q: How do I get a bikini body?
a: Put a bikini on your body.
If you typed that question into your search browser, and Google would spit out this answer, it would mean we’ve finally-as a culture-come to a place of real body acceptance.
Alas, that isn’t the case–not yet, anyway. Type that question into Google (I know, because I did it) and you get a multitude of articles telling you just how to make your body bikini ready, most of which are done in 7, 21, or 30 days. Because who has time these days to wait for a bikini body? I mean, summer is HERE, am I right?!
Thankfully, most of the nutrition advice provided in these articles isn’t too off base, although you can certainly find some that are bordering unsafe or extreme. But the workouts, on the other hand, are usually ineffective at best. The larger issue here isn’t the quality of the diet or exercise plan that promises to “get you bikini ready fast,” it’s the fact that they’re implying that not only do you lack a bikini body, but you need to (and according to the articles, can) obtain one quickly.
I even found one article in Fitness Magazine that promised a “bikini worthy body.” Worthy. Which is a small step from saying not only is your body not bikini ready, it’s not worthy of donning one either.
If you follow my work, then you know I recently posted a photo on Facebook depicting a new, much softer body than I used to have. To read more about the way I feel about my new body and it’s fluctuations, click HERE to see the full post.
I’m not as lean as I was in 2009 but damn, I really do love my body and my life.
I eat a very nutritious diet with the occasional splurge on Australian licorice (my kryptonite), and the very frequent glass(es) of wine. I exercise daily, whether it’s a heavy lift sesh, a lighter and faster lift (metabolic resistance), yoga, SUP, hiking, or intervals of some sort.
My quick workouts range from 15-30 minutes on average, but if I put in a heavy strength sesh or go to the yoga studio it’s upwards of 60 minutes. I walk and ride my bike regularly as a means of conveyance, and I absolutely effing LOVE my lifestyle.
I’m not “fitness model perfect” or without flaws (if I was turned around in this photo, you’d clearly see my cellulite), but I effing love my body. Furthermore, I love the beach, and I’m not about to miss out on the fun because I’m not as lean as I was last summer.
Even after viewing my “after” photo, some people will say “that girl already has a bikini body” while others might insinuate that I could stand to lose a few pounds (trust me, I’ve been called fat several times); both of those sentiments are completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that I have a bikini body. You have a bikini body. We ALL have bikini bodies because we have bodies–the bikini itself is optional.
The unfortunate truth is that some people will completely miss the extreme significance of this message by arguing the minutia (don’t be one of those people!). The indisputable truth is this:
There is no such thing as a bikini body.
There are just bodies. Some are taller, some more stout. Some thicker, some leaner. Some wider and some more narrow. Some have bigger muscles, others don’t. All of them are capable of (and worthy of) putting on a bikini any time they choose.
In fact, because I live at the beach, I spend a great deal of time catching the rays and reading a good book. While on the shore, I’m privileged to regularly see women in two-piece suits that most would not consider “bikini ready.” I see women of all shapes and sizes sunbathing, playing with their kids in the sand, or braving the chilly temperatures of the Santa Monica waves.
This courageous display of coastal frivolity brings me immense happiness. Witnessing so many women in their most vulnerable public form, regardless of shape and size–it warms my heart; it lights a fire in my soul. Maybe they’re working towards losing weight or changing they’re physiques, and maybe not. The point is that they all have bikini bodies simply because they are wearing bikinis.
Listen, if you don’t want to wear a bikini, don’t wear a bikini. That’s your prerogative. Wear a kimono or a one piece or shorts or a sarong–whatever feels right to YOU. But because it’s your prerogative, YOU get to decide if you have a bikini body. Not society, not the media, and not bikini manufacturers…YOU. If you want a bikini body, wear a bikini. If not, don’t wear a bikini. The choice is yours, but regardless, you are bikini worthy.
My bikini body has undergone some serious changes over the course of my life, but it’s always been my bikini body, regardless of it’s shape. The shape I take changes all the time.
As a teenager, I was the thickest girl in my peer group, but as I grew into adolescence I started lifting weights and transformed my physique.
While I was in the Air Force, I dropped down to 115 pounds and my parents said I was too skinny.
When I was pregnant I was 170 pounds, 2 years ago I was 12% body fat and 120 pounds, today I am roughly 134 pounds and wearing a size larger than I did 2 years ago.
I have stretch marks on my inner thighs and a fair amount of cellulite, but I also have strong legs, a muscular torso and delts that my meathead husband admires.
At every single one of those stages of my life I was worthy of wearing a bikini.
Because I’m worthy. Right now. Not -10 pounds from now, or 2 years ago when I was shredded. NOW. And so are you.
That’s not to say that you can’t work on changing your body as you see fit. There’s no rule that says you can’t love your body and still want it to change in some way, but there is a problem with hating your body until it reaches some perceived level of “bikini ready.”
You can’t hate yourself into your fittest self, because by definition, fitness is health. Fitness is the health of your body, mind, and soul. Therefore your fittest self is not only physically fit, but mentally strong, confident, and loving towards itself and others.
Harboring negative thoughts about yourself, or obsessing constantly over the shape of your body is not healthy. Not to mention that hating yourself into leanness is not sustainable; changing your mindset is the real key to stopping the obsessive yo-yo cycle. Self-love, body acceptance, a nourishing diet, and regular exercise–these are sustainable strategies for changing your physique and being your fittest self, not self-hate and 7-day bikini body plans.
Don’t get it twisted, self-love and body acceptance are going to take some time. It doesn’t happen overnight, and even those of us who have embraced our bodies sometimes have struggles. You have to truly commit to the idea that you can and should love your body, no matter what it looks like. It’s a daily practice that will eventually become a habit, but it starts with just one thought:
I am worthy.
Are you sick of the world telling you what a bikini body is and isn’t? Do you want to take back your power and worthiness and embrace self-love and acceptance? Join the Rebellion today. It’s absolutely free to join, and it will change your life–forever.