Body Confidence

How To Get A Bikini Body

This post was born out of boredom on our flight from New Orleans to LA a few weeks ago. It started off with me deciding I would use the time to write the review of the Bettie Swimsuit that was published yesterday but it very quickly turned into my musings of wearing a swimsuit in public. When I discovered it was #bodypostive week this week, I thought there would be no better time to publish it!

Society has programmed women to find swimsuits frightening. Through marketing campaigns for gyms and weight loss programs, they’ve told us that we need to get fit for summer so we look good at the beach. They’ve told us that we should start preparing months in advance because we couldn’t possibly consider going to the beach and show anything less than a bronzed, toned, waxed bod… right?

Then you’ve got to get a swimsuit. Going swimsuit shopping is notoriously terrible for a woman’s confidence as all of a sudden, any insecurities about our bodies are completely exposed and everyone at the beach will totally be scrutinising every single dimple on our thighs… Right?
Wrong. More likely than not, the other beach-goers are just wanting to have a good time and aren’t even looking your way. Our insecurities about what others think of us are so often blown out of proportion in our heads but sadly it can stop us from living life to the fullest.

Growing up, I was a water baby. Dolphins were my absolute favourite animal, I was in the water whenever I could, often going to the pools on the weekends with Mum and our summers were spent at my Grandparents Bach at Red Beach. I was a strong swimmer and often won or placed in school races, sometimes ahead of the girls who took weekly lessons. Then puberty started to hit around age 11 and I got boobs, gained weight and became increasingly uncomfortable with how I looked. I stopped competing in swimming sports at school shortly after and I remember that last time I did, the utter terror at having to walk from one end of the pool to the other in front of the entire school in just my swimsuit.

During the rest of my teens, I would still swim a little bit if we were out on the family boat but by the time I hit what I call ‘my bad body years’ where I became obsessive about my image and started to develop a eating disorder, there was no way you could get me in a swimsuit. Even once I’d recovered from all of that, swimsuits still felt like a weak point, a trigger that could stir up all those feelings of hate towards how I looked, so I still didn’t go near them. I didn’t go in the ocean or any kind of swimming for probably 3 or 4 years, which for me is really, really sad.

So what got me past it? A combination of finding swimsuits that make me feel comfortable and beautiful in and making the decision to push through the insecurities and find confidence because goodness knows, I don’t want to be a old lady and not done all the swimming I wanted to in my life simply because of a bit of cellulite.

Sometimes, when all else fails,  you’ve just got to pluck up the courage to fake it till you make it with this sort of thing. You might be terrified on inside, but stand up, push your shoulders back and walk calmly to the pool. You’ll realise it wasn’t so bad, no one laughed, jeered or pointed at you like you imagined and now you can enjoy a refreshing dip. That’s what helped me push past it all anyway- even once I became comfortable with my body, there was still sometimes that fear of what other would think of say. Once I realised that no-one was going to point and laugh at my less-than toned legs,

The other thing that helped immensely was just going to the beach or pool and seeing everyone else there. It wasn’t full of airbrushed models that grace the magazines, it was full of women of all shapes and sizes and you know what… They helped give me the confidence to get up there too. Knowing that sure, they probably have hang ups about how they look, but they were still there wandering around in a swimsuit looking like they are having a great time and that gave me a little sense of comraderie… We are all battling our body demons together but we can’t let it stop us living and having fun. I’m immensely grateful to all the women I’ve shared a pool or beach with in the past couple of years.

For me, finding confidence wasn’t something that magically happened overnight. I didn’t suddenly go from hating my body to loving it, it came from a conscious decision that I think to some extent everyone needs to make if they want to find peace with themselves. Some of you might have a longer road to go, some of you might need to seek help and deal with past trauma that stops you from making that step but I still feel like there is essentially a decision to make at the start of your self-love journey that only you can make for yourself- ‘I want to learn to love my body’.

Howtogetabikinibody

The point of this post is to hopefully encourage even one reader to take the plunge, strut around poolside or at the beach and embrace your glorious self just the way it is. You don’t need the fad diets, crazy exercise plans, juice cleanses, detoxes and constant war with yourself to get the ‘perfect bikini body’… you already have it! So get out there and have fun!

Read my other posts about body confidence here
Follow my favourite BoPo warriors @bodyposipanda and @fullerfigurefullerbust for inspiration on your IG feed
For help with eating disorders visit www.eatingdisorderhope.com and please talk to a close friend or family member for support.

