There are no other headlines quite as anxiety inducing as "It's Bikini Season," since I'm pretty sure we're all comfortable with "Big Sweater and Boots Season." How is it that this one article of "clothing" has the potential to wreak havoc on the way we feel about ourselves all summer long? It's summer for crying-out-loud! Summer stands for long slow days, family vacations, days at the pool or beach, backyard BBQ's and fireflies. At a time when we could be enjoying the health benefits of slowing down, relaxing and connecting with friends and family, we find ourselves worrying about what we look like and what others might think of our not toned, not tight and not magazine-cover-ready bodies.
¬†Well I'm here to tell you that you can be ready for bikini season in just 24 hours! Ready?
1) Stop looking at magazine bodies as if they are normal, or ideal.¬†
They are not! It's true that some women have flat bellies or lean legs, but they don't own the market on acceptable body types. There are as many shapes and sizes of healthy bodies as there are stars, and you, my friend are a star! Being active and feeling good about yourself is the "ideal" that deserves attention. If there are some things that you can do today to be active and feel good, then do them. Healthy is for life, not just for a season. And besides, last time I checked, there are only 4 seasons and Bikini is not one of them.
2) Start appreciating your body for what it can do instead of what it looks like.
You are made of skin and bones and muscles and heart and imagination. You are built for doing, not for observation and critique (by others or yourself). If you are generally healthy enough to go on a walk with your kids - celebrate! What else can you do? Walk, jump, run, laugh, smile, swim, lift, bike, cook, write? Whatever it is, celebrate it and appreciate it. What you decide to wear or not wear when you are poolside has nothing on all the amazing things your body can do. The women and men at the beach that I find most inspiring are the ones out there building castles, taking long walks, jumping waves, playing with their kids and laughing the day away.
3) Wear whatever the hell you want to! Bikinis are not mandatory.
¬†One pieces, tankinis, board shorts, skirts, and cover-ups.
¬†There are hundreds of styles of beachwear so forget about being looked at and find a look that you are comfortable wearing. Something that will let you focus on the "doing" that you can do, not the "viewing" that others may do. Still not sure what to wear? Here's a great article with Adam Glassman who helped 6 women with differnt body styles find a suit that worked. http://www.oprah.com/style/Os-Swimsuit-Makeovers-for-Every-Body-Type
Now get out there and enjoy your summer, friends, and family.