Here’s To You, Sexy

End of the week – it’s time to take a moment for ourselves! We’re a pretty good deal. We’re amazing women who are constantly in battle with our own bodies. That’s one heck of a hard battle sometimes. Not all of our symptoms are evidently physical but some are and we need to be brave and face them head on and embrace them as who we are – and there’s nothing wrong with that!

But here’s what I challenge you to do. We all have moments, people, and things that make us feel extra sexy. It could be anything. Think about it. Maybe it’s a particular way you do your hair, when you dress up, perhaps a hot shade of lipstick or when you cook a killer meal.

I’ll do the same – in no particular order.

My Sexy List

  1. Working out. Something about working out and feeling all my muscles working (that strength!), having that sweet sweat glow, and knowing I’m working towards a better me makes me feel really sexy.
  2. My Boyfriend. He’s amazing and understanding and makes me feel like the sexiest woman. He never makes me doubt my body or the side affects with PCOS.
  3. When My Hair is Working. When it’s a good hair day – it’s a sexy day!
  4. Pole Dancing. I pole dance. And something about being on that pole is just undeniably associated with feeling sexy.
  5. Some Lingerie. Even it’s just a really hot bra or cute panties.

SEPT - sexy body

Love your sexy!

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Your Target Heart Rate: Fat Burning Zone

Working out can be complicated. There are so many things to consider. For example:

  • Cardio vs. Weights
  • Ideal Target Heart Rate Zones
  • Weight Resistance vs. Body Resistance
  • Appropriate Weight Resistance
  • When To Workout
  • What to Workout

To name a few.

Right now I’m going to go over Target Heart Rate Zones – what’s better for us ladies with PCOS and with that touch on what sort of exercise works best for achieving our goals.

We’re going to forget about the numbers and percentages to simplify things for us a bit!SEPT - Heart Rate Zone


The Zones:

  1. Fat Burning (Lose Weight)
  2. Cardio (Improve Fitness)
  3. Peak (Maximize Performance)

We want to work within both the Fat Burning Zone and the Cardio Zone. If you’re new to exercise definitely focus more on the Fat Burning Zone in the beginning eventually working up to a combination of both. For the sake of this article we will be looking at what most are probably interested in – the Fat Burning Zone.

What Happens When We Target This Zone

When we target this zone we are working within a low-medium intensity exercise zone. It is known as the Fat Burning Zone due to the higher percentage of calories burned from fat when you’re in this zone – but keep in mind the total calories being burned in this zone is lower than if you were working within the Cardio or Peak Zones. But let’s face it: this is a zone we need to most likely spend some good time in!

How Do We Target This Zone

Lucky for us this is the easiest to target – especially if we’re not huge into working out and doing cardio or if you’re a beginner. A slight warm-up to get the blood pumping is the ideal way to start (ie. some jumping jacks, jog for 30-60 seconds, skip for 30 seconds etc.). From here exercises that use body weight or appropriate weights are great for working in this zone.

Here are some key points to know you’re working in this zone:

  1. Your heart rate is elevated but not giving you that pounding through your chest feeling
  2. Consider the difference between a jog, run, and sprint. A jog is burning fat, a full run will put you in the cardio zone, and a sprint is a way to achieve the peak zone. Think of this if you’re using weights – use weights that add resistance not weights that have you wanting to be done in 3 reps
  3. Body resistance exercises are a safe way to go (ie. your squats, planks, push ups, yoga etc.).
  4. If you’re sweating – that’s ok. Sweating doesn’t necessarily mean you’re now working in the cardio zone. In fact, aim to get a bit of a sweat going

For some more information and real numbers check out the image below:

SEPT - Target Heart Rate

Later on I’ll cover working out in the Cardio Zone.

On-The-Go Granola Bars for us Super Women

Hey Ladies! It’s that time of year again where school has begun. Whether you’re attending classes yourself, are lucky enough to have children attending  (congrats to you!) or even have your commute affected we are that much more on the go! We’re super women – never time to stop!

So I’m going to share with you a couple granola bar ideas. I’ve always loved granola bars. I feel they are easy to grab when you’re busy and can absolutely satisfy you for the time being.

