You may remember my post at Christmas time when I mentioned how much you learn to appreciate the snow when you don’t get to see it very often? Well, some other things that you definitely learn to appreciate in the great Northwest… Coffee stands on every corner, layered clothing, ugly waterproof outerwear, and rainboots. But you know what you appreciate more than anything else? Sunshine. Glorious, Glorious, Sunshine. So much so, that it can peek through the clouds for a mere 10 minutes and the entire neighborhood comes outside to soak it in… and I assure you that I am not even slightly exaggerating here.
Unfortunately, what a fairly large amount of my fellow Washingtonians don’t seem to know is that 10 minutes of sunshine, or even an hour, does not require you to bust out your tank tops, shorts and flip-flops for the season. Trust me, it is still only 50 degrees outside at best, and we won’t have a full day of sunshine for at least 3 more months… maybe longer. I used to think that this strange phenomenon was an anti-rain ritual of some sort. Like the glare of their impossibly white skin would somehow create a reflection so strong that it would return to the sky and the clouds would burst and open up, sending beautiful rays of sunshine down upon us! But it has never worked. So let’s just all agree that it is much too soon and leave it at that.
I will say though, the one thing that my delusional friends and I have in common is, the desire for it to be warm and sunny. There are only so many days of rain in a row that a person can take before they start to lose it a little. The moment that I feel the sun on my skin… my mind goes away… Spring Break? Summer? Vacation to Cancun? Doesn’t really matter. It is warm and it is amazing! It is also a wake up call. Am I ready to throw on my bikini and head to the beach? More importantly… is my body ready?
Now if you stayed in shape all winter and are firm, fit and ready to go, Good. I am proud of you. Way to stick with it. But, if you are more like me and you kind of semi-hibernated over the winter. We have some work to do. No reason to beat yourself up here or to feel bad about it, such is life. We have plenty of time to prepare. It is never to soon to change your behaviors or your attitude and start taking better care of yourself. Not quite feeling motivated yet? Have you really been enjoying those curl up on the couch in your sweats days? I feel you. All the more reason to get your head right and get into motion.
We all know that the first step is always the hardest. So start with this: Picture it. See yourself where ever you want to be. Wearing whatever you want. Looking and feeling incredible. You are smiling. Confident. Your spouse can’t keep their eyes off of you. Isn’t that the best feeling ever? No need to change your outfit, adjust your shirt, or put a towel over your new swimming suit. You look fantastic! And more importantly, you feel fantastic! You have the ability to make that happen for yourself. Starting right now. If you aren’t already on a work out regimen… start one now. Go back to something you did last year that had you feeling great. Or start from scratch and write a brand new plan.
My end of winter work out is the Nike+ Lean Fit. It is a six-week schedule that is designed to shed extra pounds. I have the app on my phone and it is very user-friendly. All work outs can be adjusted to fit your schedule. You can set how many work outs you want per week and you can also add running days in if you are ready for that. My goal here is to lose 5 pounds and I should be ready for the next phase. Your goals may be different and as I always say, adjust your workouts accordingly. If you have more weight to lose – then you may want to add more sessions per week, or extend it to an 8 week plan instead of 6. The rule is to be flexible and do what is right for you and your body.
I also highly recommend having a “get fit” buddy. The closer this person is to you the better. You need someone who is not afraid to be honest with you, and is around enough to help keep you motivated, even on your worst days. Mine is my husband which is ideal, but it can also be a close friend, co-worker, or even one of your children. Make sure that you discuss your goals and plan ahead of time so they know what you are working on. Your goals may be different, so make sure you are pushing them to achieve their goal, not yours, and vice versa.
Those beautiful sunny days are just around the corner so don’t waste anymore time. It’s never too soon to look and feel great!