This is the time of the year when my clients start asking me how they can get beach body ready and that question is like nails on a chalkboard to me. I have never been a trainer who prescribes meal plans or stresses the importance of being skinny. Instead, I promote living in *your* best body and being *your* best self and putting in the work to achieve whatever your best is. So, when clients ask me to help them achieve a “beach body” I try and approach it with a healthy attitude and not make it about them looking a certain way but instead feeling a certain way. What does this mean? If you are not living your best self, you are not going to be confident in whatever you’re wearing. Especially a bathing suit.
If what I am saying resonates with you yet you’re still thinking “but how do I get a beach body??” here’s my advice for you.
Exercise because it makes you feel strong. Exercise because it fills you with energy. Exercise because it is challenging you. Exercise because it is good for you. Don’t exercise because it makes you skinny. Be consistent in getting sweaty and challenging yourself and rather than rejoicing in the fact that your pants are getting looser, rejoice in your physical accomplishments, such as running the fastest 5km you ever have or finally being able to do one chin-up. I am not saying this isn’t a great thing for your clothes to feel loose, but if that’s all you focus on you are missing out on so many more things to be proud of.
In regards to nutrition, find a way of eating that works for you. I have friends who are constantly jumping from one way of eating (i.e. paleo, intermittent fasting, and macros) to another. Eating healthy is important but so is indulging and I hate it when I hear people refer to their cheat meal or have a sense of regret in their voices when they tell me about what they ate on the weekend. I truly believe that there is a relationship between our nutritional habits and our mental health. Emotional eating, right? When I am not well mentally I stop eating where others eat more. If my life is out of control and I have lost all sense of boundaries, so does my nutrition. It’s important to find a way of eating that works for you and stick to it. If you need to meal prep on Sundays then go for it. If you are like me and couldn’t be bothered, then have your healthy, go-to lunch spots mapped out. If you feel the need to be sugar-free, do it because it is healthy for you, not because it will make you thin. Eating is something we are going to be doing for our entire lives and if we are constantly battling with how we should be eating we will never be happy or even close to “beach body” ready.
So as the weather starts to warm up and you are feeling like you are running out of time to get your “beach body”, remind yourself that you already have it. However, if it is a feeling like you need to get yourself to the gym or clean up your eating because you are not happy with how you look, take a moment to dive deeper into that thought. Step away from the idea of wanting to look better and focus on the desire to feel better. Start back at the gym and clean up your eating with the goal of making this your new lifestyle and embrace the “beach body” you already have as you continue to challenge it and take care of it the way it deserves to be taken care of.