foxyolive

Journey to the best health of my life (yes, the journey includes olives)


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Whitney’s big fat fabulous life

You probably know who Whitney Way Thore is.  Her dancing videos went viral.  She was the fat dancing girl.  She makes me smile.  Just because you’re fat doesn’t mean you can’t dance and doesn’t mean you can’t have fun!

Now’s Whitney is doing a reality show.  She’s so confident in her skin, but at the same time trying to better herself.  She is trying to lose weight, but she is not stopping herself from living.  I can identify with her in so many ways.  At the same time I want to take a page out of her book.  There are many instances where I do not do something because of my weight.  Whitney has reminded me that my weight shouldn’t stop me from living.

It is assumed that people who are fat are lazy.  That’s simply not true in so many cases.  If, like me, you have PCOS then this video will empower you and remind you that you are not alone in your struggles.  If you don’t have PCOS but would like a better understanding of it through the eyes of someone who lives with it then watch this video.

It takes courage to open yourself up to the world.  Thank you Whitney for putting yourself out there!

UPDATE: Unfortunately the YouTube video with the full episode has been removed. For those who are able to access the videos (USA residents) here is the TLC page: http://www.tlc.com/tv-shows/my-big-fat-fabulous-life/videos/my-big-fat-fabulous-life-sneak-peek.htm

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Rebounding – or jumping on my new trampoline!

I always loved trampolines. I remember using a huge one in gym class. I was the big kid, but on the trampoline I could fly just as high as everyone else. I felt light. I did twists, turns and jumps just like all my friends.  My weight was not an issue. I remember feeling really happy. I wanted that feeling again. Little did I know that there is a whole rebounding world. Fitness trampolines for adults!  My superstar friend told me about a sale and we both bought one.

There are a number of benefits of rebounding that are noted in various articles online. Here are a few of the articles you will find with a quick search on google:

http://wellnessmama.com/13915/rebounding-benefits/
http://www.healingdaily.com/exercise/rebounding-for-detoxification-and-health.htm
http://www.healthextremist.com/health-benefits-of-rebounding/
http://paleodietnews.com/3370/best-gift-for-the-paleo-diet-rebounders-or-mini-trampolines/

The way I see it there are always benefits when you are active.  It doesn’t matter what you do.  What matters is that you do it consistently.  People are more likely to be consistent if they are having fun.  The trampoline is all about fun!

I bought the JumpSport 350i.  It arrived today!

It was super easy to put together and I was bouncing in no time. Everything you need is in the box.  There are six legs.  In addition, a stability bar is available that can be used for various exercises.  I haven’t attached that yet, but I will.

I was initially nervous to let my feet leave the trampoline.  This surprised me.  I didn’t even think about it as a kid.  As an adult I was full of fear.  However, after a few minutes I was more comfortable and felt like I was flying (sort of!).

I did the following exercise video today.  I think it’s a great beginner workout.  I learnt that rebounding is a lot harder than it looks!  Within 5 minutes my calves were burning and I needed to take a small break.  After a couple of minutes I finished the video workout.  It got my blood flowing and I felt really good!  Rebounding, or bouncing around like a goofball, is a new addition to my daily activity.

Have you tried rebounding?  What did you think of it?  Do you want to try it?  I would love to hear your about your thoughts and experiences!

 


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My favorite exercises – no equipment needed

I’ve been working out regularly since 2008. I worked with a personal trainer for 4 years during that time. He showed me so many different exercises and, although I try to keep my workouts varied, these exercises are always in my routine. I love them because they kick my butt – every. single. time. Also, they are great for people of any level and can be done anywhere, anytime – no excuses!  It is important to move – even a little is better than nothing.  Incorporate exercise into your daily life – it is so important!

 

Do you have any favorite exercises?  I’m always looking to bring variety to my workout so please share in the comments!

 

Squats

Half squats, full squats, with no weights, with weights, two legs, one leg – this exercise has many challenging levels.  If you want to look good great from behind then you WILL do them!  They are tougher than they look, but they will get you results.

Lunges

This is an exercise with huge variety. Forward walking, reverse, sideways, jumping (in one area), with a twist, with weights in front, weights above. Two lunges for every step, five for every step.  You can even add kicks and punches to the lunges.  Variety is important and this is one exercise that you can change up so many times.

Push-ups

You feel push-ups all the way to your core.  Push-ups on your knee, full push-up on the ground or on an elevated bar, push-ups with a twist, with one leg, with a clap, with feet elevated, push-ups with a wide grip or narrow grip.  Again, I could go on and on with variations.  There is a style of push-up that you can do, and there will always be a style of push-up that will challenge you.  Do not shy away from this exercise.

