It’s bikini season! I’m sure you are dying to find out how you can look hot in your bikini this summer. What if I told you that you can look and feel sexy all summer long without dieting or working out? It’s possible, I promise…
For so many summers, I refused to even put on a swimsuit. I avoided all activities that involved being near water. I even wore jeans when it was 98° with 80% humidity. I was uncomfortable in my body, and wanted to hide behind my clothing.
Years later, I’ve shed some weight, gained confidence and feel proud of my health and fitness accomplishments (I still can’t believe I’ve run NINE half-marathons!). But every summer when I have to pull out my swimsuit, those feelings of body inadequacy start to creep back up. This year was no exception.
I begin to criticize the cellulite on my thighs (which has started to appear on the front of my thighs! Ugh!), my wide hips, the pooch that has emerged on my lower belly in my 30’s and the underarm flab that hangs when I lift my arm.
It doesn’t help that I gained about 5 pounds over the winter and spring, and haven’t been able to shed the few extra pounds. Yes, as a health coach and fitness instructor, I struggle with my weight at times. Life has its ups and downs. Five pounds may not seem like much but, for me, it’s enough to make my clothes feel a bit more snug and it’s enough to make me cringe at the thought of putting on my bikini from last year.
But my niece called me on one particularly hot weekend afternoon recently, and asked me to swim with her in my parent’s above ground pool. Her adorably sweet voice gets me every time, and I immediately agreed to swim with her.
I put on my bikini, and immediately checked myself out in the full length mirror. Negative thoughts began filling my head. “You’re too fat to wear a bikini.” “You should have started lifting weights like you intended.” “How can you cover up those thighs?” I felt defeated. I threw on my cover up and headed to the pool.
My niece was already splashing, jumping off the ladder, diving for hidden treasures at the bottom of the pool and showing off her under water somersault skills. She seemed so…free. Her body was simply the vehicle that allowed her to play, laugh and have fun.
I began to think about what my body is capable of, rather than focusing on its flaws. This summer alone I have run a half-marathon, hiked mountains, ridden my bike to run errands, led fitness classes, gone kayaking and played with my niece in the pool for hours.
Am I cellulite, wide hips, round belly and underarm flab? No. I’m loving, active, loyal, creative, fun, kind, accepting, empathetic, adventurous and so much more. I am not my body.
The secret to getting the perfect bikini body is to simply love and accept yourself where you are in this moment. Maybe you haven’t reached your ideal weight. That’s OK. Think about how far you’ve come, or what your body is capable of. Be grateful for your journey so far.
Are you worried about what others will think? I love this quote, “Be fearless when it comes to life, and careless when it comes to what people say and think about you.” Just be you, and the world will adjust accordingly.
Oh, and I know I don’t have the most perfect bikini body. But my body is perfect for me in this moment because it’s mine.
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