Happy 2022! And, yay! It’s time to break out that bikini!
Yeah, we’re totally serious.
January is traditionally when we take stock and make a plan for the year ahead. Perhaps you’ve decided that you want your body to be more slim, sleek and firm by summer. Good for you—we’re all for it, and we can help!
Remember that to be bikini-ready by June, your work begins now. Everyone will have individual personal goals, but the successful journey will always include three basic components: a conscious shift in lifestyle choices, a simple system for tracking your progress, and medical aesthetic support.
- What you eat matters more than how much you exercise.
Cardio is good for your heart. Resistance training (like lifting free weights, and weight-bearing exercises like walking) builds muscle strength, keeps bones strong, and also benefits your heart. Busting a righteous sweat may even elevate your mood, especially if you do it outdoors (remember the sunblock, please!) and work out with a friend, including your dog.
But killer abs and a smaller-dress size really begin in the kitchen, not in the gym.
- Many foods that you think of as “healthy” simply aren’t.
Nutrition is an area of health that’s poorly understood. And food fads and claims made by trendy diets contribute to our confusion. One example that’s just coming to light are the plant-proteins called lectins. These are sticky, prickly proteins that force carbohydrates to clump together I your gut. They interfere with your digestion and make weight loss and weight regulation challenging.
Lectins are abundant in foods you probably think of as healthy, including multi-grain bread, barley, corn, brown rice, lentils, peanuts, cashews, and red kidney beans. And even those sensible boneless, skinless chicken breasts that you rely on as an ally in your weight loss plan, since commercially raised chickens are fed lectin-heavy grains. Why do the big industrial chicken-growers feed their chickens (and cows, and pigs) a grain diet instead of allowing the animals to forage and graze? Because the grain diet fattens them up super-fast. Let that one sink in for a minute…
And a word about fruit. We were taught that fruit is always a good food choice, and that we’re lucky to have fresh produce year-round. Sorry, but it’s not true. What is true is that in 2022, we have unprecedented access to fresh produce, but eating fruit out of season can foil your fitness strategy. This is because eating sweet fruits (peaches, cherries, grapes, mangoes, ripe bananas, pineapple) out of season never allows the bacteria in your gut to digest fat – those bacteria are too busy breaking down the glucose in summery and tropical fruits. Seasonal citrus, apples and pears, which are less sweet, will allow your gut flora to attack your fat during the winter months.
- Not all goals are attainable.
It’s so important to be realistic when setting out on your quest for the body beautiful. Maybe you’re (still) obsessed with Olivia Newton-John in “Grease”-era black spandex. That was a moment in time, long ago, shaped by O’s unique genetics, and a whole lot of grueling professional dance-training. As an alternative, book an appointment with our experts Contact Us for a chat (no charge to you for an initial consultation) about what you want to achieve, and how we can help you tighten your curves and smooth out your shape with Coolsculpting®, melt away your double-chin with Kybella®, and other easy steps to look and feel your best (spandex optional).
- Commit to your daily practice rather than the outcome. Sure, you need to have a goal. But focus on the daily process rather than a finite objective. Make yourself a promise like “I will reduce my portion sizes at meal-time”, or “I will skip going back for second helpings”, or “I will not buy potato chips during this shopping trip”, or “I will walk for 20 minutes today, or tomorrow.” This present-in-the-moment kind of promise is more easily maintained than the usual high-minded New Year’s Resolutions which typically run out of gas by Valentine’s Day.
- Punishing yourself is always counter-productive.
Along the same lines, be good to yourself. Make your world a no-shame zone. Let’s suppose that the past two years in isolation, quarantine and lockdown have left you looking a bit fluffier around the midsection than you’d like. Maybe you’ve gotten into snacking habits that aren’t helping the situation. Don’t despair! Beyond our awesome opposable thumbs, remember that humans are uniquely powerful in our ability to change and adapt.
Give yourself props for beginning on your new journey. Thank your body for carrying you on however-many trips around the sun. And steer clear of anyone who tries to discourage you with remarks like “I didn’t know that pizza was on your diet!”. Instead, find a supportive buddy on a similar quest, and cheer each other on.
- Track your progress and your setbacks.
Give yourself a big checkmark or smiley-sticker on the calendar for every day you attempted to observe your practice. Be generous with yourself. It’s more important to attempt the practice daily than to obtain flawless results. For instance, it’s better to faithfully do 10 pushups every day than to do 25 one day, then skip the rest the week. Consistency and repetition are key. Perfection is not necessary! In fact, the biggest measurement of success is simply keeping at it.
- Get enough sleep.
Sleep, like nutrition, is an aspect of health that’s poorly understood. However, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), we now know that there is a correlation between two national epidemics: obesity and sleep deprivation. Pay attention to what’s now called “sleep hygiene.” Remove the TV from your bedroom, and don’t work from your laptop in bed. If possible, reduce the lighting-levels in your home after sundown, to guide your body into its natural sleep-cycle. Avoid all blue-light screens (computer, phone) after dark. Keep your bedroom cool, but if you have trouble drifting off, wear socks to bed: keeping your feet warm may make sleep easier.
- Never say never.
Doing this is another form of punishing yourself, and it reduces your likelihood of success. For instance, you may decide that diet soda isn’t good for you. Fine. But don’t make an absolute vow that you’ll never again pop the top on a fizzy, bubbly refreshment. Learn to tolerate your own shades of gray. It’s what you do MOST of the time that really counts.
- Reward yourself with treats that are not food-based.
Especially for emotional eaters, taking pleasure in experiences which are not food-related can be helpful, allowing you to view food simply as fuel. Instead of wolfing down a brownie because your once-tight jeans are starting to feel loose, indulge in these alternatives:
- An amazing fountain pen
- Personalized stationery or journal
- One dozen roses
- Fragrance (custom-blended just for you)
- Midday nap, no apologies
- Cute velour joggers
- Go skinny-dipping! Great at any age, any size, any weight.
- New workout / walking shoes
- Tennis or swimming lesson
- Museum, art, or concert outing
- Ear-pods or other tech treat
- New music download
- Car-wash with deluxe detailing
- A visit to your home from a professional cleaner, de-clutterer, organizer (household and office clutter often creates anxiety, which may trigger binge-snacking)
- Day-trip to someplace interesting (or just random), and send touristy postcards to everyone on your holiday card list
- Silk pillowcase
- Forget minimalism, and give yourself an Iris Apfel moment: stack on the bangles, heap on the turquoise, and flaunt every favorite piece of jewelry you own! Get a friend to take photos.
When you look at your own vibrant wellness as a lifelong project, the pressure’s off. Getting into the best shape of your life, protecting and nourishing your skin, and strengthening and toning your body become a pleasure (okay, most of the time!) once you make the decision to make yourself top priority. Instead of feeling like deprivation, you realize that you’re celebrating yourself, every day. Book your free consultation now, and let us show you how our array of advanced aesthetic services can work in tandem with your healthy lifestyle choices. The bikini beckons!