So you want to look great on the beach or by the pool this summer.

Who better to tell you how to get a swimsuit body for the summer than Kim Choma, a competitive swimsuit model and reigning Miss Hawaiian Tropic International, who has to maintain a bikini-bod year-round.

In a nutshell, you need to eat healthy, work out regularly and use a good self-tanning lotion — she recommends Hawaiian Tropic's version, natch, as well as Neutrogena's.
”If you're a little darker, it makes you look thinner,” explains Kim, divulging one of her swimsuit secrets. It's the easiest advice to follow. The others take work — lots of it.

Just about every day that she's home in Edmonton, Kim, who became famous as a competitor on the recent edition of TV's The Bachelor, goes to the gym for at least an hour, longer when it's close to competition.

” like going to the gym,” she says. ”It makes you feel good and you look better in your clothes.”

Kim will run outside or on a treadmill for 30 to 40 minutes interval training — running flat out for 60 seconds, walking for 30 seconds.

”Interval training is more effective and you burn more calories,” she says. After every four minutes on a treadmill, Kim heads over to other machines to work on her abs or biceps before returning to the treadmill.

She works out non-stop. ”The break is the time you spend walking from the treadmill to the machines and back again.

”It's so effective and you feel nice and toned the next day.”

When she's travelling, she doesn't have time for the gym, but does a modified workout in her hotel room.

On the recommendation of a personal trainer — she has two — Kim takes along one of those infomercial Ab Rollers which she says is her favourite exercise equipment, in large part because it helped her develop a six-pack.

She also does leg lifts, standing and walking lunges, and squats until she can do no more. They're great for the hamstrings at the back of the upper thigh and for perking up the muscles of the lower butt, Kim says.

A month before Trimspa's Dream Body 2005 competition, which she really wanted to win, Kim stepped up her workouts with boxing sessions two to three times a week at the Wind Warriors Boxing Club, inspired by her security guard who also boxes there. She won the competition.

Besides building strength in the legs and ”ab muscles that you didn't even know you had,” boxing improves self-confidence, she says.

”If I ever need to defend myself I could now because I've learned a lot of techniques.”

Besides the workouts, Kim leads an active lifestyle in which she incorporates Pilates, volleyball, biking, and rollerblading. She also loves to dance.

But a bikini-body isn't built by exercise alone. You also have to eat right.

”I don't normally eat a lot of bad food anyway, but when I'm facing competition, I stick to mostly protein, tons of protein — chicken and fish and protein shakes, and lots of vegetables.”

She adopts a rigid bodybuilder-like diet 10 days before a show and can lose eight or nine pounds, most of it water, she says.

Outside of competition, Kim doesn't deprive herself.

”I'm Ukrainian and I eat a lot of Ukrainian food — I eat perogies almost every day when I'm in town but it's never really impacted me much. I have a very high metabolism, which helps,” she says.

(Edmonton Journal)