Emergency Beach Body Part II

12 Jun

Five to Seven Days Before

Strategic Suits

If you’ve been following the first part of the plan, you may already be noticing a difference. Time to go suit shopping! (Feel free to skip this section if the event you’re counting down to is a wedding or something like that).

Rashguards, patterns, color blocking, high waists, deep plunges, funky cut-outs: coming from a girl who grew up in the string bikini era, there’s a lot to love about the resurgence of sexy one-pieces. Used to be wanting a little more coverage meant you were confined to speedos or unflattering tankinis. Now there’s tons of fun choices with nary a skirt suit among them (although if skirts are your thing, go for it!). Here’s a few of my favorites. There’s something for everyone here, from funky to preppy, petite to plus!

Swim 2015 CollageLeft to right, top to bottom:

Athleta Rash Guard — Splendid Spory Blues SwimsuitMichael Kors One Shoulder SuitBeverly Swimwear Daring DollyAsos Petite High Waist Deep PlungeMara Hoffman Harvest Cut Out Print SwimsuitGabifresh City Slicker Plus Size Wrap BikiniZimmerman Floating Halter Swimsuit

Here’s the top I got for myself this year. Something new and interesting to draw the eye up! (Top: Bocas Criss Cross Halter by 6 Shore Road, Bottom: old Victoria Secret)

Meaghans Bachelorette

I blacked out the other ladies not because they’re not beautiful each and all, but because I don’t have their permission to post their pic on the interwebs.

Speaking of tops…

Make sure yours fits right. You can see I have some spillage in the above pic…see, what had happened was, my size was sold out, so I went with the next size down because it was the kind of top that stretches to fit (the next size up seemed like it’d be too much fabric). I really don’t recommend buying a suit that is not available in your best size, but what can I say, I’d been eyeballing that top since last summer and when I saw it on sale I couldn’t stop myself.

But anyway. In general you really don’t want a top that’s too small, or you’ll get bra bulge. Much of the time, what we see as back fat is actually breast tissue overflowing from a too-small top. When shopping, don’t even look at the size on the tag. Just bring a few different sizes into the fitting room that look like they might fit to the eyeball. And don’t forget to try on your older suits to make sure they still fit and are holding up OK.


OK Yes, I did just make fun of this in the last post. But to some extent, a tan (faux of course) really does perform some kind of trompe l’oeil on the body. I usually double up on my tummy tan, not because I’m trying to sculpt muscles or anything, but because it regularly stays 45% paler than the rest of my skin. There are so many excellent self-tanners at all price points, you don’t have to worry about choosing between skin damage and being orange, smelly, and streaky anymore. I read recently that up to 90% of aging we see on the skin is due to sun damage. (!) Excuse me, I’ll be over here building a time machine to go back and kick my pasty ginger ass circa 2002 laying out in SPF 2.

If you’re in Atlanta, I cannot say enough good things about the custom airbrush tans at RAW Bronzing Studio. Sadly it’s a special-occasion only treat for me, but they do an amazing (and very fast) job. It was raining the last time I went and the receptionist actually walked me to my car under an umbrella while she got wet herself so I wouldn’t ruin “my investment.” How’s that for service?

Here are my two favorite at-home tanners.

Neutrogena Micro Mist Airbrush Sunless Tan

This is pretty close to fool proof. I wasn’t even capable of spraying, as the direction indicated, “in a single smooth motion” and it still turned out beautifully. I just smoothed it over with my hand after spraying to be sure it was even. It dries very fast, so fast I was able to take a shower, shave, and airbrush tan, all during my hour long lunch break from work. Yes, it really does spray upside down. No, it does not get all over your carpet and everything in a 5 foot radius. I do recommend finding a well-ventilated area; honestly outside would be best. They aren’t kidding about the airbrush particles–EWG would not approve. HA.

L’Oreal Sublime Bronze Self-Tanning Towelettes

If the spray still glooks you out (understandable), give tan towels a try. These are also very easy to use, are a nice natural color, and take like two seconds to wipe down. I even use it on my face to great effect. To do your back, grab one end of the towel in each hand and sort of floss it in an up and down motion. You’ll get your back evenly, and also a wonderful shoulder-opening yoga move. Can’t do that with a lotion or foam!

One caveat: these both do have a touch of that self-tanner smell, not bad, but it’s there. But I am freakishly strange because I actually kind of like it. It reminds me of summer.

Eat in Skinny Jeans

Don’t even play, I know you all have your “eating pants.” You know, those stretchy things you put on at Thanksgiving so you can comfortably overstuff? The opposite also works. Put on something–anything really–that is fitted and has little or no give in the fabric. I have a pair of melon skinny pants I ordered online that, as it turns out, have absolutely no stretch. Whenever I wear those things, I noticed I don’t (maybe can’t would be a better word) overeat. When you’re close to busting out of your clothes you generally don’t feel tempted to gorge.

Lest you think this is some kind of freaky pro-ana trick, let me assure you I am not the first to suggest something like this (it was actually Dr. Oz, and was swiped up quickly by popsugar).

OR, why not go big or go home: have meals in your snazzy new swimsuit (no coverup)! I confess I’ve never actually tried this at home, but I have worn my suit during lunches on vacation, just incidentally, and I do tend to eat lighter. This is a good choice if you have GERD, which is exacerbated by tight waist bands.

Drink Water

It would be remiss of me not to mention the water thing, even though we’ve all heard it a million times before. But if you’re not already doing it, a week out from your big event is the time to start pounding nature’s nectar like a champ (watery fruits and veggies also count). If you’re retaining water at all, this is the best/easiest/cheapest way to get rid of the bloat.

Get on the Reg

While we’re on the subject, make sure your digestive system is a well-oiled machine. Water helps with that majorly, but if bloat is a real problem for you (it is for me), pop a probiotic. There’s a whole lotta choices in that aisle now, but you want to look for one with Bifidobacterium infantis–that’s the only strain that’s effective on GI problems like bloating (according to a review at Northwestern University).

Miralax is effective for a bit of stoppage (just ask T), and pick up some Gas-X if tummy bubbles are a contributing factor, but please please please do not take laxatives to lose bloat. Huge mistake.  You will regret. Do not want.

OK that’s it for today! Keep up the micro-workouts and good(ish) eating, and stay tuned for what to do at the very last last minute before you hit the sand!


One Response to “Emergency Beach Body Part II”


  1. Emergency Bikini Body Part III | Cushion Cut - June 25, 2015

    […] As we touchdown on the runway of 4th of July week, it’s time to wrap up this party and talk about the very last last last minute tips for a beach body so you can get to the important part: relaxing. (You can read the first parts of the series here and here). […]

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