Two steps to a bathing suit body!


Ive thought about the above since I tweeted it close to three weeks ago.

Ive skimmed magazines, read twitter, checked out Instagram, hung on facebook, and eavesdropped on conversations.

Swimsuit craziness abounds.

Even here in the Bay Area where I’d erroneously assumed we were…beyond that.

I’d surmised we were enlightened enough and it’s not about the vessel enough to buck the swimsuit season panic.

To my chagrin I was wrong.

I’m also brazen enough to admit I’m disappointed in some members of our Tribe.

I see bloggers and writers I admire preying on women’s insecurities over not being enough.

I see social media friends blog-posting, tweeting, and sharing articles titled: SWIMSUIT SEASON IS ALMOST HERE!! WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR GETTING IN THAT SUIT?!

Even though I did NOT coin the phrase contained in the tweet I think of it every time.

 How do we get a beach body? We put on a swim suit and head to the beach.


(this captures step two. step one was performed wriggling in car.)

Life is short.


We are all fine, and enough, and swimsuit-READY right in this very moment.

I’ve hit that age where I’ve lost enough friends to know for certain they’d not have obsessed about beach/bathing suit appearance.

They’d have simply enjoyed the warmth of the sun and the feeling of sand between the toes.

These are the steps to a bathing suit bod I want for my Tornado of a girl.

  1. Put on swimsuit.
  2. Hit the beach.

At eight it’s all she knows.

I pray at 18 she still feels the same.

And you?

  •  Are you frustrated with the constant barrage of bathing suit body tips?
  • Do you wonder–or am I a curmudgeon?–if bloggers pen these posts for SEO traffic *only* or if they really believe?


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  1. says

    I am SO with you on this! And I definitely hope, just like you, that Kenzer continues to be just as confident at 18 as she is now.

    In the past I most definitely fell prey to the hype.

    Now, I realize I am awesome AS IS and my health is important to me because I want to wreak havoc on earth as long as possible. And be a PITA to my kids/grandkids as long as possible. Not because I need to look hot on a beach.

  2. says

    I think the message is so ingrained, people may not realize it’s full impact. For me there is one more step I need to do before swimsuit season, which involves making a spa appointment. 😉 My biggest concern as winter comes to end is how to get my toes ready for public viewing. Running takes a toll! 😉

  3. says

    AMEN SISTER! I’ve been thinking this for years. And as I’ve aged I’ve taken on more of a Who Cares? attitude. It’s wonderful!

  4. Hannah says

    I often wonder who demands these articles?
    Honestly Carla I think many of us women want them.

  5. says

    i almost wish we would just wear a cape to the beach so no one would have to go through this thinking. Why… or why.. Let’s keep it simple. Put it on, get some sun. BAM! way to think tornado!!

  6. Healthy mama says

    In my previous life I worked for a magazine and it seemed women wanted these kinds of articles.
    Now I do not, but I do assume the traffic gained by utilizing works like skinny etc is pretty big,

  7. says

    Sometime last year I got fed up with all this “beach body”, “get him to love you”, “abs in five minutes” junk on magazines that I wrote each of the different magazine companies and asked them to stop the subscriptions [I never even paid for them.. they just started showing up]. If one slips by it goes straight into the recycling… I refuse to give it to anyone in fear of spreading unrealistic expectations through that passing. I’m with ya, #stopthemadness.

  8. says

    I wrote on your FB page: I am so tired of so many of the glaring titles on even my fave magazines – they know what they are doing – selling. As for bloggers, just not sure. I mean, I get it with warmer weather coming & all. People want help with lifestyles changes but the titles are BS & may times the articles are too….

    This is why I wish people like you & I would be featured on some of these shows – just to tell it like it is – tell what we have learned from all our years at this….

  9. says

    AMEN times a million. I have been extremely self conscious about going to the pool and forget about the beach! This year is different though. I will be wearing my swimsuit. On my body. WhatEVER size that is!

  10. says

    Last year I wrote a post about how much I HATE when people say it’s time to get ready for swimsuit weather. Like THAT will make me put down the food I am about to eat or make me skip work so I can get in a few extra hours of working out? Here’s the truth – I don’t feel 100% comfortable out in public in a bathing suit….but that’s why I have a modest one on hand with a nice cover-up. I feel society has been led to believe that if you can’t fit into a skimpy 2-piece bikini, your body isn’t beautiful enough for a swimsuit.

  11. says

    Soooo over it! I DO want to look and feel good in what I wear but instead of obsessing over imperfections and ruining the moment, I choose to embrace the me that I am (and keep working towards what I want) and place in the sand without worry of what others think I look like in a suit.

