When I was younger, a large group of family friends would meet at the beach. It was so much fun to see everyone because many of us kids went to different schools. One of the other kids my age was a girl with porcelain skin. On one trip, I found out her classmates had bullied her for being so pale. She had decided that that was the last year anyone could call her pale — she was going to tan.

Her plan was to sit out in the sun the whole day without reapplying sunscreen. She figured that — even if she burned — there would be a tan underneath. I’d had enough sunburns by that time to know her reasoning wasn’t sound, but she couldn’t be talked out of it. She hoped to leave the beach pleasantly bronzed but instead she left fire-engine red. 

The next time I saw her, she looked like she did before her day at the beach. She told me that she wished she had listened to me instead of suffering though a horrible sunburn (even then I was a know-it-all 🙂 I understood 🙂 After all, I too had been teased for being pale. The year prior I tried another desperate measure to get a tan. My own tanning mishap involved a bottle of self-tanning lotion. I had excitedly slathered it all over my legs and waited, and waited, and voila —I was orange. Bright orange. Upon further inspection, I also noticed that I hadn’t applied the lotion as evenly as I thought. I looked awful and vowed to never do that again.

We all want results, and we want them quickly. We may even try to take shortcuts in an attempt to speed things up. The fitness and wellness industry is bursting with all kinds of shortcuts that promise instant results, but often—like me and my friend’s tanning experience— the results aren’t always ideal.  The results we crave require dedication to a sensible plan and plenty of time. If you have been going from shortcut to shortcut wondering why you aren’t getting the results you want, I encourage you to find a fitness professional who can help you make a sensible plan and help you stick to it. 

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a safe and healthy week. 

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