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?