"Ab-Session" With Olympic Bodies Is Not Just About Ogling OthersNot to focus too much on bods today after Badonkgate, and Dodai's piece about Olympic ogling, but there are several articles about Olympians, exercise, and physique in the New York Times and Slate that we feel compelled to turn our attention to, and they're about women comparing their bodies to those of other women. Let's start with Slate, where human guinea pig Emily Yoffe tries to go from flab to fit in four months. After a lot of time with a fairly bad ass sounding personal trainer (the lady can lift 200 pounds), the end result is that Yoffe is pleased with her arm muscles, but not that into her tummy. Not revolutionary stuff, but what stuck out to me was the part where she talks about another woman she sees at the gym whom Yoffe thinks is truly fit, named Fanny. "Following her around one night, I realized why I will never really be in shape," Yoffe writes. "For me, a complete workout was a hard 45 minutes. Fanny works out 5 days a week for about 2 hours at a time."And not knocking Fanny (heh), because she sounded pretty kick ass, but do you really need to work out 2 hours a day, five days a week, to be in shape? I work out several times a week, and do anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes when I exercise…and I feel pretty in shape. But I guess especially now that it's Olympic season, non-professional athletes like Yoffe, along with New York Times health writer Tara Parker-Pope, are ab-sessed with bodies like swimmer Dara Torres', she of the "perfect" stomach. "As my colleagues at the Rings blog have noted, Ms. Torres and her 'phenomenally ripped' belly have become the "physical ideal for mothers, women at or approaching middle age, and just women in general," Parker-Pope writes. But then she also points out that Dara Torres spends $100,000 a year perfecting her physique and that 80-year-old actress Estelle Parsons, who "lifts weights, swims 30 minutes twice a week and takes a 30-minute bike ride on two other days," is a much better fitness icon for the average busy woman. Is it way too much to ask that we just worry about our own bodies and fitness levels without comparing them to others' all the damn time? Not that I'm above it — I see these two girls at the gym all the time who are clearly marathon runners (um, not that I've eavesdropped on their conversations or anything), and every time I see them stretching their long legs I berate myself for not having that kind of motivation. But you know, at the end of the day, they're still going to be running while I've already showered and am drinking margaritas with my friends. And honestly, who has the better end of the stick in that scenario? Spandex Fantasy: I Have A Lifetime's Worth Of Flab. Can I Turn It Into Muscle In Four Months? [Slate] Olympic Abs Versus Simple Fitness [NY Times] Related: U.S. Viewers Tuning Into The 'Oblique Olympics' [Houston Chronicle]