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Fear of Bikini

If I am totally honest, I have to admit that I have used bodybuilding shows like other women use weddings and reunions. You know, the event that propels you to amp up the exercise and clean out the diet. You didn’t have the time or the motivation before this but now that there’s a deadline. . .

 

Sometime at the beginning of the year, I look at my post-holiday body and become unhappy with what I see. I know what I did. I know that during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year I indulged and indulged again in all the forbidden goodies I manage to avoid the rest of the year. And now it is time to pay the piper – in sweat. 

 

So I pick a date for a show, proclaim to family and friends that it is that time of year and start the diet. And from that day to the day of the show, I am razor-focused on my food intake and my exercise regimen. I spend the first week cleaning out my diet. No to cheese, no to creamy salad dressings and, of course, no to alcohol. I enjoy the process. I really do. In those first few weeks, my body feels like it is being cleansed of toxins. I start to think of food as fuel rather than fun. And only the most efficient fuel is to be used. For all the weeks and months to come, I concentrate on every gram and decide whether it is helping achieve my goal or not. 

 

But this year, competing is not an option. Just too busy. My plate is full. Overflowing, actually. So how do I lose that post-indulgence holiday weight without the “fear of the bikini”? Everyone thinks I’m good at staying on a diet but that’s a joke. I’m not good at staying on a diet. I’m just very motivated by fear. 

 

So this year I have shifted my mindset. Now I will keep away from the junk and go back to eating clean for more simple reasons. I will eat better because it makes me feel better. Because when I am at a healthier off-season weight, I feel – well - healthier. I don’t stand in the closet trying to find something that will fit, I don’t tug at my shirt to make it cover my stomach and I don’t avoid mirrors at the gym. 

 

Instead,  I am more at ease. I move more smoothly through space and dance with abandon. I feel more myself. More free. And, this year, I will feel this way without losing so much weight that I become unrecognizable. I will eat well and every once in a while I will have cake – and even a glass of wine. 

 

This year, at no time will my body be stage-bikini-ready. But that’s okay because I also will not be cranky or carb-depleted. But I will still wear a bikini at the beach this Summer. Because I will feel comfortable in my own skin. And feeling comfortable in your own skin should always be the goal.

 

That should be enough. 

No fear needed. No fear required.