Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Not exactly American... But still some good looking thighs!

This is a photo from a study done in Australia, where people were asked which they thought were the sexist.

Which woman do you think is the sexiest?

And the results......

The results showed 59% of people thought the woman who was a size 12, was the sexiest!

Just wanted to share some body love!

*Sorry this study only shows white women... it was conducted in Australia.
**This may not reflect a scientific study.

Weight Loss v.s. Athletic Goals

I think the girl on the left is way hotter. Don't you?

When we decide to get healthy and make the step toward setting goals, its natural to want to set a number for the goal we went to achieve, because its tangible. Mostly with women its the number on the scale. And I am going to make the argument its not that number we should try to reach, but instead a time or distance or a number of reps in order to reach a healthy goal.

In terms of losing weight science relies on thinking in numbers.
1 lb = 3500 calories
Therefore if you want to loose 1 lb a week then you either have to eat 500 less calories a day, or burn 500 calories a day.
This way of thinking to getting healthy can be troublesome because it leads people to be obsessive about numbers in what they eat, and track their progress according to what they weigh. In my opinion, it doesn't lead to a healthy mind, because you can't establish a lifestyle based on obsessive counting.

Over the last 5 years I have become convinced that once our bodies reach a healthy size limit, it wants to stick there. I feel that our body knows that its supposed to have so much space it consumes in the world and our jeans. I have come to this understanding through several of my own body transformations over the past 5 years, starting at age 17. Every year since 7th grade I would go up in a jean size (to my devastation) until I reached my senior year in high school, and from then on have always been a size 8. Since, then I have fluctuated in the number on the scale from 160-143, but always remained the same size.

A couple of years ago, after going through several personal changes in my life I decided if I wanted to feel amazing about myself in order to feel better in life that I should weigh what I did at age 16, 135. I figured I was only 19 and getting down to that weight would also put me back in the desirable size 6 jeans. I began cutting portions on foods, only eating a few carbs, and living off oatmeal, yogurt, fruits, and veggies. At the same time I started running at least 6 miles and day, with super light strength exercises, at least 6 times a week. And yes, over the course of three months I lost around 10lbs, I was getting compliments on how great I looked. But I felt miserable, I was constantly hungry, my stomach was always churning. And worst part was, I was still 140 lbs and still a size 8 jean. All this time spent at the gym and starving, just to feel deprived. I finally reached a threshold where I couldn't take the self abuse any longer and started responding to my body's needs. I began eating according to the energy I expended and started to feel healthy again. During this time, I lost most of my muscle mass from only doing endurance cardio and not eating a substantial amount of protein.

After that experience I realize that its more important to feel good about what my body can do, and not what it looks like.

For most people, enjoying life is about being able to do go outside and do activities. I mean deep down we are genetically wired to be moving around whether it was running, hiking, or even hunting at some point. In order to be active in life its important to be healthy and strong.

So when setting goals, its more beneficial to create them based off what kind of athletic feats you want to achieve. Whether its running so many miles, swimming for so long, or being able to curl so much weight. Because then when you apply what you are working for in exercise to real world activities, you can reach great heights. And I literally mean heights, like Half Dome at Yosemite or up San Francisco's Hayes hill on your bike. Being able to accomplish real life activities is way more rewarding than a number on a scale. The wonderful part of working towards athletic goals is that loosing fat tends to follow.

So screw what Kate Moss says about "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels," because I could kick her bony ass! I bet she can't even hike a mountain or ride a bike longer than 30 mins, because she barely has any muscle to support her.

I say "Nothing is as good as being strong feels."
(Okay, little corny, but you get, right?)

Furthermore, this post gives advice on how to decide when you feel happy at your weight.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Put me in coach!

The first dive into the oasis of healthy living is setting goals for ourselves. What's the point of working towards something if you don't know what you're set out to achieve?

I can't even go on a run outside without knowing where I am going and what should be the finish line!

It's important to set long term goals for health and short term goals as a road map to how your going to get there. The long term goals are important in order to achieve the ideal life style and outlook on health. The short term goals are immediate actions and successes you will do in order to work towards the bigger picture. I can't tell you how many short term goals I have made in order to work towards being happy and strong.

The wonderful thing about the human body is that it's adaptable, not only in healing but in growing as well. Over a year ago, I made the commitment to do an 8-day open water kayaking course with Outward Bound. Naturally my upper body is slender, and well... I have some gangly, long arms. So in order to be fit for the trip I spent hours of muscle building and kranking (upper body cycling) for three months to build my arm strength. For the trip it was perfect, I was one of the better kayakers, but honestly, my clothes were tight and comfortable, and I felt bulky and burley. Then after the trip I focused on getting back into cardio, and tried yoga for a month to length my muscles back out. And lets just say, I don't look like a man anymore.

