The Ideal Beach Body

Friday, 14 July 2017


They say the best way to get a beach body is to take your body to the beach but what if you do have a beach body goal? Are you an asshole for thinking you need to look a certain way before stripping down to your swimsuit or is wanting to feel confident before showing some skin perfectly acceptable?

I’ve always had an image of the perfect beach body for myself. I want a toned stomach, toned legs and toned arms and I’ve worked on and off over the last year to achieve such a thing. The last time I was seen naked in public (woohoo for public changing rooms, not!) was November last year and I wasn’t overly happy with some of my limbs. The muscles in my legs had diminished due to not being able to run for 2 months and my stomach wasn’t the way I wanted it to be either. I didn’t feel bad about my body but I wasn’t 100% happy with the way it looked.

It’s taken me a long time to finally start accepting my body for what it is. I started puberty at the delightful age of 10 years old and, while I had the pleasure of growing body hair in places I rather it didn’t, my breasts forgot to make an appearance until my late teens. Sure they were there but I was all too aware of how small they were. Fortunately, I’ve always had, if I say so myself, a nice peachy bum and that always seemed to be the thing the guys I’ve been interested in have gone for. As much as I hate tying my own self-worth to men, it’s nice to know a part of your body you love is also admired by the males you’re dating.

I think it was really obvious that I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin as a teenager. While everyone else walked around in shorts and t-shirts during the Scottish summer, I sweated it out in skinny jeans and a hoody. It didn’t matter how hot I got, I would not show any more skin than needed. Even family holidays would have me covering up as much as possible. We rented villas with a private pool and I would always wear a top over my bikini under the false pretence that I was trying to avoid getting my shoulders sunburnt. I wouldn’t even sunbathe, I’d float around in the pool or I’d sit inside and read a book just to avoid being seen in a swimsuit.

Looking back, I really don’t know what I was bothered about. I never heard anything bad about my body (if anyone did say anything it definitely wasn’t to my face) and only ever received compliments from the guys who were allowed to see me without clothing. Thinking about all of those missed opportunities to wear shorts and all of the sweat I lost to skinny jeans in 23-degree heat makes me laugh. I can’t understand why I was so bothered by my body as a teenager but I understand why I have little niggles now; the self-conscious nature I had back then is still ever so slightly embedded in my brain.

I’m now fairly happy with my body but things could always be better. I don’t want to see the little jiggle my thighs do when I’m wearing shorts so I’m going to tone them up, I want my arms to have a bit of definition so I’m sorting that out, I want my stomach to remain flat at all times so I’m targeting that area. I’m not going to go full throttle, I don’t want to have a six pack or huge muscles but I just want to be able to walk around in a bikini and not feel like hiding in the water.

So yes people of the internet, I do have an ideal beach body and that is absolutely fine. You may be able to put your swimsuit on and prance around on the beach without a care in the world but I don’t have that luxury yet. I’ve got to work to get to that stage and I’m slowly but surely getting there.

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