Hello! Welcome to the Sweets & Squats blog. This is where I write from my perspective and talk about my own experiences. Oh and by the way, I am Anouare–the founder of this website. Now that we got that out of the way, I am going to Barbados in about a month and I thought it could be fun to share how I get “beach-ready” the lazy way. When I say lazy, I don’t mean that I sit around eating doughnuts and not working out. I enjoy making my health a priority. I do put some thought into what I eat. I love working out and crave it.
So why lazy ? First of all, I believe in feeling and looking my best year-round. And by that I mean that I believe in achieving and maintaining an ideal but realistic body shape (and keep in mind that my ideal realistic body shape might be very different from yours) by having a lifestyle that doesn’t require so much effort to maintain that the minute you fall off the (insert trendy diet name) wagon your abs have disappeared so quickly that you can still see the wagon rolling away. So in this case the word lazy can be replaced by “totally do-able while still including all the fun stuff (two words: bread basket)”.
When I first started working out in 2007 I fell in love with fitness and healthy eating. I became so into it that I was subscribed to all of the following magazines: Self, Shape, Fitness, Women’s Health and Oxygen. If Instagram existed back then I would have been that person posting the quote “Obsessed is a word the lazy use to describe the dedicated” over a sports-bra selfie. Fitness showed me that setting goals, being consistent and having discipline also had a positive impact when applied to other aspects of my life.
But what started from a healthy place with good intentions became toxic. Motivation turned into self-created pressure, which caused feelings like guilt and self-loathing. Food choices were stressful (How did that happen? I love food!!!). Whenever I would “cheat” I would end-up overeating whatever food was “forbidden” and feeling horrible. I would go to the gym to try and burn it off. To put it simply, living like that sucked. So I spent a couple of years UN-LEARNING everything and not caring at all about what I ate. But that didn’t feel so good either.
So I gradually started integrating healthy habits into my lifestyle again until I found the perfect balance for me. I care about what I eat but not all the time. I workout regularly but more like three or four times a week instead of five or six. I have made peace with my body and in exchange it is rewarding me by looking better every year. I am not saying this to boast. When choices come from a place of self-love and acceptance the physical results are just a bonus.
But I don’t see anything wrong with wanting to feel a little extra “oomphy” on the beach. While a spray tan (don’t go inside tanning booths and you’ll thank me when you’re 50. Skin cancer is not cool either) is the lazy girl’s number one trick for that, I am also going to make small efforts over the next month. I am going to be posting a daily food diary and workout log so that you can see what small efforts mean to me. It may be that I’ll eat a big salad for lunch or make sure that I am getting a source of protein at every meal. Other times it just means that I will have dessert and wine because I want to. I might do a short workout, I might not workout at all or I might break a personal record at the gym. Here are a few points that are part of my eating and working out philosophy:
Slow and steady wins the race.
Small changes lead to big results.
Don’t force yourself to eat things you hate just because they are healthy (ahem, cottage cheese!).
Indulge. When you allow yourself to eat whatever you want, food loses its power and it just becomes food. The unhealthy foods will probably look less appealing. And when you do eat them you will naturally stick to a moderate amount, enjoy it and move on.
Respect other people’s food choices.
Do exercise that you enjoy.
Ditch the all or nothing attitude.
Never let people make you feel guilty about what you eat, how you exercise or even worst–how you look.
Instead of thinking about all the things you should not do, think about all the things that you can add. For ex: I can eat more veggies, I can set fitness dates with my friends VS I should not eat carbs, I should workout five days a week.
See you tomorrow with the first full food and workout post!