My 3/21 post is at at YumYucky.com. Find out why and how you should get started with strength training!
It’s reassuring to know that with so many variables in life, there will always be some things that remain constant. Sunshine in March feels good. Lying on a sore back hurts. And taking pictures of yourself in a bikini makes you obsess about your body.
About this time of year, many of us women start to realize that we’ll soon be spending time at the pool, on vacation, or at the very least lying out in the backyard to get some sun (yes, people still do this).
So with public exposure in a swim suit looming, some women feel the need to actually assess the situation beforehand. For me, this means pulling out my swim suits to see 1) if they fit, 2) if they finally fell apart from the chlorine, and 3) what exactly my body has been doing for the last six months.
Men may not get this ritual. When the time comes for a man to put on his swimming attire – the kids want to go swimming, for example – it’s really about whether the trunks still fit, not so much how they look. And if they don’t fit? Ah well, they’ll do this time. Gut hanging out a little more than last year? No time to think about that now!
I could be generalizing (a little), but clearly women care more about how they look in a swim suit. The positive of this is that the goal of fitting nicely into a swim suit propels many women to get on that fitness routine.
When I pulled out my swim suits yesterday I’m not sure what I was expecting. I gained a couple of pounds over the holidays and my self perception was a little skewed for awhile there. I decided it might be instructive to take pictures of myself to get the real deal… a more objective view. After all, cameras don’t lie, right? And if I walk the talk of loving yourself and flaunting it, I shouldn’t be afraid to show myself in a bikini, good or bad.
In the end, the pictures were a morale booster. I looked better than I thought, which should be expected after consistently lifting weights, doing cardio, and eating healthy.
But I also realized that the simple act of trying on the suits had made me uncomfortably focused on the way my body looked. Taking pictures magnified every flaw (and rumor has it, everyone has them, despite pictures in magazines). So I put the swim suits and pictures away and got on with my day.
If you have fitness goals – especially those tied to a certain date or season – it can be quite instructive to take a good look at your body. Putting on a swim suit is a reality check that can provide some serious insight into what you have to accomplish. Will it compel you to amp up your fitness routine and meet your goals?
But if donning a swim suit right now is something you don’t want to do, then skip it. You probably have a good idea of where you’re at and where you want to go. Just make sure you have something to wear when it’s time to go swimming (no pressure of course)…