Sock yarn blankets, parenting and ‘seasonal fitness’

Seems like everywhere I look, I see ads for ‘summer shape up’ challenges, ‘bikini body’ bootcamps and ‘get fit quick’ workouts. Many of which promise that if you simply follow their programs, you’ll have the ‘body of your dreams’ in a mere 4 weeks or less. (This one must be the best; only 7 days!)

Screen Shot 2013-05-23 at 6.14.30 PM

In reality, unless you’ve been eating clean and exercising regularly since LAST summer, you’re unlikely to obtain the promised results in time for the upcoming ‘bathing suit season’. 

While I love the idea of people getting more active and cleaning up their diets, I don’t believe in ‘seasonal fitness’.

Why? Losing weight, building muscle and creating definition require taking a long-term view. Consistency and progression are your keys to success. Each day, do a little bit more than the day before. Make it a lifestyle not a short term means to an end.

I like to think of fitness the same way I think about sock yarn blankets and parenting.

All three are big, long term projects, punctuated by shorter duration ‘tasks’.

Thinking about the end point (10 unassisted chin ups; 42, 7-inch knitted blocks; 3 university graduates) can be overwhelming.

Focusing on the smaller achievements (a single chin up; each separate block; preschool graduation) makes the journey more enjoyable and allows for reflection and mid-stream changes in direction.

seasonal fitness

By all means, use the summer as incentive to get moving and make better choices in the kitchen, but don’t expect to reach the end of your journey in a few short months.

Interested in turning your ‘seasonal fitness’ program into a long term lifestyle change? I’d love to help and have a few spots currently available in my online fitness coaching practice.

Shoot me an email ( and we’ll talk; not ‘seasonal fitness’, but fitness for all seasons!



Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.

Looking for an inexpensive way to jump-start your journey to fitness and health? Join my online Bootcamp today! Get more info by clicking the image below.


  1. Well said!!!
    It always cracks me up to think that just 4 weeks of doing a set program will make you look like the supermodel in the bikini!!!
    I do a lot of the summer programs just to mix up my workouts not because of the silly promises the titles make!
    Kim recently posted…Day 250 = 250 Minute Run turned into a 200 Minute RunMy Profile

    • Thanks! I do agree that there are lots of great programs out there right now and I like to try new things too. I just don’t expect miracles! LOL!

  2. Love the analogy. Or is it a metaphor…? In either case, this always kills me.
    Contemplative Fitness recently posted…Music to my nerves…My Profile

  3. But wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were true?

    I agree, these headlines always surprise me… does anyone really believe this stuff anymore?
    Elle recently posted…Guess What?My Profile

    • Yes Elle! If it were true, I’d write the program of all programs and retire a millionaire!
      And good question. Not sure who believes it, but it certainly sells magazines (and apparently generates lots of blog views…)

  4. Headlines like these are a setup for failure and feelings of inadequacy. Even if you followed the program to a T, like you said, unless you’ve been consistent for months in advance, you’ll still fail. And some of us who’re very consistent and disciplined will NEVER look like that, just b/c we’re not built the same, or are “too old.” But I do tear out a lot of these exercises for inspiration for my home workouts – dead of winter to summer & back. Fitness is a year-’round pursuit for this mama!
    Sarah @ Semi-Sweet recently posted…Lebanese Seven Spices SeasoningMy Profile

    • You nailed it, Sarah. Setting oneself up for success is so important in fitness, and in life! Sure, use the workouts as part of your year-round plan; variety is good!

  5. Well said. It drives me nuts when people say, “I’m going on a trip in 2 months, gotta lose this extra 20 pounds!” Gah! Stop it.
    Tiffany recently posted…The Cross-Over FriendMy Profile

    • Me too. Or, “I’m getting married in two months and wanna drop 20 pounds and get ripped”. I always remind women that their husband-to-be needs to recognize them on their honeymoon…

  6. Word.

    I saw that headline when that magazine came and it was the deciding factor in my cancellation. I can’t take it anymore. That said, I have gleaned a few good nuggets out of those workouts – new variations on other lifts/exercises I’ve been doing, that have actually left me sore. I just don’t do them as prescribed or hoping for those results.
    Katie recently posted…Creativity isn’t my strong suitMy Profile

    • I hate those magazines. I used to be a loyal reader of Oxygen, but got tired of the ‘quick fix’ workouts, the airbrushed bodies and the constant ads for fat burners and appetite suppressants. I’d rather do it my way…

  7. OMG – LOVE!!!! I was thinking the same thing on a post – drives me crazy!!!! Start now & most may be where they want to be in 6-12 months! 😉 That was the thing about the Bob Harper with his new book & saying he was doing it for brides that wanted to lose weight quick for the wedding – why not plan for it & do it healthy! 🙂

    A GREAT POST Tamara! I may still write about it but we shall see.. 🙂 I love your post!
    Jody – Fit at 55 recently posted…Sony Waterproof Sports Walkman ReviewMy Profile

    • You should write about it too Jody! As many people as possible need to be alerted to this disservice the fitness industry is doing…

  8. It’s not really about trying to look good in a bathing suit anyway, at least not for me. My exercise is something that I enjoy in my life as I go along. The journey not the destination…..
    Mary @ Fit and Fed recently posted…Willow Waltz Bronze Ice Dance TestMy Profile

    • I totally agree Mary; although aesthetics are an added bonus to working out regularly!

  9. Great points. I want to be healthy for the rest of my life, not just for bikini season. Hate all the headlines about that everywhere.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Greek Yogurt Cookie DoughMy Profile

  10. I’m a little sad that I won’t get my bikini body in 4 short weeks Tamara! It does kind of drive me crazy that all the headlines read something like that though. All kidding aside, this is very well said. It is a lifelong lifestyle we are cultivating, not just a seasonal one. I too find it really helpful to break down all the big overwhelming goals into smaller, more manageable tasks.
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…Always expecting greatMy Profile

    • Do you have a bikini Christine? Put it on and there’s your bikini body!
      Seriously, we all get so hung up on looking just so in our swim wear; we all need to head to Europe and see how women who are comfortable with their ‘real’ bodies enjoy their time at the beach!