Okay, so we’re 10 days into 2019, and I know you already have your health, relationship, and career goals all set for the year (and realistically, have probably already broken all of them.) But, I bet you haven’t set (or broken) any fashion-specific resolutions for 2019 yet. Fashion resolutions aren’t just good for your closet, they’re good for your entire well-being as a person just trying to exist in 2019. For example, it will totally benefit your financial and mental health to buy a trendy fannypack from Zara for $50 rather than a $600 logo one from Gucci. And like, not only does that save you finance-induced mental stress, but like, with all that money saved you could even treat yourself to a Groupon massage or something.
1. Don’t Buy Shoes You Can’t Walk In
You need to stop wasting your money on shoes you’re never going to wear. I don’t care how pretty they are, if you’re never going to actually wear them, DON’T BUY THEM. And don’t you dare try to tell me how good they’ll look in your closet. Unless you’re like, Lisa Vanderpump and your closet is a legit museum, you don’t need “pretty shoes” for your two-feet-wide apartment closet.
2. Don’t Waste Your Money On Trendy Designer Pieces
Another area where you need to stop wasting your precious money is buying trendy designer pieces. Look, I’m not saying you have to refrain from buying designer pieces entirely, just avoid “trendy” ones. For example, refrain from buying the Balenciaga “dad sneaker” and instead, use that money for a classic and timeless pair of YSL boots. Both purchases will bring you the dopamine rush you crave that comes from buying something new and fancy, but one will leave you disgusted with yourself a year from now when it’s practically worthless.
3. Invest In Transition Day-To-Night Pieces
For 2019, focus on buying more pieces that can appropriately transition from day to night. Look, if you’re not in college anymore, then there’s really no reason for having thotty bodycon American Apparel dresses in your closet that are reserved specifically for “going out.” Instead, try to purchase pieces that don’t need to be placed in a designated “going out” drawer. For example, get yourself a cute embellished tank that would look great under a blazer for work, or with leather pants for the weekend. Not to make assumptions, but I don’t think you could really make the bodycon dress work for the office, even under a blazer.
4. Embrace Your Body As It Is Right Now
We all have pieces in our closet that we’re saving for when we’re five pounds lighter, or for when our arms are officially “skinny enough” to see the light of day. But for 2019, let’s agree to stop torturing ourselves with these self-inflicted rules! Buy things now, to wear them now because, chances are, by the time you eventually get to your version of “good enough” you’ll be so over that piece anyways. You’re going to want to go treat yourself to something new, which is totally fair.
5. Eliminate The “Chair” Pile
Everyone has the infamous “chair” in their room where half-worn or tried-on-but-didn’t-wear clothes go to die. Basically, this pile becomes so big with half-worn stuff that your closet and dressers are practically empty. Instead, we need to get in the habit of putting away our sh*t before it piles up. Just because you wore the jeans for a few hours doesn’t mean that they can’t go back in your drawer with your other clean jeans. Like, just because you put them in your drawer doesn’t mean you’re going to instantly forget that they’re not 100% clean. You’re not 80 years old with dementia and, if you are, and are somehow reading this, please comment below. I have a lot more questions for you.
Fashion resolutions may seem trivial to non-shopaholics, but trust me, they’ll be beneficial to each and every one of us. Honestly, just getting that atrocious American Apparel bodycon out of your closet is enough reason to embrace these resolutions.
Images: @tamarabellis / Unsplash; Giphy (2)
You tried the paleo diet and ate like a caveman. You consumed all the fatty things on the keto trend. You even hopped on the vegetarian bandwagon until you caved for a chicken nugget. But no matter what you do or what fad diet you follow, you just can’t seem to lose weight. WTF is the deal? Dieting is different for everyone, so there could be any number of reasons that you’re stuck. Here are some of the possible explanations for why your diet isn’t working the way you want it to.
1. You’re Eating The Wrong Amount Of Calories
Whether you’re eating 1,000 or 3,000 or the recommended 2,000-2,500 calories a day, you aren’t consuming the right amount of calories to shrink your personal temple. It can be really tricky to find the right balance, but don’t be afraid to make some changes. Try playing around with your daily calorie count and see how it impacts both the way you feel and the number on the scale.
