Bikini Season, Here We Come

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What am I doing to get ready for bikini season?  Not a damn thing.  That is the freedom of being a woman of a certain age – for the most part, you finally accept your body for what it is and you are kinder.  Yes, I can still wear a bikini – and quite nicely, but I have to be honest, I’m not sure if I still should.  I’ve definitely entered the grey area of bathing suit season (season being relative to age and not time of the year).  If you’re of a similar age, you’ll know what I mean.  It becomes a matter of appropriateness.

I grew up on Cape Cod and in South Florida.  Wearing a swimsuit was second nature, like a uniform (of which I had dozens – in every style, shape and color).  I wasn’t the least bet self-conscious about it until I was thirteen.   Then, for the next decade, I was very self-conscious – obsessively so.  Looking back, I get upset with myself.  Those were the heyday years of my bikinihood.  I’m not being arrogant, merely matter-of-fact, when I share that I rocked my bikini back then – but of course I didn’t think that at the time.  I covered myself up with a t-shirt or a magazine .  I rarely got up from my chair to go swimming, because I didn’t want people judging how I looked in the bikini.  Ridiculous.

As I was a full time Floridian during this period, there was no “getting ready” for bikini season – you had to be prepared 24-7 to put on a bathing suit – and basically, I was.  I did every single crazy diet there was (although hands down, stress and/or heartbreak produced the best results) and I was fanatical about my workouts.  My go-to fitness routine at the time included aerobics and the Stairmaster.

The late twenties ushered in the professional years and any bikini time was relegated to the weekend.  Some of my friends were already married and having children by then, so most of my beach time was spent alone with a book.  I still had youth on my side and didn’t give much thought to bikini preparation.  It was what it was – and that wasn’t half bad.

The thirties brought marriage, pregnancies and babies which meant minimal time in a swimsuit.  My inventory of swimsuits dwindled to two or three.  The exercise of the moment was chasing four young children, which pretty much sufficed for bikini preparation.  That and couple hours on the treadmill each week.

The forties are very much like the thirties, only now I have the added anxiety of sun damage to consider.  My years of tanning have caught up with me and although I have not, thankfully, ever been diagnosed with skin cancer, I have endured many “let’s just get this tested” and even more lectures from my dermatologist.  As a result, I spend far fewer hours luxuriating in the sun – and honestly, it does break my heart a little.  When I do decide to throw caution to the wind and just do it, I can’t relax.  This is how it usually plays out:

  • I start to imagine my skin is a fried egg, and I’m literally cooking myself, and I’ll be a wrinkled prune by the time I’m 50 and nobody will love me.
  • I can’t stand the heat, literally. An hour tops, is all I can handle anymore. This, from a woman who defined a day at the beach as arriving at 9a.m. and leaving at 5p.m.!
  • “Mom, I’m hungry!” “Mom, I’m Bored!” “Mom! Come play in the water!” “AHHHH – Mom, a jellyfish stung me.”

So what do I do now to get ready?  I stock up on high SPF sunscreen and I pray for peace, mild temperatures and drama-free days!

 What do you do to get ready for bathing suit season?

 

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post.   The sentence is “It’s bathing suit season, and to prepare, I… ”  by Allison Barrett Carter from Go Dansker Mom.   Please go show her some extra love.

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Hosts:

Janine: Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic

Kate: Can I get another bottle of whine?

Stephanie: Mommy, for Real

Kristi: Finding Ninee

 

What do you do to get ready for bathing suit season?  How old is too old, to wear a bikini?  Do you still sunbathe?  Can you relax at the beach with young children?

14 thoughts on “Bikini Season, Here We Come”

  1. I grew up in NY, but still in my younger years made sure to be ready for this time of the year, but you are right now as a mom with small kids not the same and love your attitude though and wish I too could just be so free about this myself. I still try, but you are right that my time definitely is so not my own anymore.

  2. Oh yes those t-shirt cover up days. Silly silly silly. We used to go to Hawaii every Christmas and I would tan far too much and then yank on the t-shirt to head to the pool or to the concession or to walk on the beach. Once back in the chair I’d whip it off and quickly lie down. Fast forward to a few years ago and you’d find me chasing my paler than pale boy down the pool deck with a bottle of sunscreen in one hand and a sunhat in the other. I’ll pray for mild weather for your troops. Stock up on the SPF100.

  3. I honestly hate the summer, too hot and sticky for me…I’ll take fall and spring over it anytime, even the snow over the summer. But if getting in shape is what I have to do to keep up with my son, so be it…

  4. Well, my family still loves a good day at the beach even though I have to admit that I don’t spend as much time in the water as I used to. I imagine that your family will take after you in their enjoyment of the sand and surf — and everyone is a little more cautious these days about the sun so SPF is good to know!

    1. Yes, they are starting to appreciate the surf! It was an evolution though. I grew up close the beach, but they have not. It used to kill me how they complained about the sand, salt and waves. Fortunately, we are long past those days.

  5. I can’t believe how much I used to abuse my skin when I was younger through tanning and definitely feel you there. I used to feel so fresh and pretty with a sunburn or a tan. Now, I just think about what it’s doing to my face – wrinkles, age spots, etc. I do wear sunscreen but also a big hat and glasses. And I still LOVE the beach (although I am too fat for a bikini which may be a good thing).

  6. I have mentioned to friends multiple times that I want to go back and kick my younger self! “No, don’t take a picture of me in a swimsuit!” WTH was I thinking? If only I had realized how much it would all change…I should have delighted in it.
    Love walking through the decades with you! Thanks, Allie.

  7. Sometimes my friends don’t even recognize me at the pool because I have a huge hat and sunglasses on. I am very cautious about getting sun – a few moles removed have made me realize it’s not worth the risk!

  8. I now live in South Florida and unlike living in California, I feel like you cannot go without going to the beach on a regular basis! I have seen some unbeach ready bodies and I count myself as one, but never have worn a bikini , even at my body’s best. I just don’t have that confidence. I don’t use sunscreen, although I know I should!

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