Planks

Keeping your body in a plank position is probably harder than you ever imagined!  Once you have 10 seconds down you can work on 20, 30, 60 and so on.  You can do it with your arms straight, or rest on your forearms, or even as a side plank on one arm.  Try it on one leg, or alternating legs.  You can also incorporate various movements – legs stepping or jumping out and in,  walking around a medicine ball, shoulder taps, lifting alternate arms, climbers.  You can simply go up and down from straight arms to your forearm and back up to straight arms.  Your body will never bore of this exercise as long as you keep pushing yourself.  Why not try a 30 day plank challenge?

Skipping rope

Ok, so this one technically needs equipment (or imagination!).  It’s simple and effective.  I find it a great way to include this as a quick burst of cardio during a HIIT circuit.  If you don’t have a rope try jumping jacks instead.  This video will give you some idea of the variations in this exercise.

Turkish get-ups

If you don’t know this exercise then learn the steps and do it.  I typically do it with a light weight in my hand.  I know – I said no equipment, but this exercise is too good to leave off the list!  If you do not have any weights handy, a can or bottle of water will do!  All you need is a floor to lie down on – and then just get up.  Simple, but a challenging and effective full body workout.

Burpees

I saved the best until last!  This one kills me every time (in a good way!).  I couldn’t do them before.  I look so ungraceful, but exercise is not about being graceful!  I tried and tried again, and I have got better.  I can even do a few in a row (read: big accomplishment!).  One day I will be as light on my feet as this guy:

 


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30 Days of HIIT: DONE!

I’ve been quiet on the blog about 30 Days of HIIT, but I promise that I was completing the daily challenges and am now DONE!  I sweat, I burned, I pushed, I conquered – that’s right: I kicked butt!

A lot of my comments for 30 Days of Cardio Blast spill over into this so I will refrain from repeating myself 🙂

I mentioned the awesome general stopwatch in another post but what I didn’t mention was that each daily workout has its own stopwatch at the bottom of the daily page with beeps to let you know you need to switch exercise.  See here for an example.  This was really useful during 30 days of HIIT because the exercises were based on time, rather than a specific number of reps.  All I had to do was listen out for the beep to move to the next exercise.  On a (technical) side note: the beeps did not work on Firefox for me, but they did work on Chrome.

I enjoyed the HIIT challenge just as much as I enjoyed the Cardio Blast challenge.  Yes, that’s right, I enjoyed it!  When I found it really tough I reminded myself that there was only seconds remaining and that helped me to keep pushing and not give up.  It is a really well thought out 30 days and I did not get bored.  I love that Neila Rey takes away all the thinking!  All I have to do is just do it!  As with my last 30 day challenge I saw noticeable improvements in various exercises.  It is truly amazing what a few minutes of dedication a day can do!

I’m glad I had completed the Cardio Blast challenge before doing the HIIT challenge.  I was already familiar with some movements, and it gave me confidence to try exercises that I was not necessarily comfortable with.  Some of the exercises in the HIIT challenge definitely took me to another level.  I’m completing these challenges while also keeping up with my regular workouts.  I feel like I’m getting stronger at a faster rate because of these challenges.  I see the difference in my regular workouts.

Most importantly, I feel really good.  I set out to complete two 30 day challenges and I’ve done them both!  Did you get that?  I met two goals!  I’m really proud of myself for sticking with it and I know that my dedication will pay off in the long run.  I am feeling very positive about the future – it has been a long time coming.

I’m starting my next 30 day challenge (thank you voters!) this week!

 

 

 


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The results are in! [my next Neila Rey challenge]

Screenshot of the results

Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote.  You are all wonderful!  Neila Rey’s 30 days of strength won by a landslide!  I will complete this next and will keep you updated with my progress.

For those of you wondering, I have finished 30 days of HIIT and will write a summary soon. 🙂


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Which Neila Rey challenge should I do next? Please vote!

I am 15 days into my second Neila Rey challenge. I love having a daily mini challenge and I’m already thinking about what to do next. Please help me make up my mind by picking one of the options below!  Thank you 🙂

Here are the direct links to the 3 options.
1. 30 days of strength
2. 90 days of action
3. 30 random workouts


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Day 1: 30 days of HIIT

I said I was going to start today and I am a woman of my word 🙂 Day 1 is done! I feel great and cannot wait to attack the next 29 days.  This is me right now …

A quick tip – Neila Rey’s stopwatch is AWESOME! I used it during 30 days of cardio blast to monitor my rest time between sets, but I can see it’s going to be even more useful during HIIT.