30-Day Guide to a Beach Ready Body

Last updated 
March 4, 2020 
by Ashley Ellefsen

First things first: Every body. Is a beach body.

Let’s get something straight…..this article does not hold any magical weight loss secrets.  But, if you follow the tips here, I guarantee that you’ll be ready to hit the beach in 30 days!

Tip 1: Love Thy Self

Brene Brown says, “talk to yourself like someone you love”.  This got me thinking (like, really thinking).  How many times a day do I tell my husband, my kids or even my dang dogs how much I love them?

But when was the last time I looked at myself in the mirror, and told myself that I love ME?! 

Whoa! Hold on! I do love me….right?!

Then, I started thinking…..if I’m not speaking love to myself, what am I speaking? I began taking inventory of my self-talk and oh boy, was it ugly!

I thought, if I spoke this way to those who are most precious to me, the ones I value and love the most, would they stick around? Would they love me in return? Would they look forward to spending time with me? Would they honor and respect me? If I picked apart everything they put in their bodies and what they looked like - how would they feel?  If I dissected their daily actions, and tore apart their dreams and goals…they surely wouldn’t think I loved them.  In fact, they would think I didn’t want anything to do with them!

So, if I wouldn’t speak this way to the ones I love, why in the hell am I speaking this way to myself?! Well, the answer isn’t simple but the conclusion is that it was unintentional and sadly, I was unaware of even doing it most of the time!

I needed to reprogram my self talk!

Fighting negative self-talk is not something you can just casually stroll into.  You have to get intentional - you need a battle plan!  Here is my war strategy:

  1. Every morning when I wake up.  I look at myself in the mirror and I say aloud, “I love you Ashley. You are beautiful and you are worthy of love.”
  2. Anytime during the course of a day where I catch myself in the middle of negative self talk — I combat it with two things I’m proud of about myself.
  3. Remind myself often that I am a uniquely designed, one-of-a-kind model!

Then….I give myself grace when I mess up…because self-love is a discipline that in order to be mastered, must be practiced relentlessly.

Now, you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with a “beach body”. Well, when you love yourself, no one can take that away from you. Not your spouse, your kids, your friends or Joe Shmoe two beach towels down!

Tip 2: Watch what you drink

Alcohol is like that really hot girl or guy that doesn’t have anything going on upstairs (if you know what I mean!).  A lot of fun, but totally empty….calories that is. Let’s put this in perspective.  A healthy afternoon snack is recommended to be around 150 calories.  In a 12-ounce beer there’s about 150 calories, and in a glass of red wine there’s about 125 calories.  So, if you’re not careful, having those 'dranks' with your besties can really add up!

In addition to being empty, your body burns alcohol first as a fuel source…before even glucose from carbohydrates or lipids from fats.  So, when you order that double cheese burger and fries WITH the stein of beer - just know that your body has to burn through the alcohol before it can even start breaking down that main course (that’s going to require a lot of rump shaking)!

Alcohol also impairs your judgement when it comes to food….which is exactly why we have 24 hour Taco Bells and a wait at Denny’s on Saturday at 2am.

If you’re going out with friends and don’t want feel left out, ask the bartender to give you a club soda with lime (often, if you tell them you’re the DD…you’ll drink free all night! Win!)

We tend to drink without considering calorie consumption. I’m not talking alcohol now - I’m talking about those other sugary drinks: soda, sweet tea, and even fruit juice.  Anytime you’re not drinking water, I suggest you get in the habit of calorie awareness. You can really be racking up empty calories without thinking about it!

So, try to stick with water! I know it might not be easy but try to push yourself for 30 days! I think you’ll actually find that once you’ve gone a week on only water, you’ll feel so good you won’t want to go back!

Now, I know it’s difficult for some people to drink a gallon of water a day.  Here are a few tips that might help:

  1. Carry a marked jug to track your progress throughout the day.
  2. Add fresh fruit or vegetables, some of my favorite combos are raspberry/lime, pineapple/mint, orange/lemon, strawberry/basil, lemon/mint, and cucumber/mint.
  3. Try water enhancers like Crystal Lite or Mio.

Tip 3: Cut the crap

Cutting out processed food is one sure fire way to drop weight.  But, what is processed food? Processed food is any food not found in its original form….usually found in cans, jars, boxes and bags and containing added preservatives and chemicals. This definitely includes food found in a Mickey D’s paper sack!

