How Bella Got Her Groove Back

exercise-machineA year ago, Bella was your typical Italian-American young woman living in South Jersey. She resided in a house with her two best girlfriends, and these three musketeers did just about everything together. When she wasn’t working at Alicia DiMichele Boutique, she was practicing makeup techniques and tricks she learned from YouTube, downing drinks at Marlton Tavern, or making the short drive to the shore so she can work on her tan and meet some cute shore boys.

After a few years of living the young, uninhibited life, Bella faced what she had been long denying: that she had packed on more than a few pounds and that every few months she had to buy new clothes because she could no longer fit into her old ones. This time, instead of turning to the Patron bottle that had long been her crutch, she called a house meeting with her besties.

Her friends, too, had gained an unhealthy amount of weight. Making a pact to lose the “extra baggage” together and support one another through the process made their weight loss goal much easier to manage than if they were to attempt it themselves. The three musketeers vowed to get back to a healthy weight and for everyone to hold each other accountable.

Bella knew that weight loss was one-half diet, and the other half exercise. The first order of business was to clean out the pantry and refrigerator of unhealthy food options. Water and tea will replace soda and fruit juices loaded with sugar. Fruits and vegetables will replace chips and cookies. Quinoa and brown rice will replace breads and white rice. Chicken and fish will replace bacon and sausages. And so forth. Bella and her housemates decided that one glass of wine with dinner was fine, and that on one night out of the week, they will allow themselves three vodka sodas…because even though they are trying to lose weight, they still got to live a little.

Diet aside, Bella knew she had to develop an exercise routine that would keep her interested and motivated. After a quick Google search, it was apparent that what would best suit her lifestyle and needs is high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This type of exercise routine involves alternating intervals of heart-pumping cardio with periods of lower-intensity exercise. HIIT would only take 30 minutes out of her day, and the alternating, short intervals would make the time seem to pass much more quickly. For the high-intensity phase of the exercise, Bella decided to vary her workouts by choosing between running on the treadmill, rowing on the row machine, or climbing stairs. Her lower-intensity phases will involve a short circuit of legs, abs and arms of her choosing. This could mean a set of squats, planks, and push-ups or lunges, crunches, and tricep dips. She found that the rowing machine tending to offer the best all round workout, you can check reviews of models to buy for your own home.

As Bella became acclimated to her exercise regimen, she quickly fell in love with the rowing machine. This machine offered a great entire body workout that raised her heart rate fast. It made her upper body and core work out just as much as her legs, and she felt exhilarated by watching the equipment monitor and trying to keep up her strokes per minute. Bella’s housemates quickly became enamored with the rowing machine as well.

As Bella and her two best friends stuck to their diet and exercise (except for a few days of “falling off the wagon”), the pounds began to melt away from their bodies. Six months into a healthier lifestyle, and Bella was in the best shape of her life. Eating healthy and going to the gym regularly no longer became a chore, but were simply things she did to make her feel good. They were things that she can now not live without. Since her transformation, both physically and mentally, Bella decided she wanted to help others through the same transformational process she experienced and left her retail job to pursue a career in fitness and lifestyle coaching. Bella definitely got her groove back, and she’s happy spreading that to the world.

One Woman and Her VW Beetle

vw-beetle-sleepEcho McNamara is quite detached from material possessions. Her house is a simple hut with a wood-burning stove that provides both heat and her only source for cooking meals. Her closet contains only a few changes of clothing, suitable for all types of weather. While most women spend loads on health and beauty products, McNamara makes her own biodegradable, all-natural soap from scratch, and that’s the only health and beauty product she uses. Not one for worldly things, there is one item McNamara simply can’t live without. It’s her 1967 Volkswagen Beetle.

Volkswagen experts say that the Beetle was at its prime in 1967. That year, Beetles had front end disc brakes, improved ventilation, tended to rust less than models of other years, better headlights, factory 12-volt electrics, and a very reliable 1500 single-port motor. McNamara certainly knew a thing or two when it to Beetles. A young teen in the 60’s, McNamara embraced the bohemian lifestyle of her older siblings. Her brothers were Volkswagen fanatics, and she often overheard their passionate conversations about all things Volkswagen. Thanks to her brothers’ knowledge and research, McNamara searched far and wide for a ’67 Beetle when she was ready to own a vehicle in 1985. Since then, she has not had the heart to part with her prized possession.

McNamara loved her VW Beetle so much that she outfitted the vehicle as her second home. With a cooler and stove stashed under the dashboard on the passenger side and a custom memory foam mattress that filled her back seat, McNamara is able to take her Beetle out and about for days and camp out of it at night. On some nights when she felt lonely at home, should would simply spend the night in her Beetle and feel cozy, warm, and loved. Who needs a husband when you have a ’67 Volkswagen Beetle?