Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Athleta through their partnership with POPSUGAR. While I was compensated by POPSUGAR to write a post about Athleta, all opinions are my own.
Spring isn’t really a season here in Chicago. It seems to launch directly from winter to summer, with the spring blossoms coming in really late this year. Every single time I drive past Lake Shore Drive, winding along the beautiful coastline of Lake Michigan, which is so big, you cannot see the other side, I long to be at the beach. At my new apartment, I’m literally within range of the water, and I am going to incorporate trips to the beach as often as possible.
The lakefront in Chicago has been preserved as a giant park, prevented from being developed. In a way, it’s like Central Park-winding bike paths, picnic spots, dog parks, dog beaches and acres of open grass and sand for kids to play. Since it’s a straight shot from my new digs, I often will run errands, grab some lunch at the grocer and get a run in along the lake path- getting plenty of fresh air and sunshine along the way.
I’m really excited to be teaming up with Athleta this summer, hands down, they make some great workout gear- but their clothes are nice enough to wear to the store and versatile enough to have everything you need in one gym bag. If I could construct a perfect summer day- it would consist of crossing off my to-do list (I’m type A for sure and running my own business means that even days off still require some work) with some errands, squeezing in a run to the lake, and then relaxing afterwards with a healthy lunch, and some sunshine at the water’s edge.
The lazy days of summer should be anything but. For those of us who were cooped up in winter, going out for a run is something I no longer take for granted. Honestly, the days that the sidewalks were like ice-skating rinks are behind us and I won’t forget how much I longed to be able to get out and enjoy the pavement. Workout DVDs at home are great for a time, but being out and enjoying nature is something I appreciate now!
A quick change in the bathroom, and it’s time to enjoy sun and sand (sun, in moderation of course, wear your sunscreen, ladies!) and refresh after a good workout at the beach. A bikini and cover-up make lunch a breeze, and without fuss.
My local grocer has the best salad bar. I load up on kale, beets, baked tofu and some pasta salads, with a side of organic cherries…the perfect post-workout meal with a little bit of sand, sun and an iced tea. After a bite to eat, since I’m trying to be more mindful to not undo my workout with a really bad choice like a hot dog or other summer fare- it’s time to show off the fact I’ve lost a few of those winter pounds… so, here we are….I’m still a curvy girl, but I’m ownin’ what I created.
Uh yes, so I’m on my blog, in a bikini. I’m going to practice what I preach this summer- no body shaming. No Photoshopping. This is my perfect day- and after years of worrying what other people would think of my body, my perfect summer day involves going to the beach, just as I am, and not caring whether or not I’m “beach ready.” I eat healthy, I work out, and that enough makes me “beach ready,” with the body I’ve got and work hard to keep healthy. Sounds pretty perfect to me!
I love the beach look. You can easily go from the sand and water, and then to the store to pick up more supplies, or to an outdoor patio for drinks with friends afterwards (which is what I did after this lovely picnic) in a cover-up that doubles as a casual dress that’s still nice enough to run to the store in!
A perfect summer day for me involves my favorite place in Chicago- the lakeshore, which is a great way to work out and unwind after errands and a late start to an easy day. Lazy summer days don’t have to be a complete waste- you can still get a ton done in the name of relaxation, and that, to me, is absolute perfection.