2. You’re Not Burning Your Calories Off
Maybe you ARE eating the right amount of calories for your body. Maybe you’re just not burning them off! A good, healthy diet will only do so much when it comes to losing weight. I hate to say it, but at some point you’re going to have to hit the gym. There’s just no way around it. Combine a proper diet plan with regular exercise and watch those tough-to-lose LBs melt right off.
3. You’re Eating At The Wrong Times
I’m not saying you should immediately start intermittent fasting, but restricting yourself to eating at or between certain times of the day is proven to jumpstart your metabolism and keep it burning at its best. Don’t eat directly before bed. If you’re not hungry in the morning, wait to eat breakfast. Try setting scheduled eating windows, so your body has time to digest the food you’ve already put into it before throwing more in there.
4. You’re Skipping Meals
STOP. STARVING. YOURSELF. Not eating will put your body into starvation mode. This will not make you lose weight. And the weight that you DO “lose” will not be true weight loss, so you won’t be able to keep it off, and you risk damaging your body in the process. Of course, eating less calories or cutting out certain foods can be exactly what you need, but that doesn’t mean skipping food altogether.
5. You’re Eating The Wrong Types Of Food
Let’s take a trip down memory lane and revisit high school health class, only this time I’m your awkward teacher and we ain’t talking puberty. Everyone’s body is different! That means what someone else puts into theirs may not be what’s right for yours. Your BFF may have lost 10 pounds after eating cheese quesadillas for a week straight, but milk products could actually be bloating you and keeping you from losing weight. Conduct some personal food testing (or see a nutritionist if you’re fancy) to find out what foods work best for your body, speed up your metabolism, and make you feel good. Also consider your personal genetics and figure out if there are common problem foods for people of your background.
At the end of the day, the most important factor as to whether or not your diet is working is how you feel–not what the scale says (f*ck scales anyway). Eat the foods that make you feel good and give you the energy you need in order to take on the day like the beautiful bad betch you are.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (3)
Guys, I don’t know if you knew this about me, but I am the reigning queen of organization. I am also the queen of Halloween, but that isn’t super relevant this time of year (sad). I am so good at organizing and being on top of sh*t that I have probably wasted a third of my life organizing and trying to be more efficient. But like, the other two thirds are going super well because of it. Probably. Well like, it probably will eventually. Since the year is almost over, it’s truly time to get your sh*t together and start next year off at maximum efficiency. Here is everything you need to get right now to be a boss betch next year:
Erin Condren LIFEPLANNER
I can’t even begin to explain how many minutes of my life I’ve probably wasted on my Erin Condren planner. It’s color-coded, stickered, and every hour is documented. While you may argue that this is inefficient, I get everything done and forget nothing. It’s a total necessity, especially if you do a lot of different jobs and need to be super organized. #freelancelife. Get a cute planner you’ll actually like filling out to help you stay on track and reach your goals for the year. Erin Condren planners are so cute, have everything you could ever think of, and have three different layout choices (I prefer hourly). They also have really cute teacher lesson planners that make me want to be teacher just so I can use it. Except that I hate children, oops.
My life would fall to pieces without Evernote. I use it so much that I just hit over 2,400 notes in it (organized in 30 different notebooks and two notebook stacks). If you really want to have your sh*t together this year, put your entire life into this app. It syncs every time you update it, so you can use it on your laptop and then find any info on your phone. I use mine for literally everything: meal planning, recipes, to do lists, outfit ideas, art inspiration, writing, important documents, things I want to buy, packing lists, etc. It’s so nice to have everything you could ever need synced in one place. Like, if I’m at the grocery store and I forgot to write down an ingredient amount, I just check the recipe from my Cookbook Notebook. If I need my dog’s vaccination records for day care, it’s in her Notebook. If I know a client gave me notes on a specific thing but I can’t find that email, it’s in my Work notebook, where I consolidated all the client’s emails in one note under their name. It’s THE BEST.
