I’ve not kept it entirely secret that I’ve been struggling a lot this year with negative thoughts about my body, and while they lapsed in February/March time, when I broke my ankle at the start of April and was unable to walk without pain, let alone go to the gym or continue my marathon training, I started to gain weight and the negative feelings came back worse than ever, as the time when I really wanted to be ramping up my training before my trip to Aulani, was now time I had to spent with my foot elevated and iced.
The hardest part in all of this was that I’ve always been a firm believer in body confidence, and if anyone I knew was feeling the same way I felt, I’d be heartbroken, so part of the reason I’ve not talked all that much about it is because I didn’t want to seem like a fraud, or make it seem like I think gaining weight is an awful thing, because it isn’t. I just couldn’t listen to the reasonable voice in my head.
So there I was, with my dream beach holiday getting ever closer, swimsuits and outfits planned, becoming equally more excited and more upset every time I caught a glimpse of my stretch marks in the mirror, and I was starting to worry that this perfect holiday was going to turn into one big panic attack.
Well, I was wrong. The first day of our stay, I put on the bikini that I was most worried about wearing, and we headed to the beach. I was nervous to take off my cover-up, but it was so hot that we had to get into the sea asap, so I whipped it off and ran across the hot sand into the water. No one stared, no one whispered, hell, little old me was probably the last thing that all these people enjoying their holidays probably cared about.
The next day, I put on my favourite bikinis. I hadn’t wore it in about 8 months and I was nervous that I’d look like I’d been stuffed into sausage casing. Sure, it didn’t fit as well as it has done in the past, but I’ve also looked worse in it, and I was actually pretty happy with how I felt in it, and I held my head a little higher than the day before as I walked around the pool area.
Besides my own body bringing me a little more confidence, I also started feeling super empowered seeing other people out in their bathing suits. People of all shapes, sizes and colours out loving life on their holidays, who are too busy having the best time to stop and worry about whether they’ve got any wobbly bits. I took this energy and rolled with it.
And the confidence grew exponentially. Each day I felt the worry subside and the sass build, and by the end of the third full day of our stay, I posted a photo of myself in my swimsuit on Instagram, which is something that I’ve only ever done once before in my life. The response? Incredible. The nice comments from people made me feel amazing, but what made me feel even better was the people who were relating with the message, because unfortunately the way I feel is a way that a lot of women feel. My caption said that all women’s bodies are amazing, and the number of people who thanked me for telling them that made it all worth while, and to be honest, I just felt like a million bucks in that photo.
So all that worry about how I would look in a swimsuit? I guess you could say I’m over it.