Lately, with the arrival of the real Canadian summer, my social media feeds are flooded with bathing suit ads, diet fads and detox teas, workout trends, and motivational quotes about getting into a bikini this season. Makes sense. Almost everyone I know cares about their appearance in some way. Being “bikini ready” doesn’t necessarily mean the same thing to everyone but it does seem to predominantly make women especially feel like it’s time to lose weight. I even read a post this morning from a woman reaching out to her Facebook friends for tried and true methods to lose weight.
This is all well and good because some people probably do need to drop some weight to be healthier, have more energy, and yes even to feel better about their physical appearance. There is nothing wrong with wanting to feel attractive and be confident. NOTHING. But what I want to talk about are two aspects of getting to this point of feeling attractive and confident with your “summer body”. The first is knowing your body and setting realistic goals, and the second is the only way to achieve them. That’s right! I’m going to tell you all how to get your summer bod!
Let’s talk about jeans…did I say jeans? I meant genes (sorry. My jokes come from my kids bedtime stories). So why do we need to talk about genes? Do you have a friend who eats carbs all day, doesn’t exercise beyond walking to and from her car, parties and drinks on the weekends and cures her hangover with greasy food on Sunday? Is this same friend a bombshell with nice legs, a tiny waist, and perky boobs? I have friends who could consume the diet from Supersize Me and still rock a teeny tiny bikini. Doesn’t mean they are healthy but that is another discussion all together. Do you also maybe know someone who likes to cook healthy meals, does yoga, goes for walks, exercises, drinks water, etc etc etc but still never seems to be completely happy with how she looks? That person was me for most of my adult life and is still true of many beautiful women I know.
I have been both super fit and fairly unhealthy. The times where I was “super fit” I didn’t look anything like my fitness guru best friend. I was eating clean, working out, drinking water, and feeling pretty good. I climbed the CN Tower in 20 minutes and it didn’t seem that hard. But still, I didn’t look like a fitness model. For me to look anything close to that I would say I would have to consume zero sugar, exercise more than once a day at the caliber of someone training for a fitness competition, and give up wine completely. You know what I have to say about that? YOLO! Yep, a mom of two in her 30’s just said “YOLO”. I have come to accept that my genetics have predetermined that unless I dedicate my life to fitness, I will not be a size 4, I will not weigh 120 lbs, and I certainly won’t have a thigh gap. I am more than ok with this idea. When I am practicing these healthy habits, I am more than just ok with how my body looks, I feel awesome. It is MY version of a bikini body. My point is, some people have to work harder than others to achieve the same level of physical “gains” but even then, genetics has predetermined your body type. I have thick thighs, child bearing hips, and a Kardashian ass- winter or summer time.
So then how do you do it? How do you lose weight and feel good in a bathing suit? Well, as I said, set a realistic goal. If you are willing to dedicate your life to fitness, you may be able to strive to look like a supermodel. If not, set a goal that will still get you to the point of feeling good about your body. The second step- EAT RIGHT AND EXERCISE! Wait…what? Didn’t I just finish saying that some people can practice healthy habits and still not get the results they were hoping for? Yes. Still true. But if your goal is to lose weight, and we have already completed step one of being realistic about it, it is not that hard to do. I mean it takes dedication and willpower but the “secret” is not rocket science. Calories in versus calories out. Simple calculation even for someone bad at math. Here is the actual secret though: planning. Once you have set your REALISTIC goal, you need an action plan that is equally realistic to achieve that goal. Your plan should include meal prep- now I am not saying you have to meal prep like you see on Instagram- but you should make a meal plan each week as well as a grocery list. If you know what you’re going to eat each day, and you have the right ingredients, you are less likely to eat whatever is quick and easy. Your plan should also include a realistic plan for exercise. Even on a busy day, do you have time to go for a walk? Do you have an activity that you actually enjoy that is also physical? You need an exercise plan that fits your lifestyle and that you actually enjoy. It’s the only way you will stick to it.
So there you have it. You want a summer bod? Set a realistic goal. Stop comparing yourself to the shiny, tanned, (likely photo-shopped), skinny chicks in bikinis on your Instagram, eat well, burn more calories than you consume through fun and regular exercise, and VOILA! Summer Bod. Oh and my last words- sometimes please eat the cake and drink the wine and don’t feel bad about it tomorrow.
Amanda Cooke, RMT