What Wearing a Bikini Taught Me About Body Confidence

Body Image, Hawaii, Health & Fitness, Style, The Big Island, Travel, United States, Weight Loss

Two days before we left for Hawaii, I had a mini freakout. I was feeling bad about my body despite all the progress I’ve made over the years. I had plans that this trip would be different. When we booked the trip, I told myself I’d lose 10lbs by the time we went. Guess what? That didn’t happen.

What did happen? As Jon and I packed, I looked at his stack of clothes. It’s what he brought to Cuba last year, to Hawaii two years ago, and what he’s worn almost every summer we’ve been together, maybe even since I met him over a decade ago. I looked at my stack of clothes. Almost none of it was the same. The clothes from years past were too big or too small and have long been given away.

But here’s the thing, I am leaner and stronger than I have been in years past. Yeah, I’d planned on being 10lbs lighter than I am in these pictures. But ya know what? It doesn’t matter. In a year, I’ll just remember the great adventures we had, not the thoughts I was having about my body. I’ve got to love the body I have right now, in this exact moment, because next year it will inevitably be different again. My body has continually grown and shrunk, gained and lost weight, and fluctuated with me. And that? That’s pretty damn amazing.

It’s now been two months since I shared my bikini post on Instagram, and as I’ve reflected on that trip, I realized that for me, this trip taught me a lot about accepting my body and being comfortable in my own skin.

Most of the time it is so hard for me to see what I look like – I mean what I actually look like – because I saw my body at a much different size and shape for so long. Seeing myself in the mirror everyday also makes it hard to see those small changes (that with consistency eventually lead to more substantial changes), so sometimes it takes seeing yourself in photos and through the eyes of others to truly see yourself.

Looking back at these photos I see a happy, confident young woman, who won’t let anything stop her. Not even all those weight lifting bruises.