Stop Dreading Swimsuit Shopping – Don’t Let Your Mind Bully Your Body

Headed to warmer weather tomorrow for a couple days and can’t wait to sit in the pool and relax.

So of course, I wait until the day before we leave to go shop for a swimsuit. As I tried to prep myself for shopping I was battling those awful thoughts…

‘Ugh, after a long winter, your pale skin is going to look terrible no matter what you try on. Actually, who are you kidding, it’s not the pale skin. Swimsuits reveal every flaw you see in yourself. Are you really prepared for this?’

Then, I stopped myself. I was reminded of a recent blog post I wrote about shopping. How could I offer up advice on enjoying shopping and not even follow it myself.

So I thought about why I was going shopping for a swimsuit. I’m headed to hang out with some great friends and relax poolside. There’s nothing I dislike about any of that. So why am I letting what I wear ruin my day?

With a new attitude I headed to the mall.

First stop…nothing. With spring break having passed for most schools in our area the selection was limited.

Second stop…picked up a few options and headed to the dressing room. First the top was too small, then the bottoms weren’t a flattering cut. But I didn’t get frustrated or upset. These suits weren’t right for me but I would find one.

On to the third stop. Again some options and then I saw it. Could I pull it off? It was worth a try. And I’m glad I did. Granted, it was a little more expensive than what I would normally spend, but it was definitely a YES!

I’m constantly challenging my comfort zone level to share my personal struggles with you. I share them because I want you to know that I understand the challenges of healthy living, overcoming negative self-talk, and finding the time to take care of yourself all while juggling countless other duties.

So today I’ll take it one step further out of my comfort zone and share a picture of me in my new swimsuit. Is my body perfect? No, I’m not striving for perfection. I’m a work in progress and I’m striving for progress each and every day. I work hard to be a good wife, mom and friend. I give it my everything during my own workouts and work just as hard to help my clients achieve better health.

I’m not perfect and the truth is, perfection is a figment of human imagination.

TOTALLY out of my comfort zone sharing this photo! It's about progress, because there's no such thing as perfection.

TOTALLY out of my comfort zone sharing this photo! It’s about progress, because there’s no such thing as perfection.

How to Take the First Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

Just over a week ago I wrote about stepping out of my comfort zone and filming exercise videos. I didn’t want to do it, I didn’t like seeing myself on camera and I didn’t think they would be very effective.

Heading into the end of the second week of posting videos I’m not as hesitant. I still don’t love myself on camera but at least I don’t feel like throwing up at the thought of recording them. But more importantly I’m discovering that by posting them I’m opening dialog with others about exercise.

I’ve had the chance to encourage others in trying things they didn’t think was possible. Here’s one example that just made my night…

We're all capable of surprising ourselves.

We’re all capable of surprising ourselves.

I’m a personal trainer and group fitness instructor because I want to inspire and empower others. To do that I’m going to have to step outside my comfort zone because for many people, walking into a gym or even trying an at home workout is forcing them out of their comfort zone.

I encourage you to take that first step. The next step might still be uncomfortable but it’s worth it because I’m finding with each step it’s getting easier and bringing me a step closer to becoming a better me.

How to go from a Size 8 to a Size 2 the Right Way

How many of those absurd tag lines have you heard for the fad diets out there? The master cleanse, raw diet, the five bite diet, the cabbage soup diet, the list could go on and on.

But I’m not addressing the whole diet industry today. I’ll save that for another day but before moving on I want to make it clear – weight loss and maintenance requires an eating lifestyle, not a ‘diet.’

What I want to address today is the discrepancy in sizing of clothing, especially for women.

Picture this…you enter the fitting room with clothing only to find that you can’t get the jeans over your hips or the top you chose looks like you could fit two of you in it.

You double check the sizes and everything seems like it should fit. So you ask an associate to help you adjust the sizing, but still nothing fits right.

All the while you are critically staring at yourself in the mirror and creating a list of everything that’s wrong with your body.

