There goes another excuse for skipping that run.
How many of these can you check off the list?
In case you were looking for a reason not to work out today…
We’re never taking these comfy-ass outfits off again.
How many people can say they play with sex toys during their morning meetings?
Do I look like a Kardashian yet?
In a move designed to cater for the diverse female body types of Australia, Target has announced the introduction of size 16 mannequins. They were released on Thursday, September 10 in Target’s Chadstone store, and will be placed in over 49 stores nationwide. These ‘normal’ sized dolls are an attempt to acknowledge that many women other than sizes 6-8 buy clothes, and give larger ladies a sense of body confidence not previously afforded to them.
Sounds great! What could be better than encouraging women to be proud of their bodies, whatever the shape or size?
I’ll tell you what’s better; encouraging women to eat healthily, exercise more, and not be complacent about a body that’s beyond the bounds of a healthy BMI.
I am all for average sized mannequins. If you looked up the definition of “average female body type” in the dictionary, there would be a picture of me. My shirt/dress size is a 10, my pants size is a 12, and I am 5 foot 5 and a half. However; I go to the gym regularly, I avoid sugary food, I don’t drink, and I watch my portion sizes. Why do I do this? Aside from the fact that I really, really like Zumba, I would LOVE to fit into clothes that are size 8-10, rather than 10-12.
This isn’t because I have some terrible body complex; on the contrary, I am really happy with how I look. But I know that if I kicked a couple of kilos, I would be more comfortable in more clothes, and have less trouble shopping for them. That’s it. Simple. Tiny mannequins don’t make me anxious; I will never be a size 6 as I don’t have the bone structure. However, they do motivate me to get fitter and healthier than I already am. Surely this is a good thing?
Let’s look at what Target Australia’s Managing Director, Stuart Machin, had to say. “The average customer is a size 14, so it’s baffling that the Australian retail industry still uses a standard size 8 mannequin…We want to change the way Australian retailers represent women, and we hope that these mannequins will help to start a new conversation in the fashion industry. We know how important it is to be accessible for real Australians. We’ve always tried to cater for all sizes – from introducing our petites line with our Dannii for Target range right through to the Belle Curves collection that caters for women up to size 26.”
Whoa! Back up a bit! Firstly; if the average customer is a 14, then why not have size 14 mannequins? That is usually a perfectly healthy size. I know my booty expands to a 14 around Christmas, and I’m the poster-girl for average. Secondly; what does Mr. Machin mean by “real” and “everyday” women? Last time I checked, women were trying to move past being defined by their body type. It should have nothing to do with what makes us ‘real’. Reverse body shaming, anyone?
Here’s the thing; size 16 – 26 is not a ‘body type’. I know many women who are this size and are perfectly happy, but they would be much, MUCH happier if they dropped a few pounds. Yes, some women have medical conditions/chronic injuries that unfortunately effect their fitness, but most do not. There is a temptation to get wound up in the ‘love your body’ movement, but it should not be an excuse to maintain a less than healthy lifestyle.
Love your body by keeping it as fit and healthy as you can. Size 16 mannequins may give women a better shopping experience, but they do not give us incentive to avoid the obesity crisis. True body confidence comes with a healthy lifestyle and a healthy mind. Remember; the two are not mutually exclusive.
Thighs, bums, hips, boobs and bellies – cellulite has a tendency of popping up all over the place. Much to our dismay, around 90 per cent of women, and virtually no men, have cellulite somewhere on their body. So ladies, you’re in good company!
Unfortunately there’s no quick fix and as much as cosmetic companies would like us to believe – short of going under the knife – getting rid of cellulite isn’t as easy as a trip to the chemist.
Cellulite is formed by fat cells found underneath the top layer of skin that have meshed their way in between the connective tissue, or collagen, that attaches your muscle to your skin. Sadly for us, the structure of our connective tissue is different to mens, hence why we’re so susceptible to cellulite and they’re not.
In other news, dermatologists believe that genetic factors can exacerbate the look of cellulite (thanks a lot mum and dad), so unfortunately cellulite is more noticeable on some of us. The good news is, you’re not alone and you’re certainly not doomed to be sporting a cellulite infused ass for the rest of your life. Here’s how to get rid of cellulite for good!
Exercise, exercise, exercise!
You can firm your butt and smooth your thighs in less than an hour a day with these quick and easy exercises that will banish your cellulite for good.
Walk it off
Brisk, daily walks are not only great for your health, it also helps to slim down your thighs and firm the skin around cellulite prone areas. Alternate your pace between fast and slow to get the most of your workout.
Work it off
Thigh raise: Lying face down, raise your legs —from just above your knees — so your feet are a few inches off the ground. Bend your knees, keeping them off the ground, and hold that position. Start with five seconds and gradually work up to 15 seconds. Slowly unbend your knees and, with control, lower your straight legs to the ground, then repeat.
Thigh chair: Stand about a foot away from a wall with your feet straight ahead. Slide your body down the wall, until you are sitting with your thighs perpendicular to the surface. Hold this position for between 30 seconds and two minutes.
Sumo squats: Stand with your legs a little further than shoulder width apart and face your toes outwards. Slowly lower your lower body, keeping your back straight, and pushing your butt out as though there is an invisible chair beneath your bum. Hold this squatting position for 10 seconds then repeat 15-20 times. That’s one rep, repeat this three-four times.
