Women are always in search of the bikini body, and consequently on the lookout for the new, perfect diet. Based on what I see on the Internet, they have found it… in Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide.
From body to Bikini Body
Kayla’s Guide promises you a bikini body in just twelve weeks and her website has a “Transformations” section with real-life results to support this promise. All these girls look amazing, not to mention the true transformation some have undergone! Naturally, we all want to experience the wonders of this workout.
The magic words
But here’s the thing: we can find transformations of people who have started exercising everywhere. So why do all these women cave for this specific Bikini Body Guide? I believe the answer lies in the name of the workout. The words “Bikini Body” do something to most women. We fear our current “bikini body” because we always feel that we don’t have one; we want “the” bikini body so we can wear a bikini in public; and we always wonder how to actually get it. Now it seems that someone — Kayla Itsines — has found the answer for us and tadaa! An immensely popular workout hype emerges.
The Bikini Body
Yet what are we really working out for, then? What is a Bikini Body? In my view, the meaning of this term is assigned by societal standards entirely. Therefore, it seems that everyone strives for the same ideal whereas this ideal is different for each individual due to factors like genetics and lifestyle. Equally important, the Bikini Body is all about looks, but nothing more than that. Do we, then, exercise just to be pretty?
Because it’s healthy
While I think it’s great that so many more people are exercising these days, I also feel that we should keep in mind why we should exercise: because it gives us energy, because it makes us feel good (thanks to the endorphine hormone), because it decreases stress, because it increases our stamina, because it’s healthy. It’s great that it can make us look good, too, but I believe this to be of secondary importance. Sure, I struggle with this belief every now and then as well — I’m still recovering from anorexia — but I try to focus on exercising for my health rather than my appearance. Actually, I sometimes choose not to exercise when I notice that my motivations are focused on looks rather than health. I choose my exercises carefully and execute them with great attention to how I execute them so that I maximise the benefits (in my case, strengthening muscles and reducing pain) and minimise the risks for injuries.
Just an idea
So this is what bothers me about workouts like Kayla Itsines’: there is a focus on the end result (the Bikini Body, whatever that may be) rather than on the exercises themselves or the execution of the exercises. If you do Kayla Itsines’ because it gives you confidence, then sure, by all means. But do keep in mind that we all have a bikini body as there does not exist one fixed definition of the bikini body; it’s just an idea created by society. We are all individuals and we can never look the same. Embrace your body by keeping it healthy and put a bikini on it to get your bikini body. I’m not putting forward a new theory here. I’m just emphasising that we can all wear bikinis and that the main motivation to exercise should be because it’s healthy and thus good for you — but that’s just my idea.