Express & Star

Author Anouska Knight is ready to embrace sun, sea and bikinis

For the lucky ones, holiday season is fast approaching. It’ll soon be time to dust off the suitcases, bark a few pre-flight threats at the kids and strap ourselves into our best bikinis for a few weeks of...

Learn to love your body

Whoa. Bikinis? This bod, in a two-piece? This entire human form divvied up and tucked into an arrangement of flimsy triangles? For open viewing on public beaches just a mosquito-spray away from svelte twenty-somethings who don’t have wobbly bottoms and thread-veins and interesting compositions of stretchmarks? Cripes. We’ve only just finished polishing off the Christmas surplus of continental cheeses, we had ages to get back in shape again, didn’t we? Apparently not.

I made a bit of a start, sort of. There were loose plans to start swimming regularly, cut down on carbs and edible joy in general. Somewhere around March I distinctly remember a brief dalliance with running. Running for exercise I mean, not to flee peril or catch the ice-cream man. It was all in hand, I was absolutely going to have the beach body of a total hotty… and then I forgot about time and effort.

Oh dear. Plan B to head off this little catastrophe didn’t go well either. Buying a flattering new swimming cozzie last week, one size bigger than those stuffed in my drawers, descended into a silent-screaming-in-front-of-changing-room-mirror moment.

I’d love to share with you some magic fix for leaving beach-body preparations too late, but I got nada. There will be wobble and stretchmarks and lamentation for those days pre-thirties, pre-pregnancy, pre-busyness. But hey, who cares really? Nobody else will critique my imperfections more savagely than I will and if they do, they can fill their boots.

I’m thirty-eight years old. This body has grown three human beings inside it. It’s put up with years of yoyo dieting, too many doughnuts some days, too many sticks of celery on others. This bod has been left to crisp in the sun, deprived of sleep, chronically hungover, waxed, shaved, plucked, dyed, stitched, fractured, bruised, and very occasionally, subjected to horrific keep-fit classes. And so far, like a reliable old car, it’s always fired up again. Always ready to chase a child, hold a hand, receive a kiss. I’m no Wonder Woman, but my body is wonderful and I’m extremely lucky to have it. It deserves a holiday. It deserves a break. So I’m going to give it one.