I have so many clients come to me last minute in a panic about their holiday that is coming up in a matter of weeks! But they booked the holiday at least a year ago or know that they go away every summer? So why wait tell the last minute, or better still why shouldn’t you wait tell the last minute?

OK so I know its freezing outside right now and summer feel s so far away, we are only in January after all. We are in the comfort of hiding away in big baggy jumpers and long parka coats. But it is the best time as what we do, or don’t do, over the next coming months will determine how we look on the beach this summer! So yes summer bodies ARE made in winter.

Every year gyms have their peak seasons of a massive increase of new members. Not surprisingly these peak seasons are; January (just after new year’s), May (everyone panicking about the summer body), and September (when people are upset with how they looked on the beach or are desperately trying to sustain what was a quick fix that is now failing miserably). May is the busiest season by a mile, and it’s pretty obvious why as most of us are having to face the thought of practically walking around in our underwear on the beach for all to see! This can be so daunting especially as most of us women can’t even bare to look at ourselves in the mirror or even let our partners see us in our underwear. Now we have to be lying next to complete strangers in our most vulnerable state. I for one have felt that utter dread of a summer holiday ! So why do we all leave it so late?

In January and May the fitness world and those wanting to take advantage of our desire to get fit quick mentally, release a host of marketing campaigns, diets, and six week beach body programmes. They promise to have us in our dream bodies in a matter of weeks!!  But the problem most of us face is that six weeks is no were near enough time and we have left it too late.

It is not unrealistic to say that most people are far from a short term quick fix, get me thin come what May programme. However, it is rarely that straight forward and these short fix programmes rarely delver what they promise. They are also demanding programmes that are not sustainable and often leave you miserable. Staring into the empty fridge and looking at the one lettuce leaf you’re allowed for your tea in floods of tears, consequently fuelling an unhealthy relationship with food. Furthermore, the more demanding and extreme the nutritional and exercise approach the bigger the likelihood is that you will quickly revert back to where you started in a matter of weeks (hence the peak rise in September post summer).  The problem is these quick fix programmes tend to be an all or nothing approach and this does not work and is certainly not sustainable. Surely it would be nice to see the summer fast approaching and knowing that you have found a way to sustain a healthier living and you are not now facing a gruelling diet and fitness regime and can simply focus on making plans for the summer, picking out those jaw dropping dresses and bikinis.  Once you find the balance of exercise and eating that you can sustain all year round you will thus stay in shape all year round and no longer see the gym or ad diets as a daunting chore that must be done.

I know I get it, it sounds hard, it sounds boring, it sounds nothing like you. Who wants to be on a permanent diet and live in the gym? No me either!! But when you are used to these quick fixes that are the all or nothing approach, it is understandable that this is all you’re used to. And I was exactly the same. I never believed I could, would or did I even have a desire to be one of those gym bunnies. One of those schools mums doing the drop off in their gym gear. I used to laugh at them go home with a brew and biscuits and then at summer be so jealous when that gym mum comes to school looking stunning in a tight summer dress and I am hiding under a baggy maxi dress. But that’s ok as I’d rather that and enjoy my biscuits is what I would try and get myself to believe. Can you relate? Don’t we all pretend we don’t care as we are happy enjoying our food and we aren’t bothered anyway? Or we are in a long term relationship and our partner loves our wobbly bits just as they are? Well yes all that is most likely true, but if it didn’t bother us why are we thinking about it. We are only deluding ourselves to the truth that deep down we wish our bodies where better we wish we could look in the mirror and say damn girl you are smoking today! But still enjoy the chocolate and still have time to have a life outside of the gym walls. Seems too good to be true? ITS NOT ! I know it all sounds cliché but changing your outlook towards fitness and adopting a lifestyle approach to getting fit might just be one of the most important things we can do for our physical and mental health!

It is time to face facts! There is no magic programme, no best diet and no new workout system that can guarantee every single person results in as little time as six weeks! In fact in reality it is the more experienced gym goers, those that have found a way of eating and exercising consistently already, then it these people who those short term programmes are likely to be more effective for. Given that they will already have a good structural base and have learned the safest and most effective techniques and will also be used to pushing themselves physically. However, the irony here is that those people are much less likely to be attracted or feel the need to embark on six week programmes as they’re more likely to be already at where they want to be, or close to it.

For those of us new or returning to exercise it makes far better sense to look at a longer term view and start our summer body project NOW. The exercises and the nutrition will feel less daunting, less restrictive and less like a chore. Therefore avoiding those feelings of deprivation and claustrophobia, that come part and parcel with quick fix programmes. Giving yourself six months or more you don’t need to do anything extreme meaning that you are much more likely to start to change your relationship and negative feelings towards fitness and food. Making it more achievable and more likely to make more positive food choices and being more consistent and best of all seeing real results that are sustainable all year round.

So if you start your journey in January and for example commit to three to five sessions per week until June you will have done over 75 workouts!! That is a lot of training time! Meaning you have time to develop healthier habits as well as time to develop training techniques and iron out any imbalances and to gradually build things up rather than wade in all guns blazing in May. Also as you have been more sensible and took a more progressive view then you put yourself at a lesser risk of causing your self-injuries and pains.  And more importantly is you won’t need to make drastic changes to your diet so you won’t be left feeling miserable and limiting yourselves to things you have more than likely become addicted to. For example it took me at least 2 months to fully swap from drinking 5-8 cups of tea with 3 sugars a day to swapping to drinking more water and now having approx. 1 – 3 cups of tea a week! Can you imagine someone saying to you now to ditch all your cups of tea or coffee or to never eat a slice of chocolate again for 6 weeks! I know I couldn’t do it and I don’t want to either I love my chocolate!

So stop waiting for last minute and wasting your time and money on quick fixes that only cause you stress and depravation. And start educating yourself and taking care of yourself so you can enjoy life and you will be surprised at how lower your stress levels become and what it does for your mental health, so you will literally look and feel great on that beach this summer!

 x Nix x