Remember when you were younger and you had a crush on someone, and your world revolved around being together?
When you weren’t with that person, you were thinking about them. You waited for a phone call (ahem, yes, people used to call each other, on landlines…whaaat!), you couldn’t wait to get together, and regardless of what you planned on doing, you knew it would be fun and worth every bit of sacrifice you had to make.
It didn’t matter what you had going on in your own life, whether you were busy with school, work, family, or anything else — there was nothing that would get in the way of you seeing your crush, even for a quick visit.
I remember when I first started dating Jonathan, we were crazy about each other. We texted all day long, every day. We were older then (late 20’s) and both had real jobs that were demanding, time consuming and important to us. But nothing got in the way of us sneaking in a lunch date, hanging out at night when we were exhausted and had to work early the next day, or making weekend plans. We were never too busy for each other.
Now imagine you could bottle up that borderline obsessive, stomach full of butterflies feeling, and use it to crush on yourself. Use it to love yourself the way that you loved that crush, no matter what else you’ve got going on in life. Use it to see the beauty in your own body and everything it’s done for you in your life, and commit to putting in the effort to being the healthiest, strongest version of yourself you’ve ever been. Use it to make yourself a priority.
I did it. And I think every woman should too. Here are my three tried, tested and true steps to getting that girl crush:
Commit to diet planning and executing.
Every weekend I sit down and go through my Pinterest boards for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas. I write a list of everything I’ll eat for the next week, and then get my groceries. For every meal, I plan around what the kids will eat and how I’ll modify a recipe to suit everyone’s tastes. It’s surprisingly easy, actually. Generally I stick to a protein + veggie, with a carb for the kids **cough, McCain frozen fries** though some nights I make a carb I can eat too, such as quinoa, sweet potato, or brown rice. I’m always on the lookout for low carb, high protein recipes that are a healthy spin on my comfort food favourites. Pinterest is a goldmine for ideas and inspiration, and here’s my pro tip: don’t pin something to your board till you’ve made it and decided you’d make it again. You can even comment on the pin and note what you did to modify the recipe, for next time. I generally don’t try brand new recipes on weeknights, especially ones that call for ingredients I’ve never heard of. I stick to what I’ve pinned before and save the adventurous stuff for weekends.
There are definitely times when life gets in my way and I have to veer off course from what I’d planned. On these nights, I’d opt for something from the ready-to-go section the grocery store. They often have different salads, soups, and some sort of chicken ready to go. Farm Boy or Goodness Me are definitely worth the trip and never disappoint. Also, most restaurants have healthier options that are available for take-out too. Never, never fast food.
If I’m at a birthday party or other social gathering, I’ll try my best to fill up on veggies or other healthy appetizers so that I don’t end up eating 100 pizza slices with a big piece of birthday cake to follow. I mean, I’ll still eat 1-2 slices of pizza and a small piece of cake, but it’s much easier to control when you aren’t starving.
I stick to the 80/20 rule. 80% of the time, my diet is planned and as healthy as it gets. 20% of the time, I’m trying my best with what’s available, and/or enjoying a glass of wine or a trip to the ice cream shop with the kids.
Commit to a training program and have ZERO excuses.
First of all, working out should be fun. If you don’t enjoy the workouts you’re doing, you won’t want to continue them and you won’t be successful. The good news is, there are SO many options these days! You can try boxing, long distance running, crossfit, aquafit, yoga (with goats, if you prefer!), or my personal favourite — and most effective – (no bias ;)) — strength training! Whatever you’re doing, you need to look forward to it, and the way it makes your body feel.
Once you’ve committed, you gotta be all in. You have to drop the “I don’t have time” or “I’m too tired”, or any other excuse you think is legit – your kid’s sick, your dog’s sick, you have your period, you worked late last night, etc, etc. Drop ‘em. Your mindset has to be that there simply is no option for not doing your workouts. Early mornings, late nights, whatever it takes. You need to make your workouts as important to you as the time you used to carve out for that crush of yours (because you’re your new crush, remember?). No matter what. No excuses. Put your headphones in and start a great playlist that pumps you up. Buy a cute new pair of shoes, or a new outfit, and use that as motivation.
If you aren’t working out with a trainer, or don’t have scheduled times you need to be at a workout, put a calendar event in your phone for every time that week that you plan on working out. You wouldn’t miss a date with your crush would you? 😉
Commit to telling yourself you’re beautiful.
Or at least, work up to that. Start with cutting out all negative self-talk. No more looking in the mirror and wishing you look like someone else. Don’t like the flabby skin on your arms? Wish your hips were smaller? Want a flatter stomach? Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re doing something about it. All of the hard work you put in will show, but it will take time. You need to understand that changes don’t happen overnight, and allow yourself the time to get where you want to be, without getting discouraged along the way.
The reality is that if you put in the work and make the sacrifices to stay on track, one morning you’ll wake up and look at yourself and see a change. Then another, and another. And not only on the outside, but on the inside too. You’ll feel accomplished, empowered, and proud of yourself. You’ll look forward to pushing yourself further, setting new goals for your body and being excited every time you reach a new milestone. You’ll look in the mirror, flex and smile, and instead of noticing every little imperfection, you’ll notice positive, incredible changes in your body. You might just start crushin’ on yourself a little bit 😉
And once you’ve got that crush, the rest is a piece of cake (calorie free cake that still tastes amazing, obvi).
A healthy diet and regular exercise becomes your way of life, and something you can’t live without. Life will inevitably take you on ups and downs and you’ll be super fit sometimes, and not your fittest other times. But one thing’s for sure, you’ll always want to make time for your crush.