Tagged with lazy girls guide

The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Health And Fitness: The Results Are In…

Lazy-Girl's-GuideBy Kate Richlin-Zack

This past weekend I competed in the INBF/WNBF Bodybuilding Competition.  I’ll just cut right to the chase … I won 1st Place in the Best Body Tall Division and 2nd Place in the Open Figure Tall Division.

What does that mean?

I got two shiny medals and a life changing experience so truthfully, the results are irrelevant.

What? How can you say that? You’re a perfectionist. A straight A student!

True. But to be completely honest, this experience has taught me more than any medal or award could possibly represent … to the point that when it came time to announce the results, I wanted to leave so that the judges’ opinions wouldn’t tarnish the joy I got out of all the preparation that came before I even stepped foot on stage. This experience has given me a whole new perspective on the world and more importantly on MYSELF.

Here’s what I learned…

Spray tans are really gross

The kind of spray tan you get for a bodybuilding competition takes spray tanning to a whole ‘nother level and trust me when I say I put Snooki’s complexion to shame this weekend. I was so dark I was unrecognizable and if I hadn’t sent my mother a photo of me all bronzed up, she would not have recognized me.

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Health And Fitness: You Can’t Just Stand There And Look Pretty

Lazy-Girl's-Guide

by Kate Richlin-Zack

I’ve been operating under the false pretense that the hardest part about competition prep would be sticking to a strict diet or working out on a daily basis. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy turning down cupcakes but it’s a lot easier than I expected… and apparently I love lifting things up and putting them down so I don’t mind hitting the gym in lieu of prime time television. But it wasn’t until I stood in a room with four other competitors during a posing class (yes, a posing class, but I’ll get to that in a minute) wearing nothing but a teeny bikini and Lucite heels that it hit me: I actually have to get on stage.

And that’s when panic set in.

The problem is, skilled athletes and trained professionals make it look easy. You look at pictures of people who are bodybuilding pros and they look so happy. So polished. So confident. And so you sign up with a personal trainer, follow a diet, enter a competition and assume, “if I follow the plan, I’ll look just like the impossibly fit women in the pictures.” And that’s true. When I’m parading around in my underwear admiring my physique from the comfort of my own home, it’s really easy to say, “I did it! Look at me! I  could crack walnuts with my ass cheeks!” But when you have to stand amongst a group of other people who have worked just as hard for walnut cracking capabilities, you realize just how difficult it is to get up on stage and attempt to make it look easy.

And that’s why you need coaches to help you prepare to be on stage. The diet and exercise is vital. But presentation is key and your stage presence (or lack thereof) can decide your fate.

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Health and Fitness: Transformations

Lazy-Girl's-Guide

By Kate Richlin-Zack

The countdown to the competition has begun! Ten weeks down and less than six weeks to go so there is absolutely no turning back now. Also, my checks to cover the entry fees have been cashed and there’s no refund. Regardless, I’m in this and I’m very excited…

But to be completely honest: I’m EXHAUSTED.

Ironically, I’ve been “slacking” when it comes to my usual Lazy Girl tendencies and haven’t had much down time in the last two and a half months. I’m fairly certain I’m in a constant state of sleep deprivation. I can’t remember the last time I was able to just do nothing and think about nothing. I just want to stop. Breathe. Eat cake. Watch the Kardashians. But I can’t. Not yet. And so I force myself to keep going. Not because I want to, but because I’m not finished.

I’ve been applying this quit-when-you’re-done mentality to every aspect of my life. Despite being tired and hungry and doubtful, I just keep going. I leave the gym when I finish my workout. I leave the dinner table when I finish my meal. I leave work when I finish my projects. I leave nothing unfinished. I can’t half ass anything. And somehow it’s easier to just go balls out on everything than it is to figure out what I can half-ass.

It’s hard to keep going when you just want to take a break but the physical transformation is proof positive that the sacrifice and sheer insanity is absolutely worth it.

Watching my body morph  over the last two months has been like a science experiment. It’s actually kind of cool. My abs made an appearance after only a few weeks of following a strict diet and exercise regimen. At first I could only see it in certain lighting or if I was flexing, and I’d be left wondering, “Do I have a six pack?”