Part of the reason I’m scarily organized is because I am dangerously forgetful. If I fail to write it down in my planner, Evernote, and phone, I will not do it. I usually make lists in Evernote for things I need to bring with me so I don’t forget something, but with Adero, this process just got a whole lot easier. Adero is an app that comes with smart tags that keep track of everything in your bag so that you never again forget your laptop charger. It is genius. You just stick the Bluetooth-enabled tags on everything you have to have and the app will tell you if something is missing. You also save time by not having to take everything out of your bag to make sure your headphones are in there (somewhere). Buy the system once and never forget anything again.
When’s Happy Hour?
Make it a point over the holidays to read our latest book, When’s Happy Hour?, so you can hit the ground running next year. This is also the perfect book to avoid speaking to your annoying family members with. Like hi? I’m busy trying to make my life happen, thanks. Reading this book is Step 1 in your plan of world domination and will teach you how to be the Miranda Priestly of your dreams. If you want to make more money, become your own boss, become someone else’s boss, and get sh*t done, here is your new bible.
This year, I’m going to learn piano, learn Spanish, and lose 15 lbs. These were my goals for last year and I did none of them and gained 3 lbs. So really, I guess now I have to lose 18 lbs. But whatever. I’m making more of an effort to stay organized and change my habits and get rid of some bad ones (bye Taco Bell, I’ll still love you forever!). When trying to break or instill a habit, you really need to be consistent. So I don’t spend the entire year saying I’ll do my Duolingo lesson “tomorrow” again, I’m going to be utilizing a habit tracker to keep me accountable. Buy a cute one so that you feel super pleased with yourself when all the little colored boxes line up and enjoy your new life as a bilingual, musically talented, fit boss betch.
How do you stay organized and live your best life? Please leave all your best suggestions in the comments, because we can all use a little inspiration.
Images: Erin Condren (2); Adero; Betches
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been personally victimized at the start of a new year by your own ambitions. You know, those resolutions you’ve set for yourself saying you’re going to cut back on ordering from UberEats, slow down on the booze, or finally start using your gym membership? (Same, same.) While those resolutions tend to be forgotten by February (or like… the second week of January), I’ve rounded up some not-so annoying beauty resolutions that are pretty easy to stick to in the new year. Your hair and skin will thank you, and then you’ll thank me, so it works out for everyone.
Finally, beauty resolutions that will make you like, really pretty (and healthy), and don’t require working out every day or cutting
daily weekly happy hours out of your schedule.
1. Remove Your Makeup Every Night Before Bed
… Yes, even when you’re drunk. I know, the last thing you want to do when you get in from a long day (or long night) is remove your makeup before you lay down for your beauty rest, but the truth is you really should. You see, your makeup can trap dirt and toxic environmental pollutants and lead to a number of concerns like clogged pores, acne, dry skin, and the degradation of collagen (which eventually leads to premature aging). Just do it, ok? You know what’ll make it a hell of a lot easier to stick to? Makeup wipes.
For wipes that will take off all of your makeup (yes, even pesky mascara), no face wash or sink needed, grab La Roche-Posay’s Effaclar Cleansing Towelettes and take “lazy but efficient” to the next level. You can even use them while you’re in bed if you’re willing to be that
La Roche-Posay Effaclar Clarifying Oil-Free Cleansing Towelettes
2. Use A Mask Multiple Times A Week
If you’re super lazy, adding another step to your beauty routine may seem like an impossible task. But let me tell you, I swear there is plenty of time for them and they will do wonders for your hair and skin. First off, as far as hair masks go, there are plenty of masks that you can massage into your locks overnight and wash them out in the morning. For face masks, opt for one that targets your main skin concerns. Plaster it on while you’re binge-watching Netflix, in the morning when you’re checking all of your social media platforms before you get out of bed, or while you’re waiting for your shower to warm up. The key is to use it 2-3 times a week. That way, you’re actively addressing your skin issues but you’re not over-using it so it won’t dry out or otherwise irritate your skin.
Lab to Beauty’s The Green Cure Mask contains matcha, french green clay, lavender, and the ever-trendy CBD oil to detoxify the skin, calm redness, and revitalize for a healthy, glowing complexion.
Lab To Beauty The Green Cure Mask
On wet hair, apply this overnight hair mask to calm frizz, provide nourishment and just make your strands smell so much better. Just be sure to rinse out in the morning and then style as usual.
