Because loving yourself isn't as easy as Justin Bieber say it is.
In my 25 years of life, I'd say that being okay with my body hasn't been the easiest feat. It's been an uphill battle and still very much is. I grew up wanting to be a slender and super tall. I'm a short girl, who happens to be rather petite, but I carry most of my weight in my lower half. What did this mean? Well for one thing, I had a serious complex about having an A cup all throughout high school.
And my legs? They are shapely and definitely not of the twiggy variety. In fact, up until as year, their shapeliness didn't even have a name. But, thanks to the Kardashians, would now call my upper thigh-booty region thigh brows. For the better part of the last decade, I have struggled with the notion that the way my body is shaped is the way that my body is shaped—that I can't change the way weight distributes on it. That's a fact of life. And with time, I grew into liking that maybe I'm not so busty, and can get away with not wearing a bra on days when it's schmoiling... and that maybe I have a world class booty that I wouldn't trade for the world.
But what I have learned is to like myself. And listen, it took a while, but I feel like I'm starting to arrive at self-acceptance. I've had times where I was way too thin, I've had times where I settle naturally where my body wants to be, and I have had times where I'm up 5-10 pounds from where I normally sit. Accepting that I am human and my weight will fluctuate is a huge thing, but realizing that I can feel good about myself in light of those fluctuations is even bigger—especially when it comes to going out in a bikini.
But I'm thrilled to finally be able to say regardless of what weight pops up on the scale, I'm no longer beating myself up about what I look like in a bathing suit, and a few things have helped me reach that point along the way.
First, like I mentioned before, it's pure acceptance, loving myself, and knowing that I'm no longer conforming to unrealistic standards.
Secondly, I have always struggled with feeling self-conscious about cellulite. It's always worse in your own head than it is in real life, let's be real. But what has helped me personally chill out a little bit is a spray tan. Had I know what I difference getting spray tans would make for my self-esteem wise, I would have started getting them sooner. Note: I don't feel unattractive without them by any means, but a little fake tan puts a spring in my step as I scurry to the beach.
Other things that have been helpful for my confidence? No more weird dieting where I deprive myself. Can we get a big #NotOK?
I'm in it for the long-haul, which means finding an eating plan that let's me settle at a healthy weight without feeling like I can't partake in the usual daily celebrations that make life worth living. This meant chatting with a nutritionist and making daily choices to be conscious of what I eat. It's not about being skinny—it's about giving my body what it needs to function well. You've gotta play the long game when it comes to your relationship with yourself.
Furthermore, I became more comfortable walking around in a bikini because I took the time to find ones that I find really flattering, but even more importantly, I changed my perspective. I have always felt a little uncomfortable with feeling sexy—like it's not okay to feel sexy. That's just not so. It was a lot of unnecessary self-criticism. It took me a really long time to feel comfortable with the fact that I like to feel sexy.
Of course, I'm not saying I don't still have gym goals to tone my arms or abs, but I'm no longer letting the status of my body interfere with me living my life. Enjoy the body you have now because it's the body you've got. It's beautiful, and it does a lot for you. And for goodness sake, if you want to post the bikini selfie, you go ahead and post that bikini selfie. I know I will.