This may sound like an easy task but I guarantee you’ll be up against the wall.  We all go through this…..sugar and carb cravings, getting caught hungry and unprepared, disconnect between healthy cooking and what the kids will eat, the list can go on….so here are a few tips to stay on top of eating healthy:

  1. Shop around the grocery store.  Most of the processed foods are found on the center aisles. Fresh, whole food ingredients are going to be primarily found on the stores perimeter (fruit and vegetables, protein, and dairy).
  2. Plan weekly meals in advance and grocery shop one day a week.
  3. Prep your food in advance - I suggest making a weekly menu and eating the same meals every day to keep food costs down and to take the guess work out of your meals.
  4. You know your own weaknesses better than anyone. If it’s ice cream or potato chips…purge those things from your home immediately!
  5. If you must have pasta or breads, make the switch to whole grain: whole grain breads, brown rice and whole wheat pasta are significantly less processed and have more nutritional value. Still, eat these items in moderation.

Tip 4: Be proud, stand tall

By the 7th grade I was already taller than most of the girls in my class and definitely all the boys. Combine that with the social awkwardness of ALWAYS being the “new kid”, and you might understand why, at a young age, I quickly developed poor posture.  Trying to blend-in at best and even trying to disappear altogether sometimes turned into a bad habit. Unfortunately, poor posture is one of those things you truly have to retrain your body to fight. As an adult who is always on a computer or a phone, I really have to stay aware of my posture and be intentional about realigning myself. 

The good news is, standing up straight is totally free and is one of those things that can take the appearance of 15 extra pounds off immediately!  Here’s how to do it right:

  1. Focus on the top of your head. Pretend like there’s an arrow pointing up to the ceiling from the top of you. Tap the top of your head to bring awareness to that spot, then focus on lengthening the neck and spine.
  2. Distribute weight evenly. It’s a posture myth to roll your shoulders back and puff out your chest.  Instead, focus on distributing your weight equally between the front and back of your body.
  3. Engage your abs to tuck in your waist and prevent your pelvis from rolling forward.
  4. Work smart. Work with your laptop at eye level and remember to take breaks to stand and stretch.

Tip 5: Move

It’s no surprise that you have to burn more calories that you consume in order to go into a caloric deficit and lose weight. I’m not going to get detailed on any sort of specific workout plan…the point here is to simply move more!

  1. Find something that you enjoy (because you’ll stick with it longer), and do it.
  2. Team up with a friend so that you remain accountable.
  3. Set goals and give yourself an award (see steps 6 & 7) when you reach them!
  4. Monitor your movement with a smart watch.

Tip 6: Shop

You’ll feel 100 times better about yourself when you’re in swimwear and coverups that flatter your body. Luckily, one piece swimsuits and high waisted bikini bottoms are all the rage right now! Never apologize or feel bad about wearing that tankini - you wear what you’ll be comfortable sitting, swimming, eating, laughing and having fun in!

I love the high waisted bottoms and like to buy them in neutral colors then mix and match tops! Check out cupshe.com or zaful.com for affordable, fashionable swimwear for all shapes and sizes! Make sure to always read the reviews and check out the customer photos.

Tip 7: Treat Yo Self

The last step to being beach ready is to treat yo’ self! For some of you, this might mean dropping a couple bills at the spa. For others, it might mean locking your crying kids out of the bathroom for an hour! Either way, make the time to pamper yourself.  This will give you another level of confidence as you (responsibly, with sunscreen) soak up that sunshine!

  1. Exfoliate: this is going to improve your skin texture and even out skin tone.  It’s also going to help prevent breakouts, minimize the appearance of large pores and remove dry flaky skin cells.  Exfoliating = sun goddess skin!
  2. Wax: Remove that pesky hair from the root so you don’t have to worry about a bikini line or razor burn!
  3. Mani / Pedi: Serves no real purpose, other than making you feel your best! Doesn’t having a matching mani/pedi make you feel feminine and put together? It does me!
  4. Spray Tan: I never start a beach vacay with out a spray tan.  I’m talking get naked in front of a stranger with an airbrush gun, spray tan. If you can afford it (usually $30-$40 a pop), this is the best way to cover those dimples. Check out Groupon in your area for local techs offering discounts to new clients!  If you can’t bring yourself to do this, you can use a spray tan machine at your local tanning salon or pick up a high quality spray tan for your drug store.

So, the next time the beach is calling, Go! Go with confidence, and get after those good times and tan lines!

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Hey there!
I’m Ashley...'American Made' because I was born in the incredible US of A and proudly raised in a military family. I’ve enjoyed living and traveling around the world since I was a child. I’ve explored over two dozen countries and always have a bag packed, ready for my next adventure!
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