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your look ● fitness By Courtney Dawn Shaw Back to the Basics A fitness routine should be more about being healthy inside and out, and less about just looking good in a swimsuit T he long winter has finally passed, and the New Year’s Resolution hype has long since faded away. Spring has made its presence known, and re- minds us that summer is now just around the corner. Of course, this reminder means “swimsuit season,” and the reemergence of our original resolution with it. You know what to do, but lack the motivation. The reality is that it’s going to take some commitment, disci- pline, and accountability. Below are five basic steps to help you be your best and embrace a healthy and fit life. Step One: Commit to get healthy and fit in your spirit, soul, and body. We are all made up of these three separate components that affect one another. If we only focus on de- veloping toned abs, strong arms, and a firm butt, then we are missing the most important part of our health. The first thing you need to do is take the time to meditate, pray, and reflect on all that you are grateful for. Search your heart and ask yourself what your motives are for being fit. Is your goal just to get into a pair of skinny jeans, stand on a stage in a swimsuit, or get into that little black dress for a special oc- casion? These goals are all achievable but temporary in ul- timate satisfaction. We are all really looking to accomplish that which will provide a deeper sense of fulfillment and purpose. Start your day by reading or listening to something encouraging, inspirational, and positive. Write down 5 new things for which you are grateful, to help you focus on the areas in your life that really matter. Share your setbacks and victo- ries. Occasionally, glance through previous entries as a re- minder of how far you’ve come. One of the best ways to get past obsessing over your fitness goals is to serve others. There is nothing more deeply fulfilling than making a dif- ference in the life of someone who needs encouragement. Step Two: Have you done your spring cleaning? Con- gratulations if you have managed to get your home cleaned 66 PAGEANTRY Baby Got Back: Many of us would agree that a v-tapered back is quite attractive, and a wide back with broad shoulders can make your waist appear even smaller. and organized. You have successfully eliminated unneces- sary stress and build-up from the past seasons, and restored order once again. We make it a priority to spring clean our houses. How much personal spring cleaning do we need to release the toxins in our bodies and create a healthy envi- ronment on the inside? Do you find yourself generally bloated in your belly? Are you using the bathroom regular- ly? Did you know that 70% of your immune system is in the gut? There is a silent problem inside you. The problem is that the body cannot properly digest and eliminate some of these foods and the substances they con- tain—and they can become lodged or stuck in the lining of our intestinal tract. It is estimated that the average person can have between 5-25 pounds of this “built-up” intestinal matter in their colon—and it can just keep accumulating over the years. As the saying goes, “What’s going on inside shows on the outside.” Have you found yourself at a plateau when it comes to trimming up or releasing the last few pounds? Our bodies can have a difficult time absorbing the good nutrients when we are backed up and have blockage in our intestinal walls. A good quality cleanse will have fiber, nat- ural herbal supplements, and a pro-biotic to restore the healthy digestive enzymes. There are gentle cleanses and more intense ones. You should choose one that will be ideal for your lifestyle. Cleansing should be a part of your healthy routine and done every 90 days. Out with the old, and in with the new. Step Three: Get your glow on by exfoliating. Let’s face it ladies, most of us need to bring our skin back to life after a long winter’s hibernation. It’s easier not to exfoliate and shave during these colder months. We throw on layers of clothes and run out the door. We’ve got to get our bodies