Can We All Please Stop…


…posing with our hands on our hips in photos in an effort to make our arms look skinnier. Alright, so you’re the chick who has to stand on the end in the big line for the group photo. Bummer placement. We all know that standing in the middle is the best, right?

Thanks for the middle spot, family. You guys are the best. Ryan, why isn't your hand on your hip? You can show off your muscles that way. It's genius.

Sometimes standing with your arm out is simply comfortable.

Other times, it looks silly. You can put your arm down. It looks fine. You look great. Just smile.

Really, I remember at my brother’s wedding, I “taught my mom this trick” about how if you stand with your hand on your waist, it’s more flattering. We got the photos back and in most of them I look completely ridiculous doing this “pose.”

Mom, you are cute, but I don't think we really look "natural" here. In fact, I think a better word is perhaps "awkward" or "staged?"

…smoking. OK, you know what? You’re going to keep smoking. I know that. Fine. But can you do me a favor? Please don’t do it on a public sidewalk, where you’re likely to blow that smoke directly behind you and straight into my face and lungs. Also, can you not do it directly in front of buildings I’m trying to enter? I hate having to pass through your dirty air to get into the revolving door. And can you maybe not smoke your cigarette immediately before squeezing yourself into a very crowded elevator? It’s a little gross, and I’d take the stairs but…no, I won’t take the stairs. You should take the stairs.

…doing things that don’t make us happy. Yeah yeah, some things have to get done, I get that. Stupid dirty dishes. But in general, in life, shouldn’t the majority of what we do — work, hobbies, friends — be what we love?

LIFE SHOULD BE FUN. Fun is rollerblading in your apartment. Backwards. And crashing into stuff. And then falling.

…using the word “retarded.” I’d say 90 percent of the time that word is taken out of context and it makes me cringe.

…letting weddings turn us into crazy people. No, not just the bride-to-be. She’s allowed to be a little stressed, within reason, right? This is for the maids of honor, too, and the bridesmaids, and the guest who is OMG so offended about not being invited with a plus one, and the parents who are mad the adults-only reception isn’t welcoming of their six children, all under the ages of eight. It’s a wedding. It’s one day. It’s supposed to be to celebrate love and matrimony and stuff. It should be fun. Then again, I’ve never had to plan one, so what do I know?

WEDDINGS ARE FOR DANCING. Not fighting. Not stressing. Just dancing. And the open bar.

…confusing “you’re” and “your.” Come on now. We’ve been over this.

…forgetting to pack underwear in our pre-work gym bags. OK that’s more of a “note to self.” You can skip this one probably.

…getting deodorant on our black clothes. Every single time. Again, maybe this one is just for me.

…feeling guilty about what we eat. You know what’s delicious? Nachos.

No, I don't think living with Brian will make me gain weight. Totally not at all.

You know what ruins a big plate of nachos? A lengthy post-inhalation bitch fest about feeling badly for consuming so much melted cheese. Stop that. Eat the food because it tastes good and you like it. Don’t ruin that amazing, garlicky aftertaste by lamenting the extra workout you’ll need to burn it off. You feel bloated? Put on some sweatpants. You know that Mexican feast you just had was worth it.

…posting pictures of things we’ve peed on on Facebook. You’re pregnant! Yay! That is very exciting news! But I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I think there are ways to announce it that don’t involve posting that stick you peed on with the positive sign for the Internet world to see. Maybe you could make a balloon? Or a cupcake? Or do that thing where people post a picture of little tiny shoes? That’s a cute one. Babies are cute (some of them). Pregnancy tests, however, don’t really scream “adorable.” Congratulations, though! Psyched for you!

…looking in the mirror and zoning in on the things we hate rather than the things that are actually pretty awesome. Yes, I am quite guilty of this one. Whenever I’m in a dressing room at a store, I try something on and my first inclination is to see whether or not the outfit in question is flattering. Too tight in that area right underneath the belly button? Definitely not making a purchase. I could try on a dress that makes my legs look long, my arms look toned and my skin look freakishly tan (that never happens). But if it shows off my most-hated area, it’s a no-go, and that’s all I’ll see. Note to self (another one): Look at the good things, too. Not just the things that bug you.

…tagging embarrassing photos of our friends on Facebook. That’s not cool. Be nice.

…making lofty, public declarations saying, “I’m never drinking again.” Um, yes you are. Probably soon. But I’m sorry to hear about your hangover.

Sophomore year of college = theme parties every Saturday = "I'm never drinking again" every Sunday. LIES.

…being so dang hard on ourselves. You can want to do it all, and you can try. Ambition is a good thing. Let’s try not to beat ourselves up too much if we discover that we’re not, in fact, superhuman. Reality blows, right? Oh, this one is another note to self. You can ignore it if you want.


(Also, hi! It’s been a busy week at the office. I was going to write a post today to fill you in on my various running and spinning adventures, but then I took the most boring, awful, OMG-is-this-over-yet spin class this morning, so I entertained and distracted myself for 45 minutes with the aforementioned thoughts. Have a great day!)



