The Lazy-asses guide to losing weight: the workout edition

Not to be confused with the lazy-asses guide to losing weight: the food edition, which will be posted at a later date.

Hi, I’m the Black Widow, and in the past three months, I have lost ten kilos. To some, that may be a walk in the park, but for me, that’s a whopping change. For my entire life, I have relied heavily on my metabolism to cut down my body weight and remain the trim little spitfire that I am, but it eventually caught up on me and I packed on a few extra kilos that weren’t necessarily wanted. Finally, after snatching a good deal with Anytime Fitness, I decided to shed that extra weight and return to my most fitting form.

I know some of you have read weight loss stories and thought “But these people have all the motivation and discipline in the world to achieve their goals, and I don’t. How will this work for me?” The solution is simple: me. I can honestly tell you that when it comes to physical exercise, I am one of the laziest mofos in the world. Usually, when someone starts going to the gym and they get into a regular pattern, they love going to the gym and can’t get enough of it. For me, after three months of regularly attending the gym, I still dread going to that metal clanging-and-banging hellhole.

Those are interesting coloured paperweights...

Those are interesting coloured paperweights…

To help others get fit and get into the shape they desire, I have compiled a list of steps that I personally took to help me achieve my weight loss:

Step one: Set a goal
I know it’s cliché to say this but a goal is needed if you’re even thinking of getting into shape. I set a goal as soon as I decided to go to the gym and it’s definitely helped me. When I am struggling to breathe as I run for my dear life on the treadmill, or my arms are about to snap off when I’m lifting weights, I think of my ultimate goal and picture it in my head… and it allows me to keep going. For at least another like two minutes or so.

Step two: Stay disciplined
After a few days of hitting the gym, you’ll feel really pumped and think “Yeah! This is for me!” but then you’ll gradually stop going until you realise you’re donating money to the gym. Don’t fall into this trap. If, for some reason, you feel yourself thinking “Hey, I don’t need to go tonight” or “I can do without the gym just this one week”, discipline yourself . You won’t achieve that goal if you skip a day or two. You’ll go back to the way you were if you miss an entire week. For me, if I keep this thought in mind, I will always go back to the gym: “If I miss the gym tonight, I won’t get to walk around the beach without a shirt on because people will think a whale has washed ashore and throw water on me.”

Step three: Stick to a schedule
In a similar light to setting a goal, planning a weekly schedule will keep you going. If you go to the gym with no real set plan in mind, you’ll just aimlessly wander around, pretending to use cardio machines and looking at your dumpy ass in the mirror and then go home. What did you achieve? Nothing. However, if you know that Monday is leg day and Wednesday is abs day, then you’ll know what to do, how long to do it and what’s up next. For me, I plan to go to the gym at least five times a week with three of those days being dedicated to specific parts of my body. If I miss a day, you can bet your sweet ass I’ll catch up with it next week.

Step four: Believe you can do it… the results will show
I had a really good week at the gym in mid-December. I had been hitting the gym really hard and felt great about myself. I stepped onto the scale and… still the same. Honestly, it shattered me a bit and I thought “I’ve been killing myself for so long and nothing is showing!” Like all good things in life, however, it’ll come to the patient ones who wait. Don’t let a bunch of numbers and results slow your efforts down. Stick to your plan and I can guarantee you the results will show themselves eventually. It also helps if a friend of yours stops and says “Hey, you’ve lost weight!” because then you’ll know that something is changing, and it’ll motivate you to keep going.

Now I’m sure there are plenty of other things you could do to maximise your efforts at the gym, but these four fundamental steps will prove vital in your journey to your ultimate weight loss destination. If a naturally lazy writer like me can get off my laptop and go to the gym (begrudgingly, of course), then I’m sure you can as well.

Of course, the other (bigger) half of weight loss is eating properly. Stay tuned as I tell you what I did to my diet which led to my weight loss.

– by Noah La’ulu

The Black Widow’s Bucket List

In celebration of my 22nd birthday, I’ve decided to publish my personal bucket list.

Before I had never really thought of having a bucket list. I thought my life was pretty great and didn’t really feel the need to go extreme and jump out of a plane or bungee jump off a bridge in New Zealand, but then I stopped to think of all the things I haven’t done.

How cute is this movie though?!

How cute is this movie though?!

I haven’t gone travelling (which will be rectified later this year).
I haven’t even left this country.
I haven’t been hiking at night.
I haven’t been part of an animal rights liberation protest.
I haven’t stepped foot in a wrestling ring.
I haven’t fulfilled my wildest fantasies.

So by the time I pass on – and if my palm is to be believed, I’m dying pretty early – I want to have accomplished at least 80% of this bucket list.

Alas, here we are:

The Black Widow’s Bucket List
[x] Attend a wrestling class and make a Beautiful People style entrance.
[x] Go skydiving, regardless of how much I hate heights.
[x] Attend an animal rights liberation protest, with my own sign.
[x] Go hiking at night.
[x] Travel across Europe by myself (and hopefully not be that naive traveller who gets their things stolen)
[x] Fill a Ute bed wtih pillows and blankets and sleep out under the stars.
[x] Abseiling, also despite my fear of heights.
[x] Perform a flash-mob like pole dancing routine OUTTA NOWHERE.
[x] Cycle through Central Park.
[x] Go (country) star hunting in Nashville.
[x] Go on a trip with a fake persona and back story and make it last for the entire duration.
[x] Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
[x] Organise and host a charity fundraiser for the local firehouse.
[x] Go on a hot air balloon ride… despite my fear of heights.
[x] Mud wrestle.
[x] Publish a novel.
[x] Go on a blind date.
[x] Take up capoeira.
[x] Live in a different country for at least six months.
[x] Fly first class.
[x] Dress up as the Bella Twins for a costume party (another person required).
[x] Tell Katy Perry she sucks.
[x] Change the world.

