Lop off that fat

Tone up with the June fitness mags — because the swimsuit barbecues of Independence Day are only five weeks away and you want to look your best.

Fitness has an enticing cover with foods to get you “Swimsuit Sexy,” but the magazine needs a makeover of its own. The graphics are tired, the photography far from crisp and overall it simply gives the impression of being the frumpy, overweight friend to others in the category. Fitness is for athletes who care more about their workouts than their closets. Do we really need a four-page feature on different kinds of lettuce? that isn’t to say Fitness doesn’t have some interesting features, such as the girl’s grill guide, for those sporty types who like to eat, too.

Shape Editor Tara Kraft Horan dons a white bikini in support of a body confidence-themed issue. Horan — who could put plenty of professional models to shame — complains she has body issues such as “dimpling on her tush.” Hard to believe. The mag has plenty of exercise and health tips but reads more like a general interest women’s title with swimwear fashion spreads and finance advice. The star workout and Q&A, featuring “Rock of Ages” actress Malin Akerman, was nauseating. She loved working with Tom Cruise; Ed Burns is a riot to go drinking with; Paul Rudd is smart, witty and fun; and Justin Theroux is a genuinely nice person. Proudest moment? “Marrying an amazing Man.” Dull as a rainy Memorial Day weekend.

It’s almost a given that a June issue of Health will talk about getting fit and eating fruit. But for most women, who will never have the tight abs of cover girl and Olympian swimmer Dara Torres, it’s a relief to know she’s not perfect. She takes Ambien! The article, titled “Finding downtime this summer,” is probably going to be the most read feature in the magazine. unfortunately, the advice isn’t going to lower your blood pressure as, well, carving out time takes effort, too.

News flash: Girls don’t dig guys with a gut. That’s the predictable cover story from typically abs-obsessed Men’s Fitness. Solutions await in the title’s six-week total body plan, including 762 — count ’em — tips to fight fat and find a heavenly match. Well, not necessarily heavenly. The issue trumpeted offers up a sexy cover shot of “Stunning Stacy Keibler — The coolest Hot Cover Girl Reveals All.” Flipping there, we learn right away that the former pro wrestler babe and George Clooney arm candy “can probably kick your ass.” oh yeah, she holds Baltimore Ravens season tickets. back to the weight room.

In the New Yorker’s “Science Fiction Issue,” a story by Junot Diaz imagines a weird plague gripping the “overheated, economically stratified” Caribbean of the future. tales like these make the genre great, ingeniously probing the question of “what next?” On the other hand, there’s a “story” by Jennifer Egan that’s composed entirely of Twitter messages. The result is an avalanche of aphoristic tweets that makes for one tough slog. if you think sorting through a couple days’ worth of backed-up tweets is a drag, try sifting through 12 solid pages of them.

For those who think the New York Times is a victim of changing times, the economy, or Google, think again: New York says it’s the victim of Chairman Arthur Sulzberger Jr.’s sexy Mexican girlfriend. their John-and-Yoko-like cavorting helped spur the ouster of CEO Janet Robinson who had for years played McCartney to Sulzberger’s Lennon, the mag says. of course, while the Beatles made good music, none of these characters ever made good business decisions. Bemoaning the sad truth that Sulzberger can’t be fired, the mag oddly finds solace in the idea that maybe Mike Bloomberg could buy it.

Time runs a nice feature about Mitt Romney’s mother who, we were rather impressed to learn, referred to overt female sexuality as “ting-a-ling.” according to the magazine, she was basically forced to run for US Senate by her husband George Romney, who appears to have been a cross between a pit bull and a Rottweiler. Meanwhile, young Mitt boosted her failed bid on the trail saying things like “I might consider politics, I just wouldn’t want to have to feed my family from money made as a politician.”

We’ve got to hand it to Newsweek Editor Tina Brown: despite unremitting howls of derision and dismay, she continues unabashedly to foist upon readers her idea that Americans are as obsessed with the British as she is. And we must admit she’s managed to dig up some brilliant photos of Queen Elizabeth II on this occasion of her 60th year on the throne. All aglitter with a winking smile on this week’s cover, caught sometime in the early 50s, we must say Her Majesty was looking downright fetching.

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