Why is it that so many women today think that there are two options when it comes to weight lifting?

Option A:

Wimpy wimpy wimpy, like this guy

Option B:

Hefty, hefty, hefty….and scary!

Weight lifting isn’t just for the boys anymore! Besides, we know that all they really do is stand around and try to look appealing to all the ladies, right?! 😉

Now I’m gonna say something that might scare you, so brace yourselves, ladies. Lifting weights will not turn you into some beastly monster with bulging veins and huge biceps as soon as you start. That’s right. Now take a deep breath and read that sentence again. You will be a beast, but you won’t be a ginormous bodybuilder.

If you don’t do any kind of weight training exercises, I think you should seriously consider starting.

Weight training (obviously) builds muscle. That’s what scares a lot of people, and I’ll tell you why. Muscle weighs more than fat. Gaining muscle through weight training means you’ll burn fat and gain muscle. That can sometimes equal a weight gain. But guess what – it’s not a bad weight gain. It’s an “I’m building muscles so I’ma look super sexy” gain.

Well here’s a few reasons why you should lift weights.

1) Physically, you will be so much stronger. You won’t be a wuss. Your flexibility, strength, endurance, power, and speed will all improve.

2) Your base metabolism will be raised. I’m  no dietitian, but I do know that muscle burns more calories than fat, even when sedentary. That means you get to eat more. Win.

3) You’ll become a sexy beast.

4) Muscle has gorgeous, lean form. It takes up less space than fat does and it doesn’t disfigure you, either. Actually, it will protect you. Stronger muscles will help protect you from osteoporosis. So put that milk down and pick up some weights.

5) Weight training has been clinically proven to raise your “good” cholesterol and lower your “bad” cholesterol. It also strengthens your heart.

6) You’ll become a sexy beast.

7) You’ll be in a chipper mood all day. Trust me – when I lift weights, I leave the gym feeling awesome. I feel strong and powerful because I am! Weights work wonders for self-esteem too!

6) The guys will probably all be smitten with you. Seriously… a chick in the free weights area that knows what she’s doing?! Daaaaaang.

7) All of the men in said free weights area will think you’re a sexy beast.

So what are you waiting for? Time to explore the free weights, ladies.

Move Yo Self

August 3, 2010

If you’re like me, the last thing you wanna do when on vacay is work out. Unless your family/friends/significant other do boring things like visit expensive and boring art museums all day long. But if you’re somewhere totally legit like Spain or Italy, I’m sure you aren’t thinking about treadmills or strength training. You’re thinking about freaking gelato or something….and I’m thinking about why you didn’t take me with you! 😉

Yes please.

Nevertheless, I think exercising in any way, shape, or form while on vacation is very important. I’m not saying you have to haul your bootay to a nearby gym or run five miles every day you’re away. You see, I also believe that balance is an important part of not only your vacation, but your every day life.

So what’s a gym rat to do? Here’s my top tips for not being a complete bum when you’re away.

– Plan, plan, plan. If you don’t know the area you’re visiting, print off a few Google maps of the area right around your accommodation before you go. Familiarize yourself with the street names or nearby landmarks. That way, you’ll be able to figure out the immediate area for shopping and food as well as running!

– Take a walk. Get oot and aboot. If you’re in the mountains, go for a hike. If you’re at the beach, get your boyfriend to hold your hand at sunset and walk at sunset. Walking is supa easy and it’s good exercise!

– If you belong to a gym, check if you’ve got reciprocal membership. That’s a schmancy term for being able to use any branch of your gym in the country. Chances are, there’s a location near you and you can get in there for free. Or, be sneaky and scope out local gyms before you leave. Most gyms offer a free pass of some sort. Wintastic.

– Try something new! If you’ve never done yoga on the beach before, friggin do it. If you’re in Barcelona, go salsa dance! If you’re in the Alps eat chocolate and ski! You’ll have fun and experience new things – and isn’t that what a vacay is all about?

– Don’t forget to check if your hotel has a gym. That’s super convenient for you, plus you know you can always get a good workout in but there’s no pressure to do so. You can get your sweat on either before or after your adventures…whatever works for you! Plus, there might be a sauna too. *swoon*

And my top tip?

– Relax. Seriously. You’re on vacation. You haven’t traveled as far as you have just so you can work out, so it shouldn’t be a priority while you’re away from home.

Bliss.

Besides…your first priority should be getting me a plane ticket to join you. 😉

Do you work out regularly when on vacation?

Know Your Limits

July 28, 2010

Time for a non-food related post!

But before I get to the good stuff, let me remind you that you have one day left to enter my giveaway. I’ll randomly pick a winner on my birthday, July 30th.

Anyway, on to the crux of the matter.

This is a representation of me this evening:

This is an artist’s interpretation of me post-running this evening:

I was spent. Exhausted. Pooped.

I ran with Caitlin and Emma tonight, and something was totally off for me from the beginning. My knee was being a brat and then I got a nasty stitch in my side about halfway in. I managed to last about 2.8 miles (I think?) before my knee said NO and I had to stop. The whole way home my stomach and chest were aching and I had to pull over at one point, taking deep breaths.

When I was halfway home, I realized my problemo.

I’m completely burned out.

You see, I decided a few weeks ago to up my exercise to five to six days a week, an hour a pop, switching between cardio and weight/circuit training. It’s been good for the most part – I’ve discovered my love for weight lifting (there will be a post on that soon, trust) and I’ve also learned to be more adventurous with my cardio (i.e. doing quarter mile sprint intervals on the dreadmill instead of chugging along on the elliptical for 50 minutes). But that’s about it.

