Let me preface this article by saying that I am somebody who usually exercises vigorously 5-6 days a week. Even if I am hurt, even if I am tired, I find a way to incorporate exercise into my daily routine. I'm not saying this to brag— it took me a long time to get to this place and, believe it or not, I have a body that will never make it on the cover of a fitness magazine. However, I still love exercising, I won't quit or get discouraged, and you will still find me in a bikini this summer.
Because exercise is mainly mental. All of these workouts, that market themselves as "Instant Bikini Body" or "Flat Belly in 10 Days" will never make you enjoy working out. They will make you frustrated. Working out requires hard work and consistency. I would try every day to do this "Instant Ab-Shredding Workout" that I thought would finally give me the perfect washboard abs I've always wanted in a timely manner. Well, newsflash, my abs are still not flat and I abandoned that workout, frustrated that I didn't have that magical beach body.
In order to discipline yourself to work out and keep going to the gym, you have to change your mindset.
Instead of looking at pictures of other people (who aren't me and may not be you either) and trying to get a body "just like theirs," you will need to think about how strong you feel after exercising, or perhaps how much stronger you will become. Even on my worst workout days (including the day I'm writing this article), I learned to pat myself on the back for making the effort to exercise. I learned to realize how much better I'll feel the subsequent day. I learned to feel tough and strong for what I am able to do. And those thoughts are what are going to land me in the gym tomorrow morning.
If you really want that bikini body, you have to start with this mentality.
To earn the swimsuit body that will make you feel confident, you need to start not by thinking about bikinis but think about going to the gym consistently. Otherwise, you will only work out with the hope that body comes tomorrow. And I'm sorry to break it to you, but it won't. But it may come as a by-product of consistently working out--and it may come before you even realize it.
You need to keep your visions realistic.
I would work out with those visions in my head too, where I would think I would be a champion runner after one day on the track. But when I saw how unrealistic that vision was, I had to set smaller, achievable goals before I saw real improvement. I learned to be proud of myself for finishing a workout or a race when many other people would give up. Unfortunately, I'm still not a champion runner, but I'm happy for how far I've come.
So, if you want to feel great in a bikini, put down that magazine.
Even though I don't have the best body, I can still come to terms with it when I wear a bikini. Why? Because I work my body very hard and I know it. My thighs are huge but they don't jiggle and can jump, squat, and run many miles. My abs aren't perfect but I know they've endured many planks. When you know how hard you work for what you have, you will realize that there is no universally perfect "bikini body."
If it's a body you're proud of flaunting, if you're wearing a bikini, if you have a body, you, my friend, have a bikini body.