It’s getting close to summer time, and you might have started working on your “beach body.” But
what is a beach body, really? In magazines, you’ve probably seen models in swimsuits with abs and thigh gaps, highly photoshopped to achieve perfection. I don’t know about you, but when I go to the beach, I don’t see that. I see reality: people who are happy and “normal.” It’s not like in the commercials or movies. So why do you keep thinking that that’s real life? More importantly, why do you keep trying ridiculous workout schemes to get “quick fixes” for weight problems? You may need a fresh perspective and a reality check.
WORKOUT PROGRAMS IN REALITY
Of course you want to look your best. I understand that, and I encourage you to pursue that goal. But how are you trying to reach that goal? For example: “Beachbody” workouts like The 21 Day Fix may get you results quickly. My question is what happens when those 21 days are up or the exercise programs end? If you are trying to get in shape for a specific date such as a wedding, spring break, prom etc., well that is fine. However, most people feel deprived and tired on these types of diet programs. These plans are short-term only. You need something that lasts beyond the beach-body season. You should strive to be your best year round. As we all know, eating healthy foods, getting plenty of sleep and exercising on a regular consistent basis will help us lead happy, healthy lives.
SO HERE’S WHAT I SUGGEST:
It’s now May. Don’t drive yourself crazy trying to figure out how you can be your slimmest self for summer. Be kind to yourself and be realistic.
Over 12 weeks you should lose about 12 pounds. A pound or so a week is a healthy pace for everyone. If you want to do Insanity, that is your prerogative. However, when you push yourself a little too fast to lose multiple pounds a week, you are putting yourself at risk for injury. Do you really want to set yourself up for a setback that results in muscle loss, inactivity and weight gain? Probably not. Be patient. Gradually work up to permanent changes that result in a healthy lifestyle.
Don’t just look at exercise as the solution. I’ve heard it said that, “a six pack is made in the kitchen.” Meaning it takes more than crunches at the gym to get a flat tummy. Eating healthy is one of the major ways to lose weight safely, and it doesn’t mean eating food that tastes like cardboard. Check out my 6 week of healthy weekday dinners and snacks on my web site: www.harmonywithfood.com
Go to: Sign up, put in your email address then use the code/password: 6weekmealplan. Go back to the website under the login. Use your email and the same password (above) and sign in. In the upper left hand corner, you will see the 6 week meal plan with recipes, shopping lists and healthy snack ideas. Let me know what your favorite meal is!
Don’t get too overzealous. I believe in setting goals for yourself and striving for a little extra, too. But you have to be honest with yourself. If you’re in your forties, you can be in the best health and shape of your life and still not look how you did when you were in your twenties. AND THAT IS OKAY. Know your limits, set real goals, and appreciate your body type for what it is.
So as you continue (or start) to reach your summer-body goals, think of how you can carry these health and fitness habits into the fall, and the winter, and the following spring and so on. Hot weather and vacations come and go, but your good mood and energy levels do not need to end as we gear towards fall. I’ll continue to give you tips and advice on how to be as healthy as possible all year round.
Photo of food collage courtesy of Witthaya Phonsawat | freedigitalphotos.net. Photo of me taken at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Hope & Main, Rhode Island's first kitchen incubator, of which I'm a BIG supporter. Learn more at makefoodyourbusiness.org.