A lot of us approach summer with a mix of excitement and anxiety. You can no longer hide behind layers of knits or oversized coats; warmer weather means less clothes, and with it a heightened awareness of your body (for better or worse).
But here’s a radical idea – what if this wasn’t a summer of anxiety and self-consciousness? What if you could relish getting into your swimsuit, look forward to the office Christmas party, and enjoy tucking into the Christmas pudding without ANY guilt?
It is possible! All it takes is sticking to these very simple, but very powerful, rules.
1. Swap self-loathing for self-love
Ditch the idea that you need to be perfect to be happy. The reality is no one is perfect, and the sooner you make peace with your body, the sooner you’ll start to really celebrate yourself.
Focus on making small, positive choices – taking a long walk instead of watching TV or saying no to dessert. You’ll be boosting your health, fitness and body confidence all in one.
At 12WBT, we believe changing the way you think is the most powerful way to change your habits – for good. Find out more here.
2. Think twice before reaching for another canapé
With party buffet tables loaded with delicious temptations, it’s easy to lose focus and pig out on everything in sight.
Before you enter an event, stop, take a breath, and create some guidelines for your food and drink intake. By being prepared you’ll have a great time without the day-after guilt.
3. Stop comparing yourself
Your body is unique, so stop comparing yourself to anyone else. Repeat: stop comparing yourself to others.
The second you start thinking “I hate my stomach” counter that thought with something you do love about yourself, like “I love my strong arms”.
4. Focus on being ‘well’ rather than skinny/muscly/curvy!
How you look really is useless if you don’t have your health, so practice nurturing your health every single day.
Focus on eating fresh produce and getting active. Don’t exercise simply to lose weight – do it to feel energised, healthy and confident!
5. Get your friends involved
Don’t isolate yourself because you’re trying to eat well and stay active. You’d be surprised how much support you’ll get simply by sharing your goals with those close to you.
If you’re hosting a party at your place, ask guests to bring healthy foods. If you’re a guest, take a dish so you can eat well and have fun – plus your host will love the contribution!
We’ve got loads of delicious party-friendly recipes on 12WBT. Click here to find out more.
6. Get up early and workout
Take advantage of the brighter, warmer mornings and knock out a session before 7am. You’ll clear your head and set yourself up for a more productive, positive day.
7. Join a group
While group exercise isn’t for everyone, it can be a great way to stay motivated. Join a boot camp group or walking/running club so you look forward to exercise rather than slogging it out on your own.
8. Party ‘smarter’ not harder
You don’t need to miss out on party season altogether: you just need to be smart! Focus first on conversations and catch-ups with family and friends, and if need be, set a time limit. Leave before things get rowdy or over-indulgent!
9. Do something that scares you at least once
Instead of spending all those beach days body-obsessed, challenge yourself to try new things.
Jot down 10 things that you’d love to physically challenge yourself with, like entering a fun run, indoor rock climbing, rollerblading with your kids or joining a beach volleyball club. Then get out there and do them!
10. Remember to treat yourself
This is the most important one. You must treat yourself regularly, whether it’s a Saturday night ‘treat’ meal (no calorie counting allowed!) or a brand new pair of shoes for a girly Christmas catch-up. Denying yourself will only end up in anxiety and, more likely, swinging too far the other way. In order to regain that balance you must remember to enjoy the good things in moderation.
A program like 12WBT can help you set goals, stick to them, and get fantastic results that will set you up for summer and beyond. Our next round starts on December 12 – click here to find out more!