July 20th, 2010
In less than two weeks, I’ll be heading to the beach again! I’m so excited! Family, sand, bathing suits…
Oh, bathing suits.
Sometimes with an upcoming beach vacation I can get self conscious about the thought of spending all day in a bathing suit. Plus, people take pictures! There are times whenever I start to go into panic mode and think of all that I should do to "look good" in my bathing suit.
I have been fighting that urge the past few times I’ve gone to the beach. It’s instinct for ladies, and maybe men, but I have to remind myself that my goal is not to look like some model for Victoria’s Secret. My goal is to be healthy. It’s not really weight loss that I want, because I know that I don’t need to lose weight, but what I’m looking for is confidence when I don on my suit.
After years and years of various weights and various swim suits, I have discovered where body confidence comes from:
treating my body right.
There have been times in the past when I have wanted to lose weight by date X and I push my body to achieve my unrealistic goal. I run too much and I eat too little, and it’s funny because it’s those moments when I have been the least happy with my appearance. And I am a slender person, so it proves to me that "thin" doesn’t equal "happy".
- Be happy with yourself! This is the most important of my tips, and really the only one that matters in the long run. If you’re not happy with who you are and the body you have before your vacation, date, whatever, then you won’t be happy with it when you’re there. Learn to love yourself first. Don’t love what you will be…love what you are. The rest of these points will not help one bit if you’re unhappy.
- Make a practical exercise schedule. Don’t overwork yourself, it’s so bad for your body. Workout enough to keep you energized and happy with the amount of exercise you’re doing. Also push yourself enough so that you don’t look back and say, "wow, I really *should* have exercised more."
- Eat enough… and make sure you eat enough to fuel your exercise schedule! If you don’t, you’ll spend your vacation exhausted and crabby. Also, the only thing you’ll really be successful at doing is shutting off your metabolism. So while you’re enjoying your lunches and dinners out, your body is just going to store all of it for energy because you’ve emptied out its gas tank. How nice of you.
- Hydrate! Water is amazing. It is necessary for every function that your body performs. You won’t be doing anything for you if you’re dehydrated. Be kind to yourself and drink lots and lots of it. Especially in the summer, you want to make up for sweat…sorry, girls don’t sweat (except for me)…*perspiration*. I carry 2 liters of water with my everyday and try to drink them before I leave work. Especially on days when I’m running! Katie, my friend from high school, at Healthy Heddleston has a great hydration tip. Check it out!
- Get the right bathing suit. Myth: trashy is hot. Fact: Confidence is hot. Be confident and comfortable in your suit. It bothers me when I see girls in skimpy bathing suits always adjusting them and appearing very self conscious. If you love to play in the waves, or battle people in a game of beach volley ball, that little stringy number that looks awesome on Gisele probably isn’t your best bet for beach apparel. Just sayin’.
- Have fun! Let your vacation be a vacation. If you’re treating your body with dignity and being healthy then a week of resonable indulgences won’t kill you dead. Nor will it make you swell up like a balloon.
Looking back on all of my vacations, I remember them for the fun times and memories that were made, not how I felt or looked in my swimsuit.
Actually some of my favorite memories are being tortured by my brothers. Like getting grapes shoved in my ears, or waking up on the beach to find a sun-screen Homestar Runner drawn on my back (thanks for both, Adam…).
Thankfully, my sister-in-law came along and got him back with the dead crab.
And David and Jonathan were a little bit more hesitant to let him play with them. They didn’t trust his shenanigans, no matter how innocent he looked.
I’m anxious to see what drama will ensue this year!
What are your tips for being confident in your body? Do you struggle with the pressure to “look good in your bathing suit”?
***Don’t forget to ask your questions about barefoot running and Vibram FiveFingers. I’ll compile a FAQ page (complete with answers, insight and experience) to help others who are curious about barefoot and minimalist running! Ask them here***