For awhile now I have been a contributing writer for an internet magazine called EDGE. It is primarily a gay publication focusing on gay issues and interests; but I have always been encouraged, by my editor, to write in a manner that is about seventy percent gay, thirty percent universal – no point in anyone feeling excluded, right? And I totally agree with that philosophy. The magazine can only be read on an Ipad and mine is a story that appears in a scroll window so that the reader must scroll down to read it. I don’t have an Ipad, so I have to download the issue and screengrab my story. Sadly, that means I cannot see the scroll portion of the text.
I have been a bit sad not to be able to read the final edit of my stories. I know that everything gets edited — I just would like to see how. Still, even though I do not get to actually read my stories, I have seen my name alongside them and been satisfied.
When I got the download for the September issue, I noticed that my name is not alongside my story and that the title has been changed to indicate that there are only five tips, rather than the six I submitted, to keeping your swimsuit body during sweater weather. Ah well. That’s life. The opening paragraph is the same, more or less, so I know it’s my story.
So, for anyone interested, here is the original story, as submitted, on how to keep your summer body now that autumn is here.
SUMMER BODY, WINTER CLOTHES
Summer is drawing to its’ close. You can feel it in the air. You’ve had those great three months of showing off your summer body at the beach, at the pool, at the lake. In fact, anywhere you can, you’ve been showing off that hot bod you worked so hard to get so that you could show it off during the summer months. Soon it will be sweater weather and people will be wondering what’s under YOUR sweater. The answer is simple: your summertime swimsuit body. You will know, with confidence, that anytime your sweater comes off, people will still be admiring your swimsuit body. Here’s how to do it:
1) Don’t Wear Sweaters. Just because it is sweater weather doesn’t mean you have to wear one. In fact, continue to wear body hugging clothing that shows off your shape. If you want to wear clothing that is going to be season appropriate, at least wear autumnal warms that will hug your muscles and taught skin and show you off. When there is less of a chance to hide under a sweater, you won’t fall prey to the habit of seasonal eating and weight gain.
2) Change Nothing. Continue to eat the way you eat now. Your summertime food plan has worked wonders for you this year and you are in the best shape of your life. Since it is working for you, why not just keep letting it work for you. Don’t fall into the old habit of allowing yourself pumpkin spiced ice cream, latte, muffins, scones and other food items that only pop up every fall. Don’t snack on the Halloween candies, Thanksgiving pies and Christmas cookies. Simply stay the course of your true diet and avoid the holiday pounds.
3) Change Everything. Adopt new workouts. It is true that autumn and winter is a time when bodies change. The body, naturally, needs more insulation during cold months. So adapt your workout with the weather. Take advantage of your body’s natural change by hiring a trainer to help you build even more muscle; or by starting with a new sports group. Take up rugby, soccer or football. Join Class Pass and experiment with boxing, dance or yoga. Continue to learn and grow and stretch your body and your mind by learning new things. The shock to the system will cause great gains in your physique – gains you will want to show off.
4) Actually Go Swimming. If you are a member of a gym with a pool, make use of it. It is the greatest all-round exercise your body can get. It will keep you toned, strong and lean. It will also be easier for you, psychologically, to stay in your optimum shape if you have to be seen in public in your swimsuit every day.
5) Adopt a Lifestyle. If you watch the extremely popular show American Ninja Warriors, you know that the athletes who participate are in incredible shape. Many of the die hards talk about how they train 365 days a year. Most Olympic athletes train the same way. They have a plan, a goal and a lifestyle. When you make health and fitness your lifestyle and not just something you kind of, sort of commit to so that you can look good during swimsuit season or for any other specifically timed event, it is easier to fall off of the health and fitness wagon, to land face first in foods that you wouldn’t even consider eating during the summer months, not to mention a lethargy that costs you all that muscle you worked so hard to make. If, however, you prioritize your health and fitness as a lifestyle, it becomes second nature; like breathing, like waking in the morning and going to the bathroom, like holding your spouse’s hand as you fall asleep. You have to, though, make the decision that it is, in fact, your lifestyle.
6) Make it All About You. Moment of truth: when we work hard to look good, it is usually for other people. If those other people like the way we look, they will validate us and the work will have been worth the effort. That is a, repeatedly, proven fact, simply given the way people and the media talk about looking good. If, though, you make your health and fitness about being healthy, living healthily, feeling better, living a great life, you are focusing your energy on yourself; and if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you be sure anyone else will? If you do this for yourself, you will suffer the added benefits of looking great, being admired and learning how to validate yourself. When you awaken each day and choose to live a healthy life of exercise and clean eating, you choose yourself. What could be better than choosing yourself? You cannot care for anyone else unless you are well cared for, first.
As quickly as this summer has gone by, the months of sweaters, scarves, coats and covering up will, so, go; and before you know it you will be training, once more, to look good in your 2016 swimsuit. Why not start that training now and simply show up at the beach with people asking why you never age, just because you look exactly the same as you did last summer.