How to get your swimsuit body ready?
How to get your bikini body?
How to get a gorgeous body for the summer?
You see these posts all over social media and on covers of magazines this time of year. These phrases used to be a big source of dread to me, because I believed I had to contour my body into an unrealistic size for three months of the year (when I lived in Chicago where the summer is too short!). But after I tore my Achilles tendon, the ballet body I once worked so hard for literally vanished overnight. I was devastated. My life and my body fundamentally changed. There was no way I could reach those summer body goals ever again.
To feel good about myself, I had to change the way I thought about my body. I had to stop the toxic thinking.
Let me explain…
After I tore my Achilles, I struggled with my weight and body image for the better part of ten years. With a lot of work, I am finally at a point of releasing society’s unrealistic expectations of what is deemed “summer” appropriate. I have come to terms what is fit for my body, NOT a model’s. How to get your body summer ready is bullshit, and it makes us feel bad.
The truth is being “summer body ready” is having a healthy body and mind that lasts year-round and works FOR YOU.
More than ever, I have embraced my insecurities and shared them with other women. I truly believe that when you release toxic, limiting beliefs about your “flaws”, it will set you free. That’s how I’ve empowered my girls in my style workshops.
So how did I do it? What were my secrets?
Ditch the Fitness Traps!
Well, for one, I did lose weight. I had to. After I met my husband, I let myself go a bit and gained extra weight. Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, and after a warning from my MD of being pre-pre-diabetic, I decided to change my lifestyle. I used to be a gym rat. Cardio and weight training was my thing including Barry’s Bootcamp, Circuit works, heavy weights and push ups. I was so strong and ripped, but still not feeling healthy or good about myself.
I was in a fitness trap!
I quit it all and went back to my first love, ballet, and infused hot yoga 2-3 times a week. I also changed my mentality. I was obsessed with my heart rate monitor! If I burned 1000 calories or if I lost “y” weight, I could eat “x”. It drove me crazy. Weight was controlling me.
I threw my heart monitor away. I focused on how my clothes fit. I used the scale sparingly as a tool in combination with talking to my doctor. It was hard as first, but after the initial 10 pounds, the weight began to fall off. I felt better about how I was exercising and making choices for my health.
These days, I stick to walking and yoga 1-2 times a week. Due to my schedule, I don’t make it ballet as much as I would like, but it’s a work in progress. The point is, I stay flexible and kind to my body as much as possible.
As much as you may have heard it in the past, your diet is everything. It is more critical than the number of times I workout. To jump start my lifestyle change, I shrunk my stomach. I know this sounds cruel, but I had to decrease my portions, so I focused on conscious eating and nutritious foods. Americans truly eat way too much! If I was at a restaurant, I began to eat half of what was on my plate and switched to smaller meals more frequently. I also upped my fluid intake (water with lemon is the best for me!). Slowly, my body adjusted, and I felt more energized.
Today, I’m still trying to eat more veggies, but my main goal is to work on my stress management. Stress literally kills us. Along with exercise or diet, you must look at your stress levels. I have made meditation and positive affirmations a daily part of my routine. Think about what decreases your stress—walking in nature, painting, reading—and make it a priority in your life.
Find the Right Style Swimsuit
I’ve always had a problem with finding a suit to accommodate my bigger bust. Also, after my weight loss, I have some stretch marks on my abs which I don’t love (yet), so this summer I choose to rock a sexy one piece. Honestly, I think they were made for me! I can run, boogie board and play volleyball without the worries of popping a boob. I found this one at Forever 21 (sold out) when I didn’t have a suit for a pool party, and now it’s one of my favorites of the season!
Supermodel Ashley Graham also designed this gorgeous suit which I have in red. You can buy it here.
Three Biggest tips for Swimsuit Shopping
There are so many tips and ridiculous articles, but I believe the key to finding the best swimsuit for you comes down to these three things:
- Work that ass! Women make the mistake of hiding “flaws” like cellulite or a tiny butt with bigger bottoms. Full coverage makes you look like you’re a wearing granny panties. Opt for Brazilian cut as they are universally flattering.
- Support is key. Make sure you can really move! Don’t go too small—avoid spillage!
- It comes down to confidence. You know what makes you feel good. If you want to rock it, go for it. Emphasize your assets! Whether you’re in a one piece or a bikini, OWN IT.
- BONUS: Tell yourself you are beautiful in the mirror. Show yourself some love! Grab the body parts you don’t like in while looking in the mirror and say you love them out loud. It helps! Positive energy changes everything!
How do you find your confidence and prep for summer? Do you find yourself following the quick fix summer body articles or are you ready to go for a year-round lifestyle change? Have you tried my lifestyle plan or something like it? Let me know in the comments below. And be sure to like my Melissa Chataigne Style Studio, Facebook Page as I’m launching a new Facebook Live show, Style With Purpose, July 11th at noon PST.
This information is from my personal experience, and is in no way a substitute for talking with a medical professional about what’s right for you.
Great advice Melissa, the minute I embraced my body and wear style that fits I am much happier and love shopping.
That makes me so happy! You look wonderful!!!!
I totally agree with you about the unrealistic mindset we have towards our bodies especially when it is a warm season. I have an hourglass figure. Large chest, hips, and but a very small waist so it has always been hard for me to find the perfect swimsuit. Once I stopped trying to fit into one piece that fit in some places and were super baggy in other areas and started rocking at 2 piece styles I was much happier and satisfied.
Amen to that, gorgeous!!!
I love this post because it is so real. I had a baby almost a year ago and I don’t feel that my body is summer ready and I don’t really want to get in a bathing suit. However, I do like the blouson top tankinis…they hide the belly. Some one piece spanx bathing suits look nice too. I agree that getting a summer body is a year long habit with good eating and regular exercise. Thanks for sharing!
Women are so tough on themselves after childbirth! YOU had a child come out of you. You deserve a reward!!!! Honor your body and be good to yourself. I haven’t had a child and look how hard it is for me! Show yourself love and know it is a marathon, not a sprint. I’m glad you like my style selections. xx
Having a summer ready body just isn’t motivating. Just another way to negatively judge yourself. I try to focus on health issues and I wear the bikini regardless.
Love this post. I am already fed up of all those articles telling us how to quickly get our bodies ready for the beach. Sensible eating, exercise, water intake and positive mind are the most important things.
I’m that kind of girl who has a fast metabolism, which basically means I get to eat whatever I want, without getting fat. People usually hate me because of that, haha.
The only way to get your body ready for summer is to start drinking more water if you ask me.
This is so inspiring! You’re so right. It’s about feeling healthy, confident and happy above all else. You are ROCKING IT in that bathing suit btw!
Thank you. I’m just sharing my journey. I’m not 100%, but a work in progress. I’m tired of feeling bad like I need to change my body to go on sand. It needs to stop!
What a great post. Love that you threw away your heart rate monitor. I can get totally obsessed with calories burnt/steps walked etc. It’s just another obsession.x
Love this piece! You are so full of wisdom, and gorgeous too.
Thanks, girl. It’s been a long time and I’m far from where I need to be. You inspire me.