A whopping 91 percent – that’s how many women, aged 18 to 60, were found to beWoman Clothes Shopping dissatisfied with their bodies, in a survey conducted at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

The body types we have now may change through the years, but because being an ectomorph, mesomorph, or endomorph may be due to genetic factors, there are some people who cannot alter their basic body shapes.

We can, however, reduce some flab, tone our muscles, or wear clothes that would be most flattering to our body types.

Clothes For Ectos

Ectomorphs generally have slim bodies, small bones and joints, shoulders and hips that are nearly the same width, less muscle mass, and find it difficult to gain weight.

They generally have long limbs in relation to their body and have an overall delicate build.

Pants and skirts that have gathers at the hip and the waist go well with narrow hips, to give the impression of a fuller lower part of the body.give the impression of a fuller lower part

Accessories can help focus the eyes and create illusions.

For instance, ectos who are long-waisted should use wider belts to make the waist look as if it’s more in proportion to the other parts of your body.

To break up the length of the torso, wear a top with a different color from pants or skirt color. Today’s trendy hip belts are also perfect for ectos, as they make the hips seem wider than they really are.

Those with small bustlines should wear shirts with breast pockets, or blouses with tucks or gathers at the breast area to accent their chests. It would be a good idea to look into Maximizer™ bras that have special pads inside the cups to give small breasts a “lift.”

What Should Mesos Avoid Wearing?

Large bones and broad shoulders characterize the mesomorphic body type. They generally have well-defined shoulders and chests, with widths greater than their waistlines.

Mesos have shoulders and hips that are approximately of the same width, and they enjoy taut stomachs. Mesos store fat evenly all over their bodies, which fortunately gives them good proportions. To top it all of, their body structure is very receptive to muscle mass gain.

Mesos normally can wear any type of outfit they want, although there are some areas they would want to downplay.

Those who do not want their shoulders to look too broad as to take away from their femininity must do away with shoulder pads. If you’re more of a meso, you could wear boot-cut pants or flare skirts which both provide a counterpoint to your shoulders.

While you would look fantastic in halter tops, strapless blouses and spaghetti straps are to be avoided, as well as pencil skirts which emphasize the “inverted triangle” body shape.

Fashion For Endos

A recent research published in the Clothing and Textiles Research Journal revealed that women with a lower body image tended to resort to greater body coverage with the use of clothes.

That is, the more uncomfortable a woman was with certain parts of her body, the more she tended to “cover them up” with layers of clothes.

What these women probably don’t know is that this technique makes them look even heavier. There are light clothes an endo could use that would not add unnecessary bulk yet would look flattering on her.

Endos should stay away from fills or any extra fabric that adds volume, as well as large prints and loud patterns. To elongate short waists, select narrow belts and wear same-colored tops and bottoms.

To downplay broad hips, go for straight skirts and trousers, preferably in dark, solid colors. Choose clothes made from fabrics that won’t add volume, such as gabardine or wool.

You could also wear a flowing pants-skirt, as long as it isn’t too tent-like.

Although full chests should be no cause for concern, there are some endos who feel conscious about it.

To make you feel like royalty, follow the tips given by the Queen’s corsetieres, Rigby & Peller of London. They claim that at least 50% of women wear the wrong bra size, and this can be quite devastating to the way we carry ourselves in our clothes.

A good support bra, for instance, should cup the breast and not bear on the flesh.

The front of the bra must be aligned with the back and a good fit should allow the bra to be worn on the first hooks.

If you want to divert attention away from or tone down your middle area, wear diagonal prints, shirts with ruching, and wrap tops. Mid-rise jeans are best for your body type, and so are boot-cut pants and flaring skirts.

Keep fit for a better-looking you

Regardless of your body type, the best way you could feel good about yourself is to engage in a body-toning exercise, whether it’s a thrice-a-week aerobic activity or spending a few minutes on the treadmill every evening. When you’re healthy, you’ll exude an extraordinary glow about you and you’ll gain more confidence in the way you carry yourself.

M. Jamal

P.S. What’s your thoughts on this topic? Do you notice friends and colleagues that pick clothes that hurt rather than help their body type?

One common characteristic of extreme diets is that they’re spawned by fads.

One moment they’re veritably unknown, and the next, they’re all over the papers and TV. Hyped ads, these diet plans usually die down as fast as they shoot up to fame.

Here are three simple reasons why most extreme diets will only work temporarily:

  1. Many individuals taken by the hype jump into the bandwagon without first assessing how committed they will be.

    They’ll go hungry for a couple of days and decide that it’s too much as hunger pangs start gnawing at them.

    The following are a few things you need to first ask yourself before embarking on an extreme diet:

    • Are you prepared to take the flak?Woman Diet Time

      Expect the usual cynical questions and comments from family and friends, and decide how to deal with them.

      “Oh, you’re on another fad diet again, huh?” or “I’ll bet you a hundred you’re going to stop this foolishness after a week.”

    • Do you honestly think you can manage the changes?

