I’ve Been a Bad, Bad Girl. I’ve Been Careless With My Delicate Body

The thing about living a healthy lifestyle that revolves around eating well and exercising is that unless you’re being paid for it (i.e fitness models, competitors, athletes, endorsers, etc.)  you’re probably going to slip up every so often. I’m well aware that breaks are prime time for slippage. You are no longer beholden to your usual schedule, meaning you have more free time. I typically go into these periods thinking of all the time I’ll have to work out, try new foods, etc, but, being honest, I really just sleep more, watch Netflix, and keep pushing my workouts back.

Sooner or later you’re going to start to feel bad physically and emotionally. If you have gone back to eating less than healthy foods (or you find yourself going to the bar more often…) you’re body is going to start throwing little temper tantrums as it attempts to process all the unsavoriness you’re feeding it.  You’ll also start to feel emotionally crappy. You might not be sleeping as well, you might notice certain areas of your body becoming softer, and you might be upset because you know it’s wrong. Good. You should. And I don’t mean this in a horrible way. I’m a firm believer that you should fuel the body as well as feed the soul. Without both, life would be pretty boring, however going out to the bar all the time and eating takeout on the regs is not feeding the soul: it’s feeding some void. One takeout order: acceptable. Just don’t let it become a habit! And don’t go on an emotional down spin where you restrict everything and start working out an unsustainable level. Use that motivation to humbly get back on the wagon.

One of the first things I needed to start dialing back on was the drinking. Going out 3x a week and having 2 drinks at the bar doesn’t necessarily equal getting plastered, but it does equal a lot of money and empty calories that start to compound. I’m normally pretty good with my finances, but getting $100 less in a paycheck than usual because of exam’s week and going out drinking like I had been meant having the call dad with my tail between my legs. Not going to happen again!  Plus moving into my new, cheaper apartment  means I need to start being a little more militant about my drinking, lest I want to call daddy-o again!

The second thing I needed to get back in my life is yoga. For the past month and a half I haven’t been going to glasses due to a yoga related shoulder injury that just wouldn’t quit. I kept my sanity by making those YOGA MANIA videos (I should start that up again, right?) and working on my handstands at home.  I’d occasionally take some muscle relaxers and bum around about how I did this to myself f. This week, I finally decided I needed to get back on the yoga horse. The night before I went to an ashtanga class my shoulder started acting up again, which made no sense because I hadn’t been going to yoga in ages! And then it all made sense! Chris and I had recently changed our beds around again, and I was back to sleeping on my basic futon mattress instead of a futon mattress on top of a regular mattress. So all along it was my pesky bed that had weakened my right shoulder (I’m rather partial to sleeping on my right side), not my yoga practice. I practically floated to class with joy and had one of the best 90 minute practices in a really, really long time. Time for a new bed! Oh, daddy! Just kidding…But really.

On top of yoga, I’ve started exercising again. I know, sigh, moan, roll your eyes. I’m that girl that constantly talks about how she is going to exercise and never follows through. I know, unappealing, but I’ve been looking back at the women in Oxygen magazine and remembering how much I appreciate a well sculpted body. Plus, I think as humans we need to sweat it out and push ourselves, and since the majority of us no longer have fields to toil in, working out is the next best thing. Yesterday I did a Zuzana Light video that took 25:27! I thought I was going to die. I followed it up with a clean lunch (haddock and corn) and a protein shake. I’m still pretty sore from it all, but I slept like an absolute baby and feel amazingly refreshed this morning. It feels 100% better to be back on the good food, exercise, and healthy mind set.

Workout

10 reps Dive Bombers
5 Burpees
20/20 (right/left) Squat Leg Lift
5 Burpees
10/10 Side Plank Lift
5 Burpees
10/10 Pistol Squats (w/ the help of a chair)
5 Burpees

It took all my energy to muster this “flex”

Our life has ups and downs, and I like to think that we learn a lot from our ‘down’ moments. We learn how to get back on our feet and we start to appreciate how awesome the ‘ups’ really are. So if you are like me and have been slipping for a little bit then pinch yourself on the cheekies and wake up. You don’t have to wait till Monday to shake off your bad habits and start back over again!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Ps: Check out my friend Jillian over at Zest&Honey: She is going through the same sort of business I am and combating it with some tasty Avocados!

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Okay. It’s here: YOGA MANIA!

Hello!