Now there’s no doubt. I have a six pack.

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Health and Fitness: Set Backs…

 

Lazy-Girls-Guide

by Kate Richlin-Zack

I got off track last week.

I’ve been so good about sticking to my diet and counting all my “macros” (carbs, fat, protein) and planning my meals and then one afternoon, I just had to shove as much food as I possibly could into my face. I wasn’t even hungry, which makes it even more disappointing. Maybe I was back to my old self-destructive eat-the-pain-away habits, but how can I even THINK about using that excuse to justify my behavior when there is no pain to eat away in the first place? My life is awesome, so what the hell am I upset about?

Great question and the short answer is: change is hard… really hard.

Let me first explain that when it comes to my diet for the next couple months, I’m allowed to eat anything I want. Yes. Anything. My only limitations are the amount of protein, carbs, and fat (“macronutrients”) I can consume on a given day. Right now my diet is pretty consistent with the paleo diet – lean meats, lots of vegetables, limited dairy, and complex carbohydrates like whole fruits, plain oatmeal, and yams. If I wanted to, I could fulfill my daily carb quota with Fruit Roll-Ups, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and french fries but I don’t for two reasons: Continue reading

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Health And Fitness: You’re Doing What?

Lazy-Girl's-Guideby Kate Richlin-Zack

Big news, here at Lazy Girl. It’s official- I entered a fitness competition. Not quite sure what I’m talking about? Google “bikini fitness competition” and tell me those women are not seriously disciplined athletes with impressive physiques.

And in a few months, I’ll be competing against them.

Let that sink in for a moment. It hasn’t for me yet, which may or may not be a good thing.

Your favorite couch loving, pajama wearing, milkshake guzzling, pizza devouring, unabashed lazy girl is following a strict diet and working out almost daily in preparation for wearing a glitter bikini the size of an eye patch while covered in fake tanner on stage in front of lord knows how many people. “Intimidated” doesn’t even begin to describe it.

So why the hell are you doing this?
Great question… Continue reading

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Health And Fitness: The Hardest Part About Getting In Shape

Lazy-Girls-Guide

by Kate Richlin-Zack

Recently, a friend asked me, “How and when did you make the choice to be healthy, and how do you stick with it?”

It got me thinking because how I look and feel now is very different from ten years ago or even three years ago. With New Year’s Resolution running rampant these days, I think it’s the perfect time to answer her question.

Here’s the thing: deciding you want to be healthy and fit isn’t difficult. It’s easy to decide, “I want to look smokin’ hot in a bikini and I want to feel confident running around in hot pants.” Umm… join the club. We’ve got jackets. That’s not the hard part. Doing the work to get there – working out, eating healthy – also isn’t that hard. I’m not going to piss on your foot and tell you it’s raining, it’s work, but we’ve all put forth some effort at some point in our lives so doing what needs to be done isn’t all that hard either. So if making the decision is so easy and doing what needs to be done isn’t difficult, why are so many people still so unhappy with their bodies and so unsuccessful with their fitness goals?

Lack of information.

It’s impossible to get from Point A to Point B if you don’t know HOW. When was the last time, you got in the car and drove to a place you’ve never been before without using a GPS or consulting Google Maps? Exactly.

Losing weight is no different. The only thing you need to achieve a killer bod is information. And depending on where you’re looking, that information can be hard to find. You may think you have all the right information, but unless you have exactly the body you want at this very moment, you still have some learnin’ to do.
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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Health and Fitness: My Favorite Things About The Holidays

By Kate Richlin-Zack

Every other week I rattle on and on about ways to incorporate healthy choices into your lifestyle. Whether it’s tips for staying motivated, reasons you should avoid alcohol, or how to recover from a weekend warrior session, I try to keep you on track to reaching your fitness goals.