    Making sure I teach my son to appreciate women for who they are instead of what they look like in a swimsuit is far more important to me! The best way to do that is to throw the inhibitions out and show him a smiling version of myself, exuded confidence in who I am while I play in the waves with him.

  12. says

    YES!!! I pray every day that my girls will always proudly run around in their bathing suits!! I can admit I fall often to the “gotta get beach ready” every year. My challenge with two girls is to be the woman I want them to be…but boy is it a challenge!

  13. says

    This made me tear up :’) In a good way! You’re right (as is everyone before you who has said the same thing). We need to embrace the fact that we ARE enough – physically, mentally, emotionally – to stand tall and proud in whatever garb we throw on, or whatever is seasonably appropriate. We are beautiful, alive, and ABLE to wear a swim suit and go to the beach! ROCK ON

  14. says

    Hmm I guess I would say i wish it were that easy. Many women are not 100% comfortable with their bodies, shoot I’m not. I don’t need a magazine to help me get ready in 3 days or a detox, but part of the reason I run things like the spring challenge is because I believe that taking action makes women feel powerful which gives them the confidence to hit the beach without worrying about the perfect body.

  15. says

    So many great comments on this post! I too wonder about all the magazine articles and titles but assume that the marketers know what they’re doing; enough women want what they’re selling otherwise they’d find other things to sell.

    Me? The only things I need to do to get ready for swimsuit season? Defoliation and making my toe fungus foot look pretty :)

  16. says

    When I’m out at the beach, I actually admire women that (by the world’s crazy standards), are not “swimsuit ready”, but they be working that suit anyways. Holla!

  17. says

    Years ago i got so tired of fighting to fond a suit made for a real woman’s body, not the figments of their imaginations for whom they design the things, that i switched over to just wearing a sports bra, extra thick t-shirt, and shorts when i swim. My girls just wear whatever suit they like, and they are ready. No trouble. It’s how it should be.

  18. says

    Swimsuit freak out season. Pre-baby I bought a suit for the first time in years. I quit drooling over Athleta suits and ordered one. My body was far far from what most call swimsuit ready. It felt amazing to wear it. I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

  19. says

    It has gotten to the point that when an article makes me feel bad about myself I start to ask myself what they are trying to sell me or what do they get out of manipulating me.

    I’m very obese and I wear a bathing suit in public 5 days a week and more often in the summer. Most people are supportive or ignore me, a few people usually women will suggest that I need to change in some way. They are almost always well meaning and really just stuck in their own issues with image. I expect some other obese women have had a different more negative experience but for me it is nowhere near as desperate a crisis as media leads you to believe. People are more worried about their own dimpled knees.

  20. says

    It is sad that we’re still in that place, isn’t it? And like you, the older I get, the sillier it all seems. Let’s move forward, people!

  21. says

    *sigh* I know this is the attitude I should have but I can’t get past the extra weight I’m carrying after having worked so hard to get it off in the first place. It’s affecting my thoughts/excitement about spring break in 2 weeks (where I will need to wear said bathing suit and summer clothes that don’t fit) and Fitbloggin. *doublesigh*

  22. says

    I find the annoying part to find a bathing suit i feel comfortable in. After that, i just wear it with a skirt and get on with it. I spent so many years worrying about how i looked…so much wasted time. I admit i still have days where i dont feel top notch in a suit, but i so rarely get to wear one…i’m not gonna miss out!

  23. says

    Best advice ever. I do wish that we were beyond it and maybe some of it comes with age (and wisdom of course). I think that for once, last year before we went to Hawaii was the first time that I didn’t totally stress and freak out about being in a bathing suit. Maybe it was because I was feeling healthy and confident already that I didn’t stress as much about how my body looked per se. But now, as we prepare to head to the beach again in a few weeks, I AM stressing and worried because I think that my overall confidence is in a different place. A whole different story when it comes to the blog posts and magazine articles and trying to break into that industry without pitching those stories.

  24. says

    I’ve been horrified by my body for most of my life. Even when I was young and just wasn’t good enough.

    It’s exhausting to live that way.

    This past December my baby boy and I went with my sisters and my middle sister’s spawn to the Great Wolf Lodge.

    I realized that I am making some strides toward self acceptance. I wanted to jump into an inner tube and ride the wave pool and I was hesitant because I didn’t want to look like the foolish old out of shape lady trying to jump into a tube..

    Then I decided TO HELL WITH THAT. I’m going to have fun.

