The phrase “springtime bodies make summer hotties” is a little cheesy, but I really think it’s true. “Summer bodies” are actually made in the spring. The sooner you start thinking about getting yourself to the fitness level that makes you feel your best in the summer, the easier it is to get there — without the temptation of trying out a crash diet or juice cleanse.
Part of getting ready for summer is being in the mental space for it. The days are longer, the pressure to be active becomes more intense (Bike rides! Golf! Tennis!) and that self-consciousness some of us feel when wearing warm-weather clothes starts to kick in. All of this can be stressful, and can take away from all the fun that summer promises to bring. So here’s my advice:
Let’s start with being mentally ready. What are you up to this summer? Travel? Family events? An internship? I always find it’s easier to enjoy all of my fun plans when I feel in control of my schedule. Make sure you know how you’re going to balance it all.
Let go of any lingering winter blues and make space for encouraging thoughts. I like to tell people we carry our issues in our tissues —I visualize negative thoughts as mushy, and they drag me down. But I find that focusing on positive thoughts across all areas of my life can help motivate me to develop and maintain healthy habits.
Now, without getting too crazy with diet, I’m going to share a few tips I was given by nutritionist Meredith Geller for my book, Two Turns From Zero. Follow them as closely as feels good to you in these weeks leading up to summer — and know that once summer arrives, you can always start loosening up.
1. Cut added sugar from your diet. Dodge Dessert. Ignore candy. Just say no for now.
2. Pass on pizza and pasta. Sorry!
3. Limit dairy. Alternative milks – as long as they are unsweetened — are your friends.
4. Go easy on the fruit, which has a lot of natural sugar.
I personally have found that cutting out these things — which give my body a heavy, low-energy feeling — makes me feel summer-ready. I tried this plan over the holidays last year and honestly, I’ve never felt better. The only thing missing was the beach.
Stacey Griffith is a senior master instructor at SoulCycle and the author of Two Turns From Zero. Stacey’s motivational coaching style combines a passion for dance, athleticism and mind-blowing music — all set to the beat of her voice. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.