Summer is around the corner which means bikini body boot camps left and right. As if your winter bod wasn't good enough. Just today I've seen a handful of posts about losing weight before summer gets here, losing 20 lbs before memorial day weekend, a group that will help you shred your winter weight. I'M OVER IT. I'm sure somewhere there's some people that thrive off of following a meal plan and getting a set of abs, or maybe, they just haven't experienced freedom yet and true self love yet. Not too long ago I was on the bandwagon of "let's get ready for summer!" I would tell myself "If I start tomorrow that leaves me two months to get comfortable in a bathing suit so I can rock it all summer!" Did it ever happen? No. It didn't matter how much weight I gained or lost I never got to that ideal image in my head, for multiple reasons. 1. It doesn't exist and 2. In order for me to get close to that I would have to give up a lot of things I refuse to (like my sanity).
I think it's great if you want to work on your abs, tone up and feel confident, beautiful and energized. I don't think you need a boot camp or meal plan to get you there though. I think those are just a temporary fix and don't solve any issues. For me, I want to dig deeper than weight loss. Let's dig deeper than an exercise plan or meal replacement. Lets figure out how we can get you (and everyone else out there) to love themselves, respect their bodies and live a vibrant life. The outside stuff will happen, but it's an inside job we need to start working on.
Here's the thing, for as long as I could remember, I was always on a diet. I was always thinking this summer is going to be different. Me being thin = me being happy.It was a continuous cycle of:
Diet---->Lose Weight---->"Screw up"--->Binge--->Diet
It's never ending guys. Research shows that only 5% of people following a weight loss plan will actually keep the weight off 5 years down the road. I would much rather feel good, be healthy and live a happy and fulfilling life forever (and that should never depend on a number or a bikini). So, how did I end the cycle and start living a life free of diets, bikini challenges and negative body image? Well, the short answer is I stopped dieting. I stopped working out to lose weight and I stopped counting calories.
Here are my top three things that helped me change my habits and create a life that I could thrive in- diet free.
I changed my thoughts from weight loss and aesthetics and moved them to wellness and wholeness. I worked really hard at trusting my body, being intune with it and providing it with what it needed. Now when i'm hungry I eat, when I'm full I stop. I don't depend on a piece of paper to tell me when I can and cannot eat. When it comes to fitness and workouts I know my body feels great when it's in motion but i also know I have a very active job. My workouts consist of whatever my body wants, that day. Sometimes it's a 20 minute kickboxing session, sometimes it's yoga, sometimes it's drinking coffee on my front porch.
Daily self care and personal development became a priority. I take breaks during my day, say no to things that stress me out (for the most part) and make my health and well being a priority. In a perfect world I try to limit social media and really focus more on doing things that bring me joy. Some days that's a coffee date with a friend, a walk with my husband or just breathing in some essential oils.
I nourish my body, without restrictions. This is a huge thing that really changed my approach to health. I use to opt for low calories snacks that were filled with chemicals. Now I choose foods that provide nutrients that my body can thrive off of. I don't look at calories, but I do look at ingredients. I try to eat as many whole foods as possible but I also allow myself a treat (not cheat!) every now and than because I know my body can handle it.
Remember, this is a journey and one you will be on your whole life. It will never be perfect but it will always be worth it. I hope these tips will help you. I would love to hear about your journey and what tips you have in the comments below.
Thanks for reading.
My name is Hanna Kuyper and my mission for iamwell comes directly from my past experiences. Read more