I am not totally unrealistic—I realise that my body isn’t going to magically look more female by exercise and diet alone. But, I also realise that exercising in a way that is consistent with my body goals and body image certainly helps.
Long and lean, no muscle bulk, just tone. Firm thighs, firm abs, firm booty, toned legs and arms and rounded shoulders. That’s what I am after. Thanks to the exercise regimes of a small number of YouTube health and fitness people, I am closer to my goal. I can look at my naked body now for the first time since my teens and not be depressed.
I have changed the way I eat, when I eat, how I eat, and to some extent what I eat, but I am super clear that the main reasons for the better body feeling comes from exercise. These are the women and their programs (and I have tried a lot of them) who have helped me the most, and whose exercises I turn to.
I am not sure whether any of these people are professionally trained or licensed fitness instructors, and in truth, I don’t care. Their exercises have been enjoyable to follow and have helped me tremendously. What is great about all of them is that they are mostly without equipment, and are very apartment or hotel-room friendly. So, if you are a road warrior like I am, there’s no excuse not to get down on the mat and burn the fat!
- Anastasia Vlassov…Her exercises are challenging, fast, without the usual self-promotion that plague so many youtubers, and are really targeted and effective. She also has good taste in music, and there is almost no chit-chat are time wasting. Her ab and legs, thigh and glute workouts are phenomenal.
- Pamela Reif…Excellent. Her workouts are numerous and varied. Her stretching routines are especially good. She also has great taste in music.
- Sanne Vloet…does much more than just exercise, but also lifestyle and diet. I use her videos for the exercise, and her pilates routines are fantastic and effective. I wish there were more of them, but I see and feel results.
- MadFit…she was my first go-to trainer and I still come back regularly for the mix of dance (she is a former ballerina) and fitness. Her own fitness level is inspiring, and she is truly pushing you to be long and lean. She produces tons of videos, and some of the workouts are unusual with exercises not found elsewhere. I also love the cardio dance routines.
What I like about all of these workouts is that they are short, varied, and targeted…so you can work on the area that you wish. I like to chop and change throughout the week, all while trying to get in at least one hour of effort but changing up the exercises to give different parts of my body time to rest and recover.
What else do I do? I run. Three days a week, saving a big one for the weekend. My weekday runs are short and “fast” (for me). That is typically 4-5k. My weekend run is usually long and “slower”, mostly 12k but ranging from 10-18k. It took me 6 months to move up from 1k and 2k runs to this pace.
Throughout the week, however, I focus on flexibility as well. Every single day, briefly when I get up and before I make the morning coffee, I stretch. And every single day, at night before going to bed, I do a 30 minute stretching routine for flexibility and relaxation. Pamela Reif’s stretching routines are a firm favourite, but so too are those of Mady Morison, a yoga youtuber.
This is a large part of how I have now lost 30 pounds and kept it off.
P.S. There is another fitness person that I follow from time to time though I find her videos “triggering”. She has a puppy that has a tendency to join in the fun, stealing her exercise bands and pulling on her clothes, just wanting to play…and she talks to him all the time, calling him “puppy” and “baby” and referring to herself as “mommy”. I am sure you can appreciate how distracting that might be to me!