Wednesday, April 1, 2009

8-Week Countdown to a Summer Body

It’s April 1 and in the United States, the official kickoff of the summer season is Memorial Day weekend, which this year is May 23-25. There are 8 weeks to prepare to unveil your summer body. This picture is from my favorite place in the summer, Lake Oliver, where my in-laws live. In Chicago, we have long winters and that means wearing lots of layers! Shedding the winter layers is gradual, as the weather improves, but wearing a swimsuit can be scary when you're covered up for most of the year!

This year, I’m trying something new – realistic goals and positive thinking, instead of negative-reinforced thinking. After all, swimsuits come in all sizes and styles! Who says you have to wear a teeny bikini to feel good about yourself? Instead of putting pressure and constantly telling yourself "I need to lose 40 pounds to get in a bikini," try to rewire your internal language.

The language we communicate to ourselves either out loud or internally is powerful! Why not activate that power into something positive. Try focusing your language on something positive like "I exercise X times per week" or "Today, I met my goal and ran X miles or X minutes without stopping."

Why not focus on fitness or health goals instead of just pounds on the scale. If you follow the basics - nutrition, hydration, sleep, fitness, and positive attitude, the rest will take care of itself and you will feel confident that you focused on good health and wellness.

Examples of positive, realistic action language that you can adopt to feel confident this summer:
  • "My goal is to work out X times per week" - put in the calendar
  • "My goal is to increase my aerobic endurance so I can run/bike/walk longer at a more intense pace" - try a heart monitor and use it every time you exercise and ask a professional to help you use it properly for heart rate zone training.
  • "I fuel my body with healthy balanced meals and snacks to give me the stamina and energy to work, play, and workout" - notice how your body reacts when you nourish your body with complex carbs, lean high-quality protein, fruits and vegetables and healthy fats.
  • "I have a strong, balanced body" - Think about your mix of activities such as aerobic and strength-training activities to balance your body.

Try some of these and make some statements of your own and LIVE it. Who else will, but you!

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