You've done the easy part and booked the holiday, now the real hard work starts; getting the perfect beach body. We've all enjoyed the winter and how no one can see the result of those extra mince pies under Nan's knitted jumper, but the sun is calling, and while you can just about handle a pair of shorts, swimwear is a whole different ball game. It doesn't matter if you're going with the girls, guys or family, you want to impress on that beach. Here are the inevitable stages of getting there.
1. Telling everyone you are getting in shape.
After boasting about the amazing hotel you've booked with its pool, beach and bars all a stroll away, you now need to let everyone know that there's no need to offer you chocolate anymore, and going for a pizza lunch is out of the question. From now on it's grapes and celery. Fun.
2. Looking at hot people for inspiration.
That will be me. That will be me. Move aside Kate Upton. By the time you get off that plane no one will be a match for your abs. Remember, it's never too early to start practicing that Baywatch run.
3. Buying a size 8 bikini as something to work towards.
This is totally do-able. Absolutely. You just hang it up on your wardrobe door to keep you motivated when you're craving some chips. But maybe keep hold of that receipt just in case.
Finally an excuse to try out that workout outfit you bought months ago. Your playlist is ready and you are pumped for this. Ten minutes in you're gasping on the floor and wondering why the world doesn't want you to look great on the beach.
Ok, you've found the perfect sit up/push up/planking guide so by the end of the month you'll be able to knock out 100 of each. The first few days are a dream, five here or there, but by week two you're wondering if the holiday is even worth it.
6. Realising your holiday will consist of a lot of eating/drinking.
Planning the first night out with your friends it suddenly dawns on you that by day two you'll have eaten and drank enough calories to have made the whole diet completely pointless. Why do holiday cocktails have to be so cheap?
7. Returning that size 8 for a 12.
It was a little optimistic.
The diet's gone out the window but you're not an animal; operation wax/shave is a go. Prepare to wince and borderline cry in front of a stranger for that sleek look.
9. Tanning before the holiday.
You don't want to look white as a sheet on the first day of holiday; they might ban you from the beach for blinding the poor locals. Get ready to throw on that bikini and make yourself sit in your garden for two weeks. Ignore the funny looks from the neighbours and the cold breeze.
10. Realising no one cares.
All that planning and here you are, on the beach in blissful happiness. Looking round you see all the other bodies: pale, tanned, chubby, skinny, and realise no one's judging your body half as much as you are. You're still glad you had that wax though.