When you want a hot bod but you also love food

My number one dilemma in life is this – What do I want most…a bangn’ beach babe bod or to devour all the delicious foods?

I love food! All the foods! Sometimes I really wish I didn’t love food. Any of the foods! Because well, what I would reeeeeally love is cheese-grater abs and the type of defined legs that don’t wobble when I walk.

Raw balls or buff biceps? Burrito bowls or a bountiful booty? Hot chips or hot rig?

Life’s tough decisions.

Going out for brunch and trying new cafes around Perth is probably one of my favourite past times. I mean, who doesn’t appreciate a piled-high avocado bruschetta or a decadent warm chocolate brownie?! My camera roll is a smorgasbord of screenshots of food to try and places to eat. Yet, there are just as many snaps of bikini babes and #fitspo motivation.

It’s like my brain is constantly fighting between ‘treat yo self’ and ‘eat for sustenance.’ I want to be able to eat all the yums, but I want a ripped rig just as much!  You see the struggle?

Taking your tastebuds to pleasure town is all well and good (in moderation), until the kilos start creeping on and your jeans don’t zip up anymore. And if that still doesn’t drive the point home there’s always that moment when you stand in the Myer fitting rooms and see your cellulite from every possible unflattering angle. Every last, wobbly inch of it!

For me, it was the Target change rooms (those bloody mirrors don’t lie) and the realisation that my bali holiday was no longer months away, but just a matter of weeks. Maybe those sneaky kgs were easily hidden in the cold winter months under layers of clothes, but now the sun is (occasionally) making an appearance again, shit’s gettn’ real yo. And did I mention I go to Bali in less than 2 weeks?!

If like me, you struggle to say no to temptation as much as you should or you are also stressing that bikini season is fast approaching, well it’s time to get your shit together! Food should be fuel for your bodies not just for sensory satisfaction. Before reaching for that treat, ask yourself, is this going to nourish my body and fuel me throughout the day? Is it going to help me achieve my desired body? Are my goals really worth sacrificing for that piece of cake? Will I regret it later? Is a fleeting moment of tastebud satisfaction more important than feeling happy, confident and sexy every single day? 

Look, I get that it easy to say ‘no’ in theory (especially for me right now, as I sit here writing, love handles and stomach rolls buldging as a reminder of all the calories consumed the past few months). It’s easy to say, ‘I’m not giving in to temptation anymore!’ but when you come face-to-face with a cabinet of raw treats will you still have that focus? Or will the internal monologue start all over again as you debate with yourself whether to eat the cake or not. 

I’ll tell you what works for me in these moments, other than knowing I’ll be in sunny Bali exposing all my limbs in under two weeks. It’s this.. DON’T GIVE UP WHAT YOU WANT NOW FOR WHAT YOU WANT MOST!

And so from here forward I’m going to go all Charles Boyle (hello Brooklyn Nine-nine fans) and only eat for sustenance now! Or at least try.

Love Elo xx

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Becoming A Human Pretzel

I gaze towards our guru – a blonde, bright blue-eyed version of Hugh Grant with the accent to match and beautifully bronzed skin. Perched peacefully on his mat, legs comfortably intertwined like a pretzel, he speaks words of affirmations.

“Choose a positive word to focus your practice on today,” he soothes.

“Confidence. Joy. Love. Peace. Whatever the word, keep coming back to this focus throughout your practice.”

And so begins the best yoga experience of my life.

Surveying the room, I am surrounded by glowing yoga gods and goddesses. All with radiant sun-kissed skin, lean limbs and muscles so sculpted I wouldn’t be surprised if they had all stepped off the set of a photoshoot straight into the joglo. With perfect posture and rhythmic breathing, they effortlessly flow from downward dog gracefully into half-plank with as much ease as I walk. Every movement is fluid, agile and elegant.

Meanwhile, shaky legs and twitching muscles accompany every clumsy position I attempt. Sometimes I forget to breathe and my mind wanders to what I am going to eat for lunch. Salty sweat trickles down my nose and drops onto my mat. I look to my left. There’s an Amazonian-like beauty next to me performing callisthenic type movements, her skin glistening with perspiration. Then here I am. My clothing saturated with sweat and my rigid knees hinged in protest.

“… And forward fold. Exhale,” blonde Hugh Grant instructs us with a voice as tranquil as trickling water.

“Now remember to come back to that positive feeling.”

I had started the yoga practice with the word ‘enjoyment’ in my mind. Part of my genius plan to fool my subconscious into believing I was loving every minute of contorting my inflexible body into positions I deem are only possible for those with double-jointed limbs. Now my focus had shift to ‘determination’. Determined to enjoy the class. Determined to keep my thoughts from wandering. Determined to one day become as ridiculously nimble, tanned and exceptionally good-looking as the yogis neighbouring me.

It’s safe to say, I am no seasoned yogi. It’s not a practice I have ever excelled in, nor truthfully enjoyed. I have stretched (and I use that term loosely) my way through various classes here and there in attempt to discover my inner Zen. I even signed up for a whole month of Bikram Yoga once – because exercising in a dark, windowless, 40-degree room is always a great idea. Regardless of these previous attempts, I have always found the gradual, smooth (yet surprisingly difficult) movements of yoga very unpleasant and somewhat monotonous. When I am meant to be meditating, my conscious-mind seizes the quiet as an opportunity to entertain disruptive thoughts. More experienced at fast-paced cardio workouts and interval weight training, the slow speed of yoga has always bored me.

Until now.

With ‘determination’ as my guiding light, I silence my mind of distraction and hone in on the singsong of the birds chirping their morning melodies. Positioned in tree pose, with my eyes closed softly, hands in prayer position over my heart chakra, I return back to the present moment, remembering where I am and how lucky I am to be here. I am practicing yoga in a traditional joglo in Bali. There are lush green gardens surrounding me – the smell of morning dew on the grass still fragrant. My stiff shoulders tremble as I unfold my arms but I still feel at peace. I am starting to respect the movements of my body.

