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We all know confidence is sexy. A girl can be the ideal weight with the ideal shape and the ideal height, but if she isn’t owning her physique, she blends in. Taking pride in your body, no matter what number is listed on your clothing label, is one of the most attractive traits a female can manifest. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Miss USA pageant girl; I know my body has to be in tip top shape if I even want to stand a change in the state pageant this July. However, this year, I’m focusing more on my health and well being and less on my number on my scale.
Since my new fitness routine is in full swing, I’m already seeing results, and it’s extremely gratifying. For all of you ladies who also want to stand out this summer with a beach-ready body, I’ve compiled five major tips for becoming your most positive, sexy, and confident self, whether you’re at the gym, on the beach, or at a spring soirée.
1. YOU BETTER WORK.
Y’all, I’m sorry, but there’s no getting around it. If you want a rockin’ bod, you’re going to have to exercise. Sure, you can lose weight cutting calories… but you’re not doing your fitness any favors. Trust me on this one. Make an effort to speed walk to the grocery store or find a peaceful safe place where you can jog after work.
Cardio is key. I will never downplay the importance of strength training, because it’s obviously imperative for toning and building muscle, but cardiovascular activity is the bomb.com for so many reasons. First of all, it’s a way to quickly burn calories, ie. lose weight, which is cool. It also strengthens your heart and lung capacity, reduces the risk of heart attacks, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and diabetes, and it’s a natural stress reducer that induces better sleep. Oh, and who could forget the endorphins? If Elle Woods taught me anything, it’s that exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t kill their husbands. They just don’t.
In case you’re curious, my fitness routine for the next sixty days will be Shaun T’s Insanity program. Yes, it’s rigorous, and yes, it’s insane… but it did indisputably positive things for my physique and my psyche a few years ago as a competitor in the Miss Florida 2011 Pageant. I’ve never in my life felt more confident than I did strutting across that stage for swimsuit on finals night. Insanity is predominantly heavy in cardio, but he also focuses on strength and resistance training, and all of Shaun’s “Come on, y’all. Let’s GO!!!” comments keep me feeling fun, fresh, and motivated to continue the program. If you’re looking for a workout plan that doesn’t require a trainer or 2 hours at the gym, I highly recommend looking into Insanity or P90X.
2. STAY HYDRATED.
Nobody looks or feels good when they’re suffering from dehydration. Not only will you be unable to engage fully in physical activity, but you’re putting yourself at risk for fainting, seizures, and in the most dramatic cases, death. Plus, drinking water is a natural appetite suppressant. Whenever those cravings start to creep around, chug an entire water bottle. This tactic will accomplish fabulous things for your complexion, appetite, and overall alertness.
If you’re anything like me, the main reason your scrimp in the water department is because you prefer other beverages, like coffee or soda. Try and stop drinking these at a specific designated time each morning and make a proactive choice to only drink water or tea for the remainder of the day. If you hate the taste of water, try one of these delicious infused water recipes or opt for tea. No excuses!
3. PROTECT YOURSELF BEFORE YOU WRECK YOURSELF.
I don’t know what it is about my time of the month, but in the past, it’s been impossible for me to feel on my exercise A game. I was constantly doing mirror checks to make sure everything was… in order, and add tiny gym shorts or (heaven forbid) a swimsuit to the mix? Yikes. Luckily, I tried U by Kotex’s new CleanWear ultra thin pads from Kmart before the Shaun T/Insanity fiasco commenced, and I haven’t had to worry about embarrassing myself since.
Their pads feature the U by Kotex signature Tru-Fit wings and have a 3D core for deep absorption, so I know I’m completely protected… even in the midst of the most flexible stretches. And if I don’t have a CleanWear ultra thin pad with me, I’ve always got my U by Kotex Click tampons in my Survival Kit, which literally accompanies me everywhere. They’re preciously tiny but provide some serious protection. Also, the Click tampons are easy to insert, for lack of a better word, and they expand in every direction to eliminate any possibility of any menstrual mishaps. During a season characterized by white fabrics, delicate lace, and teeny bikinis (at least in Florida..), that’s the kind of reassurance we need if we want show stop.
Oh, and to my fellow Kmart Shop Your Way rewards program members, you’ll save $3 instantly with the purchase of 2 U by K products! If you’re not a member yet, seriously consider signing up here! It’s a great way to receive discounts and learn about coupons that aren’t available to non-members.
4. CATCH YOUR Zz’S.
Sleep is vital for maintaining mental perspicacity, optimal fitness, and diligent dieting. Plain and simple, we don’t function efficiently when we’re running on empty, and it’s so important to make sure you’re allowing your body the rest that it needs. I dramatically need to improve on my sleep patterns, but already with the Insanity program, I’m finding myself exhausted by 9PM… as opposed to the 2AM prior. I’ve noticed I’m more awake (duh), happier, which is great for my poor coworkers, and nowhere near as prone to binge eating when I’ve gotten 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
5. GET REAL.
Last but certainly not least, create realistic and healthy expectations for yourself. If you’re feeling good and proud, then that’s all that matters. Stop comparing your weight to Kate Moss’ and embrace your beautiful body for all of its gorgeous curves and shape. Not to sound like a Hallmark card, but you’re all beautiful just the way you are… no scale can ever take that away. However, low self esteem and lack of pride in your body can. Make positive changes in your life to increase confidence and link up with fellow fitness-savvy females to create a support and accountability system. In the words of Shaun T, “Come on, y’all. Let’s GO!”
You totally blogged about your period. Awesome.
You caught me! 😉
Stephanie – I love these photos! What a clever way to tie it all together. You are so smart and beautiful and I loved hanging with you this weekend. Best of luck on your upcoming pageant.
Thanks, Kristie! You have no idea how much I enjoyed spending time with y'all. I really hope to see you again soon! 🙂
These are great tips with beach season right around the corner!
So true.. it's comin' fast!
Great post- and just in time for bikini season!
Thanks, Ash! However, we all know bikini season in Florida starts in January.
I did Insanity two year ago and lost 20 pounds. Which I have gain back for living in Germany. I workout 6 days a week. Plus I watch what I eat. Also plan on doing a marathon next year. So i'm working my way up to run 13.1 mile. Right now I'm at 5.25 miles.
You go, girl! That's so awesome. Best of luck with your preparation!
Excellent tips!! I am starting to get into yoga to get beach ready 🙂 Thank you for sharing!
I've always wanted to try yoga, but I'm way too un-graceful. Maybe one of these days I'll suck up the embarrassment and give it a try! 🙂