It wasn't until my late 20's early 30's (I am currently 36), that I could put on a bathing suit without having a panic attack. I continued to struggle with the nasty voices in my head and wore a cover up most of the time only to throw it off as I quickly went into the water. Mostly, however, I just avoided any situation that demanded that I wear a swim suit or, since I am being honest, obliged in a few cocktails to create some courage.
So you are probably wondering:
How did I not only put on a bikini, but willingly posed for my own personal photo shoot?
It took becoming a mother.
When I became pregnant, for the first time, I wasn't in the best shape physically or mentally, so I promised myself that I would get into great shape so that I could not only improve my over all health, but also my overall body image. I had learned, growing up in the family I did, that being "as thin as possible" was the way to be. This is not to say that my family isn't loving, they are, but nasty habits die hard so generation after generation this stinky thinking has been passed down as an ugly heirloom.
I didn't want my child to grow up with the same mindset that I had. I wanted him or her to know that they were fabulous no matter what they looked like, that intellect was more important, and that it was so important to love themselves. To help set a good example, once Otto was born, I started kick boxing and weight training. I watched my body be transformed into a muscular and powerful body. I stopped denying my body food and instead learned what was good to eat such as veggies and protein and to limit my bread intake.
All is not always perfect though and it isn't like I wake up everyday and magically don't look at myself with critical eyes, but I try to keep my little one's in mind and remind myself of the gift that I am giving them when I treat myself with care.
Image: Otto and Ava in the background:)
Thank you Otto and Ava for motivating your Mama to be healthy and love who she is,
so you will grow up to love who you are!
Bikini: Mossimo (Target, 2010)
Sunglasses: Dollar Section (Target, 2011)
Hat: Dollar Section (Target, 2011)