I don’t know about you but it seems the older I get, the less concerned I am about what I look like in a swim suit.
Let me get this straight– I DO care about what I look like. I strive to take care of my body to the best of my ability, as I eat healthy foods (but still indulge!)
The difference is that now I would actually wear said swim suit in public. When I was younger, I would make up all sorts of excuses in order to NOT have to wear a bathing suit. My legs aren’t shaved. I”m on my period (even when I wasn’t). I can’ swim (there is a half-truth in that one actually).
Mind you– the swim suit that I do wear now-a-days is all black and one of those two-pieces that totally cover the stomach area. But I feel fairly confident in it. And for me, that is HUGE.
Now, here is the kicker. You may think that since it seems that I have had confidence issues and didn’t want to wear a swim suit that the logical conclusion is that I must have also had a weight problem. Well- that is partly true…. but not in the way that you think. I was never over weight. My weight problem came in the form of anorexia, where in college, I got down to 85 pounds. My pants were literally hanging off of me (I refused to buy kid’s size clothes). And I STILL thought I was fat.
Even after I recovered, I had a hard time wearing a swim suit– why? Because of society’s ideal of how one should look. We need to have a perfectly flat stomach, thighs that don’t touch, a tiny butt, and huge boobs. In an ideal world, after having children, those things would be realistically attainable, but the truth is, I have loose sagging skin in my stomach from having two c-sections (and huge babies), my boobs shriveled to next to nothing after nursing my babies, and my thighs have always touched, even when I was anorexic (yes, I was concerned about that at 85 pounds).
After all that, the day that I would put on a skimpy bikini would be the day that kale is served in fast food restaurants. To think that I would ever put on a bikini seems like mission impossible.
To put it bluntly– according to society’s standards (and some of my own), I will never be “bikini ready”.
What does bikini ready even mean, anyway? Lately, as I scroll down my Facebook newsfeed, I see ad after ad (well maybe not too many but it seems like it) or “suggested pages” about diets on getting “bikini ready” for the summer, along with a photo of an airbrushed women with flat abs and huge boobs prancing in a bikini.
Even though I feel a lot more confident in my body now-a-days, these posts still make me uncomfortable. To me, it brings back those feelings of shame and guilt. In order to be happy, I need to look perfect in a bikini. True weight loss doesn’t mean anything unless you look sexy (which is a word that is way over used- I’ll save that for a new blog post) on the beach or at the pool.
True happiness= being skinny and sexy which = being able to wear a bikini.
Listen, I was NEVER happy when I was so concerned about having a flat stomach. In fact, I almost got a tummy tuck when I was feeling the most miserable I had ever been in my life. Today, I am SO much happier now that I am not obsessed with looking a certain way. Of course, I still compare my body, like others do, but I do not feel the need to look like those models prancing around in bikinis.
So all that to say…. THIS is why I will NEVER share photos of any kind that make women feel shamed into weight loss. I vow to never share photos of women in bikinis because true happiness is not dependent on being “bikini ready.”
In fact, I would say, if you want to wear a bikini, GO for it! True confidence comes from being content with who you are as a person. And if you feel pressure to wear a bikini, but you really DON’T want to… then, DON’T! Just rock that body that you are in right now, take care of your body the best you can with LOVING care and GRACE , and if you see those ads on Facebook, just scroll right past them, and remind yourself that you are perfect just the way you are.
Certified Holistic Health Coach