Northeast Wisconsin
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • March 2018
Written by 

Your “bikini body” is ready

It’s March and it seems like every Facebook fitness ad and gym wants to ask you ,“Is your bikini body ready?” These messages are always accompanied by a six-pack fitness model or Victoria’s Secret Angel image. And I get so angry!

Here’s the truth. Unless you are already well on your fitness and healthy eating journey you aren’t going to look like a fitness model by the start of summer without doing something extremely drastic (and likely extremely unhealthy!). That isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to get healthier before summer, you absolutely should! Taking a step toward a healthier version of us is always a great idea — no matter the time of year. But you need to set realistic goals for your “healthier you journey” because if your goal is to look like the next Gisele, you’ll probably get discouraged and quit. And that won’t get you anywhere. If your goal is instead to find a physical activity you enjoy, then you’ll look forward to going to classes every week! You’re worth taking the time to have a healthy diet and wonderful physical activity schedule! So focus on making healthy life choices and not about the end result of a specific size or look. If you think you need to look like the pictures shown in the ads before you can wear a bikini, most of us would never wear one. And then we’ll miss out on pool parties, days at the beach, making sandcastles with our kids, learning to water-ski and soaking the sun’s rays. I, for one, am unwilling to miss those things just because I also enjoy wine and cheese.

So where does that leave me? First I’m going to set a realistic workout schedule because I like to see what my body can do. For me that is swimming laps once a week, going for a hike in the woods once a week (yes, even in the cold) and doing pole and aerial tricks three times a week because I love getting stronger and defying gravity. Second, I’m going to set reasonable nutrition goals. For me that means eating more vegetable (boo) and less fried food (double boo). I’m not going to go for broke and quit fried food all together but if I normally eat something fried three times a week I’m going to try to cut it back to once. Why? Because this could actually be sustainable. And that is the goal. To create a lifestyle that I love and can keep doing. I don’t just want to look good for a few months in the summer, I want to feel good all the time.

Then I’m going to start working on the one thing that I can dramatically change between March and June — how I feel about myself. Have you ever listened to the thoughts in your head? If you’re like most of the women I know, they aren’t nice. They sure as heck aren’t things you’d say to a friend. Start paying attention to what you’re saying and then if it isn’t something you’d say to a friend, say, “Be nice to my friend.” And rephrase/completely change. Because you need to be your best friend.

I was recently in Ecuador and saw women walking around that were “bigger” strutting around in “tiny,” really tight-fitting outfits. And you know what I noticed? They were happy. They turned men’s heads. They were confident. And they looked beautiful. Because that’s the real thing that matters, how you feel in your own skin and how you project that to the world. If you walk out in a bikini and you’re constantly pulling at it to try to get it to cover more, to those looking you’re going to seem uncomfortable and that is how they will then view you. If you walk out with what ever hanging where ever, and you’re comfortable because that is you, the people around you will see you as confident and beautiful. How we project our opinions of ourselves is one of the bigger things people will pick up on.

So my goal is to accept my body and — gasp! — maybe even love it by summer. Wear the bikini. Do the activities you want. Enjoy your body because that will help you enjoy your life.

Paula Brusky, PhD

Dr. Paula Brusky is the owner of Aerial Dance Pole Exercise, LLC in Appleton. With a PhD in injury prevention, a group fitness certification from the American Center on Exercise and numerous fitness, aerial and pole instruction certifications she is a leading aerial arts educator. For more information or to sign-up for your first Pole, Hammock, Hoop or Silks class, call 920-750-1441 or visit

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