The Ideal Body vs. The Ideal Body Image

I love the lead up to the Olympics. Every time you turn on  the TV, flip through a paper or look at a Cherrio box you are bombarded with inspiring stories of Olympians from all over the world. Every story is different but they all have one thing in common, they are positive and motivating. I love reading these stories and getting goosebumps as I watch commercials. However, one story caught my eye, an article about the struggles female athletes face when it comes to body image.

I’ve written about this before and it’s one of my favourite topics to discuss. In the spotlight we see the ripped, skinny, track stars with their amazing abs, tiny shoulders and muscular legs. You think they’re confident and proud of their amazing bodies. I can bet that they don’t always love their reflection. On the other side you have weight lifters who are heavier set and walking down the street you would have no idea that they are an Olympic level athlete. Are their skills any less impressive because they don’t have a tiny waist? No, of course not.

To paint a mental picture, I’m almost six feet tall, I have a slender but muscular build which leaves me looking like an awkward and lanky amazon woman. I am powerful, strong and I can move a boat pretty fast. I also carry my weight in my stomach and my long arms look noodlish no matter how many curls I do. In the gym I love every inch of my body and what it allows me to do, it pays the bills (in the least hooker way possible) I’m paid to make my boat go fast. So why do I spend time in the mirror looking at my stomach or feel sickeningly guilty about enjoying ice cream? Maybe it’s because I spend too much time looking at fitness models on instagram, who I know I could run circles around but they have millions of adoring fans admiring their abs. Or maybe its a coping mechanism to avoid the stress of training every day. I can’t always control my idiot coach or the weather or how sluggish I am on the water but I can control how much I eat and how I feel about my body. Some athletes find comfort in running an extra mile or staying on the water a bit longer than their teammates. For me, I take refuge in the fact that I eat healthier. I will say that my body image has improved tremendously in the last year, but I’m not at my happiest yet. That leaves me with the nagging question, is this a journey without a destination?

As I watch the Olympics at home this year, yearning to be there myself I will try to find motivation not from the amazing bodies of the women on the podium but from their impressive feats as athletes. After all, comparison is the death of joy.

HM

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Look Good – Feel Good: My Favourite Gym Clothes

This is a post I’ve been dying to make! I am a gym clothing snob, I’m very open about it. I have an addiction and no…I won’t stop. I could make an entire blog about sports bras, I love them so much. In fact, I imagine in the future there probably will be at least an entire post about sports bras. For now, I’ve broken it down to my favourite outfits for the types of workouts that I do the most often. I’m very loyal to certain brands for certain items. I own probably fifteen pairs of the same spandex shorts from under armour and the girls at my local lululemon know my name. When I find something that I love, I stock up!

The Gym – Weight Lifting

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Sports Bra – Lululemon – All Sport 3 Strap
Shorts – Lululemon – Speed Shorts
Tank – Lululemon – Cool Racerback Tank

Lets start from the top, I love this sports bra because it sucks you in and it has a higher cut in the front so you don’t have to worry about adjusting your cleavage all the time. It’s a great technical bra while also being cute with the multiple straps in the back! These shorts are my favourite gym shorts, I have them in six colours. They are a great length and very flattering. They’re breezy with the stitching in the back so I don’t overheat. The only con is they have built in undies which I sometimes find annoying. On to the tank, this is such a classic top. It’s light and breathable. It’s a no haste top, throw it on and you’re good to go! I have this top in a few colours and I love layering it under tshirts when I’m not working out. It’s versatile. Of all of the items above I would highly recommend the tank if you’re in the market for a new one!

