Courtesy of Janelle Hill

Courtesy of Janelle Hill

Believe it or not, summer in Canada is right around the corner. This means get ready to continuously hear phrases like “summer shredding” or “get beach body ready”. Most likely, you will find this phrase coming from someone trying to sell you a “get in shape quick” type of program that may not necessarily give you what is desired. The reality is, you most likely cannot attain your “dream body” within the time frame given, which can be extremely disappointing for most people. You are left wondering what went wrong and can come out of the experience feeling worse than you did going in. Truthfully, fitness is not a “get rich quick” type of deal, but more an experience to incorporate into every stage of your life.

First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to feel and look your best during the summer or any time of the year. What can sometimes be left unsaid is that without a solid foundation to work from, the only way to attain your goals in a short period of time can leave you with a bad taste in your mouth for fitness. The extreme diets, fasted cardio for hours, huge expectations, 3-hour long gym sessions can all leave you feeling absolutely drained. In reality, this is NOT, I repeat NOT, something you can actually maintain throughout a lifetime (or more than a few months if we’re being honest). Going into your goals with this kind of approach can be too extreme for most people, and if the results are not apparent after sometime of training like this, it can be heartbreaking. All motivation and positivity can be sucked out of the individual because the approach was just way too extreme to come out the other side feeling happy.

Okay, now that all that negativity is out of the way, I want to focus on the positive sides to all of this and give some advice on how to plan and achieve your goals! Firstly, YES, it is amazing to want to get beach body ready, as long as you approach this with an open mind and realistic goals! I would suggest starting the earlier the better. Mid snow storm in November is a great time frame to start incorporating fitness into your life scheduling. Getting into a routine of working out 2-4 times per week helps set you up for success for the summer months!

Goals are extremely important and you should write down and have a few different ones to focus on. Daily, weekly, and yearly goals should be something to think about in order to plan your schedule. Daily goals could be to try a new machine or workout today. Weekly would be adding on an extra mile to your weekly run. Yearly might be fitting into a dress you bought a long time ago. These give your workouts purpose rather than just blindly going with no end game in sight.

Finally, the last thing I want to discuss if being realistic with your goals. Setting up a goal that is physically impossible for yourself is extremely damaging to your self esteem and journey. Think of your goals in the context of YOU and not what other people are able to achieve. At the end of the day, you can be your biggest support or greatest barrier to get over. Setting yourself up for a path of success is absolutely crucial. You should want to become the best version of YOURSELF, not set up a goal to look “like this person you’ve seen online”. Be nice to yourself and help yourself on this life long process.

SO, if you see something that is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t fall for these get ripped quick schemes, you’ll just be left wondering what the heck happened there. Be smart, positive, and kind to yourself. Your body will thank you for not putting it through hell and back, but for making it the best version of itself!