Two words that will generate fear and dread amongst probably 99% of the female population this summer – Bikini Body.

These words are thrown around a lot, and thanks to Instagram and the like we are surrounded all year round by beach ready shots depicting what we should look like when we hit the beach.

I am in Switzerland just now, catching some rays and some hill sprints with my Team and my best friend and all her team. I have had a bikini on, and this is probably the first time I have every felt really great in one. I am in a good place in pretty much all areas of my life just now and it resonates into my confidence and how I ‘feel’. Admittedly, I am heavier than I would ideally like to be, but I am training really well (in fact I am the fastest I have probably every been and I even ran a 10km through the mountains here yesterday), and I feel as though everything is in a pretty decent balance across the board and that sits pretty well with me.

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To the general public however, the unknowing eye, I have probably looked ‘better’ in a bikini than I did today. But the one thing that is missing from the Instagram shots of bikini body bodies that we are subjected to every day is how they ‘feel’ in their bikini. Lets face it, there isn’t much that will test your relationship with your body more than having to stick a skimpy two piece on and walk past a pool surrounded by lots of other semi naked, secretly self conscious, judging females.

The last time I had a bikini on was an entirely different matter. I was post breakup, I was stressed, in a tail spin of not eating and over training and feeling so self conscious that I was professing to being ‘happily celibate’ in a bid to avoid all things male. I was skinny, and in some sort of detached way I figured that meant I looked good. But I wasn’t healthy, and I wasn’t confident and I certainly wasn’t particularly happy. Anna keeps reminding me that I was miserable, and timehop keeps reminding me I was hungry so I’m guessing she’s right considering I’m happiest when eating. I was skinny, and my arms looked pretty shit hot but I wasn’t looking after myself and I was disconnected from what I really like to do – namely eat pizza, run fast and jump over the odd wall.

Today, I didn’t look aesthetically as good as everyone else at the pool. I have fat rolls when I sit down, my legs (and bum) are much bigger than last year, and I don’t have noticeable abs any more. But, I am strong. And confident, and my girls (all three of them) saw me eat ice cream and I am completely guilt free about all aspects of my training and diet. Not that I think anyone should EVER feel guilty about eating ANYTHING.

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The phrase will mean different things to different people, but to me being bikini ready is about how you FEEL in your bikini, regardless of size, shape, whatever. And today I was definitely bikini ready.

So, enjoy bikini season. It’ll be winter soon and we’ll all be moaning that it’s freezing and we’ll be eating our weight in mince pies and turkey in order to effectively pad out our bodies to keep us warm. And at the end of the day ‘bikini ready’ is just a phrase made up by someone – it means nothing. How YOU feel, that means EVERYTHING.

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