So yesterday, I decided to suck it up and do the worst task ever: shop for a bathing suit. Or, as I like to call it, “Violently assaulting your self-confidence, taping its mouth shut, then slaughtering it and burying it in the desert so it would take an entire episode of CSI to figure out what happened to it.”
This was actually a unique swim suit mission because I was on a bikini mission! I am, as a rule, a one-piece kinda girl. If you want to get all fruit metaphors, I am an “apple” and therefore tend to avoid two-pieces no matter how thin I may be; meanwhile my friends the “pears” can outweigh me and still rock string bikinis. I’ve always accepted my place in the produce world, but then Core Fusion came along and I realized that this year…I might just be leaving the fruit basket and becoming an Hourglass! A bikini seemed like a pretty good reward.
Still, as great as I feel, I find bathing suit shopping in a store pretty much the worst idea in the world, so I decided to order a suit online from Victoria’s Secret. I’m a big online shopper and although it’s nice to try suits on, I figured I’d deal with a couple return trips to the post office in exchange for avoiding dressing room mirrors and harsh lighting.
Actually, though, once I got over the initial annoyance of the perfection of the models’ bodies, it really wasn’t so bad! I ended up ordering two suits and will try them on to see what works for me. But I was surprised to realize that the idea of wearing a bikini is actually super motivating.
Now I know….obviously, right?! Using a bikini for motivation is one of those tried-and-true women things, like sitting to pee or eating yogurt. There’s a reason it’s always “bikini body countdown!” this time of year. But I generally hate event-based motivation and avoid it. I get wary when people say they want to lose weight for a wedding or something along those lines. I mean, I’m not saying I haven’t done it — the six weeks before formal in college every year, I was ridiculous about not eating and overexercising — but I have never done it in a healthy way. But I found that when I was shopping for the bathing suits, I was actually pretty motivated. I think it’s because, for the first time, I thought, “Well, I look pretty good now…so even if I don’t change my body at all, I’ll actually be OK with wearing this.”
And I didn’t used to think like that. I never felt good enough as I was, so my motivation was always coming from a negative place — like, “If I don’t lose 15 pounds in six weeks, I’m going to look awful at formal and no guys are going to want to go with me.” Yeah, that’s motivation all right…to be totally careless and unhealthy in your weight loss methods.
I’ve never been big on buying a dress size down or using “thinspiration” pictures, but I actually think having a swim suit this early in the year is going to be a good idea for me. My main goal is to build lean muscle doing Core Fusion and pilates and my biggest barrier is usually just being lazy about it. I think having a two-piece in my closet will totally help me stick with that goal. It won’t be like, “Do Core Fusion today or you will look awful”…it’ll be more like, “Spend 10 minutes doing Core Fusion today because in two months you will be so happy you did.” And no bikini can make me stop loving food and indulging when necessary, but it can stop me from taking too many unnecessary trips to the bar or ice cream shop.
The way I see it now, buying a bikini for motivation is like buying healthy foods for motivation. It makes me think, “OK, I spent money on this thing, so I might as well put it to good use.” I don’t want to waste organic veggies so I eat them. And I don’t want to waste my cute two-piece, so I’ll stop slacking off on pilates.
I will never have a Victoria’s Secret models abs. But I do, in fact, have pretty great boobs, so really, even if I do slack of on pilates, I’ll rest assured that I can just create a diversion with my cleavage.