Ah yes…that wonderful time of year when [many] women, especially young women, feel most self conscious is upon us again. And what a shame it is to feel anything less than spectacular during the most prime years of your life.
First, let me relate with you for a second because I absolutely know what it’s like during bikini season. I know that feeling of being super self conscious over every section of your body while you try to hold it all tight as you walk down the stairs into a pool. I know that annoying feeling of not being able to move freely because you’re arms are too preoccupied wrapped around your mid section in attempt to hide any slightly visible jiggle. I know that mandatory feeling of keeping at least a sundress on unless I’m lying down motionless, tanning. I get it all! But like you, I’m sick of wasting away my summers hiding, not getting as active as I truly want to, and feeling so gosh-darn self conscious about every movement I make.
Even if aren’t a bodybuilder/athlete/fitness-lover/whatever, I know you know the difficulty of having both good-looking friends and a social media profile. It takes a toll on our mental health. Although I’m not proud of it, I’ll be the first to admit the thoughts I have scrolling through my Instagram feed, and I’m sure they’re not too far from them the one you have:
- “Wow, she looks amazing. I wish I could look like that in a bikini.”
- “Oh my gosh, that’s relationship goals. One day I hope me and my boyfriend can be that ripped together.”
- “That outfit looks SO good on her.”
- *Non-fitness related picture* “She doesn’t lift…but she still looks awesome.”
- “Another flexible dieter…I wish I could eat like that and look that good.”
- “Ooo…that’s a cool exercise. And she’s doing 40 minutes of cardio? I’ll incorporate that into my workout tomorrow.”
- “Geez, she prepping and doing little-to-no cardio? Maybe I don’t have to do those 40 minutes tomorrow.”
It is sooooo easy to compare ourselves to others. Especially when we’re constantly scrolling through what people want us to see. The amount of thoughts that can roll into your mind are endless, but they all play into the challenge of loving yourself, trusting your own process, and being completely, authentically, and unapologetically you.
But personally, one of my main goals that I’ve been working on for a long time now is to love myself completely, through every stage of my process. I’m shifting my mindset to a nonjudgmental, positive, and happy perspective of myself. I try to focus on what I’m good at, where I’m progressing, what my goals are, and who I am. I’m worth so much more than what I look like in a bikini, and so are you.
Here are my top 3 ways to get over those bikini season feels:
1. Start with nonjudgemental observation
If there’s one thing I learned, it is this: People really don’t care as much as we think they do. It’s literally all in our heads.
We spend so much time observing other people, judging their perfections or imperfections, and it’s making us only more self conscious of ourselves. How? Well, let’s do the math: The more we judge other people (que the flash back when you’re watching the guy at the gym doing a bizarre exercise and think “what is he even doing?”), the more we’re going to worry that other people are judging us the same way (remember when you wanted to try a new exercise and were too intimidated that others were watching/judging you?) They’re directly related | AKA: ↑ ↑ or ↓ ↓
See how that works? Judging others, whether good or bad, limits our ability to go out of our comfort zone.
The solution? Stop judging other people. I don’t care whether it’s good judgement or bad: just stop doing it. Instead, say hi; focus on the task at hand; focus on doing what makes you happy; focus on anything other than the appearance of peers or strangers.
2. Don’t forget what summer is all about
Forget the bikini. Think about all the adventures, all the opportunities, all the activities, all the road trips, all the bonfires, all the barbecues, all the fun occasions, all the beach dates, all the traveling, all the fun that summer holds! School is out! Now is the time to relax and put your mind toward other things.
Maybe you’re picking up a few extra hours at work, and I’m all for that! Summer is a perfect time to make an extra few bucks, but please don’t go overboard. You’re going to have the rest of your life to work. Make your extra few, but focus on making amazing memories. Summer is truly the best time to get out and make your young whiles worth while. Make your summer something worth writing a story about; make it something worth remembering. Be safe, and have fun!
3. Embracing and strutting your stuff is sexy
First and foremost, you surely heard this before, but I’m gonna remind you again anyway: Good looks don’t last; your youth is not going to last; and you’re going to get old one day. All you’re going to have left are the memories you made while you were young. Now, let me tell you something else, and maybe you’ve heard this before, too…
confidence is sexy!
If you keep allowing your summers to be controlled by these bikini feels then when you’re an old woman you’re going to look back and wish that you had appreciated your young body more. I can promise you that.
Look…do you currently wish you had appreciated the way you looked 2 or 3 years ago? I can bet those pictures you hated at the time are becoming a disappointing memory that you wish you had cherished more. Well my friend, change this wishful thinking now and save yourself the remorse later.
Picture yourself looking back on your life one day and saying, “Hell yeah, I had the time of my life! No regrets!” That’s such a positive accomplishment to have when you’re old. In a culture where its very common to wish you could appreciate your young years more, that type of thinking is a blessing. And we’re all capable of feeling that. We just need the courage to love ourselves in a society that thrives on self-doubt and self-loathing.
And can I also add that it is so much more attractive when one can embrace and strut what their Mama gave them. Good posture, chin held high, and a positive attitude is most attractive trait you can have…I promise.
So lovely ladies (and gentlemen), embrace your youth. Embrace your curvy or curve-less body. Embrace what you got because it is unique, it is worthy, it is beautiful, and it is you. That’s something no one can take away, so take pride in it!
If you’re not feeling it, my best advice is this: Act as if.
Act as if you’re confident. Act as if you love your body and you don’t care what other people thing. Act as if you are unique, one of a kind, beautiful, and worthy of everything good in this world…because you are! The more you act like it, the more you’re going to become it.
You are greater than you give yourself credit for.
You and your body are beautifully miraculous.
You are going to love and appreciate yourself for everything that you are…and I swear, it is so much more magnificent than you can imagine.