Are you ready for this?
Put a bikini on, get over your all your hang-ups and have one
That’s right, just own it. You’re in a bikini, you have a bikini body.
After a recent vacay with the fam which included ample time at the beach I noticed a lot (most) women, adjusting, fixing, checking, looking down, looking around, and checking themselves before making a single move. These women were with kids, friends, or men.
WHAAAT?? I watched these women and wondered who they were primping for. Was a flash mob photo shoot about to happen? Was there a prize for best bikini bod? What was the prize? Ryan Gosling holding a bunch of organic kale he grew in his garden?
I used to be one of those people. I’d ask Ry, ‘Does this bikini make my ass look fat?’ He’d respond “No babe, it’s the fat that makes it look fat”. Did I mention his dead balls honesty is one of my favorite qualities?
After a comment like that, there's not much else you can do but laugh. Recently Jacob asked me 'mommy, why does your bum shake?' as he made this spastic shaking motion with his hands I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants. He must get his honesty from his dad. What if I told Jacob he shouldn't say that to people or got mad at him? What kind of impression would that have left him with?
At the beach I used to check and see where my bikini was placed when I stood up, sat down, laid down, how I sat by the pool, how everything looked when I got out of the water, oh, and I had to put my cover up on to walk away from my beach chair, cover up from what exactly?
It's time for an attitude shift!
I realized this was NO FUN, and definitely not how I want to spend my time or how I want to feel. And who cares if last week's french fries are making a reappearance on my muffin top?
Maybe having kids helped bring me to this realization. When you have kids around you get to poop with an audience, there's no room for shame. Or maybe this attitude shift is a result of living in the moment. I’m always hearing mommy, mommy, mommy, I have to pee, mommy, mommy, I’m hungry, mommy, mommy, I'm still hungry? What’s that over there? Mommy, look at this....you get the picture.
Having spent some time paying attention to the non-physical through practicing awareness and being present I've learned that the voices in my head are not me, just like I mention here that my kitchen table doesn't define me, neither do my thoughts - A heck of a lot can be said for the power of deep breathing!
Back to the physical for the sec, which by the way is a bikini top I’ll never fill out, a round butt, and a jigglyish-belly which might be a result of two pregnancies where I gained 50 pounds a pop (oops!), or working out once a week instead of five days a week, or indulging in chocolate and french fries. Would I trade a soft belly for a 6-pack with more hours in the gym and less time with the kids or doing the things I love like whipping up gluten-free vegan awesomeness for you???? NO WAY!
I love every inch of it, love handles, stretch marks, awkward gait + all!
I have my fleeting moments, just like you where I want to do something to change or tighten this or that. Then something I want more than rock-hard abs comes along. C’est la vie! I don’t beat myself up about it.
Today, the ONLY thing I check my bod for at the beach is that my parts are all contained, because I'd like to avoid getting arrested. I realized Ry or the kids would point out any body parts that were getting a tan that shouldn't be. Though, Ryan might keep quiet so he could enjoy the show and have a giggle. My bikini bottom was pulled down by some big waves while we were swimming, and Talia clutched onto my top, pulling it down– I was having too much fun riding the waves to notice.
When I saw all these women checking themselves and for a millisecond I wanted to run up to them and tell them they're beautiful!
my other side...
I found the pic on Ry's phone. I searched for the most real shot of me in a swim suit and this is what I came up with. I debated on whether or not I should post it. My ass is now on the internet, and so is the ink that seemed like a good idea at the time.
So how do you get over your insecurities so you can walk that confident, saucy walk and enjoy being in the moment and all? Here's 4 tips to letting go of negative Nancy and saying hello to Confident Carla (or whatever you want to call her):
- look at kids. when was the last time your kid asked you if their shorts made them look fat? Right. Wondering what you look like doesn't fit into living in the moment. Notice how kids only know how to dance like no one's watching?
- ask Fido/Fluffy/Fishy if your swim suit looks okay. Are they giving you that same blank stare they were giving you a second ago? That's unconditional love. Do you think your question sounds silly now?
- be an EXAMPLE. Today's complaints about your body become the voices in your kids' heads tomorrow.
- FEEL IT. how do you want to feel in a bikini? Confident, strong, sleek, sexy, fun, smart, sophisticated, luscious? Imagine you feel that way in your itsy bitsy RIGHT NOW. Feels pretty awesome doesn't it?!? You don't need anyone's permission to feel what you want to feel.
confidence is damn sexy
All you have to do to get some confidence is claim it, it’s yours, beautiful.
I wish I had this realization years ago to save me all that energy wondering if my love handle was in the right place. Guess what? It’s right where it should be, where I left it.