But let’s face it, sometimes you just don’t want to think about being healthy. You just want to INDULGE and with the holidays upon us, we are surrounded by temptation. Naturally there are tons of articles floating around about how make healthy choices even when you’re bombarded by office holiday parties and family get togethers. Well, in true Lazy Girl fashion, I say: screw it. Don’t worry about your diet this month. Sometimes you need to embrace your inner fat kid and give ‘em some cake. And since I’m advising all of you to throw caution to the wind when it comes to diet and exercise, this week’s column is going to be a list of my favorite things about the holiday season. You’ll note how most of them are food and the rest are  related to sleeping or lounging.

The first snowfall
I realize this has nothing to do with health or fitness, but come on! Everyone gets excited when it snows. Next time you get a light dusting, see how many of your friends Instagram a photo of the first snowfall. I love to watch from the comfort of my living room as the lights from the Menorah and Christmas tree twinkle. (We celebrated both Hanukah and Christmas growing up in my house, just to clear up any confusion). Preferably I’m wearing my footie flannel pajamas with the drop seat as I sip some egg nog or hot cocoa, which brings me to my next two favorite things about the holiday season…

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Health and Fitness: A PMS Survival Guide

By Kate Richlin-Zack

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a combination of physical and emotional symptoms including bloating, cramps, headache, and mood swings that occurs consistently during the ten days prior to the start of menstrual flow and vanishes either shortly before or shortly thereafter.  In other words, it’s what I like to call Hell Week, and that’s a drastic understatement.

In addition to the aforementioned typical symptoms, I also experience extreme fatigue, intense food cravings, insatiable hunger, unpredictable bouts of crying, and sporadic emotional meltdowns that often result in reevaluation of every major and minor life decision I’ve ever made. As I sit on the couch drowning Oreos in gallons of milk and contemplating joining the Peace Corps, it’s hard to remember these symptoms are just temporary. One Hell Week left me with a visceral hatred for my husband after he flushed my Oreos down the toilet. In retrospect, I can’t blame him. He watched in absolute horror and disgust as I shoved whole cookies, two at a time, into my mouth leaving crumbs all over my face and chest in a futile attempt to eat my fabricated pain away. He likened me to a crack fiend, so flushing the cookies down the toilet was probably a necessary intervention.

Hell Week is also the week that I know, without a doubt, my diet and exercise efforts will disappear faster than the three pepperoni pizzas I just inhaled. But even though it’s hard to stick with healthy diet and exercise habits when all I want to do is sleep and eat in alternating 12-hour shifts, avoiding junk foods, exercising consistently and following a few other simple tips may actually help me survive Hell Week relatively unscathed in the future.

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Health And Fitness: Oops, I overdid it again

By Kate Richlin-Zack

I overdid it this weekend…

It’s entirely my own fault but I was inspired to head to the gym by a dressing room trauma. My ass, one of my favorite assets (pun intended) because of its quarter bouncing capabilities, is starting to look like it belongs to a 90-year-old sedentary man instead of a 32-year-old fit and healthy young woman. Rather than perpetuating the problem by consoling myself with a stuffed crust pizza, I decided to hit the gym. Hard.

Although beasting it out with the free weights and hitting the treadmill for some Tabata intervals felt great at the time, I spent the next couple of days unable to find the flexibility and dexterity necessary to put on my shoes. Ouch.

That post-workout pain, also known as delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), is common after an intense workout and is thought to be a result of microscopic tearing of the muscle fibers. The amount of tearing depends on how hard and how long you exercise and what type of exercise you do. Basically, DOMS means you’re doing it right. If you’re exercising properly, you should be creating tiny tears in your muscles. In order to repair the tears and help prevent against new ones, your body builds muscle. Muscle growth increases your lean muscle mass which boosts your metabolism — the more lean muscle you have the more calories you burn, even when you’re sitting on your lazy ass doing nothing.

Ok great… but I’m in pain… and I’m barefoot and it’s winter. This is a problem.

Fear not, my Lazy Girls (and Guys). I have some post workout recovery tips that will help you get back into the gym ASAP. Or at least able to get your shoes on. Continue reading

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Health And Fitness: On coping with stress

By Kate Richlin-Zack

Recently, I have been very stressed out. It comes from a variety of sources. At the moment, my biggest stressor is Hurricane Sandy — she’ll have torn up the eastern seaboard by the time you read this. Suffice it to say she has been incredibly disruptive to my usual routine and my inner peace over the last few days — as I’m sure has been the same for many others. I braved the supermarket, making my way through a panicked crowd to purchase bottled water, canned goods, and three cases of wine. Hey, a girl needs to be prepared!

