Giant Sets and Tiny Bikinis by Rebecca M.
Welcome to Sunday! Also known as “rest day” in our home. Additionally, it means that there is one more week until school vacation! Hooray!
It’s been a pretty quiet weekend here in the Mahoney household, but yesterday I did this bi/tri/shoulder workout and wanted to share it with you! It is made up of 3 “giant sets”. A giant set is similar to a superset, except there are three exercises instead of two. It is performed by completing all three exercises back to back to back with no rest between. These giant sets each focus on one body part each, placing each muscle group under continuous tension throughout the set.
With vacation looming, I think it’s a good time to talk a little bit about body consciousness. Historically, I have been extremely uncomfortable in my skin. I was constantly body checking: sucking in my tummy, feeling for lumps on my legs, fidgeting in my seat to avoid squished thighs or rolls. And going to the beach?? Forget it. I was so incredibly critical of my body in a bathing suit that it was painful for me to lay in the sand, let alone move from my position on my towel. The beach has always been a “happy place” for my family, and I know I made it difficult for everyone when we went: I wouldn’t eat, I would squirm around in my bathing suit, I wouldn’t go in the water. It pretty much destroyed any warm weather vacation for me and whoever else was there.
Listen, no one really likes bathing suit shopping. Like, is it a law to have the worst possible lighting in dressing rooms? Ugh. However! Something that has helped me is remember the point of vacation. Vacation is to relax, unwind, get away. Vacation is no place for eating disorders or body dysmorphia. I remember Rita, my therapist, telling me in the past that my eating disorder would always still be there for me if I needed it. I could go on vacation and leave ED at home, and return to him if I needed him. Little by little, each vacation got a little easier and I needed ED a little less. I remember going to California to visit my brother and realizing when I came home I wasn’t dying to visit ED! Those are the moments to cherish and be proud of. Those are the thoughts that make bathing suit shopping a little easier.
Another thing that has been helpful to me is progress pictures. I take pictures of myself every month or so (no more than that!) and it helps me remember that that one piece of cake didn’t change me completely, and that missed workout didn’t kill me. It has also helped me keep health in perspective. For example: These two pictures are taken nearly 6 years apart. I have no idea how much I weigh in either, but I do know that the “2014” picture includes double the caloric intake, quadruple the weight lifted, and 99% less insecurity and 200% more orange cat:
I realize they are completely different settings and poses, but please remember that the number on the scale means NOTHING! Confidence is the best accessory at the beach (since typically orange cats and ocean do not mix). So this year to prepare for vacay I’m not going to starve myself or spend 10 hours a day in the gym. Also, I’m gonna rock a new bathing suit and even convinced the fine people at Marshall’s Watertown to sell me a mismatched bikini with a large top and a small bottom because…well…we’re not all perfectly proportioned…
So how do you fight body consciousness? What has worked for you? Let me know in the comments!
xo Rebecca Mahoney