At some point last year I remember stating quite clearly I’d never wear a bikini.
This week whilst on vacation I’ve worn bikinis, which means I went out and bought bikinis. I decided back in January that I wanted to buy one, but I also knew I wanted something which I felt comfortable in, something which was higher on the waist and actually flattered my body.
I also knew this meant shopping in the ‘plus size’ section.
I mostly live in yoga pants and gym clothes, I’ll put a pair of jeans on for date night, but I like to be comfortable and my comfort is having well fitting clothing. No waistbands digging into my stomach, because that was my life for way too long.
So off I went on a mission to find some kind of swimwear I liked and something which flattered me.
I found a lot of shit. Styles which perhaps looked okay on the model, but they were not designed to flatter my body. I also found that everything was a little ‘childish’ polka dots, bows, stuff I just wouldn’t wear! It was a real compromise to find something supportive on my chesticles which didn’t cost the earth, and something which was young and fun…I’m only 30 after all.
I eventually found 2 bikinis and a swimsuit which were my style, fitted and flattered my strong body. Thank you Forever21 and Asos Curve.
As I write this, I’m currently in Florida on vacation. Last time I came here I was 12 years old, and I remember feeling like I was the pale girl who was overweight and unattractive. All I saw were taller, slimmer, tanned girls who looked like they’d stepped off an Abercrombie and Fitch billboard. Sigh.
This was the ‘American Dream’ I saw and I was never going to fit into it.
Now that I’m older AND much wiser, I still see these girls, but I also see a lot of other women walking around me. I see more women who look like me, and they are wearing shorts, swimsuits and bikinis. I wondered why it is I only saw the slimmer girls, but I guess my brain was subconsciously looking for validation that I was not enough.
People watching used to mean passing judgement, but now I am in awe of the various body shapes and it really reminds me how unique we all are. That our bone structure and body type are things we really can’t change, all we can do is learn to love what we can’t change, and if we want to make adjustments it is possible to do it in a healthy and sustainable way.
The phrase ‘bikini’ body really chafes my butt.
Anyone can wear a bikini, this isn’t an issue. However telling someone that they just need to go put on a bikini to have this body isn’t helping. You don’t have to be for or against bikinis, this issue is much deeper – it’s about body image and what wearing a bikini means to society.
F*ck society, but to continue making my point I shall carry on…
We are shown images of Marilyn Monroe, and told she had curves – let’s be honest whilst she wasn’t the smallest, she wasn’t ‘plus size’ either.
We are encouraged to ‘wear our curves’ but these curves still need to be a size 10 or smaller, they must be in the right places and not have any blemishes.
This “bikini body” image has been created, it is not real and the majority of women will never be able to look like these images. You are an individual, you are not plastic dolls, you have not been created the same with the same waist, breast and hip size.
Whilst I may have stated I wouldn’t wear a bikini, I now realise my issue was not with the bikini, but rather what others would think of my body in a bikini. The only bikinis I had seen were ill-fitting and did not flatter my body shape, I also wasn’t in a comfortable place with my body.
I still felt angry that it was no longer a size 10 and that I struggle more than ever to lose fat.
These bikinis weren’t suddenly created, they were always available, I just didn’t want to look for them. I chose cheap, unsupportive swimwear over investing in pieces which could actually make me feel sexy, confident and comfortable.
It’s not about the size of my bikini or my body it’s about how I feel whilst wearing an item of clothing. Comfort is important to me, if I’m playing with my son in six feet waves at a water park, I don’t want to be worrying about my body.
My ‘bikini body’ is not what is depicted on magazine covers…
I’m 5’3, with short legs and a long body. My waist is high and I’m pale, I will never tan and just getting enough SPF on my skin makes me anxious.
This is MY bikini body and I love it.
I have strong legs and a strong back. I’m able to swim, jump the waves with my son and pick him up when he’s feeling tired.
My bikini body will continue to build strength and resilience beyond what society has decided I ‘should’ look like.
Again, f*ck society.
After spending too much energy defending my imperfect fat loss lifestyle, I decided I needed to embrace my choices and declare #effperfect.
Maybe this sounds familiar? You feel like you’re never 100% confident with your choices, maybe you always feel like someone else is doing it better than you?
I encourage the #effperfect lifestyle, and we are back for another #effperfect challenge starting Monday May 8th 2017!
If you want to join me for 5 days full of imperfect fat loss strategy and get early access to my signature program The Female Fat Loss Academy then REGISTER HERE.