Operation Summer Bod

I can’t be the only girl out there scrolling through her twitter feed glancing over endless tweets about girls wanting a killer bikini bod less than a month or so before their exotic Mediterranean holidays? Fair enough wanting to get into shape, and achieve a body you’re proud to flaunt… but all in the name of a single summer holiday? Ladies, I think it’s time for a pep talk.

First of all, I’m not going to offer some extreme feminist slant that dismantles society’s demand for slimmer women because that doesn’t change the fact the women continue to partake in unhealthy weight loss across the country. This is a big issue, which is why it’s important to recognise that no significant, naturally achieved change will occur in a woman’s body in under a month – this kind of life choice is precisely that: a life choice. Unless you have an intensive fitness course complete with personal trainer, that kind of a transformation just isn’t going to happen, sorry girls. Even the celebs in the movies have up to a year’s worth of personal training to get into shape for their roles, taken straight from the mouth of Hollywood tough guy Dwayne Johnson.

Okay so the aim isn’t to look like ‘The Rock’ in a bikini, but you get the idea. There’s just no way to look like a Victoria’s Secret model in a month (no matter how many times you scroll through their website in awe). However, start a healthy meal plan, ditch the snacking and get down to your local gym regularly – that might all change come next summer.

What a lot of people don’t know is that losing weight quickly and unhealthily has a lot of consequences. Losing too much weight a week puts you at risk of slowing your metabolism and losing lean muscle tissue. This means that the minute you stop working out, those pounds will just pile back on. Furthermore, skipping meals is the most terrible idea and also gives poor results. Not to mention, you’d constantly be hungry and thinking about cake… sounds pretty dire to me. Whenever I hear about girls wanting to lose the muffin tops by not having dinner, I find myself internally screaming: WHY. You’re twice as likely to lose weight by switching to a healthy eating routine, with slightly smaller portions, than you are to not eat at all. Take it from the Victoria’s Secret models themselves, they talk about their consistent fitness routines in this Vogue article. South African hottie Candice Swanepoel even confesses that she probably eats more than a man does!

On another note, why should we have to look like Victoria’s Secret models? Fact of the matter is that we aren’t paid to work out, watch what we eat and look fabulous on camera - most of us are already preoccupied by work, family and life. Keeping in shape can be an added complication to our daily schedules. However, back to the women of twitter, if achieving and maintaining good physical health is a true goal of yours, I don’t think you’d  feel the need to tweet about your ‘dream summer bod’ in the upcoming months before the season starts. It’s a bit like leaving your essay until the last minute, except that essay will never get finished. Awkward.

Now I’m not trying to slate everyone that desires a perfect body, because let’s face it, as women we are incredibly self-critical (often unnecessarily so). However there is a big difference between women who actively meal plan, regularly go to the gym and have a healthy, positive attitude towards themselves and their bodies – and the kind of women that read celeb magazines full of Hollywood ‘weight horror stories’, forever longing for that summer bod but never actually ditching the snacking and never actually achieving their goals (but then tweeting about how bad the whole thing is going, and how the world is out to get them).

Another dimension to the issue is that despite the immaculate misconception, a fit body doesn’t automatically mean boys. Too many girls wrongly think that all men prefer wafer thin modelesque women, it’s simply not true. What’s more, if the reason you want a perfect body for summer is to attract males, perhaps you should rethink. Firstly, men prefer women of all different shapes and sizes and secondly, you could be appealing to men but still feel bad about your body mentally. After all it is your body; you should want to achieve self-improvement for yourself and not for anyone else.

So I guess what I’m trying to say ladies, is that you should go and grab a willing girlfriend and get yourselves to the gym if you really want your dream summer body – only it should be a dream permanent body, not just for one season of the year. Tweeting about your desires doesn’t make you a good person, but attempting and giving them a good shot does. You’ll need to accept that any significant results will be in the long term, but those little differences you notice in the first few weeks will definitely be enough to keep you going. So, disgruntled women of twitter, go and actively work towards your ideal body, but make sure you’re doing it healthily, and for yourself.