I stumbled across a post on Instagram that poses the question, should mannequins be overweight to represent the average American? I don’t think there have been many overweight people to walk into a clothing store and say “these mannequins aren’t big enough, I’m out.” I think this is because people aren’t meant to be overweight and obese. You’re not born needing a seatbelt extender or a size 2XL in clothing. And people who are overweight can recognize that plus size isn’t the standard.
However, there has been an unfortunate shift thanks to the fat acceptance and body positive movement. People care about making sure everyone fits in and feels accepted, which doesn’t sound bad. The problem is that people would rather be coddled than to hear the truth. I realize that bodies come in all different shapes and sizes. And you can be beautiful, smart, funny and amazing, but you cannot be healthy and obese.
Obviously there needs to be plus size clothing and activewear available. What else are overweight and obese people suppose to wear? But I don’t think the answer is plus sized mannequins. Our eyes will adjust to overweight mannequins and this will become the new standard when you walk into a store.
It’s expensive to mass produce different sized mannequins. A few years ago, Nike launched a plus sized mannequin. If it makes one person buy activewear, it is a great investment. I just don’t think that money should be wasted in making different sized mannequins. Those profits should go to advertising and making better quality clothing in all sizes.
No one is really being represented by mannequins. It’s common knowledge that you and that mannequin have very different bodies, which is why you always try on clothes. The average size mannequin is 6 foot with a 24 inch waist, which absolutely no woman has those measurements. Not everything is going to be catered to you. I’ve realized this real quick being 5 foot. There are zero clothing store mannequins out there that represent my short stature, but I’m not crying about it. I know I’m not the average sized woman. You can’t do anything about your height, but you can definitely do something about your weight.
Do you think overweight mannequins should be a thing?
Something that has caught my attention recently are these Instagram accounts who are posting other people who have lost weight and writing captions giving credit to the keto diet. I don’t understand how this is not against Instagram rules. This is clearly false advertisement and it’s disgusting that people will go so far as to tell a bold face lie in order to push their agenda. Most of these accounts don’t give credit to the Instagram user. But there are even some accounts who do credit the original post. You can easily take a look at the user’s profile to figure out their success wasn’t because of the keto diet. I’m not exactly pro censorship. I believe that people should be able to speak their opinions, however there should be some type of regulation to prevent scams like this.
Someone took it a step further and edited photos of Lori Greiner from Shark Tank promoting ketogenic products. Could you imagine discovering photos of you endorsing products you have zero affiliation with? Yuck. I can see how it would feel like identity theft. Accounts using people’s transformation and progress photos of their hard work from exercise and a healthy diet to spread false information should go against community guidelines.
Not one diet or lifestyle is a one size fits all. Keto, vegan, intermittent fasting, can all benefit someone, but they don’t work for everyone. Our bodies are well designed, smart machines and you can adopt to almost any diet. Don’t feel stuck if you are currently following a diet that you don’t enjoy. The older I get, the more I realize life is all about the experiences we have. There’s no point in wasting time doing things we hate. We have a limited amount of will power and you don’t want to waste it on a restrictive diet.
For the sake of transparency, I thought I would mention that I’m no longer vegan. I refuse to be a fitness blogger who isn’t truthful about her nutrition and training. I didn’t really want to make a big deal about my dietary changes, but this seemed like an appropriate space to come clean. I just wanted to mention it wasn’t the diet’s fault, it was user error. I’ll explain more in next week’s post, but I have added eggs and occasionally some sprinkles of feta cheese to my diet.
Don’t be afraid to be honest about a change in your diet or health. A label shouldn’t dictate how you live your life. I’m sure I will be attracting angry militant vegans, but I could care less. I would rather tell the truth because I could never lie to the people who genuinely enjoy my content and fitness journey. It’s easy to post what your audience wants to see. I can imagine how many vegan or keto influencers who aren’t 100% vegan or keto. I hope to inspire other fitness creators to be honest about what they’re doing. Scammers make it hard to decipher which stories are fact and which ones are in fact stories. I don’t want to be a part of the problem.
