I gained five pounds last spring. After maintaining my weight for almost four years, that ticked me off. It wasn't my fault necessarily, but, still, it was hitting me hard, and I couldn't understand why.
Until I watched a fitness video. Then I understood.
All through this fitness video the instructor kept referring to getting a "bikini body" and getting ready for swimsuit season (it was an old DVD), as if being prepared for the scrutiny of others was justification for reviewing my body and coming up with ways to make it better. The first couple of times I heard it, I didn't flinch. However, by the last 17 or 18 times, it kind of got on my nerves.
Look, I realize that I don't have what one would call a traditional bikini body. However, I simply don't care. Wearing a one-piece swimsuit, which I've blogged about before, makes me feel like I'm being suffocated by a boa constrictor, so my choices are limited. There are tankinis, which I refuse to wear on principle, and bikinis, which suit my need to be as clothing-less as possible while still being legal.
The instructor in this video acted like the only reason to work out was to get "bikini ready." But I don't buy it. I did the work out to get healthy--to maintain my musculature, to lower my blood pressure, and to up my stamina. If people don't like the flab hanging over my bikini bottoms, they don't have to look at it. Since when did it become my responsibility to get ready for summer by making my fat less offensive to others?
As summer winds down, I still try to work out and keep in shape because I feel better and because extra weight puts a strain on me mentally and physically. However, I'm not worried about my "autumn body" or my "holiday body" because it's just ridiculous. I want to enjoy the holidays and my life without thinking that my BMI dictates how much someone can be love me. As we head into the next holiday season, which is approaching much too fast, I plan to enjoy it to the fullest in a healthy, happy way. I hope you do, too.
Here's to autumn!