Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Unconventional Fitness Acitivity 5: How Freelancing Can Keep You Stay Fit

Image via cartoonstock.com

Well, this one is tricky because the peace of your mind pretty much depends on how much money you are making (and how much you are enjoying yourself), whether your hands and arms are healthy (well carrying around your office around like a turtle and typing like crazy can hurt you at times) and well, physical health and a good internet connection also help.

Now, when I was first planning this post in my head, all was fine in the world. I was healthy, productive and was taking my own advice. Remember the unconventional tips about developing a crush, dancing and hanging with your attractive friends? Yeah, well- I worked a lot, danced about 3-4 times a week  (each session lasting for at least 2 hours), hung out with my best friend who is really attractive (and currently attracting a lot of guys, even the ones she doesn’t want to attract) and I am on the lookout for cute guys who might be worth my time. 

Then, on a couple of Tuesdays ago, I hurt my leg during dancing. Now, I am supposed to rest, which is a really difficult thing for a hyperactive person to do. I couldn’t dance at the Friday parties. Then my modem broke and my home internet connection went to hell, which is a bummer since I am supposed to stay a lot more at home to do that resting and even though I haven’t been typing all that much lately, my arm is now hurting too. 

Oh, yes. Mind you, I didn’t put on any weight since I combined my freelancing routine with dancing. Trust me, I’m not dieting. Or cutting back. At all. So I am pretty OK with keeping the weight constant. But if you watch what you eat a little, being a freelancer might help you shed some pounds too. Here’s how:

*Stop picturing freelancers and writers as people who don’t leave home. I barely stay at home because all the sofas, mess and housework can get in the way. And even walking to your bus stop is some action, especially if you live in a big city.

* Well carrying all that stuff around means you can work anywhere, so you don’t really need to cancel any 
spontaneous opportunities that come your way.

* How heavy is your bag? I think it should count as a minor (or major, depending on the size of your laptop) heavy-lifting activity.

* You can exercise at home. You don’t go to an office where you spend majority of your waking hours. So who’s to stop you from dancing to your favorite songs?

* You can go to the gym in the middle of the week, during other people’s office hours.

Let me know if you can think of more…

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Only Main Style Tip You'll Ever Need: Hide the Flaws, Accentuate the Assets!

Kate Bosworth. I think she topped it in the middle. What do you think? Image via refinery29.com

If done right, this style tip works all the time. How do I know? Because whenever I apply it (and trust me, I try to apply it whenever I can), I am either complimented on my body or asked if I have lost weight, or both.
What I do is I hide my flaws and accentuate my assets. Now, everybody has a different body type. I am tall and while I have around 6-10 pounds extra, I look in shape. When I put on weight, the fat is inclined to start growing in my bell first and goes to other places afterwards, so  my whole mission while getting dressed is to hide it as well as I can. 

The assets? It’s different for everyone but I have big breasts and long, lean legs. I especially love mini-skirts because anything but a turtleneck seems to give me a cleavage, even when I am trying not to have fun. But i especially love tight, short skirts. Well, short as in covering my butt totally. I wear them all year, and black is as gorgeous color whether you choose to go with leggings, tight pants or pantyhose. 

So that is what I do: show the legs, accentuate the breasts with a decent bra and hide the belly at all costs. Yes, I don’t look all that great in a bikini and I am going to be working on that But put in any short, tight legwear and I look just fine.

The tip: Show the good, hide the bad and feel & look just gorgeous.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tip for Beauticians and Cosmetics Store Assistants: Practice What You Preach!

The make-up sales people should have good make-up skills. Plain and simple. It won't help their sales if they are looking like they just dropped in a pool of paint! Image via grinningplanet.com

Recently, I was at a cosmetic store, trying to buy some necessary make-up, and hopefully without going over my budget. But you know how these shops are. Every single fault of your skin is brought to attention under the oh-so-unflattering white lighting. I have always been lazy and frankly it’d be nice to have some efficient product take care of my skin- doing most of the work. So yeah, I am more of the type to go for the concealer to hide the skins under my eyes rather than taking care of my face with masks regularly. 