Matrix Biolage 3-Butter Control System Overnight Mask, $25
3. Stop Self-Medicating With Sex And Alcohol
So this one is a little more for your brain and emotional well-being. But regardless, if your anxiety is at an all-time high, your skin is freaking out, your bank account is drained, and you’ve been ghosted by too many f*ckboys to keep track of in 2018 (I swear, I’m not writing an autobiography here), odds are you should probably stop self-medicating by getting drunk and hooking up with even more f*ckboys. Instead, clear your head, ease your anxieties, and get focused using natural supplements. These vitamins contain mood-enhancing ingredients like organic St. John’s wort, organic gingko leaf, vitamin B6, and GABA. They literally just lighten your mood and clear your thoughts to help you focus and get back on track (whatever track that is).
Love Wellness Mood Pills, $18.74
4. Drink Your Collagen
Ingestible collagen became like, really trendy in 2018—and for good reason. It works from the inside out for a more effective outcome compared to topical collagen products. And in case you weren’t aware, your collagen production begins to slow down in your mid to late 20’s. So odds are, if you’re reading this and you’d like to maintain a smooth, youthful complexion, then start chugging collagen every morning ASAP. Skinade is part of my daily morning routine, and not only does it taste good, but I honestly notice such a difference in my skin. The peach and mangosteen drink combats the signs of aging by preventing the breakdown of collagen and improving moisture and hydration. Basically? Your skin will appear smooth, supple (ew but true), and hydrated in less than 30 days.
Skinade 30-Day Pack
5. Get Into A Consistent Skincare Routine
I’m sure you’ve heard all sorts of conflicting things about what your skincare routine should and shouldn’t include. Let me put it plainly for you: getting into any consistent routine should help keep your skin issues at bay. What I’m trying to say is, do you keep randomly trying all sorts of different products and you keep experiencing breakouts? If the answer is yes, then consistency is key. Try getting into a routine using the same products and the same steps everyday and watch as your skin beings to glow. My recommendation? Try cleansing, using a serum, and then a moisturizer every morning and every night.
6. Stay Out Of The Sun And Start Using SPF
In case you still hit the tanning beds or go into the sun without SPF on your face, I’m not going to flat-out tell you to stop because well, I used to be the same way. But what I will tell you is that UV rays really do f*ck with the texture of your skin, especially as you enter your late twenties when your collagen naturally starts to deplete. Protect your face in the sun. And if you’re anything like me and crave a bronze glow, try a self-tanner for your face. If you want an effective SPF that doesn’t just protect but also moisturizes and feels good on your skin, Glossier’s invisible shield doesn’t disappoint.
Glossier Invisible Shield SPF 35
But when you still need that glow so that you don’t look absurdly pale, sickly, and all around ghost-like, Tan-Luxe’s The Face Self Tan Drops can be dropped in with your daily facial moisturizer and then develop in two to four hours for an amazing bronzy glow. Just remember, though, just like with any other self tanner, you’re going to want to stay away from getting your face wet while the color develops (aka no bathing, swimming, sweating, pouring champagne in your mouth/all over your face, etc.)
Tan-Luxe The Face Illuminating Self Tan Drops
7. Use Sulfate-Free Shampoos And Conditioners
Sulfates in your shampoos can cause build-up, strip your color (if you have color-treated hair), and basically make it gross, dry, brittle, and hard to style. Sulfates are the chemicals that we associate with a rich, foamy lather, but guess what: You don’t actually need that sh*t for shampoo to work. Take my word for it and opt for a sulfate-free option.
SheaMoisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate Repair Shampoo & Conditioner
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.
Header photo by kevin laminto on Unsplash
Every year, on December 31, just before the clock strikes midnight and you’re preparing to chug a bottle of champagne, you vow that this is the year you finally get in shape. Never mind that you’ll probably wake up tomorrow and completely forget WTF happened on NYE, let alone say “no” to that leftover Chinese take-out in your fridge. I know, because like, me too. Diet starts in 2019, amiright? But for those of you who believe that eighth time’s a charm, here are some fitness apps to help you get that New Year’s body. It’s time to use your phone for something other than cyber-stalking your ex and his new girlfriend.
