Week 5: #PositivelyImperfect Fitness Plan

Liz Costigan

“You already have a bikini body – a body on which to put your bikini”. I read this during the week and it really made me laugh, isn’t it so true? More and more people are rejecting the awful idea that somehow we aren’t enough as we are or that we aren’t worthy of beach exposure unless we work our bodies to the bone, literally. I think it’s great that we are finally saying ENOUGH! I hope that our #PositivelyImperfect programme is giving you some inspiration encouragement to love your body more for the very reasons we are made to feel bad about it.
We are ALL imperfect but isn’t that where beauty lies, in those differences and flaws? If you’re not quite there yet, don’t worry, it takes time especially because everything around us tells us to change, get smaller, eat cleaner, do better!

Balance and moderation, commitment and consistency are really important here, not only in order for you to get to a place of acceptance, but also to save your sanity. We need to live and let go, to have fun and not restrict ourselves all the time. But similarly we need to be mindful of burning the candle at both ends and expecting our bodies to perform all the time. There has to be give and take – balance. With that in mind here are some tips to help you keep the balance this week.

#ICYMI: Week 4: #Positively Imperfect Fitness Plan

Food is not the enemy so enjoy every morsel, even the bits that “they” say we shouldn’t. You’re human and these things taste GOOD!
Eating Out
Don’t starve yourself – it will lead to a bread basket massacre. Eat a light healthy breakfast and lunch with lots of fresh veg, fruit and make sure you get some protein to keep you feeling full e.g. chicken, fish, nuts, seeds.
Avoid bread at the meal, not only with this will fill you up and you won’t be able to enjoy your dinner, but carbs ultimately turn into sugar in the body so go easy.
Order one course and if you want more share a starter or dessert. The same with fries, if you fancy them go ahead but share, you get to enjoy them with minimal damage.
If you’re heading out on the town, be sure to drink lots of water during the day to help with dehydration.
Under no circumstances should you starve yourself; drinking on an empty stomach is a bad idea. The faster alcohol is absorbed into your body the bigger the impact on your liver, kidneys, digestive system and cardiovascular system.
Try to eat something when you come home, avoiding the chipper if possible please. You need a dose of amino acids to metabolise and remove the alcohol so choose chicken, cheese or lean meat – add some colour to give you a vitamin boost.

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Balancing your workouts is important not only for your body but it keeps you interested too.
Work out every second day – this helps the body to recover and gives you time to do nothing in the evenings or sleep on in the mornings.
If you exercise mostly indoors take your workout outside, get some sun and connect with nature. This will help boost your vitamin D and make you feel amazing.
If you have 30 minutes to train, divide your time into cardio and tone – 15 minutes cardio, 15 minutes of toning.
Here’s a great, balanced workout that you can do anywhere;

Walk/Run for 15 minutes depending on your fitness levels. Then perform each of the below exercises for 45 seconds, take 15 seconds break in between. Once you have completed one round, take a 60 second break and repeat.

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1. Squat
2. Lunge
3. Plank
4. Side Plank (right)
5. Side Plank (left)
6. Tricep Dip
7. Press Up

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Focus on your sleep this week. When you’re short on sleep it’s easy to rely on the lattes to get you through the day. Being tired also means you’ll be tempted to skip exercise in favour of the couch. Lack of sleep sets your brain up to make bad decisions and you don’t have mental clarity. Think about sleep as nutrition for the brain. Here are some tips for a better night’s sleep:

Turn your phone, TV and computer off an hour before you go to bed.
Create a bedtime ritual take warm bath, meditate, or read.
Watch what and when you eat. Avoid eating heavy meals and drinking alcohol close to bedtime. Caffeine stays in your system for 5 to 6 hours so be mindful of that too.

Have a great week!

Website PositiveFitnessProject
Twitter @LizCostigan

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