We love to hate it, we dread shopping for it, we are perpetually dissatisfied with the way we look in it. I’ve always been envious of the women who can rock a bikini with complete and utter abandon. It’s not an easy thing to do, especially when you are 5’3” and pretty much convinced you have been ten pounds overweight your entire life. I’ve sort of made peace with the world of swimwear by arming myself with an army of sexy and elegant beach covers and dresses. They allow for a hint of bikini without revealing the wide selection of stretchmarks that cover my hips, and my less than toned abs.
Usually, January is not the month in which I stand in front of the mirror torturing myself with thoughts of putting on a bathing suit. I save that special hell for late February or early March. But a friend of mine, who shall remain nameless, brought the subject to the forefront because she is heading to
She is a very tall, very athletic
looking woman who actually had dropped a profound amount of weight recently,
and is still adjusting to the new girl in the mirror. I think she looks sensational. She still
thinks her arms are fat and hates her legs. Today she contemplated putting on a
bikini for the first time since losing weight. I could tell from our conversation that it was
not something she was looking forward to doing, and was truly worried about
what other people would think. I told
her she looked fabulous, and she does. I
told her that the sexiest part of a woman’s body is her confidence, and it is. I
told her if she was really worried, take the coward’s way out and buy a hot
beach coverup. She listened, and tried
to believe me. I think we made progress, but you never know what is going
through another person’s head.
It dawned on me, I’m really bad at taking my own advice. What a revelation! How many times have I donned one of my bikinis for a day out on our boat, only to stand in front of the mirror and beat myself up for not having the body of Jennifer Anniston. Every damn time, every damn year. I spend a small fortune on swimwear only to have it look up at me from its spot in the drawer, taunting me. If I manage to persuade myself to get into one, I usually stand there and pick apart every little flaw I can find. My friend would be disappointed at my inability to take my own advice, and she’d probably give me hell for it, because she’s that kind of friend. It’s true, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to self-deprication and self-loathing. As I had mentioned in an earlier blog, it is my resolution to stop that self-destructive behaviour and just get on with it in a healthier, happier frame of mind. Now that the whole “swimwear” thing is in my head two months early, I shall look at it as an opportunity get a jump start on not getting thin, but getting healthy – body and mind – and hopefully that will help to change the way I look at myself in the mirror.
So here is my plan of attack. First off, in the interest of not turning into a brittle-boned, arthritic old woman, I am going to start doing yoga. Not the full-fledged pretzel version of yoga, since I am the most unbendy person on the planet, but a kinder gentler yoga that will allow me to start slowly and work my way up to more bendy yoga positions. I’m not going to rush it, or push myself well beyond my limits to the point of needing traction. Believe me, I have done that many times at the gym. Not fun.
I’m also heading back to the gym after a ridiculously long hiatus of two years. The best I’ve ever felt is when I went to the gym five days a week. I looked in the mirror and described myself as “strong” and “toned” and “sexy.” I haven’t done that in forever. Time to get back in the groove and do something positive for me. But this time, I am not going to put the pressure on myself of being there every day, Monday through Friday. It stops being fun, and becomes a chore. I will aim for three days a week. If I feel like going four days a week, then great, but I will no longer make it mandatory. And since I need constant motivation to keep the groove going, I am going to enlist my friend to go with me, so she can kick me in the ass when I’m too lazy to do it myself. She already belongs to the gym I plan to join. That solves part of the problem right there. It’s also less than two miles from my house. Another problem solved. Wow, I’m on a roll.
So, I stand before you, ready to admit I am not in the best of shape, but ready to do something about it, and not just for the sake of losing weight. That will be a bonus if it happens. The name of the game is healthy – mind and body.