How To Get Bikini Body Ready


OMG, I'm sooo bored of hearing that phrase! What does it even mean?!

According to this statement, we will never be ready to go to the beach, on holiday or live our best lives unless we fit a certain kind of aesthetic. But what happens once we get there? Do we begin walking on air and feel that all of life's problems have been absolved? No. Because in reality, we have always been 'bikini body ready' and what we are striving for is actually much deeper than what's on the surface.

I say this as someone who used to believe that once I lost weight, happiness would then follow.

Growing up, I always had a love hate relationship with my body. In fact, if I'm being totally honest, there wasn't much love involved. I actually hated it. 

I hated that I didn't look like all the women I saw on TV and in the magazines, I hated that I was usually the biggest out of all my friends and I hated the constant battle with myself over what I thought I was "supposed to" look like. I was always trying to "fix" something. From the age of 18 well into my late 20s, I was an on and off gym member. I'm not a huge fan of the gym but I always believed it would be the answer to my problems. Going to the gym was what adults were supposed to do, right? 



At first I went purely for the enjoyment, but as time went on I noticed that the gym started to become a means of punishment. Punshishment for the way I looked. I would use it to remind me of all the things I didn't like about myself and it was the place where I would go to remind myself that I still didn't look good enough. But I kept going, because obviously once I lost weight it would all be worth it. I would wake up at half five in the morning and spend an hour in the gym before work. I did that multiple times a week. I would even travel into the city on my weekends (who was I?!) And guess what! I did lose weight. And people gave me compliments about my appearance and I'd feel good for a little while. Then I'd look at myself in the mirror and still be unhappy with what I saw, because I still didn't look like the images that are forced down our throats on a daily basis. 

Even after losing two stones I still didn't have that euphoric feeling that I'd been expecting to feel. As time went on and my love of food stayed, I gained back some of the weight I'd lost, so I tried out The Body Coach, then I joined Slimming World. My weight has always fluctuated and I've always had a belly, boobs and thighs. To be honest, I don't actually know what I was trying to achieve because regardless of any weight loss I "achieved" I was never satisfied. 

My wake up call came one evening after I'd come home from my Slimming World group. I remember this evening in particular because I had come home distraught, literally breaking down in tears. I had put on one pound and I felt like a massive failure.

I've never really been someone who cared about the scales. I would usually just judge my weight according to whether or not my clothes were getting tighter. So on top of that judgement, I was now in pieces because of a number. One pound!! I couldn't believe how upset I had gotten and it scared me, because until that moment I always thought I was doing all of this stuff for my own good. But in actual fact, all I was doing was hurting myself. I'd spent so many years telling myself that I wasn't good enough and trying to change parts of who I was, that I didn't realise all the ways in which I had held and was holding myself back.



It was time that I had a real serious conversation with myself.

How many times had I compared my body to someone else's? How many times had I said that I hate a particular part of my body? How many times had I beaten myself up for going to the gym but not staying long enough? How many times had I tried stupid diets which left me starving, but it would all be OK because "you'll lose weight"? (10 cashews in a stupid little Tupperware container isn't a real snack!) And how many times had I tried to starve myself before a holiday? The list is endless, but I had had enough. 

I'd had enough of not showing myself love. 

Every single thing I had been doing involved me focussing on my exterior, but happiness was never going to come from me losing weight or toning up my stomach, my arms or my thighs. It was going to come from me appreciating my body for what it was and building a healthy relationship with myself, according to my own standards and not what society told me to be! So I began to remove anything I deemed toxic from my life. I stopped buying magazines that pushed this nonsense narrative, I began to unfollow people and accounts who promoted this kind of toxic behaviour and made me feel rubbish about myself, I began to take social media breaks and I started focussing on the things that I believe to be of importance. These are the things that make you who you are and have absolutely nothing to do with your physical appearance. Are you a decent human being? Do you care about others? How have you helped someone recently without expecting something back? Are you pushing yourself towards self growth? And most importantly, are you happy? Mental health is so important and we sometimes neglect that whilst we worry about things like whether or not we're posing at the correct angle, the amount of likes on a post, whether or not our bellies are flat enough, comparing where we are in our lives to others etc etc, all the while forgetting that these things hold the least significance towards our value as a human beings.

None of the above is to say that being conscious of our fitness and health is wrong or that as if by some miracle we will no longer have negative thoughts, because working towards unlearning the toxic behaviour we've been conditioned to believe is the be all and end all of life is a journey. As I mentioned in a previous post, it is always important that we ask ourselves why we're making the decisions that we make. And if any of these decisions are coming from a place of negativity or self hatred, maybe we need to rethink these decisions and focus on why we feel the way that we do.

One thing I know for sure is that losing weight didn't bring me happiness, but filling myself with love did! 

Leaving situations that cost me my peace brings me happiness, working on loving myself brings me happiness, checking myself for own toxic behaviours brings me happiness, sharing my stories and feelings with people brings me happiness and going on a damn beach and living my best life, regardless of what size I am brings me happiness. Do I look like a magazine cover girl? No. Does that mean that I'm not "bikini ready"? Hell no!

Life is happening right now and time isn't going to wait for us to realise how amazing we are,  so let's try not to waste anymore time worrying about who we aren't and what we don't have and instead focus on what we are blessed with right now. 







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