      If your new diet calls for replacing meat with tofu or doing away with your usual comfort food such as pastries and potatoes, make sure you’re ready to make that change.

      Don’t falter and start to indulge in self-pity when you’re already there.

    • Would you be able to maintain a different lifestyle?

      If your group is into after-office cocktails, parties, or dining out often, do you think you can stay on track?

    • Are you equipped in the kitchen?

      Most fad diets call for cooking your own special meals. Study the equipment needed and decide if you’re determined enough to invest in the tools.

  2. Those who aren’t well-prepared at dealing with crash diets find the extreme hunger intolerable.

    Some people succeed during the first few days – actually losing a few pounds – but binge on food when they feel like rewarding themselves. It’s sort of making the most of not having to cut down on food when they go on a diet day-off, such as during the holidays – resulting in yo-yo dieting.

  3. Most fad diets are low-carb diets.
    lady yo-yo dieting

    Since carbs remind us of good times such as picnics with mashed potatoes and pies and holidays with turkey stuffing and scrumptious cookies.

    If you restrict carb intake or attempt to eliminate them from your diet, you’ll end up binging on them eventually.Rather than doing away with them, just change the types of carbs you eat.

    Moreover, once a person has reached the targeted weight, her mindset is that the diet is finished and she’ll end up going back to her old ways.

It makes good sense to have a change of lifestyle instead of obsessing over extreme diets.

As long as your diet is sensible, you need not skip meals. Stick with normal food but take less of it. To keep from starving, adopt a snacking habit instead of three full meals a day.

If you combine this desirable eating habit with regular exercise, you’ll shed pounds much slower, sure, but because you have developed a routine, it’s more likely to have a lasting effect.

M. Jamal

P.S. Ever been on a fad diet? Did it work out? How did it feel over the long run? Would love to hear your thoughts on this…

How I accidentally stumbled upon an interesting example that illustrates the “New Way To Look At Exercise” concept…

If you’ve checked out my previous blog post titeld “5 ‘Fit Steps’ To Getting The Most Out Of 2008” you would’ve came across what I call “A New Way To Look At Exercise”
It’s a mental shift towards enjoying your workouts and starting to look forward to moving your body.

Well, about two days ago, while researching the top New Year’s resolutions… I stumbled upon an interesting comment by a man called Richard Waddell that caught my attention, it said:

“The one resolution I ever kept was not for
New Year’s and it inadvertently helped me
to end up being fit at 60.”

Interestingly, it turns out that resolution came about because Richard has always preferred being sedentary.

The guy Rode a bike for over 20 years!

Strangely, he claims that he skipped more days than he rode because he hated it so much at first (typical for so many people trying to go from total sedentary to a fitness overhaul).

What’s interesting is that Richard started riding more consistently as he focused on the benefits, the mood change and elevated energy immediately after the workout.

The next phase is when he discovered how exercise allowed him to “zone out” mentally (this one is major for me, and if you’re often stressed from work you ought to have a feel for this next time you exercise. Simply block out everything other than working out for 40, 50 or 60 minutes when your at the gym or outdoors)

In his own words:

“And after a few months you develop the ability to “zone out”

so you can think, listen to music, or daydream and only be

peripherally aware of the physical effort.”

(Have you experienced that during a workout? I find it comes easy when there isn’t many people around at the gym… or when your outdoors and looking far ahead, kind of ‘lost in the moment’)

Richard also mentions something which is often overlooked; visualization. (I touched on this concept in October’s post, “4 Keys to Mental Focus in Physical Training”)

His example may seem a bit weird at first, yet sometimes it’s good to illustrate a point with extreme examples:

“The pedalling is pumping the music into your body; it sweeps

through your system, refreshing the cells and taking the toxins with it.

It exits through your feet; the toxins dissipate and the

cleansed energy goes back into re-inforcing the whole cycle.”

OK, so you’ve got the mental picture of this guy’s journey… now what about his “Rock Jump” technique?Fit Woman with Jump Rope

Well, it turns out Richard was pretty bored with the usual rope skipping so he tweaked it into a more interesting version he calls “Jump Rock”.

It’s worth a look if for no other reason to convince yourself that “You too can be creative, add bits to your workouts or variations to make them MORE FUN”

Here’s what Richard says about it at age 60:

“I believe I’ve developed more stamina
and added more muscle in the last two years
than I should be able to at my age.

I believe that’s because I actually enjoy JumpRock so I do it as much as I can…

It’s worth checking out the video demonstration of JumpRock at this link (give it a few seconds to load).

Hope this inspires you to enjoy your next workout.

Even more, hope you picked up some mental tactics to experiment with, the kind that’ll generate momentum to make 2008 a great year towards achieving your fitness goals and a great figure.

To making a noticeable difference in 2008,

M. Jamal

P.S. Would love to hear your thoughts on this and how you’re planning to add momentum to your fitness plans for 2008.

”An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.”

