Grin and bare it all. (We should all look good naked.)
In the United States we say that "New York is about how good you look in your clothes, while Miami is about how good you look out of your clothes." (That might explain Miami's obsession with plastic surgery.) At www.beautifulbumbum.com we believe that if you don't feel good out of your clothes you probably don't feel good in your clothes. But what really matters here is how you feel.
We want to address this, because even if you live in New York or Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Canada, Paris - any place where there are revolving seasons, and low temperatures cool enough to force us into layers of warm clothes that protect and hide our body (and consequently our body dissatisfaction), we want you to at least have the option of accepting a last minute beach getaway without fearing what you look like under your clothes. Body dissatisfaction shouldn't dictate which invites you decline. (Learn from my less-than-prepared moments. It's beach season all year thanks to my new beau.) We want you to have it all.
Taking care of your body is a full-time commitment. Even if you aren't a beach bum like me you don't want to worry about slipping into that little black dress, undressing in a shared locker room, or bumping into an ex when you are not at your best. A healthy fit body never goes out of style. (Also, you need a LBD - and we want to look and feel great when wearing it.) Always be prepared for that last minute invite to some place really nice. We want you to look good naked, and feel great about it.
It's Friday, but we're high achievers, so we'll just assume you've been running, squatting, swimming, biking, lifting, and stretching all week (of course you've also been taking care of your body with the right products, this is a lifestyle) and now you're ready to go out, relax, and dance - if you're me. So, what have you been putting in your body to give you that healthy, youthful, toned, smooth, flawless look? We have a few recommendations from our beauty playbook.
Every organ in the body needs water to function well. If you need more convincing, think clear skin, moisturized kissable lips, a smooth clean complexion, healthier hair, nail support, and a natural internal cleanser. Help your body function the way it should.
We started this blog by offering small albeit essential tips (like reminding you to drink water) to create your own life changing beauty regimen, to highlight how every small action - or inaction - we take either helps or harms our goals. These small changes, if implemented and committed to, are preparing you for a body that is healthy and happy, and that you feel good about. Also, it's worth noting that prevention is your best ally when it comes to beauty and health considerations. It's much easier to prevent acne, cellulite, stretchmarks, and damaged hair than it is to repair (just as it is easier to prevent disease than to cure it).
2. A Balanced Diet
This is going to look different depending on your health needs, but leafy green vegetables, smart lean protein, and energy sustaining foods will definitely be included.
I am always finding ways to supercharge my routines and diet (for example: I gargle with cayenne pepper water in the morning, always cleanse my skin of bacteria before going to bed, and if I have not eaten all of my veggies for the day, I put them in the blender or juicer to make sure I don't miss any nutrients). When I go out with my gentleman. women and men are impressed that I actually eat. (When did women stop eating? I shouldn't be handed a badge of honor for eating in public.) Find a balanced diet that works for you and then make it better. It has to work for you, and it's alright if you start with small changes.
I like to start my morning with this homemade blended shake:
Tropical Avocado Basil Smoothie:
3. Add Spice to Your Life
I never pass up an opportunity to add nutrients and value to my body. Whether you add them to a homemade salad dressing, salads, meats, fish, or sides, add at least 3 additional herbs or spices to each day. I love oregano, basil, fennel, rosemary, turmeric, cloves, and cayenne pepper to start. Don't forget about onions, garlic, leeks, sprouts and all that other goodness you can throw in to add flavor, texture, and so many health benefits. (My kitchen is filled with spices and I love them all!) So many of the products we use get their beneficial qualities from herbs and spices. I say go straight to the source and add some spice to your day.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
In The Whole Body Rule, I shared how I use apple cider vinegar as part of an external body cleansing ritual. Here, are two recipes using apple cider vinegar that cleanse, detoxify, boost the immune system and burn fat internally.
Spicy Apple Cider Vinegar Lemonade:
(Serve hot or cold)
1/5 cup Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar
1 small lemon wedge squeeze, add to cup (rind on)
1 pinch cayenne pepper
grated fresh ginger
honey to taste
1-1/2 cups water
(to Serve Frozen)
add a handful of fresh basil
1 tbs fresh aloe vera pulp (aloe pulp is a bitter translucent slimy gelatinous substance)
1-1/2 cups ice (reduce water to 1 cup)
blend and enjoy
I hope you're beginning to see how small changes can have a monumental impact on your goals.
Note: you won't taste the aloe with Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar and fresh basil in your frozen drink.
Tip: remember acids can be harsh on tooth enamel, so use a straw when you can. Also, remember to save the scraped aloe leaf to use on your skin after your evening bath.
Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar gives me a boost of energy, aids digestion, supports my immune system, burns fat, and promotes overall internal and external health. When used in the recipes above, the apple cider vinegar should be slightly tart but pleasant to drink. Enjoy!
And just in case dancing after a week of achieving and accomplishing doesn't sound relaxing to you, run a warm bath (throw in some rose petals if they're on hand), play some music, have a romantic dinner at home for one or two - you've earned it. Catch up on your favorite shows, find a new show to binge watch this weekend, or fall in love with a new book.
