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

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