Oh, and I do have dark circles under my eyes. I don’t know what the hell is wrong with my skin because those circles have been there for a long time. It doesn’t matter how well or little sleep I get, they are just there (so you have tips for me, go ahead and leave them in the comments. I’ll be more than grateful). Anyway, after I got my mascara and being totally put off by my skin, I wanted to look for a concealer. The sales-girl was suggesting that I should use almond oil for my eyelashes. What? Remembering to put on  mascara is enough trouble! And then she suggested, if I were to use a concealer, I should put it on after putting on a layer of face cream. What face cream? I am not using anti-aging stuff just yet. My dermatologist had suggested it is ok if I started them at 27 and so I am thinking, there is still a little time (OK, I am turning 27 next year). The sales girl was certain I was already too late. Of course she has a commission-based job.  So we started talking to another sales girl who started talking about a set which would easily set me back $100-150. OK, there is no way I am taking advice from someone 1) is paid according to what and how much she sells and 2) horrible make-up skills. 

I should elaborate on the second thing a little. She was wearing too much make-up for a day job.  The powder she was using wasn’t exactly her color and you could so obviously tell it was powder.  And she wasn’t pretty. At all. Isn’t make-up all about hiding your faults, accentuating your good qualities and well, making you look prettier? Anyway- I wasn’t about to take skin advice from a girl whose skin wasn’t exactly glowing with radiance. So no, of course I didn’t buy the expensive stuff. I am seeing my dermatologist next week and get some brand recommendations from her. 1) She is not on commission. 2) She is an expert 3) and yeah, she is also pretty and knows her make-up.

Just like you wouldn’t take relationship advice from a serial cheater, you shouldn’t take make-up advice from just any store employee. I am just saying. If she was such an expert, she would apply her skills on her face first. So unless you fall in love with the looks and make-up of the sales-girl, just stick to your own gut and well, budget.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Hanging Out with Your Attractive Friends: Unconventional Fitness Activity 4

     You know what highly success people advise? That you surround yourself with more successful people so that with the help of the group’s dynamics, you will also succeed. It makes perfect sense – when no one around you is aiming low, nothing- even you- can hold you back.

So what does that have to be with beauty and fitness? Well, a lot actually. The idea is that you will hang out more often with friends who pay attention to how they look. I am not suggesting you surround yourself with superficial people, fashion victims or diet freaks. Rather, I am merely suggesting that among all the friends you can hang out with, choose to spend time with the ones who are more active, health-conscious and overall well-groomed.

Because you will feel bad if you are the only one who’s not taking care of yourself, peer pressure and motivation will make you want to put on that little touch of make-up, give up on the coffee cream and pick your more flattering outfits to wear.

image via: danspalatset.se
Yes, this is a Lindy Hop move. Hopefully one day, it'll be possible for me too. But there is no way I am going to get to it if I just sit around with my friends who only like to sit around. I have a lot of those!

Recently, I have been spending more time at the dance studio (where I am taking lindy hop lessons). The more I watch the good dancers, the more I want to attend the practice times and well, the more I want to dance. And the more I dance, the better I feel . And the more moves I can master, the more I will enjoy it and the more I will want to dance. Oh, yes :it is one fantastic and beneficial cycle.

The point is whatever you’d like to accomplish and/or maintain, find a way to hang out with people who are better at it than you do, or at least just as enthusiastic as you are.  I had a great year in Norway, when I was an exchange student. I had great friends, who were just as addicted to fun and partying as I was. The result? One fantastic year. And I am thinking, why not apply it to our looks?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Developing A Crush - Unconventional Fitness Activity 3

Yep, that is actually what I am advising. Get out there and find yourself at least one crush. I am saying at least one, because you might get too emotionally invested if you really start liking someone. 

It occured to me that I tend to spend more time in front of the mirror when I have a crush. Those extra minutes spent trying to look a little sexier, taking a little longer to decide what to wear…It is just that inevitably I move more.

I especially remember this one crush - more of an insanely sexual attraction, really. He was just so hot. Tall, dark blonde, great built, sexy face, great voice, perfect style... He even had the best taste in music.I think he knew how perfect he looked so he wasn't easy to approach. He just wasn't the type of guy that made you fantasize about romantic dinners. You wouldn't have the time to think what he would be like your boyfriend, because well, all you wanted was to get him in a room, alone.

