Saturday, June 30, 2012

Bummed out

The lake.

Everyone is at the damn lake. My friend Heather and her family, my runner co-worker and his boat and seemingly anyone and everyone who takes BODYPUMP at my gym. 

As for me? I have no idea where the lake is. There's only, oh, 5 bajillion lakes with a 2-hour drive from Fort Wayne and everyone goes to the one. It seems the closest I'll be getting to a body of water is the turtle sandbox-turned-kiddie pool in the backyard. (Thanks for the idea, Jess!)

Life is a beach and then you die. Truly.

But my less-than-waterfront vacation arrangements doesn't mean that I won't be put in the dreaded situation of wearing a bathing suit in front of people. There are 12 people alone who could see me in all my tankini glory as I  tramp out to the turtle with Miles. Yeah, our neighbors have eight kids.

And while I could try to find some shorts or simply leave my summer clothes, especially as Miles isn't up for sharing his digs, to stay covered and confident, it's too damn hot to let a little insecurity get the best of me. 

I've searched high and lo (and left and right) to come up with beach babe tips, and I now present to you the ultimate (or a mediocre one at least) guide to beach bum confidence.

You can't look and feel good if you don't take care of yourself. I'm not talking just eating right and exercising - I'm talking about skincare. Slather on the SPF and get a cute hat. Protecting your skin will keep you from that dreaded blistery red complexion I know all too well.

Check your insecurities at the parking lot. The extra crunch or tricep dip you were hoping to do last night isn't going to help you now. Accept that you have the body you have for better or worse, and you should love it. No one - absolutely no one - has a perfect body and those who might come close aren't likely to be on your beach. Those walking the sand are more likely to be the 75-year-old man in a banana hammock than Gisele in all her airbrushed glory, and Mr. Hairy Back doesn't care if you have cellulite.

Find confidence in something other than a flat stomach ... unless, of course, you have one. Buy yourself a new bathing suit or beach accessory for your trip. I'm willing to bet you'll feel a bit glam in a big pair of sunglasses and bedazzled sandals.

Wear a suit that fits and flatters. I've been dying to wear a bikini my entire life, and I thought that once I was a healthy weight that I would be able to. There's no stopping me, I guess, but I don't feel comfortable in the suits. Instead, I opt for a tankini or even the dreaded one-piece. In fact, on a recent shopping trip,  I was surprised to find that I actually liked a one-piece better. The suit didn't create any unflattering lines and there was padding in the cups. Just a shame it wasn't in my size.

Don't just lie there. Sure you just got a cute beach towel, a new book on the Kindle and you are dying to improve that runner's tan but you'll feel much better about yourself if you move around. We might not be able to run with a stroller on the beach ala Running Chronicles but try some volleyball, Frisbee or simply racing a friend to the water.

The same goes for eating. Load up your beach tote with healthy snack and beverage options - nimble bars, water, True Citrus, almonds, fresh fruit.

Don't take yourself too seriously. The beach is all about relaxing and having fun. Do it.

What are your tips for being a beach babe?


  1. My tip for being a beach babe - skip the beach! Ha!
    Girl - check out that 3rd photo - your eyes are stunning!!! STUNNING!!!!!
    Hope you're having a great weekend and for whatever it's worth, I'm not at the lake (though, if you happen to be around say tomorrow and want to go to the HUFF park and rent a canoe or kayak with me -for my July N2UCTC- I'd be all about that though I'm thinking you've got some pretty awesome plans already)

  2. I went to the beach for like an hour a month ago and had a body revolution. I was in the bathroom and saw a stick of a girl with stretchmarks on her back/hip area...and it wasn't from childbearing. That made me realize that no one has a perfect body. I'm sure she's just as insecure about things as I am about my bigger thighs.

  3. As someone who grew up going to the lake (Lake James to be exact) the beginning of your post cracks me up! I will be headed there next weekend and I just like to be comfortable, regardless of what that may be. I'm 6 months pregnant at the moment and being comfortable means for me means wearing my ratty old shorts from when I was at my highest weight and a maternity tank top when not in the water.

  4. Seriously! My husband and I are putting in a patio this weekend. Well, rather he's putting in a patio and I'm "helping" when Charlotte naps, a.k.a, dictating and drinking Coke Zeros. We'll only be on the lake for a few precious hours on Wednesday, but that means a trip to the mother-in-law's, and that's not always so much fun.

    My tip for being a beach babe? Booze. Nothing makes a dip in the cold water more tolerable than a cold beer or frozen cocktail!

  5. totally unrelated...have you tried the Sweaty Bands?

    1. I have! I have one (somewhere), and I really like it. I have BIC Bands, too, and like those but they are about the same as the Sweaty Bands.

  6. I would have like 40 people staring at me in a bikini when I sauntered out into the backyard! Husband has a thing against trees, fences, shrubs..basically, anything that will gives you privacy and shade! ughh. Anyhoo, my tips for being a beach babe would be to bring an extra towel. When the sun gets to be too much, I would always use the extra towel to cover up my legs or shoulders.

  7. love your beach tips! as i often try to tell myself after having a baby - no one is looking at me (they're more interested in the kid!)

    btw, that wasn't sand i was running on - it was just the cement rec lane along the water. i guess it looks like it in the pic though. i'm pretty sure i can't even push the stroller an inch in the sand - i always end up carrying it if it must move through sand. hope that clears things up.

    1. You are a rock star no matter what!