The Nicki Minaj Effect

At this point I am almost sure that most people have either seen or heard of Nicki Minaj’s new song “Anaconda”.  It samples Sir Mix A Lot’s “Baby Got Back” song from back in the day when booties were just becoming the rage.  Wait…has booty always been in style or not?  Heck I have no idea!  All I know is that right now booty is the rage.  In case you have been under a rock and have yet to see the video click HERE to see it.  I should say before you click the link that I do not like the song and I am not a Nicki fan butt but the video made me think about some things.

In media, magazines, print, online and elsewhere, women’s bodies are characterized by their shape.  Apple, Pears, Strawberry, Blueberries, Bananas…it goes on and on although I have never seen a kumquat shape.  Guess that isn’t a popular fruit!  😉  For a visual see the below chart.

The Pear.  The description above is definitely me although I take some offense to that whole statement about saddlebags!  Whoever put that in there should be reprimanded and heavily.  One of the greatest challenges I have encountered is making sure that my workouts focus on the areas that need the most toning up.  If you read the above description of a “pear” shape, it hits my body to a tee.  (Again minus the saddlebags 😉 )  I try to make sure that I spend time working on my glutes, quads, hamstrings, all the muscles in my legs.  The majority of my weight is carried in my lower half.  It was just the luck of the draw that I got dealt.  All of my life, I’ve tried on dresses that fit on the bottom but are too big on the top.  To this day, I still have this problem and well…there isn’t a cure for it so….I trudge on happy with what I have 🙂

So why the Nicki Minaj reference?  Well it’s simple really. I have heard women and men alike fantasize about having her body and having her booty.  For real?  I get that she appears to have this body that men idolize and gawk at and a behind that women do endless squats for.  If what I see is right, she looks like a pear shape as well and suppose if she weren’t famous with millions, she might face some of the same challenges that I have!

The moral of the story is simple.

If you idolize anyone’s body, let it be your own.

Let that sink in for a minute….You will be amazed at what a miraculous body you have once you start to love it instead of loving someone else’s or treating it badly.  I’ll gladly take my chest which is the smallest in all of my family….at least I don’t have to buy a big bra 🙂  I’ll smile a little when I hear someone else complain about their “flat” bottom because I know that the booty God’s blessed me although I think they may have gotten distracted and gave me a tad too much 😉  I’ll smile when the belt hits my waist just right because I’ve worked hard to make it what it is!  So love what you have and do what you need to do to make it the best you.



Working out….How long? How often?

I am often asked how often I work out and how long I work out for. Back in the beginning of my journey, I could easily rattle off something like “everyday other day for an hour…”. That has definitely changed. With my focus ever evolving, my workouts have evolved as well. Gone are the endless minutes of cardio workouts where I would have to eat a snack afterwards because I burned so many calories. Gone are the days of numb, jelly legs because I had done an hour on the elliptical machine. While I needed to be locked into a set schedule in the beginning because it had been so long without working out, at this point I don’t need a schedule that is so stringent.

But don’t get confused by my last sentence.  I do have to keep up with working out for my health.  Most people find that once physical exercise becomes part of their health journey, they get hooked to it.  If I go more than two days without some sort of sweat inducing physical activity, my mood shifts.  Bless Mister S’s heart, he knows exactly when to say….”Let’s take a walk this evening” or he will ask with the best intentions “Are you working out today?”  I find working out to be not only a great physical challenge but it clears my mind.  As a teacher, there are so many issues that I carry home in my mind that I need that time to just release it all so to speak.

So on to the questions at hand.  My general disclaimer is that every person is individual and so is their journey.  For some people, working out is every single day.  For others it is a few times a week.  It all depends on how fit you are and what you can physically endure.  For example, as a working mother, I have to budget every single minute of my day so that all the people who need me in the course of 24 hours gets what they need and more importantly that I get what I need.   Part of who I am now is greatly defined by how I feel physically.

As a general rule, a person should workout about 2.5 hours per week of moderate activity or about 30 minutes per day for 5 days.  It seems like A LOT of working out, but once you get into the habit of it, you’ll find that it goes by rather quickly.  Now, do I workout 5 days a week?  Absolutely not.  I simply don’t have the time.  Instead, I shoot for 4 days per week for about 45 minutes each.  Some days less and some days more.

I will say the key to working out and doing it so that you get the most benefit is to switch up your routines.  If you stick with the same thing over and over, you won’t see the results you want to see!  Use those weights ladies!  You will not end up looking like The Rock or Vin Diesel.  Take a run/jog/walk one day.  Complete a HIIT workout another day. Variety is the spice of life as they say and it definitely applies to working out!