Inhale. Exhale.

Spending the month of January in Bali, quite possibly the number one Yoga hub of the southern hemisphere, has coincided perfectly with my 2016 goal of practicing yoga once a week. Within the first 18 days I had given Yoga four opportunities to convert me from a hater to Eloise ‘yogi’ Smith. Four different classes with four different teachers in four different settings. After the first experience in which mosquitos irritatingly buzzed by my ears and attacked me persistently, all whilst I dripped with sweat in the 35-degree heat, I am surprised I even gave Yoga another shot.

Guru Hugh with his turquoise eyes and soothing voice (I don’t even like English accents usually) may be partially to thank for this sudden rise in enthusiasm, but I do think the credit can be extended further than that. This Yoga class, which by the way was 90 minutes but felt like 45, was the most peaceful and serene I have ever experienced. Despite being out-bended by supple women twice my age balancing on their heads while I remained in child’s pose, I was able to let go and be in the moment. I relished in the beauty of nature and focused my mind back to my positive feeling every time it wandered off. I even managed to progress my pigeon pose from dying bird to something more reminiscent of a graceful swan.

Unlike my attempt to become a gnarly surfer chick, the longevity of which failed to surpass just one lesson (but that’s a whole other story), I am persisting with Yoga. Acknowledging how out of my element I am with this whole Namaste thing, I’ve realized the only way to become the sexy, flexible yogi I have always dreamed of, is to continue feeling uncomfortable until it becomes comfortable. To sound totally and utterly cliché, nothing ever starts out easy. It is with continued practice, patience and consistency that success comes.

I still have a lot bending to do until I too become a human pretzel, but I am opening up my heart chakra to the possibility of falling in love. Yoga, I am willing and ready to be wooed!

Love Eloise x

Guest Post: The Secret to Reaching Your Fitness Goals

The secret to keeping that New Years resolution to living an active life 

It’s that time of the year again…a fresh start, a new beginning. It’s a time when we make promises to ourselves to do more, be more and achieve some of the things that we either dream of or lie in the back of our minds.

It may be a cliché but many of us still have one key aim at the beginning of the year – ‘to be the healthiest and fittest me I can possibly be’.

“I plan to eat better, be more active, exercise more… I want to be happier and healthier.” Sound familiar? While there is no better time than right now, if the New Year has given you the motivation and drive to set some big resolutions around your health, you are probably looking for the key to keep you motivated.

Stop! Before you go off making big goals to work out every day for the next 12 months, let’s take it easy…make small steps to achieve big things. You don’t want to feel completely defeated by the end of the second or third week, sprawled out on the couch demanding someone get you a chocolate bar ASAP to fuel your energy.

Yes, I hear you, not everyone loves slumming it out on a treadmill or spending hours at the gym lifting weights. Yes, running can be a nightmare sometimes and I know you might not be a sports person. So how can you possibly become fit?

Well, there’s a secret and I am about to tell you after a short and meaningful anecdote (you’re going to love it).

So I’m an outdoorsy Australian who has recently travelled to and lived in Canada (yep, I went from crystal blue coastal living to waking up to -40 degree weather and elk creating unmovable live barriers on the snowy walk to work). Over there it’s a completely different ball game! I had to find new ways to stay active in a country that has a serious time limit for how long you can spend outside without freezing to death…you don’t want to get that wrong.

While I had the opportunity to do a bit of snowboarding (which is an intense workout by the way), I ended up joining a gym and trained daily to stay fit. I have had personal trainers before so I had an idea of what to do.

While this was a great way to keep the delicious Canadian treats at bay (well, kind of), after making the transition back from slippery, white slopes to the rather hot but beautiful Australian scenery, I was over it. I didn’t want to lift another dumbbell and I certainly didn’t want the word elliptical to be part of my morning routine.

You’ve been there too, am I right?

Well, I’m here to share what I believe is the secret to finding an exercise regime that will help you achieve your New Years resolution – to be healthier, fitter, stronger, more active…what ever it may be.

Here it is…

The secret…Are you sure your ready for this?

Try everything until you find that magic fit!

Get out there and give a lot of different sports, exercises and activities a go. Try new things like crossfit, unicycling, adult gymnastics, squash, martial arts, rock climbing or an alternate style of dance. Just give it a go. Con your friends to come along (they have to have something you can bribe them with – a trip to the frozen yoghurt shop after?) if your feeling a bit scared.

Don’t worry about how you look to others. Everyone has been there. The athletes and the experts have all been there. They’ve been in your shoes (hopefully not literally – that’s creepy).

Ever since I’ve come home I’ve put myself out there and tried a few things. As a result, I’ve found a few magic sports that are the perfect match for me. Hip hop, burlesque, I’ve dabbled in ballet, gymnastics and I’ve found a love for pole fitness.

If you find something that you enjoy doing, that you feel confident and proud to be a part of, the motivation for your New Years resolution is right there.

If you find something you love, keep at it!

You never know, keeping fit naturally might just come easy.

 

By Alyssa Gill

Alyssa is a persuasive freelance writer and strategic social media expert. She is the Founder and Chief Wordsmith of Squib Communications, a company that is helping lifestyle, creative and home businesses to create more meaningful partnerships with their customers.

She also has a passion for all things active – she’s a pole fitness teacher, hip hopper, burlesquer and basketball-enthuasiast.

Plus she recently started the Instagram page @myactivewear, a site that brings together and showcases real people being active and healthy in their favourite activewear. Follow @myactivewear.

Website: http://www.squib.com.au
Connect with Alyssa on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/squibcommunications/