Since moving to New Zealand I’ve probably been wearing a bikini more than I have in my whole life combined. We go to the hot pools, we do a sauna pretty much every day, and we live right by the beach. If you know my story, you know that I was stuck in a diet-binge cycle and had a very poor body image for years and years. If you had asked me just two years ago I just didn’t think wearing a bikini in front of others would ever be possible for me. Since moving here, I’ve realized just how far I’ve come.
The other day when my boyfriend and I were at the hot pools, it suddenly dawned on me that I had confidently worn a bikini almost every day since moving to New Zealand. I hadn’t even thought about it. I had just done it. This weekend I was in the sauna when some family came around, meaning that I needed to walk through the house in my bikini in front of everybody in order to get to the bathroom. For just the briefest moment I felt a little self-conscious and uncomfortable, and then I thought to myself “who gives a shit?!”.
And so I walked through the house in my bikini, and guess what? Nothing happened. I felt completely fine. Had this been just two years ago, there was absolutely no way I would have done it.
It got me thinking. What has changed in the last couple of years?
I’m still reflecting on this questions, and the truth is I can’t fit everything into one blog post, so this is a topic I’ll continue to talk more about, as I’ve realized how passionate I am about body image, self love, confidence, freedom around food …
What I can tell you with absolute certainty is that my body is not smaller now. If anything, I’ve gained weight over the last two years (I needed to). This, I think, is the ultimate proof for me that it is not about what your body looks like. It’s about your mindset. When I was the skinniest, I was the most unhappy. I was desperately unhappy. I had absolutely no confidence whatsoever. I was at war with my body. I was saying no to every single event because I was afraid of gaining weight, eating too many calories or what others would think about my body.
Now, I wear a bikini confidently. I embrace my curves. I even embrace my cellulite. I embrace my muffin top. My love handles. My boobs. My hips. I am healthy and happy. I can honestly say that I have never been more happy than I am now. I’m loving my life. I’m growing my business. I’m in a relationship with a man I feel deeply connected to. I love the country I’ve moved to. I’m pursuing my dreams. I’m in the process of writing my first book. I’m wearing clothes I like. I’m moving my body in ways that feel good. I’m eating foods I like.
I feel confident and comfortable in my own skin. I know I am beautiful. Worthy. Lovable. Not because of what my body looks like, but simply just because I’m being myself.
I think what has shifted is my mindset. As I said it has nothing to do with my body and everything to do with my mindset. It has shifted. This shift didn’t happen overnight. It happened gradually. Slowly.
Once I became aware of my values and how I actually want to live my life, I realized I had to let go of all my limiting beliefs. Here’s the thing, I want to go to the beach with my friends. I want to eat ice cream with my family. I want to go to the hot pools. I want to do the sauna. I want to eat the delicious breakfast that my boyfriend has cooked for me. I want to have sex (sorry if it’s TMI, but I think it’s important to talk about) and feel freaking confident. I want to feel pleasure. I want to go out for dinner with friends.
But there’s no way I can ever do any of these things if I won’t wear a bikini, I refuse to eat ice cream or I spend the whole night worrying about calories when we’re out with friends.
So, I decided to just put on the bikini. I know my values, and I’m living them.
I can’t remember the episode, but I do remember Carrie saying something like this to Charlotte in an episode of Sex and The City: the problem is not your thighs, the problem is your brain.
She was right. The problem has never been your body. It has always been your own mind. I used to be a prisoner of my own mind. I wanted to wear a bikini. Desperately. But the voices instead my head were much louder than my desire to be happy and wear a bikini.
But the mind can be trained. You don’t have to be a slave to your own mind. Trust me, if I can confidently wear a bikini and feel confident about my own body and embrace every inch of it, so can you. And trust me when I say that life becomes a million times better when you put on that bikini and go to the beach, the sauna, the hot pools or whatever it is. It becomes so rich. Happy. Fulfilled. Joyful.
I’ll be talking much more about this (I even want to write a whole book about this topic. I feel so passionate and strongly about it).
Remember, that you are so beautiful and worthy. Exactly as you are right in this moment.