A few weeks ago I stumbled into Aerie (American Eagle lingerie store) and impulsively bought a bikini. I must have read some article that said flat-chested women should wear a ruffled bikini top, and Aerie had one, and I bought it because magazines are always right.
Except my bikini is dark blue with green dots.
Then I remembered that I haven't worn a bikini since before my first-grader was born, and my enthusiasm waned when I thought about wearing these two tiny bits of fabric to the kiddie pool. All the other moms will have on about twelve times as much fabric, except for the mom with the fake boobs and the mom with her entire body tattooed (or maybe that's just the flavor of our local pool). I also realized that bikinis look best when you're standing or lying down -- not when you're sitting, which is what I do most of the time to watch my kids.
Enter...ChaLean. About four months ago a friend lent me the ChaLean workout DVD's, and I put them in a prominent place and ignored them. After I bought the bikini, you can bet your ready-to-be-toned bottom that I was ready to work out. Unfortunately for me, 6am is the only consistent time I have to work out 5 times a week. Fortunately, ChaLean is motivational and makes me feel energized. Even if you walk or run regularly, strength training is all-important for maintaining overall health.
Quick & Dirty:
ChaLean takes about 30-45 minutes, 5 times per week. I've done part of P90X before, and ChaLean is by far more realistic for my fitness needs and temperament. I don't have time to work out for longer periods of time or more days each week, and Chalene Johnson is much nicer at 6am than Tony the P90 guy. Besides the workout DVD's, you can do all the workouts with a few dumb bells or with an inexpensive exercise band.
If you're looking for a few specific exercises to incorporate on your own, here are some additional sources:
Last Minute Beach Body by Women's Health
The Bikini Workout by SparkPeople
Bikini Belly Bootcamp by Shape
Keep in mind that no one needs to look like these exercise models. I used to be an athlete who never worried about bikini season because I was already in shape, but years and kids later make me realize that I'm not caring for my body appropriately. For me, the bikini is just a motivator in my quest to be strong and energetic, and THAT makes me happy.
What's your swim suit style? Tell me I won't be the only bikini mom this summer!
Note: I didn't receive anything from ChaLean or any other exercise company. This is just me, talking about what's happening in my life.