OK ladies, it’s that time of year again — you know, the season where we show more skin, and consequently, worry more about our physical appearance.





Well, there’s two routes you can take: You can either be pro-active and take control to minimize the gap between what you wish to look like and what you really look like; or, you can be satisfied with your body and leave it at that.





Either way is fine — it’s a personal choice — but the important thing is that you feel good about yourself, on the inside and the outside.

 




Many women lessen their attention to body image and turn more to body comfort during the long, cold winter months. We tend to eat more, and the foods we eat are usually heavier, like potatoes, noodles, hearty stews and chilis. It’s how we react to our changing seasons.





We also forsake our exercise more easily — it’s much harder to get up early for a run when it’s still dark outside, and after a long day at work, returning home in the dark, it’s easy to pass on that 5:30 p.m. spinning class at the gym.





So, as December slowly emerges into April, we see we’ve perhaps gained a few pounds and maybe even lost some precious muscle tone. We could mope about it and feel sorry for ourselves — or we could switch gears.





It doesn’t often happen overnight, but most women tell me that after a week or two of warm weather and sunshine, they innately stop wanting to eat the same foods that sustained them through the winter, and salads and light fish meals seem much more appealing.





If you’re one of those women who feel the need to make a slight lifestyle change, with the hopes of changing your physique for the summer, take this column as a kick-start to adjusting your attitude. It’s May, it’s spring, the outdoors is compelling. So:




  • Skip the muffins, bagels and croissants for breakfast — choose low-fat yogurt, healthy cereals, and nutritious shakes instead.



  • Switch that mid-morning danish for a fresh, crunchy apple or some grapes with cheese for all-important protein, which gives more lasting energy than a quick sugar hit.



  • Choose salad and half of a light tuna or egg sandwich for lunch over a heavy plate of lasagna or slices of pizza.



  • Forget hot chocolate and a brownie for your afternoon snack, grab some trail mix — a mixture of dried fruit and nuts — for a healthy energy punch.



  • Fresh grilled veggies, lightly marinated fish and some fresh mango make a delicious dinner choice compared to a greasy cheeseburger and french fries, laden with sugary ketchup and other highly caloric condiments.






And now that you’re eating healthier, you’ll have more energy to pop out of bed, and go for that early morning run or walk with the sun warming your back. You’ll be on to a fitter physique and increased well-being in just a few weeks.



letters@metronews.ca

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