I’ve always advocated a healthy, balanced diet. There’s nothing wrong with trying out other diets or workout programs. But if you don’t feel your best, it’s time to change something up. I just wanted to open up the conversation and create more awareness when it comes to fake content. There’s a lot of noise out there. Be aware of dishonest creators and do what is healthy to you.
Hey girl, I know you want those full hips instead of those ugly violin hips. I’ll let you in on my secret to getting voluminous wide-set hips. It’s not eating in a caloric surplus, weight training, or booty band exercises. Now that I have your attention, let’s discuss.
Hip dips are literally your bone structure where there is an indentation on your upper thighs. This is caused by the natural shape of your hip and femur bone. Everyone has hip dips, but your bone structure aka genetics determine how deep that inward curve is. In some cases, people are genetically blessed and carry more fat in their hips than others.
If your goal is to lose weight, those pesky hip dips will be accentuated. The more body fat you lose, the more visible your hip dips will be. I have bulked and cut and I can see my hips dips no matter if I’m lean or thicker. Since losing fat and gaining muscle can make your hip dips stand out more, they can also indicate a fit & healthy body.
Sure, you can build the side booty. But since you view hip dips from the front, this is not going to make the indentations less apparent. The gluteus medius is significantly smaller than the other glute muscles surrounding it. Lest we not forget that hips dips are made from your skeletal structure and have nothing to do with muscle.
The only two ways you can have full hips is if you naturally gain fat around your hips or if you go under the knife. This is why we shouldn’t compare ourselves to another woman’s body. Everyone’s journey and where we come from are all different. There’s no reason to get rid of hip dips or hate the natural structure of your body. When you’re killing yourself in the gym, remember what’s attainable and realistic. Start paying attention to doing the best you can to reach your potential, not some tv land fantasy.
My suggestion is to stop looking at unrealistic Kim Kardashian bodies. The more you see that image, the more you compare yourself to them and criticize yourself. You don’t know them and their lives don’t affect you. Maybe it’s time to unfollow some Instagram accounts. Fitness goals are great to have, but don’t lose focus of self-love and health.
Hey foxy Angels! So I decided to take a whole month off from training. I moved clear across the country, which has been interesting to say the least. I went from the sunny desert in the West Coast to an icebox in the East Coast. Obviously, I had to take some time off to transport all of my dogs and belongings to the other side. Moving is already stressful and training is stressful to your body, so I reached the conclusion that I should hold off on the gym. Of course I was hesitant like most gym freaks, but I’m so glad I did. I was able to focus on my yoga practice and nutrition for several weeks, but now I’m back to the iron. A lot of people are terrified to take time off, but believe it or not, I didn’t lose my gains. In fact, I came back fresh and rested! I figured I would share some tips that’s been helping me ease back into my fitness routine.
It’s tempting to get back in the gym and start where you left off. But your body is going to take less volume and intensity to start seeing results again. There’s no point in burning yourself out mentally and physically just to sit another 3 months on the couch. Try scheduling 2-3 workouts with maybe 6-9 sets. The idea is to build up those habits again and get in the swing of your routine. Make sure you’re getting enough quality sleep and focus on your recovery just as much as your time in the gym. Be on top of your nutrition and stick to mostly cooking whole food meals at home.
Take Recovery Days Seriously
It’s true that we grow while resting, but we can maximize this recovery time by taking full advantage of rest days. Do things that are going to help your body recover for your next session. Remember, the work doesn’t stop when you leave the gym. You’re not the same fitness level you were when you first took time off, so give your body time to adapt. This could mean only working out 2-3 days a week. Just be sure to utilize the other days by eating enough calories with mostly whole foods. Stretching and foam rolling will help combat the tightness in your muscles and increase range of motion.
Keep It Fun
If you’ve been out of the routine for a while, chances are you’re not going to want to go to the gym if you dread the workout. But you’re going to look forward to it if you include exercises you enjoy. Don’t force yourself to do an intense cardio session on the treadmill if you hate running. You won’t stick to anything you genuinely despise.
