Look amazing this summer

Have you looked at the calendar recently? Starting to count the weeks, not the months, until those warm summer days give you a great reason to head to the outdoors, cook a delicious BBQ and unwind with friends? Maybe you’re thinking you’d like to enjoy some outdoor activities this year, more than you’ve been able to in recent years? Whatever your reason, there’s only a couple of precious months left before summer, and now’s a perfect time to focus in on losing fat, and feeling great, so you’re ready for those warm days, and fun nights.

You might be thinking you’ve left it too late this year. Or that there’s no point planning for this summer because you’re going to be too busy with work. Whatever the thought, there’s always plenty of excuses that let you off the hook.

But that’s not going to get you anywhere in the long run.

Always options

There will always be options, always be reasons that make sense, as to why now isn’t the time to make changes, or why now isn’t the best time to get in shape.

I want you to consider that in fact, there’s no better time than right now.

Because nothing happens in the past, or in the future, it always happens now.

If it doesn’t happen now, it doesn’t get a start and continue into the future. If it doesn’t happen now, who knows what directions you might be missing as you continue with your same old ways.

Doesn’t sound like you?

Maybe in fact you have already made some changes, and you’re looking forward to being in great shape for summer. If that’s the case, I say Congratulations for getting started, that’s one of the most difficult things to do.

Those couple of months approaching

In either case, whether you’re in action working towards your goal, or still yet to get started on your path to great changes, you have a couple of months before those really great summer days hit, and you get a rush of all the opportunities that there are around to really enjoy and make the most of being outside, and all the fun events that go along with holidays, long days and happy friends.

So what’s your plan?

Maybe you don’t have one yet, you’re just putting it together.

Or perhaps you’re going crazy on your diet, or hitting the gym hard every week? Maybe you’ve dusted out the cupboards, trashed all the junk and started fresh with spring, giving yourself a few months to make some awesome progress towards your goals.

If you’re on track and making good progress, I don’t want to mess with your plan, but I do want to ask one question – is it sustainable?

How long will it last?

If you’ve made drastic changes, but more, if you’re really challenging yourself, day after day, my question is how long can this last?

Willpower is only so strong, and the body only has so much stamina.

If you’re heading to the gym more than 3 days a week, and if you’re eating like a saint, and trying to avoid cheat days, I’m going to suggest your plan will last for about 6-8 weeks. Most likely no longer, and more likely a bit shorter.

It’s not that I’m trying to wreck your progress, just that I really want you to be on the track to long term success, rather than chasing a short term gain that doesn’t stay with you.

Here’s a choice

Would you:

  • a/ prefer to lose 20 pounds in the next 2 months, only to regain 10lbs of that the month after that, meaning you’re gaining weight as summer goes on OR
  • b/ lose 10 pounds in the next 2 months, and be quite happy and relaxed in your lifestyle, so that you continue to lose another 10 lbs in the next month or two after that?

The net result if you go with option ‘a’ is that you’ll be 10lbs lighter in 3 months’ time, if you go with ‘b’, you’ll be 15 or 20lbs lighter in 3 months’ time. But you’ll make slower progress in the next month or two, if you choose ‘b’.

The key

Here’s the key: If you continue losing fat over summer, you’re much more likely to keep it off, and truly reach your goal weight. Sneaking up on your goal means your lifestyle is much more liveable, day to day, week to week, and you’ll be able to maintain it for the longer term.

Sprinting to an imaginary finish line is great if you’re in a modelling contest, or a bodybuilding competition, but for people with regular lives, it’s totally impractical. If you hit a target, only to rebound immediately after, what’s the point?

So I suggest you take a quick look at your progress, and your approach, and decide if you are sneaking, or sprinting. If you feel like you’re sprinting now, chances are your body won’t be able to keep up for too much longer, and that could lead to wild cravings, injuries, fatigue and mood disturbances.

Keep your lifestyle balanced and you can absolutely lose fat as you progress, and no wear yourself thin doing so. I can’t tell you the number of times I was able to achieve a goal bodyfat % in the past, only to ‘fizz-out’ at around the 8-week mark and get sick, and gain some weight back again. Truly, making less-drastic lifestyle adjustments is what has led me to being able to maintain my results over the longer term.

Your Bonus

And of course there’s a bonus – you don’t have such a crazy schedule, and you still enjoy the next couple of months, rather than being some kind of nutrition and workout robot. I know I prefer my friends with personalities, not just goals.

Take an intelligent, moderate approach to your goals and how you want to go about achieving them, and I think your life will be a happier, more relaxed one, and you might just find your results come a little quicker because of that, without you even trying.

And remember, that if you choose option ‘b’ above, and keep losing, then by those hot August nights, and warm September days, you’ll be in even better shape, and have a wonderful memory of a summer that changed your life.

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