Running to the Beach

Ruth FieldThere is nothing quite like the impending bathing suit season to get our panties in a twist about the unwanted flab around our thighs and middle and our less than smooth skin tone! But fear not, the Grit Doctor is here to help you capitalize on this tiny grain of vanity-inspired motivation and nurture it into a full-fledged running habit in these five simple steps.

  1. Never confuse “simple” with “easy.” Anybody who tells you that there are five or ten or however many EASY steps to looking good on the beach—losing weight; getting fit—is selling you an outright lie. In order to succeed, you must first embrace the principle that it is going to be hard, but that you are going to start embracing hard. Hard will become your new black. With that in mind:
  2. Look at yourself in the mirror naked, in harsh natural light first thing in the morning, pre-shower, pre-makeup, and really let the image sink in. No preening and pouting and posing for this exercise please, just let it all hang out. The outright shock of this experience alone should help galvanize those thighs into immediate action!
  3. With the above image burned onto your brain, slip into your workout outfit, sneakers and all, and, ideally, run to work. Be grateful that the comparative coolness of the hour is making this run so much easier than it would be mid-day, and more than compensates for the extra weight of your bag. Moms: always get dressed first thing in your running clothes. Doing so serves you in several ways: It puts you in the frame of mind from the get-go that you are running today at some stage, NO MATTER WHAT. It also saves time (in having to get changed) and creates a faster access to that run, by taking away one of many excuses you might otherwise invent to avoid going, “Ohh, I can’t find my sneakers, running tee, socks etc.” Plus, you have a great excuse for not wearing make-up and having sweatpants on for the school run or heading to the grocery store! No, it’s not that you look like crap, you are simply run-ready, thus transforming any sneers from other moms into total awe of your organization skills and gritty commitment. If you have to run in the sweltering heat, consider it a bonus feature that your body will have to work that much harder to help keep you cool so you get more calorie burn for your running buck. Yes, hard is the new black.
  4. Remember, that there is no food reward for having been on a run. When tempted to snack, always drink a glass or two of water first to see if you are truly hungry. If you must, snack on raw veggies and make sure you stock up on all the good stuff and exorcise your fridge and kitchen cupboards of the bad. You know what it is. Get out of the bad habit of associating any physical exertion with having some kind of food “treat” afterwards. The reward is the fitter, slimmer you that running is bringing you closer towards.
  5. Make friends with your “Inner Bitch”. . . WHAT???? Yes, that strict nagging voice in your head, your better half, your conscience: the voice that is telling you to get off the couch and go for your run but that you choose to ignore or try to suffocate with cake or drown out with a glass of wine. Start amplifying that voice instead because she is your number one ally in the quest for a slimmer, fitter beach-ready you. She is allergic to donuts and her favorite outing is a long hard run. Feed her with the good stuff and your relationship will blossom. Ignore her at your peril.

If you have never run before, fear not. All the tools you need are set out in 6 simple steps in Get Off Your Ass And Run!

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