Making a Summer Body in Winter

This is something I remember reading last May, and thinking ‘Damn’.

Because it is absolutely true, if you start panicking about your body a month before your holiday there is very little you can do.

We spent two weeks in Turkey, it was blissful. And I wore a bikini. I didn’t look particularly amazing in it, but I really didn’t care much what other people thought. But I did care about how I felt.

And I knew that I only felt comfortable-ish because I had had a gastro-virus the week before we went away which meant I dropped 6lbs, I also had bad fish on the fourth day which then gave me an upset (but very flat) stomach.

It really shouldn’t take being ill and subsequently not eating much to feel confident in a bikini.

So, I have a plan for next year (though whether we can afford to go on holiday remains to be seen!).

I’m giving my new year plan a dry-run in November to test it out, though this was only prompted after getting rather too drunk on Hallowe’en and feeling like death the next day. But hey, any reason is a good one.

I fully expect to catastrophically fall off the wagon in December, in fact I’d be disappointed if I didn’t, but I figure it doesn’t hurt to start too early.

I really struggle with accumulating weight around my middle, my personal trainer friend informs me this is generally (though not always) due to carbs/sugar intolerance. I’m not going to cut them entirely as I don’t think it’s sustainable long-term, but I’m definitely cutting right back. So, it’s cereal and fruit for breakfast, soup or oat-cakes for lunch and a vegetable heavy dinner with some kind of protein. I am going to cut all sweets and chocolate from my diet, as I don’t eat many anyway, so excluding them entirely shouldn’t be too hard. But cheese is my friend. No bikini is worth not eating cheese.

The alcohol is also going, but completely (that hangover was horrendous), again I’ve cut right back on this (especially since autumn kicked in), so this is quite realistic and I know the amount of sugar in those lovely fruity ciders and sauv blanc is not going to help in my quest for a flatter tummy.

Peculiarly, I’ve decided to make my life hard by cutting out caffeine, just to see if it makes a difference. Well, after two days the only difference I’ve noticed is feeling like a slug and having beastly headaches, but I’ve done two days, I’m going to stick with it and see what happens when I come out the other side. I was drinking maybe 10 mugs of tea a day, so I figure it has got to be better for me, and my teeth.

And the exercise. Running three times a week and pilates once a week. I can manage 3 miles when I really stretch myself, but ideally I’d like to get up to 5/6 miles after Christmas. I can’t believe how quickly I’ve noticed a difference though, in both my stamina and my body there was a perceptible difference after two weeks. That is all the motivation I need to carry on.

What I really want is some body confidence, and for me that is a flatter tummy, less oomph in the love handles and more toned legs and bum. My stomach is NEVER going to look like it did before my Little Men came along; they were big babies and my tummy housed them splendidly, but the upshot is more stretch marks than you can count, muscles that have been stretched beyond repair and a belly button that looks like an old man gurning. It ain’t pretty. But there’s definitely room for improvement.

So this is my winter to make my body ready for summer. Not for anyone else. For me.

But if it all falls apart after November then so be it. I’ll fish out the M&S contortion swimsuit and make do with that instead.

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