During the time I was working towards my goal of being a professional wave cruiser I resulted to posting my workout regimen on the refrigerator as a daily reminder of what I needed to accomplish. After every workout I would get to highlight what I completed that day. Not only did this method keep me accountable to myself and my goals, but also got my roommates involved, because I made them promise to hassle me if I failed to do any exercise that day. Of course, my roommates merely made joking side comments, but it also made me conscious of what other activities I did that day instead and whether it was worth it to miss a workout. And no, watching a Man vs. Food marathon on Travel Channel didn't match up! In this case, I couldn't miss my strength training because it meant that I would have been unfit and a liability on my trip, and while it might seem extreme it worked and I accomplished my goals!

Every time I get bored with a workout or feel my body plateau then I start to assess a new workout and what I want to accomplish with the next set of goals. Its feels so good to know that I have reached my past goals and can move forward on to the next.

Most importantly with setting goals, is to start small and first get your feet wet before doing a cannon ball.
This can be applied to eating and exercising habits.
With exercise, its important to progress, your body isn't going to be able to run 5+ miles to start, so begin at 2 miles or 20 mins of jogging and each week add distance or time. Along with strength training, start with light weight or resistance then as you feel it get easier add more weights or repetitions.
However, no matter what the exercise, the workout should never be easy.
If you want to get in shape than every workout should challenge your body. The only way people grow in mind and body is to overcome challenges! So throw a few curve balls into your workout to continue to trick and test your body once a workout becomes comfortable.
Furthermore, with eating, if your goal is to loose weight, then start off by cutting down proportions of food, and then eliminating the bad crap out of your diet and replacing them with better fuel.

Here is an article that helps with setting certain types of goals.

Lookin' good....

One of the first ways to start living a healthy life is to accept the body you have and look within for its potential. Once you love your body and embrace it for what it is, then you can truly start to live healthy with a peace of mind, and then try to supply your body with the best so it can stay that way!

A healthy mind is healthy living!

I know its hard looking through magazines or watching television shows and movies with actresses and models who are barely there, and then envy their bodies. I always look at Cameron Diaz and think.. damn I wish I had those long, lean legs. But honestly... its IMPOSSIBLE for me to have her body, we aren't even the same body type! I mean come' on I am that Fat-bottomed girl with those American Thighs! Even if I lost all the fat on my body I still wouldn't rock a bikini like Cameron Diaz. The awesome thing is there are other women in media who are starting to be confident with their born body types and are flaunting them! It's natural for women to compare their bodies to others, even if it criticizing or in envy. I think Scarlett Johansson has an amazing body, where her beauty is in the curves. And Beyonce is at her sexiest with some meat on her bones. Furthermore, the fashion and women's magazine world is finally catching on with adding normal sized women to their pages and campaigns. So if you need motivation to get healthy by comparing you body or looking for inspiration in other people's bodies, than BE REALISTIC!

Just remember everyone has different body types, so instead of focusing on your "trouble areas" look more at the amazing parts of your body that you do have!
For me, I am pear shape, so I have larger bottom half and sometimes wish I could shrink it, yet I have a strong back and shoulders. In order to attract attention to my favorite areas on the body, I will wear tube tops or back revealing shirts in order to feel sexy. And that can be done for all bodies, if you have smokin' legs show them off, wear short shorts or mini skirts, because you're the only one who should pull them off!

When it comes down to it, its okay to have some more to grab than not, if it means that you are happy.
Life is and should continue to be the pursuit of happiness, not for the skinniest body.

Furthermore, in a study by Nobel Peace Prize Dr. James Watson (yeah, the guy who discovered the structure of DNA!) found that heavier women were actually happier. As we know hormones are regulated through the body in its fat cells, and woman with more fat can regulate more endorphins, which is a mood enhancing natural chemical. Additionally, the natural chemical MSH, responsible for sexual desire was also found in higher amounts in heavier women.


Being active isn't about getting a better body, but about getting a better life!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Knockin' you out!

No, this is not about chicken thighs, even though they are as juicy and delectable as mine. Instead, this blog is about taking pride in a healthy, strong body, including my American Thighs as a Fat-Bottomed-Girl.

I think living a healthy lifestyle isn't about starving ourselves, or working out until exhaustion in order to reach a number on a scale or measurement tape. It's about enjoying life and being active in order to appreciate the amazingness that is our body! People need to enjoy eating and drinking!

I must also claim that I am not a trainer or by any means a member of any medical facility. I am a journalist with a strong interest and passion in health, and a background in sports and fitness. I grew up playing on sports teams, doing weekend activities with my family, I have worked at and worked out at several fitness facilities that has given me exposure to different trainers and fitness theories. My current favorite active interests include biking, hiking, and weights. Most importantly, I work-out so I can eat whatever I want. And I think a sexy body is a strong body! Our bodies are machines that are constantly working and processing everything that we put in and energy we put out.

It's apparent that in our current American Society there are many mixed messages that we are receiving from the media, not only about what are bodies should be like, what type of diet we should be on, or even what is the best exercise to lose weight.

My objective is to sift through all of the information that we are presented in various articles, magazines, and television shows. I want to promote what is healthy and even give advice on ways to start living healthy or different things to do to start/continue a healthy lifestyle.

I plan to cover various health topics regarding eating, working out, stretching, and even a few recipes. I will also share my own personal fitness experiences as they come along!