“Be better than yesterday, worse than tomorrow”
As we are getting closer to summer, the stress on how our body will look in a bikini is overwhelming. So start planning from now, adjusting your diet and exercise regime to avoid panicking the last minute. Everything is possible as long as you stick to your goal and your goal should be to be happy with your image. Here are some tips to help you tone your body and boost your self-confidence before you hit the beach.
1. Stop Complaining and Set Up your (realistic) Goals.
No one is perfect and life is not a magazine. We said before: flawless beauty is itself a flaw. So instead of whining about your big buttocks, your saddle bags or your mushy thighs look at the big picture and ask yourself: What do you feel is your best feature? This should draw away your attention from the parts of your body that could need some work and drive you to a more positive attitude to achieve your goals. It’s a fact: by concentrating on the negative aspects you only attract more negative aspects utterly sabotaging your own efforts. So positive thinking is the key. Loving and respecting yourself should give you the mind frame to set up realistic goals. Start slowly and aim for weekly tangible goals that give you the achievement thrill “Yeah! I did it!” and leverage your motivation to go for more.
2. Start Meditating
No need to emphasize the effects of stress on the body and mind. Stress can cause hypothyroid and this is no good news for your metabolism or body weight management, not to say your overall health. Meditation helps your body relax and drop adrenaline levels and it is proven to even alter gene expression! Plus when meditating, you can visualize yourself in your ideal state and reinforce your positive thinking. There are plenty of guided meditations on the web, even iPhone applications that can help you get it right, at least if you are new to this approach. You may check The Chopra Center or Erick Brown Subliminal Guided Meditation available at iTunes or any other meditation available doing a simple google search.
There is no excuse: if you want to feel and be healthy you have to get your body moving! Even a 20 minutes walk every day is considered therapeutic, if you have no time for the gym. Alternatively you could exercise at home, there are so many quick and efficient programs out there on the web. I highly recommend Yoga Journal’s 21 Day Challenge available for both newbies and intermediate yoga students as your day’s class is delivered straight to your email and you also get nutrition tips and healthy recipes too! If you don’t even have 20 minutes to spare, check Ramona Braganza‘s, short clips where you may even find less than 4 minutes workouts for before you walk -not the red this time,but- the “sandy carpet” 🙂
4. Follow a Healthy Diet
No exercise however strenuous can outdo a trashy diet. Exercise and healthy eating go hand in hand. So make sure you implement healthy eating habits and take control of your diet. And when I say “diet” I certainly don’t mean starvation, nor the miracle diets or magic pills and teas. You heard about before and perhaps even experienced the yo-yo effects of such “easy fixes”. Try to eat lots of veggies and fruits and respond to your cravings by offering yourself healthy alternatives. If you are not sure what is best for your body it’s always better to spend some money and consult a nutrition expert. A visit would be best but still there are plenty of books on healthy eating or even e-books with online support communities to help you stick to your choice. In any case check the reviews and use common sense to listen to your body and its needs. Also you may have a look at the free healthy eating tips from USDA or Harvard’s healthy eating plate and pyramid explained below.
As a final but important step make sure you drink lots of water. Eight to twelve glasses of water per day are generally considered as necessary for your body but it also depends on your sex, your body weight, your activity levels or even the climate (all of us living in the Middle East know how easily we can get dehydrated). A good rule of thumb would be to have two glasses of water before every meal.
5. Pamper yourself
This tip targets especially mums, including myself. We tend to take care of everyone else in the family but ourselves. Personally, even if there is a great choice of spas and salons in Bahrain, I don’t know why but I feel guilty spending my time having my hair or manicure done in a salon. I get so stressed having to be tied to my chair for as long as the hairdresser needs to wash and blow-dry my hair, as if the world around me will collapse. I have been trying for the last couple of months to book an appointment for a massage and I keep on postponing it with the excuse “I’m too busy for this”. I hope you are not in the same wagon as me. What? you are? Too bad! Get over it quick!
Force yourself, like I force myself, and I promise you once you are out of the salon you won’t regret it. The feeling of being taken care by a professional, even when it is just a manicure, is amazing. Your self-esteem will instantly skyrocket. Your body will be thanking you. Still think of it as a luxury? Then bring luxury home! Turn your bathroom into a personal spa. Scented candles, a bathtub full of warm water and bath salts, a body scrub, moisturizing cream and essential oils is all you need. Then find some quiet time and soak in after all are asleep.
You need to take care of your skin if you want it glowing under the sun, and you need to start now. Be sure to check back our ginny piggy column as we will be soon writing about some of the best anti-cellulite and skin care products we have tried so far!
And please feel free to share your beach perfect tips, we’d love to hear from you!
So are you ready for the countdown? 3-2-1! GO! I’m sure you can do it!
Care for a special Valentine’s date tip? Forget syrupy diners, heart shaped chocolate boxes and town hill romancing. We are talking about the REAL deal.
So here’s what you could do with your Valentine (or at least try…) 🙂
Unsung Lilly is an inspiring pop band from UK. With their music and stance on life Sera, Frankie, Wayne, Allan and Russ, embody many of the values and principles I live by, so it couldn’t but “just be” a love at first sight!
