Bikini Ready Beach Body

LoveLifeSurf - Montauk surfing

The past weekend was the official first weekend of spring. You could kind of feel it in the air. After the long, cold and unrelenting winter, everyone seems to be ready for sunshine and warmer weather.

The other sure sign that it’s spring? Magazines, commercials and blogs reminding us that, “It’s XX days until bikini season!” and “Get your body bikini-ready!”

Perhaps the best advice that I’ve read recently on getting a beach-ready body came from Carla:

  1. Put on a bathing suit.
  2. Go to a beach.

It should be that simple right? I wish that it was that simple and that we were beyond being body conscious.

beach

When I was younger, I never thought that I would have a body appropriate for a bikini, probably a combination of being shy, not having the self-confidence and believing that I didn’t have the right body type.

Last year, we planned to spend a month over the summer in Hawaii. That meant bathing suits, shorts and tank tops pretty much every day.

Yes, I was running and exercising but for the first time, I didn’t totally stress and freak out about it. There wasn’t the usual frenetic and frantic energy involved in whipping my body into shape (or at least attempting to). I wanted to run, so I did. I wanted to lift, so I did.

handstand hawaii

Contrast to now. We’re going to the beach in a few weeks and I am stressing about how my body looks. I’m worrying about how I will look in my bathing suit and I’m struggling with eating healthy. I’m running and exercising at a similar level yet, I don’t feel the same way about my body.

{FYI my weight has remained steady, give or take five pounds, probably since college so it’s not a matter of my actual body weight increasing or decreasing that is causing my body issues.} 

I realize that the way that I feel about my body, the clothes that I choose to wear and how I feel wearing a bathing suit is very much dependent on how I feel about my body that day as well as my confidence level.

I don’t just mean my confidence in how I think my body looks but my confidence in how I feel about me – the work that I’m doing, if I feel connected and happy.

wild thing pose hawaii

Back in the summer, I was feeling healthy and confident. I was also about to start something new and embark on a new career path. For the first time in a long time, I was excited.

And that carried over even while we were in Hawaii. I wasn’t eating differently. I was probably working out less than I was at home. Yet, I felt strong and confident, and I wore a bikini every day.

And now?

Carla made me question why my confidence level has recently taken a dive. I think that it does have to do with work-related stress and a general sense of feeling acknowledged and worthy. While starting out on a new path is exciting, it’s also scary and there’s a lot of self-doubt involved.

Being a freelance writer involves a lot of pitching and a lot of rejection. And, as much as you can let that roll off your back and pick your self off, it can still take its toll after a while and maybe that’s having an impact.

Being a yoga teacher in a highly saturated market like New York City, is a different challenge in and of itself. {Yes, I realize the irony of stress + yoga mentioned together.}

And maybe all of that has been affecting me more than I have realized.

I do wish that it was as easy as two steps to get bikini body ready for me, for most of us. I wish that there weren’t other complicating layers – layers that seem to multiply as soon as you think that you’ve cleared away one. I wish that it wasn’t so hard for us to see the beauty in ourselves.

Have you read my essay on Mamalode and what happens in those moments between the waves?

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Comments

  1. says

    It’s a constant battle inside my head. There are days where I feel strong and confident in whatever. Others, I feel like I can’t even pull off a paper sack. I’ve been feeling a little blah lately. Stress is a big factor. A huge factor that is taking over my life. My workouts are stronger than ever it’s just that the stress is zapping my brain. The negative takes over. It’s funny that my post today is about flipping the switch. I’m choosing to change my attitude. Like Alison said above, you look amazing. You just need to remind your head!
    Angela @ Happy Fit Mama recently posted..More HappyMy Profile

  2. says

    I completely agree that even though I may have a bikini ready body – how I think about myself in the moment can make a difference about how I feel in that bikini!
    Also, you could be in a magazine in that shot of you on the rocks in your bikini. Beautiful.
    Allie recently posted..The Rundown: No Rest for the WearyMy Profile

  3. says

    Yeah. We need to figure out how to notice that we are wearing those extra “layers” and strip them off before we head to the beach. Or maybe not. Maybe once we get there the sunshine and call of the ocean will have us shedding extra layers even if we aren’t ready to jump in yet.
    Coco recently posted..Gearing Up For SpringMy Profile

  4. says

    ahh yes, the rejection mind set. the teach mind set. The good days and the bad reflect how we feel about ourselves outwardly. And then we must realize that’s not good for our SOULS. I thin this beach time will allow some FREE time and less stress and once you get there your mind will be beach ready
    lindsay Cotter recently posted..Savoring Springtime SuppersMy Profile

  5. says

    You are stunning inside and out! I totally understand how you feel mentally. I am actually incredibly body conscious, I love the beach and spend heaps of time there. But I am almost always in a rashie and shorts, it is mental. So hard to change your mindset and perspective.
    Jess recently posted..Fitness these days- fitting it inMy Profile

  6. says

    Seriously, gotta agree with Alison, Angela, and Allie. The A’s have it! That pic of you on the rocks is amazing and should be plastered on every magazine cover in America! Go, mama!

