We all do it. We vow to create the best body we’ve ever had or dreamed of, usually when the clock strikes 12:00 a.m. on Jan 1. We tell ourselves, “This time I WILL DO IT. Nothing will get in my way.” We set our meal plan in place, buy a cart full of clean eats, and sign up for a gym membership and/or hire a personal trainer. I’m always the first one to congratulate anyone on setting health or fitness goals, but unfortunately, as a certified personal trainer, I usually see those dreams of a tight booty and flatter abs fade when I make someone do their second set of walking lunges. That go get ’em attitude usually dims by the end of January or February and most people give up on getting their body and health back. But by then, March is about to creep up and you know what that means: bikinis, tank tops and shorts gracing the beach and pools across the Valley. Therefore, this time, I’ve put some tips together to remind you of that goal—a kick to jump yourself back on the fitness wagon like it’s January 1.
1. Write down a plan. When I’m at the gym, I carry my notebook of workouts for each day of the week, because there’s no guesswork left after you’ve written down each and every exercise you should do. For example, I write out a calendar with days of the week:
Mon – Glutes and hamstrings.
Tues – Shoulders and back
Wed – Upper body circuit with biceps, triceps and chest
Thu – Legs and abs
Fri – Plyo
2. Get going on the cardio! The best way to see those muscles and tone develop is to blast that fatty layer over them. Challenge yourself. Remember, you don’t have to be on a boring machine if you have a short attention span. Switch it up! Go run some stairs, take a new class, or jump from machine to machine for 15 minutes each. And if you’re looking to lose weight, keep in mind that cardio is very important. It helps to visualize yourself in that bathing suit you want to rock on the beach WITHOUT a cover up this year.
3. Abs are made in the kitchen! You can do a million sit ups, and I promise you nothing will change without cooking up those abs in the kitchen. Stay away from fast food, and if you’re in a bind, remember fresh is best. Stick to veggies, lean proteins like chicken, fish, turkey, and remember that salads can be worse than a chicken sandwich sometimes because of the toppings and dressing. Make sure to skip the cream sauces and dressings, and instead go for the vinaigrette or olive oil based dressing. Additionally, avoid the words sautéed, pan fried, and creamed at all costs. Ask the restaurant NOT to bring out that bread basket or chips, and to bring half your meal in a box, and half on your plate. Little changes add up to less inches on your waist! Also, Pack your food the night before, and prepare for your week on Sundays.
4. DO NOT doubt yourself. The worst thing you can do is tell yourself that working out and eating clean is a waste of time. You want that beach body, but you also want that confidence and that sense of self accomplishment as well. Feelings of disappointment are normal especially when that scale doesn’t move, or those pants don’t zip, or if you don’t see results in a week. You need to remind yourself that the weight didn’t creep up on you overnight, so it’s going to take some time and effort to reach your goal, but it is absolutely possible. Get a picture of what you envision you will look like, and look at it every day, especially when negative thoughts sneak in.
5. If worse comes to worse, change it up. Do some kind of exercise every day, even if you had to skip the gym. Turn on your favorite show, and bust out jump squats, pushups, lunges, or grab those dusty ankle weights and do some side raises and kick backs. Make yourself sweat without missing your favorite episode of Grey’s Anatomy. LITTLE things add to BIG changes, like a tighter waistline.
And don’t forget: before you know it, March will be here followed by summer, and you will proudly march on that beach with a tighter body!
Bio: Renea Perez is an ISSA certified personal trainer, prenatal strength training certified, and certified in performance nutrition. She is also BodyPump and BodyJam certified through Les Mills. Renea Perez is a wife and a mother of two boys. She lost over 50 pounds after her first pregnancy, which motivated her to make health and fitness her career, and says, “I love helping women reach their goals of better bodies, and better lifestyles.”