Summer body? Here’s why I’m working on my all-year-round body!
Here’s how it used to go, year after year...
Autumn would arrive, and I’d gleefully dig out out my comfy jumper dresses, thick tights and long winter boots. The nights would start drawing in which meant cosy nights on the sofa wrapped in a blanket, candles lit, favourite TV programmes on...bliss! Cosy nights in also meant treats - hot chocolate, sponge puddings, takeaways just because it was cold and dark outside - anything comforting.
For me, festivities have always been an excuse to stuff my fat face, to eat drink and be merry! Mountains of candy at Halloween (sorry kids, don’t know where it all went?), veggie hot dogs and toffee apples on Bonfire night, and the run up to christmas was a cue for mince pies and cream, crackers and cheese by the kilo, and of course a cheeky Baileys or a mulled wine. Basically any excuse to indulge.
December - customarily a social month with Christmas parties and family get togethers - ultimately meant I would eat and drink what the hell I wanted (but sod it, because it’s nearly Christmas right?) I’d never give a thought to the effect on my body because I never had to look at it - it was hidden under my snuggly clothes, my thick winter coat, or my favourite custard stained dressing gown (glam!)
Christmas - in fact from October onwards - was just an excuse to behave like an out and out fat bastard, happy in the knowledge that I would sort it out come the New Year.
Except I wouldn’t.
I don’t think I ever stuck to my New Year’s resolutions concerning health and fitness. In fact I usually broke them on the 1st January because I’d got pissed the night before and needed hangover food. “I’ll start tomorrow” I’d say. But I never did, not properly, and certainly not with any consistency - the months were generally peppered with short bursts of ‘being good’.
Before I knew it summer would be fast approaching and I’d be back to worrying about my ‘summer body’. Friends would start dieting and hitting the gym with gusto in the run up to their holidays, and I’d join them occasionally, but never keep it up. The result? Me, sat by the pool on holiday, cursing my muffin top and saggy arse. I’d kick myself for not starting my health regime back in Spring. I’d vow to be healthy when I got home and I'd convince myself that NEXT holiday I’d be fit and toned and would be wearing a bikini rather than a Tesco Magisculpt all in one swimsuit.
Except that never happened. Year in year out.
I’m 38 now, with 3 young kids, and I thank my stars that a couple of years back I developed a genuine love for exercise (gym and yoga) as it helped me through some pretty tough times. Eating healthily came hand in hand with it, and now I’m more concerned with my overall health - my physical, mental and emotional health - rather than how my body looks (although I do like the results it brings). I now have a completely different outlook on life, and what a healthy lifestyle looks and feels like, and I’m keeping it up not just for me, but for the benefit of my family too (I’m a much nicer person when I’ve been to the gym!)
Of course I love treats, and I would never deprive myself of the things I love - I would be such a miserable cow if I couldn’t have a gin or some chocolate, or nail a takeaway every now and then. I eat all of the things I like, but in moderation, and I make sure I eat healthily the rest of the time. I make time for exercise, although it’s become a way of life now rather than a chore, and it keeps me not just physically fit, but mentally and emotionally in check (yep, definitely less neurotic).
Seriously, if I don’t go to the gym for a week, the chances of me stabbing someone with a biro or ramming someone's ankles with my trolley in the supermarket will increase massively!
For someone compulsive like me, I now find it so much easier to just maintain an ‘all year round body’. I no longer want to gorge over the winter months and then feel shit about what a greedy pig I’ve been. I don’t want to binge drink for the whole month of December and then suffer the consequences. I don’t want to have a massive uphill struggle every New Year to break bad habits and start working on a summer body, followed by the guilt of not actually sticking to it. For me, consistency is key - maintaining a steady rhythm, rather than inconsistent ups and downs.
So yes, I will be enjoying yummy food and a few tipples at Christmas, but I won’t binge like a mother fucker. My eating habits will remain pretty much the same, and so will my exercise routine. I don’t want to hide a cheese and cracker baby under a baggy jumper dress - I want to look and feel good in winter clothes too!
From a health perspective, I used to have a weak-ish immune system and would always come down with colds and flu in winter, or I’d never quite feel 100%. With the darker mornings and lack of sunshine I have a tendency to feel lethargic and less than positive (read miserable biatch), and I don’t want that anymore - I want to be positive and happy, come sunshine or snow! Eating well, exercising and generally looking after myself really helps with this.
I’m committed to staying healthy and strong this winter - eating well (to keep my immune system firing on all cylinders and to ward off colds and illnesses), making time for exercise, and taking time out to rest and recuperate (I say it all the time but self care is SO essential!). I want to feel fit, energetic and strong! I want to feel good, look good and thrive all year round, not just for part of the year!
Here’s to ALL YEAR ROUND health!
Much love, Fran xxx
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BossingIt! aims to empower and inspire women to be strong and independent, and to illustrate that life is there for the taking and that YOU are in control of it. I want to encourage you to realise your potential, so you can grab life by the balls and carve out the life you wholeheartedly want to live, so you can feel joy and gratitude each and every day, and ultimately be the very best version of yourself. I want to share the belief that if you’re not 100% happy with any aspect of your life, be it work, relationships, parenting, health & fitness, or life in general, it’s never too late to change things or even start anew completely. Every day is a new opportunity to start over, to be who you want to be, and YOU get to write and rewrite your story!