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Categories: Body Confidence

12 replies »

  1. This has just made my day. I’m terrified about wearing my bikini on holiday but I shouldn’t be! Thank you for being so good with words and inspiring me to just wear it and enjoy it xx

    • Oh thank you Sarah! Sometimes I feel like I’m not good enough with words as I always have musings like this one but struggle to get them written down ❤️ go out there and rock that bikini!! Xx

  2. It is really inspiring to hear your story. I appreciate you telling it. I got into swimming again after years of absence, and I have really enjoyed it again. You have such life in your posts and I’m so glad to have found your blog. You sound a lot like me. You are truly inspiring to those who are struggling with body image. Thank you for reminding all of us we should love what we have!

  3. Thank you thank you! An amazing article. I too suffer from this and find myself missing out because I don’t want to be glared at or laughed at. Embracing my inner pinup girl your article inspired me to by the suit I’ve been dying for and in my 50th birthday in November I’ll be rocking it in Key West! <3

  4. You are absolutely right–there are folks of all shapes and sizes in swimsuits at the pool/beach. Not many resemble the typical supermodels. September 2014, I finally got the nerve to wear a 2 piece swimsuit in public as an adult, and it was quite liberating. There are no photos of me in it, but I was among dozens of people poolside in Las Vegas and I felt okay. Thank you for sharing your experience, Ella 🙂

  5. I looove this. I’m a fat girl (also a phat girl, haha), and I’m going to make a retro-inspired bikini to wear this summer. I’m a little scared, since my tummy hasn’t seen the sun since my teens, but I’m gonna fake it ’til I make it, just like you said. 🙂

  6. You’re absolutely right about everything, but coming from Finland I have to admit I find it hard to believe why so many people are incredibly insecure about dressing in a swimsuit/bikini. I come from “sauna culture”, where it’s perfectly normal to go to sauna naked with other strangers (in swimming halls) of the same gender. Nobody stares at all, it’s perfectly normal for most of us.

    Somehow I’ve always thought it’s the same way when we go to the beach in the summer; nobody stares or even cares, because it’s perfectly normal to look different. I think seeing someone with a “perfect” tanned bikini body would make everyone stare more than seeing a curvy lady in a bikini. One summer there was this very fit, beautiful young woman in a string bikini sunbathing at the beach and there probably wasn’t a single person, who didn’t stare at her. Most likely if people stare, they only do it, because you look GORGEOUS or your swimsuit is a piece of art.

    After gaining some weight, I’ve become slightly insecure and even though I would like to wear a bikini, wearing a pretty swimsuit that hides my tummy, makes me feel much better. When I was very slim and had a great body I never stared at anyone so I doubt anyone will stare at me either, but I guess it’s all in our heads, just like you said and we just need to get over it. Every body is a bikini body!

  7. Some times when I read posts about body positive I get emotional, I hope all this movement gets to as meany young woman/teenagers as possible so no one have to feel as bad and lonely as I did when I was at that age and felt ugly, fat and weird. I got myself through that alone, thinking that no one else felt like me, but clearly I was wrong.
    People like you and so many others make me realize I´m not alone.
    Thank you

  8. Thank you for the reminder to love our bodies and to strut out to enjoy and live life!! Your words are kind, encouraging and very uplifting.

  9. Thanks for this Ella it’s always so nice to read positive & encourageing feedback. I was so worried & nervous about wearing a swimsuit on stage for Miss Frankton Thunder, but I found an awesome vintage swimsuit to wear & I felt amazing in it & I won! So no turning back now

  10. So verk true. My young niece (7 years of age) every now and then comment on the way my body looks, like “you have nice firm boobs but your but is really, really big!” My usual answer goes like: “Yeah, well, you Know, I’m about 30 years older than you and something haspens with one’s body when one getts older. This is how God created me and I’m sure He has a great thought with that!” What bothers me is that she is but 7 years old and already is talking about what she think is a preferarly look (“thin”), commenting on other peoples weight and so on. What bothers me even more is that I want to make her feel comfortable with herself and not judge others based upon their looks. This article embraces everything I try to do to be a role model for her as well as for her friends, despite my firm boobs and big ass! Thank you for marketing a sound way to define how to get a bikini body 🙂

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