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Dawn's Column Fait Accompli
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A couple of months ago, I wrote a column about my pending vacation and wanting to be in swimsuit shape. At that time, I began doing a boot camp-style conditioning workout and recently, I wore a bikini on the beach on my vacation. Mission accomplished.

I hadn't really expected to be in that kind of shape in such a short period. The funny thing is, when I arrived at my vacation destination and walked on the beach, I realized how many people were wearing bikinis whose bodies were similar to mine two months ago. Those women were brave souls, but I was glad that I put the effort in to be able to be comfortable on the beach and wear the type of suit that suits my personality and my body type.

My boyfriend thought I looked good, too. He didn't seem to mind the out-of-shape women in bikinis, although he did express his disdain for some European men wearing their bikinis. I had no complaints about them.

The payoff for me, however, was more than looking good in my swimsuit. Just a couple of weeks after starting my workouts, I liked how all my clothes fit better and how I looked in them, not to mention how much better I felt physically. By the time vacation rolled around, I found myself fitting into my smaller sized jeans.

A couple of my co-workers were also quite supportive, praising me for sticking with the program and noticing that the workouts were paying off. I think that being a former athlete helped me mentally to stay dedicated and keep pushing myself when my muscles were worked almost to the point of failure.

While I may not be as slim as I was a couple of years ago, I'm stronger and probably in better physical condition - better than I've been in several years. It's amazing I've come so far in two months. I'd almost forgotten what that physically "strong" feeling is like. When I was a competing athlete, and even in my young adulthood when I ran several miles weekly, I took that feeling of strength for granted. Unfortunately, with the result of some injuries and not fully recovering and working back to being strong again, I just became physically weaker over time - even having issues with my balance on occasion and some chronic flare-ups.