70 Responses

  1. I love that picture of you rocking out at the wedding!

    I keep forgetting my towel when I go swimming. Then, when I’m getting redressed, I have to pull my dry clothes on over my wet skin. Thank goodness for thongs, though, ’cause full-bottomed underwear on a damp butt sucks.

  2. So, I’m lazy and didn’t read all the comments so I’m sorry if this is a repeat but…
    PLEASE STOP POSTING UPDATES ON SPORTING EVENTS EVERY 10 SECONDS! I feel like I never need to watch a baseball or hockey game again because half of my Friends list does play-by-play commentary for the ENTIRE thing. Knock it off. Those who want to watch, are. Seriously, knock it off.

  3. OK-admitting that I’m an arm-offender, but do it just because my arm feels awkward just danging.
    And “retarded”. Yuck. I’d like to add on guys acting like hardasses and calling other guys “homos” and “fags”. Really now?! I totally want to be your friend.

    Love this post.

  4. I loved this post! I definitely agree with the commenter that said “committing to things you don’t really want to do!” Sure, we have to do things we don’t want to do at times (hello compromising!) but no reason to do the big things unless your heart is really in it.

  5. I liked this post a lot….I’m glad you didn’t recap your workouts (though I like those posts too).

    Also, I was completely confused on the “things you pee on” one until I got a little further. My first thought was, what in the world are this girl’s friends up to?

  6. i am sick of the bathroom pictures taken above the head so that “i look skinny but also super classy when you can see the toilet in the background”.

  7. *slow clap*

    Seriously, amen to every one of these things. Specifically the arm thing—you were kind, I’m much more critical of this habit (even thought I’m guilty), but it drives me nuts. Also, throwing out “retarded” casually is perhaps my biggest pet peeve, and I have a hard time controlling myself when I hear it. Everything else as well, and I cannot tell you how many times I forget underwear in a pre-work gym bag. And to add one for my own sake, “Stop telling people at your office that you forgot underwear.” I find it hilarious, but sometimes it gets awkward.

  8. All sounds about right to me. I am adding committing to things that you really don’t want to do. I need to learn this one myself. I can say no to an event or activity and not feel bad. You can’t do it all right? And sometimes, I like to have my weekend for me and things I actually want to do! 🙂

  9. …poking people with umbrellas. Seriously, be courteous of those around you, especially those of us that seem to be right at eye piercing height.

  10. Love this post! I totally agree with the posting of the pregnancy test picture on FB- GROSS!! I have an ongoing list of inappropriate social media postings. Pregnancy test picture is definitely on the list.

  11. YES! on all, but especially the wedding thing. Everybody chill out. It’s gonna be fine.
    Also, could everybody stop acting like their political views are the only ones? That’d be great.

  12. Great post:

    Someone else just said it but to go along with “retarded” I also hear that’s so “gay” occasionally and it drives me nuts.

    I also second the “walking too slowly” but add to it “and taking up the whole sidewalk with your slow walking”

    Add: putting your coat into the overhead compartment BEFORE everyone is on the “filled to capacity” flight

    shoving ahead of people deplaning without saying a word, just shoving and being rude

    not saying “goodbye” when hanging up the phone.

    yawning without covering your mouth.

    And those are my gripes today 🙂

  13. Do your friends really post pictures of their pregnancy tests on Facebook? That is gross.
    I started to list some of my pet peeves, but I’m trying to be happy today. 🙂
    Have a happy day.
    I never thought of putting a hand on one’s hip in a photo as a way to make one’s arms look better. I thought people did it because they didn’t know what to do with their hands — jazz hands? That would make for some interesting photos.

  14. Ok…… I want nachos now. I had no idea people post pictures of their pregnancy test (gross) and this entire post made me laugh so hard. Thank you!

  15. The pregnancy test thing totally grosses me out. I barely wanted to show my husband the positive test, let alone keep it or take a picture to show the world. It went in the trah within minutes. Ew.

    Good list!!!

  16. Love this post!
    I agree with most of your notes to self too 🙂
    I think we all really just need to stop beating ourselves up for not being who we *think* we should be. Let’s get excited over who we are right now. Goals are one thing, but we have to realize we’re enough right now.

  17. The other day I went to the gym wearing my gym clothes, and totally forgot a bra to change into after my workout. It was a lot of fun going to work in a sweaty sports bra and a white t-shirt.

  18. Being rude!
    My biggest pet peeve is people with no manners- please and thank you can take you a long way!
    This might be my waitress self venting but seriously have manners. Everyone will be much more pleasant!

  19. Yes! In agreement with all, especially enjoying a greasy plate of nachos without feeling guilty about it.

    Can I also add subway etiquette? Can we please stop trying to get on the subway as soon as the doors open and lots of people are trying to get off? Don’t worry – we will all get on eventually…

    1. Oh, man. I could make a whole separate list on subway etiquette. Can we all just stop:
      -playing our music/games/etc. so freaking loud
      -taking up three seats on a crowded train
      -cutting our nails
      -getting our food freaking everywhere
      /end rant

  20. I love this post. Long-ish time reader, first time commenter. This post was just too awesome not to comment on.

    1. Yes. This.
      I can’t go on facebook anymore because most of my sister’s fb friends type like this. It gets me all worked up. I only assume they talk like this too…but gosh, I hope not.

