A Little Homesick
The Graduate Escape

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Quest for the Bikini Body

Washboard abs, toned arms and a pert little bottom do not really mesh with my lifestyle. I am, by my own admission, lazy with a poor diet.

I used to be quite lucky as I am naturally a midget petite but as I crawl ever closer to 30 suddenly my chin is expanding at a rate of knots and my work trousers are getting increasingly tight. So although I am yet to experience endorphins through exercise and although I spent today chain-eating chocolate digestives, I do try to get that bikini body.

Every so often I do suffer from a burst of healthy living motivation. I vow to do some daily exercise, ditch the Gu puddings in favour of fruit and generally be a better human being. These bursts usually last for a day but they have been known to go on for a few weeks. I've had my fair few 'fresh starts' and so I thought I'd share my findings on my never-ending quest for the Bikini Body.

Exercise

Bleurgh. I love a good fitness fad. So far I've forced myself into thrice-weekly spin classes, legs, bums and tums classes and co-erced myself into swimming 1.5k a few times a week. Currently I do none of the above. Below are some of the tried and tested exercises routines that I've tortured myself with.

Tone It Up

I have a girl crush on the blonde one - Karena? Katrina? Anyway, Tone It Up's videos are actually some of my favourites. Because I am a cheapskate I stick to the freebie workout videos and the only piece of equipment I have are two weights. Very little weights. I'm talking 1kg weights. Poxy weightlifting abilities aside, I do love their videos. My personal faves are their Total Body Tone Up, Bikini Body Routine and their Bikini Arms Routine. Wow. Did I just admit to having not one, not two, but three favourite exercise routines? Who even am I? Anyhoo, the only problem with these videos is my own laziness. "I'm tired", "I need to give my body a rest", "Whoops I forgot and now I'm in bed!". Mhmm.

Spotebi

My newest discovery. This website comes with a selection of different workouts that target different parts of the body, including warm ups and cool downs. All the exercises are explained and they've got pictures so I really have no excuse not to do them properly. Also the website is pink and each workout has a timer, which, for some unknown reason, thrills me.

Blogilates

I've been doing blogilates on and off for a couple of years now. I thought it'd be quite easy and chilled as, you know, it's pilates, but pilates is hard... and this is mixes in gentle pilates with cardio. I think the main reason I gave up with blogilates was just that it was too hard. Yay for me being pathetic! I must admit, I don't really like to break a sweat and Cassy really makes you break a sweat. There is no hope for me.

The Gym

The obvious place to start your fitness journey. Usually most frequented in January, The Gym is actually open year-round. I signed up about a month ago and have been a total of... two times. I like to time my gym visits around Jeremy Kyle, Homes Under the Hammer and any Kirstie and Phil programme. My average session tends to be around twenty minutes because I convince myself that my walk to and from counts, as does my warm up and cool down time. I've currently got a tailored workout plan focussing on me being able to run 5k and also toning my arms and stomach. I realise I've left out the whole lower section of my body and I fear I'll end up looking like an inverted triangle. Not exactly #goals.

Diet

Cheese is my life. As are biscuits, ready meals and lemonade. I once went vegan for a few months but I gave up because I CANNOT COOK and I wasn't making anything edible. My dream is to go back to being vegan so I am trying to slowly but surely introduce vegan food back into my diet.

Breakfast

Smoothie bowls became my staple breakfast dish whilst at uni. One of my housemates, Jenn, and I became obsessed. You just have to blend bananas, almond milk (or any other plant milk), and frozen fruit together. Pour into a bowl and top with chia seeds and more fruit. I also like to blend in some maca powder for energy when I'm feeling particularly fancy.

Overnight oats are something which I also developed a bit of an obsession with. My favourite combination consisted of bananas, almond milk, and yogurt blended together before adding oats. I'd then top it with blueberries or strawberries in the morning and voilΓ ! I tried so many recipes and so often it was too runny or just didn't work but the banana and yoghurt concoction was just the right consistency. I've also attempted chia pudding before but again I could never get the right consistency and the seeds never seemed to absorb the liquid. One of life's many mysteries.

Lunch/Dinner

Putting these together because they're pretty much the same thing, right? Anyway, buddha bowls were something that dominated the kitchen at uni. Emily, Jenn and I were obsessed. The first combination I tried - which is also my favourite - involves roasted sweet potato, kale and broccoli, along with quinoa and hummus. It's so good and so easy to make. Also it's so simple which means I rarely, if ever, mess it up.

Sweet potato jacket potato isn't exactly a healthy option but it is slightly healthier than a standard jacket potato. Right? Am I correct in thinking this? I have no idea. I like to think it's healthier because sweet potatoes are kinda of an 'It' food right now, but I guess when you smother one in cheese and butter any nutritional value is lost. lol

Mind

Positive mind
Positive vibes
Positive life
— The Internet, 2014

A common thread throughout this post has been my laziness. I know that if I could only motivate myself to exercise and eat healthily this whole bikini body thing would be a breeze. Having said this, I am not really a positive person by nature, preferring instead to dwell on the negative. I am a real joy to have around...

Meditating

At various stages in my life people have suggested I try meditating or do a relaxation course. I dutifully commit to this for a few days before I forget or I come up with loads of excuses. Does meditating actually work? Who knows. I certainly feel more spiritual and zen after pondering the meaning of life for a while, although I do feel a bit like a wally sometimes. My preferred method of relaxation/meditation are those tracks where people tell you what to do. You know the ones I mean? "Close you eyes and imagine a light passing through your entire body..."etc, etc. I find I end up slack-jawed, dribbling lightly and in a kind of sloth-like trance. I hope this is the desired effect.


As ever I will endeavour to keep you updated of my ongoing quest for the Bikini Body. I've only got about three weeks until Thailand now (crazy, huh) so I keep telling myself that I'll do some sit-ups every morning in preparation. So far this has yet to happen. I've also bought two new swimming costumes (because I'm a sophisticated lady), one of which happens to be quite bold - read: garish - it's bright blue foil, need I say more - so I'll either have to start exercising or get practising my photoshop. Back to the subject at hand, if you've got any tips for capturing the elusive Bikini Body, do let me know below!

Photos taken in Oceanside, California in 2010.