The easiest way to get your perfect bikini body
Summer is almost here.
Let me preface this post by saying: YOU ARE SO MUCH MORE THAN A BODY. Your body is literally a vehicle for your soul. This doesn’t mean that bodies aren’t important or that we shouldn’t take care of them, however. I mean, we wouldn’t be born with a body if it weren’t some degree of importance, right? So, raise your hand if “bikini season is just around the corner!” is something you’re already tired of hearing? I’ve got both hands raised. It’s not even warm here in Colorado and I’ve been sick of hearing it since last summer. But, at the same time I get it, you know? Who doesn’t want to look and feel their best in their skin? Especially during a season where so much of our skin is exposed to combat the warmer temps. I get it. One of my ex-husband’s friends used to always say, “looking good, feeling good.” But does looking and feeling good have to be a by-product of disciplined, restrictive eating and exercise? This is a highly perpetuated limiting belief. I don’t know about you, but dry lettuce makes me dry heave, and restriction tends to just make me angry and resentful in the form of multiple cupcakes all at once, leading to the antithesis of “feeling good.” I’m a feminist at heart, or rather a human-ist (everyone is equal - don’t care what you are), and I know this is all programming as a result of a patriarchal society foundation where we have been conditioned to believe that thin, white, straight, symmetrical women are the most valuable currency a man can have. I’m not naïve, I’ve seen the movies and I know how we got here. But it’s 2019. Body positivity movement aside - we can do better. The secret to having the “perfect bikini body” isn’t a secret at all - don’t waste your time subscribing to anything that perpetuates the belief that it doesn’t start right now, with you, in this body.
Losing weight won’t solve the problem.
If I had a dollar for every person who has come to me for PSYCH-K® around their body, I would have many, many dollars. PSYCH-K® is actually really beautiful for this, but it’s never about the numbers on the scale. These feelings are the result of all the absolute garbage conditioning (read: LIES) we’ve grown up absorbing and probably perpetuated ourselves. It’s really not your fault, but your soul did sign up for this life, so you are responsible for growing from it. I, hands down, have contributed to detrimental "diet” culture. I was pretty overweight in high school, and I know this because A) photos, and B) my doctor told me I was. Not for one second did I, or her, realize, however, that the extra weight I had been carrying during that time was the direct result of a tumultuous home life. Instead, I swallowed her words and internalized them, like all teenagers are prone to do, and I subscribed to the belief that there must be something inherently wrong with me, and that this overweight-ness was all my fault. After all, I put those foods in my mouth. These beliefs led to incredible amounts of self-destruction that manifested in the form of skipping meals entirely, with cycles of binge eating sprinkled in here and there. I couldn’t control anything else in my life except what I ate. Not to mention that my self-worth began to hinge solely on how many boys thought I was attractive and/or gave me attention. And when they did, it was essentially the positive feedback I needed to continue the destructive behaviors. This is an amazingly damaging cycle to be living in, one that is not uncommon for many women unfortunately. I remember a specific moment, one fall during college, when another one of my ex-husband’s friends caught me at a very low point in my self-esteem journey. We were supposed to tailgate before a game and I would be meeting his friends there for the first time in the daylight. Prior to leaving, I happened to look over his shoulder at his text messages and saw that this friend, in a group chat, had begun to refer to me as “____’s ugly girlfriend”. This guy had never even met me. Fun, right? An excellent precursor to an uncomfortable situation, if you ask me.
Naturally, it sent me into a 1000% hurt-fueled rage. Triggered doesn’t touch it. Not only was I furious at him for having the audacity to feel entitled enough to comment on my appearance - as if I existed solely to be aesthetically pleasing to him, as if it made me less worthy as a human not to - but the anger stemmed from me believing it. I’m not going to sit here and lie to myself. How could I blame him for pointing out how I really felt?
Everything happening around us is always relevant because it’s what we are calling in; especially weight, the way we view ourselves, and our emotions about the whole thing. Our bodies are the BEST conscious barometers for what we’re not dealing with, subconsciously. After this tailspin moment in college, of course I “showed him” (because I too can be petty and scary self-disciplined about it). With the help of a calorie-counting app on my phone, I restricted myself to eating 1200 calories a day for over a year – including alcohol. College Natalie happily traded dinner for tequila. I budgeted for multiple tanning memberships within my limited, student-loan funded, income and hit up those beds religiously. I also dyed my hair blonde. I sacrificed sleep to go to the gym before all-day classes in nursing school (not that exercise is “bad” – cue triggering limiting beliefs) and skipped breakfast afterwards. After all these efforts and sacrifices, I succeeded. I weighed less on my (first) wedding day than I ever have before or probably will ever again. The saddest part is that this was a point of pride for me. I was more proud of those numbers than the degree I had earned just weeks prior. After all, my mother and my grandmother can both tell you how much they weighed on their wedding days (98lbs and 89lbs, respectively - I felt like a heifer with that as a frame of reference).
The numbers on the scale, and the “positive male attention” I was receiving, meant more than how I felt about myself or anything I had accomplished. Sure, I was a size 4 and society applauds that, but I was doing all of these things out of a place of disdain for myself and my body and that is not sustainable. This is why diet culture makes so much money, especially around summer. It feeds off our insecurities, knowing we’ll fail and do it all over again next year. Dieting out of hatred of your body/self, or to please other people, is never going to be sustainable.
I gained 10lbs in a week over my honeymoon to prove it.
Feeling good = looking good.
My relationship with my weight and my body is ongoing. I’m human and my moods/thoughts/feelings change moment to moment. What I have been able to do, however, is completely pivot my perception of myself. I now embrace myself and a fluctuating weight as a really beautiful part of the aging process. A part in which we have an amazing opportunity to continuously grow and evolve with our changing bodies, if you allow yourself to. Aging is inevitable. Weight will continuously fluctuate. Change is the only constant you’re guaranteed in life – why do we resist all of it?! The only person you’re hurting is yourself, and possibly your children if restrictive behaviors and self-hatred is what you’re showing them. We don’t need to chase “youth” or “thin-ness,” because if we were supposed to look small and stay young forever, we would have been designed that way. You have everything you need to feel your most beautiful and vibrant and ALIVE self right now, in this body, today AND tomorrow. Besides, I can guarantee you that a healthy life is not only A) highly personal and subjective, but B) very sustainable when it comes from a place of self-love over self-loathing. You have to love yourself, in this body and in this moment, before anything can really change.
I now subscribe to “feeling good = looking good” because it always, always, always starts within you. How you view and feel about yourself will be your reality, and you will continue to attract the things/situations/people that reinforce it. That’s the law of attraction. The most transformative beliefs I have ever balanced for with PSYCH-K® have been “I love myself” and “I accept myself.” These are not things I was conditioned to believe or a place I was operating from before. As a result, I don’t even think twice about choosing things I want to eat, knowing I’m nourishing my body instead of depriving it. Food anxiety - gone. It’s so much easier to make those “healthier” choices because I’m doing so as a form of self-love instead of restriction. And it’s not just about food either – post balancing those limiting beliefs, I also feel very secure in exercising and moving my body in ways that it feels good to, versus pushing and exerting myself all for the sake of a single digit pant size.
Exercise and eating “healthy” (aka real) food does not have to be punishment.
This does not have to be your reality.
You are always perfect and whole and worthy the way you came on to this planet, regardless of if you believe it or not. Self-love does NOT have to be a difficult journey – it can begin by taking less than 5 minutes to reprogram your core belief system, and trust me, it is so worth it. Because wearing a swimsuit when other people think you look good is fun, sure, but rocking that bikini when you feel good is indescribable... And we all deserve that.