As a woman who has loved herself conditionally in the past, and occasionally has lapses, I fully appreciate the little bit of stress that can accompany a holiday to the beach, singlet tops or shorts that encroach the upper thigh!
I have birthed three beautiful children and am in no way a "poster girl". I am 100% real with stretch marks, saggy parts and bits that wobble when I chase my toddler! But, heck, I am still a sun-loving beach bum who wants to enjoy the glorious sunbeams on my body while I frolic around outside this summer! I truly believe we need to approach being "bikini ready" in a way that embraces what we embody as women - nurturing, amazing and abundantly healthy goddesses.
So I wanted to talk about my 6 ways to be "Bikini ready" (aka "summer ready") that are balanced and focus on the most important parts of this state of being:
1. Speak words of kindness. First and foremost, speak words of kindness to YOURSELF. Love yourself unconditionally. No matter where you are in your life, you are perfection. When you speak words of kindness to yourself, it will naturally spread to those around you and you will glow with your own unique and beautiful essence. This is your inner goddess in motion, and harnessing her power will enable you to bloom exactly as you should. Spending time reading books such as: Warrior Goddess Training by Heatherash Amara or Mastering Your Mean Girl by Melissa Ambrosini will give yourself a kick start into loving the skin you're in and the authentic self that resides within it.
We all come in a variety of different shaped and sized packages, which in turn makes us uniquely beautiful. I don't expect you to go out and wear a bikini on the beach if you're not comfortable, the point I am trying to make is that, WHICHEVER way you choose to get out there this summer, own it and love yourself in it.
2. Eat Clean! Nourish your body with food that is alive! Grab yourself a copy of my Be Nourished eBook to get some excellent pointers on living by a Whole Food Plant Based diet (It's free for the month of October wooooooo!).
This doesn't mean you need to stop eating meat, this simply gives you a selection of information and tools to prepare nutrient dense meals at every opportunity - and plants are higher in nutrient density with less calories - another reason they're bikini friendly. If weight loss is a priority for health reasons, then a plant based diet is a fantastic and fast way to shift excess kilograms and feed your cells to support a healthy metabolism and balance hormones.
However, eating a high plant based diet will not only keep you trim, it will leave you feeling alive and alert. Your energy will be better than an energiser bunny with bright eyes and soft skin to boot. Just a couple of weeks following this type of eating and you will never look back. Keep an eye open for the upcoming "What the heck do I eat in a day?" series for inspiration, otherwise check out my Recipes section.
3. Hydrate! We all know this. Keep those fluids up! At least 1.5L-2L per day, more if you're active. Remember to avoid or completely cut out soft drinks, caffeine (I have 1 long black every day or second day) and alcohol. If the idea of drinking water isn't appealing, have you tried a little wedge of lemon or lime? Or chilling your water? These all alter the taste slightly. Filtered water is best.
4. Prepare & Love your Skin. There are a number of ways to create glowing skin... as I mentioned, a highly nutrient dense and plant based diet is one way; other ways are
5. Keep moving. Being active doesn't have to be about smashing out 100 reps of lunges, crunches and push-ups. There is a massive trend with intensive training for women and men alike, and while HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and similar have definite benefits for health and waistlines, they are not suitable for everyone. For some, it's your fitness level, your schedule, your budget or your medical history (past and present) that affects your workout style and I come back to one of my core beliefs: LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. If you are spending 2-3 days recovering from a workout, then it is likely you need to scale it back until your body adjusts. Being deficient in certain nutrients such a Magnesium and Potassium can leave you with excessive muscle pain after workouts, so once you have your diet choices looking pretty good, then you will see the knock over effect into your workout performance and recovery.
My ideal ways of being active are: Yoga - most days, if not every day (and sometimes I only manage 10 minutes with my kids running biting at my ankles) and a run, jog or walk 2-3 times per week. Swimming and Hiking are fortnightly activities.
Its about movement. Be it gentle or hard, its your call. Simply incorporating movement into your lifestyle habits is the key.
6. Have fun. They say laughter is the best medicine? Well, they're right. Enough said.
Ha, I wish it were that simple sometimes!!!!!! This is something I can personally relate to: When you're a Mum - having fun can be hard. I am entirely guilty of forgetting how to have fun and to see the lighter side of things. I've spend days, weeks, even months being a mostly cranky bitch - then I sorted out my diet, and hey presto, things looked up!
But I do believe it is about more than this: CHOICE. You need to consciously make the choice to have fun. And I don't mean just having fun with your kids - that's always entertaining albeit messy.
I mean having fun with your girlfriends, with your husband or partner, with yourself.
Having a good old accidental pee in your pants from laughter kind of fun. Sending stupid messages to each other to brighten the days. Having catch ups with no fuss, dinners with someone you love and a sneaky pash or two, an afternoon lying on the grass reading a good novel or just sleeping (that is seriously fun for me....). We hear over and over, its not the destination that counts, its the journey. Well, again, they're right!! The future is promised to no one, so simply enjoy and enliven the moments you can.
The late, and amazing, Dr Wayne Dyer would say that he had a Jacket in his closet with the pockets ripped out of it, to remind him that you take nothing with you when you leave this earth.
This statement always struck a heart string with me, and helps me change my focus from being a "cranky mamma" to being a "fun loving, silly, but sometimes stern mamma".. Ha.
Now, Go! And rock those beautiful bodies you reside in, nurture and love them and light up your soul with sunshine and laughter..