So, what’s the deal with all these body builders being super tan? Why does every fitspo instagram/tumblr person have a somehow magically just off the beach glow? (Sidenote: Can I just have the life they seem to have? Like hell yeah, I will eat freaking coconuts, dragon fruit, and mangoes all day on the beach and do freaking squats in booty shorts… but how do you get paid?!)
So WHY do these people tan? Supposedly tanning makes you look thinner. According to the online community of bodybuilders: “Tanning brings out striations in the muscle groups, therefore highlighting muscle definition. Basically the darker your skin the more defined your muscles look, giving the impression you are rippling in muscularity. Not only is tanning good for highlighting muscle definition, it also gives you a healthier, better looking complexion.” I know I know, wtf Diana, that isn’t a very reliable source… but you know what? It’s what’s out there for the masses to read and it’s also how these body builder’s think and their rationale for hopping in the tanning booth so frequently.
Anyway, I am going to keep this brief because I am a lobster and need to remedy my bad decisions. I happen to have a black card membership to Planet Fitness (don’t judge, knowledge is all you need to be successful at any gym, I can turn any machine or free weights into specific and targeted workouts because *knowledge*). One of the locations I frequent has the cardio equipment placed right next to the tanning rooms and I have been so curious for so long as to what it’s like to use a tanning bed that I was finally like YOU KNOW WHAT, IT’S HERE, IT’S INCLUDED, JUST DO IT DIANA. So, after I finished my workout for the day I walked over to the desk to sign paperwork and whatnot to go into the tanning bed and test it out. Rather than talking about the dangers of tanning beds I ended up just talking to the guy working and did not sign any forms and ended up picking 15 minutes to not seem like a noob (apparently I don’t know how to respond when I am being flirted with and need to seem superior and all knowing… #reasonsIamsingle). So I go in the room and get ready, clean off the bed, press the power (take note that there is a timer so I can get out before the 15 minutes I accidentally agreed to), and lay down. My initial reaction was mainly like “oh my god I am just laying naked on this thing, this is so weird, what is happening, ugh what have I gotten myself into…” which turned into “wow this is nice feeling, this air they have blowing is like a nice breeze, I could easily pretend I am laying on a beach” and eventually became me falling asleep in the bed because it was just so nice. Wake up to a beeping sound, feel fine, get dressed, clean off table, leave room, awkwardly interact with the guy working, and leave. Fast forward like 8 hours and UH OH, I realized I was super burned and very dehydrated.
How have I been dealing with the sunburn?
Coconut oil and aloe vera! You might be wondering why I chose that combination and honestly, yes, coconut oil is the snake oil item that is rumored as a cure all but that’s not why I chose it to mix with the typical aloe vera. I mainly chose this combo because of the fact that it was the same combination I used the last time I was this badly sunburnt (which was in Thailand and that is what they had available in stores so now it is my go-to remedy and what I tell everyone else to use). Coconut oil does have anti-inflammatory properties, if you need some scientific reason to use it. The combination of lathering myself and awkwardly laying on my bed just staring at my ceiling has worked to heal this redness in 3 days. Also,I drank copious amounts of water. (And we all know how I feel about hydration.)
So what should be your take away from this experience?
Don’t use a tanning bed. Not all curiosities are worth exploring… but if you do, dip yourself in a jar of coconut oil and aloe vera.
What’s the next weird fad that I am going to try? Dermaplaning.
Please, if you have any horror stories, tell me now, stop me from my madness.