Make It Easy
Maybe you were weight lifting a few months ago and built up to doing 10 different exercises on one muscle group. If you have been out of the game for a while, don’t be afraid to scale it back (way back). The idea is to slowly build up those habits again. You’ll quickly start to build momentum and confidence when you make workouts easier. Skip the supersets and burnouts for a few weeks until you’ve earned it again.
Since soy is a controversial topic, I thought it would be perfect for this week’s blog post. One of my friends told me that soy was basically the devil. And you know my vegan ass eats soy, so I wanted to know just how bad it is. I’m sure you’ve heard that if men even blink at a block of tofu, they will grow boobs bigger than mine. And some women think they won’t be able to conceive if they eat soy. Some people praise the plant-based protein, while others run from it. So, is soy even safe to consume?
Realistically, soy can be both good and bad. Over the years they have been processed and genetically modified in ways that can be potentially dangerous to the body. These genetically modified versions were called “roundup ready”, which were designed to withstand the use of herbicides while increasing yields. The United States produces the most amount of soybeans in the world and 97% isn’t even used for human consumption. The majority of GMO soy is fed to animals, however it might be a good idea to stick to organic soy products if you try to avoid GMOs.
One of the reasons why soy is such a hot topic is because it contains estrogen like chemicals called isoflavones. However, it’s important to remember that isoflavones aren’t estrogen. Men are afraid that soy consumption can increase estrogen levels and decrease testosterone levels, leading to man boobs and a squeaky voice.
The rumors stem from two case studies involving one 19- year old man who reported enlarged breasts and the other 60- year old experienced erectile dysfunction. One test subject was actually consuming 3 quarts of soy milk per day, which is a lot for one person. But one study used even higher amounts of isoflavones and proved soy wasn’t a problem for most men and had zero effect on male reproduction.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but a large percentage of men will develop man boobs at some point in their life. This statistic doesn’t surprise me knowing the fact that ¾ of the us population is overweight. And say maybe you are overweight or obese, your testosterone levels are going to be lower compared to someone at a healthy weight. I don’t think we should demonize soy because you blame your insecurities on phytoestrogens.
High amounts of estrogen in the body have been linked to higher risks of breast cancer. The rumors that soy also increases these risks come from people mistaking isoflavones with estrogen. Although isoflavones have estrogen like characteristics, they also act as antiestrogens, blocking estrogen from binding together. This could in theory, prevent the risks of breast cancer. This preventative effect depends on the quality of soy, the age at which a person starts consuming soy, and other factors.
Some studies have shown that soy can help reduce breast cancer, however the bulk of the research involving humans show that consuming soy does not have a negative impact on health. Another reason for the confusion can be blamed on studies that used animals as test subjects. Humans and animals metabolize isoflavones differently. The test subjects were also injected with extremely high doses instead of being absorbed and digested naturally in the body. comparison to someone eating a diet moderate in soy, that is an extremely high dose.
People became concerned about isoflavones when they observed sheep who ate large amounts of red clover had issues with reproduction. Red clover contains phytoestrogens that are also in soy. Remember, animals and humans metabolize phytoestrogens differently. According to one study, men who eat soy foods may have lower sperm concentration. However, the study involved only 99 men and most men who had lower concentrations were overweight. It’s likely that the extra fat these subjects had increased estrogen levels, which causes a decrease in sperm concentration. One theory is that obesity caused the men to be more sensitive to the phytoestrogens found in soy. In Asian countries, diets high in soy are very common and have not been shown to affect fertility. The bulk of clinical studies do not suggest that isoflavones negatively impacts reproduction. In fact, one study showed that consuming soy can be beneficial to women going through infertility treatment.
We can take away from all the information that soy is safe to consume in moderation. Soy actually has so many benefits like it’s cancer fighting properties, omega 3s to lower the risk of heart disease, and full of vitamins. The pros absolutely outweigh the false claims about this plant-based food. There’s nothing wrong with a little mock meat or protein powder on occasion, but it might be best to stick to quality sources of soy in your diet like tofu, tempeh, and edamame.