Now if you want to be featured in their new video about self-acceptance visit their blog here and find out how. Act quickly!
For a little inspiration, here is their song “Just Be” which was released last year…
My birthday is near and I have been taking my wish list out… Hmmm I would love to have the Smart Ebike for birthday present but unfortunately they don’t bring it in Bahrain… But I have been thinking of buying it from Europe and having it shipped here. We’ll see. Meanwhile I just admire its simple design and lines on photos.
Just for the history, since in Bahrain and with the F1 coming up this weekend, the world’s first owners of the new smart ebike were The Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Drivers Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg who were given their futuristic ebikes last year before the start of the F1 season.
With an unconventional design in line with the style of the brand, functions appropriate for city use and high technology standards that are demonstrated by the extremely efficient and high-performance drive package and high-quality components, the smart ebike has an exceptional position and guarantees dynamic, safe and fun cycling.As a pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle) the smart ebike is strictly speaking a hybrid vehicle: the electric motor switches on as soon as the rider starts pedalling. Muscle power is transmitted to the rear wheel via a lubricant-free, durable and quiet belt drive in place of a conventional bicycle chain.
Sounds pretty cool, eh?
On the other hand, the roads in Bahrain are not at all cyclist – friendly, not to mention the hot weather… Maybe I should be looking further down on my wish list, for the time being at least.
Throughout my adult life, I have been spending a lot on face, eye and body creams from expensive brands, even if knowing that the miracle results that they’d promise wouldn’t be all that “miraculous”. Unfortunately there exists this perception that the higher you will be paying for a product and the nicer the packaging is, the more value you will be getting for your money. We all fall for it, and we all know that this is not necessarily true.
Sure, a lot of factors play out when we choose a brand or a product and alluring marketing has a lot to do with our choice. But I insist and always urge my friends and clients before they buy anything to first check the reviews online and try it on them before spending a little fortune on that latest buzz. High-end brands always offer samples which you can get from any beauty shop to have a first hand experience on their latest products. To ask for one before you buy the whole jar is common sense and wise spending. How many times did the $$$ beauty “serum” ended up collecting dust on the bathroom shelf simply because it’s just not what you wished for?
What would always puzzle me though, both in high-end and supermarket shelf brands, are all these ingredients written in fine lines, and my worry lies with the fact that even if I can (or better try to as they have these long names) read them, I don’t know what their effects are on my skin and overall health (if you want to know what chemicals your product contains visit http://www.cosmetic-ingredients.net/ who’s done an excellent database on many brands). Hazardous chemical substances have been traced in lipsticks and creams and chemicals found in cosmetics have been accused for various conditions.
Anyways, I have the tendency to a more holistic approach in life and same way I am checking every food item I intend to bring home and feed my children, I now choose cosmetics after I have done a little “homework” on their ingredients… Besides you might have heard of the saying “you should never put on your face what you wouldn’t put in your mouth”.
This is how I ended up trying APIVITA a Greek company since 1979 that produces natural and highly effective beauty products. I have been buying their kids’ line and am quite happy, so during my last visit in Greece I did my usual shopping raid at the pharmacy to be supplied with all the products I can’t find in Bahrain and bumped on to their latest face cream: Wine Elixir.
I was curious. I surely love a glass of red wine once in a while for its relaxing properties but put some on my face? That’s interesting. I was given some samples the same day of the SPF15 day cream and went straight home to try it. Very light in texture and smell, giving a cooling sensation on the face, it was absorbed in seconds. Upon application, my skin literally gulped the wine elixir and felt moisturized without being oily or even shiny.
Needless to say after 4-5 days the samples were running out so I went to the pharmacy and bought the night cream and eye and lips cream of the same line. The night cream although slightly thicker in texture than the day cream gives the same feeling of fresh and nourishment without being oily or heavy on the face. It also contains salicylic acid which does a gentle exfoliation and which we have seen in other high-end brands’ expensive serums. It is absorbed really quickly and you can immediately see the difference in the skin’s elasticity and tone. Skin feels totally moisturized and looks amazing. The claims of this product from the company’s website:
93% natural ingredients
- Rejuvenates the skin at night while reducing even the deepest wrinkles
- Red wine helps increase quality collagen and elastin to firm the skin
- Salicylic acid gently exfoliates the skin and leaves it with a natural glow
- Beeswax moisturizes and smoothes skin
- Neroli, patchouli, clary sage and geranium essential oils tone the skin and provide a sense of well-being
Exclusive innovation: APIVITA replaces water in the wine elixir range with a green tea infusion to enhance the antioxidant action of the products
Same with the eye and lips cream: it gives the same cooling sensation making any fatigue signs disappear from my eyes, any fine lines around them less visible, and my lips highly kissable!
I don’t have any serious deep lines to confirm their first claim, but surely my skin feels and looks perfect for the couple of weeks I have been using the cream and I got addicted to my night skin routine I once used to skip, because of them.
But most important: their products are Free of: Parabens, Silicone, Propylene Glycol, Mineral Oil, Ethanolamine and Phthalates.
You may also check their online Beauty Advisor for a personal evaluation.