Sworkit hit it big on Shark Tank when Mark Cuban invested $1.5 million in the company. At one point the app was free, but now they’re charging $29.99 a quarter or $79.99 a year. They may sound like greedy f*cks, but they’re actually the cheapest option of the paid apps on this list. Sworkit has a bunch of fans, averaging an impressive five stars on the App Store. With the price you pay, you get access to a trainer who can answer all your burning fitness questions. That’s kinda cool if you’re lonely and bored of bugging Siri or the personal trainer you’re hooking up with. Also, Sworkit utilizes only bodyweight moves (no equipment) so you can literally do their workouts anywhere. That means if you’re looking for an app to use in the gym, you have better options. In order to utilize all the equipment, keep reading.
MoveWith is like having a personal fitness class right on your phone. A lot of the most popular trainers from boutique studios around the country are coaches on this app. Basically, you get a similar workout for a fraction of the price and in the comfort of your own home or gym. The workouts range from yoga to HIIT to weightlifting to guided meditation. They even have life talks, so clearly the variety is insane. You can choose which body parts you feel like working on, and the amount of time you have to work out. The trainers’ voiceovers also make it sound like they’re right there with you, yelling in your ear. Very realistic and motivating for those of us who need to feel a little fear to get moving. Depending on the class you choose, you might need some gym equipment. This app isn’t free, though, and will cost you $12.99/month or $95.99/year.
DailyBurn is not good for commitment-phobes. Instead of starting a workout, the app makes you start programs that last 8 weeks *nervous laughter*. I’m here for a good time, not a long time. But for those of you who need that kind of structure, this app is for you. Each program also comes with its own nutrition guidelines and meal plan to make sure you really see the results. The thought of all this commitment and cooking is giving me hives, low-key, so let’s wrap this up. Once again, this app is not free and will cost you $19.95/month.
4. Nike Training Club
Finally, a free app. Thanks, Nike! Although, I really do spend way too much money on your shoes anyway. I’ll consider this just a mild favor from you to me. This app allows you to pick individual workouts or set a plan that is tailored to your goals. You can choose if you want to do no equipment or full equipment workouts. All that is cool and whatever, but the main reason I am downloading this app is because it lets you workout alongside side Nike sponsored athletes. That means celebrities like Serena Williams, Kevin Hart, Michael B. Jordan, and Cristiano Ronaldo will be sweating it out with you. This is like the ultimate workout porn. If self-love can’t get me to exercise, then the thought of Michael B. Jordan’s abs f*cking can.
Do I know how to pronounce the name of this app? No. Do I use it? Semi-regularly. My ex-boyfriend introduced me to Jefit, and to this day I maintain that it is the only positive thing to come out of that year-long nightmare. But I’ll save the details for my therapist. If you want to tone up but are too afraid to venture into the weight machines section of the gym, Jefit is the app for you. You can search basically any machine in existence and it will explain how to use it with written instructions and an accompanying gif. It also does the same for many free weight exercises, if you’ve ever wanted, for instance, to learn how to do a barbell deadlift without breaking your lower back. It also has preset workouts for each muscle group (think abs day, chest and triceps day, etc.). And the best part: it’s free. Download Jefit and you just might be posting memes about “when you skip leg day” in no time. Change your name to Tyler, effective immediately.
Okay, MyFitnessPal is so popular that I had to include it on the list, but this app’s main function isn’t even really about exercise. It is a virtual food diary so you can stay on top of your intake. If you purchase the premium version, you can also add in your exercise so that it can calculate your expenditure. The forums and message boards give you that community feel if you’re into chatting with random strangers on the internet (and honestly… strangers on the forum board are way quicker to congratulate you on losing two pounds than your bestie over there putting out wine and a cheese plates). There are no exercises or workout plans for you here, though, so maybe use this with another one of the apps above to really stay on top of things.
