Moving to the surfing mecca of the world means moving to the Land of the Beach Body, which I do not possess (yet). So I figured it was high time I got one. Problem is, it’s really, really, really hard to get a Beach Body. They are highly coveted and contrary to popular belief, require a lot of work to maintain. The amount of time and energy spent on cultivating and nurturing a true Beach Body pretty much means having no other hobbies (or a 9 to 5 job so I’m told) and following a very strict eating regimen (not the ‘d’ word). Many publications have done a fantastic sell job convincing women like me that we, too, can have a Beach Body, if we just follow these 10 easy steps in 30 days!!!! If only it were that easy, we would all have them and those publications would be obsolete.
I also heard one of the must-haves for a Beach Body is self discipline. While writing this, I scarfed down a delicious bowl of pasta with garlic, tomatoes, spinach and arugula, followed by a few freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. This Beach Body thing isn’t going to be easy to get.
And then I remind myself, “you used to be a high-performance athlete and coach. You ate self-discipline for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This should be a cinch!”
HA! No, double HA! Those were the pre-children, high metabolism, I’ve-got-all-the-time-in-the-world-and-I-can-eat-anything days.
Motherhood, gravity and a general lack of motivation have taken up residence in my body over the last twenty years. I can’t exactly evict them so the Beach Body can move in, but maybe there’s still some room in that there body of mine for a new look and feel, or so I think.
Today was my “soft launch” to getting a Beach Body. It started with a simple Yes/No decision: are you going for a run today?
It was a crappy weather day, but I said “yes.”
I managed a short and fast run…
Food is a different story. When it comes to will power the outlook is pretty grim. Why? Because I. Love. Carbs. And. Sugar.
Here’s a rundown of what I consumed today:
Raisin bread with natural peanut butter and homemade strawberry jam
Tea with honey
Vanilla yogurt with a handful of coconut cashew granola and fresh strawberries
A slice of sourdough bread with tuna, tomato and cucumber
Hummus and sugar snap peas
A navel orange
5 mini peanut butter chocolate cups (that’s like 300 calories!!!)
Spaghetti with garlic, fresh tomatoes, spinach and arugula with some parmesan
5 mini homemade chocolate chip cookies (that’s like 300 calories!!!)
Not egregious, but not exactly a lean diet either. I know I can do better. I just have to want to do better.
These pictures might just be the motivation I need. They are the unvarnished truth that I cannot deny–my mom body. It doesn’t help that my face is beet-red from running.
So here’s what I know about me: if I can train for a half marathon, then I can train for the beach. I will never deny myself foods and even junk foods that I enjoy. I had to when I was 15 and competing on the national rhythmic gymnastics team and I think subconsciously I will rebel against that for the rest of my life. Okay, not so subconsciously. I like goals; tell me what I have to do and I’ll do it: reps, weights, exercises, activities, I’m your girl. I’m competitive (no shit!). I will eat the 500 calories I burned even after I tell myself not to. I think being lean and muscular is way more attractive than being skinny.
Based on what I know about myself and my patterns of behaviour, here is the challenge I am setting for myself:
2 months of fitness (running, weights, gym, yoga, whatever) EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
I could be setting myself up for failure here, but even if it’s a long walk or a half hour of abdominals and arms, I’ll take what I can get.
Health(ier) eating habits.
There is no sense in setting unrealistic goals so I’m not going to bother. There’s already a bunch of stuff I can’t eat (mostly dairy) because it upsets my stomach, so I’m just going to do my best to make healthier choices. A little less bread, a little more veg.
Logging my activity and eating.
This is really what will keep me honest. I will see plain as day where I am falling into old habits and what I can change.
Writing about my experience.
I love writing. I don’t care if anybody reads my personal ramblings about self improvement or what I did on any given day. Journaling is known to help boost one’s IQ, increase mindfulness, strengthen self-discipline and help achieve goals.
There are no contractual obligations or penalties if for some reason I don’t follow this plan religiously. Maybe taking the pressure off will make it easier for me to follow. We’ll see!