Don't overthink it. Naturally improving any part of your body likely feels like the one who got away. You stared longingly into space yearning for that one person who ignites such passion and desire in your____, whenever you think of that relationship that ended a decade or more ago.
This isn't like that. I promise.
We live in a society that conditions us to be dissatisfied with where we are in life and who we are. This leaves us vulnerable to Big Brand which wants to sell, sell, sell.
Most ads use the same formula in marketing products they tell us we will pay a discounted rate for their quality product or service.
Our behavior is so reliable that Big Brand has it down to the science: sell in X seconds or the odds of a sale decrease, advertise with X color to communicate a particular feeling. It's genius how they've applied studies of human behavior to generate huge profits. After all of the product purchases we are still dissatisfied, and Big Brand wants us to believe that the answer is to purchase more. We keep buying, they keep selling. No one knows which is the chicken and which is the egg.
Here's the thing, the United States is a capitalist society: good quality isn't cheap, fast and cheap isn't good quality - with few exceptions. For example: I could either pay thousands of dollars to an expert website developer to create this site or I could pay a lesser annual fee by using a website formatting and hosting service. (I chose option two. The headache was immediate. This site did not live up to its sales promises. There were hiccups: features touted to increase sales did not work as promised and of course there were constant up sells. In the future, I would rather pay a site developer to create a website.)
I'm not an anti-capitalist. In fact, business, investments, and human behavior are among the courses I studied and apply to manage my brands and transact business. But, I don't take short cuts. My brands operate on a core set of business ethics. The U.S. business world severely penalizes my gender for missteps, so I have to provide a superior service to that of male business operators to achieve the same result. If a woman errs, she's seen as incompetent and the consequences are disastrous for her career and reputation. If a man errs, he's seen as a risk taker, brave, and an asset to a business.
So, we're dissatisfied with an area of our body. What do we do? We work on it. Naturally. The person who believed the hype and went with the implants, injections, fillers, and surgical enhancements is not happy. Surgical enhancement leads a person to discover yet another area of the body that needs to be improved. There are no shortcuts. Cosmetic surgery is not a cure for body dissatisfaction. The surgery only treats a symptom.
The cure for body dissatisfaction is to work on your body naturally. Unlike the one who got away, there are several active and passive behaviors that you can implement to improve areas of your body - and you are in complete control of the end result. You can tone your butt and get the perky cheeks you want by adjusting your behavior. And the positive feedback you are giving your body and mind by investing in yourself will definitely increase body satisfaction.
I want you to leave this post with a targeted strategy that places your individual body concerns at the center, That is what is going to lead to real results and increased body satisfaction for you. Make it all about you. That is how you increase body satisfaction - target, plan, execute the plan, and you will find satisfaction in what you have accomplished.
I apply The Whole Body Rule to my personal care routine, and it helps me make better product, fitness, health, and lifestyle choices. Before I try a new product or method I ask: "is there a danger to other body parts?" Following this rule, I avoid quick-dry nail polish sprays, microwaves, reusable plastic water bottles, Japanese hair straightening, and so on. I don't want a product that addresses one concern while creating a new problem or increasing danger to another part of my body.
In action, The Whole Body Rule looks like this: I have a ritual I follow for taking care of my (butt) cheeks before bed. It cleanses, tones, protects, adds antioxidants, moisturizes, smells amazing - and can also be used for my face. I use
The green tea and apple cider vinegar keeps my derriere free of pimples and other unwanted, unsightly, and avoidable conditions. After I rinse, I apply the aloe and my moisturizer. You or your lover should slowly massage the moisturizer in. (I discuss moisturizers in a separate post. Massage does wonders for maintaining elasticity of the skin, and it feels great.)
This recipe uses antioxidants, an antibacterial astringent, and nourishing aloe on your cheeks before going to sleep - the time that the body does the bulk of its healing and restoration. This is a small change to something you already do (bathing) that will improve the look and feel of your cheeks. You can maximize the benefits of this routine by pairing it with either dry brushing or exfoliating. I also like to rinse in cool water after bathing to close my pores.
Of course there are several products on the market that claim to provide the same benefits as my ritual - and with visible results from the day one. But - you'd need a specialized advanced degree to understand the ingredients you'd be putting on your skin and the effect that they can have on normal body processes like fertility. There are no shortcuts. (It isn't a coincidence that incidence of cancer, infertility, and disease are up.) Are you slowly poisoning yourself with the products you choose? What is your health worth?
Today, I enjoy the most firm, tone, and healthy skin of my life - without cosmetic surgery or harmful products. Going natural is a commitment not an instant cure for prior neglect of the body, but the internal and external results are visible and undeniable.
Tip: store the green tea bag in the refrigerator. This makes for a refreshing pre-moisturizer eye compress the next morning.
This body has not been cosmetically surgically altered.
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