In the last few posts I’ve been hinting at something really big hitting this blog, and today I drop bombs. Please, join me in a round of enthusiastic OMing to announce Yoga Mania! My junior portfolio class is doing a social media contest to see who can drive the most traffic to their blog and get people to stay tuned in. I really wanted to build up the yoga section of this site and thought this would be a perfect push in the right direction. I explain what this whole thing will be in the video above, but basically there will be a yoga video posted Monday-Friday. The video might be of a short sequence (less than 10 minutes!), a tutorial on inversions or arm balances, or a yoga chat ranging from pranayama to yoga clothing.

I’m really excited to see this all come together! Tomorrow and Friday I’ll be posting a video on yoga gear, which will be really helpful for beginners or people wanting to expand their clothing repertoire, and Friday I’ll be doing a post on breathing and ‘locks’ you can do with your body in order to settle your mind during practice.

Please, please, please check in daily and share this information with your friends of all ages, majors, athletic abilities, levels of flexibility, yoga styles, etc, etc.

Namaste & Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

 

Are You Ready For The Summer? Are You Ready For The Goodtimes?

Guilty Pleasure Song. This Is So Summer Material.

 

Suns out Buns out:  a cute, kitschy phrase I’ve put on Facebook the past few years come the first reallllll nice day of spring. This past weekend I hit up Lake Champlain with some friends to bake in the sun. Clearly, I’m the pastiest of the bunch and was in dire need of some vitamin D 😉 Jokes, jokes.  Looking back at the photos, I realized how relaxed I was compared to every prior summer when it was time to don a bathing suit. I wouldn’t say I’m a girl who’s in constant battle with her body, but the few insecurities I used to have are beginning to fade away. In the past I used to rely on ‘the girls’ to get me through the summer afternoons. However, boobies are all genetics and nothing to be terribly proud of; it’s not like you gain any size by logging in hours at the gym (if so then I must be getting slipped some mean ‘roids.) Instead, I was confident in my arm muscles that I can thank yoga and sporadic push-ups for. My legs I owe to the beastly hill I have to climb every day, and the many hours a week I spend scurrying around at the Goodwill. And even though my stomach isn’t rock solid, being forced to rid myself of gluten (and with that a lot of processed foods) has eliminated the bloat that used to plague me. It’s a great feeling to see yourself heading in a positive, physical direction because of the work you’ve put in. Your mamma and daddy’s genes will only get you so far.

Remember that "creepy" pic of Madonna's arm muscles? I'm channeling it! It's the angle; I got your back 'Madge'

 

Ohkay. So, maybe mine aren’t as intense!

 

Lets see. Peace sign. Duck lips. Soooo stereotypical college girl 😦

 

"What a beautiful sunny day....omg...what happened to the sun?"- White Chicks

And with this change I’ve noticed, I also look at other women in a healthier manner. Instead of being jealous of someone with a naturally thin waist, I’m more apt to go “damnnnnn” when I see a girl who has powerful, sculpted thighs from running up all the hills Burlington has to offer. Or I admire the woman I see in yoga class who has insane back muscles from years of a dedicated Ashtanga practice. That’s not to say it’s bad to be born naturally thin, or naturally flexible, or naturally whatever, but I think there is a lot to be admired about someone who has made changes ranging from minor edits to massive transformation in a healthy and practical way.

The first sunny days are when people start to realize they’ll be spending ample time in minimal clothing—no more winter boots and layers to cover yourself up in– and  lot of magazines will be pumping out “Best Summer Body EVER!!!!” articles.  Unfortunately, it can be very hard to summon up a healthy mindset in 2 months that will carry you through the summer. A lot of people will immediately try to go from a pizza lifestyle to no refined this, no sugar that, no white anything in one day and burn themselves out before the end of May.  Truthfully, this process should take months to let your body slowly adjust to the changes of diet and the added stress of exercising, which will help keep you from falling back into your old habits; I often have to remind myself that it has taken me nearly 15 months to reach this diet high in fruits, vegetables, some meats, and minimally processed foods. However, there are some steps you can take.  They might not get your dream body, or best body EVERRR by June, but you’ll be much healthier and you will see changes.

Diet: You know I’m a firm believer in the importance of diet when it comes to how your outsides look.

1.)    Start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your life.

2.)    Start a eating a HEALTHY salad 3-5 days out of the week. Check out this older post on the art of salad making.

