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

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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

Back on my sweat grind

Today was the first time I’ve worked out since the beginning of the semester. I started out with the best of intentions, but my all mighty God of get-a-hint shot a thunderbolt of muscle twisting pain into my inner left thigh. For shame, as I was only 3 minutes into my Body Rock video. I learned my lesson once this past summer when I tried to keep doing weighted squats after the twinges started, and traveling down that road was not an option again. I stopped, rather defeated and bothered.  Just as I was about to get down on myself my rational brain went: stop complain’ girl. You haven’t worked out in months. What did you think was going to happen slinging around a twenty pound sandbag? Clearly, I need a few more weeks of exercising before pulling off even the most pathetic attempt at a Body Rock Video.

Not one to fail, I scurried over to Blogilates. As a yoga practitioner, one might think I’d be great at Pilates. ERRRR-wrong! This here is the older, whiter version of me attempting Pilates.

I would die in class. I’d be that loud, whimpering person in the back that everyone would avoid making eye contact with. And that’s why I’ve been forced to do it in the comfort and, most importantly, privacy of my own home. However, Pilates is similar to yoga in some aspects and the forced focus on abdominals will only strengthen my practice. I decided to tackle Miss Cassey Ho’s new video The Corset Workout. Don’t let the makeup, cute outfit, and perky voice fool you. This girl means business, and I applaud your abdominal prowess.

I cried. I flailed. I finished. And then I did it again. Who was this girl that was subjecting herself to 14 minutes of pure abs? Feeling the need to get my blood pumping even more, I ventured over to one of her cardio videos. If you’re someone that hasn’t worked out in a while (or ever) this HIIT vid is a great precursor to any of Body Rocks exercises.

I’m Glad I didn’t let any obstacles get in my way, as it would have been super easy to resign to my bed and watch more episodes of Little Britain. The British are “smashingly” hilarious.

What kind of exercises to you fine ladies and gents do to peel away the stress of the day?

❤ Jocellyn

Rock That Body

Here’s the deal. I feel that I can sit here and comfortably talk about healthy diet without being hypocritical, but when it comes to exercise I don’t really have much jurisdiction. There are 3 schools of thought. One is people who are great at incorporating proper diet and exercise. There are people who invest a lot of time in their physical physique, but their diet is horrendous. And then there are people like me who put good things into their body, but don’t train the outside. I know I need to better balance this in my life, but at the same time I’m a firm believer that eating healthier is much better than destroying your inside with junk food. Tosca Reno, wife of Oxygen magazine creator Robert Kennedy, is well known for her series of Eat Clean books. She says your body is 10% genetics, 10% exercise, and 80% diet. Have you ever heard the phrase “abs are made in the kitchen”? That might be a reason why you don’t have a six pack, despite your best workout efforts. But one cannot forget that Oxygen is a magazine for women who are serious about lifting weights, so exercise is still paramount. Tosca’s body is a product of pure dedication and hard work; something we should all aim for.

Tosca Reno

                Right now the only physical activity I get stems from my Ashtanga & Vinyasa yoga practice. This has really built up my arms, but I view yoga as mental exercise, a way to let go of the ego, and a time where you can slow down. Ashtanga will definitely make you sweat, but the cardio benefits are very different from, say, going on a run. As a veteran wagon-faller-offer when it comes to running, I know not to bother with it. I wish I could run. I envy people in their shiny spandex beasting down the roads. My knees and shins just cannot take the stress, and no matter how carefully I approach the matter I always get injured. Thankfully this past summer I found BodyRock. Perhaps you’ve stumbled across the videos on YouTube. Body Rock is the brainchild of Zuzana &Freddy. Zuzana was formerly a porn star in Eastern Europe before Freddy married her and saved her from the profession. She is really the sweetest girl and it comes across in her videos. Zuzana is a great example of how you can really turn your life around. Though the videos do have a sexual aspect to them, if you look beyond that (and actually try the workouts) they are very demanding. I was put off at first, but if anyone is going to be sexy it should be this girl because her body is fierce.

About 2 months ago she and Freddy announced they would be splitting up, but still working as partners for the site. It’s all very sad, as they were such a great team. The site is going through some changes, but there are over 600 prior videos with Zuzana featured, and the new workouts are still top notch. The videos focus around HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) Training that uses body weight and some equipment.  The hosts will explain modifications for beginners or people who don’t have equipment. I’m never sure why I haven’t been able to stick with her workouts before, but when I do them I can see significant changes in my body. Yesterday they just started their 12 Days of Christmas Workout Series, and I’m going to jump in. If you are someone who isn’t used to working out please take things slowly and listen to your body. There is no pride in having sloppy form and injuring yourself!  Every day people are starting out on BodyRock and doing what they can to make it through the workouts, so you are not alone.

To stay true to myself and give you guys and idea of what I’m doing for the next week (maybe longer!) I’ll be documenting my workouts and what I eat in a day so you can see the variety and options.

Now Peel (and sweat) Away!

Jocellyn

PS:

Here are some other workout sites to check out.

The Tabata Protocol was developed by Izumi Tabata. It is based off of moderate bursts of energy with short rests. This helps burn fat as you are keeping your heart rate up.  Zuzana and other B.R hosts use the Gym Boss interval watch to keep track of their active and rest periods. It’s not too expensive, but you can also use these free websites.

http://www.beach-fitness.com/tabata/

http://tabata.sperker.de/#

 

Check out Blogilates if you are looking for something a little less high-impact. This chick seems so infectious. As of today I’m currently following her 90 day plan as well as Body Rocking a few times a week.

 

Bex Life is another YouTube workout sensation who is fit and healthy in order to set a good example for her kids. How awesome is that? She features new workouts every week and lots of yummy recipes. Many of them are great intro dishes to raw veganism.

 

Gain Fitness is a website I found on Stumble Upon a few weeks ago.  You let it know if you are working out at home or in the gym, how many minutes you have, and what areas you want to work. It’ll then spit out a workout for you with reps and sets. The home workouts don’t use any equipment, but feel free to supplement in weights if you have some.

 

Okay, I’ve given you plenty of resources. No excuses :-p