I can’t help but cringe when I see 10,000 calories a day challenges and “cheat day meals” on YouTube. Most people can’t even eat half that much in a day. Do you think people can financially afford to consume that much food? Their audience sees this glamorized version of eating in excess. All the brightly colored packaging and money spent on these videos make it look even more enticing. So what happens if someone with an unhealthy relationship with food comes across this video? They might feel a little less guilty about their overindulgences and continue over eating.
Someone else might have fitness goals, but think that cheat meals should be a part of their diet. They might stop seeing progress because they have a cheat meal every day. And the amount of calories that milkshake and fries exceeds your caloric deficit. It’s one thing if you can eat a small cheat treat or meal seldomly. But let’s face it, you can’t always just have one. Let’s think about what a cheat meal really is. Usually something highly processed, full of sugar or salt, and provides almost zero nutrition. You could say a cheat meal really means cheating yourself from reaching your health goals.
Humans are not pets, we do not need treats. And to be quite honest, your health does not care about what tastes good. It’s truly a first world problem when we have people killing themselves by overindulging on food. Food is meant to be consumed as fuel to give your body energy, not for entertainment. If you are depriving yourself so much that you are craving everything junk then, you’re not getting the proper nutrition from your diet. Cravings usually mean the body is deficient in some micronutrient. Staying hydrated and eating whole foods can ensure that you’re getting the vitamins and minerals you need to thrive.
You also can’t do something long term successfully if don’t enjoy it. Not including foods that you like in your diet will be restricting and feel like a punishment. I think associating all tasty food with cheat meals is where a lot of people go wrong. You can make healthy food delicious if you know what you like. Not many people get excited about plain broccoli or beans. It’s when you add the seasonings and flavors that make them appeal to the taste buds. You don’t need cheat meals if you’re doing it right.
Excuses aren’t going to stop you if you want something bad enough. As many reasons as there are to stay home, be a couch potato, and eat like shit, you have to look at the bigger picture. Don’t sacrifice your progress for a few days of self indulgence.
Sure, you could be doing a million other things besides get that workout in. But how are you going to feel if you make those excuses versus if you suck it up and do the work?
When you let your excuses get the win, you might start feeling guilty and make a random appearance at the gym. However, we all know motivation leaves just as quickly as it starts. And if those excuses keep winning, it’s high time to rekindle that motivation.
You’re definitely not alone here. I get discouraged and frustrated when appointments, travel, and stress overcomes my motivation. So, I wanted to share some tips that help me get back in the swing of things when I start to back track.
Back To The Basics
Personally, I ask myself a few questions when I’m falling off the fitness train. How is my nutrition? Am I staying hydrated? How many hours of sleep am I getting? I usually don’t have all those components in check when I feel like I’m burning out. Maybe try tracking your calories and see if your eating more or less than you think. Take a week to practice yoga and stretch and focus on getting quality nutrition. The weight room will always be there, so prioritize taking care of your health first.
Reset Your Why
Your fitness goals have changed if you’ve been on your health journey for a while. You might have had success with weight loss in the past, but gained some weight back. Either way, it might be time to rethink what you’re trying to achieve and why. Your motivation and reason behind your goals might be different from the start of your journey to now. Your initial goal might have been to lose a few pounds for aesthetic purposes. But maybe you’re starting to like how you feel and your new goal is to gain more energy and strength. Your training program might also have to change to match your goals.
Give Yourself Gym Access
Sometimes you’re stuck at the airport or at the office. And your busy schedule makes it hard to not only find time, but find a gym. You can bring a heavy resistance band and a yoga mat with you to get in some movement. Practicing yoga or doing some body weight exercises are also great ways to keep active during those hectic times.It might not be your regularly scheduled workout routine, but you can at least maintain the work you’ve built. Use the space and equipment that’s available to you. I know I would be sweating if I had a set of stairs around!
Spice Up Your Routine
Boredom is a huge reason why people don’t stick to their routine. I like to focus on progressive overload, but doing the same workouts every week can feel monotonous. I like to change up my exercises every 4 weeks. Dumbbells are my weapon of choice, however I throw in barbell and bodyweight exercises to keep my muscles guessing. If you do a lot of cardio, add some resistance training. And if you lift, you should definitely be doing yoga.