I’ve never been one to dread going to the gym. Perhaps it’s the supa cute guy that runs the desk (and occasionally bends over to wipe off the bottom of the treadmills…mmm), or maybe it’s the fact that I feel super inspired and love running on the treadmill next to the others. I think I just like an excuse to be sweaty in public.

Creeper.

I think tonight I realized what I should have learned weeks ago…that working out six days a week, an hour a pop was only going to lead to guilt when I couldn’t fulfill my high expectations. Essentially, I was opening the door to my previous behaviors. I was starting to feel how I felt back in my compulsive exercise days – guilty, worried, and anxious. If I wasn’t “good enough” or didn’t work out for quite enough time, I would obsess over how I could do better. I once again started a food and exercise journal, and I found myself in a vicious spiral once again. A few days ago, I even Tweeted that I felt guilty for eating dark chocolate as well as having a scheduled rest day. Um, hello?!

My body was trying to tell me it was tired tonight. Caitlin made me stop running tonight because my knee was hurting me, but I was trying to ignore it (Thank you, Caitlin!!). I felt like I was weak, like I was quitting. I’ve run 10 miles before, why can’t I do this 3 mile loop? But you know what I figured out?

You’re not quitting if you’re listening to your body.

So, body, I’m going to start listening to you more. If that means skipping a workout to rest, that’s okay. If it means cutting my gym sesh short (and seeing Cute Butt Desk Guy less), that’s just dandy. I’m not going to die and the world won’t blow up because I missed a workout. Because it’s all gonna be okay in the end. And if it’s not okay, it’s not the end (thanks to whoever said that!).

And I think my body’s trying to tell me what it wants right now:

I’m so down.

I’m not dead

June 9, 2010

So sorry for the lack of, well, life around here. I’m just being a bum. A beach bum, that is.

That’s our view from the condo. Hollllla!

My days have been filled with intense death walks on the beach (AKA walking 4 miles in the blazing heat with my father – he does this for FUN.), adding to my immense sunburn collection, reading Jodi Picoult, and watching stupid movies every single night. Seriously, the movie Seven is dumb. I think Brad Pitt is repulsive. We also took a trip to a local botanical garden. It was hot.

The week has also been filled with delicious eats! We’ve been out to sushi and Thai, and silly me forgot to bring my camera. I had the most amazing Tofu Asparagus (and the most beastly asparagus scented pee) and tofu rolls. We’re searching for a new sushi place to terrorize nosh at tonight, so I’ll be sure to bring my camera.

I’ve also been coming up with concoctions for my very hungry father every night. Last night’s meal included one of my favorite healthy fats – coconut milk! It was more of less a hodge podge of various veggies and not really a curry, but I’m calling it a curry because I can.

Bathing Suit Curry

(Appropriately named because I was in my swimsuit whilst cooking and eating)

1 cup lentils*

2 onions, chopped

1 potato, cubed

1 head of cauliflower

2 carrots, chopped

2 peppers of your choice (I used a red and green bell pepper)

a crap ton of tomatoes

1/2 can of coconut milk

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/3 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon basil

*A quick note about lentils: you’ll want to soak them for a few hours beforehand, preferably overnight. Then boil them for about a half hour or until they’re tender. You could probably just soak them and then put them in the curry as it boils, but I didn’t know if they’d be cooked by then so I just boiled them ahead and added them in near the end.

1.) Heat up some olive oil in a large pot, and then add in your onions. Let them sweat for about ten minutes, or until they’re somewhat tender and translucent. Then add in your potato and carrots. Again, let them sweat like they’re in a sauna.

2.) Chop up the rest of your veggies and set them aside. Realize you should have used a bigger cutting board.

3.) (Optional) After spending far too much time chopping, find a brand new SlapChop and moan about not using it and losing an opportunity to “slap all your troubles away.”

4.) Once the onion, potato, and carrots have been cooking for about ten minutes, throw in the rest of your veggies. Don’t worry your pretty little head if your potato isn’t cooked just yet.

5.) Add in your coconut milk, lentils, tomatoes, spices, and any other veggies. Let that come up to a boil, and then have it simmer for about an hour. You basically just want the potatoes to cook through and the flavors to merge, like Time Warner and AOL.

After about 45 minutes, I plated it up. You could probably let it simmer for as little or long as you want. I went for a walk on the beach, and let it cook while I was gone.

I served it over Jasmine rice that was also cooked in coconut milk. (GASP! White rice!)

So. Good.

SURPRISE! I have another lazy vacay recipe for you. Seriously, it’s probably the simplest thing and I’m willing to bet a monkey could do it. Just make sure he has clean hands… you know where they’ve been.

Lazy Pizza

Get yourself a whole wheat crust.Smother it in tomato sauce. In my case, I was too cheap to buy three packs of sauce seeing as I’d only use one. So I used tomato paste mixed with dried basil, oregano, and a bit of chives.

Top the awesome (AKA vegan) side with whole grape tomatoes, peppers, and then realize you forgot to buy spinach and fresh basil.

Slap yourself on the forehead.

Then realize you have the ultimate topping/meal/deliciousness… hummus. Yes, on a pizza. I put it on in globs and just hoped it would turn out tasting alright. The pizza crust said to bake for 20 minutes, so I put it in for 18, cause I’m a rebel.

3 pieces wasn’t enough.

So for now, I’m off to eat leftover curry and drag my lazy self to the oceanside and then the pool. Oh, what a tough life I lead. Hope your day is going swimmingly. Pun intended.

Where’s your favorite vacay spot?