Figure Magazine: Sep/Oct 2005 Issue

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Figure MagazineI finally got to Lane Bryant to try out Figure Magazine. As I was worried, there was a full-page ad for the book, “Your Hidden food Allergies Are Making You Fat” but that was the only quacky advertisement in the whole issue. The rest of the advertisements were for clothing, underwear, and of course, the Dove Ad everyone’s talking about. I find it interesting that none of the major makeup companies have even one ad in the magazine. Do they think fat women don’t wear makeup? There was a perfect spot in the makeover section for one of the enterprising makeup companies, but they didn’t bother. Instead, there was an underwear ad.

This issue was focused on Makeover: making over your life, taking risks, making over your relationships, making your recipes healthier, making over your exercise routine and making yourself pretty. It was a really positive issue that concentrated on making things better. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“There are two kinds of makeovers: the ones that are simply skin deep – a redecorated room or new hairstyle, makeup or wardrobe – and the ones that go to the core of our beings – a complete change of attitude, a new way to behave, even a transformation of the way we think. While we usually have lots of fun repainting our bedroom walls a sunny shade of yellow or applying a new peach-colored blush to our cheeks, it’s not quite so enjoyable transforming the way we reason or act every single day.” – Geri Brin

“We must create opportunities to feel good about ourselves. Although you have no control over exterior influences, be a champion for yourself. Become infatuated with your own beauty.” – Dorrit Bern

“I don’t worry too much about indulging every once in a while. It all comes out in the wash at the end of the week. Punishing yourself for a meal really goes nowhere; the balance has to happen on a weekly or monthly basis. That’s what healthy eating is all about.” – Laura Pensiero, nutritionist

“Body image is so much a state of mind. The way you look even on your worst day isn’t the worst thing in the world. Live your life!” – Wendy McClure, author of I’m Not the New Me

The article, “Find Your Perfect Workout” was a little simplistic and told me that I would love tennis. They didn’t have an option for a person who is both social AND mentally focused. It turned out that DDR, bike riding and running are the best exercises for me, none of which were on their very limited list. For a better list of exercises to choose from try About.com’s Online Workout Center – Weight training and cardio workouts.

On the whole, I liked the magazine and I’m going to buy a subscription. I just hope that more advertisers pull their heads out of the size 3 racks and start realizing that real women wear makeup too.


A Caveat on Heart Rate Monitors

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Women\'s Timex Ironman Triathlon Digital Heart Rate Monitor 59761Tim, at GetFitSource.com, mentioned a strange occurence he had with his heart rate monitor. He was working out at a moderate level, but his heart rate monitor was reading really high. He couldn’t understand it.

He then noticed that the woman next to him was also wearing a heart rate monitor.

“I was obviously picking up the signal from her transponder on my receiver. I switched my wrist receiver to the other side and immediately started reading a more normal 138 beats per minute for that level of exertion. I’d experienced a similar phenomenon in spinning class sometime ago but had forgotten about it.”

I’ve never had this happen to me, but I tend to go to the gym when it isn’t crowded. Our gadgets are cool and useful tools, but remember to always listen to your body. Heart rate monitors are incredibly accurate, but even they have their limitations.


Vacunaut Fat Burning Suit

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

All of the exercise gadgets of the past look silly and it’s rare when a gadget comes along that looks just as silly as the entire catalog of 1950’s fitness equipment. Meet the Vacunaut:

They claim that this suit changes the atmospheric pressure within it, causing fat to be lost in the abdominal area instead of other areas when you exercise:

The air leaves – the pressure increases. To begin with, the low atmospheric pressure sucks blood directly into the fatty tissue contained in the stomach and hip areas. Here, the exact dosage of fat is released into the blood as energy matter that the muscles need to burn. By changing the atmospheric pressure, blood which has meanwhile been enriched with fat, is pumped into the bloodstream. Once it reaches the muscles that are being trained it’s then burnt off. This constant change in pressure ensures that fat-enriched blood is steadily transported to the working muscles over and over again.

There is no scientific documentation backing up these claims, only heresay and testimonials. It’s not even something you can purchase. You need to exercise at one of their qualified “studios” to try the product out. This company would have you believe that exercise and diet alone isn’t enough.

Not even regular exercise and a controlled diet can help a man shed those pounds around the “problem zones”.

That’s not true. If you eat healthy and exercise, all the fat eventually goes away. It’s physics and there is no way you can avoid it. Don’t let this company get you. Everything that you need to lose weight is right inside you now. Don’t give them your money.

Via: Popgadget: Personal Tech for Women – Vacunaut Fat Burning Suit


What Does Strength Look Like?

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I wrote a fiction piece on Pick Me! about Strength and what it would look like when you finally reach it.

Illustration Friday is a weekly illustration challenge. A topic is posted every Friday and then participants have all week to come up with their own interpretation. It is for illustrators and it seems every participant does a quick drawing for their entries. I prefer to write fiction, so I follow the same rules using the challenge of the week to write a short story.


What I Might Have Done Wrong During The Bosu Incident

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Bosu Ball It has been a year and a half since The Bosu Incident, where I had a junior high moment with a skinny wench in an exercise class. Finally, I have a glimmer of understanding of why I might have attracted the taunting from that class member. It came from this article from ACE:

There are lots of normal etiquette items that are mentioned like wiping your sweat off the machines after you use them, but the one that spoke to me was number four:

Stay back when starting a group exercise class. When joining a new group exercise class with detailed choreography, stand near the back of the room and let the experienced group workout near the front.

Apparently, the rules are when you don’t know what you’re doing, you should stay at the back of the class “where you belong” instead of trying to get close to the instructor so you can see what’s going on. I broke this unspoken gym rule, so the brown-haired girl thought it was acceptable to make fun of me. She didn’t think I was “good enough” to be at the front of the class. I just wanted to be able to see what the teacher was doing since I had never taken that class before.

