Our culture is fascinated with the concept of being “Bikini Ready” or “Swimsuit Ready” during the summer. Make no mistake - This is weight loss propaganda against women. The idea is that women should only bare their bodies if they are able to attain a certain shape. Otherwise, they should be too ashamed of what they look like and should thus spend the summer hidden away. But that “certain shape” is always changing and will look different for each woman. The only constant is: It requires you to be thinner and prettier than you are right now.
Challenge this thought process by challenging what it means to be “Bikini Ready.” Instead of changing your body, change your mind:
- Tackle the reasons why you don’t feel comfortable wearing a bikini right now. Saying “I’m too fat” isn’t identifying the real problem. If you’re blaming your body, then keep thinking. Dig a little further until you recognize the deeper issue, such as “I’m afraid of how people will treat me” or maybe “I don’t feel like I deserve it” or even “I’ve been told so often that only certain girls can wear bikinis, I’ve never really questioned it.”
- Recognize that changing your body is not going to change your self-image unless you actually begin to attack the feelings that are causing this problem. Your weight or appearance is just a scapegoat - Really, fully accepting this can take time, but plant the seed.
- Go out and buy yourself that bikini. Dig through your closet to find the one that you bought last year. Put it on and just look at yourself in the mirror. You’re you in this bikini and you’ll still be you when you take it off. And let’s face it: You’re awesome.
- If you’re not comfortable showing that much skin right now? That’s fine! Switch up the plan and put on a pretty dress instead, or a new shirt. You don’t have to bare your skin in order to love what you look like and to feel safe. What matters is that you’re happy, not that you’re wearing a specific article of clothing. Don’t feel pressured into putting on a bikini if you don’t really want to.
Reject the idea that your body is what needs to be prepped before you’re ready to put on a bikini. Instead, tackle your mind, your self-image and all the messages that the media is sending you.
Lately, I’ve put on weight. I know it without a scale. And frequently, I’ve been feeling upset about that fact. But here’s the thing: I’m still me. I’m still smart and creative and pretty and good with animals. None of the important things about me change with my weight.
I was very nervous about being in just a bikini top and skintight leggings while hiking and swimming with Lucy this week, but it was also such a great experience.
Even while at the beach, even when I looked through the adorable photos Lucy took of me in my bikini, I had twinges of anxiety. Too many years of disordered thoughts have made my mind all cobwebby. I’m still working on clearing them out to let the sunshine in, but this day trip was a good step forward.
Great article about runner Julie Creffield:“Despite my size 18 frame I am a runner,” she wrote on the Huffington Post. “I have in fact been a runner for the last ten years running everything from 5k fun runs to full marathons. I run because I love the feeling of running, I love the community of runners where I have made many friends, but I admit I also run to keep control of my weight, and to help me lead a healthier and happier life.”She has recently launched the website Too Fat To Run which will provide first-time runners with the resources, including safety tips, to make their dreams a reality. The site will also sell merchandise, because, you know, you got to keep the lights on. Actually, one of the coolest things “Too Fat To Run” is doing, merch-wise, is selling runners apparel that provides a range of sizes for plus-sizers (most fitness wear does not clothe women past a size 16 or 18). The idea is to be able to make this business profitable enough to make “stylish, sexy, technical apparel” for plus-sized athletes."What we need are practical solutions where women feel empowered to be more active and where exercise is seen as something enjoyable and fun rather than a chore and something we must do."