally honest, but fun, and they made losing weight seem like something that’s do-able. Runyon says that most of us can forget about getting a TV-worthy hardbody, and though you might have known that, down-deep, it’s strangely relieving to see it in print.

What’s also nice is that the authors urge readers to do something. Move a little. Walk some. Eat less. Change one food today. It’s baby-steps, but readers are given permission to ease into weight loss, as well as dozens of reasons why they’d want to.

What I hated about this book was that parts of it seemed like a thinly-veiled commercial for author Runyon’s world-wide fitness club. Nice to have testimonials. Bad to have them blatantly, entirely from a club that just happens to be owned by one of the authors.

Still, can you afford to miss such an easy-to-use book?  Not if you want to shed pounds, you can’t. For you, in fact, “Working Out Sucks” can make you the best kind of loser.

Terri Schlichenmeyer is based in Wisconsin.