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.

Enjoy without Excess

Thanksgiving is just about upon us and we all know the feeling of eating way too much.

This year I’d like to challenge you to make a conscious effort to think through your choices and instead of feeling like a stuffed turkey yourself after the meal, feel satisfied with a delicious meal that you enjoyed with family and friends.

Here’s are three easy ways you can keep the calories and portions down while enjoying the delicious feast…

Survey the Spead

Thanksgiving dinner is always a meal that has more options than any of us need. I like to take a glimpse of all of the choices and then decide what I am going to add to my plate before I start scooping. Thanksgiving is a special meal, but also includes many dishes that are served throughout the year. For instance, mashed potatoes and gravy are also served with a number of other meals, like roast beef, so I generally skip right over the potatoes and choose a small serving of homemade stuffing instead. It’s something that we have less often and is a treat for me.

Watch Your Portions

Just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean your helpings need to be big to make it special. Be mindful of your portions, and remember that a scoop of this and a scoop of that adds up very quickly…before you know it your plate needs sideboards and you feel like you need bigger pants. This Thanksgiving Serving infographic gives some great guidelines for portions of popular Thanksgiving dishes.

Slow Down

Take the time to enjoy your meal and the friends and family sitting around the table. We rush through so many meals in life because we are short on time. Thanksgiving should be a time where we take the time to appreciate not only the company we are keeping but the flavors and richness of the food. Chew slowly, chew well and think about how your food tastes and why you enjoy it. Thinking through the actual taste of food can help you more quickly ‘quench’ your cravings than shoveling it in and needing a second helping.

So this Thanksgiving, choose the dishes that are most special to you, be mindful of your portion sizes and enjoy the food. But most of all, enjoy the people you are celebrating the holiday with, relationships and memories are the biggest blessings of holidays and you never have to worry about controlling the portion of your love you share.

Avoiding the Additives

As a mom of three I know how difficult it can be to keep the processed foods out of the cabinets. I do my best to make sure the healthy options outnumber the processed choices but compromise on some items for the sake of peace and happiness.

There are several items that appear in the ingredients of the majority of processed foods that I would recommend avoiding if possible.

Artificial Colors and Flavors: manufacturers use artificial colors to enhance the look of their products. Many of these can be linked to allergic reactions, which can lead to symptoms like fatigue, hyperactivity and headaches.

Artificial Sweeteners: many “diet” foods contain chemically-derived artificial sweeteners to reduce the caloric content of the food, however, fewer calories doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for you. As an “artificial” product your body has difficulty processing the substance and ultimately it can have a negative impact on your metabolism.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS): this has become a cheap alternative to cane and beet sugar and is often used to maintain freshness in baked goods. While it is derived from corn it is so highly processed that your body doesn’t digest it like normal food. Regular consumption of HFCS can lead to obesity, type 2-diabetes and high cholesterol.

Hydrogenated Oils: these are industrially created fats – yuck! They are often used because they are cheaper than other oils. The true danger is they contain high levels of trans fats, which can lead to a raise in bad cholesterol levels and heart disease.

MSG (Monosodium Glutamate): many restaurants use MSG to enhance the flavors of their foods and as a result stimulate appetites. The side affects of MSG may be headaches, nausea and weakness.

Refined Grains: if you see the words “enriched” or “bleached” step away from the package! Refined grains are often found in things like white rice, white pasta, white breads and low fiber sugar filled cereal. Instead look for foods that use the words “whole grain” or “oats” and ones that are high in fiber.

You might not be able to completely avoid processed foods, but you can at least try to make better choices for those foods.

If you first fill up on fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and low-fat dairy products you’ll find you have less room for those things that aren’t good for you.