If you are not redirected automatically, follow the link to Gretchen, In-Between Bikini Season | Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted on May 3, 2012 in Dear Diary | 31 comments

Bikini Season

In exactly two weeks from today, I will be on a plane with the lovely and amazing Anne, both of us heading to Boston for the Reach the Beach Relay race. The race takes place on the 18th and 19th (it’s an overnight race, in case you weren’t aware — eep!), and I fly back on the 20th. Then, I’m back at work on the 21st… for one day. Because the day after that, I’m headed to ST. MAARTEN!

I’m going back to this glorious Carribbean paradise (well, the beaches are paradise. The towns, not so much.) with my family to celebrate my brother-in-law’s graduation from medical school. It’s a little stressful when I think about the timeline of events as they approach: flying up, running my 3 legs of the relay, flying back, one day at work, flying out. Guff. Another added layer to this is that I’m ALSO starting two online classes this month as I work towards my potential teaching career.

All the stressful scheduling aside, however, I’m obviously very excited for both the race and this vacation (though I will admit, my anticipation for a week of lounging around on a pristine beach drinking frozen cocktails does edge out 24+ hours of sweaty blogger van-bonding. Sorry ladies. ;)). I’m especially looking forward to going back and getting some legit pictures of St. Maarten… and of myself, given that the last time I was there was Spring Break 2009.


And the time before that, was the Christmas prior. Er, yeah.

Gretchen Swimsuit St Maarten BEFORE tankini.jpg

What am I reading here? It does not look like I am enjoying it, hahaha.

I have changed a lot since both of those trips — both physically and emotionally. Still, it’s a little difficult to look back on the pictures from this time period and keep myself level-headed about all the impending swimsuit-wearing on the horizon. I like to think that since I’ve started my weight loss journey, I have developed a modicum of bikini confidence, but with all my recent setbacks and gains, it’s hard not to lose myself in a place of negative self-talk. And with my history of disordered eating, that’s always dangerous, because it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from backsliding into crash- or starvation-dieting just so that I can be “bikini ready” (whatever that means).

Last Summer

Even though I KNOW that is the least healthy and most ineffective way to lose weight, I know myself too. And I know I would justify it by saying it would just be for the trip, that I’d get back to doing things the healthy way afterward, stuff like that. It’s a slippery slope though, my friends. And as many of us already know, the ironic thing is that doing so probably wouldn’t result in me losing a single pound. In fact, I would probably gain a ton back instead, since eventually I would get so hungry that I would just binge. Vicious cycle, remember?

This is why it’s probably a really, really good thing that I do have the race right before this vacation. Even though the close timing of both trips has me slightly anxious, I know that if I didn’t have to train and fuel my body properly for the race, I would be all the more likely to succumb to the temptation of starving myself for this trip.

I think it’s progress that I am at least cognizant of my proclivity to fall victim to this kind of thinking. Knowing is half the battle, right? I fully intend on staying the course with my healthy weight loss “guidelines“, exercising as I have been, and participating in what is sure to be an epic racing experience. I still am planning on rocking my bikinis loud and proud on this trip (though I am admittedly packing a one-piece or two just in case I get a little too self-conscious of my tum, hehe), and even have a brand new (and hot pink!) retro-cut ‘kini (this one!) that I’m really looking forward to breaking out.

With summer and bikini season approaching, are you finding it harder to resist the temptation to drastically (and potentially unhealthily) change up your eating habits?


  1. I love that pink bathing suit! Now that bikini season is upon us, I don’t change my eating habits, but I really do have to change my thought process. What *I* see in the mirror is not what everyone else sees. I feel so self-consious in bathing suits – I just have to remind myself to CHILL OUT.

    • DITTO. I have the same issue. Depending on my mood, I could see a monsterous pregnant-looking woman. Or I could see a badass tiny muscular chick in a bikini. Which I hope is what everybody else sees. 🙂

  2. I agree with Colleen! I am so much harder on myself than anyone else could be and the big oaf I see, is not what other people see. I try not to drastically change my eating habits any time, but I do try to limit my massive wine and sugar inhalation when I know I’m going to be donning a bathing suit soon!

  3. So this is probably not very pro-body or positive advice, but I always tell myself that I will not be the biggest girl out there in my bathing suit. It helps me get out the door and stop thinking/worrying about what I look like in my suit. I guess we could reframe that in a more positive light and say something like “My attitude is going to be what stands out about me today” rather than making it about your body!

    But, yes, I am always tempted to do unhealthy things to get myself “bikini ready.” I just keep reminding myself that I just won’t see the results I want and so I’ll be double unhappy. First because I’m making poor choices that leave me miserable (and hungry), and second because I didn’t get what I wanted. And that’s not fun to be on vacation with so it’s not worth it!

    • I will admit to doing the exact same thing. As much as I know that I shouldn’t make comparisons, that it doesn’t really matter, that that’s not what I should be fixating on — it still is. So I do size up (literally) all the other women around me on the beach and it works in both ways. I feel better about myself if I’m not the biggest person there, but I can also feel worse about myself if I see too many slammin’ hotties, haha. Maybe this all makes me sound really vain and not very likable to admit, actually, but I think it just makes me extremely human.

  4. Having just had a baby, I am not looking forward to bikini season. I am so impressed with all the healthy easting and weight loss you have done. It takes a lot of work and will power. I think it’s great that you are so self aware about what you are tempted to do and how that wouldn’t be good anyway. Stay strong in what you know is the right way. You look AMAZING!

