Thoughts on the Pursuit of the "Beach Body"
The internet can be an excellent source of gathering information, but it also has its downfalls. Around this time of year, we get bombarded with the idea of a "beach body" and that we all better jump on the next fad diet and increase our exercise to crazy amounts in order to achieve this so-called "beach body." This beach season, I challenge you to try something different. Try not to get sucked in to this idea. Instead, let's focus on having fun this summer and trying something new. Here are some ways to challenge the ads you see on the internet and instead feel good from the inside out:
1. Find activities you enjoy! Not everyone is keen on being stuck in a sweaty gym. That being said, it is others' idea of a perfect place to workout. If you're not keen on going to the gym, find something else that you enjoy. The weather has been great and it's only going to get better - maybe you want to challenge yourself to try new hiking trails this summer? Maybe have always wanted to try yoga - now is a great time to give it a go! Maybe you want to try rock climbing, or stand-up paddleboarding or maybe you just want to spend more time walking around our beautiful city - whatever it is, stick with what you enjoy. If you find activities you like, you are more likely to continue doing them, and also to challenge yourself to walk longer distances, or try a tougher climb because you are enjoying your activity. This can help so much when you're trying to stick to an activity program. Being outdoors in the sunshine will also increase your levels of vitamin D - adequate vitamin D helps to keep your mood elevated.
2. Find meals that work for you! There are so many different diet trends out these days, it can be difficult to know where to start. If you're feeling really lost, try making an appointment with a nutritionist to see if they have any recommendations specific to you. If you're wanting to go it alone, try to focus on eating fresh foods and lots of vegetables. We have wonderful produce available at farmer's markets here in Vancouver - take advantage of them! And don't let anyone fool you into thinking you HAVE to eat certain foods to be healthy. If you're really not into kale, that's fine. I'm sure there is another leafy vegetable you'd prefer instead. Limit the processed foods (but don't give them up completely). If you deprive yourself of all the foods you like to treat yourself to, well that's no fun either! Instead, maybe try eating really healthy during the week, but give yourself some leeway during the weekends when summer barbecues tend to be plentiful.
3. Focus on what your body can do! It can be tough to change your mindset, but try to think about all the things your body has accomplished, rather than solely on what it looks like. Again, everyone is different and that's awesome. Look at all the things you have done recently. Have you broken a new personal best on your weekly runs? That's so great! Have you tried yoga recently and made it through the whole class when you weren't quite sure it would happen? Amazing! Maybe you just caught up to that energetic toddler of yours - phenomenal! Whatever it is you're working towards, it is important to congratulate yourself on personal victories. You are doing wonderful things! I promise. Look closely.
4. Spend more time with family and friends! With the weather warming up, social gatherings also have a tendency to increase as well venture out of the cozy homes we didn't want to leave in the winter. More often than not, spending time with the people you love is going to leave you in a better mood. Check out all the awesome people that care about you wanting to share stories and share laughs - it's bound to put a smile on your face.
I'll leave you with one more thought. I'm not sure who had the original idea, but it has been replicated a number of times and it's so true. Here's the real secret to getting a beach body: