Monday, 8 June 2015

The Last Minute "Beach Body" Plan


...and do some squats/lunges/fire hydrants, might I add. Yes it's that time of the year when lots of us are preparing for our summer holidays and realising that 12-week Get Fit plan you intended on fiercely following once you'd inhaled all of your Easter Eggs, just has not happened
Raise your hand and hide those Jaffa Cakes if that sounds like you?
Yes, I'm guilty too. 

Once I had returned from my holiday last year I was adamant that by the time my 2015 summer holiday swung around, I'd feel comfortable body-wise, have abs to dice an onion on and legs that would rival Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's. 
My holiday to Portugal is 3 weeks away.
It's safe to say you'll find me covered head to toe in slouchy clothing, hidden in the shade with a ginormous pair of sunglasses disguising my face. 
Slight exaggeration, I know but I'm honestly feeling so unprepared for getting my legs out and lounging about in a bikini for a week in baking hot weather. 
My mind is telling me to down a big green smoothie every morning, drink pints upon pints of water and spend my evenings doing POP Sugar workouts and unwind with yoga. 
My reality is one too many spoonfuls of Almond Butter from the giant tub I purchased the other week, spending my evenings playing the Sims 4 (it's like I'm 14 again) and doing quick mini circuits in the kitchen whilst I wait for my food to cook.
Now, things could be a lot worse, and if you know me, I'm the queen of exaggeration/I'm just a bit of a Drama Queen. My insecurities get the better of me, despite every effort for me to overcome them. There's a tiny voice in the back of my head telling me that absolutely no stranger is going to care about the size of my thighs/unflat stomach/my figure in a bikini. And that is true, yet my silly mind is telling me the exact opposite and getting me into a bit of a pickle. 
The last time I had this pre-holiday anxiety, things spiralled totally out of control. However this time, I'm confident that, although I'm not going to transform into an Instagram-able beach Goddess in three weeks, I can still go on holiday feeling comfortable and confident - and you can too if you're having 
that last minute beach body panic.

Eat
I'm a huuuuuuuuuuge fan of the much raved about Get The Glow book by Madeleine Shaw. She is a total Green Goddess who knows exactly how to approach healthy eating and living just right, and makes it sound so appealing and accessible for everyone.
I've made a good handful of the recipes from the book and intend on making many more! Her Grain Free Chocolate Granola is fantastic, as is her very versatile Thai Beef with Salt & Pepper Cashews Salad.
Otherwise, scouring Pinterest and other healthy living books is a great source for inspiration
I'm planning on popping up an example meal plan in the week if you need some ideas of how to piece it all together.
I never advocate cutting out complete groups of foods, however having a Low-er GI diet where the majority of your carbohydrates come from fruits/vegetables and slow release carbs (sweet potatoes, oats, grains such as quinoa etc) is highly recommended if your aim is to clean your diet up a little.
Anything that you know causes you to bloat such as bread or 'white' carbohydrates is best avoided - there are so many alternatives out there! Up your protein game with either lean cuts of meat or protein rich vegetables and beans/grains. Don't forget about fat either! Hello Mr Avocado, thank you for being so delicious and very very nutritious.
Try scooping up fajita mix in large Cos lettuce leaves; get out your Spiralizer and eat mountains of courgetti; and if you really need bread then Rye or Sourdough is a safer bet.
However - do not forget to have a meal or two where you indulge each week! You know me, I'm the biggest advocate for this as it's so important we maintain a healthy balance in all aspects of our lives. Dial down on your sugar intake during the week but if you fancy going out for pizza one night or the warm weather has you craving ice cream, go for it! If you don't allow yourself these things, you will crack and go overboard.

Move
A last minute gym membership will most likely go to waste and will just be more money and hassle than it's worth. Instead, either make the most of the sunshine and get walking everywhere you can go, or a gentle jog wouldn't go amiss. YouTube is an abundance of fantastic fitness videos, with a huge variety of workout videos being uploaded everyday.
My favourites are by POP Sugar and XHIT - they're usually 20-30 minutes long but really get your blood pumping through your body and you find you can barely walk the next day - almost always a sign of a good workout!
Not only that but some Pilates or Yoga would be great to get into too - as I'll discuss in a moment. Yoga really focuses on balancing your mind all the while performing fantastic stretches and improving your posture.
Pilates looks like it doesn't really do anything to your body but it is a form of very controlled small ranges of movements that really strengthen and lengthen your core.
The Queens of these two wonder workouts are of course Blogilates and Adriene, respectively, and I highly recommend you take a look at their channels and pick some videos you think you'd like to do and incorporate them into a weekly workout.
At the end of the week I'll share with you how my weekly workouts have been but the plan is to do 2-full body cardio workouts, one Pilates workout that focuses on lean legs/a perky and peachy bum/tight abs, and then each morning or evening unwinding with Yoga.
FYI: I already walk 4 miles total to and from work, and walk this same distance if I need to go into town on a day off. I'm also on my feet all day at work, running around everywhere so get a pretty good workout there too! However my body is a bit too used to this...

Mind
We all seem to forget that in order to be healthy and achieve wellness, we need to have a healthy mind. Keep in check with your mind, and Yoga is a great opportunity for this. Meditation is also a fantastic way of unwinding and just easing your mind, however I'm all for cutting corners so if Yoga is going to help you body wise too, get on it.
Avoid computers, iPads and phones at bedtime (this is going to be difficult for me - Instagram and Pinterest late at night is hours of fun) and instead get your nose stuck into a good book or magazine. I'm forever complaining that I have too many books I want to read and not enough time to read them, when really, I don't make myself the time to read. Reading will calm your mind down and will most certainly improve your sleeping too (my mum always says to just read if you can't sleep - simply because it distracts your thoughts and calms them down). Sleep is imperative if you're trying to sort your health and wellness out, so ensure you're getting some good sleeps by going to bed at a reasonable time too.
If you need a snack before bed, a green apple and some almond butter is always a good shout, alongside a mug of peppermint tea

I'll be posting all sorts of holiday related posts this week, both beauty and health related to keep your eyes peeled.
However as one final thing, please just remember this - seriously, absolutely no one is going to care about how you look on holiday. No one. If they do, it says far more about their own insecurities than your own. Remember, you're not a celebrity who is going to get papped looking wobbly on the beach, nor do you need to feel obliged to have a bikini picture plastered all over Facebook. You wear a swimming costume because it's a hot country and you want to keep cool and most likely, go for a swim. It's not some material you just parade about in - it does actually serve a purpose and that's why everyone else is wearing one too. OK?
"Beach body/bikini ready" is terminology that has evolved over the past 15 or so years in magazines and media that just encourages crash dieting and an unhealthy lifestyle that will ultimately lead you to gaining back everything you've 'lost' and more upon your return.
All I'm advocating here is just taking a reign check with your diet, fitness and wellness and dialling some things down and some things up - think green, clean and lean and limit your sugar/stodgy carbs/alcohol consumption. Get your body moving if you're feeling a bit wobbly - the endorphins released after exercise are always worth it too. Keep your mind calm and in check too, otherwise, you'll be all over the place and will find yourself struggling to keep up with the alterations you choose to make.
I'm personally just making some changes here and there to feel a little bit more confident in myself before jetting off to paradise, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm not planning on losing weight, and even if I do, it'd mostly be water weight or very little weight if anything. This is a blog that celebrates health, wellness and beauty and all of the above advocates that.

Are you off on holiday anywhere this year, and if so, where? How do you prepare for your holidays and do you ever get that last minute 'panic'? What are your favourite healthy eats right now and what are your favourite workouts?
As always, I love to hear from you!

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4 comments

  1. Great attitude, so glad you are working in a healthy way towards overcoming your anxieties. Body issues are something we all face, and ultimately having a healthy lifestyle will bolster our self confidence and mental wellbeing. Great post! xx

    Erin | Erin and Katherine Talk Beauty

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  2. Yup, it's a great plan. But I have a pizza delivery scheduled right now, while I am going through my blogs feed...:) Maybe next time!:)

    Oly | TLV Birdie Blog

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  3. Love these tips. I hate crash diets and the whole "bikini body" pressure but even a few weeks is enough to feel healthier and more positive about yourself. I went away to Portugal at the weekend and was terrified while packing my bikini but as soon as I was on the beach I no longer cared - mostly because it was so hot and I was just grateful for the breeze and to not be in rainy London! x

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  4. I think people get swept away in this celebrity culture and Facebook/social media photo plethora where we think people actually care about what we look like on holiday. When in reality the only person who cares is yourself. But like you said, if you don't feel confident in yourself then it can be hindering to your happiness on holiday. I think your plans sound healthy and sensible. Holidays are meant to be about relaxing and having fun first and foremost :-)

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