3.)    Start to limit your alcohol intake. Heavy drinkers will be surprised how much weight they’ll lose if they stop hitting the bottle hard on a regular basis

4.)    Drink more water! For the most part we’re always in a constant state of dehydration, and we’ll often mistake thirst for hunger!

5.)    Limit fruit juice intake, unless it’s freshly squeezed from a juicer. As delicious as fruit juices are, they’re generally packed with lots of added sugars.

 

Exercise:

1.)    If you haven’t exercised in awhile, build up slowly!!!

2.)    Start by working out 2-3 times a week. It may seem “pathetic” to not be in the gym ever day, but it will disheartening if you start out saying you’ll go 5 days a week and never making  it there.

3.)    For the college student, HIIT (high intensity interval training) is a great method because it doesn’t take hours. It involves a mixture of cardio and weight bearing routines, so you’ll be doing double duty.

4.)    Make sure you’re giving your muscles adequate time to rest! Aka: don’t do sit ups every day.

5.)    Here are some of my favorite sites: Blogilates, ZuzkaLight (I’ve moved on from Body Rock, since I didn’t like the direction it was going, but the BR website does still feature Zuzana’s older videos), and Random Abs.

 

These habits shouldn’t just be whipped out when you have to pull on a pair of swim trunks or bikini bottoms. They should be with you during fall and winter as well.  And remember, even if you had the hottest body in the world, there are still going to be people who’ll find something negative to point out, so get healthy for yourself. And to be honest, not everyone is going to be looking at you at the beach. They’ll be playing football, and reading magazines, and trying to get all their bits back into their bathing suits when a big wave totally owns them out of nowhere. Your confidence is what will shine through, and you’ll be able to spend the day actually having fun instead of worrying about your body.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Get to your sweet dreams faster

Yes, “yesterday” was awhile ago. I’ve spent days kneeling on a wooden floor, whipping my back a la Da Vinci Code style to repent for my lateness. Moving on! Here are some ways to help you fall asleep and things you should avoid.

Give your technology the cold shoulder.

Cell phones, tablets, and laptops are great excuses for us to stay awake into the wee hours of the morning. I’ve mentioned this before in a previous post, but when we use technology we are generally being passive. We’re watching videos or clicking on pictures. We turn into drones. Not only are we not using much brain power (and if we are it’s highly hindered due to how tired we are), but our eyes are unconsciously focusing on a pulsating light our laptop screen gives off. Instead, if you find you must do something before going to bed try picking up a hard-copy book. This is not the time for Dostoyevsky. Go down to a used book store and grab a cheap copy of some indulgent book.  I’m usually out after 10 pages.

I spent $1.50 on this book for sleepy-time purposes. I ain't too proud!

Sweat, baby!

If you find that you tend to be a night owl, despite your early morning classes, put pent up energy to good use and exercise. Not only will you get some mean muscles, but you’ll make sleeping beauty jealous. Honestly, some of the best nights of sleep I’ve gotten have been post workout.

Get Sudsy

You can also take a nice, hot shower. You’ll save time in the morning, jump into your sheets all squeaky clean, and allow your body to relax in a natural way. The hot water helps make you sleepy, and if you can find a nice lavender bar soap (or even a candle) you’ll be yawning all the way to the bedroom.

Things to avoid

Weed before bed: There is a lot of conflicting data on how marijuana affects your sleep cycle. There are propaganda sites that clearly think weed is the devil’s creation, and sites I feel go overboard on the positive side effects. Look, I’m not here to judge people that smoke pot.  What you should watch out for, though, is if you have a “dependence” oh needing it to go to sleep. People become psychologically, not chemically, dependent to smoking weed, but it can be just as problematic. You should feel like you can go to bed without lighting up a bowl.

Alcohol before bed: Unlike weed, there is a lot of science on how alcohol affects your sleep. Drinking before bed can mess with your REM cycle. Rapid Eye Movement (REM) is when you’re dreaming and your brain is processing a great deal of information. We always dream, but you just might remember them. Alcohol can also cause you to wake up during the night on several occasions, but not remember it. This can be very problematic if you are a frequent drinker, as you won’t be getting quality sleep.

