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 Lone Vegetarian

The sky was an eery shade of red and the vermillion hues in the grass matched it perfectly. The sounds of cattle crying out sounded throughout the field. A baby piglet stared up at me with its lifeless eyes, its mouth slightly ajar. Blood was pouring out of its neck profusely.

#datvegetarianlyf

#datvegetarianlyf

This was the nightmare I had as a teenager that made me want to become a vegetarian for the right reasons. I had tried it once before, with the goal of losing weight by taking meat out of my diet, but it didn’t work out. Now, I can happily say that I’ve stuck with my vegetarianism for the past six years because of that conscious decision I made.

As a Pacific Islander – who are infamous meat eaters in their own right – living life as a vegetarian in a family full of carnivores is definitely as difficult as it sounds. With my busy schedule of combining college, work and my outside hobbies, I barely get enough time to cook a decent meal for myself. When I get home and there’s a chicken dish sitting on the kitchen counter, it’s either my job to a) Pick around the deceased animal and eat or b) Think of something quick and easy to make. On my most busy days, a pot of boiling water and a bag of pasta becomes my best friend.

Nine times out of ten, I have to cook for myself on my days off. Dinner will usually consist of meat which means I’ll have to cook my own vegetarian option. If my family is feeling sorry for me, they’ll either make the main dish vegetarian acceptable or take out a bit for me before they add the meat. When I go to extended family events or social gatherings, the meat-eater in my relatives and friends are very apparent and my options are very limited. I am usually only left with a bit of salad and baked potatoes on my plate.

Dining out as a vegetarian has become a lot easier than it was when I first started: I am aware of my options and know which restaurants cater to the eating-conscious. There are a few restaurants that have little to no vegetarian options so I’m left with ordering an egg and mayo sandwich and a glass of water.

I’ve learned most of the dishes in my arsenal from my mother. When there’s meat involved, I easily just substitute it with tofu and my own version of the meal is created! One of my go-to dishes is called a “Hawaiian Haystack” which was passed down from my mum: it’s basically a dish where you have rice and stack honey mustard tofu on top of that, and you continue to stack various ingredients on top of that, including cheese, dry noodles and pineapple. Seriously. Try it. Honey mustard tofu is to die for.

Life as a vegetarian in a family full of meat eaters is challenging,  but it’s not impossible. Nothing is impossible for me. Insert arrogant hairflip here.

– by Noah La’ulu

Seven Swans A Swimming… in Booze

Drinking and Dessert; everyone’s two favourite things about the holiday season.

For the seventh day of Christmas, I have prepared a list of seven Christmas inspired cocktails.

This a cute serving idea for your next Christmas shindig!

This a cute serving idea for your next Christmas shindig!

Chocolate Candy Cane

1 shot Creme de Cacao
30ml light cream
1 shot peppermint schnapps

The Chocolate Candy Cane tastes exactly as you would expect it to from the name. For something special, you can also serve it over a small scoop of icecream!

Snowballs

2 shots Tequila
2 drops vanilla essence
Crushed ice
30ml skim milk
Cinnamon powder
Cinnamon stick

Pour all the ingredients – except for the cinnamon powder – into a martini shaker. Mix for ten seconds until combined. Pour into chilled glass, sprinkle cinnamon powder on top. Serve with Cinnamon Stick.

Tinsel Tinkle

1 shot Blue Curaco
1 shot Limoncello
1 shot Champagne
Lime wedge.

Combine in a chilled glass for a refreshing citrus cocktail.

Raspberry Chocolate Cheesecake

2 parts  Raspberry Vodka
1/2 part chocolate liqueur
1/2 part Irish cream

Recommended by friends of mine who have this for ‘after-dessert dessert.’

Apple Pie

1 shot vanilla vodka
1 shot apple cider
pinch ground cinnamon

Super quick and easy to make!

Christmas Cosmo

1 shot vodka
1 shot ginger beer
60ml cranberry juice
lime juice

An edgier, seasonal alternative to the classic cosmopolitan.

Under the Mistletoe

1 shot champagne
60ml blood orange juice
60ml cranberry juice
1 shot Cointreau
splash of bitters to taste.

This is tart and delicious- easily one of my personal favourite cocktails!

Drink up, my friends, just six more sleeps until Christmas!!

– by Blaire Gillies

Cronut / Dossant

The Cronut seemed to me such a strange and unnecessary invention. For those who are not up to date with modern food, the Cronut is a delicate hybridisation of two much loved sweets; the croissant and doughnut. A much needed union in our dull baking world.

Anyone fancy a cronut?

I can just imagine a little Mexican kid saying “Why can’t we have both?”

The inventor of Cronuts, Chef Dominique Ansel, stated that the technique took him two months and more than ten recipes to perfect. Fundamentally it is made with a croissant-like dough, deep-fried then either a) rolled in sugar, b) injected with cream or c) glazed. However the recipe varies depending on the bakery. Needless to say, any Cronut will fulfil all your fat requirements for the month.

However figure-destroying these sweets may be, the concept alone was enough to accumulate a substantial fan base. The result was horrifically long lines at bakeries at unreasonable times of the morning, and chefs willing to undertake the Cronut challenge. Unfortunately, the original Cronut resides in New York, so it was up to me to find the trendiest, up-to-datest bakery Melbourne could offer.

Tivoli Bakery in South Yarra attracted much interest for their pastries. But no, they did not have Cronuts at all; they had Dossants. For obvious copyright laws, the bakery couldn’t call their adaptation of the food by its original name but I think that the name Dossant is more fitting for the pastry. Something that rolls off the tongue, soft sounds for a soft sweet rather than the less appealing Cronut.

Neatly lined up behind a glass cabinet and awaiting my hunger were the holy Dossants, available in two flavours; chocolate strawberry and vanilla strawberry. Before long, a Dossant arrived at my table and its plump presentation, sugar coating and slivers of strawberry and chocolate in the centre were nearly enough to win me over.

Its beauty was of no surprise; after all, the bakery is known for their gorgeous looking gourmet doughnuts. I knew the real test would lie in the tasting. The sugar coating was a soft grain, none of that coarse Donut King cinnamon. The pastry itself was incredibly fluffy, and not too sweet, that is until I got to the semi-hard chocolate in the middle which, although was rich, suffocated the flavour of strawberry. In fact, the intended flavour of the Dossant was muted entirely by the Dossant pastry itself. Despite this, it was scrumptious.

The food resembled a doughnut more than anything else, which lead me to my final critique of it; The Dossant is basically a glorified Churro. It holds a large resemblance to traditional Spanish Churro; smooth and fluffy on the inside and coated in fine sugar. This thought did not occur to me until I was finished eating because the food was still delightful, however derivative.

The Dossant may just be a Churro that has been tied up at the ends, but to this I would say – so? It may not have been the spectacular game-changer of food that it was in my mind, but based on taste it was just as delicious as the best croissant or doughnut I have eaten. Many look at the Cronut and ask why? But to ask questions of such a thing is useless because the novelty of it is that it exists solely because it can.

– by Josefina Huq