Wednesday, 7 August 2013
We have frequented the same stretch of beach for the last ten years, and so have many of the families lying on our neighbouring matelats. The Plage de Pampelonne is made up of about 20 beach clubs, each has its own theme and USPs, there is the famous Nikki Beach, the nudist section, gay Neptune, family Tahiti, party Morea etc etc.
Here is the irony, you can choose a public beach where you will be one of only a handful of families, or you can pay upwards of 30 euros per bed to sit cheek by jowl in one of the clubs. Most people choose the latter and it is the theatre of the beach life that makes it worth every penny.
I have spent years studying anatomy for my yoga and personal training qualifications, and this is the best place to study it in practice, particularly since it is the same faces (bodies) every year.
Usually there is little of any note to report. But this year there was a seed change which has made me completely rething my preconceptions about diet and exercise being the only means of changing body shape.
I've always accepted my 'outie' tummy as a genetic gift that no amount of exercise or diet can change.
But this year there was marked change in the torsos of many of the regulars. Last year, I would have guessed that it was simply a Pilates craze that was big in LA and New York. But looking closely at the other body parts, this seems unlikely. Arms, legs and chest muscles remain unchanged, it is only the abs that are now defined and fat covering them that is reduced. The degree of change would be impossible without altering other parts of the body.
Like many people I receive daily offers from the likes of Groupon and Amazon, I had always poo pooed the snake oil type offers of targeted body fat removal with lasers or freezing treatments, but this year's beach bodies have changed my attitude.
Most of my exercise regime is about remaining healthy and feeling less stressed, but I have to confess, it is a bit gutting to spend about 20 hours a week sweating and to be the biggest one on the beach. I can disguise my 'wardrobe shaped torso' with clothes, but bikinis are a little less forgiving.
So this is only about vanity, over the next few months I am open to try anything that promises targeted reduction. And of course there will be full and frank reports of successes and failures.