Medicine & pills before bed: I swear the muscle relaxer I’ve been on for my neck releases magic sleeping dust into my system. However, I haven’t been taking it every night, because I know how easy it can be to start relying on OTC and prescription medicine to fall asleep. Not to mention it can be dangerous. Again, I write this coming from someone who made a lot, a lot of stupid decisions in my early college years. Don’t fall into a trap of taking medication to fall asleep unless you absolutely need it. During Freshman year one of my roommates at HPU couldn’t fall asleep without drinking Nyquil! It’s just not worth it. If you think you need help, get help. Most colleges have counselors you can talk to for free.

Finally, make sure you research any “herbal” remedies as well. I don’t know a lot about melatonin, but I dug up two websites I thought had interesting information. Just because something is herbal doesn’t mean you should take it, it’s safe to take, and it’s appropriate for your body or life style needs.

http://www.talkaboutsleep.com/circadian-rhythm-disorders/circadian-rhythm-sleep-disorders/10-how-to-use-melatonin-correctly.htm

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/melatonin/NS_patient-melatonin/DSECTION=safety

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Vitamins

To supplement or not to supplement? That is the question. Many stores have sections entirely dedicated to multi-vitamins and single vitamin supplements. They come in pretty bottles, some with scenes of nature depicted on the side, and millions of Americans buy them in hopes of riding themselves of any potential health problems. However, there are few reasons to be wary of taking vitamins.

For starters, I’m by no means putting down the use of vitamins. I happen to take some (when I remember to) but what tends to happen is people look to pills to get the vitamins they need when they should be looking towards a healthier, balanced diet. Why pop a vitamin C pill when you can eat some lovely citrus? One cannot rely solely on these pills to get the vitamins they need. Another vitamin pit-fall people should watch out for is the multi-vitamin. These honkers consist of ten or more vitamins packed into one pill fit for a horse or human without a sufficient gag-reflex. That’s a lot of different chemicals to be consuming all at once.

On top of that, vitamins are pretty damn finicky. Some need to be consumed with water. Some need the aid of a juice packed with vitamin C to be absorbed. Some need a swig of milk. Some vitamins, like B12, need to be taken in conjunction with another vitamin—in B-12’s case it needs a B6—to work. Some vitamins need to be taken on an empty stomach and some need food. Don’t even get me started on the back and forth debate on whether or not calcium supplements are beneficial for women or actually a hindrance. See how confusing it can get and how you might be spending top dollar to take a vitamin your body might be unable to process. Again, look to food first and then vitamins.

My advice? Ditch the multi and figure out what supplements you really need.  A good B-12 vitamin is essential for vegans or anyone who doesn’t consume a lot of animal products. Iron is great for women who avoid red meat and have heavy periods. Again, make sure you research, research, research what you plan on swallowing. Consumer lab is a great place to see what products have been cited for incorrect labeling.

Food and health topics, much like politics, can be very heated and exaggerated on both sides. But I’d rather err on the side of safety and become more aware of what is going in or on my body than blindly swallowing some pill that has trace elements of lead—oops. Check out this video on my two favvvvvorite supplements.

2 common scenarios to watch out for (Warning: They’re all poop alerts. Sorry people, but what you snot, sweat, pee, and poo can be a good indicator of what’s going on in your body)

Scenario 1: You go to the bathroom and notice your #2’s are looking a little darker than usual. Are you dying? Well, if you have started taking iron supplements, then those are probably the culprit—phew. Your body can only absorb so much iron, so the dark color is your body expelling the excess. Some doctors will say this is good because it shows you’re absorbing a good amount of iron and that if you aren’t experience this effect then you should try a different dosage.

Scenario 2:  Your gal friends have recently encouraged you to start taking prenatal pills because it has made their hair, skin, and nails look absolutely vibrant. The one problem is you are starting to feel like Whitney Houston (RIP) moments before she asked Bobby Brown to help her, erm, expedite some situations (for those of you who don’t remember/know: google. ) The culprit is iron levels that are too high. Try some biotin instead and return to strain free bathroom moments.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Location, Location, Location

I’ve come to terms with my quads, I enjoy squeezing my arms which have developed thanks to yoga, and during the Summer I often distract myself by playing with the bulge on my flexed calf. But there is an area I’m always a tad weary about. It’s my stomach. It is where I tend to store extra fat. I’m kind of a dude, actually, since women have a greater tendency to accumulate excess fat around their hips, thighs, and butt; Dear god, for once can’t that extra slice of cake go to my butt cheekies?  Alas. In fact, I get a little neurotic about my stomach area. Most days I do the whole bit where I stand in front of the mirror, pinch, and frown, turn to the side, and pinch again. Chris, being the dutiful boyfriend he is, will comment that he loves me no matter what, but it still doesn’t take away the concerns, which stem not only from aesthetic consideration, but also health factors. Unfortunately, where you hold your fat matters, and stomach fat can cause a whole mess of maladies.