Option 1 – KIND Bars

I enjoy these guys. If I’m ever just needing something that’s whole, easy, and has substance I go for this one. Sometimes when I’m about to workout or be really active but my stomach is grumbling a bit I’ll go for something like this. They have 2 different kind of bars: their normal and their healthy grains bars (which I haven’t tried). Both have many flavours. Of the normal bars I have tried and enjoy: Apple Cinnamon & Pecan and Blueberry Vanilla and Cashew. The company has multiple products and are open about their products on thSEPT - Kind Barseir site. Their products are simple with pronounceable ingredients and they advertise that they are made from whole nuts, fruits, and grains and offer nutrients such as fiber, protein and antioxidants. Check out KIND here.

Option 2 – LARABAR

I will be honest I have not tried this one. I definitely will – just haven’t yet. Again multiple products and flavours. They advertise that no bar contains over 9 ingredients, they are made of natural ingredients, vegan, contain no dairy and do not contain soy. Check out LARABAR here.

SEPT - larabar

Check these products out if granola bars are your thing! If you’re feeling like one bar at once is too much here’s an option: take a bar, cut it in quarters then equally divide them between two little snack containers (therefore each snack container contains half a bar) that way one granola bar can serve as two snacks throughout the day!

Enjoy!

Astragalus Tea

Here’s a new tea for you: Astragalus Tea. First off, love saying it. Secondly, seems no one has actually heard of it.

The Benefits

  • supports healthy blood sugar
  • improves fat metabolism
  • boosts immune function

Sounds pretty good for us, right? Our bodies need help in definitely the first two areas – the increased immune function is certainly a bonus though!

SEPT - Astragalus Tea

Check the Menu page for a recipe. You can also definitely buy tea bags at your local health store. This is the option I chose. Tastes pretty good. Just don’t over steep – something I did the first time!

How to and Where to Start Working The Core

I had fully intended on sharing images of myself performing the exercises, however was discouraged by either camera quality and/or lighting – it was likely a combination of both, regardless the pictures didn’t turn out too well. It’s something worth playing with so in the future I can post myself personally doing it with you! But that’s for another day.

That aside, there’s no reason to not share with you what I would have in my own pictures. Below are exercises great to get you started and accustomed to engaging your core – it’s not too intense and the idea is to simply target each element of the core. Later we can explore options and workout routines to amp up the intensity and really make a a full workout for your core!

My Favourite Ab Workouts

Some Key Points About Working Out

  1. Focus on technique – get it right going slow to get it right fast. Keep in mind there is nothing wrong with going slow; it forces you to be more controlled and really engage the muscles
  2. Begin with 10 repetitions of each exercise for each side (where applicable). Do this for 3 sets. Work up to either increasing your reps or increasing the weight your are using
  3. Drink water
  4. Remember to breath

Train Yourself To Like Water

We’ve all heard the age-old preaching to drink more water; drink your 2 Liters a day.
First, it’s worth mentioning this number is the commonly agreed upon amount however there are influences such as age, gender, and activity level which can sway this number.

But let’s take a look at this: Why should we? Why don’t we? How do I make myself like it?

Why Should We Drink 2L of Water a Day

  • Simply, it keeps you healthy and energized!SEPT - water02
  • Helps control your body temperature
  • Aids in digestion
  • Water is the bodies means of transporting nutrients
  • Provides a nice cushion for organs and joints
  • Rids your body of waste and regulates your bowels

Keep in mind the numerous ways our bodies lose water: sweating (which we’re all doing – right?), breathing, and getting rid of waste.

Why Don’t We Drink Water

Plain and simple it’s tasteless and sugarless – what’s to like?

How Can We Get Ourselves to Drink It and Enjoy It

I’m going to address this in three ways: 1. How to spruce up our water, 2. Make water a habit, and 3. We are going to go a little old-school psychology with this one and approach liking water with classical conditioning

  • Spruce It Up
    •  Add a slice of lemon or lime
    • It’s not bad or cheating to use low-calorie-low-sugar crystals in your drink
  • Make Water a Habit
    • Get in the habit of carrying a water bottle around with you. If you’re carrying it you will drink it. It really does work like that. Now carrying this water bottle with you isn’t going to work if you keep it in a bag all day – take it out and place it on your desk, put it in your cup holder etc.
    • Sip through the day! Whether you’re listening to a presentation, watching tv, or waiting etc….it’s a good a time to drink a little. Not thirsty? Take a sip anyways.
    • If you’re a person who likes your sports drinks after a heavy sweat balance this with some water – it can only help!
    • Use water bottles you can fill up. Get a good one. I like my darker tinged water bottle. It works for me because I am not visually aware of how much I have left when I glance at the bottle and so I just keep drinking away until I realize I need to refill it – perfectly convenient to refill too, unlike your plastic water bottles
  • Operant Conditioning
    • We’ll begin this with what it is operant conditioning: it is behaviour dictated and influenced by consequences (whether they are good or bad). An example by Big Bang Theory
    • Let’s now relate this back to our drinking water. We’ve already been over always having your water on you now learn to drink it at key points:
      Water splashing into glass

