Week 1: Your Fit & Fabulous Summer Countdown

Here at IMAGE.ie, we feel that the best summer body is YOUR summer body. Yes, the one you currently have. Sure, we can all probably do a little bit more to be fitter or a tiny bit more toned. Or we could re-vamp our nutrition habits to be entirely on the #eatclean machine,?but... it's summer (and there is Ros?).And that is why we love Liz Costigan around here. Her Positive Fitness ethos is one of the most inspiring we've witnessed in ages, she allows for us to be real girls as opposed to be some false version of ourselves as we chase far-away fitness goals. Liz tells us how to feel good, but most importantly to understand the further reaching effects of this- happiness. She also allows, no,?embraces cheat days. But we're not crazy with the connotation of 'cheat days' , so we're going with 'celebration days'!

Today we begin our #PositivelyImperfect six week plan that Liz has designed for us. The goal is to feel the best you can this summer, (in all your imperfect positive glory) - which then will help you look the best you can - see? Simples.

Ellie Balfe
Editor of image.ie

Creating a plan will set you up for success. It helps to give you clarity, focus and makes you a lot more efficient. A plan is like a map - you can see how far you have come and how much is left ahead. Without a plan, you run the risk of the drive thru or the coach instead of a healthy, pre-planned meal and a good workout.I know planning takes time ?a precious commodity these days. Everyone has busy lives but if you want to feel healthier and fitter you need to take time for you - there is no way around this. ?It is the number one reason we fail to reach our goals - lack of preparation.

So let's get this started!


Food: If you have a busy life, scheduling time each week to prepare food will help incredibly. Where to start?Write down what you plan to have for each meal, each day. Make a list of the foods you need to buy. Identify days when you will be busier than others - how will you eat on the go? Can you pre-pack healthy snacks? ?Boiled eggs are a great breakfast on the go or snacks.?Cook foods in batch and them freeze them where possible.Make it happen. Cook up a large pot of quinoa in chicken or vegetable stock and keep it in the fridge. Each day add your choice of roasted or stir friend vegetables - you can prepare these in advance too if you prefer. Add some protein (tinned tuna, smoked salmon, prawns or any fish, chicken or lean meat) and season with olive oil and fresh herbs (basil, coriander). The important thing is you take time think about the week ahead and plan for a healthy, clean week.

Fitness: Similar to the food, you need to schedule your workouts into your week. Just like a business meeting or lunch with a friend, pop your exercise time into your diary and stick to it. This is YOUR time and without it your goals will be harder to achieve. You must put yourself first, this isn't selfish, this is self-care and without this you aren't much good to your family and friends so don't feel guilty!Make it happenIf you run or cycle signing up for a race is a great motivation to keep at it. The Dublin Marathon Race series begins soon, so why don't you just got for it; if you like to walk or run try to improve on your distance by building up by 1-2km per week? ?This is a gradual and safe way to see progress.

Can you run go faster? Add a speed session into your weekly running routine, e.g., 200 sprints. This involves sprinting at your average pace for 200m then going at your almost max for 200m and repeat six times. You can increase this in distance or reps as the week's progress. Can you squat a heavier weight? Increase your resistance slowly and safely. Remember always to work towards being a stronger version of yourself.

Focus: Your subconscious brain will be one of the greatest tools in achieving not only this, but other goals in life. Your brain can be programmed using visualisation. Unfortunately, most people tend to program their mind with negative thoughts, focusing on past failures, replaying mistakes made in the past. Instead, try to use positive visualisation. See yourself succeeding, feel what it will be like when you achieve your goal. Positive visualisation isn't magic, you must also work at it, but it is a powerful tool making you more aware and conscious - changing your mind-set as well as habits.

Make it happen: From this week on dedicate 10 minutes per day to just BE. This can be either simple down time or focused meditation. This week, take 5-10 minutes to imagine yourself exactly where you want to be; in the body you dream of, with the life you strive for - whatever your dreams are live it in your mind's eye.?Our subconscious mind is more powerful than we think and if we can tap into this side of the brain will achieve truly fantastic things.

Tune in next week for more!




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