Schock Your Abs into Summer Shape (and yes, I know how to spell shock!)

By: Julie Manriquez (jamwritingservices@gmail.com)

Congressman Aaron Schock's abs on the cover of June's Men's Health

Last week freshman congressman, Aaron Schock, opened his shirt for the cover of the June issue of Men’s Health. Holy House of Representatives, Batman! There’s no denying that even with the airbrushing and Photoshop® removal of every bodily hair, this 8-pack (yes, with the transverse abdominus, it’s an 8-pack) is worthy of some superhero Spandex. But, Mr. Schock is 29-years-old and a Republican, which means that gravity is currently working in his favor and he enjoys sporting at least a couple of guns at all times (I’m pretty sure I see them under the shirt sleeves!). Some of my best pals are Republicans and occasionally I find myself wavering in a moderate or even (gasp!) right hand direction on issues, but these conservative abs and hyper-masculine peacocking are simply not enough to urge this mostly leftwingin’ mother of two to inch my pinkie toe across the aisle. Mr. Schock’s stance on women’s rights (he voted to defund Planned Parenthood) and global warming (opposes the reduction of coal and oil usage and believes there is little, if any, evidence of global warming and it’s effects) does not fall in line with his reported desire to reach out to the MTV generation.

Not much makes me waver from my usual news sources (The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Comedy Central, and Chelsea Lately on E!), but this kind of hypocrisy offers the kind of intrigue that even the most credible installment of TMZ might miss. Read more of this post

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Gas for the trip

Stop getting just "Gas for the Trip"

My wife goes to the gas station and, instead of filling up, will put $20 in her tank.  It drives me crazy.  After fifteen years together, it’s one of a very short list of items that she does that bugs me.  Her list for me, by the way, is much longer.  In fact, I think she’s hired a consultant to build a database around it.

But this affliction is very, very prevalent.  We all suffer from it in one way or another.  It affects us personally, as well as professionally; emotionally and even physically.  It may very well be one of the main barriers toward sustainable success in our lives.  Taking shortcuts, it should come to no surprise, is as destructive to growth as any other actions or thoughts we have. Read more of this post

Is Stress Making You Fat? The Cortisol / Belly Fat Connection

Happy March! Spring is around the corner and so are tank tops and short shorts (for the guys…let’s hope not so short shorts). For those who have accepted the challenge of resisting soda and your diet vice for ten days, congratulations! (Please see last week’s post: https://bobbybluford.com/2011/02/22/welcome-julie/). The comments and conversations that followed my February 22nd post were both informative and entertaining, but what I enjoyed most was your honesty.

We all have vices, whether we acknowledge them or not. Lisa’s comment about wine being a “gateway drug” that leads her to make other poor diet choices is very poignant and I’m guessing relatable to many of us. Bobby’s suggestion to break habits with small successes is spot on. We must hold attainable goals. So, simply put, the “less everyday” approach, rather than the “cold turkey” approach keeps you trending in the right direction and builds your confidence and energy, which eventually translates into activity and the production of endorphins—the feel-good chemicals released in your brain to bring you a sense of well-being. Read more of this post

No More Freakin’ Excuses

Not Me, Unfortunately

No, that is not me.

Unfortunately.

Maybe 10 years ago, but certainly not now.  BUT, it is the front cover of a great article by Men’s Health Magazine.  We all have trouble getting motivated sometimes.  At the top of things for which we look for and find excuses– often legitimate, I’ll concede–is working out and getting in better shape.  Even I fight that voice that tells me to just go home and relax.  I usually push back with my own voice, usually resorting to one of the following:

  1. Excuses are for Losers!
  2. If you look hard enough, you can always find an excuse
  3. Excuses are for Losers!
  4. To have what others don’t, you have to be willing to do what others won’t
  5. Excuses are for Losers!

Fortunately, Men’s Health is more articulate and helpful in their approach.  In their article, 21 Ways to Overcome Exercise Excuses, you should fine just what you need (at least one or two motivating tools) to get you off your butt and get moving.

What’s Your Diet Vice?

Hello Friends,

A few weeks ago I reconnected with my old pal Bobby through his very informative and inspirational website. Bobby and I met 14 years ago in Silicon Valley at a start-up tech company. He took care of the money (thankfully!) and I took care of the marketing communications. Working with young, eager, and energetic innovators, we managed to have a great time in the workplace; and, because we didn’t have children or many responsibilities outside of ourselves, we found plenty of time to stay fit and healthy.

That life may have very well belonged to someone else. Who was that person? Somehow, I worked all day, and then taught group exercise classes at a gym in the evening. I found time to run and compete in races, including a few marathons. I even worked on my strength in the weight room—not Mr. Bluford-style, of course, but I did my share. And, most importantly, I consistently stoked the fires burning at home with the hubby, managed to be a staunch supporter of Girls Night Out with my peeps, and was a smiling presence at all family holidays, births and birthdays. A skilled juggler! Read more of this post

You’ve heard it before, but breakfast..

DO NOT skip Breakfast!

Breakfast is still important.  Extremely important.  The most important meal of the day, in fact.  You’ve heard it time and time again.  But need more proof?  Men’s Health gives you 3 Reasons.  They also have a great quiz to help you make the best decisions when choosing what to eat in the morning.

7 Muscle Building Mistakes

If you want to build muscle you can’t smoke and you must get lots of sleep.  Duh, right?  But what about playing hoops or going for a jog at lunchtime?  And is eating right after a workout good for you?  Learn the seven biggest mistakes people make when trying to build muscle at today’s Men’s Health article: 7 Muscle-Building Mistakes to Avoid.