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Keep Tabs on Losing the Flab

THE ULTIMATE WORKOUT LOG; Second Edition By Suzanne Schlosberg; Houghton Mifflin

$12, 160 pages

A RETURN TO MODESTY: Discovering the Lost Virtue By Wendy Shalit; Free Press $24, 291 pages

March 22, 1999|SHARI ROAN

Anyone who is serious about their workouts (or who is serious about beginning a regular exercise regimen) will love "The Ultimate Workout Log." The idea behind this small, portable note pad is that exercise goals are easier to meet if you follow your progress by taking notes. For some people, that can mean setting goals and writing personal entries about trying to meet those goals. A notebook can also help you remember the advice of coaches, instructors, etc. And, of course, people who have complicated exercise regimens, including weightlifting, need to keep track of what they're doing from day to day. Schlosberg has made some changes in this second-edition log, including room for nutrition notes and a daily box to record whether you've stretched (a good injury-prevention device). The book also features training tips, fun trivia on sports and inspirational quotes from famous athletes. This may be the best exercise log since the fabulous, now-defunct "Eat and Run" series of the 1980s.

*

A RETURN TO MODESTY: Discovering the Lost Virtue By Wendy Shalit

Free Press $24, 291 pages

This is the book of the moment in women's studies. The author, only 23, advances the debate about the value of the sexual revolution with her theory that the revolution long ago crossed into territory that has been very unhealthy for women. Shalit suggests that a correction in the relationship between the sexes could be made through a reemphasis on sexual modesty. The author is not suggesting women become prudes or reject sex. But she suggests that today's modern young woman gives away far too much of herself to too many men and far too early in life. Shalit proposes embracing the old-fashioned virtue of saving yourself for that one special man.

She makes a compelling case for the idea that the sexual revolution hasn't been entirely good for either women or men. It ignored women's natural tendencies toward monogamy, modesty and intimacy and created a culture of romance that is more focused on sex. She argues that today's women can either adopt a more male style of sexuality (with emphasis on physical sex and no strings attached) or can be feminine in a "desperate, victimlike way."

The obvious criticism of the theory is that, by returning to the sexual modesty of a previous era, we will somehow return entirely to that era and lose the hard-fought and constructive gains of feminism. But it's a stretch to suggest that a return to sexual modesty will, for instance, undo women's gains in the working world. Meanwhile, social workers, health professionals and others who bemoan the loss of "boundaries" in the lives of troubled young girls will find a hopeful message in this book.

*

Worth Noting

"Sex in the '90's XII: Fact or Fiction," another installment in MTV's award-winning series, will air at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Produced in conjunction with the Kaiser Family Foundation, this segment will focus on myths and facts about sexually transmitted diseases. The show will include recent data from Kaiser's national survey of 15- to 17-year-olds on "What Teens Know and Don't (but Should) About Sexually Transmitted Diseases." The 30-minute program will be followed by a live "Loveline" in which MTV viewers can ask questions about STDs.

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