Too Busy? Make Time
Wake up. Go to work. Come home. Make dinner. Go to sleep. Repeat. It probably seems like you can’t fit any more time in your schedule. But wait. You’re telling me that you don’t have time for a 20 minute workout, but you have time for an hour of social media? I know some of you might rely on social media to make your income. But if you’re willing to invest your time in your business, you should be doing the same for your health. What good are you to your company if you’re not healthy? You’ll never find time to take care of yourself. The object is to make time. Squeeze in some stretches in the morning. Take a 20 minute walk around your neighborhood when you get home (before you even walk in the door). Make healthy meals and snacks ahead of time so you’re less likely to stop for fast food. If you have time to browse on Instagram and go to McDonald’s, you have time to exercise and eat right. .
Since the Kardashians have blown up, so has the desire to maximize booty gains. Physical activity is important if you want to live a long active lifestyle. However if you’re reading this, you might also be interested in the aesthetics of sculpting a booty.
I love working out because I know my brain needs it, but it doesn’t hurt to have goals to work toward! I am currently on my own journey to building better glutes. And let me tell you, they are not the easiest muscle group to grow. There is also plenty of information surrounding this ever growing popular subject. But I wanted to add to the conversation and share what has been working for me.
Lift Heavy & Lift Light
First of all, the glute muscles are made of both slow and fast twitch fibers. Slow twitch muscles react best with volume training, which is basically working until failure. And fast twitch muscle fibers adapt best with heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts. I like to start my workouts with 1-3 compound exercises (heavy-ish weight for 8-12 reps) and finish up with some resistance band work (20-30 reps). An example of this:
Essentially, if you want to grow a booty, you’re looking to bulk. This just means you want to gain weight (in this case, muscle). And in order to bulk, you should be eating more calories than you are expending. This doesn’t mean you should eat whatever your heart desires. Eating a diet that consists of mostly nutrient dense foods will help fuel your energy to crush your workouts and build muscle. If you eat lots of processed foods high in sugar and sodium, you’ll end up gaining more fat than what you’d hope for. You can also read more about my bulking journey here.
Movement is initiated by the mind, so it makes sense that your brain has to send a signal to your muscles in order for them to contract. If there is poor communication between your brain and the muscle fibers, it’s going to make muscle contraction that much harder to accomplish. In other words, you’re not going to grow your glutes if you can’t feel them whether you are lifting heavy or light. The mind-muscle connection is key to building muscle and seeing results.
Too many people are concerned with how much they can lift, but aren’t targeting the proper muscles. Performing a few warm up sets is a helpful way to feel your glutes. Use a very light weight for 15-20 reps before your workout. And focus on squeezing the muscle at the point of maximum contraction. For example, squeeze your glutes at the top of a squat to make sure your using your glutes to lift the weight and not your back.
So this week I had an interesting workout. I had my barbell, booty bands, and ankle weights. Needless to say it had variety. It was a pretty challenging hamstring and booty focused leg day. I like starting off my workouts with compound movements like squats or in this case deadlifts. I wanted to share this complete leg workout because it kicked my booty.
I don’t train until failure every workout, but I do include finishers. These little puppies push your muscles and mind past the point of fatigue. And this leg workout includes some booty finishers to really set those muscles on fire. If you don’t have any of the equipment I’m using, you can use what you got! Dumbbells, cable machine, a gallon of water, or your bodyweight will work, just get up!
I am currently training my lower body 3 times a week and today was the third leg day (so I had to dig a little deeper). This might seem like a short workout, but if you’re training legs multiple times a week or you’re a beginner, you will feel the fire. Don’t forget to warm up 5-10 minutes before you get started.