I encourage everyone to start their own bucket list and see what kind of whacky and crazy things they can come up with. A life not lived is not a life I want to live.

– by Noah La’ulu

Why I Don’t Like the Term “Plus Size”

TL;DR version: plus size is as defineable as what water tastes like.

One of my best mates happily remarked on how a department store had a plus size (female) mannequin. Thinking that this was a step in the right direction for the way women are influenced when shopping regarding what is “the look”, I asked her to send me a picture of this mannequin. Looking at the picture, however, the “plus size” mannequin in question wasn’t that plus size at all; in fact, it was probably a size 12 at most. It was noticeably fuller than the other mannequins, but the point remains the same.

I wouldn't even say these models are plus size. They're just how they should be. (Image via Marden Plus Size Facebook page)

I wouldn’t even say these models are plus size. They’re just how they should be. (Image via Marden Plus Size Facebook page)

That left me thinking… if a size 12 is considered plus size in today’s society, what happens to those women who are a size 16 or 18 or even bigger? Are they made to feel worse about themselves because they aren’t even considered to be plus size? What are they considered then… double plus size? Triple plus size?

If you rewind it even further, why is it even called “plus size”? The term kind of implies that it is a normal size plus a little bit more. I’m sorry but who is this ultimate power deciding what women’s size is normal and what isn’t? Why is a women’s size 8 completely “normal” but a 14 isn’t?

I remember having a discussion with a friend of mine and she told me that nearly every if not all marketing ads you see in shopping malls or kind of subliminal messages to tell you how you “should and shouldn’t” look. You see the ads where there a group of “normal looking” models wearing the clothes that are sold in the store, but what are you meant to do if you don’t look like them? Imagine there was a short, chubby girl with a brown bob cut looking at a picture of a leggy blonde with a perfect tan and perfectly-toothed smile wearing a floral playsuit. Would that brunette girl think that she isn’t allowed to wear this floral playsuit because she doesn’t look like the girl in the picture?

With so many ads and marketing tools in today’s society telling us what we should look like and how we should feel about ourselves, why isn’t anyone telling us “Hey, if your health is fine and you’re happy with who you are and what you look like, fuck everyone else. Go ‘head wit’ yo’ bad self.” If you’re content being a size 6, all the power to you! If you’re pleased with your size 14 figure, all the power to you! If you’re happy to be at the gym 7 days a week – or if you’re okay with never stepping foot in a gym and living off Nutella – I say all the power to you!

In the same light, just like there is nothing wrong with being a size with a higher number, there isn’t anything wrong with being a size with a lower number. Don’t be a Meaghan Trainor and skinny shame “them skinny bitches”. People were made to be different. It’s time people really embrace that.

– by Noah La’ulu

#SayNoToDating2015 January Update

I’ve decided to do a monthly entry of my #SayNoToDating2015 campaign with my thoughts on cerain things that irritate me about dating in the social media world.

This entry: Snapchat and the way it interferes with a genuine relationship.

If you have the time to Snapchat pictures of your food, you have the time to read this article.

If you have the time to Snapchat pictures of your food, you have the time to read this article.

As a gentle disclaimer, I’m going to put it on the record that I do not hate Snapchat. I have an account myself that I check occasionally and use rarely. If I see something that I want others to see without the added stretch of uploading it to Facebook, coming up with a witty caption and then waiting for the likes and comments to roll in, I’ll just take a picture of it and put it on my Snapchat story. It really is a handy tool.

But like every handy tool, it certainly has its faults.

I use Snapchat mainly when I’m bored. I’ll be sitting in a lecture, evidently not listening, and then take snaps of people and inanimate objects and will label them with their names. Sure signs of bordem right there. When I’m out with friends having a real good time – a genuinely real good time – then I won’t have the time to whip out my phone, load an app and take a picture of it. I’ll be too busy having an awesome time, drinking awesome shooters and just soaking up each other’s awesomeness.

This Snapchat icon really looks into your soul, doesn't it?

This Snapchat icon really looks into your soul, doesn’t it?

Let’s face it: if you’re having real fun, you won’t be Snapchatting it. Why then, pray tell, do people take countless amounts of Snapchats when they’re out in a pub or a club and take annoying ten second videos of loud, irritating techno music going off as an array of coloured lights dart around the club, like we’ve never seen that before. Maybe I’ll pass one snap so others can see where you are and what you’re doing, but countless snaps? Please. If you have the time to take 300 seconds worth of pictures, girl bye.

Moving onto the dating portion of my rant, people who take awkwardly posed snaps of them and their better half with captions like “Cuddling with bae” and “Can’t get enough of him”. We get it. You’re dating someone. Whoop-dee-doo. Why don’t you do what you should be doing and genuinely enjoy their company and be with them and not around them?

Yes, there is a major difference of being with someone and being around them.

If society turns to a “Hold on, babe, let me take a picture of you for Snapchat so people know we’re out and we’re, like, in love and stuff” mindset, then we might as well elect Miley Cyrus to be the Prime Minister of Australia because they are both equally as bullshit as the other.

Here’s an idea, especially with Valentine’s Day looming around the corner. Leave your phones at home and go out and spend real time with your loved one without the added pressure of social media lingering in your minds. If you’re a busy body and you absolutely need your telecommunication device with you, put it on silent or plane mode if possible; shirk away the temptation of telling the social media world for the umpteenth time that, yes, you are indeed in a relationship, and just be with each other. I can promise you that if you be with each other and not around each other, your relationship will be much more healthy.

And, hell, if I see another dating couple at a restaurant swiping their thumbs on their smartphones instead of engaging in menaingful conversation, I may just have to do this to someone:

Y’all have been warned.

– by Noah La’ulu