It’s the summertime. All hail warm weather, loose clothing and more freedom to show your skin! I can’t tell you how many fitness ads and posts I’ve seen that stated “Get Your Beach Body Ready!” or “It’s summertime! Are you ready?” In my opinion, these ads and posts imply that your body has to be in a particular shape in order to be considered “summertime ready”. These types of posts are influenced by people who say, out loud and to anyone listening, they want their body to look a certain way in order to step foot on the beach or to wear a particular outfit or to just show more skin. And to look the way they want to look, they flock to their nearest gym, snag a personal trainer for a couple of months or do their own workouts at home.
I want to be clear when I say this: I’m all for people setting fitness goals to look and feel good in their skin. You want to work hard at the end of the winter to get your body spring and summertime ready, great, but then what? What happens when summer ends and autumn is introduced? More and more people tend to taper off around this time because we’re entering the holidays. And what inevitably begins to set in are those dreaded holiday blues. All of the food that we’re consuming, presents, and social gatherings begin to weigh in on us. It’s a stressful time. And what do some people do when they’re faced with stress? Eat. And now we’re at the end of winter, again, and it’s time to set those New Year’s Resolutions and get our bodies back in shape for spring and summertime fun! And then what?
I’ve seen this pattern many times and I didn’t understand where it derived and how we get caught in this vicious cycle, looping ourselves right back to where we started. My question is, why does your body have to be seasonally ready? Why does your body have to fit a particular season? In the winter it’s ok to have just a little fluff because you’re covered up and you’re consuming massive amounts of food. In the spring, you start to “tone” up (no such thing, by the way) because the weather is starting to warm up just enough for you to show your trimming. By summer, look out, you’re a knockout and you’re ready to show the world all the hard work during those winter and spring months are finally paying off. Now comes autumn and you keep up with it the workouts for a little while until your first holiday party invitation. And the cycle continues.
I believe everyone makes their fitness goals work for them. We are aware of what needs to be done in order to look and feel good in our bodies. But why can’t the goals that we set for summertime fun time be the same goals we set year round? Why not feel good in your skin all year long? I witnessed many clients in and out of my gym, setting New Year’s Resolutions, sticking with the fitness goals for a period of time and then “taking a break”. The only person that can make it work is you. I challenge you, person setting seasonally fitness goals, to make yearly fitness goals and stick to them. Make it a cycle.