So rather than returning home with some fun new items, you are discouraged more than ever.

It’s happened to me countless of times. In fact, I did go from a size 8 to a size 2 in one day…but it was all by shopping in my own closet.

How can two of my favorite pair of jeans be two different sizes?

How can two of my favorite pair of jeans be two different sizes?

I could rant on about the fashion industry and what they do to us by having such inconsistent sizing but that’s not going to do anyone any good.

With the season change upon us, many will be going shopping for some new things. So here are my tips for the next time you go shopping:

Recognize that size isn’t what matters, rather how it makes you feel.

I’ve talked about getting rid of my scale because I became entirely too attached to the number instead of how I felt about myself. The number went up and I beat myself up, the number went down and I was on top of the world. But the problem was prior to stepping on the scale I felt confident and happy with what I had done that week. So why did the number matter?

The same thing applies to clothes. Who cares what the size is? Does it look good on you? Does it make you feel confident? Does it make you want to make plans with friends so you can show it off? Those are the things that matter, not the size.

Accept that some styles will better suit your body than others.

The fact is we are all of different shapes and sizes and not every style will look good on you. It’s okay to take a risk and try it, but if it doesn’t compliment your figure you shouldn’t criticize yourself. Acknowledge that the style isn’t right for you because the same styles that ARE good for you, aren’t for others.

Shop with a friend.

We are always more critical of ourselves than we should be. Take a good friend shopping with you. First, it’s a lot more fun to shop with a friend than alone. But more importantly, your friend can offer you the honestly you need about what you are trying on. If you’re being too critical, they will be able to point that out, and conversely, if you need a reality check for what you’ve selected they will tell you that too!

Shop for the ‘YES’!

How many times have you walked in a store and just went straight for the clearance rack? I do it ALL the time. Over time what I’ve found is I have things in my closet that are ‘okay,’ but I don’t necessarily love them. So I’ve changed the way that I shop. Yes, I spend a little more, but now my closet isn’t cluttered with a bunch of so-so things.

So next time you go shopping, have fun with it. And if you need a shopping pal, let me know!

How do you improve? Step out of your comfort zone. That’s just what I did.

This past weekend I stepped entirely out of my comfort zone.

I felt like throwing up the entire time.

When was the last time you pushed past your comfort zone?

When was the last time you pushed past your comfort zone?

You see for months, my husband and others have been advising me to do online videos of exercises and post them.

I’ve resisted. I didn’t want to be on camera. I didn’t think the amount of time it would take me to film, edit and post would provide me a return on my investment.

But after attending a weekend fitness conference I realized that if I am going to grow my business, I have to be willing to step outside of my comfort zone and try new things.

So last weekend we filmed a series of 25 exercises, with the intention of posting 5 every day along with guidance on how to complete the workout.

Will my efforts pay off? Will people actually benefit from the videos? Will they not only benefit from them but see the value in attending my classes or hiring me as a trainer? It’s entirely too early to answer any of those questions.

But what I can tell you is I’m willing to take a chance, at least for a while, to see how this might help me grow as a person and as a trainer and instructor.

I’m passionate about health and fitness and for me to succeed I’m going to have to be willing to take a risk.

So I ask you, what are you passionate about? What risks are you willing to take to be successful?

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If a 92-year-old Can Follow His Passion, What’s Stopping You?

I don’t know about you but I like FaceBook because it helps me to keep up with friends and family from afar. I get to follow people who I don’t know but inspire me and watch some really funny videos that I probably would never come across on my own.

Lately, my feed has been filled with endless opinions on politics. Don’t get me wrong…I think everyone has their right to share their opinion and make a case for the things they believe in but I’m getting worn down by negativity.

I appreciate the passion, I just wish it was directed in a more positive way. Let’s stop talking about how much we dislike what this person is doing and what they stand for and let’s talk more about the person we support and the great things they do. Right?