    I read Carla’s bikini post last week and absolutely loved it. I would love for my girls to grow up confident in their bodies and never worrying about pulling on a suit for the summer. But I also agree that it’s not always that simple. How we feel about our bodies has a lot to do with how we feel about ourselves. We are going on a cruise next week, and I need to channel my girls’ enthusiasm when it comes to soaking up the sun (with loads of sunscreen, of course). They’re still at an age when body image doesn’t even cross their innocent minds. I need to set the best example possible for them so that they keep that attitude through life!
    Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama recently posted..The Hips Don’t LieMy Profile

  7. says

    LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!! I think you look amazing & OMG, that yoga shot BUT I do get all your thoughts! I have never felt comfortable in my own skin. People don’t get it as fit as I am but Like Roni Noone’s post, the damage was done early & then trying to pitch myself in my 40′s & 50′s as somebody worth a magazine or company working with or doing a story on & always Nos – it takes it toll. Thx for this Christine!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Gratitude Monday & Feeling Good! Cookies & Family too!My Profile

  8. says

    Gosh I love this so much. I used to never think twice about putting on a bikini and hitting the pool or beach. Now? Yes, I definitely do. There are times when I will walk around in my own back yard carrying a towel close to my stomach to get into the pool. When did that happen? Like you, my weight has changed very little over the years. Sometimes I think that it is because I work out that I have issues. I have seen those abs before, I’ve seen stronger muscles before. So when they aren’t quite as defined, then I start to feel less fit.

  9. says

    You completely nailed it here! I stay within about a five-lb. range as well, yet there are definitely times when I feel WAY more confident about my body than others. Last summer, after leaning out with MAF training, I felt great. Right now, coming off an injury, I feel horrible. I think the truth must be somewhere in between. But I know for you, with all the yoga you’ve been doing and seeing all your beautiful poses, you can rock the bikini so go forth and do it!
    misszippy recently posted..Improve your cadenceMy Profile

  10. says

    Ah, we are so complicated. My body feelings can change from minute to minute, did I eat something that makes me bloaty (or the opposite)? Then of course, we get into the comparison thing, when it seems like the other women surrounding us look so good in their bikinis (and I bet if you asked them they’d be having the same insecurities). I rarely have an opportunity to wear a suit, so rarely that when I do I end up having to wear an old bikini even though I’m at a point in life when I would feel much more comfortable in a one piece. And that is not (just) insecurity, that is the truth of my 56 year old, hysterectomy scarred body. But ironically for all of us, nobody cares or notices but us. Sorry for the ramble. That’s what happens when you make me think :-)
    Debbie @ Live from La Quinta recently posted..My Weird Nostalgic 12 Mile Running Tour of Palm SpringsMy Profile

  11. Fiona MacDonald says

    Loved this post! This is exactly how I feel most days! Some days I feel so confident and great and yet some days totally the opposite! THANK you for putting it into words!

  12. says

    I think that people (more often it seems to be females) have an ongoing issue accepting their own bodies. I don’t know if it is a comparison thing or just the fact of always striving for more.
    My true struggle right now is “am I too old?” I have worn a bikini all of my adult life but lately I’ve started to wonder if being 44 is past the limit!!!
    Kim recently posted..Lessons Learned from my Biggest Role ModelMy Profile

  13. says

    Wow, that shot on the rocks is beautiful! I love this post, Christine. We all have moments of doubt/critique/ugh around our bodies. I think it’s helpful to remember that everyone has this “inner critic” but how we respond makes a difference with how much power we allow that voice to have.
    Laura @ Mommy Run Fast recently posted..21 weeks pregnant UpdateMy Profile

  14. says

    I love this post so much. I’m right there with you, change is hard. And it definitely can make you question how you feel about yourself more than before. I may or may not have beat myself into the ground a year ago for my wedding, whether I wanted to believe it or not. Now, I’m living a healthier life but my weight is fluctuating more. I’ve also recently moved across the country for my husband’s job and am trying to figure out what to do with my life. It gives me a lot of time to think which isn’t always for the best.

    You’re a strong person and you are good enough. Put on the bikini and rock it like you know inside you can!
    Brittany @ Barr & Table recently posted..The Great Peanut Butter Cup DebateMy Profile

  15. says

    I so agree. And I’ve been within the same five pounds since college too. It’s a host of other things that change how I feel about my “bikini body” on any given day.
    And don’t get me started on one pieces. I don’t know that I’ll ever be able to wear one. To me, they’re worse.
    Tamara recently posted..I Had No Idea How Much I’d Need Her.My Profile

  16. says

    I love this post, friend. And I think we share the same brain so much so often!! I DO think that it has a lot to do with feeling worthy generally, not just physically, and that can bleed into all areas, sadly. Give me the advice I am about to give you: you are worthy, you are strong, fit, beautiful and able. And I guarantee every single woman on the beach is only concerned with how they look, not those around them. this is what I tell myself anytime I go into that mental head space and quickly shoo it away. XOXOXO
    Jolene recently posted..The MFEO Chronicles: Sarena & TonyMy Profile

  17. says

    I had never thought of it this way before but you are so right. Feeling confident in our own bodies has less to do with the shape and size of our bodies than it does how we feel about life and where we are.
    Tricia recently posted..LandslideMy Profile

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