Happy 4th of July! I’m taking off to my family’s summer house today for the next two weeks with Jonathan and Marshall and I couldn’t be more excited. Jonathan just started his research year yesterday as part of his surgery residency which means his work hours are switching from the normal 5am-9pm to 9am-5pm!!!! I literally cried with relief when he got home after his last day on Tuesday. The past four years have been quite challenging for both of us, and I am so excited to have a year with him around more.
So, let’s talk about 4th of July, and the thing I know is on your and everyone’s mind… getting in a bathing suit. Oy vey.
I remember I used to starting dieting in April so I could look great by July 4th, but every month I managed to gain a few pounds (pressure + stress + body hatred = recipe for disaster) so by the time I brushed off my bikini for beach volleyball I was softer than I was the week after Christmas. Feel me?
I remember dreading everyone zeroing in on my lumpy thighs and bulging tummy. What is wrong with her? They would think. Why can’t she get her sh*t together?
And then I started to Live More, which meant stepping out from behind my body shame and fully engaging in life, regardless of what I looked like. Not only did I start thoroughly enjoying my beach weekends, but I actually felt hot in my bikini, even though I hadn’t lost a pound.
If you’re feeling shy about getting in a bathing suit this weekend, remember these three things:
- You will only look as awkward as you feel. People actually are not paying attention to your weight or zeroing in on your love handles. I promise. But they do feel energy. They can tell if you are comfortable or not in your skin. So get comfy! Spend the next few days walking around your house naked, get a suit that is physically comfortable for you to wear, and do the next two steps…
- Engage your senses. A big part of being comfortable in your skin is using your body for what she is meant for, instead of a glorified mannequin for your clothes. When you get to the beach, smell the salty air. Feel the mist on your skin and the sun on your shoulders. Listen to the ocean. Our bodies are the most amazing experiential instruments and we miss the magic when we are so consumed with how we look.
- Live More. When we feel uncomfortable it’s easy to convince yourself that you could enjoy yourself so much more if you were thinner, not true. People are insecure no matter what size they are. Shrinking doesn’t cure shyness. Engaging in living does. So talk to the people you’re with, really connect. Say YES to jumping in the water. Build a sand castle. Grab someone for a walk. Laugh. Attempt synchronized swimming. Read a magazine. Enjoy the sun.
Need a little more inspiration? Here are a few women from LMWL who have learned to love being in their bathing suit…
“Today, I know my relationship to my body is an expression of how much I love and tend to myself. And that started with my decision to be more focused on having an interesting life rather than a “perfect body” ( p.s that doesn’t even exist) I took this pic to remind myself that where I am today is beautiful. I feel great in my body because I’m falling more in love with myself and life everyday.” ~Awo
When I heard Sarah speak for the first time, I knew this was the person who had the knowledge that I needed to unlock what I was missing in my life, and I felt like I didn’t want to wait any longer. A few weeks ago I did something I’ve never done! I wore a bathing suit to the pool at a work function. I saw my boss and two of my new associates and felt great!” ~Linda
“I felt free in my body to wear what I wanted and felt great in it! It felt amazing to see others women’s bodies think they were beautiful and not go down the comparison rabbit hole. Because I was able to love and celebrate my body, I was able to love and celebrate everyone’s bodies around me which had me feeling as free as I did when I was a kid at a pool party!” ~Alyson
This isn’t about looking good or perfect, but about feeling free to fully enjoy yourself.
In the comments below, I’d love to know what scares you about getting in a bathing suit, and which of these steps you’re going to try. And if you have any other suggestions, please tell us!!