I almost started a bikini line yesterday…

So yesterday, this bikini that I ordered finally arrived at the house.

I’d been in need of a new bathing suit in forever – the last bikini I bought was this adorable pink number that I’d managed to randomly snag at the Target like two years ago.

My stepmother-in-law gave me a gift card to Victoria’s Secret, and after I searched high and low, I picked this:

Bralette

It seemed like the suit would offer me adequate coverage, all while being really cute.  Plus, I was able to pick a pretty big top, and the color was fine.  So it finally showed up, and I put it on and it was HORRIBLE on.  Absolutely horrible.  The bottom was cute, but the top wasn’t supportive at all, and my boobs were literally hanging out of the bottom of the suit.

I live close enough to the mall that I was able to run over with the invoices, and browse what they had in-store.

VS Dude: Hi, welcome to Victoria’s Secret. ::motions to the package in my arms:: Do you have an exchange for us?

Me: Yeah, I bought this online, but the top isn’t supportive at all!  I want to look around to see if I can find something.

VS Dude:  Well this stuff isn’t that supportive.  But we have stuff in the back.  You should check there.

Me: Ok cool, I’ll do that.  Do you mind hanging on to this package for me while I shop? (I figured I wouldn’t be as much of a shoplifting suspect if I wasn’t carrying a bikini around in a big empty mailing envelope.)

VS Dude: Uhhh.  Yeah no.  Will a bag work?

Me: Sure!

VS Dude: ::Disappears, never to be seen again::

So for the better part of an hour, I wandered throughout the Pink room in VS, and in this back room where all the big-boobed swimsuits hide out.  I wandered near and far.  And I found nothing.  Finally, I left in an angry huff, with no bathing suit, and feeling distinctly as though something was wrong with my body.

I know rationally that there’s nothing wrong with my body, but in those moments, I was really tempted to call a good plastic surgeon and let him or her just chop my chest down to a size that would fit a little better into a VS swimkini.  But, I’ve seen Botched, and I really shouldn’t have to hack my body, a body that can run 26.2 miles, lift, dance, and swim, to fit into a suit that rivals one I had when I was a flat-chested 12-year-old.

What I do need however, is to find a suit.  A suit that I can wear a S/M on the bottom, and like a DD on top.  Is that too hard to ask?

Where do you find your bathing suits, large-chested women? 

 

 

Oil pulling!

A little while back, I read this article on Fashionlush (cutest, cleverest name, right?) about oil pulling.  I was so intrigued, however, so I took to trip down the baking oil and grabbed a container of Organic Coconut oil.

**As a side note, one of my best friends, Chelsie, recommended that I try to put coconut oil on my skin for some of my acne issues with my forehead, so I finally went and got some**

oil pulling.jpg

 

So what is oil pulling?

So it sounds a lot crazier than it is, but oil pulling involves these steps.

  1. Wake up.
  2. Drink some water.
  3. Put a teaspoon of organic coconut oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes.

It sounds intense because a teaspoon of anything is a lot, and swishing something that appears to be a solid around for 20 minutes in your mouth sounds insane, but hear me out.

Coconut oil does come in a solid forum when it’s cooled, but it’s not stinky or gross like an oil that you’d fry chicken in or something.  It has a TON of uses.  You can use it on your skin, on your hair, and in your cooking, but for the intents of talking about it’s (sorta ingestion), let’s talk about how this oil pulling things works.

Like I said, you swish for 20 minutes, and pretty soon, you’ll start to see some sweet bennies.

  1. Fixes hangovers!!!!!
  2. Pulls toxins from your bod.  
  3. Coconut oil is a natural antibacterial.  Meaning that any funk that’s chilling in your mouth, waiting to attack your gums and teeth?  This is gonna reduce them.
  4. It strengthens your teeth and gums
  5. And finally, for all of you who are TIRED of your teeth hurting like a mofo after you whiten with those Crest White Strips, I think we found a solution.  This stuff whitens your smile without making your teeth hurt SO bad. 

A few tips

  1. Go for organic.  It’s only slightly pricier, and it hasn’t been treated with persistent pesticides.
  2. A teaspoon seems like a lot.  It is, but just let the chunk melt in your mouth, and it gets a lot easier from there.
  3. 20 minutes seems like a long time, but put if in your mouth, then do something like get in the shower while it’s in there, and it flies by.
  4. When you spit it out, spit it in the trash.  Just like you wouldn’t pour cooking oil down the drain, don’t do it with your coconut oil either.  Be friendly to your environment!

So go out and buy your Organic Coconut oil, and get to pulling!

Any of you guys practice oil pulling now? 

Fabletics Clothing Review!

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via Shape Magazine

So, I wish I could have a subscription to every workout publication that’s out there, but usually, I limit myself to purchasing them when I see someone on the cover whom I love, and Kate Hudson definitely falls into that category for me.  She’s funny, she’s Goldie Hawn’s daughter, and I was particularly intrigued by this cover cause didn’t she just have another baby?

