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Marsh column: Don’t be afraid of bathing suits!

By Ester Marsh
For the Salisbury Post
Q. We are going to the beach for our vacation. I love the beach but I am terrified to put on a bathing suit. Any suggestions?
A. We get lots of requests for personal trainers when people go to the beach. And I know this comes to a shock to many of you, but we are NOT miracle workers!
Too often, someone wants me to get them in shape in one month! I ask them how long it took them to get out of shape. You got it: Years! So how in the world can I and my wonderful staff get you in shape in one month? We can’t, but don’t cancel your beach vacation yet.
First, I do recommend you start a regular exercise program. Give your body 6 months to a year and it can ó with the right training, eating habits, a real lifestyle change ó completely transform itself to where you feel good about putting it in a bathing suit.
You can ask anyone who looks good in a bathing suit ó it doesn’t come free, whether it’s workouts and eating habits or cosmetic surgery. And of course there is always your genetic makeup. There is no way your hips can get narrow when your bone structure is wide. But you can still look incredibly good.There are things you can do to trick the eye, so let’s get into my trick box.
Brown fat looks always better than white fat! Either tan responsibly or try some self-tanning lotion.
Buy a bathing suit that fits your body style.
If your belly is hanging over your bottoms, a general two-piece suit is not the one you should pick. There are two-piece bathing suits that cover your belly, which would make you look and feel so much more comfortable on the beach.
With short legs you don’t want to get into the boy shorts bikini, which will make your legs look shorter. High-cut bottoms coming up to your waist will make your legs look longer.
For those with wide hips and big thighs there are these cute bathing suit bottoms with a skirt that can really flatter your hips and thighs.
If you’re small-chested, consider yourself lucky! They won’t come flying out when you’re diving in the ocean! A halter top works well or a padded top will give you some volume.
(Out of experience, watch when you come out of the water … they are like sponges!)
If you’re big-chested, wear a well-fitting bikini top/bathing suit. Tasteful is a lot sexier than tasteless
And you want people to look you in the eyes, right?
I hope this helped.
Another thing that is so important not just to your look but your self-esteem: Watch your posture. You will be amazed what it does to your appearance.
Remember: Suck your gut, tuck your butt and stand up straight with your shoulders back.
Be proud of yourself! I see you looking good on the beach already!
Ester Marsh is associate executive director of the J.F. Hurley Family YMCA. Contact her with health and fitness questions at 704-636-0111 or emarsh@rowanymca.com.

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