San Francisco summers aren't exactly known for their warmth
(insert Mark Twain quote here). Needless to say, I've had little need to slip
into a bikini (or even put on a pair of shorts) since moving here.
|It's impossible to look at this picture without wanting to sprint to the nearest gym|
Thus, this Monday, when I booked a trip to review the honeymoon accommodations at the brand new Nizuc Resort & Spa in Cancun, Mexico (my journalist salary may be measly but the perks are magnificent), I immediately began freaking out. Not only does 5 days on the white sand and turquoise waters of the Mayan Riviera mean I actually need to start shaving my legs again, but I'll have to bare my bod.
It's not that I haven't been working out--I'm a person who has to hit the gym for my sanity--but there's a big difference between staying in shape and getting into bikini shape. With just two weeks to go until Chris and I jet to Mexico for a much-needed romantic vacation, I'm stepping up my fitness routine.
Here's how I'm going to stay motivated...
1. Inspiring Role "Bodels" (Body Models)
I like to set my computer wallpaper to images of inspiring bodies. Warning: this can prove awkward if you frequently take your laptop out in public. I've received some sideways stares for opening up my MacBook Pro in Starbucks to a giant image of Marissa Miller in a bikini lying in repose. Regardless, looking at these inspiring bods reminds me of what I can achieve, and they're a great reference point for a trainer when he or she is helping you design a workout routine to emulate Jessica Alba's abs or Gwyneth Paltrow's legs--it's like bringing in a picture of the haircut you want to show your stylist...well, kind of.
My longtime favorite is Britney Spears 2000 VMA performance bod. Most people consider her 2001 "I'm A Slave 4 U" VMA performance to be her physical peak, but I disagree. In 2000 she's not only toned yet feminine and thin yet curvy, but she still has an innocent, pre-Kevin glow.
2. New Workout Clothes
It might sound petty, but I like to look nice at the gym. I'm not advocating for runway-ready fashion, but, seeing as I will be stuck staring at my reflection in the gym's omnipresent mirrors, it feels good to look nice. Cute, new workout clothes make me look forward to working out like a new top makes me look forward to going out on Saturday night. Plus, spending money on such a specific-purpose wardrobe item incentivizes me to get to the gym. Those LuluLemon leggings aren't cheap, and once I've purchased them, I feel obligated to wear them rather than let them collect dust in my drawer.
3. Good Music
Good music not only makes me enjoy my workout more--I get so lost in the beat that I temporarily forget how badly my muscles are burning--but it can actually motivate me to go. I look forward to sweating along to a new workout playlist, lipsyncing along with "Bad Romance" and keeping pace to the latest Macklemore. Songs eventually loose their lustre, but they're easy to replace. I try to keep my playlist fresh, updating every 2-3 weeks.
Guess what: you're my accountability! By sharing this with you and making it public knowledge that I want to tone up before I ship out, I'm making it harder to skip my gym sessions. This will come in handy tomorrow, when I complain I'm too sore and too tired to make my fitness class.
For the record, I'm aiming to step up my 3 times per week workout sessions to 4, with bonus points for getting in an additional day of yoga. I aim to mix up my exercise routine between group aerobics, spinning, ballet barre and Megaformer classes.
If you, unlike me, you don't want to share your fitness goals with cyberspace, another great way to stay accountable is to make plans to workout with a buddy. Studies have also shown that hitting the gym with a friend makes your workout more enjoyable and more calorie burning than going solo.