At any rate, Kate Hudson teamed up with Fabletics, which is her new, affordable brand of activewear.  I’m sure that you’ve started to see all the commercials for things like JustFab, FabKids, Stichfix, and Runnerbox, all subscription programs that you can enroll in, and Fabletics is a similar program, and I was super thrilled when they sent me a few pieces from their spring line to try and tell you guys all about.

The way it works:

You go to Fabletics, and you start by taking their Fit Quiz, which determines what sort of activity you’re engaging in.  From there, there are a few options, a VIP membership option, which will allow for more discounts and a full outfit option, and a regular membership option which still allows you to shop, but at a less deep discount.  But basically, after selecting your option, you’ll receive a new set of active wear (from a wide array of bottoms, tops, bras, jackets, and all of that), and If you hate anything, or you want to skip a month you’re totally welcome, but the basic premise is that you’re paying less for active-wear that’s pretty good quality, as opposed to a $90 pair of tights, which you can easily do elsewhere (and I’ve done it!).

The stuff. 

DSC_0012

P1160278

 

DSC_0014So the pieces that I have are:

The Kingston Hoodie, which I’ve been wearing nonstop since it came in the mail a few weeks ago.  Seriously, I wore this and the tank top like 3 times to work last week with different bottoms, and wore them to my race last Sunday.

The Extension True Tank, which is kind of like a muscle tee, and seems like it would be really good for hot yoga if you don’t want to run around without a bra on.  I also wore this in my race Saturday, and it moves really really well with you, but I probably would go down in a size personally, and…

The Lima Capri, which is truly one of the most beautiful colors I’ve ever seen.  The tight is really really comfortable and warm, and I’d probably do shorter runs in this one.  This one is a little tricky in the sizing – I felt like I’m in-between the small and medium, and when I was down on the floor stretching, I felt like it was pulling in the crotch a little bit, fit that makes sense.

The verdict:  I’ll start with some improvements so that we can end on the good stuff 🙂  This seems really dumb, but the tags inside of the clothing are really stiff and crunchy, and in a piece of active wear, that’s a big no-no.  I don’t like taking scissors to my tags, because sometimes that makes it worse, so I’ve dealt, but I don’t love that aspect of the clothing.

The good stuff is very good.  The clothing comes in the most stunning colors I’ve ever seen, and the photos don’t do it justice.  The clothing is comfy and extremely easy to wear or pair with regular pieces to make it more “street-ready”  and it translates easily between activity.  I taught a Zumba class in them last week, hopped on the treadmill after and ran for a while, and was able to run a full half-marathon in the tops pictured above with ZERO chafing and that says something.  At the very least, check out Fabletics, give them or month or two, and let me know what you think about your new (and affordable) digs!

[Full disclosure:  Fabletics hooked me up with the beautiful clothing, but these opinions are 1000% my own]

 

The Christmas Creep…

My dear handsome Austin does this thing where he records the first incidence of Christmas anything in his phone, to see if Christmas is creeping up earlier year after year, like they say it is.  Generally, the phrase “Christmas creep” refers to the phenomenon that is Christmas literally creeping up earlier and earlier each year.  Sort of a marketing/consumerism thing.  As a total side note, the Christmas creep doesn’t bother me at all, I quite enjoy Christmas any time of the year.

Fun fact: This is the best x-mas album ever, and if you grew up as a black child in the states, this and the Temptations x-mas album were a main staple of any holiday.
Fun fact: This is the best x-mas album ever, and if you grew up as a black child in the states, this and the Temptations x-mas album were a main staple of any holiday season.

But when I say creep, I’m talking about the pounds.  Conventional “wisdom” used to tell us that the average adult person in the United Stated would gain anywhere from 7-10 pounds during the holiday season.  But according to the Times, that number is closer to 1 pound, which doesn’t sound so bad, except that typically, we hold on to this pound for the rest of our lves.  So for all of the holidays that we do over our adult lives, we’re supposed to just hang onto that pound?  Over 20 holiday seasons that’s 20 pounds, for those of you who aren’t too math oriented, which is well above the +/- 15 you get when you’re at your ideal weight.  Total yikes.

What can we do to avoid the creep and avoid feeling like a slob kabob after December 31st?

Tons.

    • If you overdo it, go here.
    • If you know you tend to overdo it, create a plan of attack.  Take a teeny bit of everything, and not a lot of any one thing.
    • Walk. Walk walk walk walk walk after a big meal.  It just…works.
    • Drinks.  If you indulge, stay far away from the creamy, sugary alcoholic bevvies, and stick to simple, low cal bevs.  I get made fun of all the time, but I truly think Michelob Ultra is sorta refreshing, and I love a vodka and soda with lime.
    • Dessert. SKIP IT.  (Totally kidding).  But same rule as the food.  Take a little bit, and realize there will still be more pie the next day.
    • Get some sleep! Seriously.
    • And stick to some sort of workout schedule.  It can be really nice to sneak away from family for like 40 minutes for this.  A few years ago, I took the family dog for 5 miles on Christmas.  No one really missed me, plus I didn’t get knocked too far off my workout goals.

