Summer is coming! Everyone is frantically trying to get in shape for summer—fast. If this sounds familiar, I’m going to encourage you to reframe that thought!
First of all, quick fixes don’t work. I see people panicking over looking great in their tank tops or bathing suits and then they suddenly hit the gym every day, take all the dance classes they can, go on a restrictive diet and….burn out. They end up feeling worse than they did before! Remember, in the battle against the bulge, slow and steady wins the race. Hopefully you’ve set up a solid fitness base over the winter, but if not, start now! Be realistic. Take whatever you are currently doing and add a day at the gym, an extra dance or fitness class, or keep it simple and add a 10-minute walk to your week (times 3). This will keep you from becoming exhausted or injured, or worse, giving up completely.
Secondly, if you want to meet your worst critic, go look in the mirror. I hear my students say they think they are being judged by others in class. I remind them that if people are judging you, they are probably insecure about themselves. Once, I had an entire class worried about doing an improvisation. I saw scared dancers all over the room and thought they would give up out of fear of being judged. Afterward, I asked them what was going through their minds and every single person said they were just thinking about what choreography they would use. They weren’t silently judging each other after all. I realized the majority of the time, however, people are so busy worrying about themselves, they aren’t paying attention to anyone else.
I strongly recommend keeping up your fitness goals: go to dance class, take a move class, or hit the gym–but don’t go overboard trying to reach an unattainable short-term goal. The same goes with nutrition. Feed your body so it can do what you need it to do. Real, healthy foods are always better than temporary short-term diets that will have you throwing in the towel in a week. Good luck; it’s time to get excited about summer! Just knowing that you are treating your body well should give you the confidence to enjoy it and not dread it.