Sure, it feels great when we are only looking more attractive for our own eyes alone. It is also fun when strangers admire you too. But I always found it much more stimulating when someone you find hot/attractive/cute thinks the same way about you.
But the downside of having a crush on someone, you can get too involved. So it is much better if you surround yourself with little crushes (objects of your like) rather than just one. Because that one crush might not like you back or he might and things may not work out. So you just might end up falling for your comfort food when things go sour.

You already have a crush? Great. Make the most of it.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Lindy Hop To Fitness: Unconventional Fitness Activity 2

Lindy What?
Lindy Hop is a a really fast and fun type of dancing.  For the historical and cultural background info, you can check out the Wikipedia page for the lindy hop dance.
But for the fun and practical bits: It is a dance where you kick, hop, swing and dance – and keep bouncing during all your moves. The songs are jazz and rock n’ roll or a combination of these two genres. And yes, the sooner you find yourself a dancing partner to practice the moves with, the better. The moves of a couple is just so much fun, even when you are in the earliest stages, like me.
This is a dance where jeans are OK as well as a skirt and you are better of wearing flat shoes.
I’m including some of the videos I found on youtube- both the basic and the rockin’ professional stuff.
Have fun!
Youtube videos:

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Dating a Hot Guy: Unconventional Fitness Activity 1

Nope, not just any dating. Dating or trying to date really, really hot guys. Yes, a good personality is a plus but since a lot of guys are superficial (regardless of how good or bad they look), it doesn’t hurt us to go after some eye candy. If we are lucky, we can land a really hot guy (or hot guys-sky is the limit).  
*Note: If you are happily coupled up, feel free to ignore this advice.
Here is why I am emphasizing a guy should have a hot body:
For one, I am sick of ugly, balding, and fat middle-aged men cheating on their lovely wives (I know girls and other types of men cheat too, but that’s off topic right now). And many men seem to have double standards when it comes to how their girlfriends should look. They want them to be fit and well-groomed, while they rarely hit the gym. Even if they do go, they do tend to fall for the younger gym bunnies.
But of course this double standard isn’t just about older, married or fatter men. A couple of years ago I used to date this really skinny guy. I actually don’t even like skinny guys. I like guys tall, well-built and strong .  I’d rather have a guy who built those muscles naturally through his work or favorite sports (and preferably not by living in the gym).
How about James Denton from Desperate Housewives or the new addition to that show, Brian Austin Green? I don’t know if their bodies are gym-based, but they look amazing.

Brian Austin Green in Desperate Housewives. Image via  movieline-com

Teri Hatcher and James Denton in Desperate Housewives. Image via insidesocal.com

Anyway, we all have an ideal image when it comes to looks but feelings and hormones get the in the way. And boys know it really well. Back to the skinny guy: He was barely an inch taller than me. And he wasn’t strong. But personality matter more than looks, right?
 He fooled me into thinking he was a nice, fun guy with a high E.Q (emotional I.Q).  His face was OK but if he hadn’t been around that day, hanging with a friend of mine, I wouldn’t have even noticed him.

Oh, you can take a look at a picture of me on the about page. I am definitely not skinny. But I am 1.75 m tall (5’9”) and 69 kilos (about 135 pounds? You get the idea). And apart from the belly I’d like to hide I have a pretty decent body, with long legs and all that.
So this skinny guy who is not eye-catching or good-looking, who doesn’t even walk with a nice posture, starts criticizing my sense of getting dressed and makes hints that I should lose weight. Seriously.
To the outside eye, I’m the eye-catching, prettier one . It was my friends who thought he was not good enough for me.
You see, if he looked like Keanu Reeves or Gerard Butler, I’d not have been mad at his hints. In fact, I’d use him to lose the extra pounds. But if an average looking guy with borderline personality issues asks, I am not even going to move my arm. What would be the motivation? To give him the satisfaction dating even a prettier girl? No, thanks.
Yes, we didn’t last long. And since I was attracted to the niceness in the first place.
My point is, it is OK to be superficial as many of the people around you are too. So why not take advantage of the back? It is all very well looking for your soul mate with that amazing personality. But until he comes along, even for just fitness purposes, let’s hunt down the gorgeous boys. We will be motivated to be as fit as they are. And we can stay in shape by engaging in fitness on our own and with them (dancing, PG-13 stuff and of course the essential R-Rated action).
Do share your stories.