Bill Vaughan

Quick: do you believe in New Year Resolutions?fit new years resolution

OK, let me wish you a great, prosperous 2008 before I jump into this…

It’s not surprising that “Starting A Diet” or “Weight Loss” is on almost everyone’s top 3 ‘wish list’…. and… It’s not surprising that gyms experience they’re biggest spike in membership during January.

Yet, it’s estimated that 4 out of 5 people who make New Year’s resolutions never make it through (actually, a third won’t even make it to the end of January)!

Can you look this statistic in the face and get past it?

I bet you can.

Here are a few tips… some suggestions… to make the most out of your goal-setting for 2008 (as always, I’d love to hear your own tips, ideas that worked for you. So feel free to click ‘comment’ at the end of this post):

  1. Be Specific:

    I bet you’ve heard this one before.

    It’s the difference between joining a gym and deciding to workout 3 times a week for a minimum 40 minutes.It’s even better to decide when you’ll be working out and plan a rough exercise routine to start with.It’s the difference between saying “I’ll eat healthier” and deciding to:

    • Eat raisins or baby carrots instead of indulging in sweets
    • Preparing a salad, or eating a vegetable, every evening.
    • Eat fish at least twice a week

    You get the idea. Start with simple changes, ahh… that’s the next one…

  2. Avoid The “Do It Overnight” Temptation:

    In other words ‘be realistic’.lady measuring waistline

    Here’s an example, changing one meal a time is far easier than re-doing your whole eating plan for the day all at once.Let’s say you decide to switch to “whole wheat toast”, or “never skip breakfast”… or how about this one; “eating a salad before your meal”

    (By the way, this is a great way to cut calories.
    A study conducted at Pennsylvania State University on 42 women estimates this technique to cut down calorie intake by 12 % without your tummy noticing the difference.)

    Another way to look at this is “Avoid Crash Diets” or the temptation to ‘workout till you drop’.

    Don’t try to drop 10 pounds in 2 weeks, instead it’s good to start with a long-term goal like “lose 30 pounds and look toned by summer” then work your way back and set realistic monthly goals (a safe target is losing a pound a week).

  3. Have Some Ammo To Blast Through The Obstacles Ahead:

    It’s inevitable that you’ll run through some circumstances that’ll run you off target.

    Maybe you’ve got to work long-shifts for a week, maybe you can’t get to the gym, or you could have days where you’re worn on… and so on (the same with your nutrition).Key word ‘Be Prepared’.Having a simple plan works best. How about:

    • Having some basic workout equipment at home (dumbbells, floor mat, exercise ball) for days when you can’t make it to the gym.
    • A shorter workout on days when you’re pressed for time (always better than skipping your workout).
    • Have some basic sports wear in your car. Now there’s no chance of going to the gym and quitting because realizing you forgot your sports wear.
    • Keeping some healthy snacks (e.g. raisins, carrots) in the car, or office, to avoid hitting the drive-thru or fast food spot.

  4. A New Way To Look At Exercise:

    Ask ten people at office what they think about exercise and chances are 8 out of 10 would probably say things like: painful, too much of an obligation, don’t have time, impossible to keep up for more than a few weeks, needs too much willpower.lady fun workout in pool

    Now notice the mental shift in these expressions: makes me unwind, a great escape from the pressures of work, peaceful me-time, gives me energy and heightens my mood.

    Do yourself a favor; grab a piece of paper and jot down as many Reasons To Be Fit And Healthy as you can. You’ll need these to make it through.

    Here’s a powerful technique I’ve recently been experimenting with: how about having a weekly treat or goal?

    For example, I’m getting more and more into wakeboarding. So I try to hit the water on weekends (too bad I couldn’t make it last 2 weekends because of the usual windy weather these days!).

    Anyway, when I’m working out during the week I’m thinking: “Make the best of every exercise, it’ll help when I’m on the water next weekend”

    You get the picture, it’s like I’m practicing for an event. It’s not a competition and I’m not about to win medals, it simply means a lot to me and that’s what counts.

    What means a lot to you? What’s a powerful image you can have in mind when your training next week?

  5. Get Focused, The Power Of ‘One’: In brief, instead of focusing on 4 New Year resolutions trim them down to one.

    There’s power in focus and it increases your chance of achieving that goal.

    “Sometimes we take on too many changes and create too many goals all at one time,” explains Erica Wright, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist who practices in New York City and Fairfield, Conn. “Instead of being able to maintain these new habits, we fail because we become overwhelmed.” (see here for more)

For now I’d like to leave you with two inspiring quotes:

“My New Year’s resolution is to look up more often than I look down. I can’t remember the last time I looked at the clouds or the stars. Sometimes you forget to when you’re walking around in New York City. (I just hope I don’t step in any dog poo!) I also need to cut back on the Diet Coke!”

by Broadway pros Annaleigh Ashford.

“We spend January 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives, not looking for flaws, but for potential.”

Ellen Goodman

M. Jamal

P.S. Again, I’d like to wish you a great 2008 and don’t hesitate to add your thoughts, you very own ideas on how to make the most out of New Year’s resolutions. Click ‘comment’ to add yours.