Let’s break down the two layers of fat. The first is subcutaneous fat, which is just below the skin. Subcutaneous fat is the kind of fat people dislike for vanity reasons. But the fat doesn’t stop there. Moving into further layers of skin we reach visceral fat. Ew, it’s a word that sounds so similar to gristle (and it’s not to far off.)  And believe me, visceral fat should make you go “ewww” and “ahhh!” Visceral fat hugs your organs. And this isn’t a loving kind of hug. It’s the type of hug your big brother will give you that crushes your bones. It can affect your cholesterol levels and raise your blood pressure. Here are some of the other negative side effects excessive visceral fat can have on your body:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Breast cancer
  • Colorectal cancer

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/WO00128

 

It gets a little trickier. Just like I discussed Skinny Fat several blog posts ago, sedentary men and women who are naturally thin may also be at risk of carrying visceral fat. Because it’s not as apparent as someone with a “beer belly”, a thin person wouldn’t know they carried any unless they were to undergo a high-tech MRI. But why go spend the money when you can realistically audit yourself with a few simple questions. Do I work out regularly? Do I eat healthy food? Do I practice portion control? If you don’t do any of the above and do fill yourself with greasy foods more than fruits, vegetables, etc., then there is a good chance you might carry some visceral fat. No more playing out of sight-out of mind!

Thankfully this post isn’t all doom and gloom. Like most diet related health issues, they can corrected with time and patience.  For one, practice portion control. This is much easier to do if you are able to cook your own meals or chose the food you eat at a dining hall rather than eating out a restaurant; don’t you just hate how the meals are too big for one sitting, but are two little if cut in half? Conspiracy, I tell ya!

Here is a good way to portion control your meals for your body size, because you use your own hand as a “yard stick.”

Proper Portion Sizes:

1 serving of lean protein= Palm of your hand

1 serving of complex carbs from whole grains: 1 cupped hand

1 serving of complex carbs from Fruits & Veggies: 2 cupped hands together

(Source: The Eat Clean Diet by Tosca Reno)

The next thing you need to do is get off your lovely behind and start working out. Sigh, this goes for me as well… I feel as if this goes without saying, but don’t, don’t, don’t for the love of all things common sense crash diet. In fact, studies have shown that crash dieting can encourage visceral fat. Exercise smart. If you feel that you really need to work on that area you have to push a little harder than someone who wants to maintain. Walking briskly and worth purpose (no feet dragging here!) for 30 minutes, six times a week will help stave of accumulation. Bring that walk to a jog, start lifting weights, and/or try out some HIIT and you’ll blast that gunk away!  And there are so many YouTube trainers out there with certifications and free workouts, so there’s no need to plunk down dollar bills on a gym membership.  I would be lying if I said I didn’t want to lose my stomach fat for vanity reasons. But at the same time I realize exercising and dieting in a safe, slow, and appropriate manner will also keep my unseen organs healthy, which is what really counts.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Look what I did last night! One giant step for me;one dying breath for visceral fat kind!

 

Links to check out

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/MC00054

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/belly-fat/WO00128/NSECTIONGROUP=2

http://www.sixwise.com/newsletters/06/12/20/the-two-types-of-fat—-visceral-and-subcutaneous—-and-which-poses-the-greatest-risk-to-you.htm

I can see clearly now the rain is gone

Apologies, kind readers, for my horrendous absence. Life just got in the way. It happens. You know when you’re part way through a semester (generally right before Thanksgiving Break) and you feel like you are about to have a mental break down. Well, I had my borderline mental breakdown at the beginning of the semester. Hey, at least I’m getting it out of the way! I’m coming into my fourth week of classes and I finally feel like it’s all starting to settle. My work schedule has been hammered out, I understand what my teachers expect, and I’m actually getting a lot of sleep. Life is good and back on track.

