When June/July arrives, seemingly out of a drizzly nowhere, the shizzle hits the fan, summer has arrived, panic ensues. Those summer holidays booked months ago are now just mini moments away, and the dreaded bikini slinks tauntingly out of the dusty drawer.
It doesn't need to be all crash diets, detoxes, scrubs and wraps. Your body is beautiful, treat it with the respect it deserves. Here are my ten top tips for getting bikini ready without unnecessary body shaming.
1. Stand tall.
Posture is everything, an ethos Joseph Pilates, was all too aware of when he said "we are as old as our spines". Standing up, settling the shoulders back and pulling in the core will instantly correct any unsightly bulges due to poor positioning. It will also make your bikini sit better making the most of what you have.
2. Keep it regular.
Start exercising in a fashion that is maintainable, all to often I see people falling into the trap of totally killing themselves for a week and then losing all heart, or sustaining an injury which renders them immobile, miserable or just frustrated. My top tip is to schedule exercise in like you would a Drs appointment, set aside at least 20 minutes devoted to exercising a day, even breaking it down into ten minute slots if necessary.
3. Fake it.
Fake tan is brilliant at creating the illusion of tone, making a healthier complexion and elongating the legs IF applied correctly. Unfortunately, when you're doomed to be as pale as me, fake tan ends up making you look like an Oompa Loompa with handprints, so I tend to try to build a 'safe' tan with a high factor sun cream coupled with being active outside. I think I must be the only person in the world who can't pull off a faker! This was a week into the holiday and I look just as white as when I arrived!
4. Be honest with yourself.
Set yourself goals that are S.M.A.R.T: SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, REALISTIC & TIME specific. Don't expect to lose a stone in a day, think of something that is much more attainable and shock horror, don't go by weight at all, measure the inches... This way you can really see and feel the changes in your body as they are happening and are not dictated to by a number that can change through water retention, time of the month etc.
Water is amazing for flushing the toxins through your body, for helping combat bloating. Also it can be the case that when we actually think we are hungry it is just our body mixing up the thirst signal, so try drinking and see if that satiates your cravings first.
6. Eat, Eat, Eat.
Keep your metabolic rate high by constantly giving your body fuel to burn rather than overloading your digestive system with a couple of rather big meals leaving you feeling sluggish and less likely to want to exercise anywhere. Try to eat every four hours or so to help keep cravings at bay and help keep your blood sugar levels even.
7. Work the weather.
Instead of catching the bus, or driving the car to work, if the weather is nice get on your bike, or walk. Even if this in an impossibility, at work make the most of your lunch breaks and take them outside for a brisk walk in fresh air to get the body moving.
8. Buddy up.
Sometimes when motivation is lacking it can be fab to have a fellow partner in crime to spur you on, to get you back on it when you really want to get back under it, (the duvet I mean). Having another person relying on you can really make you both work harder, ensure regularity and punctuality and help to achieve both your goals.
9. Class Pass.
This ties in with number 8, to avoid monotony, and to keep getting results it's best to keep the body guessing. Book yourself in for a plethora of classes, challenging both your body and mind. Even if you end up hating one, well hey, at least you tried it and you know never to go to that one again.
10. Take it on holiday.
Just because you're on your hols doesn't mean you should stop the hard work now. If you have just begun to find your feet and hone a routine, why on earth would you jack it all in? If the results are coming, well keep 'em coming. There is so much you can do in a hotel room with little to no equipment, but my absolute hero product are Pilates Mad EXERSOFT Balls... Take them with you flat and then just blow them up when you arrive and you have a tool to create a workout for every inch you can pinch.
To give you an idea of what you can do check out my five minute ball prep video workout below, and see how easy it is to squeeze it in alongside lounging by the pool.