You’ve seen all the magazine covers with promises to get you a “slim, toned figure” in a matter of weeks. You’ve hopefully clicked on several ads on your computer for miracle diets or the hottest new foods to eat to lose weight fast. You’ve tried at least a few fad diets you heard about on the internet, on TV, or from friends. But none of those ridiculous, too-good-to-be-true bikini body diets really work. Sure, they might lose you a few pounds of mostly water weight, but it’ll come right back in half the time it took to shed it. Do you want a regime that will really work for once? One that doesn’t insist upon a sweaty gym routine, but instead only requires exercise of the mind? One that won’t starve you, but will still yield fantastic results? Do you want an amazing bikini body that’ll last FOREVER? Come on, you know you do. And the only way to get it is through the True Healthy Me Guaranteed Bikini Body Plan (patent pending).
This exclusive plan is being disclosed to you for free on this website, and all you have to do is keep reading to find out what you have to do for your best ever bikini body. But before I give away that indispensable information, I’m going to tell you a little story about what happened to me in English class this week. Stay with me folks, I’m getting to the point here.
In English class on Monday, my teacher passed back our essays that we wrote before spring break. The essays were only practice for this exam we have to take at the end of the year, which will count towards college. Major stress alert. I usually do pretty well on essay exams, but this one had been graded by another teacher, who gave me a grade of 4+ out of a possible 6. That’s 2/3. A B. I don’t get Bs in English class. I pored over my writing, wondering what I had done wrong. Was I just stupid? A bad writer? Then my teacher showed examples on the projector of student papers that had been selected by the teachers grading them as very good, exemplary of what all of our writing should look like. And the examples were not what I’d call advanced writing for tenth grade. Most of them were actually just a conglomeration of run-on sentences, redundant language, rambling, subjects with no predicate, flowery language that was used incorrectly, poor grammar… I couldn’t believe anyone had selected these essays as the cream of the crop!
And not mine. If my own teacher had been grading our essays, I probably would have gotten a higher grade. That just goes to show that writing is subjective: it can’t be graded like a math test because while on a math test there is only one correct answer, on an essay exam there can be infinite responses that are either great, mediocre, or terrible, depending on who’s reading them.
Lots of things in life are subjective. Whether or not a person is likeable, whether a movie is worth seeing or not, if a piece of art is a masterpiece or junkyard material… that’s all in the eye of the beholder. And another thing that’s subjective is the main topic of this post: the ideal body. This world is home to plenty of people of all different shapes and sizes. Just as one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, one man’s ugly fat woman is another man’s dream girl. Likewise, one man’s attractive eye candy is another’s too-skinny waif. There is no single most beautiful woman in the world, because everyone in the world has a different perception of beauty. Everyone has a different idea of what the perfect body looks like.
A perfect example of this is the case of swimsuit model Kate Upton. According to some, she is gorgeous. She’s on the front cover of swimsuit magazines, for heaven’s sake! But others are not so into her lush curves.
Above: Kate Upton
One of Upton’s critics was a blogger on the “Skinny Gurl” website. This blogger criticized the model for her body type. This blogger called Upton a “little piggy” and stated that she had “huge thighs” and “NO body definition.” But Upton’s fans reportedly struck back at this critic, perhaps going a bit too far with angry emails and personal threats. Both the blogger and her opposition were determined that their idea of a good body was the only right one, and were willing to battle vehemently until the other side waved a white flag of surrender. But the way I see it, neither side was truly right or wrong.
It’s like that Aesop’s fable about the man who tries to sell his donkey, but people criticize his treatment of the creature so he keeps changing how he presents the donkey. Still not everyone is happy, so he ends up pleasing no one, not even himself. It’s not possible to please everyone. We all have our opinions on what is the best bikini body, and the only person who is worth trying to please with one’s body is oneself.
Above: an Illustration of Aesop’s Fables: the Man, the Boy, and the Donkey
So if you haven’t guessed already, I will make it clear right now that this post does not, in fact, contain a diet and exercise plan to slim down for summer. But it does have a plan for achieving the mindset needed to attain that body. Yes, you can be bikini ready just by exercising your brain. No matter who you are, I guarantee that you already have a bikini body. It will never be beautiful to everyone. But it is perfect in the eyes of some people. More importantly, if you yourself accept your body type, and learn to like it, that’s really all that matters. You will be beautiful to yourself, and at the end of the day, who cares what the random guys at the beach think? (BTW: people with higher self-esteem tend to appear more attractive to the opposite sex anyway. But that’s just a bonus!)
Now, here’s the plan, based on the advice of my therapist:
I have been told by my therapist that when I look in the mirror, I should refrain from criticizing my body and instead find at least one thing about my appearance that I sincerely like. Then I should say that to myself in my head, like I’m giving myself a compliment. For example, “my hair looks nice today.” Later that day, if my thoughts drift to negativity about my appearance, I should return to that compliment: “my hair looks nice today.”
Another thing that I really find works for me is just to tell myself I am beautiful. Regardless of what the mirror seems to be telling me, twisting and bloating my body like a fun-house attraction. Regardless of my probably paranoid thoughts (ex. “that guy just glanced at my thighs. He must think I’m overweight!”) I just think of all the compliments people I trust have given me recently and all the achievements I have made recently, any progress towards my goals, and I tell myself that it is true, I am beautiful. I have a right to be confident. When I am confident, I am able to say to myself, “that boy just looked at my thighs. Maybe he thinks I’m hot.” I am able to smile and say hello to my friends and acquaintances, and they smile back. Because when you smile, when you feel beautiful, you are beautiful. You glow from the inside out.
Sources: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2012/07/skinny-blogger-calls-kate-upton-fat-piggie/ , http://www.ucl.ac.uk/support-pages/information/self-esteem,http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-connection-between-beauty-and-self-esteem.htm#did-you-know
Photo Credits: http://german.fansshare.com/gallery/photos/162632/Kate-Upton-Beach-Bunny-Swimwear-Ss-Fashion-Show-Photos-Model/, http://www.layoutsparks.com/pictures/doll-0, http://southbeachdiettips.com/south-beach-vegetarian-diet/south-beach-diet-what-are-the-benefits-and-pitfalls-of-the-south-beach-diet/, http://www.holyspiritinteractive.net/kids/aesopsfables/themantheboyandthedonkey.asp
I would like to thank my therapist, Susan Barstiss, for the inspiration for this post.