I must admit that it was with a certain amount of trepidation that I approached the summer. True, I had landed an internship abroad in the same country as my boyfriend, my living arrangements were simple, my travel plans booked. True, I had in a flurry of manic excitement bought out Esse's new summer nail polish line from CVS and had spent the last week of school decorating each toe individually and painstakingly in Van Pelt, using my computer as my footrest as my hand quivered above each toe, while others scribbled furiously on either side of my beauty product laden desk. (Finals? What finals? What are you doing?) True, my mother had, after I had spent multiple complete days post–end of school watching Netflix in bed with snack wrappers slowly accumulating, throne-like, around my pillows, suggested that perhaps I begin packing for my international flight that leaves, um, no pressure honey but, *tomorrow.*

I looked at her with eyes deadened by twelve hours of Friends, complete seasons 3 and 4.

With what might have been the most physical energy expended all week, I cringed.

I was not ready at all.

I am not one of those betches that spends multiple hours (or any hours) at the gym in cute lulu leggings and barely any sweat, who walks out of Pottruck looking sculpted and, if any sweat has permeated pores of any kind, only slightly glowing and perhaps divine. If you are one of these motivated betches, I applaud you. I really do.

Instead, I am one of those betches that goes on a single mile run to a coffee shop and orders cake as a reward for her hard efforts after mopping up buckets of her own sweat off the surrounding surfaces, and then is too sore to move for the next eternity and a half.

This does not bode well for my "bikini body."

I eye with much loathing the dreaded bathing suit drawer and huddle closer to my Netflix protectively.

I go through this every year. And the thing is, I really love my body. I think it's great. It does basically everything it's supposed to do and also it's pretty cute!

What more could I ask?

*so much more* whispers an evil voice echoing from magazines and workout ads and photoshopped beach photos.

But I like my curves, I argue, feebly. They're very comfortable and serve the dual purpose of cuteness and a slight cushioning effect.

*no!!* seethes the voice. *they don't belong at the beach!*

So I've made my own bikini body guide that I think is tough but fair, and I'll be doing my best to stick to it this summer. At times perhaps I will slip up, but with regimented routine and a strong work ethic I hope I can achieve my goal.

  1. Buy a bikini.
  2. Make sure that you have a body. (Some useful checkpoints: do you have arms? Do you have shoulders of some kind to which you could attach a bikini? Or a neck will also suffice. And some legs? If so, you have successfully completed this critical step towards maintaining your bikini body.)
  3. Put the bikini on the body.
  4. Leave the house.
  5. Flaunt.
  6. Repeat until satisfied.