Monday, October 18, 2010

How I Lost 16 Pounds By Shopping: A True Weight-Loss Story!

The following actually happened and it is one of my favorite stories to share. Of course you need a little bit of money to do this fitness acitivity and you should be careful about not going bankrupt (Rebecca Bloomwood, anywone???).

 image: stargatecinema. From the movie Confessions of a Shopaholic. Based on the bestselling book by Sophie Kinsella. Rebecca Bloomwood is played by Isla Fisher.

The main fitness tip:
Shop, shop till you drop. Shop for dresses, as it does help with your calories when you keep changing clothes. The more you try, the more calories you lose. The more calories you lose, more dresses fit. You feel better and sexier and get encouraged to wear more clothes. Tinier clothes fit. Before you know, you are trying and buying smaller sized clothes and well...at the end of a couple of months, you have a brand new gorgeous wardrobe and a thinner new you.

This fitness method might harm your finances if you don't watch it and I managed this weight loss in the summer. I wasn't dieting, but I eat much less in the summer than in winter. The heat crushes your appettite.

The story:
My first year at university just sucked. There is no other way to put it. I had worked hard to get in and it had taken an extremely boring final high school year with a lot of studying around me and some really annoying health problems. On the surface, it was nothing serious. I had a cold. The problem? I constantly had a cold! Imagine spending 2 school terms with mild fever (nothing dangerous but just high enough to keep you agitated), lack of energy and constant headaches. You might think the problem was psychological and yeah, I’d have to agree. But knowing where your problems are coming from doesn’t do you any favors if you can’t change the conditions causing them. So I took  a lot of painkillers (don’t panic, just a couple a day, as suggested by the doctor, when the symptoms were there). Of course they made it a little easier to study but hey, their effects were very short-term.

Long story short, I got into a really good school. By then, I had a different problem. No matter how carefully you stick to your doctor’s instructions, the effects of the pills presented themselves in the shape of chronic stomach pain and nausea, even though I hadn’t been taking anything for months. I could watch what I ate, but then when I got nauseous, anything made it worse. And of course it was stress related as well, again. Because while my school was OK in educational areas, it was far from satisfying in social areas and for me, having fun is everything. So now I had another two terms feeling constantly sick. Now, during school, with a lot of hours and coursework and exams, you can hardly go healthy. But in the summer,  it is much easier to feel full on less food and stay away from greasy stuff. So I stayed away from grease and any type of heavy food. So I ate a lot of grilled stuff, fruit and ice-cream. Yep, ice cream felt a lot easier than muffins and cake. It has a lot of milk and it is nutritious. And obviously, I didn’t need coffee or tea (who needs to stay up to study?). This was the diet.

As for the shopping:
Obviously you don’t spend a lot of money when you are sick. So let’s say that I had some cash to burn, a healthy diet I was instinctively on and as a girl I am naturally addicted to shopping.

Anyway, guess what? I signed up for an Italian course, ate healthily and shopped, shopped till I dropped that summer. The fitter I got, the more clothes looked great on me and the more gorgeous I looked, the more clothes I tried. You get my brilliant cycle. At the end of two months ( eating as much ice-cream as I wanted- though obviously I didn’t eat a gallon a day), I had lost about 16 pounds. I was happy with a whole new wardrobe and no stomach problems whatsoever. Yes, the following term I slowly put back on the pounds slowly  but that has do with coffee, tea, chocolate and the oh-so-familiar vicious cycle of binge eating during studying. 

The moral?
The lesson is obvious: Try to stay away from stress, find a “fitness” activity you love and enjoy yourself. This results in lost pounds without any felt effort on your part. Give it a shot. You won’t regret it.