Shopping for a Bikini?
No matter what time of year it is, it is always swimsuit season. Even if the sun is not shining in your part of the world, you may be going on vacation soon, or hopping into the pool! Besides, you should not let your body get too far out of shape, or it will be difficult to get toned in time for the next time the sun warms the earth and people start wearing fewer clothes. The bottom line (so to speak) is to keep your weight within the same general range from year to year. If you have a healthy BMI (body mass index), then do your best not to gain or lose more than 10-15 pounds per year. With each decade you age, it can be that much harder to take weight off that you put on!
One of the most popular swimsuit styles for women is the bikini. A two piece suit, it generally resembles lingerie. It made its splash in 1946, as swimsuits continued to get smaller than the turn-of-the-century modest dresses that women once wore.
Today, there are a number of versions you can find in the stores, from extra skimpy string bikinis, to halter tops, or sporty styles. Teenagers are not the only women that can wear them, either. Celebrities like Demi Moore and Elizabeth Hurley have shown that women into their 40s can look hot in 2-piece swimsuits. Perhaps more importantly, a model's body is not required to pull off the look. Many plus-size women can confidently wear a bikini. In fact, curves are especially sexy with this style!
What Bikinis are Best for My Bod?
In deciding what bikini might work for you personally, take a look at your body shape and determine if there are certain "problem" areas. For example, large-busted women will need support on top, and should stay away from strapless styles that will lead to sagging. If your carry some weight in the tummy area, you might not want bikini bottoms that are extra low-cut. Adding 1/2 inch in the rise towards your belly button may give you extra confidence and comfort. Be sure to check out the rear view, too. You may not want your checks hanging out (unless you're buying a G-string style). Spending a bit more on quality swimsuit brands is worth the extra cost. Materials will hold up longer and will not stretch out as a result of exposure to sun and chlorine.
You do not need to be a size small to wear a bikini! As long as you purchase a swimsuit that fits, you can wear it with confidence and look great. We'll get to some tips below as to how to get you in tip top shape, to boost the hotness factor. But don't despair if don't resemble America's Top Model. Most of us don't!
The Tankini - A Modest Alternative
Want to wear a 2-piece, but still a bit shy?
Try out a tankini, instead of a bikini! There are many great styles of this swimsuit, as well, ranging from sporty to sexy! Generally, they offer more coverage than a bikini because the top extends over the torso, like a tank top. They come with separate bottoms, allowing for mix and match styles and creative sunbathing.
If you like to water-ski or play beach volleyball, this may be the suit for you! Looking for more information on modest styles? Check out this Hub!
Also, expectant mothers may be overjoyed at the styles available now. A far cry from the skirted swimsuits marketed 10-15 years ago, maternity tankinis allow moms to feel sexy and attractive.
Of course, you'll want to try on a few swimsuits before taking one home. Make sure they fit well and compliment your body shape and size. Focus particularly on the fit of the bottoms and the support for your breasts. Again, there are plus-size tankinis available, just as there are bikinis. Remember, good quality swimsuits will hold up longer and may be worth the extra investment!
Getting Ready to Shed Your Clothes
What woman loves to try on swimsuits? Not many, I'd guess. Most likely it has to do with the fact that the fluorescent lighting in dressing rooms is pretty unforgiving. Not to mention the fact that you probably have not prepared your skin for public viewing.
Before you don a bikini (or any swimwear), be sure to shower and shave, using a fresh, sharp razor. Several days in advance, you might want to start gently exfoliating your skin, paying particular attention to knees, elbows and heels. If you can spring for a pedicure, do so! Painted toenails look nice and polished.
Be sure to generously apply moisturizing lotion all over. Dry skin looks wan and unhealthy. Some lotions now come with self tanning components which can give your skin extra glow when used regularly. Other formulations contain small, light-reflecting particles that can give your skin a light sheen, making it look pretty.
Spring into Swimsuit Shape
More References for Bikini Bods
- A Guide to Self Tanners
Various types of self tanners and bronzers and how to apply them for natural looking, safe tans
- Healthy Portion Size Control
Just by learning proper portion sizes, you can probably lose a few pounds!
- Get in Shape by Running
Tips on how to start running, and use training to lose weight
- Calculate BMI
Athletic Bikini Bodies
Are You Healthy?
Body Mass Index (BMI) is generally determined to be in the following range:
Skinny - less than 18.5%
Healthy - less than 24.9%
Overweight - less than 29.9%
Obese - over 30%
- If you have any questions, be sure to consult your doctor
What About Weight Loss?
Slow, steady weight loss is the way to go. You can't look at the calendar and expect to shed 20 pounds in a month (at least not by doing so in a healthy manner).
Be realistic. If you are carrying extra weight, focus on toning up and getting stronger. Of course, by making dietary changes and exercising regularly (at least 30-45 minutes of cardio, 5 days a week), you will feel stronger and healthier and look great in a bikini - no matter your size! Don't expect to spot-reduce, unless you lose weight overall. In other words, if you have belly fat, you need to work on overall weight loss, instead of worrying about doing sit-ups alone. Adding weight-bearing exercises to your cardiovascular workouts will help add fuel to the fire with respect to your metabolism.
To lose one pound, you will have to burn or cut out 3500 calories from your diet. Considering the fact that a healthy diet of a woman is approximately 1500-2000 calories a day, you should not expect to lose more than 1.5 -2.0 pounds a week, at the most.
Chose healthy, high grain and high fiber alternatives and drink a lot of water and you will help move the weight loss along. Over time, loss of a few pounds, or even just tightening of your muscles will give you more confidence, allowing you to wear that swimsuit with pride!
How to Buy a Swimsuit for a Full Rear End
How to Buy a Swimsuit for an Athletic Body
The Bottom Line on Bikinis
There are many styles of two piece swimsuits available, for all sizes and shapes. So many can be flattering, even if you don't fall within the range of what you might ordinarily see on magazine pages!
Before donning a bikini, your first goal should be to be to get your skin looking nice, which you can do by exfoliation, shaving and moisturizing. Next, tone up, with some regular exercise and weightlifting. You will always look healthier if you are getting good sleep (7-8 hours a night), drinking plenty of fresh, clear fluids each day, and avoiding alcohol.
Wear what makes you feel good and proud. But above all, get out and enjoy the summer weather or vacation days!
© 2008 Stephanie Hicks
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