November 22, 2017

Better Body, Better Lover?

Courtesy of jimmythomas.com

 

Does having biceps, triceps, a six-pack, and buns of steel really make you better in the bedroom?  According to Men’s Health Editor-in-Chief and New York Times Best Selling Author David Zinczenko, it can!

Why?  Because looking good gives you confidence.  When you are confident, you’re more apt to explore and take risks. The  Men, Love and Sex author says to women, “The better you feel about your body, the more you’ll do with ours!”

At first I thought this was a crock of you know what, but then I thought about the confidence factor.  When we are confident about the way we look we are more assertive, even aggressive, in all we do.  We know when we get our hair, nails, and toes done, find a pair of smoking hot heels and a fly fit…our inner Sasha Fierce is unleashed!  Looking good naked  can only give us more moxy!

As I read more of the, “What Does He Really Think About Your Body?” chapter, I was even more surprised at the results from a poll.  58 percent of 5,000 men said that intelligence was sexier than a great body!  So what does all that mean?  You guessed it, men are harder to figure out than we could ever imagine!

Seriously though, it shows that beauty starts within.  If you are a woman of intelligence and confidence, you are already sexy.  AND, an intelligent woman would want to lead a healthy lifestyle, not only to “look good” but to feel good as well.  When you are in shape and eat healthy, your energy level increases, as does your libido!

To close, you really don’t need a better body to be a better lover.  But you do need confidence.  I know plenty of confident people who are overweight and confident in themselves.  But I also know that plenty struggle with how they look in the buff and are afraid to try new things based on those  insecurities.  If you find yourself in that category (hand raised high), you know what to do.  Speaking of which, the gym awaits me!

Happy Healthy Living,

-KB

The Skinny on Being Skinny

Me and two tall class bikini competitors at Universe Weekend

My friend and I went to the Universe fitness competition in Miami this past weekend. I must say, I enjoyed myself thoroughly! Other than being around hundreds of folks that reminded me that I still have a long way to go to reach my fitness goals, I really was inspired by the people who were competing. Military men and women, firefighters, teachers, physical therapists, former athletes and Olympians were all there, showcasing their physiques for the world to see. There were several “biggest loser” success stories, from women and men losing over 100 pounds, to first time competitors over the age of 35, to grandmothers! I only watched the bikini and model competitions so I missed out on the eye candy for ladies. Sorry! But I did get a glimpse of a few men in the model competition.

Men – Model Competition

Last year’s model universe winner

My major take-away was the information I learned at a seminar held by nationally known fitness trainer and model, Jennifer Nicole Lee. Her personal story is amazing! She lost over 80 pounds AFTER the birth of her two children. Instead of talking about herself most of the time (like most famous people do when giving “how to” presentations), she talked about brand building and being your own publicist. Her insightfulness was refreshing, as her information was not only fitness focused, but for anyone interested in being their own boss.

At the end of the seminar a protegé of hers by the name of Nissa Salas shared her weight loss story. She’d lost over 100 pounds after having life saving surgery to remove a tumor. Not only did she use her tragedy for triumph, she also used it to launch a side career. It was inspiring to hear from women who had not only conquered their battle with obesity, but are using their personal victories to encourage others to do the same.

So what do they do to lose weight and look great? Well, nothing you haven’t heard before. They diet and exercise. They make their eating habits a way of life. They make sacrifices, like making time for exercise and getting enough rest. After Friday’s competition, most of the competitors headed to their rooms to prepare for the next day. The ones who hung out in the hotel lounge were rarely drinking. The few that were, weren’t getting hammered. And surprisingly, they were a close-knit group. They were encouraging each other and were rooting for each other, in spite of competing agaist each other!

In short, these people work extremely hard to maintain their physiques. Being in shape, or being “skinny” isn’t easy, especially with age. Genetics may play a part, but only a select few are that lucky. Most of them will tell you they work extremely hard and consistently eat well. So when those lights come on, they earn the right to flex!

Bikini Tall Class

Back view – Bikini Tall Class

Group Photo – Model Competition

Reading Is Power

I know I’ve been M.I.A. from my blog and I apologize. With track season in motion, I’ve had little down time to write. In fact, I’m posting this blog from my phone, so forgive me for any editorial mistakes now. Charge my head and not my heart!

I have been doing a lot of reading though. I’ve read three books so far this year, and re-read another from last year. Those books are:

  1. Think And Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill,
  2. What Got You Here Won’t Get You There by Marshall Goldsmith
  3.  Getting Started As A Freelance Writer by Robert Bly.

The book I reread from last year is titled  Author 101 by Robert Friskman. If you are an aspiring journalist, I recommend reading all of these. They are awesome starting blocks for launching your dreams into reality.

When I read Bly’s book, I learned about the business of freelance and entrepreneurship. From Goldsmith, I learned about the importance of fine tuning your personality. Hill’s book was about transferring dreams into reality, and Friskman’s focus was a detailed extension of Bly’s book, including details on writing style and marketing techniques. All three have given me a new perspective on life as well as my financial future.

