“OMG! Yay! It’s bathing suit season! I can’t wait to sift through racks of unflattering one pieces! I am so looking forward to reaffirming my suspicion that absolutely none of the cute bikinis come in my size! I love spending $80 on something I hate!“ …said no woman ever.
I think bathing suits are miserable inventions. To this day, these uncomfortable, overpriced scraps of Lycra have had way too much power over my summers.
And now that I live in sunny, body-image-obsessed California – beach season isn’t a few weeks long. It’s roughly half the year.
That’s nearly… 182 days of summer! 182 days of sun! 182 days of wondering why every scantily clad girl who walks by me at the beach is exuding more confidence in her hip swing than I’ve felt my entire life.
I know that not every other female feels the way I assume she does… but when my blinders are on – I see what I want, I judge anything and everything, and I silently take out my insecurities on every passerby.
I turn into the person I hate: Queen B of Envy. I have been taken over by the dark side yet again…
Related Article: 5 Tips for Swimsuit Self-Confidence
I can feel my death rays of jealously working harder than the sun to burn anyone who looks halfway decent in their swimwear attire.
Few things make me want to binge as badly as realizing that I still wish I looked like someone else. And that it’s never going to happen. I find myself wanting to sabotage my journey. The jig is up – this is as good as it gets, kid.
But when I finally find the energy to stop ruminating on my own misery, I’m able to switch gears. This isn’t as good as it gets. It’s as good as I make it.
And I’m not satisfied with how I feel yet… so onward march, you fierce and fabulous b*tch, you!
Binge Eating and Body Image
I’m uncomfortably concerned with how I look.
But when you’ve changed shapes and sizes as many times as I have, you never really get a chance to get 100% comfortable in your skin.
During the two years that that I binged multiple times a day, seven days a week – I never saw my body growing. I ignored all signs of weight gain. I didn’t see a size.
I had no room in my brain for numbers or math. I was too busy surviving from one binge to the next.
So, yes I equate binge eating with gaining weight. And naturally, to this day, I get scared sometimes.
I get scared that I’m going to forget to “keep tabs” on myself.
I get scared that I’m going to look in the mirror, subconsciously alter what I see, and then decide that somehow it’s perfectly okay to prance out the front door wearing a white crochet one piece with zero boob support – my love handles waving at my neighbors from the cut outs on both sides. (There’s a visual for you.)
But what the hell is so wrong with being comfortable with that reflection? If what matters is what I see and I how feel – then screw ‘em! Sorry neighborhood, but it’s “me” time.
But wait… if that’s true… how come…
From Self-Hate to Self-Acceptance
Ok, I don’t always think I’m fierce or fabulous … BUT I’ve taken the very long, slow, painful boat ride from self-hate to moderate self-acceptance.
I still haven’t been able to purchase a ticket to “I love myself” island. I’m afraid the girl at the ticket booth, dawning her skimpy two-piece, will laugh at me. “Really? How can YOU love yourself? Have you looked in the mirror lately!? HA!”
Sometimes, in my daydream, I blush and turn away from the girl at the ticket booth, sulking, thinking that she’s right.
Other times, I imagine slapping her across the face, stealing the ticket, and running like hell toward happiness.
The Only Thing That’s Stopping Me… Is Me.
Why the hell don’t I deserve to enjoy my summer?
Because I haven’t let myself.
Every year I get lost in my own reflection and I drown in judgmental comparisons.
So, my bathing suit and my confidence remain in the closet.
This Summer I…
It’s mantra time, gals!
This summer, I WILL NOT decline every beach-related event out of fear!
This summer, I WILL NOT sweat through layers of thick, dark, uncomfortable clothing!
Related Article: Look Great in a Bathing Suit
This summer, I WILL NOT jeopardize my happiness by fortunetelling what others are thinking about my body!
This summer, I WILL play in the sand, splash my toes as the tide rolls in, and collect super awesome seashells!
This summer, I WILL feel the sun’s warm kiss on my alabaster skin!
Appreciate. Admire. Respect.
I don’t have to love the way my body looks. (That’s a pretty tall order.)
But I do appreciate everything it does for me and everything that it allows me to do.
I do admire its resiliency and strength, even after all the crap I’ve put it through.
I do respect that my body is always on my side, even when I give it the middle finger.
And for all it does, I owe this body a BIG “thank you” in the form of a little bit o’ fun!
This year, let’s show Swimsuits who’s boss.
Until next time,
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