If you’re heading for sunnier shores this summer, you might be feeling the pressure of getting ‘beach ready’? Aside from all that plucking and waxing, what on earth does that mean? I’ll happily be ready for a beach anytime; but I have a secret. If we are talking about beachwear, then I haven’t been ready for a bikini since I was about 24. I buy these magazines that tell me how I’m supposed to look and there’s a huge list of things that us women are supposed to do, to make ourselves ‘look better’. Scrub, cleanse, tone, moisturise. Can anyone understand the need for toner?

I look after myself (most of the time) and I am not incredibly unhealthy. I don’t drink any alcohol on weekdays and with the right clothes on, my friends seem to think I look fairly slim and wonder what the fuss was all about. I have become an expert at covering my curvaceous middle under loose clothing, so when the beach is calling, I wonder how I can hide under floaty kaftans. My hair will be whistling in the breeze, with well behaved children running beside me in slow motion like something portrayed in a L’Oreal advert. But ladies, we know this isn’t real right? I will be sweating from carrying so much stuff, my hair will be over my face or in my mouth. My son will be crying because he’s removed his shoes and now the sand is boiling. I remember the days when my husband would be cursing under his breath from dragging the buggy across the beach before we even got close to the shoreline. I am sure we can all relate to these situations. So do I sound beach ready?

I have so many conversations with friends about our ‘fluctuating waistlines’ that most of us probably just need to stop being so hard on ourselves. A few pounds here or there probably doesn’t make too much odds. Surely, it’s supposed to be more about how we feel about our own body image. My mother tells me I’m silly and that of course I can wear a bikini. In my heart I know she’s right, but I’m finding it hard to feel fabulous in a two piece.

I don’t know about other Guilty Mothers, but my fitness regime is a very hit or miss situation at the moment and when holiday time is approaching, I swiftly decide to get beach ready in one week. This happens every year and will consist of two key things.

  1. I will do precisely 3 running laps of the village on no more than 2 occasions. In my mind, that should provide instant, flash results.
  2. Spray tan before I leave. Fact. Every woman looks and feels slimmer with a tan.

So, as long as I do those two things, I should be beach ready…right? My husband politely informs me that this strategy will not achieve any results and that I should focus on more ‘long term goals’. Ok, if we are talking long term…I could probably stretch this routine over two weeks.

Summer is not my fault. Barbecues, grazing of food throughout the evening, prosecco. What is a woman supposed to do? I’ve come to the conclusion that whether you wear a bikini, a swimsuit, shorts, rash vest, we need to focus on how we look and feel. So whether you are a mother of 1, 2, 3 or 4 beautiful babies, let’s just shake what our mamas gave us!

On a closing note, I must say, my bottom looks nothing like the image I have used for this blog post, but in my head, I believe it does…