Getting It: Bikini Shopping

by Rachel on March 30, 2010

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.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dori March 30, 2010 at 7:58 am

You are so inspiring. I’ve gone through ups and downs regarding bikinis myself and I completely understand. Core Fusion has made me feel good about wearing one too though! I need to get back into it once my next half is over!
.-= Dori´s last blog ..NYC Half Marathon/Birthday Race Recap =-.

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2 Melissa (It's a Veggieful Life) March 30, 2010 at 8:11 am

I haven’t worn a bikini ever. Good for you! My motivation is to fit into a swimming suit I bought when we were going to Bermuda 7 years ago – then I found out I was pregnant and there went my weight loss idea. :) Still gonna fit into that sucker though – yes, I still have it. Sad, eh? I’m working with a fitness coach but I have to get that Core Fusion stuff anyway. It sounds awesome.
.-= Melissa (It’s a Veggieful Life)´s last blog ..Bugging My Body! =-.

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3 Angela @ A Healthy Fit March 30, 2010 at 8:56 am

Bathing suit shopping is just one of those thing everyone hates. Ugh.

I am super excited, my core fusion body sculpt dvd finally got to my casa! I cannot wait to try it out. I’ve seen so many people raving about it. Maybe it will help me feel better about my bikini abs too!!
.-= Angela @ A Healthy Fit´s last blog ..The Blog is Back =-.

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4 katherine March 30, 2010 at 9:34 am

I’m a huge fan of ordering suits online from VS. I can try them on in the comfort of my own home on a day I’m feeling particularly slim and fabulous and no one has to see me tuck myself into the suit before deciding it’s too small and requesting the next size up ;-)

I might just have to order one now too b/c I agree with you – it might be good, gentle motivation!
.-= katherine´s last blog ..Unusual Omelet =-.

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5 Josie March 30, 2010 at 9:39 am

“indulging when necessary.”

i love that with my whole heart!
.-= Josie´s last blog ..APJosie: @ALLTHEWEIGH i’m going to trader joe’s thursday. what kind is it? =-.

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6 Manon March 30, 2010 at 10:07 am

Love, love, looooooooooooove this post! In fact just last night I unpacked my bikinis and strategically placed them around my house….I’m a visual person, so if I see that bikini I’m going to think twice about heading for my wine rack or eating a costco sized bag of Food Should Taste Good chips….I get MUCH more sastisfaction from looking/feeling fab than stuffing my face and/or getting wasted and feeling miserable. I have added satisfaction since most of those bikinis were purchased with a Victoria’s Secret gift card from a dbag post break up last year :)
.-= Manon´s last blog ..Monday is for Dbags….. =-.

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7 Keri @ Iron Mountain Movement March 30, 2010 at 11:00 am

What is it with the harsh lighting in bathing suit stores? You would think that by now someone would have realized that if they clean and welcoming changing rooms, soft and flattering lighting and diplomatic sales peeps they would sell more bathing suits. Duh.

So true, never underestimate the power of cleavage!
.-= Keri @ Iron Mountain Movement´s last blog ..Fresh air at last =-.

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8 eatdrinkandbemerrynyc March 30, 2010 at 11:16 am

GOOD FOR YOU! That is super inspiring, thank you so much for posting that!!!
Sara
.-= eatdrinkandbemerrynyc´s last blog ..3/28 – Counter-Eat: Colon Cancer 15K (NYRR Q#3) =-.

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9 Laura Georgina March 30, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Yay for being in a happy body place!! It’s so important to get to a place where you can feel fine about how you are, even if you’d like to work on certain issues. I’m so glad you feel this way because you are one foxy lady.

I’m also 100% against event-based image management and thinspiration, but I seem to always want to look my best when I go home–maybe to go “boo-ya!” at my mom for all her past weight nagging, but mostly because I hope my sisters will get a bit active and follow my lead. Or maybe it’s just because I know that visits home involve eating lots of Greek diner food and I need to make a bit more room for junk in my trunk.
.-= Laura Georgina´s last blog ..Big Race Announcement (Times Two)! =-.

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10 samantha March 30, 2010 at 12:08 pm

i haven’t bought a bikini in FIVE years because i refuse to wear one. or even a bathing suit, for that matter! what fun is that? i like your outlook on this — and i’ll take it into consideration when i have to buy a swimsuit for my VEGAS trip coming up.
.-= samantha´s last blog ..a walk. =-.

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11 Erin (Hunting for Health) March 30, 2010 at 1:13 pm

What is core fusion, is it the exhale dvd series? I feel out of the loop!

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12 Rachel March 30, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Yes! I’m a huge fan. I had an amazing experience with the DVDs…you can read all about my experience here!

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13 Mari March 30, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Oh I am an apple too! maybe I need some core fusion dvd’s in my life =)
.-= Mari´s last blog ..Choo Choo! =-.

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14 Fattie Fatterton April 4, 2010 at 11:39 pm

“Using a bikini for motivation is one of those tried-and-true women things, like sitting to pee or eating yogurt”

I snorted on that one.
.-= Fattie Fatterton´s last blog ..Blessed are the flexible, for they shall not be bent out of shape. =-.

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