Crazy notion of different bodies for different seasons
Wait for it. It’s coming. Soon you’re going to be bombarded with all kinds of offers from companies who are going to help you get your “summer body”.
Personally, I hate the notion that we should somehow have different bodies for different times of year. While it’s natural for us to want to remain indoors – therefore be less active – and eat “comfort” foods that are higher in carbohydrates during the colder months, I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the idea of normalising a culture that encourages a binge approach to healthy living.
In my opinion, promoting this so-called “summer body” encourages a practice of mindlessly “letting go” over winter and then dieting and exercising like crazy as summer approaches.
One only has to compare what the gyms look like during the cold months, to what they look like at the start of summer. Everyone is looking for a quick fix.
How about we build “forever bodies”?
Here’s my take on it. Why don’t we flip the script and instead of (literally) working our butts off just before summer, start thinking of how we can build “forever bodies” which are fit and healthy all through the year.
Not only is it physically and mentally healthier for you to take this approach, but it’s also easier, because once you’ve developed a routine that you follow throughout the year and make part of your lifestyle, it’s not going to feel like such a chore trying to get – and stay in shape.
Ask anyone who has been successful at any major endeavour for the secret to their success and they’ll more than likely tell you the same thing: consistency is key.
In the case of weight loss, of course it’s great to lose lots of weight in as short a period of time as possible, but it’s well documented that people who lose consistently over a longer period of time are more likely to keep the weight off – and develop and sustain habits which enable them to maintain their weight loss.
Those who lose the weight quickly, often tend to regain the kilos – and more – within three to five years.
And while there are those who have mastered the art of being consistent, if it were that simple for all of us, no one would have trouble sticking to their healthy lifestyles, right?
Here’s a few tips I’ve learned which have helped me be consistent in my efforts to live a healthy happy life – and keep the extra kilos off.
Have a goal
Start off by listing three health-related goals and why they are important to you. Be as specific as possible, thinking carefully about how meeting these goals will improve your life – and what has stopped you from achieving them in the past.
Have a plan
Now, list three changes – no matter how small – that you can implement to help you reach the goals you have set out to achieve. Be specific about how you will implement these changes. For example, if one of the changes you listed is to exercise more regularly, be specific about how often and for how long you’d like to exercise. Don’t be afraid of starting small. Even if you start off with just five minutes of skipping a couple of times a week, you’re more likely to maintain that than a lofty goal of spending two hours at the gym every day.
At the end of each day, take some time to reflect on whether you have achieved what you set out to do that day. If the answer is yes, think about what you did to ensure this success. If not, think about what held you back – and then forgive yourself.
Then. Repeat and repeat. It takes about 66 days for a new habit to take root as a regular part of your lifestyle.