I don’t even like to write this, but it’s the sad truth. Summer is coming to an end in Maine. Kids will be back in school before the month is over. Some of the eager-beaver trees can’t even wait until September for their leaves to start changing. Lots of people love the fall, but I’m not one of them. It’s the season of dying.
The good news is SUMMER ISN”T OVER YET! There is still time to enjoy the best of summer and get started with your weight-related goals now, rather than waiting until after Labor Day.
Maine summers are perfect for weight loss. There are so many fun activities to do and so much fresh, wholesome, low-energy density foods to enjoy. Contrary to popular belief, losing weight can enhance your life by bringing more pleasure and joy into it. Weight loss doesn’t have to be going hungry, eating bland food, and engaging in muscle-burning painful, daily exercise. It’s good eating and great fun!
Here are my 5 favorite ways to lose weight in Maine
1. Pick your own (______fill in the blank_______). Starting in late June the picking season begins. Starting with strawberries, you get exercise and perfect berries growing on the plants right up until the moment of perfect ripeness. After the strawberry season comes blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. There is tree fruit to pick too. Plums and peaches and early season apples.
2. Paddle a kayak. Exploring Maine ponds, lakes, rivers and ocean in a kayak. Paddling a kayak can be a peaceful, relaxing way to spend time or a great way to burn calories with a high-intensity activity. You can do both, either, or something in between. You don’t need to buy an expensive kayak; there are places all over the state where kayaks are available to rent.
3. Hike and climb. Head to Acadia National Park. Your dog is welcome and if you ride or drive horses, you can even bring your horse! There are no stables at the park that provide horses for hire, but there is stabling available for those who want to bring their own horse. Of course, there are great places to climb and hike all over the state. Hiking and climbing in Maine builds strong, lean bodies and helps us to shift our focus from body shame, and criticizing our bodies because they don’t look a certain way to appreciating them for how utterly perfect they actually are.
4. Take a swim. How do you like your water? Cold and salty? Warm and salty? Cold and fresh? Warm and fresh or perhaps chlorinated? Maine has water, lots of water for swimming, any way you like it. Splashing, swimming and snorkeling are great fun ways to cool off while you burn some calories. Don’t wait, right now the water is as warm as it gets.
5. Get some quality sleep. Relax, say “no,” let go of your stress to get some quality sleep. Hot, sticky weather isn’t conducive to sleeping well, but in Maine we get more cool nights, than hot ones. The link between sleep deprivation and obesity can’t be ignored. People who don’t get enough sleep are at an increased risk of being unhealthfully overweight. Throw away your “to do lists,” say “no” to people asking for your time to do things you don’t want to do, and just relax. Go to bed early, sleep late and notice that your hunger and fullness signals seem to be working better – not so hungry all the time, and feeling of fullness lasting longer than it takes to finish a meal.
Don’t wait! Get picking, swimming, paddling, hiking and sleeping. Summer in Maine is almost over. Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today!