Running

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Sports Bra – Nike – Nike Pro Classic Bra
Shorts – Lululemon- Go The Distance Short
Top – Lululemon- Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve Crew

This bra is simple and to the point. It doesn’t rub you the wrong way while you’re running and keeps the girls in check. It does really flatten you out which I personally don’t mind but to each their own! I love these shorts, they’re my half marathon shorts. They’re so light and have a bit of extra length which is good if you’re prone to chafing. They’re also reversible which is lovely because they’re easy to match! This top is another classic that most girls have. It’s soft and comfortable. It’s made of lulu’s magic anti stink fabric that doesn’t grow bacteria. Who doesn’t love that! Of my running outfit I would recommend the shorts!

Yoga

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Tank-Lululemon- Flow Y Tank
Pants- Lululemon – Align Pants
Shorts – Under Armour – 4″ Compression

This top is form fitting and has a built in bra so it’s perfect for a flow (hence the name) you won’t need to adjust it constantly so you can focus on your practice. It’s also a great layering tank. THESE PANTS ARE AMAZING. Find your nearest Lulu and just go touch them. They’re insanely soft. They are part of their “Naked” collection so the idea is you feel like you’re not wearing pants. They really follow you’re movement so you don’t need to pull them up all the time. These shorts are nice if you’re having a “bad ass” day because it perks up your booty. They’re compression shorts so they’re nice and thick so you don’t have to worry about them being see through during down-dog. Obviously of all the items above I recommend the pants, they’re amazing.

Canoeing (or any water sport)

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Sports Bra – Lululemon – All Sport Bra
Shorts – Under Armour – HeatGear
Tank – Lululemon – What the Sport Tank
Top – Swiftly Teach Long sleeve Crew

This is my all time favourite sports bra. If you need a new one please buy this one its the best. It sucks you in and the wide straps don’t dig into your shoulders at all. These are the shorts I mentioned before. They’re my favourite training shorts. I’m not even sure why. This tank top is so light and has great coverage. Lastly, I love layering this long sleeve over my tank tops in the morning when it’s a bit chilly! I would of course recommend the all sport bra our of these four items!


I hope you find this helpful if you’re in the market for new gym gear!

HM

Guilt Free Friday: Chickpeas

Welcome to Guilt Free Friday! Every week I will be posting a healthier version of our favourite comfort food. This week, I made chickpeas four ways. These make a great movie snack if you’re craving something salty or they make a great addition to any salad!

Check out the recipes here :

I’m so excited to start this series! Finding healthy alternatives to junk food is one of my favourite things to do. Let me know if you give any of these recipes a try!

HM

 

Lose Weight Fast

Now that I have your attention, SPOILER ALERT : There is no such thing as losing weight fast. We see the Kardashians and their waist trainers and diet pills and everything from losing weight while eating candy or the latest starvation cleanse. There is always going to be a trendy way to lose weight and while you might lose 10lbs I would put money on you gaining it back within days of completing your cheese cleanse. What I’m going to provide here are some tips for feeling your best quickly. Sorry for the misleading title but I promise if you try some of these strategies you’ll feel better and the idea of losing weight will seem smaller.

Ditch the scale

Nothing is less motivating than a number. Weighing yourself every morning is a bummer especially if you’re a human being and thus are not able to lose 15lbs in your sleep. Weighing yourself is important in tracking progress so try to only use the scale at the gym  and weigh yourself once a week at the same time. Its crucial to remember that on your journey to health, not a size 0 that you will also be putting on muscle, which weighs more than fat. So while you drop your waist size there is a good chance your weight will go up. Don’t let this discourage you. Celebrate your new strength. My hope is you will only weigh yourself once a month and instead worry about  increasing your numbers in the gym and not about lowering your number in the locker room. Remember, strong looks better naked.

Drink water

This one sounds easy but staying hydrated can be a full time job. Try buying a cute water bottle and refilling it through the day. I find I drink double the amount of water if I have a bottle. After just two days of drinking 3L a day you’ll feel more awake, your skin will feel softer and you won’t feel bloated. Your body loves water and it craves it through the day. Sometimes these cravings get confused and you feel hungry. The 3:00pm slump may just be dehydration. By drinking water you will be more in tune with what your body needs and less likely to reach for something sugary. Look at a raisin and look at a grape, which one looks healthier and more hydrated?