Images: Nathan Cowley/Pexels; Giphy (2)
91 percent of Americans give up on their New Year’s resolutions, and I’m guessing they just got bored on the treadmill and decided to call it a day. Working out is boring, obviously. Every online fitness article shows us the same squat challenges and stupid 10-minute ab routines, but like, how many times can we keep working the same muscles? It’s repetitive and annoying, and it’s time we start working the muscles that we’re not always told to care about on Instagram. Before you dismiss these muscle groups because you’re “scared of machines” or “don’t wanna get bulky,” listen to why you should definitely pay attention to them. I mean, you can do burpees and sit-ups forever, but don’t complain when you completely plateau and start Googling Gigi Hadid’s workout routine. Here’s a breakdown of the muscles you should stop neglecting, and what exercises you should start doing for each one.
What Are They?
Your deltoid muscles are basically your shoulder muscles, and there are different parts to the muscle, but the two you should care about are the front delts and the lateral delts. You might be scared that by working your shoulder muscles you’ll bulk up like a football player, but realistically, that’s not gonna happen unless you’re literally lifting your bodyweight and consuming a shit ton of protein. Toning your shoulder muscles will make your whole arm look more defined and just so much better, and the most ideal way is to work the front of the muscle and the side of it in one workout to tone every angle.
What Exercise Should I Do?
The Lateral Raise to Front Raise. Choose two dumbbells that are lighter than what you’d usually pick up. Your shoulder muscles are strong, but the side and front parts of the muscle can usually only handle very light weight, so think anywhere between three and eight pounds—maybe 10 if you do these regularly. Standing up while holding a dumbbell in each hand and your elbows slightly bent, raise the weights directly in front of you, bringing them to shoulder height with your arms extended. Then, lower them back down, and raise them again, this time laterally to the sides of your body. It should reach shoulder height again, but they’re raised out to the sides instead of in front of you. You can even add in a lunge if you want to make this a total body move. Aim for 10 reps total, then rest for a minute and do another 10.
2. Lat Muscles
What are they?
The biggest muscle in your back is called the Latissimus Dorsi, and it basically gives your whole torso its shape. It’s technically the muscle that makes up your upper back, which you’ve probably never even thought about. When you work your upper back, you’re strengthening the muscles all around your core and back, which will actually help your back get stronger, your posture get better, and your waist look smaller. You’ve neglected this muscle till now, but it’s never too late to start sculpting a sexy back.
What Exercise Should I Do?
Lat Pulldowns. Find the lat pull-down bar at your gym. You’ve probably passed this in fear a million times, but it’s really not that scary, so it’s time to use it. Start by choosing a light weight, and then add weight as you get the hang of it. The idea is to put your hands on both sides of the pull-down bar, sit down on the seat facing the machine, and pull the bar down, squeezing the muscles under your armpits and around your upper back to bring the weights down. If you feel like you’re using your shoulders too much, think about keeping your shoulders as far away from your ears as possible. You’re using your arms, but the strength should be coming from your back, so it’s super important to think about the muscle here.
3. Lower Ab Muscles
What are they?
If you spend your time in the gym doing planks, crunches, and twists, you’re doing really good work for the top of your abs and your obliques, but most people tend to neglect the lower muscles in their abs because they’re the hardest to hit. Most people’s bodies tend to store fat in this region, so it can be hard to picture what I’m even talking about, but think about that V-shape at the bottom of Zac Efron’s abs. Those are the lower abs.
What Exercise Should I Do?
Lying Leg Raises. Start by lying on your back with your hands under your low back/the top of your butt. This will help protect your lower back from getting injured. Then, lift your legs off the ground, keeping them as straight as possible as you bring them up to 90 degrees. Then, SLOWLY lower them back down to the ground. These are meant to be done slowly and carefully, so if you find yourself kicking around and screwing up your form, slow the hell down. Also, a lot of people tend to hold their breath when doing this exercise, but don’t. Inhale as you lift your legs up, and exhale as you lower. Your breathing makes a huge difference here, so don’t forget about that part.
What are they?
Your hamstring muscles are located on the back of your legs, right under your butt and above your knees. People neglect their hamstrings because we’re so into squats and booty donkey kicks, but by strengthening your hamstrings, you’ll actually help tone your butt at the same time. Plus, if you’re into spinning, you’ll get SO much better at it by strengthening your hamstrings. Like, your FlyWheel score will literally double.