1. Place your feet hip-width apart & directly in the center underneath the barbell
2. Inhale as you lower your hips until your shins touch the bar
3. Keep your chest up and your head looking forward as you drive through your heels to move the weight up
4. Bend your hips to lower the bar back down to the floor
1. Get in the starting position with your feet hip distance apart and then take a big step back with your right leg behind you
2. Push your hips back until your knees are bent and then press up to the starting position
3. Complete 12 reps on each leg
1. Start on the floor with your feet pointed out about hip-width apart and your back flat on the floor. You can lower your arms down by your sides
2. Use your glutes to lift your hips up off the ground. And squeeze at the top of the movement
3. Lower yourself back down and repeat for 20 reps
Straight Leg Donkey Kicks
1. Get in a table top position with your wrists underneath your shoulders and knees under your hips
2. Flex your right foot and lift your knee up to be in line with your hip. Focus on keeping your right leg straight as you lift it up
3. Once your reach the top, lower the leg without touching your mat
4. Switch legs once you’ve done 15 reps!
1. Get down on your hands and feet again like the tabletop position
2. Lift your right leg up and out to the right side of your body and touch your toe to the ground
3. Then raise your leg up behind you and lower it to the left side of your body and touch your toe to the ground again. This is one rep
I hope everyone had a safe and happy Halloween! Since flu season is here I thought it would be a good time to discuss boosting that immune system. Did you know that the human body has one system that actually needs you to do its job! I guess they left this out of biology class, at least I don’t remember learning this. The lymphatic system is made up of vessels that drain fluid into the blood that help get rid of toxins in the body. And unfortunately, you have to drain your lymphatic system yourself. Luckily, it’s as easy as a few daily habits. In this week’s post, I wanted to discuss what the lymphatic system does and how you can detox it effectively.
By the way, this post also may contain affiliate links because a girl has to eat somehow.
What Does The Lymphatic System Do?
The lymphatic system has a number of responsibilities, but the one that shocks me the most is it’s our number one defense against illness. (Seriously, why isn’t this taught in schools?) It creates a little army of disease-fighting antibodies who are ready for combat. This is actually a major reason why people suffer from illnesses, cellulite, and acne. Their lymphatic system isn’t functioning properly, therefore the body can’t fight the infection.
6 Ways I Detox My Lymphatic System
1. Wearing Clothes That Aren’t Too Tight
Lymph nodes can be squeezed when you wear clothes that aren’t exactly your size. For example, ladies, if you wear a bra that is too tight you can be restricting the lymph nodes in your armpits and upper arms. And if you wear a pretty pair of heels that squeeze your foot, you can block lymph nodes in your feet. Always buy clothes that are your size. I like to wear free flowing, loose clothes as often as possible.
2. Hot/Cold Showers
I’ve discussed the benefits of taking cold showers before, however alternating between hot and cold water temperatures have even more pros! This type of hydrotherapy causes vessels to contract when you’re in cold water, then dilates when exposed to hot water. You could take a warm bath abs then rinse off with cold water. I like to alternate from hot to cold throughout my shower. It makes since when you think about it. Back in the day, people would work in the heat of the sun and cool off by taking cool baths in rivers and lakes in the evenings.
3. Switch To A Natural Deodorant
Everything you put on your body is absorbed directly by the skin. And remember how I mentioned you have lymph nodes in your armpits? Well, most deodorants and antiperspirants contain aluminum and parabens. These chemicals can get pulled into your bloodstream and are possibly toxic to your health. Your best bet is to start using a more natural deodorant that doesn’t contain these chemicals. It takes some time for your body to adjust, but it will start to work like your usual stick.
4. Get Active
Long hours sitting in front of a computer can also cause a slow lymphatic system. Remember how important it is to take breaks as often as possible. Do a quick stretch, yoga, or walk around. Walking actually activates the lymph nodes under your armpits, so swing those arms!
5. Staying Hydrated
Our bodies are made of about 60% water. So when we are dehydrated, so is our insides. Fluids actually thicken in the body causing the heart to pump harder as well as joint friction when we need hydration. I like to drink a huge glass of water when I first wake up. Since we are asleep all night, our bodies become very dehydrated by the morning. Shoot for 20-30 ounces of water to get your day started.
6. Practice Deep Breathing
We breathe 24/7 without thought and a lot of those breaths are short from stress or tiredness. And shallow breaths can lead to a backed up lymphatic system. Deep breaths help move the lymph fluid through the chest and throughout the body easier. Starting and ending your day with meditation and paying attention to the breath can positively affect you inside and out.
What is another way you naturally drain your lymphatic system?