It’s easy to look forward to summer holidays and warm weather winter destinations. But for many of us, it’s hard to get excited about wearing a bikini.
At the beach or at the pool, you should feel confident about your body. We all have different shapes and sizes, and we are all beautiful in our own way. So why do so many of us hate wearing a bathing suit in public?
It’s time we changed that. Here’s how to feel good in a bikini – any size!
It’s easier said than done, but accepting yourself as a beautiful person is a key step to feeling good when you put on a bikini.
When you see another woman in a bathing suit, do you look at her body and think “She should lose 10 pounds”? Not likely. But you do say those things to yourself.
Start listening to your inner voice, and instead of those negative thoughts about yourself, pretend you’re talking to your best friend. Give yourself the same grace and love you give others.
Michelle Elman, an accredited life coach, body positive activist and author says: “You give those two pieces of material way more power if you don’t wear it!” 1
Banish Social Expectations
Part of the reason we don’t like to see ourselves in a bikini is because all around us are photos of thin women with seemingly “perfect” bodies. Those photos are airbrushed, and those women don’t have a perfect body. We all have healthy, perfect bodies in our own right, and it’s time we embraced that.
Take Jennifer Weiner. Several years ago, the author started a campaign on social media in which she encouraged women to “put on a swimsuit, snap a selfie and then go have fun this summer.” 2
Weiner wanted to help those women who don’t wear swimsuits, don’t go to the beach, and don’t fully enjoy summer because they hate the way they look. 3
Using the hashtag #WearTheSwimsuit, Weiner hoped that seeing various body shapes and sizes in bikinis and one-pieces would “help girls realize that there really isn’t any such thing as a perfect body.” 2
“Science shows us that the more non-supermodel bodies we see, the less likely we are to beat up on ourselves,” Weiner wrote. “That’s true for women, and for girls, too many of whom start worrying way too early about how they look and what needs fixing.” 2
Seize the Moment
Weiner pointed out that “too many of us would rather be skinned alive than put on a swimsuit… and that too many of us are missing out on all the fun of summer.” 4
Think of all the enjoyment you’re missing if you don’t want to put on a bathing suit and enjoy the beach, the pool, a boat or even a hotel spa. Life is short, and sometimes we need to be reminded that we should enjoy every moment.
It took the loss of a friend to get writer Olivia Muenter to realize she was missing out on life, waiting to get thin.
“If I believed I would enjoy life more fully when I was thin, then what would it mean if I never got there?” she wrote. “What I really needed to know to feel confident was that all you really have in this life is the moment you’re in, and the body that you’re in the moment with.” 5
Appreciate Your Body
Another way to feel better in a bathing suit is to be grateful of what your body is, and what it can do, rather than focus on what it is not.
Move when you can, and be grateful you have a body that allows you to walk, do yoga, or play games with your kids. Exercise releases endorphins, feel-good neurotransmitters, into your body. Instead of exercising to fit into a smaller sized bathing suit, exercise as a means to appreciate your health.
If you’re not feeling right, in a bikini or at home on the couch, reach out for help. It’s okay to not be okay, but don’t suffer in silence.
If you have a health issue that is preventing you from feeling comfortable in a bikini, like a pelvic organ prolapse, for instance, seek out a health professional. Finding a physician who is knowledgeable about women’s health concerns can be the first step to feel good in a bikini – any size!