What Exercise Should I Do?
Swiss Ball Hamstring Curls. This exercise is based on using a swiss ball or stability ball, but if your gym doesn’t have one, this can also work using TRX bands or the rowing machine. Begin on the floor by lying on your back with your feet up on top of the ball. You want your ankles to be on top of the ball when your legs are fully extended. Raise your hips off the ground, keeping your weight in your shoulders and your feet. Then, flex your knees, pulling the ball inward toward your body while squeezing the backs of your legs. Once the ball is “curled” inward, straighten out your legs again, rolling it outwards. Do 10 reps, then take a quick break and do another 10.
5. Inner Core Muscles
What are they?
Let’s clear something up. There’s a difference between your ab muscles and your core muscles. You can do a thousand unweighted sit-ups everyday, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re strengthening your core. Your pelvic floor, for example, is part of your inner core, and it’s important to strengthen these inner muscles—not only to make us better at planking, but also to pretend our internal organs and actually have better control over our bladder. Most women don’t even know about these muscles, but they’re super important, especially if you plan on giving birth at some point in your life.
What Exercise Should I Do?
Oppose Arm and Leg Raises. Aside from your gyno-prescribed kegels, it’s important to work on core stability to work these inner muscles, and working opposite sides of your body at once is the best way to challenge your core. Starting on your hands and knees, lift your right arm out in front of you and your left leg out behind you. Hold for five seconds, and then return to starting position, preparing to do the same on the other side. Try doing five reps on each side and remember to keep your core tight the entire time.
6. Back Extensor Muscles
What are they?
These muscles make up your lower back, and if you’re used to doing ab workouts, squats, deadlifts, or even spinning, you’ve probably had some pain in your lower back at one point or another. This is because these muscles are easily injured if you don’t warm up before exercising. Your extensor muscles are connected to your spine and to your glute muscles, and you’ll find that once you get stronger in your lower back region, picking things up and other regular activities will actually get easier.
What Exercise Should I Do?
Hyperextensions. Most gyms have a specific bench that these are performed on, but any regular bench will do the trick if you’re limited. Lie down with your stomach on the bench and your head facing the floor. If you’re on the hyperextension bench, put your feet under the ankle pads. With your body straight, put your arms behind your head or crossed on your chest and bend slowly forward at the waist while keeping your back flat. Then, slowly raise your torso back to your starting position, and remember not to round your spine or swing your torso. If you’re advanced, hold a weighted plate at your chest for extra resistance. Either way, remember to go slow and take your time on your way down and up.
Images: Geert Pieters / Unsplash. Giphy (5)
It’s a new year, which means I am going to be writing dates wrong on emails for at least a month, and everyone is setting lofty and entirely unattainable goals for themselves. Oh, and the gym is crowded (go home, resolutioners—that is my elliptical). I honestly don’t really get the whole “New Year’s resolution” thing, and I have never, NEVER said the words “new year, new me,” but I do loudly and drunkenly shout “this will be the best year ever!” every December 31st. So I suppose that’s almost the same thing. But just like it never really is the best year ever, no one ever really keeps their New Year’s resolutions.
So maybe we should give something else a try this year. When setting resolutions this year, let’s just stop being so ambitious and instead remember that we are lazy-ass bitches. Because imho, it’s better to shoot low and win then to shoot high and fail miserably.
Need concrete examples? Then you should really
aim low read our list of unrealistic resolutions and their practical alternatives below. Because maybe this is the year we will actually do shit. Probably not, but maybe.
1. Lose Weight
First of all—love yourself. Second of all, this is almost everyone’s life goal always, so it seems arbitrary to focus on it only on the first of the year. Instead of a broad statement that requires you to get on a scale (who in their right mind wants to do that), try committing to one extra day at the gym each week. Or even better, buy yourself a hot-ass dress in your goal size and work towards fitting into it by your company holiday party next year.
2. Eat Healthier
If you are thinking of trying a cleanse diet, don’t. And making sweeping declarations like “no carbs in 2018” is the same thing as lying. A more realistic challenge would be to delete your fave delivery app from your phone, making it increasingly more difficult for you to place a late night pizza order while wasted.