    And then I had fun. It was great. :)

  25. Tammy says

    I wholeheartedly agree with this post, but I’m not there. We went on a cruise last year, and a bathing suit was never unpacked. I so admire the women in the Caribbean countries that just wear their suits, regardless of their size. I have been brainwashed by the American media (and important men in my life through the years), that I should never be seen in one until I do something about my thighs. I do hope that the younger generation *gets* this. I think it is too late for me…

    • cherylann says

      And you are how old? and how old will you be the next time you want to wear a swim suit? just do it!

  26. cherylann says

    I am racing in a suit (a tri) this weekend as my tri-shorts/top didn’t come yet in the mail.
    If someone doesn’t like it they don’t have to look!
    (Putting on clothes in a sprint tri takes up precious time in transition!)
    Proud of what my body can do at age 60…

  27. says

    I hate bathing suits! THE NEVER EVER EVER fit me right. So I just wear shorts and a bikini top. Done. That being said, I never really go to the pool or beach -I am terrified of water, so really…. I don’t have to worry abut bikinis too often! 😉

  28. says

    I guess I’m off on this – I don’t want a swim-suit body. I want a strong healthy body year round (even in the months where it is buried under sweatshirts and yoga pants!!). I put on my suit and enjoy the sun every chance I get because I can!!

  29. says

    I totally agree! I was pleased this last summer (im in the southern hemisphere) to see heaps of women all different ages, sizes and shapes swimming with their kids at the beach. Made me proud to be a woman! Kids need to see their parents confident in the water regardless of size, shape and age. Plus nothing is more awesome then being at the beach with your kids on a hot summers day!

  30. says

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it 1000 times again, I LOVE the way you teach your child. It’s so inspiring and I too hope she feels the same at 18 as she does now. What a wonderful gift you give her everyday.

  31. says

    Love it. The older I get the less I care what other people think I look like in my suit.
    Yes, I am trying to get healthier, but it is not to look good in a swimsuit, it is to feel better about myself, more energized, and happier and I want that all year long, not just in swimsuit season.

  32. says

    You definitely make a great point Carla, sad our society doesn’t view it that way. Since I am 2 1/2 months after having my 4th child, I am just not comfortable with the stomach I have now (that I have never had before). Am I worried about it this summer come swim time? No, I’ll just wear a tankini top and I’ll be fine. 😉

  33. says

    Preach. It.

    I’ve been sidelined with injury, put on a few pounds, and was pasty white (compared to my usual shade of brown). I put on my BIKINI and lounged by the pool this weekend, rolls and all. No shame. Didn’t care. It was a good day.

    I’m ready. My 16 year old daughter is ready. No shame. <3

  34. says

    Totally frustrated with this…It’s all over social media and the magazines and just feeds into putting thoughts and images into women’s minds as a reminder as to “how they’re supposed to look”. It’s exhausting and annoying. Take care of yourself and love yourself in a positive way and put that suit on and go to the beach. Enjoy that sunshine and be grateful!

  35. says

    Oh. my. gawd.
    I could not agree any more Miz.
    Looking goddess-like in a bikini is held up as the barometer of a happy summer. If you’re not in “beach body” shape you have failed.
    I believe that everyone has untapped potential, but let’s get real here… Bikini’s are for very, very young. For the rest of us… who cares? 😉

    • Teri Selvaggi says

      Amen! Used to be obsessed with finding that perfect bikini and getting a great tan! Now, wholeheartedly concur to just throw on a suit and enjoy the sunshine and fresh air. Wonderful family picture! :)

  36. says

    I learned from a woman I worked for that told me no matter what her body looked like she was always going to wear a cute swimsuit and just jump on in. She is not a perfect body type nor a “skinny minny”. She is, however, one of the most beautiful people I know- inside and out. A lot of that has to do with her attitude; I am certain.

  37. says

    I do steps one and step two, but step three is the one I need to get over. It’s the one about not being self conscious about having done steps one and two. It’s not about what others think of me. It’s about the way I feel about myself – and some days I feel better about myself than others.

  38. says

    I’d probably have to start with: 1) Find suit buried under all of the winter running clothes, gloves, and hats that have taken over the house…

    And maybe find a tinted lotion because I’m so pale I glow right now…

    But I love this post! You are so right!

  39. says

    My girl is the same way in her swimsuit! It is a totally functional piece of attire and she’s just as happy wearing it to the store as she is to the beach! I’ll admit to always skipping any “bikini body” posts/articles I come across. I don’t like the pressure but also my swimwear, thanks to my super-pale super-cancer-prone skin, is basically a muumuu made out of swim fabric and a large hat. I will never win the beach babe award;)

  40. says

    What a positive hope for the next generations. The best we can do – as bloggers, sisters, mothers, friends – is simply to lead by example.