Category Archives: body image

My Latest CC Article: Work it Like the Military!

Check out College Candy to read this (edited) post and more of my other Body Blog posts!

I’m skeptical. If I hear Glee is a hilarious television show, I will not believe until I’ve seen the football team dancing to Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” on the field. If you tell me Special K bars will make me lose weight, I won’t believe until I read the nutrition facts for myself. So when my co-worker raved about the benefits of fitness boot camps, I obviously did not believe her until I tried it myself.

Working out is hard enough already – do you really need someone yelling in your face the entire time? If I want to workout, I can do it entirely on my own. I’m just fine pounding the treadmill alone. With my iPod. And without any camouflage, baggy pants, and whistles! After 7th grade, I resigned myself to the fact that I cannot do a pull-up, and I am more than fine with that. Plus, boot camp sounded so manly – I felt like I would get Jersey Shore style-jacked.

But my very persistent co-worker convinced me to try out a mini boot camp. Her friend, a certified instructor, was running it for free, which sealed the deal. And because I never suffer alone, I dragged two of my friends along.

We met in the gardens of a nearby private school. Yes, in the good old outdoors. The boot-campers arrived with their hands all taped up like kickboxers, dressed in serious sports bras that can double as shirts. Needless to say, I was a little intimidated.

We stretched, ran a bit, and were paired with partners for the rest of camp. Suddenly I found myself lunging, army crawling, jumping rope, and more with this partner of mine. Going from station to station kept me active and interested – and not counting down the minutes until I could stop working out. Goodbye, treadmill monotony! As the LA Times puts it, “The secret lies in the circuit-style workout that toggles between cardio and muscle building. This leaves little if any down time, and the shuffling of routines prevents boredom and exercise ruts.”

And as cheesy as this may sound, I loved having a partner cheer me on the entire time. Can you imagine having someone telling you how great you are, and how you just need to go a little bit farther, a little bit faster all the time? Let’s talk really effective motivation! The LA Times says that since “people are often paired or grouped for friendly competitions,” it can foster “a camaraderie and support not usually found in regular fitness classes. That camaraderie strengthens with time, establishing accountability, something fitness experts say is essential for sticking with a program”.

My skepticism was nowhere to be found as I punched, jumped, sprinted… and loved every minute of it. I’m not starved for attention, but I was really living up the group support. No matter who I found myself holding up, whose butt was near my face, or who I happened to be carrying up a hill (no joke), everyone believes in you and thinks you’re strong. Just working out with my girlfriends never results in that kind of motivation!

So maybe the skeptic is a believer now. And I’m not the only one. The LA Times article agrees that “for people willing to put in the work, boot camps enable exercisers to see results quickly, the better to stay motivated.”

Basically, Boot Camp Benefits include:
• being in the great outdoors
• having an always-changing workout
• constant motivation
• accountability
• feeling that you’re always challenging your body in new ways

Would you sign up for boot camp?

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The Rules of Attraction

There’s no mistaking that feeling you get when you you think someone is attractive. But have you ever asked yourself WHY you find a person attractive? I’ve always found this topic fascinating. What qualities are we attracted to, biologically, in the opposite sex?

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What Men Find Biologically Attractive in Women

  1. A waist-to-hip ratio of .7
  2. Full lips
  3. Large eyes
  4. Smaller jaw, chin
  5. Voluminous hair
  6. Symmetry
  7. White teeth
  8. Wearing red

What Women Find Biologically Attractive in Men

  1. Largeness (muscles, body size)
  2. 0.9 waist-to-hip ratio, no higher than 1.0 (V-shaped body)
  3. Symmetry
  4. Broad shoulders
  5. If she’s looking for stability, more feminine features in the face are desirable
  6. White teeth

Sources (cause you know I don’t just make this stuff up!)
http://www.livescience.com/health/060213_attraction_rules.html
http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/916563/the_three_biological_laws_of_human_pg2_pg2.html?cat=9
http://www.gazette.uwo.ca/article.cfm?section=Arts&articleID=1568&month=2&day=14&year=2007

Running on an Autumn Night

Hot sweat on my flushed face. Cheeks ruddy, limbs trembling. Jarring, slow to stop movement. A sigh escapes as I let myself into my apartment. Inexplicable. I am spent. I am exhausted, shaking, trembling. The warm air from my apartment settles over me in a daze. I massage my aching calves and lay into a yoga stretch on the living room floor. I reach. Every fiber of every muscle, yearning to be unwound. It is 2AM; some will still feel taut in the morning. I walk to loosen, to feel my body lengthen. I am elegance. I cannot feel the floor as I gracefully walk to the bedroom. My reflection in a wayward hall mirror reveals… that outward gestures never meant so little.  To smile would be a mere formality for the tranquil power radiating from within. The sun is glowing inside me.

Autumn_Night

Running on a crisp, fall night.

Image from http://www.flickr.com/photos/slava/ / CC BY 2.0

Should You Become A Vegetarian?

I have to admit – I have been asking myself this question all day.

After last night’s reading of Skinny Bitch, without even finishing the book I feel as if my taste for meat, or “flesh” as Rory and Kim so eloquently put it, has changed. My Lean Cuisine tasted like crap! Not to say that pre-packaged and flash frozen dinners are not supposed to taste like crap, but this was different. The chicken felt rubbery – like it wasn’t supposed to be in my mouth. Like chicken, my favorite of all meats, was not meant to be ingested. It’s all Skinny Bitch‘s fault.

The Case against Meat

Rory and Kim claim that we are not supposed to eat meat. Since I am of a Mediterranean background, I do not think that this can be true. I might also add that my Nonna and Sitto would not like knowing that their kibe, grape leaves, and tripa are not appreciated. Or, for that matter, are not even supposed to be in their beloved granddaughter’s stomach. In three chapters, Rory and Kim break my grandparent’s hearts (not literally): “The Dead, Rotting, Decomposing Flesh Diet.” “The Dairy Disaster.” And last but not least, “You Are What You Eat.”

So what could possibly make me re-think my perfectly happy, carnivorous self? Read and ponder. These are only SOME of their arguments concerning the evolution and design of human beings. I refuse to go into the details of the animal farms. You’ll have to buy the book yourself to get that little joy (…not).

“Imagine yourself trying to run after an animal, catch it, and kill it using your bare hands, fingernails, teeth, and jaws. Not only would you look ridiculous, but you’d probably get your ass kicked, too. And even if you were successful, envision yourself eating the kill without the aid of an oven and silverware” (43).

“Our alkaline saliva is not meant to break down animal flesh; carnivores have acid saliva, perfectly designed for the task” (43).

“And hydrochloric acid, essential for digesting carcass, is secreted in very small amounts in our stomachs. However, the stomachs of carnivores have ten times more hydrochloric acid than ours” (43).

Rory and Kim come to the conclusion that “Genetically and structurally, we are designed to thrive on plant foods” (44).

Thus far, this seemingly shallow book has taught me some radical facts about the food industry in America and the way food interacts with our bodies. So if you want to be a Skinny Bitch or you’re wondering about the benefits of being vegetarian, this book advocates exactly that!

New Year, New You!

Here’s a link to the FIRST article I wrote for College Candy:

http://collegecandy.com/2009/09/14/body-blog-new-year-new-you/

Let me know what you think and I hope you enjoy it!

Learning to Love My Body

Everyone has their imperfections. I found this link and I thought what the hey? I need to start appreciating my body and what it does for me everyday. Check out the link below for some of the best reasons I’ve seen on how to do that:

http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2009/03/16-ways-i-learned-to-love-my-body#slide=9