Did you know that I used to hate going to the beach? I didn’t mind the sand or the water. My biggest hurdle was the fact that I had to wear a bathing suit. I can remember spending HOURS in the dressing room just trying on swimsuit after swimsuit. My husband would ask to see the swimsuits and I would refuse to come out. I literally would be in TEARS in the dressing room. I was so ashamed of my body. Nothing ever fit right and I hated the fact that I had belly fat, chunky thighs and boobs that didn’t want to fit into these teeny-tiny bikini tops. I felt like I shouldn’t go to the beach because I was big, and I just knew that people would think nasty thoughts about me.
I would eventually find a tankini with a long top and bottoms that had that skirt to hide the stretch marks on my thighs. I wanted to hide something that I should have been proud of! You see those stretch marks came from each of my pregnancies. I didn’t realize at the time, (I do now), but each of those stretch marks is a badge of courage to me now! They represent me bringing forth life into this world!
Then when we would get to the beach I would spend the day with a towel wrapped around me. Hardly going into the water because I didn’t want my body to be seen. Oh how I wasted so many moments with my kids and my husband. I should have been out there with them!
Fast forward what seems like a millennium and now I don’t care what others think. I wear whatever I want at the beach now. I realized that I was wasting all that time worrying about what others think and it was taking time away from actually having fun! Now beach days are filled with relaxation, reading books, and of course water time! I have no problems sitting in the sand with my loved ones and building sand castles. Where once I felt ashamed of my body I now look at it lovingly with confidence because I got my mind in the right place….because I chose confidence over shame.
So tomorrow is our first beach day of the year. And I'm going and having fun!
Do you struggle with feeling confident in your own skin? Do you carry around a badge of shame when you think about your body?