We’re under shelter at home orders, our days feel longer than ever as we stay home, and as the weather changes, it’s becoming clear that warmer days are on their way! This year I decided to challenge myself to get into better shape, and I’ve been working toward that goal since January — yes even in quarantine!
I thought it would be fun to share a challenge with our wonderful readers to help you find your beach body by summertime!
Now please don’t misunderstand me. I’m firmly of the belief that every body is a beach body. As long as you want to get out there and enjoy the summer sun, I think you should do just that! However, for myself, I want to change my shape and my health so I can enjoy the beach even longer. If you’re interested in finding better health by summertime, feel free to join me on this challenge!
Here’s my quick disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, nutritionist, or personal trainer, so please take everything with a healthy grain of salt and a visit or call to your doctor if you’re concerned this might not be the right thing for you.
Let’s jump right in, then! There are three components to this challenge, and I’ll be updating you on my progress in May and then following up in June with my results.
The official start date of this challenge, if you want to actually follow along, is going to be April 20th. I’d love you to take the next few days with me to gather your thoughts, decide your whys, and create your own adaptable plan that you’ll enjoy.
To join in with me, I’d love it if you take a few days to sit down and write out your why and your plan of action. Writing things down reinforces them, even if you’re the only one that will see it! So think it through and really decide why you want to do this and what you hope to get out of it. Then make a plan for how you’re going to get through the next 90 days. If you struggle with coming up with a why and a plan, I’ll share mine for you to take a look at and steal if you like.
My Why: I want to take 90 days to work on bettering my health through mindful eating and exercise because I want to be able to keep up with my boys over the short term and to avoid the health problems I’ve seen in my family over the long term. As a part of this challenge, I am giving myself permission to adapt the food I eat and the exercise I get as needed, especially when the days are busy or my mental health needs a break. Your why doesn’t have to be long or involved, but it needs to be something that matters to you because otherwise, how will you stick with it?
So you have a why, now let’s talk about setting up a plan.
My plan involves three components that I think work well together: diet, exercise, and health days. I firmly believe that if you want to lose weight, you’ll have to get your diet in check and be ready to modify it if you want to see change.
My plan is a very fluid one that changes as needed, but in general, it looks like this:
Diet: Rather than cut things out or go on a strict plan, I instead focus on being mindful about what I eat. For me, that looks like only eating when I’m hungry, being aware of when I want to eat out of boredom, and paying attention to when I’m satisfied (not full or stuffed). I try to drink at least 4 to 5 24-oz. bottles of water each day to stay hydrated. I also pay attention to my weight, and if it starts creeping up, then I move into counting calories with MyFitnessPal again for a few weeks to make sure I stay on target.
Exercise: I try to hit at least 6 days of 30+ minutes of exercise a week. My exercise ranges from bodyweight workouts to HIIT workouts to yoga and stretching all from my favorite FitOn App, which is surprisingly 100% free! I’d encourage you to take it for a spin and check out the challenges on the app. Many of the FitOn challenges target different areas of the body and will last 4-6 weeks, which is perfect for incorporating into a 90-day challenge like this! I’ll be starting off with one of their challenges and doing additional videos throughout the week. The other primary type of exercise I do is cardio work on my exercise bike.
Health Days: I call these health days because I like to incorporate time to really relax, rest, and work on my mental health. This may mean I take a break from exercising to grab a long bath or read a book. I think this is important to make sure that I’m not overworking myself.