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The Voice of the Black Community

Life and Religion

The skinny on slimming down for the summer
Break the cycle of bikini season
 
Published Tuesday, July 29, 2014 8:22 am
by Andrea Royal

It’s summertime. All hail warm weather and wearing less clothing, freely showing more skin. 

Naturally, along with the warmer weather come all the fitness advertisements, magazine articles and headlines about getting a “summer body” and being “beach ready.” What exactly does that mean?

These ads and posts imply that your body has to be in a particular shape or you shouldn’t dare step foot on the beach in a bikini or wear any skin-baring outfits. So it’s no wonder that many of us are feeling a little more self-conscious about our bodies and flocking to the nearest gym, sweating it out with a personal trainer or taking a few extra laps around the block at home so that we too can be “beach ready.”

I’m all for people setting fitness goals to look and feel good in their skin. However, I don’t understand the idea of working hard to look good for a particular season only to taper off your fitness efforts as summer ends and autumn gives way to winter and the holiday season. It’s a vicious cycle. What inevitably begins to set in are those dreaded holiday blues.  All of the food that we consume during the holidays begins to weigh in on us, literally. 

On New Year’s Eve the cycle starts again as we make those resolutions to eat less and work out more to get our bodies back in shape for spring and summer.

I’ve seen this pattern many times, and I didn’t understand from where it derived. How do we get caught in such a vicious cycle?

Is a fit body only a summer accessory? In the winter, is it OK to have a little fluff because you’re covered up in more clothing?

We are aware of what needs to be done in order to look and feel good in our bodies.  So why can’t the goals we set for ourselves in the summertime be the same goals we set year round?  Why not feel good in your skin all the time?

I witnessed many clients in and out of my gym sticking with their fitness goals for only a period of time and then “taking a break.” Perhaps the summer slim down simply gives us an excuse to let up on our goals during the winter, but if we want to look and feel great all the time, then we have to put in the work on a consistent basis. The only person that can make it work is you.

If you have spent the last few weeks focused on maintaining or achieving your “summer body,” I challenge you to make yearly fitness goals and stick to them.  Create a new cycle.

Andrea Royal is a Charlotte-based bikini fitness model. On her blog, "The Royal Truth: A Fitness Model's Story," the self-described shy, awkward, goofy girl from New York chronicles her journey breaking into the world of bodybuilding. Visit her online at qcfitnessmodeling.blogspot.com or follow her on Twitter @a_royalfit.

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