The thing that I’m most proud about it is how well I’ve been able to maintain my standards of healthy living, while trudging through the tumultuous muck that was this entire month. Chris and I have been making tasty dinners nearly every night. I’ve been eating more regularly on the weekend. I’ve been off the gluten for 22 days. I’ve been forcing myself to go to sleep before midnight. My yoga practice has deepened. The dark-ages are over and there is nowhere for me to go but up. Hello world, I’m back!

I don’t want to make this a lame post with zero health information, so I will share some very exciting news with you. Remember I mentioned the website Body Rock TV, and how the host (Zuzana) and videographer (Freddy) were separating? Well, sadly, they still are, but Zuzana has reappeared after taking two months off. Not going to lie, some people were really pushy about her wanting to come back. Hello: wouldn’t you be kind of reclusive if you were leaving your husband of four years? Well, pish-posh to them. She is working with a new company that uses really cool formats for their videos, and the clips remind me of her first videos that were shot on building tops; very edgy.  I’m excited to watch her reshape her body. Currently she’s been posting one workout a week, so I might try getting back on board – I know, I know, for the, what, 100th time?—and crank out some beastly workouts.

http://youtu.be/TTZ5Voqp7Ys

http://youtu.be/3kfZziDOp9U

Can I get a hot damn?!

 

So stay tuned. I promise to be more on top of my blogging game, now that life has thrown me a bone.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

PS: does anyone know what the new deal is with WordPress and Youtube videos. Can they no longer be visually embedded?

 

Appliances: Oodles and oodles of fun!

Okay, I lied, one more quick post and then to bed.

So I’ve recently added a new appliance baby to my collection of kitchen goods. May I present, my “new” 1960 KitchenAid 4C Counter Top Mixer! Pfft, wait a minute, she is more cougar than baby!

This lady is a beast. Finding one with the bowl and whisk is pretty rare. This model was made back when Hobart designed the parts for KitchenAid (now it’s Whirlpool) so there is a reason this still purrs despite her age. I got it for $12 and online you can get them for around $100-$150. Plus, a new KitchenAid counter top mixer will easily put you back about $300 and probably won’t last as long anymore. Ahh, you have to love planned obsolescence. I really enjoy naming inanimate objects, as I feel it helps create a closer bond, and Chris is gunning for Sir. Stir. I’m not really feeling it, but he was really proud of coming up with it so I’ll meet him half way with Senorita Stir.  I’m just bubbling with excitement. I can make so much gluten free bread, baked goods, and big, big batches of ice cream. All I need to do is call the company and see if any of the dough-hook attachments they sell will still fit it.

 

There she is all strapped in and ready to go. Safety first! I’m hoping a friend with sweet Sharpie skills will decorate her for me.

Strapped In

Chris’s mom also got me this awesome immersion stick blender from Cuisinart. It has a whisk attachment, a container you can attach and chop in, and the blade part is removable for easy cleaning. I’m very excited to make some smooth soups with it. I tried it out on my post workout protein shake and it worked a lot better than my blender. Something tells me our new apartment will need more counter space!

Photo Credit: Cutlery & More

 

I also had a really successful workout yesterday. I decided to do some Blogilates videos and butts and legs were on the schedule. On the squats I used my sandbag (I think I have about 15-17 pounds in there) to get some extra burn. I also did that fitness list HIIT again once at the beginning and once at the end. Honestly, I did so much better than the first time and didn’t feel like throwing up. Since my neck hurts and my head is throbbing I see no point in working out tonight. Glad I got it in yesterday! Time to rest up and see what tomorrow brings.

 

As my mother says: be smart, be safe. Have a Happy New Years!!!

Peel Away

❤ Jocellyn

Skinny Fat

I really shouldn’t be on a computer right now. All day I’ve been having the tell-tale signs of a migraine headache. You know it’s going to be bad when after taking a 2 hour nap you still feel horrible when you wake up. Bleck. In general the entire left side of my head and neck is useless. My ear hurts, my lymph node hurts, my head hurts, the space behind my eye hurts, and my neck is sore. However, seeing as I have a boyfriend who I’ve turned into my concierge, a roof over my head, and an abundance of Advil, this bitch fest is now over.