So last night I was taken with a post on FaceBook about one of my dear friend’s husbands. Jeremy walked 7 miles with Ernie Andrus, a WWII veteran who is walking coast to coast to raise money to take a LST ship to Normandy for the 75th anniversary of D-Day.

92 Year Old Inspiring Others

Here is a man, 92-years-old. And he’s passionate and living life without excuses! He’s determined to raise awareness to his cause and isn’t letting anything stand in his way.

How many of us use the excuse that we can’t because of _______________ (you fill in the blank).

How many of us spend more time focusing on the negative rather than the positive?

How many of us need a change of heart and mind?

It’s time to change your heart and your mind. Goodbye excuses, goodbye negativity. HELLO to I CAN DO attitude.

Do what you can, where you are at. Don’t compare your abilities to anyone else.Every day brings progress, every day you are stronger and capable of more.

If a 92-year-old can walk coast to coast, surely you can dig within you to find something to be passionate about and go get it.

If you would like to donate or meet up to walk/run with him, here’s his website coast2coastruns.com.

 

A Better Me. A Better You.

Most weekdays the alarm is going off at 5am. Not because I’m a morning person, but because I have a commitment to my classes and clients.

How can I make you better? Not by changing you, but supporting you where you are?

How can I make you better? Not by changing you, but supporting you where you are, and encouraging you to keep going?

I was fortunate enough to sleep in this morning. I woke up refreshed with a big, but simple thought…

  1. What are you going to do today to make yourself a better person and
  2. What can you do for someone else

Today I’m going to take time to read ‘The Gifts of Imperfection.’ I have only just started reading this book, but I highly recommend it. I’m committed to taking my time digesting this book because I think it has the potential to grow me in so many ways.

And today, I’m going to genuinely compliment every person I encounter. I want them to feel appreciated for the person they are today. Sure, there might be changes that they are wanting for their lives, things they wish were different and I might want those things for them too. But more importantly than pushing for the change, I want them to feel empowered to face today and tomorrow knowing they are capable of achieving those things because they are unique and wonderfully made.

What can you do today to improve yourself and to encourage someone else?

Don’t have time? Do the 15-minute workout!

One of the biggest excuses I hear about why people don’t exercise is that they don’t have time.

As a working mom of three I can identify with the pressures of trying to be successful in multiple areas of our lives. To achieve professional, relational and personal success we have to be committed to putting in the time required. No one just wakes up one morning on the top of their industry. No one is a great wife or mom simply by co-existing in the family home, and no one achieves great things by sitting on the sofa.

The same is true for fitness. To achieve a stronger, leaner body you have to be willing to put the time in. But I think there is a misconception when it comes to working out.

Who said that a workout has to be an hour long? Yes, most fitness classes run for an hour, but there is no law written in stone that says if your workout isn’t an hour it doesn’t count.

aint-nobody-got-time

I want to encourage all of you to look at the time you have in your day. If 15 minutes is all you can spare, get in a quick body weight workout – do each of these moves for 1 minute and do three sets:

  • Body weight squats
  • Butt kicks
  • Push-ups
  • Jumping jacks
  • Crunches

Don’t have 15 minutes and only have 5 – then just do one minute of each!

My point is, you have to make up your mind that you do have time and you need to start somewhere.

 

Forget the notion of a workout having to be a certain length of time or that you need to make it to the gym. Make the most of the time that you have and get in a body weight workout in your living room. What matters most is that you get up and move!

And if you’re new to exercise, accept that you have to start somewhere. If your goal is to run a marathon you are going to slowly build your running endurance. No one is going to register for a race and set out and do 26.2 without training. Start small and build on your accomplishments. Each workout will make you stronger and build your endurance.

So look at your schedule for today, if you can make it to the gym or a class, write it down and commit to it. If you don’t have the time, commit to doing the workout listed above – even if it’s just 1 set it’s a start.

Stop letting time stand in your way. Stop using limited time as an excuse.