Want to know the secret to beach confidence…..and happiness in general? It isn’t a diet…
I bumped into a pal at the gym the other day and he was running me through his pre-holiday gym routine…..he goes three times a day the week before a holiday, and sends his biceps, chest and abs into overdrive. I know him well enough to make the ego challenge at this point, so I did!
Now this is a good looking man in GREAT shape anyway, yet he still makes the time before, during and after work to go through this gruelling regime the week before a holiday.
“Why can’t you just be happy with how you look now, and know that it is good enough?”, I asked. “Because I feel better when I do it”, he said. In other words he didn’t really answer the question! But what he is doing is what works for him, and that’s OK
That, however, does not work for me. Nor does going on the Atkins diet 2 weeks before only to load it all back on during and after the holiday in spades. Because with that regained weight comes all the self-berating from having reached a point of desirability only to fall all the way back and more. This is true ‘beat-yourself-up’ fodder.
Naturally, in my line of business, I think there is another way. And you won’t be surprised to read that it is in the mind!
I have spent most of my life in a state of dissatisfaction with my body, yet I have been open to learning many lessons over this time.
I know many men and women who are not confident with one or more parts of their body, and go to great lengths to find beach attire that covers up as much as possible!
I used to be this way.
Now, I am a bikini girl, and have been for a decade and a half. Why? Because:
- the more skin you show the slimmer / better you look (go to Rio if you don’t believe me)
- I believe I am never going to be the worst looking on the beach
- I have developed a number of tested theories over the years to make me look like one of the best people on the beach, and IT IS NOT about the body I am in!
As someone who has always had a big bum and thighs, I have accepted that they are part of who I am and are not going to change any time soon.
This acceptance has the miraculous effect of me caring less. And what I am about to share can be applied to ALL areas of life because it is about mindset not biceps!
I have worked out how to make the most of what I have using these 3 methods. I started with Method 1 and now I have progressed to Method 3 – the easiest of them all, and the most applicable in life!
Method 1: Run Along the Beach
I tried this on a trip to St Lucia a number of years ago. I was at a resort that promotes The Body Holiday and so most people there were incredibly fit and wanted to keep it up on holiday. I was not particularly active at the time, but it was the holiday on which I learned to sail. I used to go out every day on my catamaran, and I would always run to it, and run back. Now I am not a runner, so I am talking light canter here, not a gallop. Picture Baywatch (from a speed of motion point of view, not Pammy Andersen!!)!
In my head I was thinking if I walk slowly people might notice all my wobbly bits, but if I run they won’t. At least a dozen people during that week referenced how fit and sporty I was. This was based on the beach cantering, and NOTHING ELSE. All I did was run to a vessel that I climbed onto as elegantly as possible, and jumped off from an hour later.
Method 2: The Strut
You may not fancy running to activities on the beach, but you don’t need to. It’s about how you carry yourself. The person who believes they are rocking it on the beach is going to have a strut, the person that is thinking ‘does my bum look big in this’? ‘I’m so embarrassed about my belly overhang’ is not going to strut. They are in fact going to draw more attention to themselves by trying to do the opposite – go unnoticed.
Provided you walk with confidence – head high, arms swinging easily, shoulders back, it has EXACTLY THE SAME EFFECT as the canter!
What is tried and tested in neuroscience is that our thoughts impact our actions. Well our actions can also impact our thoughts.
The strut not only tells the brain that there is some confidence in the air, but it also sends that signal to other people. So their reaction also fuels the brain with evidence of confidence. Trust me, this over time, can trick people, including you, into BELIEVING you have confidence!
Method 3: The Smile (my favourite!)
This is the easiest one of all, and my go to tactic from now on. The Bikini smile as I call it. I tested this on a beach in Cancun recently. I was in an all inclusive resort so feeling a little bloated most of the time. I wasn’t feeling at my most confident that day, so I tested it. When I walked the beach acting how I felt, I was self-conscious, and no-one looked me in the eye.
When I walked back with the smile (and a little bit of strut thrown in), people were connecting with me. Smiling. Some looking me up and down with a ‘wish I was like her’ look, one man giving me the ‘I’d be punching above my weight’ look, and lots and lots of couples where both beamed at me.
I’m not telling you this because I fancy myself, but I do love myself. I can see the reaction in others when I let that shine through. I feel better, I brighten someone else’s day, and frankly it’s contagious. Everybody wins!
So, whilst I set out to give you beach confidence this summer, actually, it is TOTALLY APPPLICABLE TO LIFE. Try it – walk around with a smile on your face today. All day. In fact, it can even be done when reading a book on a train, look up and someone will have noticed how radiant you are. Bring this energy to the world, and just imagine what can be radiated back at you!
Rock it today, beach or no beach!