I think that for the most part, we're all in the same uphill battle. Knowing we have an occasion coming up where we want our bodies to looking rocking yet it's just not there yet. So we kick ourselves into high gear. We start to eat clean, workout often and change all of our habits just in time before the big event. Sound familiar? I call this vacation motivation.
Vacation motivation can be defined as when you get motivated/inspired to change your body for the better, in a small amount of time for an upcoming event.
Now vacation motivation isn't always in reference to an actual vacation. It could be knowing you have a wedding coming up, or high school reunion. It is an event that is coming rather quickly, that makes you buckle down and get serious.
I love and hate these goals, as a personal trainer. It's awesome that you are super motivated but not always great in a small time period. For some people it's not realistic or healthy to drop a certain amount of weight in the time period allotted. It''s also tough because once the event comes and goes, are you going to stick with your new lifestyle?
Thinking in a clients perspective I totally get it. "Let's do this. I'm all in. I'll do whatever it takes to look good in that bikini". Also sound familiar? We get ourselves motivated for this short period of time mainly because we trick ourselves. We tell our bodies and minds that if you cooperate with me for the next few weeks while I deprive you, I promise it'll be worth it. It'll be worth it to look great, and then we can go back to normal. WRONG!
This is exactly what we call a fad diet. Even if you are following a new lifestyle plan that is coached by a fitness and nutrition specialist its nothing more than a fad if it becomes short term. But can it become a new lifestyle instead of just a fad? Of course, and I'm here to show you how.
So let's go with the story that you have a destination wedding coming up. Not only do you have to look great at the wedding in your cocktail dress, but now you have to like bikini ready in front of all your family members and friends. You have about 4-6 weeks to get it together, what's your first move? Maybe hire a specialist to coach you through it? Find a gym buddy to help keep you motivated? Eat salad all day long? Here's a few suggestions;
1. It takes 21 days to form a new habit, so make some. Decide to make some new habits like drinking a gallon of water a day to stay hydrated.
2. Get to bed earlier. Sleep is a huge part of living a healthy lifestyle. Your body needs it to recover.
3. Speak to a specialist to get a work out guide or meal plan (if you aren't already working with one or have proper knowledge)
4. Switch items out. Find items that you consume daily that isn't great for you and find their healthier alternative. For example whole wheat bread for white, coconut milk instead of creamer, a homemade breakfast instead of a protein bar and so on.
5. Walk. It sounds pretty simple but you'd be surprised how many people opt out when there's an option not to. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park a little further in the parking lot or simply walk to the store instead of driving.
6. Find something that motivates you beyond your event. The wedding will come and go and you will be back to a regular routine in not time. Find something that is going to keep motivating you after all the excitement wares down.
7. Plan ahead. Make sure to have food around that is already prepped for the go or fresh and ready to cook when you're hungry. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail. Check out my Meal prepping 101 for some ideas.
8. Get support. If you are starting this journey based on an up coming event, chances are someone else you know would want to partake in it. Find a workout buddy, or a food buddy that will help keep you on your game.
9. Clear out the bad habits. If you have bad eating habits try to change at least one thing a week. Clear out all the snacks in your cabinet. Take a different route home from work to avoid fast food stops. Limit yourself to eating after a certain time to avoid late night binging.
10. Keep progress. Track yourself with taking weekly measurements and pictures of your body to see how it's changing. I avoid the scale at all costs because weight is just a number that can often be incorrect. I like to measure with how certain clothes fit or with a tape measurer to be precise.