You can try spending a lot of money on skin firming products that promise to get rid of your cellulite, and while they will make your skin supple and smooth, it won’t visibly reduce the appearance, or actually get rid of your cellulite. Exercise is the one sure-fire way to ensure you become confident in your own skin.
Image via Womens health
Diet, exercise and most importantly lack of free time are all big time contributors that could keep you from having that flat tummy. Although is it impossible to achieve? Belly fat comes down to eating right and exercise, plus our four tips on how to beat the fat for good. Belly fat can take on one of two forms. Subcutaneous fat which is visibly the external roll of skin that you can grab with your hands. Whereas visceral fat is found within your abdomen, and can often be wrapped around your organs.
Abdominal workouts are great for toning up any unwanted belly fat. Mostly lunges, sit ups, push ups and especially the plank are great ways to slowly tone your tummy without physically exerting yourself. Regular exercise and a healthy diet can transform your belly before you know it. Looking to burn some extra kilojoules? Try bikram yoga, where not only will the postures help you stretch and tone every muscle in your body, but the heat makes you sweat out those bad toxins in the system.
Change your diet
Eating fatty foods regularly won’t give you a flat tummy. Try to limit these types of meals instead as treats, and give your body some much needed nutrients instead. Foods like almonds, eggs and avocado are just a few suggestions that are packed with protein and essential fatty acids which will keep you full, instead of constantly snacking throughout the day. Drinking green tea is also a great way to end your meal, as it has plenty of antioxidants and works to quicken the metabolism and the way food is digested.
If you’re prone to belly bloating, this could possibly be caused by wheat allergies or lactose intolerance. Rather than self diagnosing, your local GP will run some tests that could confirm your suspicions. Dairy is the most common food allergy, and if you suffer from it, try to cut down on cheese and yoghurt and see if you notice a difference in your belly.
Don’t skip breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, since it is the first time in over eight hours that the body receives any vitamins or minerals overnight. By skipping breakfast and going straight into lunch, you’re more likely to snack on fatty foods throughout the remainder of the day. Eating a breakfast packed with protein is a fantastic since they keep you full until the next meal. Eating meals every few hours is sure to keep your body sustained and your metabolism at it’s best.
Image Source via Shutterstock
Stubborn fat, also known as visceral fat or stomach fat, can be a nightmare to get rid of. It surrounds your vital organs and tends to store around the mid-section, creating what most women refer to as “love handles.” What’s more, too much weight around the waistline can lead to all sorts of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes – and let’s face it, makes some of us shy away from getting into a bikini during summer.
This is something doctor Joanne Turner and her team at Skin Revision counsel people about every day. Therefore, ladies, she has provided us with 5 simple tips for combating stomach fat so you can breeze into the warmer weather feeling healthy.
- Eat a high protein breakfast
Breakfast is one of the most important meals of the day. It breaks our fast from the night before and provides us with the nutrients and stamina we need to start the morning. If you’re seriously looking to drop those extra kilos, eating a bowl of cereal upon rising isn’t going to cut it. Sorry, ladies.
Instead, opt for a high protein meal which includes grains, says Jo. “I recommend pulses and legumes,” she says. “They are ultra low-GI and contain insoluble fibre that keeps tummy bacteria happy to promote weight-loss.”
- Drink 2 litres of water a day
Did you know that for every 500ml of water you drink, your metabolism is increased by 30 per cent? Yep, according to doctor Turner, “drinking 2 litres of water a day will make you feel fuller and help you cut down on snacks.” If that’s not an incentive to gulp down more of that h20, then we don’t know what is!
- Substitute bottled sauces
Most dressings, sauces and canned vegetables come packed full of preservatives and often have a large amount of unsuspected sugar lurking in them. High Fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a popular sweetener among these types of foods, says Jo, and is also “terrible for someone trying to lose stubborn visceral weight.”
So, what’s a girl to do? “I recommend substituting bottled dressings and marinades for a fermented food such as kimchi, sauerkraut or cider vinegar,” she insists. Not only will this “decrease sugar cravings,” but it will also “boost weight loss.”
- ‘Vanquish’ stubborn fat
If you feel like diet and exercise isn’t giving you the quick results you want, Vanquish is a brand new body sculpting treatment in Australia that specifically targets that hard to budge fat. According to Jo, it’s is a non-invasive, pain free treatment which uses radio-frequency to take centimetres off love handles and stubborn tummy areas. In four treatments, “patients often lose between 6cm and 13cm from their abdomen,” she insists.
- Add cinnamon to your tea or coffee
You know that 2 teaspoons of sugar that you add to your morning latte? Ditch it, because it’s quite possibly the reason you’re finding it hard to lose those last few kilos. “If you take sugar with your tea or coffee, try substituting sugar for small doses of cinnamon,” recommends Jo. “It will lower your blood sugar and make visceral weight loss easier.”
Why? According to experts, if we eat more sugar than we need in our daily diet, we will store the excess energy supplies as fat. So, if you don’t like cinnamon and can’t bare the thought of going cold turkey, slowly cut your sugar intake down. Start by opting for one teaspoon, then make your way to half a teaspoon, before completely eliminating the nasty stuff altogether!
Image via Shutterstock