Are You Ready for Bathing Suit Season? 6 Steps to Make It Happen!
It was an Itsy Bitsy, Teeny Weeny…. OMG!!!?
Okay ladies. I know. I know it’s cold outside and you ate more chocolate than you intended during the holidays. Your merriment probably included martinis, pumpkin pie and every other decadence that the holidays serve up. Damn that delicious Hickory Farms cheese and sausage box! It’s the work of the devil. Now, I’m not getting on you. I just know what I go through with my clients around the beginning of April: the “Dreaded Bathing Suit Try-on.”
Why am I bringing this up while you’ve just had visions of sugar plums dancing in your heads, laying on the sofa, wrapped up in your Christmas Snuggie (you know, the one that you thought was absolutely ridiculous until you used it one night while watching your latest Netflix selection and now don’t want to take it off)? Don’t worry. I’ll keep your Snuggie-addiction a secret, but I’m bringing this topic up because with a little planning in January, those April bathing suit try-ons will be a little less traumatic.
I’m not telling you flat-out that you need to lose weight. But I do know what I go through with my clients in dressing rooms across the country when choosing summer swimwear. The crying. The complaining. The self-deprecation. The “I’m never going to wear a bathing suit again” ranting and raving. I know it’s painful to think about. I know that in most places it’s still cold outside and you can hide a multitude of sins with Yummy Tummy and a loose fitting sweater or blazer. But I also know that swimwear doesn’t lie and you can’t lose 20 pounds in only a week! The funny thing is that we know we are going to go through this every year … but this year we’re going to beat it!
So here’s the deal. Don’t be afraid! Put down that cookie! Here’s the quickest way to get swim suit ready:
1. Pull out your swimwear from last year and try it on in a full length mirror.
If you don’t have a full length mirror, buy one immediately. You should look at the front and back before you leave the house every day. It could save you the embarrassment of the smashed bed head in the back or the dreaded toilet tissue stuck in your panty hose trailing behind you when you walk. Then step on the scale. The number is the number.
2. Try on ALL your swim suits from last season. ?
Face yourself confidently in the mirror and own what’s going on. Don’t suck your stomach in. Let all that holiday indulgence hang out! If you just had a baby, see what junior has left behind. You have to know what your dealing with. Knowledge is power.
3. Love yourself.
Even though you see fat, it’s your fat. Be a Goddess and know that fate probably doesn’t intend for you to spend the next 20 years being a size zero. Look at your Mother’s history in photos and enjoy the life of being a woman. It doesn’t get better than being part of the global sisterhood.
4. Plan your goals. ?
If you decide that you need to lose more than 20 pounds, this is not about swimwear, this is about life and health. Be honest and think about how you want to attack this. Nutrition? Exercise? Trainer? Canyon Ranch? Doctor? Get opinions from experts about the best way for you to achieve your goals. Surf the Internet to see what’s available. There are many diet solutions out there. It doesn’t have to be expensive. From 5 pounds to 100′s of pounds. Chances are there is one that will work for you, and many that won’t. I for one, can’t do two shakes and a sensible dinner. It doesn’t work for me. One size fits all doesn’t work here. Get a support team! There’s nothing like involving other women who are in the same boat. Do it together. Call each other. Meet for coffee. I like to watch The Biggest Loser occasionally. It gives me inspiration to keep going!
5. Don’t judge yourself by the pictures in the fashion magazines.
These girls are paid to look like that and they have genetics that are beyond those of any human mortal. Plus, the girls in magazines aren’t real. If you’ve never gone to YouTube and typed in “Photoshop Makeover”, you simply must. I mean, it’s nice to use aspirational images to meet your goals but be don’t ever hold yourself to magazine standards. The universe made you in a certain way. There’s not just one vision of beauty no matter what the media says.
I know that this is a hard one and I hate it when people say this to me because I fall prey to it myself. My imaginary picture of myself is that I’m 6’1″, weigh 160, and have a 30-inch waist. As you can see, that’s not the case. Oh well. Let’s just keep trying to be the best version of us we can be. I know I’m no Brad Pitt, so I just try to concentrate on my Universe-given talents … and the latest skin care technologies.
6. Try to buy a swimsuit now that you want to wear during the summer.
Many resort collections offer swimwear in the winter. You can also find some cute suits on the Internet. If not, use your existing suit as the guideline. Although, I find buying something new always gives me an incentive. Most of you did this with your wedding gowns prior to the your big day. Same principle here. Try the suit on occasionally to monitor your process. You’ll know when you’ve reached your goal. If you don’t reach your goal that’s okay too! Don’t give up and eat a whole box of Oreos. Instant cookie gratification will make you feel good for about a minute and then the guilt and remorse will set in. Keep trying! You have time. There are four to five months until it’s time show off your new bathing suit body!
So there it is. Get off the sofa and get rid of that Snuggie right now. Tell Hickory Farms “No Thank You! I’ve had enough. I’ve got work to do.”
See you by the pool, lounging in that new Prada swim suit.
Harvey Helms is a beauty culturist and writer, drawing on 30 years of experience in cosmetics, fashion and design. Harvey has held positions ranging from Global Director of Beauty for Revlon Cosmetics to Executive Director of Special Events for Donna Karan Beauty. Harvey currently lives and works in Silicon Valley, where he just finished writing his first book in a trilogy of three: an engaging tell-all on the fashion industry. Follow Harvey on Twitter at Twitter.com/HarveyHelms.