It’s hard to believe when you’ve got snow melting into your Uggs, but Spring Break is just around the corner. For me, a girl who has a countdown to the next Spring Break starting the day Spring Break ends, that news couldn’t be better. But for those of you who are having that “OMG I HAVE TO BE IN A SWIMSUIT IN 6 WEEKS?!” meltdown, this is less than a pleasant realization.
If you fall into the latter category, you’ve probably gone into workout/diet overload.
“I’m going to exercise every day and eat salad for breakfast/lunch/dinner so I can look like a Vicky Secret model in Cancun!!”
Realistic? Uh, are you kidding?
Our society has always had this huge obsession with quick fix diets and weight loss plans. Unfortunately, they don’t work. The truth is, there’s no one thing to eat or one exercise to do in order to get your dream body. And all those plans that promise you to “lose 10 pounds in 10 days!” might work, but they’re not permanent and they’re definitely not healthy. So if you’re trying to get 6-pack abs and thighs that don’t touch by the time you’ve got to wiggle into that bikini in March, stop. It’s not gonna happen.
Instead, let’s work together to set some more realistic fitness goals that you can actually attain between now and the 24/7 happy hour we like to call Spring Break.
Unrealistic: Running a marathon (to burn serious calories/tone those legs) before midterms start.
Yes, it’s possible to run a marathon…one day. Just not within the next month.
Realistic: Completing 3 miles in 3 weeks.
If you’ve never even thrown on a pair of running shoes, chances are it’s not going to be easy those first few miles. The best way to ease into a new running routine is to start small and increase your mileage as the days go on. For example, maybe it’s starting out with one lap around the track. If you continue to add laps every time you run, you’ll be at one mile before you know it! You don’t have to be a marathoner to be a runner – all it takes is the determination in those first few steps.
Unrealistic: Getting supermodel skinny before Cancun.
Not everyone is born shaped like Gisele and hard as you try, your body just might not be meant to look that way.
Realistic: Feeling confident about your body by making the right choices.
You gotta work with what you’ve got, ladies, and what you’ve got is damn sexy. Too often, girls compare themselves to others, creating unrealistic expectations about how they should look. Instead of wasting time wishing you looked one way, spend your days doing things that are actually making your body the best that it can possibly be. Start by picking up an apple instead of a cookie or walking to the grocery store instead of driving there. These changes may be small, but the impact is huge.
Unrealistic: Going from a total couch potato to working out every day.
Yeah, you try to motivate yourself to hit a Spin class instead of watching The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion Part 1 for the third time. Fact is, if you’re not a seasoned fitness junkie, you won’t become one over night.
Realistic: Trying new workout routines.
Instead of saying that you’ll do something every day (because you’re only setting yourself up to fail), tell yourself you’ll do something new at least 3-5 times a week. My theory is to start small and work your way up. In addition, fitness for the newbie usually seems a little intimidating so make it fun for yourself. Whether it’s going for a nice run outside or going to a kickboxing class, it’ll be a great wake up call to your body. Plus, you’ll discover new activities you love…. not to mention some muscles you didn’t realize had.
Unrealistic: Joining a super fancy gym and getting a personal trainer to whip your booty into shape by March.
Uh, do you have any idea how much that costs?
Realistic: Easing your way into a routine by starting at home.
Do you really want to spend your Spring Break savings to join the best gym with the scented towels or pay some juicehead to whip you into shape? Seems a little counterproductive if you ask me. All you need is the motivation to get fit and a little bit of space in your room. There are some great Youtube videos and workouts on the web that will do the job for you. For free. In fact, gather your girlies and put together a dorm floor workout. Want to tone up with Pilates? Total body sculpting? Cool down with Yoga? Any of these are a great start to your new resolutions.
Look, hard as you try, you aren’t going to have Hilary Swank’s bangin’ bod by Spring Break, but if you start small, you can be more fit, more healthy and more confident with yourself by the time you hit the beach. But remember: there is no such thing as a perfect body. Everyone has their own unique shape and it is up to you to rock what yo’ mama gave ya.