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Right now, in Oregon, it's still raining and feels a lot like winter, but the trees have buds on them and the birds are singing. Spring is here and there’s a little flutter of hope trickling through all of us. Any moment now, the sun will squeeze through to warm us up. (Right? Please, sun, come on, you can do it!)
Spring is God's way of reminding us that dark seasons don't last forever. The rain, snow, cold and darkness feel like they'll never leave. But they do. His story will always end in joy and gladness. There is always hope, if we stay anchored to Him. He brings spring.
And with Spring comes feelings of newness and fresh energy. We feel inspired to shake it up, air it out and tackle a new project. There is no way we would be wiping our baseboards and cleaning behind the refrigerator in January…but it sounds completely rational when spring arrives and we want to do some spring cleaning. (Ok, maybe not totally rational…I doubt I’ll be pulling my dusty fridge away from its nook any time soon.)
We might even feel the urge to tackle our own bodies. All of us are starting to emerge from under our sweaters and electric blankets, like we’ve been hibernating. I can picture a scene in a movie where an entire community emerges from a cave, stumbling and blinking against the light after the apocalypse. And then they look around at themselves and realize they’re a mess. Yep, some of us have been hibernating and we're a mess!
Time to shake this dust off, take a shower and pull it together. (Maybe even shave the legs? Perhaps? Nah…)
Part of this feeling is knowing that if spring is here, summer is right around the corner.
We can't help but feel that when summer arrives we'll want to be thinner, leaner and more attractive in our summer clothes.
Shorts, tank tops and swimsuits are lurking in our closet. How is this hibernating body going to look in those!?
But, hold on a second. Before you think any fitness-related thoughts, and especially before you take any action, pay attention to what you should and shouldn’t do this spring.
Things you shouldn't do this spring:
Don’t begin a workout plan with the sole purpose of getting bikini-ready (or tank top ready, or shorts ready). You’ve probably done this before and it didn’t really work, anyway. Putting such a high premium on how your body looks feels empty, discouraging, and leads to feelings of failure. You’ll easily miss the victories along the way (like gaining lean muscle mass, learning how to move better, and creating good habits). Most women going in with this attitude give up before any major change happens.
Don’t do a quick-fix diet. This is tempting, I know. Especially when the proven results are impressive. But let me warn you…I have worked with so many women that have deeply damaged their metabolism, their attitude toward food and their body image. Being stuck on another crash diet is just not worth the speed of results.
Don’t do nothing. Well, obviously. But so often we get bursts of motivation and inspiration that lead to nothing. (New Year's Resolutions, anybody?) We get ideas, good intentions, the plan to “start on Monday”, but nothing happens. When June arrives, we have made no progress and abandon ship for the whole summer. “Maybe next year I’ll actually pull it together.”
Things you should do this spring:
Capitalize on this motivation. Feeling a surge of inspiration is awesome! Take advantage of it and actually commit to doing something…begin a workout program, put a good nutrition plan in place, create a home gym space. Don’t waste these feelings!
See how strong and athletic you can become this season. April, May and June…these next three months have major potential. Whenever someone begins coaching with me one-on-one, I ask them to commit to at least three months. Something magical can happen in that chunk of time if you do the right things. Embark on these next three months with the intention of getting way stronger and learning how to move more athletically.
Try something new that gives you purpose. Be about more than just losing weight. Do something that fills a deeper void and makes you proud of what your body can do. Pursue strength, balance, power, and true health...these traits are far more important than losing ten pounds. Get a big perspective!
Create habits that will carry you through summer and beyond. Will you promise me that you'll avoid quick fixes? Please? Do NOT go to extremes to create change. Instead, begin slowly and diligently, mastering one good habit and then another. How amazing would it be if you are still doing the good, healthy habits that you learn this time next year? That should be your goal. Make sure you're in it for the long haul.
As you emerge from your winter cave and start to shake out the cobwebs, ask yourself what this spring will look like.
- Are you going to fill up with fancy ideas and good intentions, but do nothing?
- Are you going to place all of your value in your looks and chase after a quick fix to be "bikini ready"?
- Or are you going to capitalize on this surge of motivation and establish good, healthy habits that lead to a strong and athletic body for this summer and beyond?
That last, big sentence sounds like the best option to me, what do you think? Let's come out of hibernation the right way this year, and find ourselves stronger and healthier than ever before!
To help you out, throughout the month of April you can join the Strong Mommas Membership for 3 months for the price of only 2 (you save $30!). The Membership checks all the boxes of what you should do this Spring. Create lifelong habits, become stronger and more athletic, and learn how to take care of your body beyond just losing weight. Click here to learn more about it and to get ready to register!
(Spring Special begins 4/1 and lasts until 4/30.)