I know that inside of some of you there lies a desire to do something different, perhaps to write a book or start a new career. I want to share with you my top 5 takeaways from all four books. I hope they help you as much as they have helped me!

  1. You must have a desire to acquire, belief that you will achieve and a plan to make it happen. If you do not believe in yourself or fail to plan how you are going to get what you want, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment.
  2.  You must start today. Not tomorrow, not Sunday, not after this, that, or the other. Time doesn’t wait and neither should you! Procrastination is cancerous! Once it forms in one area of your life, it will spread. Procrastination is why you haven’t started exercising, saving, went back to school or finished most of what you have started.
  3. Educate yourself and become a life long learner of your trade. Plan your work and work your plan. Being efficient takes effort, being exceptional requires more. You need both effort and skill. The only way to obtain and maintain success is through acquired skill and skill applied. Avoid becoming complacent, keep up with the trends of your trade. If you can stay a step ahead of them…even better!
  4. Tell yourself and others what you want. In fact, write it down somewhere, read it daily and meditate on it. When you meet new people, introduce yourself as the person you want to become. Tell them you are an aspiring writer, business owner, etc. Ask them to connect you with people who may mentor your or help you pursue your goals. Once you put it in the atmosphere, you will be holding yourself accountable and creating a support system. Your support system should hold you accountable too, which is why it should consist of people who will help you achieve your goals and provide constructive feedback. You will be allowing these people to speak into your life so they need to be intelligent, well informed, and as objective as possible. Fortifying your network with the right people is directly correlated to your success.
  5. Be patient, persistent and persevere. It may take longer than you would like. You may endure setbacks and rejection. You may lose friends, your social life, even a significant other. And if the time comes, you must be willing to pay whatever price it takes to achieve your goals. If your goals are S.M.A.R.T. (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) and the intent of your financial success will benefit others, the sacrifice will be worth it. People will tell you that you can’t or will attempt to deter you. But keep pressing on! No matter what you desire to acquire, you will achieve if you believe. Plan your work and work your plan!

These tidbits are universal for all aspects of life. I’ll close with a scripture that changed my life, because it changed my mentality: “Do not conform to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Change the way you think!

All the best,

-KB

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Your Slow, Super Efficient Guide to Weight Loss – Part II

Spring is almost here!  Before you know it, it’ll be time to pack those sweaters away and put on those pretty skirts, dresses and shorts.  And for you guys, not too much of a change-up in wardrobe I know, but we do have one thing in common.

We ALL want to be slimmer when the weather gets warmer!  We feel better about ourselves and how we look in our clothes when we shed a few pounds.  Equipped with our new year’s resolution and gym membership, we’re on track to have a beach body by summer.  But is it really feasible to do so in 4 months?

It all depends.  It depends on what you are eating, how much weight you need to lose, if you are exercising and if you are consistent with your eating and exercise regime.  I’ve learned several things since I last blogged about weight loss, and I want to share them with you:

  1. Stop believing the infomercials and fitness ads.  There is no pill, powder, shake or liquid that is going to instantly make you look the way you want.  We have to realize there are no short cuts.  Furiouspete123 on youtube has a video that exposes advertisements on weight loss gimmicks.  Most of those commercials are shot in the same day.  The models bloat themselves after taking the “results” pictures.  Know this: if you are not going to put in the work a pill or potion won’t help, especially not for the long term.  I used to think I needed extra protein to build muscle and a fatburner to lose flab.  Since I’m what’s called an ecto-endo body type (skinny-flabby), I don’t build muscle very well.  I was eating the suggested amount of protein (1 gram per pound), so I was consuming roughly 120-180 grams of protein per day.  What I didn’t realize is that the protein wasn’t metabolizing because I wasn’t doing enough cardio. I ended up gaining weight instead of losing it, even though I was firmer from lifting weights.  Protein helps with muscle-building but not necessarily with weight loss.  So I was building muscle but not losing any weight, and my goal was to do both.  I thought about using a fatburner but they scare me.  The few times I tried them I experienced a racy heart and insomnia from the caffeine.  I’ve conceded to the fact that I need to run more, even though I hate it with a passion.  But the old ways are truly the best ways, and I’ve noticed a difference already.  I’ve increased my cardio from two days to four.  I am now aiming for five.
  2. Don’t underestimate how hard it is to lose weight and to maintain your goal weight.  I just finished “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There” By Marshall GoldSmith (I’ll do a book review in another post) and he did an excellent analysis on goal setting and goal achievement.  He applied his principles to weight loss and listed the following reasons why people do not succeed in their weight loss goals: time, effort, distractions, rewards and maintenance.  According to GoldSmith (best-selling author, business professor at Dartmouth and top executive coach), these 5 reasons are commonly underestimated and are ultimately why we fail at our weight lost goals.  My achillies heel had been time, effort and distractions.  But no more!
  3. My Fitness Pal.  It’s an app you can download on your phone.  After you download and create an account, you plug in your current weight and your goal weight.  It then tells you how many calories you are allowed each day based on how many pounds you want to lose per week. I lost about 3 pounds last week!  My fitness pal is great for me because I can also see what nutrients I need to get in before the day is out.  It also made me aware of how much dining out was a hinderance to my progress.  I know I promised pictures but I accidentally erased my November pictures when I restored my computer to factory condition (I forgot to back up years worth of pictures and my favorites). I will put some up though, I promise!  I’ve put on some muscle but I  have quite a ways to go…wish me luck!

