Health and fitness blog: Not a “summer bod” blog

A nationwide epidemic is starting up once again, as we all want to look our very best under that impending summer sun. We wonder, is it too late to get in shape with summer just around the corner? At this point we find ourselves calculating the amount of time it would take to lose x amount of weight—would we really be able to get the body we’ve always wanted in just under a month?

We will no longer be able to hide the calories we consume with heavy scarves and jackets, but worrying about how to get rid of those calories shouldn’t be added to our to-do lists.

How to get a summer bod in just under 10 days? This isn’t one of those blogs.

From a very young age, around this time of the year I would always find myself stressing about how much weight I would need to lose in order to wear a bikini with confidence. As the sun would start to come out, I would try every workout plan and crash diet under it. I’d like to now say that no, none of these really worked for me. If they did, it would only be a few weeks until I was back onto my old habits. I found that I was looking for answers in all the wrong places.

Last summer, I said to myself I would try something different. Rather than yet another crash diet to get the summer body I wanted, I took a page out of my grandfather’s book. My Pops is still as active and as healthy as ever at the age of 80. He tells me that in life, we shouldn’t over-indulge. We should enjoy just a little bit of everything.

First, we need to stop stressing so much. A lot of it is just in our heads. So those late night trips to Oasis or McDonalds have caused you to gain just a little bit. End of the world? Not necessarily. Instead of the main goal being weight loss or weight gain, we need to shift our mindset so that we strive for overall physical and mental well-being. Remember that being thin and being healthy aren’t always the same thing. The photoshopped, unrealistic summer body that’s depicted in a magazine isn’t what you should aim for here. Aim to be healthy and happy in the body that you already have.

We shouldn’t let scales and calorie counting apps consume us. In fact, let’s scratch calorie- counting all together, especially if it starts to become an addiction. There have been times where all I could ever thing about numbers: my weight, my calories, how many miles I would have to run in order to burn off my breakfast. Depending on your activity levels, aim to eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re full. I also make sure to drink enough water throughout the day so that I keep hydrated—this substantially contributes to your overall health as well. What I would also recommend is finding a sport or hobby that can keep you active. While the gym is great, some tend to find it gets a bit monotonous.

Remember that one shouldn’t deprive themselves of something they’ve always enjoyed. Instead, make it a treat to indulge in once every so often. Consume the foods that’ll provide you with the most energy and nutrients, but know that too much of anything is not good either. As a young student myself, I can only advise to do whatever makes you happy. I’m no nutritionist, doctor nor personal trainer, but I should say by no means is it obligatory to go to extraordinary lengths in order to obtain that ideal “summer body.” The ideal shouldn’t be how the body looks, but instead how our body feels. We should each strive to be the most confident, healthy, and amazing selves that we can be.

– Photos by Angela Tilley