3. Save Money
I’m pretty sure this is verifiably impossible if you also want to have any fun. But if you are going to try anyway,
tell me your secrets you could sign up for one of those services that tracks your finances (YNAB, mint.com), or join Ebates where you can get fucking paid for shopping. Or just say fuck it and buy some cryptocurrency.
4. Read More
Like, actual books? Interesting. Have you heard of Podcasts or Audible? Those seem like better options. Unless you’re really determined, in which case you could try
Sears our holiday reading list.
5. Cut Out Toxic People
But then who would you talk shit about with the friends you actually like? JK that’s fucked up, you should definitely
do that not do that. I legit get inspired to friend purge after every SoulCycle class, and I have only followed through once. Friend breakups are fucking awkward, and the slow fade doesn’t always work. However, conquering FOMO and saying no to things you don’t actually want to do is truly liberating, and a great way to spend less time with people you DGAF about.
6. Spend Less Time On Social Media
That’s just silly, what would you do with all that time?
7. Find A Boyfriend/Girlfriend
I’m gonna bring this down about five notches rn—how about you just shoot for a few good dates? Or like, initiating more conversations on Hinge. Because damn girl, imagine how fucking depressing your next NYE will be if you set this goal and end up with no one to kiss at midnight.
8. Drink Less
Just be more specific, like: drink less than an alcoholic would, or drink less on Sundays.
It’s 2018: a year that promises to deliver on all of our missed hopes, dreams, and opportunities of the last five years, provided our brave leader doesn’t get into a nuclear dick-measuring contest and kill us all. On the bright side, that would mean we didn’t have to diet or go to work anymore. Hmm.
Anyway, if we DO live and/or survive a nuclear holocaust, kicking some not-so-cool foods to the curb in the name of resolutions sounds like a great way to start the year, kinda. Because we understand that no one likes to do work, we’ve rounded up the eight foods you need to release from your grubby little hands stat.
1. Flavored Milks
This goes for super extra chocolate whole milk, strawberry rice milk, vanilla almond milk, and everything in between. According to Shape magazine, although plain whole milk, soy milk, etc. offer tons of health benefits, adding the flavor means adding the sugar. Like, you may as well have one to three cookies instead of a glass of this shit.
2. Trail Mix
This is candy with obstacles. No one should be surprised it’s on our shit list. A handful can be more than 200 calories. Like, I enjoy sushi rolls with fewer calories than that—and they’re an actual meal. Unless you’re dying of starvation on an actual trail, reach for some roasted nuts instead.
Yas, they’re better for you than chips, but they’re made with white flour, salt, and your body works through them in record time. MEANING you’ll be totally hungry again in 10 mins. Nope.
4. Protein Bars
I realize that an easy replacement for a meal is almost anything that comes in bar form. However, the protein bar you’re reaching for probs is going the way of the Kaltene bars in Mean Girls—it’s literally full of calories, carbs, and sugar. Like yes, if you have NOTHING else to eat, go ahead. But if you’re nomming on this as a mid-morning snack and wondering why sweatpants are all that fits you right now, get woke.
5. Bottled Tea
Sugar plus water plus light flavoring somehow equals healthy? Stop being stupid. Grab a water and start living.
6. Agave Nectar
Right so, just because something originally came from a plant, that doesn’t make it an amazing health food. Technically, cocaine comes from a plant, too, and I wouldn’t exactly be singing its praises for the energy benefits, knowwhatimean? K. This shit, according to Forkly, is actually worse for you than regular sugar. It’s actually 70-90% fructose, whereas reg sugar is only like 50%. Pass.
7. Flavored Yogurts
If you aren’t buying plain Greek yogurt and flavoring it yourself, I don’t want to know you. There’s often a lot of sugar and a LOTTTT of processed ingredients. So like, if you want something sweet, add some fruit, some honey, or what the fuck ever you want yourself.
8. Microwave Popcorn
Staahhhp. Although it totally seems like an easy and fast snack, there can be a lot of sodium and preservatives. You’re better off buying some kernels and popping them yourself in a brown paper bag. I’ll literally never do that, but it sounds great.
Images: Alisha Hieb / Unsplash; Giphy (4)