It’s nearing the end of February which means the diet and fitness industry has already begun to use fear tactics to encourage us to “get ready for swimsuit season”.

I follow many fitness accounts and the overall theme I’m seeing is:

“Bikini bodies are built in the winter”

“Doing x, y, z workout 3x a week will get you bating suit ready” 

“Spring Break and Summer means bathing suit season; are you ready?”

I get it. I am also in the health, fitness, nutrition, supplement business and in order to make money selling and promoting our various programs we must convince people that their bodies may not be swim suit; bikini ready.  Honestly, I’m tired of it.

YOU’RE SWIM SUIT READY WHENEVER YOU DECIDE TO BE!! 

Whether that’s in the Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, in Alaska, in Texas, in Mexico, in China; it’s as Neghar Fonooni says, “How to get a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.”

I have a few bootcampers who are determined that this is the “Summer of the 6-pack.” I love it. They’re motivated to eat better and workout consistently in an attempt to get the coveted slim, trim and ripped abs.  For everyone who is on a mission to achieve that I say, “You go girl.”

But……let me just tell you from personal experience, if you do in fact end up getting the bikini body of your dreams you better be prepared to love yourself just the same when your bikini body no longer looks like that.

Two summers ago I was hot off two figure competitions; which meant 15 weeks of no alcohol, no cheat meals, a lot of meal prepping, a lot of cardio, a lot of isolation training right when Spring and Summer hit. If there was a pool party, I was there! Any opportunity I could find to put on a bikini and oh, take pictures?… I was All. About. It. It was the most confident I had been in a swim suit my entire life.  I mean, I couldn’t take my cover-up off fast enough.

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Fast forward to getting back to a more realistic training schedule and allowing myself to fuel my body according to its needs – I no longer had my “dream bikini body.” Parties at the pool, trips to Mexico with friends, and a trip to the lake with family instantly made me in a bad mood. I didn’t want to put on a swim suit, I obsessively compared myself to the summer before – “the summer of the 6-pack” and dreaded any pictures of me standing up, or ones that weren’t edited, or ones that didn’t give me enough time to suck in my stomach. It didn’t matter how many times I gave myself a pep talk, how many times I reminded myself that my self worth is not in how I look in a bikini, and no matter how many times Rick told me, “You look great” I still loathed putting on a swim suit.

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So many moments on vacations that were ruined because I was worried about what I looked like in my bikini. Wondering if people would see me and think, “gah she’s a trainer and she looks like that?” “She works out all the time and looks like that? Etc, etc. etc.  I could literally play this game forever.

This is why I’m just tired of it. If I’m going to love myself so much in a bikini at 135lbs I best love myself just as much in a bikini at 155lbs. Because I’m still the same person inside the swimsuit; my heart is still the same, my dreams, my passion, everything is still the same – it just looks a little less ripped; it’s a body that reflects balance to me vs. obsession and vanity. I eat well 90% of the time, I track my macros, I train hard (really hard) 4-6x/week and whatever body happens to appear in my bikini this year well, it is what it is.

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Photo Credit: CrossFit Games.com Pro CrossFit female athletes

You know, sometimes I think us fitness people are harder on ourselves than others. And it’s complete crap. My CrossFit girlfriends are some of the most amazing, talented, caring, supportive, strong and fit people I know – yet start talking about wearing bikinis and game over; we crumble in body image issues. I’m willing to bet the ladies pictured above, some of the fittest women on Earth could care less what they look like in their bikinis….

“It’s beautiful to be fit, but I think … anyone who carries themselves with confidence will be beautiful.” —Michele Letendre

If you are on a mission to get “bikini ready” this year you need to love yourself and your body RIGHT NOW as it is. Not when you finally get your “dream body” and then go back to loathing it in the winter.

I love This is What Real Women Look Like in Bathing Suits post on Brit+Co“The real hope around this is that we are putting the idea in everyone’s heads that every size and shape and body, every single person — every woman — is just beautiful…..We hope that this is eventually the regular mindset in our society: that the best version of yourself is the best version there is.”

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Photo Credit: Brit+Co

 

TRUE acceptance lies in appreciating, loving, and respecting our bodies as they are now.

No matter your size, whether your abs are visible or not, be confident – be the best version of yourself; whatever that looks like or means to YOU. Put on that damn swimsuit, throw your shoulders back, hold you head up high and be proud of your body. “A lion doesn’t lose sleep over the opinion of sheep” and you shouldn’t lose your self esteem over the opinion of others.