For me, to combat the poundage, and to avoid falling off the fit wagon, I plan to do a running streak between Thanksgiving and New Years Day, similar to the one I did between Memorial Day and the 4th of July this past summer.  It’s at least a mile a day, every day, for however many consecutive days that is.  I suck at math so that’s like….34 days right?  Someone get back to me if this is wrong…

Remember our friend, Maria Kang? Maria, on #tbt

Maria was our hot mama who posted the photo on the web that created a viral firestorm.  If you missed my post on the action, click here.  I wasn’t sure that I loved her tagline, but I still am pretty impressed that she looks so great after 3 kids.  After working so hard at fitness before kids, I imagine it must be difficult to get back there after you have not one, or two, but three critters to chase around after.  It definitely makes me think twice before making an excuse to skip the sweat session.

Maria KangWell #tbt came around, and Maria posted this old photo of herself.  And I have to say it now, I’m now 100% jealous, and motivated to work a little harder.  Her “before” photo is really nothing to be ashamed of, she looks fabulous.

From her original photo, I’m still not sure I loved her tag, but kudos, our hot mom quite obviously made some steps to get where she is.  So Maria, kudos.  You were obviously a very pretty girl before, and obviously very hardworking after.  (She seems intelligent and well-spoken too, so she rocks.)

Was this Obnoxious? What do you think?

I heard about her on the radio, and I was intrigued. A mother of three, a fitness enthusiast had posted the following photo on her Facebook page. I think at the time, the youngest was 8 months, and she’s raising a total of 3 boys.

Hot

And with the photo, came the uproar.

Some of the comments were supportive.  Some of them were nasty.  She was called everything from obnoxious to inspiring.

Here’s my thought.  I don’t know if it’s obnoxious.  I’m not a mom, and I’m not sure if I’ll be one.  But I know, even in my current place in life, that something like this makes me maybe a little, teeny bit envious, but mostly inspired.  I work hard on what I have, which makes me feel pretty confident.  Could it be better?  Probably not, I’m sexy as hell.  But I digress.

I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of some of the women who called her obnoxious.  Was it the tagline at the top?  The fact that she’s perceived as being genetically gifted?

Here’s what I think.  Maybe the tagline at the top was a little much.  But, but, big ol but, I can tell she works hard, and she’s proud off what she’s got.  And that’s okay, I think.  From what she’s said, she struggled at a time with bulimia, and now has eliminated television and gets up super early (heck, I’m not a mom and I could use some help in that department) to get her workouts in, for an hour at a time.   It sounds reasonable.

You guys know, usually I have a ton of opinions on things, but I’m really just not sure here.  What do you think? 

You ever have a workout that just sticks with you?

I had one of those a few years ago.  The Tone it Up girls, Karena and Katrina, were a pair of beautifully fit trainers that were featured in Shape magazine.  They have a whole website/blog thing happening, and I find myself often looking to their beautiful photos on IG and stuff to get a little inspiration from time to time.  Anyhoo, they posted in workout in 2011 that’s stuck with me, and I share it with you, almost 3 years later.

TIU Workout

I love this workout for a couple of reasons. 1, it’s super easy to do anywhere. You can do it in a gym, but if you don’t have access, you can do it in the yard, or anywhere. 2, you can change it up to make it yours, or make it a little more challenging. Instead of doing a 5-minute jog, why not a 5-minute sprint to work on some hills or to work on some speed? Add some weights to the lunges – whatever you need to do to make it more challenging. And 3, it’s pretty quick! You can get through these in the span of an hour, maximize time, and still have time to go to work, job search, or whatever it us you’re doing.  This is the perfect workout for someone on a time crunch, (and who isn’t,) so check it out, and check out the Tone it Up girls for a little bit of inspiration.

Be kind to yourself.

Hey, I need to follow my own advice.  I’m sometimes horrible to myself, and I’m on the more confident end of the confidence spectrum.  I’d be lying if I said I don’t stand in front of the mirror and kinda turn, and assess what’s going on.  More often than not though, I wink at myself, do a little dance, and conclude that I’m pretty boss.

But at yoga last week, the sweet, kind little teacher reminded us to “be kind to yourself. Be kind to everyone you meet.”  And I was so glad she’d reminded me of that, because I can use a little help in this department.

Zumba

One evening, earlier in the week, I taught an evening Zumba class.  Two of my regulars, loyal faithfuls who keep me on track, were present, and totally ready to go.  When the blonder of the two started.

“What’s wrong with these mirrors?”

“Girl I know!”

And the whole while, I’m standing there, completely puzzled. What were these two even talking about?

“The mirrors over here! They make you look bigger.”

“I know!”

They turned to me. Shit.  What did I do?

“Except for her.  They don’t ever make her look bigger.  I been coming for over a year and I ain’t never seen her look any bigger.”

I was stunned.  Let’s do the math.  So, according to these women, the mirrors in the studio are selectively choosing folks to make look bigger?  I don’t think so.

So ladies.  And gents, really, I don’t discriminate.  Be kind to yourself.  Spend the next week choosing your words wisely.  And the very second you’re tempted to poke at your tummy, frown at your skin, or pinch your butt, say something nice instead.