A Post-Thanksgiving Workout to Help You Stay Guilt-Free

Paul Ryan Working Out

By Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House of Representatives

Visiting relatives for the holidays is no excuse to miss a gym day. Luckily, P90X taught me that a body can provide its own best resistance. It’s natural to feel some guilt after Thanksgiving, whether it be from eating too many candied yams or from swallowing all your principles in order to get the tax breaks you want.

I can help you take care of all that, but before you do anything, be sure to take out your favorite Ayn Rand quote and put it above the door to the room in which you’re working out. I have one permanently stenciled above my home gym, but I’ve been carrying “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others” as a reminder with me since last November.

Now, let’s get moving:

Start Out With a Good Stretch

Really get those muscles warmed up. Your body isn’t used to some of these movements you’re about to do and they might cause reactions to your system. You’re going to need to push through that. It might not feel good, but the end result, be it a good sweat or cutting 25 billion from Medicaid, is all that matters.

Jumping Jacks

Get the blood pumping with some good old-fashioned jumping jacks. It’s a classic that hasn’t changed since the 1950s. Standard, traditional and soothing. Like having a corporate tax rate lower than that of the average American citizen.

Wall Sit

This is great for building endurance. Endurance is key when you need to wait out your leader’s insults on Twitter, your allies are being interviewed by special prosecutors and your party is endorsing a candidate with a known history of chasing teenage girls. Keep your knees at a right angle (important) and let the wall support your spine as you focus on getting rid of the estate tax to help the 0.2% of Americans that inherit over $5.49 million in assets.


Get behind a chair or stool and plant your foot firmly on the raised surface to lift your body up. Resist the urge to have an opinion on Jeff Sessions so the party knows you are a good little soldier. When on an elevated platform, one should never make a sound. Always defer to the president’s opinion. Then, as quickly as you got up there, lower yourself back to the floor. Alternate legs. Feel the burn and think about how good it will feel to eliminate the $4,050 personal exemption that can also be applied to spouses and children because you kept silent.


Get down on the ground as low as you can go. Place your hands by your shoulders, point your toes and rise up. Look straight ahead so you can’t see the ground every time you lower yourself. Feel it closing in on you like your Midwestern morals, then imagine yourself as a private airplane unencumbered by the unfair taxes you previously had to pay thanks to teachers losing their $250 tax credits for supplies.


Sit on a bench or chair and grip the sides of it. Make sure you have a strong grip, like when you hear the president say “there are good people on both sides” and can’t respond or else you might derail your plans to repeal Section 117(d)(5) of the current tax code. Lower yourself until your elbows and shoulders are parallel, then rise back up. If you struggle to complete a set imagine the extra revenue taxing graduate students on their tuition waivers instead of their income will bring in and finish strong!


Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and descend until your glutes are parallel with your knees. It’s best to wear a weight belt for this. You will need to support your back for this exercise, especially after you caved on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals as soon as you were instructed to in order to eliminate the tax breaks on private-activity bonds for hospitals, schools, and low-income housing.


Get into the same position you were in for your pushups, but drop to your forearms. You’re going to need a firm, unshakable base for this, a foundation that won’t waver when you submit Section 1309 of your tax bill so alimony payments and your tax prep fees are no longer deductibles on your taxes.

Side Plank

From your plank position, shift your whole weight on your forearm on one side. Your RIGHT side. Stack your legs so your body is perpendicular to the ground. Don’t go too far right – just far enough to make sure your base will support you. Like tweeting that white supremacy is repulsive, but not actually calling out the president, then saving him a billion dollars overall with your tax proposal.


Keep your upper body straight. Push your shoulders back and step forward with one leg. Lower your hips until your knees are at 90 degrees. Really reach for it. If you’ve wanted something so badly for your entire life you have to do whatever it takes to get it. The more it hurts, the more you smile.

Remember, you have to really put the work in – unlike gun violence, you can’t just pray through it. Repeat this circuit ten times with fewer reps each time. Like how the tax breaks you introduced shrink for each of the next ten years until they’re gone!*

*Except for the top 1% of Americans, of course!



Erik Sternberger

Author: Erik Sternberger

Erik Sternberger is a writer and improviser based out of Columbus, Ohio. He studied at The Second City Chicago and also writes sketches and short plays. He recently had his science fiction satire collection "But It's Not About That" enjoy a well-reviewed three-week run. Follow Erik on Twitter @ZapThunder.

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