Friday, May 20, 2011

Bikini Summer...the Last Hurrah

There's an expiration date on a woman's age for wearing a bikini.  I was certain I was near it or had surpassed it. I didn't set out to wear a bikini. Hardly. I was just hoping to drop a size so I could retire the jeans with the blown-out knee (see post, Diving for Pie).

I was now down 40 pounds and had gotten rid of the jeans and everything else in my closet. But I had kept my swimsuit. Like all women I know, I hated swimsuit shopping. That's probably why my swimsuit had the same number of years on it as my last teen-aged child. It was the tent variety--the kind that has a generous amount of material with steel-case underwire support and a skirt down to just above the knees.

Our family was going to California in July, and I could no longer avoid swimsuit shopping. I was going for a smaller tent, but Amber told me I should at least try a tankini. Surprisingly, it didn't look too bad. Amber said I looked great and that I should get a bikini.  What? No. Did she know what gray-haired middle-aged moms looked like in a bikini? It was unnatural. But Amber said that I could pull it off. I had good skin and just needed to work more on my abs.

I wouldn't have done it except a friend of mine challenged me that summer to wear a bikini. We both would do it. It would be good motivation to keep working out. We set a goal of putting a bikini picture of ourselves on Facebook by summer's end. I know, it sounds immature. I had a lapse in judgment because I was in midlife crisis mode. This would be the last hurrah before I entered old age, wearing sensible shoes and trimming hairs off my chin.  I was coming to the game late in life, but if I was ever going to wear a bikini it had to be now or never.

Yeesh. My hands began to sweat just thinking about posting a picture for all the world to see. I envisioned the front page of a tabloid where thighs are circled and the header reads, "Can you guess whose cellulite this is?" I'd wear the suit at Huntington Beach in California where no one would know me. I hoped. It would be a one-time event.

I found out they don't make bikinis with underwires. I bought a purple one and practiced my pose in the mirror. If I tied the straps really tight and put my hands on each side of my waist and pulled back, I could make it work. I briefly thought about using duct tape.

I started to work out hard core.  I continued the strength training, upping the abs. I rode my granny bike 15-20 miles a day. I did pushups and situps before bed. On my day off from working out, I ran. I was getting extreme and annoying my family. I wasn't the mom they knew, the one who said it was never too late for dessert and would whip a pan of brownies or a batch of cookies before bed.
Paige imitating the Mom Pose

I wore the bikini the first day at the beach. I was careful not to make any sudden movements. I got rope burn around my neck from the straps being so tight. But I got the picture taken. I stood in the middle of my daughters (who are young and do have washboard abs). They each put a hand at my waist and pulled. I posted the picture when I got home. It wasn't too bad for a gray-haired middle-aged mom. Sorry you don't get to see the full picture. Like I said, it was a one-time event.

Next time: Mom's a maniac. The Intervention.

P.S. There are real logistical problems with wearing a bikini at the beach. I lost the bottoms several times boogie boarding. I eventually put the tankini right over the top of the bikini. No one was the wiser.  Oh yeah, my friend never posted a picture, instead wrote "gottcha" on my Facebook wall after I posted mine.


  1. Jacci, you looked great in the proud!

  2. Thanks for your kind words. At my age it took a herculean effort. The bikini has since retired. Leave the bikinis to the young gals.

    Who's the anonymous Sammi?