EAT

This one is fun. By starving your body you may in fact be putting on weight. If you’re restricting calories and skipping meals your body thinks its on a deserted island and needs to hold on to every calorie you give it. This throws your hormones and metabolism all out of whack. Try eating three meals a day as usual but add a small, healthy snack every two hours. This keeps your metabolism running at all times and you’ll burn more calories by eating! How fun is that.

Get an accounta-buddy

This could be someone you go to the gym with, someone who shares the same goals, or just someone who will consistently ask if you did everything you could to achieve your goal each day. An accounta-buddy is someone who can hold you accountable to going to the gym and eating well. They have to be someone you can be honest with. A perfect example is a workout partner who needs a ride to the gym each day, they rely on you so you feel obligated to go to the gym! Finding a good buddy is not only helpful in motivating you but it makes the workouts themselves more fun. It will give you someone who shares the same desire for donuts so you can share a treat together or find a healthy alternative. It will make you feel less alone on your journey to success.

A healthy lifestyle is not black and white

I’m sure you’ve heard a million times that one healthy meal doesn’t make you healthy and the same goes for unhealthy meals. People so often fall victim to how easy it is to fall out of habit. If you slip up and have a piece of cake it very quickly becomes “oh I already messed up I might as well eat the whole cake” it’s not that simple. It takes 21 days to build a new habit. Even then it’s not always easy to stay on track. Each day you’re not only training your muscles you’re also training your mind. It’s a process to get to a healthy lifestyle.

I hope this provided some useful tips to aid on your journey to a healthier lifestyle. While there is no way to lose weight fast, there are ways to lose it faster and stay sane doing it.

HM

 

Goal Digging – Goal Crushing

I’ve always been a goal setter. From a young age I’ve had a box above my bed that’s full of cut up paper each with a goal on it. Some of these goals I’ve achieved, some I never will and some are still in the works. Some would argue I should remove the completely unrealistic goals to make room for easier more attainable ones but I’m a believer in

“Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land among the stars”

These imposible goals remind me that I once thought I could go to the moon or be on the Ellen Show. They remind me to never dull down my goals to make them more achievable. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing more satisfying than setting your goal  to bench press 75kg by the end of the year and doing 80kg by the end of the month. It felt great but also reminded me to be more ambitious.

It’s scary to publish your goals. It’s safe to keep them to yourself so nobody will know you failed. Just imagine if you didn’t fail, all those people you were afraid to tell would be there to cheer you on! Time to set out of your comfort zone and talk about your goals! Maybe that’s goal #1 just tell someone your goal.

With all that said, here are my 16 goals for 2016!

  1. Bench Press 90kg – January 2017
  2. Read 10 books – December 2016
  3. Make this blog public – March 2016
  4. Get GosSUP girls up and running – March 2016
  5. Gratitude journal daily
  6. Reunite with my love of luon – September 2016
  7. Compete at the 2016 U23 World Championships – July 2016
  8. Love my weight
  9. Go back to school – September 2016
  10. 2 hour Half marathon – October 2016
  11. Move in with my fav. human
  12. write
  13. Yoga 5 times a week
  14. 5.30 1500m run – October 2016
  15. Be a plant-mom to a succulent – August 2016
  16. Buy my first car – December 2016

I find value in giving my goals a timeline. If I beat it, great! If I’m a month off, thats ok too. I just need something to light a fire under my butt so I’m not sitting on my computer on New Years Day with a champagne hangover reading this post and wondering why I didm’t achieve any of my goals. Some of my goals are action oriented while some are a frame of mind.

As I achieve or adjust my goals I will update this page. I will also be posting goal setting exercise that I have found helpful. Goal setting can happen any time of year, not just on January 1st. It’s not all about “new year, new me” sometimes it’s just about taking a leap.

HM