It's almost that time again, ladies. No, not the time to wipe out the Cadbury Egg supply at your local CVS, butÃ‚Â time toÃ‚Â put down the remote, cork that half-empty bottle of wine, and head for the gym. (Well, ok, maybe let the wine settle first). It's almost swimsuit season, and you don't want to hit the beach looking less than svelte and fabulous, am I right? Or at least feeling svelte and fabulous! Here are ten ways to look hotter than bikini girl from American Idol when you grace the beach with your stunning presence:
1. Cork the wine. At least for a little while. Here's the thing: I enjoy a good glass of Merlot as much as the next 9-5 female out there. But girls, seriously, it will not make you skinnier. I promise. Save it for the weekends and reach for a Smart Water during the week instead. You'll save calories and feel more energized, and, most importantly--you'll get out of the habit of craving your 5:00 glass of vino and start craving your 5:00 sweatfest instead. Bonus: On Friday nights, that well-deserved glass tastes like heaven after waiting all week for it!
2. Go swimsuit shopping. Yep, I said it. Get your pasty, jiggly self to Target and try on a few. We all know the harsh lighting and unforgiving mirrors make it quite an unpleasant experience. So make yourself go, examine every angle in the mirror, and after you finish with the outburst of tears, you'll stop off at the gym on your way home. Trust me.
3. Go to the grocery store--when you're not hungry. Go ahead, pig out if you need to, then hit the supermarket. You'll most likely be full and satisfied, and maybe even feeling pangs of junk-food remorse, but you won't be grabbing items off the shelves blindly in a desperate potato-chip-craving haze. You'll focus on sensible items and meals and plan your week in food according to how you want to look and feel, rather than what you want to chow down on at the moment. One tip: DON'T shop for groceries when you're on your period. Even if you just finished stuffing a whole bag of carrots down your throat. Just don't. Enough said.
4. Pick a celeb whose body type you aspire to have and paste it on the fridge. Now, I'm not saying we all need to want to look like Celine Dion, because, ew. But look at Brit Brit lately. Her tummy used to look like it was housing her own Starbucks. Now she looks fit and fab, but not like she'll fall over if the wind blows. She looks great! Whatever you want your figure to look like, pick the celeb and go for it!
5. Make a mix of the perfect treadmill music and download away. Now, the treadmill can be yucky, but it's 5000 times better with some rocking tunes, right? Anything with a bpm of 120-160 works best. One of my favorites is "Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne, along with "Crazy Bitch" by Buck Cherry. And sing along...or maybe mouth along, if you don't want to be "that girl" at the gym. Nothing motivates you like jamming along to your IPOD...and STOP looking at the minutes tick by! Put a piece of paper or something over the timer, if you have to. Don't look at it.
6. By some new workout clothes. Now, this one might seem pointless, but I'm telling you, if you feel comfortable inÃ‚Â hot pantsÃ‚Â and want toÃ‚Â admire your sexy legs when you walk by in the mirror, then by all means, do it! Positive body image goes a long way toward a long, successful workout. Pick items that highlight parts of you you like, and you'll keep working to improve on a bod you feel good about. Wearing something that stretches too tight across a tummy you're not proud of might seem to be a good tactic, but I only find it to be depressing, not motivating. If it's your butt you're proud of, bring on the Spandex!
7. Hit the gym alone. Now, I know there's a ton of advice out there about workout buddies and what great motivators they are. But personally, I find the gym can be a total zen experience--lock the cell in the car, grab your IPOD, and make the gym your hour ofÃ‚Â YOU time. You can look forward all day to rocking it out however you choose, whether it be dance class, treadmill, stairclimber--there are no restrictions and no time limits. Embrace your own personalÃ‚Â workout methodÃ‚Â and timing, love the body God gave you, and watch your transformation from gym rat into total goddess!