It would be really helpful if gyms would post all the unspoken rules. They’d look something like this:

  • If you’re not a hard body, don’t even think about seeing the instructor. Only the best deserve to be at the front of the class.

  • You’re safest if you just use the cardio machines and leave as quickly as possible.

  • You better not show your disgust at the grunting he-men on the weight machines, even if they don’t wipe off their sweat.

  • Telling the instructor it’s your first time taking their class is just showing weakness. You’re here to get strong, not special instruction.

Ok, I’m finished complaining. It just makes me mad that the brown-haired girl felt justified in making fun of me when I was just doing the best that I could. Gyms are anything but nuturing environments. I wonder why I keep paying the monthly membership.

Via: Health and Fitness Blog :: Gym tips from ACE


Animated Exercise

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

I have free weights and a stability ball in my house, but I rarely use them. When I do Yourself! Fitness, Maya will tell me when to use these things, but most of the time, they sit by the television unused. I just don’t really know how to use them like I can with the machines at the gym.

GetFitSource.com has an animated example of one exercise you can use with the ball and weights. It’s a simple press, but because it’s on the stability ball, it strengthens your ab muscles also.

This is a great way to demonstrate exercises. Still pictures are helpful, but a simple animation like this makes all the difference in the world.


It Will Give Me Gas

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Gas by Laura Moncur 11-08-05

I’ve heard it said about every kind of food, “I can’t eat that. It will give me gas.” Veggies, cheese, milk, fruit, meat, processed foods, uncooked foods, healthy oils, everything. I’ve been sitting in Weight Watchers meetings for almost four years now. I’ve heard that phrase refer to everything.

Sometimes, it’s hard for me not to roll my eyes. Sometimes it’s hard for me not to turn around and “bless” these people with my “vast” knowledge about gastrointestinal pain. Gas is the whole reason why I decided to start eating healthy. My stomach was killing me and a stupid doctor told me that the reason why I was in pain was because I was fat.

What would I tell them if I didn’t hold my tongue? (more…)


PostSecret: Anorexic Self-Restraint

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

PostSecret: Anorexic Self-Restraint

Just like this PostSecret postcard, I must admit the envy I’ve felt when I’ve looked at the incredibly thin and perfect. I’m not talking about the walking skeletons that I’ve seen. Those women make the Italian mother in me swell up. I want to give them a sandwich. I want to cook pasta for them.

No, the envy I’ve felt is for those perfect little women right on the border of an eating disorder. I’ve seen them at the gym and at the mall. They pick at their salad from Chick-Fil-A, avoiding the crunchy chicken bits. They try on the smallest sizes and complain that they don’t fit. They shop at The Limited Too.

I feel like they don’t deserve it. It’s not logical because I see them sweating it out at the gym. They run and run on that treadmill. How could they not deserve the perfect body? Somehow there is a glitch in my brain that feels like they couldn’t possibly know how it feels to be fat. I wonder if anyone thinks those things about me?

PostSecret‘s beneficiary is the National Hopeline Network. It is a 24-hour hotline (1 (800) SUICIDE) for anyone who is thinking about suicide or knows someone who is considering it.



By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

FAT! by Laura Moncur 11-08-05

I saw the graffiti on the wall and felt the shame. FAT! It was a word that was used to torment me all through grade school. Seeing it there, on the wall was like a stranger had made a judgment call across the space-time continuum. I felt that whoever sprayed that word on the wall knew I was coming and made it known that there is something wrong with me.

As I walked away, I tried to tell myself that it was cool. Fat is something that is cool now, right? Phat beats… Of course, the cool kind of fat is spelled with a “ph” and it’s about a decade too late to be cool anymore. No, fat pretty much still means fat…

I tried calm myself down as I headed to my destination. There is no way that the graffiti was trying to torment me. It was sprayed there less than a week ago, but the tagger couldn’t have possibly had me in mind when the can colored the wall. That word on the wall had nothing to do with me. It still stung, though. It was like the wall knew I was coming and said exactly what it was thinking.

When I tell people that I used to be fat, they are surprised. I can almost tell what they are thinking behind their eyes. They think that I was fat for a little while and I got over it like most people get over the flu. There was some sweating and discomfort, but now I’m all better.

I’m here to tell you that it wasn’t like that for me. I was fat before I remember being myself. I think my personality came into being the day that I realized that I was fat. Fat is so much a part of me that I see the word on a wall and identify with it so strongly that I think it was placed there specifically for me. I don’t know if fat will ever leave my psyche. Maybe I’ll spend the rest of my life feeling bigger than my body.

On the way home from my appointment, I stopped and looked at the wall. I pulled the camera out of my purse and clicked a few pictures. I decided that if I identify with the word so much, I might as well take it into myself and make it positive somehow. I don’t know how, but that’s the goal.


Tastes Change, Even If You’re a Foodie

By Laura Moncur @ 5:00 am — Filed under:

Hostess Chocolate CupcakesThe foodie weblogs are fun to read and sometimes I find something interesting to write about. Imagine my surprise when a person who is unashamedly addicted to food voiced my same feelings about processed food.

Sarah Gilbert explained that her once-beloved treat from childhood, the Hostess Cupcake, was no longer something she had any desire for. It wasn’t about health or fitness or diet. It was about the taste of the food. She has eaten the best of the cupcakes from the finest bakeries around the country. Hostess just doesn’t do it for her anymore.

Ironically, the finest cupcakes from the elite bakeries around the country probably have about the same amount of calories and fat as the Hostess variety. If I’m going to spend that many calories on something, it better be the best.

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