It’s my least favorite time of year again. Swimsuit season.

Unless you are a woman in competition for your own reality TV show, you know what I mean. I will venture to say, without scientific research, that most women are critical of how their bodies look in spandex. It doesn’t matter who you are or how much you weigh—even bikini clad women (how I envy you!) think they have trouble spots.

I am an average height and have a medium build. I like to eat. I don’t like to exercise. I have a horror of aerobic classes due to a marked lack of coordination and an aversion to perky people. I look decent enough in regular clothes but am reluctant to let myself be seen in skin-tight scraps of fabric that are supposed to simultaneously conceal my problem areas and flatter my assets. Call me a skeptic but that does not seem possible. Catalogues and internet sites are full of “miracle suits” for sale; women’s magazines have swimsuit style guides for all body types. Who do they think they are kidding? Am I really asking too much for a suit that makes me look good, is comfortable, is appropriate for chasing children and yet stylish enough to wear on a cruise? Let’s not forget that I’d prefer it to be affordably priced. My three children may aspire to higher education.

I have been wearing the same swimsuit for seven years. It does not meet any of the above criteria except one. I have tried others: the swim mini (can you say grandma?), the boy short (there’s a reason they call them “hipsters”), and, in desperation, the floral halter top (sing it with me – ‘Do your boobs hang low, Do they wobble to and fro’) but I keep coming back to my plain old one-piece. Now that I am really thinking about this, there were two summers that it stayed bunched in the bottom of my sock drawer. Those summers I was nursing babies and my bosom was a size that could not be constrained. What a shame it was that my stomach was uncontainable too.

About every six months, I swear to myself that I am going to get into shape. It usually lasts a couple of weeks and then I am too (insert any of the following adjectives: tired/busy/lazy/bored) to continue with the program. My biggest success thus far was in January. For my birthday (at my request!) my husband bought me three sessions with a personal trainer. My trainer was awesome and for a month, he really motivated me to work hard. I saw results – my jeans fit better, muscles I had forgotten I had made an appearance, my mid-section started looking less muffinish and more pancake like – and then we got the dog, deconstructed the kitchen, and I just…stopped working out.

This time, too embarrassed to contact my trainer, I joined a gym. Tomorrow is day one (for the 47th time) on my quest for less squishy abs. Stay tuned. I’ll keep you posted.

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