•Collaborative guest post•
Summer is just around the corner. For many of us this means that we can look forward to packing our bags and getting away from it all for a couple of weeks. It means we get to escape the quotidian pressures of our jobs, our homes and our careers. It means we get to immerse ourselves in new sights and sounds, either abroad or somewhere closer to home. It means starting our days by dipping our toes in sparkling azure seas and treading powdery sand…
Yet, while this should be a joyous scene, there are many of us for whom this pleasant image will be overcast with a dark rain cloud of anxiety. For a lot of us, the idea of strolling down the beach in a bikini may be a little problematic… And for others it’s pretty much their worst nightmare realised. Those who suffer from summer body anxiety- don’t worry, you’re not alone- can find that the very idea of having to bare their flesh to the masses at the beach or by the pool is enough to induce paroxysms of fear.
All around you, the real world and the digital realm remind you that now’s the time to empower yourself by taking those all-important steps towards a summer body… But despite your eagerness to wow everyone with a stunning bikini ready body, you keep faltering at that first step. Why? Because you keep on making excuses. That’s not an attempt to shame you! Far from it. Making excuses for ourselves is simply human nature. Changes to our lives and our lifestyle are difficult. And it’s in our nature to avoid anything that’s difficult. Thus, we supply ourselves with lists of reasons why we shouldn’t make the effort to actively change our bodies, our perspectives and our lives. Yet, continuing to make these excuses can keep you from the feelings of confidence and empowerment that come with a fit healthy body. The kind of body you deserve. With that in mind, let’s tackle some of these excuses head-on…
But I Can’t Afford Gym Membership
Are you sure? Have you checked how much the cheapest gym near you costs per month? There are lots of gyms out there that charge less than you might think for monthly membership, without tying you down to a prohibitive contract. This article by Money Saving Expert is a great place to start when it comes to saving on fitness in the UK.
Besides, who says that you have to join a gym for a great workout? Very often you can work all the major muscle groups and work up a sweat from the comfort of your living room. Check out this Summer Body Home Workout. You may be surprised at how comprehensive a workout you can get with nothing more than kettlebells and determination! Even if you can’t afford kettlebells, there are plenty of isometric exercises in there which give you a full body workout by lifting your own body weight.
But I Don’t Have Time to Exercise
This is perhaps the most common fib we tell ourselves. And hey, we do so with good reason too! Most of us are working harder and for longer hours than ever before. Nonetheless, we’re not being completely honest with ourselves if we say we can’t find 3-4 hours a week to work out from somewhere. Even those with demanding jobs, kids or elderly relatives for whom they need to care can find the time.
One of the easiest ways to do this? Get up an hour earlier. Working out in the morning (even if it’s just a half hour jog) carries with it a range of benefits. It helps to kickstart your metabolism. It assists the flow of oxygen and nutrients to your brain, helping concentration and memory throughout the day. It’s also a great mood booster and can help you to start the day in a more positive way.
Never mind a double espresso, a workout in the morning is the ultimate pick-me-up.
But I Work Awkward Shifts
Those who work long hours or long into the night may find it challenging to get their daily dose of exercise. Nonetheless, even if your work schedule is punishing, you owe it to yourself to at least try to lead a healthier life.
Look for 24 hour gyms near you, or hold off on your workout until an hour or two before your bedtime. Contrary to popular opinion, pre-bedtime workouts can be very beneficial and actually aid restful sleep rather than impeding it.
But I’m Way Too Busy to Cook 3 Healthy Meals a Day
As much as we’ve emphasised exercise here, we all know that summer bodies are made in the kitchen as much as they’re made in the gym. If you doubt that you’ll be able to find the time to cook 3 nutritious meals a day, you need to master the fine art of meal prep.
Meal prep is how even the busiest of us can get 3 healthy meals (and healthy snacks) in every day. Cook up a big batch of something on your day off, dole it out into portions and put those portions in the freezer until you’re ready to chow down. Then defrost them in the fridge overnight and Bob’s your uncle!
Remember also to keep some healthy snacks like nuts and seeds in your desk drawer. These will help to keep your blood sugar levels stable on working days and prevent cravings for the sugar and trans-fat laden foods in the average break room vending machine.
But I Can’t Afford to Load my Fridge with Healthy Food
The fad diet industry would have you believe that eating healthy is prohibitively expensive. It’s how they’re able to market their pre-packaged foods as “affordable” and “convenient”. Yet, a fridge full of healthy foods is surprisingly cost effective, especially when it’s loaded with fresh veggies. Eschew meat and fish for plant based sources like nuts, seeds, legumes, tofu, tempeh and seitan and you’ll find that a healthy diet can be surprisingly affordable.
So, if you’re serious about feeling as great about yourself as you deserve to feel on your summer holidays, you owe it to yourself to stop making excuses!
This is a collaborative guest post.