Sunday, November 25, 2012

Bikini summer and the last hurrah

My last posts have been of a more serious nature. I think it's time for a little levity and comic relief. Pulled from my Losing It blog, this was written two years ago.  Before I was wearing comfortable shoes and plucking chin hairs. Enjoy...

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 those jeans and everything else in my closet. But I had kept the 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 under-wire support and a skirt down to just above the knees.

But our family was going to California in July, and I could no longer avoid buying a suit. I took my daughter along to give honest critique. I was going for a smaller tent, but Amber said I should at least try a tankini. I put one on. Surprisingly, it didn't look too bad.

Amber said I looked great and could even upgrade to a bikini. What? No. Did she know what a gray-haired middle-aged mom looked like in a bikini? It was wrong, unnatural even. But Amber said that it would give me something to work towards. I just needed to work on my abs.

I wouldn't have done it except a friend challenged me that summer to wearing one. She'd do it too. The challenge was to post bikini pictures of ourselves on Facebook by summer's end. I know, it sounds immature, let alone immodest. But I had a lapse of judgment. 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 do 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 being at the grocery check-out line and seeing a tabloid picture of a woman's thighs circled, the title reading: "Can you guess whose cellulite this is?"

I'd only wear the suit at Huntington Beach where no one would know me. I hoped. It would be a one-time event.

I bought a purple one. I practiced posing in front of the mirror. Unfortunately, bikinis don't come with under-wire support. But 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 did strength training, upping the abs. On days I didn't work out, I ran or rode my granny bike. I did push-ups and sit-ups before bed. I was getting extreme and annoying my family. I wasn't the mom they knew, the one who had always said it was never too late for dessert.

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 pulled so tight.

The picture was taken with me standing between each of my daughters. They each put a hand at my waist and gently pulled.  I posted the picture when I got home. It wasn't bad for a gray-haired mom pushing 50.

Sorry you don't get to see the full picture. Like I said, it was a one-time event.

P.S. My friend never did post a picture, instead commented "gottcha" on my Facebook wall.

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