Doing something ironically is sarcasm personified. It's how the cool kids say, "Let me tell you how much I hate something, by acting like I love it." However, the irony of doing something ironically is that eventually it's done genuinely. That includes fitness.Daniela Piras (@lamebaby47) recently posted a TikTok with the caption, "I am about to fuck around and start doing like really healthy habits ironically because I think that's the only way I am going to do them."
@lamebaby47 if you see me on a walk know that i’m doing performance art #fyp♬ original sound - yeehaw
TikTok is a world full of wellness trends. It would be rare to peruse the popular hashtags without seeing at least one athletic challenge, "what I eat in a day" post or some other video showcasing someone's commitment to health, often in an unattainable way. Just take a look at this article about TikTok's "That Girl" trend from earlier this year, and you'll get a quick idea of why some of these posts are just plain cringey.
Piras took this idea and used it to her advantage, finding a way to flip the script.
This faux regimen would include waking up at 7 a.m. every day (ironically) and going on a walk each morning (ironically). In the video, Piras explained her logic that approaching things with this kind of humor would actually make it fun for her. "Then eventually," she told TikTok, "that's just gonna be my routine." And you know what? She might be onto something.
@lamebaby47 it’s giving pussy pop explosion gun sounds #fyp♬ Vroom Vroom - Charli XCX
In his book "Atomic Habits," human behavior expert James Clear states that for a habit to become permanent, you have to make it satisfying. What gets immediately rewarded gets repeated. And in due time, you can incentivize yourself to continue your habits with small positive reinforcement until your change of state itself becomes rewarding enough.
This can be especially true in health routines. Clear goes on to say that far more important than following the latest fitness trends, is finding something that feels enjoyable. Doing this, in combination with what he calls the other three laws of behavior change (which include making it easy, making it attractive and making it obvious), we are far more likely to slowly integrate new behaviors until they become our new identity.
In Piras' case, making a routine satisfying meant making it "camp." Pairing her videos with silly things like The Home Depot theme song, or captions like "cosplay as a divorced single mom walking in the park." Not taking anything seriously.
And guess what? As James Clear would have probably predicted, it worked.
Fast forward to two weeks later, and Piras is still maintaining her routine. "It's been two weeks and I've been on a walk every single day. I get up at 7:30 a.m. every single day and I am someone who sucks at having a routine," she said in an updated post, reporting that "this is working for me. I think I fixed myself."
Would you look at that … take away the pressure of perfection, inject some silliness and joy and as if by magic, an otherwise impossible task is suddenly doable. More than doable, it's automatic. Piras explained in an interview with Mashable that doing things in irony is "fake it till you make it, but repackaged for Gen Z."
Piras' ingenious life hack started to catch on, as others realized they could find the gumption to go to classes, match their socks and sport high ponytails with fanny packs on their morning strolls, all in the name of satire. Ironically, Piras has become some of a wellness influencer.
@lamebaby47 got interviewed about my silly little tiktok lmao thank you so much @ecaviar ♬ WHY IS EVERYONE USING THIS - .
The next time you're faced with the challenge of creating a new routine—be that sticking to an exercise regimen or some other necessary evil—try making it camp. It could be the only mindset tweak you need to actually make it happen.
As for Piras, her next goal is to incorporate weight training to get ripped. But you know, ironically of course.