  5. Just having the guts to fake your body confidence enough to even put on a bikini is something to be proud of.
    Actually keeping up the appearance that you think you have the body to rock the bikini while you’re wearing it is even better and probably the biggest struggle to face during swimsuit season.

    I have definitely experienced the desire to wrap myself in a towel and hide from a beach/pool full of lean and sexy bodies. Sure, you put one your bikini and psych yourself up about how great your body is and how it can do some amazing things but then when you actually get out on the beach “I love my body” becomes “I love her body waaaay more. I wish I looked that good.”

    Swimsuit season is SO hard and it’s all mental. Crash dieting is useless because even if you do drop OMG 10lbs in 2 days(!) you still won’t feel comfortable in a swimsuit unless you are able to change your attitude about your body. And that it what really matters.

    • I’m going back through your bikini confidence series to get myself pumped up. 🙂

  6. I applaud you for going out in a bikini! You have a nice figure and you should show it off!! Have fun on all your adventures!

  7. Oh man woman, I admire your body confidence — you look amazing in those suits! All of them. Even the ones that you aren’t super excited to post.

    I won’t get in a bikini. It’s sad. I used to work at a canoe rental and LIVE in bikinis … when I was 15 lbs lighter. But now? I just feel like there’s too much of me everywhere and not enough suit to cover it. I just posted pix of my livefit progress … in a bikini (http://www.chimesdesign.com/blog/2012/04/12/somehow-less-awkward-than-underwear-bikini-pix/). And I still cringe looking at it. Something is clearly wrong with me.

    • Girrrl, you crazy. You look fantastic in that ‘kini! But I totally know where you’re coming from. We crazy.

  8. you look awesome- keep up the great work! Can’t believe its summer already- time to get the weights out!!!
    I wish I had your bikini confidence

  9. For the record, I think you look great in the bikini pictures from last summer – you have a really nice hourglass shape (waist-envy from this very “square” girl), and THE longest legs ever 🙂

  10. i don’t normally leave blog comments, but i really loved this entry [ and your blog in general ]. i don’t think i have taken a picture in a swim suit since i was a kid! your positivity is inspiring!

  11. I try to stay away from things that bloat me- which is different for everyone- but that’s about all i can handle 🙂

  12. Are you wearing some kind of magic tankini that turns into a bikini in the top pictures or just a separate tank top and bikini top? (Yes I realise the latter would make more sense but I want the magic tank-bikini to be true 😉 ) Either way it’s very pretty.

    My ultimate, ultimate ambition is to wear a bikini one day so this is quite an inspiring post for me 🙂

    • Hahaha, no, alas, it is the latter — two different tops with the same print, and the same bottoms. I wish that a magical transforming tank-bikini existed too though! It would be perfect for when I get overcome with body shame but I’m already out on the beach, hahaha.

  13. I give you props for rockin’ that bikini! It looks great on you.

    I notice I am definitely trying to eat lighter and more cleanly with the summer coming. You can’t hide in the sweaters anymore! I notice as the jackets get lighter and the skirts get shorter!

  14. Your transformation is fantastic and amazing! You are going to have a blast on vacation and you are going to KILL the beach relay :). Sounds like a ton of fun.

    I’m definitely more conscious about my near-naked body when the weather warms up which is 99% of the time in Florida. I think that’s part of the reason it’s easier to stay healthy than when I was in college in PA. The cold just makes me want to layer up and cuddle with hot chocolate.

  15. Hi Gretchen. That two piece looks FANTASTIC on you. So excited for your upcoming trips. Have a great Friday.

  16. I haven’t worn a bikini since I was 14, & even then, I didn’t look good in it. Instead of beating myself up about how bad I look in the bathing suits I’d like to own, I (wo)manned up & bought a plus-size suit designed for bodies like mine, sucking in a lot of the bad stuff & making me look surprisingly pinup-esque. For once, I’m facing bathing suit season without dread & terror, even though I’m not at peace with my body.

  17. barf bikini season! Okay I guess it’s not that bad, but still. I need to crack the whip and stop eating junk all the time and get my butt back in the gym!

  18. That suit is SO CUTE! And props to you lady for putting pictures of you in a bathing suit on the internet. And since I have fallen off the blog wagon a) Teaching?!?! Yay!!! I’m in my first year of grad school for teaching secondary history (I’ve always wanted to teach, decided to bite the bullet last summer and go full time and just DO it. I totally had option paralysis too and sometimes feel like omg, I’m 29 and never going to get a job, but whatever, I’m loving the program and learning SO much. I made a lesson to teach 8th graders about geography via The Hunger Games. Hello!?? Best job ever!! and b) My fiance’s family has a timeshare in St. Maarten….I’m waiting for them to invite me so I can lounge around for a week straight!

  19. Fabulous pink bathing suit [last season]! With bikini season quickly approaching my goal is to tone up… It’s been hard in recent weeks with the craziness of my schedule but as long as I keep going to the gym and consciously eating I will be happy with myself. Those few extra glasses of wine the other night probs weren’t my smartest decision, but they sure made for a fun time ;D

  20. Hey, Gretchen! I’ve been reading your stuff for awhile, and I’m excited to finally be following your posts regularly. Love this post! I, too, am on a weight-loss journey. I love reading others’ inspirational success stories. Congratulations, I look forward to reading in the future! XO

  21. you look awesome- keep up the great work!


  1. (Swim)suit Up!|Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen! - [...] talked about my fake-it-’til-you-make-it bikini confidence before. I spent years living in full-coverage tankinis and strategically colorblocked one-pieces [...]

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published.