BEAUTY TUESDAY: Get Bikini POLAROID Body Ready!

Yes, this is the same Rebecca who rallied against Protein World’s ‘Bikini Body Ready’ posters. Yes, this is the same Rebecca who will say, “In order to get bikini body ready, put a bikini on your body.”

But bikini body ready, and bikini POLAROID body ready are two very, very different things.

It amazes me that people go on drastic diets to to the beach, where you will be so hot and bothered that breathing in will seem laughable, you will be in the sea where you can’t see your body – or you’ll be wearing something baggy and loose, eating from the all-inclusive buffet and downing vibrant cocktails. (Well maybe not you. But definitely me…)

Bikini POLAROIDS, though – they are their own world of dread. Your booker tends to hit you with a brusque ‘come in for bikini polaroids’ exactly when you feel your absolute worst. It’ll be when you’re more familiar with the look at feel 100 denier tights than your own skin. It’ll be when failed New Years resolutions have been scuppered by a remarkably busy schedule, or those two weeks where it seems to be everyone’s birthday, Easter and bank holiday piss ups all at once.

It’ll be when waxing has been very much a ‘next week’ sort of thing. For a few months.

PANIC STATIONS! If any of you are like me, you’ve greeted the recent sun we’ve been enjoying with joy (well, British people anyway. Sunny Green Park yesterday was full of tourists in puffa jackets scattered randomly with pale, naked blobs of Englishness (including myself)). But also disdain: I CAN’T be that pale can I?! Is it time to wax above the knee once more? (Shout out to my lucky boyfriend Theo xx).

The other day I got a bikini casting, but I didn’t react with the usual dread because I’ve actually been enjoying whacking the exercise up a notch and preening myself now that being naked doesn’t risk hypothermia.

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Here’s what I’ve been doing…

1) Dusting off Kayka Itsine’s BBG Workout

Oh man. It’s so boring. Squat snore lunge snore push up snore OW. but it works, guys. 2 workouts: 1 legs, 1 upper body, and a third optional all-over workout. It’s HIIT, so four sets of 7 minute exercises with 30 second pauses. And I HATE it! Sorry Kayla but I find it utterly dreary, not to mention really bloody hard.

However, though we all know I love my yoga and Pilates, it’s good to change things up a bit and keep the body guessing. My life is THAT all over the place that I can really only commit to the first two workouts, and even though you’re meant to space them out, if I can get them over with by Tuesday I’m happy. I’m a rebel like that.

The result? My arms are already more toned (even though I have to do press-ups on my knees like a weakling) and my abs are fighting their way through the easter egg tummy. I’m determined to keep it up this year and get through to the end. And it’s half an hour, twice a week. It’s only a tiny portion overall, so it’s worth the results.

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2) Roger Frampton’s The Power of the Body

I’ve been loving these classes, and if you live in London then you really ought to check them out. They fuse yoga moves and stretches with callisthenics and gymnastics. When Roger shows us what move we’re about to do (roly polies, headstands, arm balances) I inwardly laugh at the hilarious falls I am about to do. But incredibly, they are all achievable!

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I have NEVER stayed after an exercise class has finished in order to practice a move more, but the fact that I’m testing my brain and actually managing things I never thought possible has me coming back for more and staying til we’re kicked out of the classroom.

Oh, and my core is even stronger and every inch of me hurts the day after. That means it’s good.

Roger.coach for more info

3) Kneipp 3-Step Skin Firming Regime

I’ve not been doing this for four weeks yet, but I can already see a difference in the texture of my skin.

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Once a week, I use the Kneipp Grapeseed Oil Skin Firming Body Scrub (£7.95) from head to toe. It’s got fine jojoba wax grains and they are super effective at exfoliating, so you should wet skin first. Usually I would apply the scrub to dry skin first or it all washes away, but this is better to apply to warm, wet skin. It makes it softer but it doesn’t dissipate instantly like other scrubs can. I focus on elbows, knees and shins, where my skin tends to be drier and more exposed.

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Then I apply the Kneipp Grapeseed Oil Skin Firming Massage Oil (£10.95). The Grapeseed oil in this helps smooth and nourish, and the sandalwood fruit helps to tighten the skin. However do note that your skin isn’t going to get better solely due to the product, but in massaging it firmly, daily, over the course of at least four weeks. That gets the circulation going and boosts radiance of the skin, as well as reminding you that you have lovely skin and a lovely body under those winter layers!

If you’re put off by oils then don’t be. This sinks in quickly and leaves no greasy residue, plus I actually prefer oils because they warm up in your hands quicker than a cream – the mornings are still chilly at the mo!

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Lastly, I apply the Kneipp Grapeseed Oil Intensive Cream (£9.95) to any problem areas I stated before. Like…I get dry big toes knuckles for some reason! So any places like that, or shins/upper arms, massaging this on top in circular motions will banish dry patches for the summer. Keep it in your bag and apply to any persistent dry spots.

4) Eating Mainly Plant-Based Food

I’ve said already that this is my Year of Undiet so I’m not going to recommend any sort of tough eating regime. However something that I really find good for my body type (I’m really into ayurveda) is eating plant-based meals that are hot and warming. If I were to start eating, say, only chicken salad, then I’d feel sad and cold and unsatisfied.

I can still feel satisfied if my dinner is made up mainly of veggies, nuts, seeds…So, say, a delicious Turkish stew with tahini dipping sauce, or a South Indian-style curry or two. I eat REALLY big portions but I don’t feel sluggish because there’s no ‘white’ carbs like pasta and I don’t like eating much meat anyway.

Remember, that’s what suits me! Others might love to eat mainly meat, other people I know with knockout bodies can’t function without a plate of rice or bread on the side. It’s up to you to find your balance and what makes you feel healthy, strong and good about your appearance. Let me know below if you want me to share any of my recipes!

Lastly, the best thing to do, when hit with a surprise bikini polaroid session, is to stand tall and feel confident. I don’t think we really have ‘winter’ bodies and ‘summer’ bodies, so much as we wear less and are therefore more aware of our bodies in the summer. You won’t have doubled in size and turned into a werewolf in a few months, so feel confident because NOTHING makes a person look better than confidence!

Rebecca x

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