I dread shopping for bathing suits. It’s not like there aren’t lots of options to choose from. It’s just an agonizingly painful experience… at least it is for me.
I’m going on a family trip to Costa Rica next month, so I thought it would be a good idea to try on my bathing suits before doing some shopping. Let me just say, I’m discouraged. I’m fair skinned and it’s the middle of winter so I have no color, I could probably stand to lose 5-10 pounds, and now that I’ve hit the big 4-0, I’m just not as excited about those skimpy two pieces anymore. So, it looks like I’ll be shopping for a couple new suits to take along.
Given I have one month until boarding the plane to San José, I don’t have a lot of time to acclimate myself to the idea of being in a bathing suit again. Nor do I have the time to complete a diet or weight loss program.
I have 4 weeks. What can I do in that period of time?
1. Do More Exercise
Exercising is not something I particularly enjoy outside of yoga, but it’s an important part of keeping fit and staying healthy. Every article you read has a different recommendation on how often, and for how long, you should exercise each week. The important thing is to make a plan that works for you and your goals, and stick to it.
Goal: In addition to yoga, get a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise each day.
2. Reduce Calorie Intake
A pound of body fat is equal to 3,500 calories; to lose one pound per week, or four pounds in four weeks, you need to burn or reduce your caloric intake by 500 calories each day. You have to double that effort to bring your weight loss to two pounds per week or eight pounds in four weeks.
Goal: Eliminate 500 calories/day. Burn additional calories through increased exercise.
3. Adjust Your Diet
Monitor your portion sizes and make sure that you are not eating more food at each meal than you need. Reducing sugar and carb intake and remaining well-hydrated will result in a calorie reduction and an overall better more nutritious diet. Stay full by eating more frequent, smaller meals, and have healthy, low-calorie foods like fruits and vegetables available for small snacks.
Goal: Start a food journal to record what you eat and how many calories you consume in a given day or week to figure out where calories can be eliminated and be more mindful of what you are putting into your body.
4. Drink More Water
Water is an important part of all body functions and processes, including digestion and elimination. Water also acts as a weight-loss aid because it provides hydration without unwanted calories, and can help you eat less. Health authorities commonly recommend eight 8-ounce glasses, which equals about 2 liters, or half a gallon a day.
Goal: Keep a water bottle at work. Mark lines on your water bottle so that you know exactly how much you should have sipped by different points throughout the day.
5. Be Kind to Yourself
We all have certain expectations of ourselves. Many times, those expectations just aren’t realistic. If your body image today is not positive, it’s time for a change. If you are stuck in a negative image, realize that it’s you keeping you there, and it’s you who can erase it. Body image and self-image is based on your perception. Change your perception, and you will find confidence you never knew you had.
Goal: Respect your body at any weight, even today’s weight. You’ll take better care of your body when it is appreciated.
Like anything, results will take some time. Don’t expect miracles in 4 weeks. It’s just not going to happen. But by taking the steps above, you will be committing to a healthy lifestyle that will result in you looking and feeling better.
Let me know what you think of these tips, or if you have others to share.
Remember to follow Le Foyer and be watching for pictures from Costa Rica!