Moving right along,

Body image series starting…NOW! Today’s agenda is on this past year’s buzz word “skinny fat.” It’s actually a dangerous oxymoron. There are thousands, no, millions, of people in America who are overweight and nearing obesity. This is not good for your insides, your bones, your breathing, and your health in general. Many diseases we have are directly attributed to poor diet and lack of exercise. We are getting sicknesses only royalty used to get! What’s even more troubling is seeing kids younger and younger who are facing these ordeals. This is all bad and highly publicized, but little attention is given to people of “average” weight. Perhaps you are someone like that. You may not have the body of a (healthy) bikini model, but no one has ever picked on you because of your weight.  At 5’3 and 130 pounds I’m right there. I’m not the teeniest, but I’m not the largest. I generally feel comfortable in my body, though, I have my days when I’m less than impressed. Unfortunately, being average or “skinny” isn’t a license to eat whatever you want and shy away from physical activity.

When you hear most magazines and T.V talk-show hosts talk about Skinny Fat, they are mainly talking about girls who, despite a small frame, have a rather high amount of fat to muscle in their body, but thanks to genetic luck it’s not as apparent. Over a lifetime this can become dangerous because fat (i.e, extra weight), as stated above, stresses the body. It’s very true that someone of larger stature can actually be healthier than a skinnier person. Another thing I see is people who are of “average” size eating whatever they want and not thinking much of it. I cannot remember how many times growing up my mother would comment: “oh, she can eat whatever she wants. She’s so tiny!” Sure, if you are not dangerously obese then it will be safer for you to have a few unhealthy foods here or there.  But a few slices of greasy pizza—I’m talking the gooooood Papa John’s, melt in your mouth, not one bit artisanal stuff—on a regular basis will start to have negative repercussion. Secondly, you also are not doing yourself any favors by encouraging poor eating habits that will be harder to change in later years. You might think you’re the only one affected, but say you want to have kids. I know, I know, a little into the future, but we’re going there! Kids are smart and will watch what you eat. If you never touch your veggies there is good chance little Anna is going to fight you on eating hers. And if you have really bad eating habits your kids will most likely emulate then, which can lead to obesity, and I’m sorry but it just is not fair to a kid. And thirdly, those pounds will start creeping on over the years; there is a reason my momma never says “I’m so tiny” anymore.

I also can empathize with Skinny Fat people and agree that there are many societal reasons why it’s easy to come complacent and stay on that track. Since so many people are obese, I do believe we’ve become a country that has a tendency to look at people who are a healthy weight and immediately assume they’re “sickly” or “need a burger.” I used to get embarrassed when my friends would ask why I was eating a salad “because you already have such a good body” or not go to the gym because those same friends would say “why do you bother? You’re already so in shape.” Rock and a hard place, right? If there is anything you will hear me say (well, more like see me write) a lot on this blog is that, yes, there are societal constraints around men, women, old, young, black, white, etc. They suck, but you also can choose how much they affect you. Rise above them! Don’t feel like you need to scarf down a burger to prove something. Don’t feel like you cannot go to the gym. Politely explain to people that it still matters what you put into your body and how you push it and that you want to grow up healthy and hot. Most people will respect that and the ones that don’t are far and few and clearly are haters that you should promptly rid from your life.

Still not sure where to start?

  1. If you really love the junk food start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. When I started eating healthy instead of taking foods away I started adding in healthier foods on top of what I was already eating. I gained about 2 pounds, but lost it very soon because I started realizing my fruits and veggies tasted far better than the unhealthy foods I was eating. Again, I’m not a nutritionist, so this might not work for you, but for many I think it’s perfectly safe. Use common sense.
  2. Find a gym and start going to fitness classes. For example, Zumba is great and the atmosphere is awesome. Cardio will help burn or maintain your current fat levels, but don’t shy away from the iron. Start lifting weights that are heavy for you (not those dinky 2 pounders.) You won’t bulk up, you will build strength, and soon you’ll start to create a whole different body.
  3. Start hanging around with healthy minded people. Use those online creeper skills in person and scope out someone in your class that looks really into it. Mention that you’re new and was wondering if you could go to class with them next time. I’m sure they’ll be kind! Ladies, don’t be afraid to ask guys on the weight machines how to use the equipment and for pointers on exercises. It’ll boost their ego and help you gain control of your body.

Phew,

That was a lot, but it’s something I’m really passionate and concerned about. Everyone should have healthy habits. They aren’t just for folks who are forced into them in order to survive. Stay true to your values and you’ll reap the benefits.

Now I’m going to go peel away those covers and slide my sorry self back into bed!

❤ Jocellyn