But besides the occasional natural disaster of epic proportions, life in general can be stressful. Everything from finances to your job (or lack-there-of) to relationships can literally make you mental. There is nothing fun about not being able to pay your bills or avoiding collection agencies. It feels like you’re 12 years old and have gotten called into the principal’s office. Dealing with unreasonable bosses who don’t have a life outside the office or petty coworkers who just want to gossip about the next round of layoffs is not how anyone wants to spend the majority of their waking hours. And when it comes to love and relationships, no matter how much you adore your significant other, at some point they’re going piss you off and/or hurt your feelings. And if you’re not currently in a relationship but want to be, that too could give you a complex wondering whether or not you’re dateable. Life is full of stress.

Turns out, all this stress is really bad for your health. BIG SURPRISE! But here are some of the gory details anyway so that you can stress out about how your current stress level is potentially ruining your life. Continue reading

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide To Health And Fitness: I Won’t Feel Guilty About My 7 Hour Nap

By Kate Richlin-Zack

I napped for seven hours on Sunday. It was thoroughly amazing.

Sure, seven hours seems a bit lengthy to still qualify as a “nap” (I mean, is there a time limit?), but I’d argue it still counts because it occurred during the day (okay, it started during the day) and I still slept through the night.

A seven hour nap is unusual, even for a lazy girl like me. I don’t even sleep that much on a typical night. Usually it’s closer to six hours per night, unless I’m catching up on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” or this week’s episode of “Homeland,” in which case it’s probably closer to three.

Not only was the duration of this nap unusual, but the fact that a nap even occurred is an anomaly. I usually avoid napping because of the extent to which I hate waking up. The worst part of my day is getting up in the morning. I’m miserable. Not once in my life have I heard my alarm go off and thought, “Yay! I get to start my day!” I hit the snooze button about 57 times and then I need two cups of coffee just to keep from walking into walls. And if I take a nap, I have to go through the waking up process all over again. So even if I’m exhausted in the middle of the day, I’ll just grab a cup of coffee (okay, it’s really a venti Americano with two shots of espresso, aka “the Black Eye” at Starbucks) and power through.

But this weekend, I decided to indulge my need for sleep and spent Sunday afternoon (and evening) drifting in and out of sleep. When I woke up around 11pm, I felt guilty. Refreshed, but guilty. I’d spent the better part of my day doing absolutely nothing. What a waste!

Maybe not. Turns out sleeping not only contributes to your overall health (and the happiness of those around you who don’t have to deal with your crankiness), but it’s also beneficial for weight loss. Who knew?

Here’s why sleep counts in this whole health and fitness equation. Continue reading

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The Lazy Girl’s Guide to Health and Fitness: The truth about losing weight

By Kate Richlin-Zack

Losing weight is not rocket science. Move more, eat less. The formula can’t get more basic than that. The problem is that it’s not always easy to do. You’re constantly surrounded by temptation. There are times I can actually hear the Burger King insisting I need a Whopper with cheese. Mmm. I’m getting hungry.

Where was I?

Oh right, losing weight.

There are things no one talks about when it comes to losing weight. Things that can derail, discourage, and surprise you. In an effort to save you some of the time that I spent learning these things the hard way as I dropped from a size 16 to a size 6, here are a few of the things that I know now and wish I’d known then…

You’re going to be hungry

If you’re used to consuming over 2000 calories of delicious, fat laden food, you’re going to notice when there’s a deficit. And that’s when Wendy suddenly becomes an irresistible Frosty-pushing siren. It’s like you’re body is protesting, “hey, I’m onto you,” in hopes that you’ll go back to your usual Twinkie diet. But if you want to lose weight, you have to accept the fact that your stomach will be growling. The only upside to watching what you eat is that it will have the biggest influence on your appearance. Skipping dessert is a lot easier than jogging for 30 minutes, in my humble opinion.

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