I’d like to close this post with the picture below.  I got it from my friends RawTwins on facebook.  If we would take the time to eat properly, we’d be 70% to goal.  Instead of stopping off at a fast food place after a long day’s work, I now take cucumbers, carrots and grapes to work and make sure I am drinking 80 to 100 ounces of water per day.  That’s only 5 to 7 water bottles!  You can do it!  Remember, what you put inside yourself is a reflection of who you are!

-KB

You Are What You Eat - Courtesy of RawTwins

Your SLOW, Super-Efficient Guide to A Better Body

Happy New Year!  You’re probably wondering, “Why would anyone want a slow guide to weight loss”?  In my experience I’ve learned slower is better.  Every time I’ve tried to lose weight on a quick time schedule, I’ve gained it back shortly thereafter or have gotten discouraged with my results.  I am so sick and tired of the, “transform your body in 21 days, 6 weeks, 90 days, or lose up to 2 pounds a week eating this/taking this” gimmicks!  Some of them do work but let’s face it…most of us are not going to count calories, points, or take diet pills for the rest of our lives.  Nor are we going to go cold turkey and cut out all sweets, sugars, caffeine, pastas, breads, and fast foods to become full-fledged vegetarians or vegans.  But we can take the best of the good stuff and transition at a slower pace.

Well this year is my year, and I’m doing it without a gimmick!  Instead of giving myself a hard and fast goal, I’ve decided to stop using methods I know are not going to be lifelong habits.  One personal trainer gave me the best and most reasonable goal that almost anyone can achieve….aim to add a pound of muscle a month.  One cheat meal a week is also okay as long as you eat relatively healthy the rest of the week. My goal is to add 15 pounds of muscle.  I started in August.  So by the end of 2012, I should have accomplished my goal.

I believe adding muscle at a realistic pace will yield longer-lasting results.  Since muscle burns calories even when not working out, I know my weight will take care of itself.   With the timeline gone I can focus on developing a healthy diet.  My desire to eat shrimp scampi, chicken fettuccini alfredo and garlic bread can be quenched as my cheat meal.  Since I’m not tracking my calories or points, I no longer get discouraged if I have a few slip ups.

If you are obese or haven’t worked out in a while, you should check with your doctor before starting an exercise or diet regime.  If you’re good and ready to rock, here are my 5 tips for your slow, super-efficient guide to a better you!

  1. Change your eating habits first.  Changing your eating habits and working out at the same time will make you miserable.  As you deprive your body of junk, you’re going to crash.  Putting your body though the stress of exercise and junk food deprivation is a lot to handle at once.  You are likely to stop working out and go back to eating crap because you are miserable.  Start eating healthier at least 21 days before you start working out.  WATER IS YOUR FRIEND!!!
  2. Work out every other day.  Cardio twice a week and lift weights twice a week.  You should be sore and the day off will help your body heal.  A day’s rest is all you need.  Do not confuse fatigue with a weak will, or pain for soreness.  Inability to push through the soreness will cause you to quit.  That is the biggest mental hump to get over…know that you are not tired.  You are just weak mentally and you want to give up.  Stay at it!  Pushing through an injury is another thing…so listen to your body.  If you over extended something or strained something, stop lifting until the pain subsides.  If it is in the lower back or knee, see a doctor.  If you are already active or athletic, cardio should be done at least three times a week and weight training every other day.  Aim for five days a week.
  3. Change your workouts every six weeks.  Your body is smart and it adapts to repetition in about four weeks.  You should not be doing the same thing every time you go to the gym.  You need to introduce the body to something new.  After a six week period you can increase your workout days and combine lifting and cardio on the same day.
  4. Increase your weights, your intensity and your reps every six weeks.  If you want to increase strength, increase your weights.  If you want to increase muscle tone, increase your repetitions.  If you want to burn more calories, start and end with 15 minutes of cardio on your weight training days. Increase your cardio intensity on cardio days as well.  You should not be at the same pace you were six weeks ago.  If you do not increase your intensity, you will be doing nothing but maintaining your current fitness level.
  5. Revisit your diet after 3 months.  Have you eliminated fried foods?  Have you stopped eating canned foods?  Are you eating foods high in fiber and vitamins?  Are you avoiding foods high in saturated fat, processed sugar (anything ending in ‘rose’) and sodium?  If not, change your diet again.  Now that your body is used to working out, a change in diet won’t be as drastic.  Furthermore, working out is now a part of your day and you love going to the gym.  This next crash won’t get the best of you!

I started monitoring my progress in November and will post comparison pictures in February.  Wish me luck!