      1. After a good workout when your muscles having oxygen flowing through them and your blood is pumping – you should be feeling good right about now so drink up!
      2. Drink it with your desserts (any and meals would be most ideal)
      3. When you’re around your friends and family for a get together have water on you
    • They key is to drink water in a positive mindset. This will heighten your unconscious cognitive connotation towards water and let’s face it…a lot of things are mental! Give it a shot. The worst that can happen is you just may drink more water throughout the trial!

Drink up ladies!

Good Morning Ladies!

Good morning my PCOS ladies! I’ve always loved my mornings – definitely a morning person. So today I thought I would share with you my morning routine. I’m into a quick healthy start to the day.

SEPT - teaTea

I begin with drinking some tea – something to start the day. It used to be Green Tea until recently. Now I’m after teas more suitable for PCOS. Yesterday I had made a post about Hibiscus Tea mentioning its benefits and posted its recipe here. I’ll keep the good teas coming!

Yoga

I’ll then do a half hour of yoga. I’ve always had migraines so began the yoga routine a year or so ago as a recommended natural method to deal with them. I have found I get less migraines now – I’ll thank yoga for that. But aside from that I love how it opens up your body and gets the oxygen flowing through your muscles, gets you moving, and is great for engaging and toning even your small often ignored muscles. Keep in mind yoga for results is a long-term commitment. The good news about yoga is there are tons of free resourSEPT - yogaces available; whether you want an app on your phone or tv, videos from youtube, or something in pictures and words there is something out there for you. I personally do the Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown.

Breakfast

Now for the good part – the food! A PCOS breakfast can still be an exciting breakfast. I usually like having myself either a healthy muffin or a smoothie with a hard boiled egg (love using my egg slicer!), and some fruit or vegetables. This is a good time to get the nutrients in. Below are a couple breakfast menu ideas from The PCOS Health & Nutrition Guide. I’ll be adding the specific recipes under Menu by the end of the day.

SEPT - meals

There are ABS Under That Flab

Hey there my PCOS Ladies. We’re toned – we have abs – we have flat stomachs…under our security padding! Us women with PCOS know one of the biggest battles is our weight. Along with our amazing ability to gain the wait we also have the ability to battle through to hell to lose it. That aside, where we gain the weight is something important and worth mentioning too. Through my readings I have learned that we tend to gain and carry this extra weight in our mid section.

Good news about this – we know where to attack

Bad news about this – no one likes crunches

Some Facts About Working Your Core

  • Your core is engaged on a daily basis for even simple tasks such as walking and getting up and down
  • It’s a simple muscle group to engage periodically by contracting the muscles even while just sitting and watching tv (shhh, no one will know!)
  • Your core is an inclusive term. It includes your entire abdominal muscle group, make sure to work your obliques, and don’t forget about your back. Your core is a full 360º
  • Working out you often hear focus on one muscle group a day; therefore alternating back one day, legs another, and then arms and shoulders the next. Good news – you are free to work your abs every day! They’re an exception. Exciting news, right?

Now I’m sure learning this is just all swell but you need something now. You need a place to start because as I said before no one likes to just do crunches. So my goal is to bombard you in the next few days with exercises that will work your core. Be sure to check the Workout page for everything in one place.

In the meantime I’ll start you off with a link to 6 Easy Exercises to Strengthen Your Core by Real Simple for some different variations. And this Total Abs workout below for those still liking the classic ab workouts:

abs

A Thought About Shopping And Sizes

My birthday was a couple days ago and I got a gift card for Victoria’s Secret.

I was checking stuff out online and I find myself constantly trapped with the thought of “Oh, this is cute. I could get this. But then I’m getting it in this size. BUT if I just wait a few months and try really hard i can get it in THIS size and not try and have to shrink it.”

I swear this has been my mindset for the past couple years. I always cave and never lose. But I’ve definitely noticed the pattern of that thinking. Also noticed this tends to happen at night…that perfect time to get motivated

Ever have that thinking yourself?