  21. Hahaha I totally used to do the skinny arm pose, but looking back it seriously looks ridiculous in pictures!

    I also wish people would stop writing cryptic hater messages on Facebook, “You’re not worth my time, I should have never let you in my life yadadada” it’s like, either talk to the person in real life or if they really weren’t worth your time, stop posting about it on Facebook!

    Mmm I will be gorging on nachos tonight after spin!

    1. YES. Passive aggressive social media attacks! JUST TELL ME WHO YOU’RE MAD AT. Duh, I want to know. Hehe.

  22. so simple, these things. Yet I always appreciate the reminder!

    I also cringe when people use the word “retarded” – it’s just in appropriate. And am appalled that people still smoke in this day and age. Ugh.

    ADD: not holding the door for someone directly behind you and letting it slam in their face. drives me insane.

  23. Sort of an extension of the ‘arm on waist’ pose: standing pigeon-toed so that the thighs of doom never touch. Or standing with your legs 10 feet apart so they REALLY don’t touch. It doesn’t fool anyone.

    Totally agree about smokers – I think the words ‘get out of my space’ come to mind.


  24. I definitely agree with the smoking one cause that’s gross.

    I would add:
    … staying home if you’re sick rather than coming to work and exposing everyone else to whatever bubonic plague you have. Try working from home or burn a vacation day. Trust me you’ll get well much faster if you rest and have some soup than if come be stressed out for 8 hours in the office.

    1. YES. Especially if it’s the week (OK, year) before I have to run a race. Stay home! Germs, go away!!!

  25. I totally should have read this before having my daily “bacon egg and cheese croissant vs. yogurt and a banana” debate. I totally would have gone for the greasy goodness. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

  26. “You know what ruins a big plate of nachos? A lengthy post-inhalation bitch fest about feeling badly for consuming so much melted cheese. Stop that. Eat the food because it tastes good and you like it. Don’t ruin that amazing, garlicky aftertaste by lamenting the extra workout you’ll need to burn it off. You feel bloated? Put on some sweatpants. You know that Mexican feast you just had was worth it.”

    YES, YES, YES! I had Mexican take-out last night and it was glorious.

  27. I love you. I’m totally with the “things that don’t make you happy”, “feeling guilty about what we eat”, and “zoning in on things we hate”. Happy to report I’m only guilty of that last one & I’m working on it!
    Can we add to stop tearing each other down instead of supporting one another. Or perhaps stop feeling like it’s ok to comment on each other’s bodies. Don’t get me started 😉

  28. HAHAHA I had a girlfriend in college who SWORE by the skinny arm. She also could only be photographed with her left side showing. So to take a picture with her, she had to have her arm on her hip and her body facing sideways. Such a hassle, just smile! Loved the list this morning. All so true!

  29. I hate how people are on facebook. One time, someone on my friendlist wrote “I am outside in the sun, drinking beer”. 5 minutes later: “Now I am inside drinking my beer. It’s raining”) -seriously- who cares? DO NOT update your status every 5 seconds!

  30. When people confuse your and you’re it gets on my nerves. Same with there and their…Actually there are quite a few things that people just need to learn how to get right (not write!)

  31. …going to tanning beds — do you want skin cancer?

    I’ve never been to one, but they also seem coffin like

    I know people like a nice glow, but it’s not worth skin cancer and wrinkles. I don’t care if you’re “not prone to burning.” The UVA/UVB rays that are messing up the DNA in your skin and contributing to cancer don’t care.

  32. thank you thank you thank you for the hand on hip bit. that’s really be annoying me lately. combine it with your best duck face and i want to punch my computer screen.

  33. I thought posing with hands on hips is to make the end person look less awkward with a dangling arm? That’s why I do it – I never know where to hang my arm or how pushed back my shoulders should be, so I put one hand on my hip to suppress the awkwardness. But maybe I am the only person who doesn’t know how to stand up straight with an arm dangling.

      1. I do that sometimes, absolutely. Ape arms are sexy, but “hand on hip” is more pulled together. But, as evidenced in the photo above, doing it on purpose, for the point of “having skinny arms,” didn’t work so well for me. So I’ll quit that. I don’t think I can pull it off.

  34. On the same note as food-guilt, let’s all stop “punishing” ourselves with brutal workouts after overindulging. Working out should NEVER be a punishment, it’s a blessing that we’re all healthy enough to be able to stay fit!

    Fun post, from a fellow gym-bag-underoo-forgetter.

    1. Yes, totally agree! Food is fuel! Food is good! And exercising is good for us, not a punishment! On board, big time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

listen to the podcast

about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
  • Post Date

related posts



Answering questions about my dream home, dream podcast guests, and dreams for the future.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.