Is it that time of year again? Swimsuits are already in the stores and although we anticipate the promise of sunny days by the pool the anxiety of finding a swimsuit that fits and flatters is real.
I’m not even going to pretend I’m cool about shopping for OR trying on a swimsuit.
In fact I’ve managed to avoid hitting the dressing rooms to shop for a swimsuit or bra for the past few years. There’s something that can be completely humbling about seeing yourself naked in a 360 degree view mirror lit by spotlights. If you had any illusions whatsoever about the state of your skin, they’ve disappeared by the time you put your clothes back on!
Don’t get me wrong. I love myself and have a begrudging respect for my body. It’s served me well for decades and I’ve come to realize and accept my DNA. I belong in the apple category so I’ve always struggled to maintain that flat bikini belly you pear shaped ladies can rock without blinking.
Actually I finally realized I was never going to have a flat bikini tummy – ever. Hello tankini!
How do we conquer the anxiety that rolls around when the promise of spring break is in the air and sun, sand and surf are beckoning? What makes us so freaked out about trying on a swimsuit?
Part of controlling anxiety about how we look is mindset. You have to accept your body with all it’s jiggles and rolls. Literally love what your body does for you. Appreciate the decades of pleasure your body’s given you. Love making, dancing and smiling for a start.
Managing mindset is one way to control body anxiety; the other is taking care of your body. When we take care of the physical side of feeling good, our mindset doesn’t have to do all the heavy lifting.
Somewhere at the intersection of mindset and body image, we have acceptance. That’s the ideal state to reach. Accepting our imperfections and limitations while stretching; literally and figuratively.
Do the best you can with what you have. At this stage of the game, I’m going to be happy with some toning, because quite frankly my body isn’t going to reinvent itself overnight. I’ll always be an apple shape, but baring my tummy isn’t in the plan. I’m working on acceptance of what I’ve got. With a little prayer the perfect swimsuit is the first one I try on!
How to Conquer the Anxiety of Getting Into a Swimsuit:
Start stretching. As soon as you wake up, reach overhead and stretch. Fit a short yoga routine into your day. Keeping a regular practice of yoga stretches your spine, elongates your posture and keeps you limber. Those slo mo Baywatch runs down the beach are easier when you’ve practiced your breathing too. Goes without saying good posture rocks a one piece. Who needs a miracle suit?
Can you pick up your workout pace? Whatever your current workout, push yourself just a little more. Don’t go full Jane Fonda right from the gate, but slowly increase your pace or time. Walking for 10 minutes a day? Up it to 30 or more. Head for the hills or a hilly walking path to boost the cardio. Head to a class after work. Zumba, Pilates or yoga help you de-stress and unwind after a long day. Can’t make it out? Try an online class.
Practice meditation. If you’ve never meditated before why not try it. You’re probably wondering, what does meditating have to do with helping find a swimsuit? Meditation’s going to help with the anxiety of perfection. We want to be perfect when we look in that changing room mirror, but we’re not! Meditating helps you accept being less than perfect. Worth a try?
Start shaving calories. What’s your weakness? Mine’s dessert. I need a sweet fix after each meal. I try to have just a bite of dark chocolate or a small portion of fruity yogurt so I can skip the mega calorie dessert. Have one less glass of wine. Pass on the chips. Change to lowfat milk in your coffee or tea. Consciously choose smaller portions and resist going back for seconds.
Shop or browse online before you hit the shops. Pinterest is great for this. Research different styles until you find a few to fit your unique shape. The tankini is great for those of us who like a two piece swimsuit but want tummy coverage. Short legs? Stay away from the boy short look and instead go for a high cut leg. Prints are great camouflage. I may try the high waisted bikini this year. One piece swimsuits can do smokin’ hot too.
Shop for swimwear at retailers that cater to a certain age. Dressing rooms should be relaxing and well lit so you don’t feel you’re in a lineup. Do a dry run and try on some clothing before you strip down for your swimwear session. Some stores do a great job of choosing a flattering bulb color, others haven’t got the memo. Your dressing room should feel completely private, no curtains flapping!
Ok honey, I promise if you try these tips to minimize swimsuit anxiety you’ll be well on your way to acing the pool! Of course having a sexy one piece or tankini that flatters you may help.
What do you think of these styles – can you see yourself wearing them at the beach or by the pool?