I have always been self-conscious about my appearance in general; how I look, how clothes fit me, and how my hair and make-up look. I am usually very good at staying in shape and have no problem wearing tight fitting clothes or even swimsuits, but after having my twins my body has never been the same. And now I am expecting again; With this pregnancy I tend to look overweight rather than pregnant. Even though I hate to admit it, I am bothered at how my body looks.
With summer here, going to the pool and beach are now regular activities. I had to make the decision to overcome my dread of wearing a bathing suit and enjoy the moment. Here's what helped me do just that:
I wanted to play and have fun
The purpose of a swimming suit is not to show off your body; there are activities that require you to wear a swimming suit. I used to love swimming as a kid and could not wait to go to water parks or the public swimming pool during the summer. As an adult the thought of getting my hair wet, needing to change in a public restroom and having to put a swimsuit on has made me lose sight of how much fun swimming can be. When I let go of the work involved and just focus on the fun, I find that swimming is something I really enjoy...and it's a great workout!
I found a good quality swimsuit
One way I learned to enjoy rather than dread wearing a swimsuit is by shopping around. There are several different styles available for all body shapes. Because my top half and botton half are different sizes, I prefer a two piece tankini. This allows me to get the right fit everywhere, while still covering my whole body. Trying out different strap styles can also help you feel more comfortable. I find that a halter top style keeps the suit on my shoulders and fits my body well. Try on different styles and sizes to find what works for you.
I also recommend getting a good quality swimming suit that you can wear frequently without it fading, stretching out or getting holes in it. Paying for a quality swimming suit that makes you feel great can help you feel more comfortable.
I wanted to promote a good body image to my family
Even though I cringe at the stretch marks and extra rolls I have, I do not want my kids to think I am ashamed or embarrassed of my body. There are so many amazing things it can do. I can run in the sand, spend hours in the pool swimming and even grow a baby. Those are the things to show my kids. I do not want my kids to grow up thinking they need to have a perfect body in order to wear a swimsuit. One way to teach that lesson is by being confident wearing a swimming suit with the body I do have.
I put my family's joy above my own self-consciousness
When it comes down to it, playing outside, being in the water and building sand castles are really more important than me feeling uncomfortable in a swimming suit. My kids love to do these activities and so does my husband. Being able to get in the water with them is much more fun than watching from the sidelines. My kids want to play with me and I want them to have those memories of me being a hands on mom, not a figure that stood in the background. And although it may be difficult, it means I need to shed the sundress and embrace the swimsuit.
All these factors played a role in how I learned to put on a swimsuit without dreading the whole experience. While there are still some days when I wonder where my 20-year-old body went, I just let the thought go by, recommit to my workout plan, and go out to the pool to focus on what is really important; my family, having fun, and enjoying the beautiful weather! I hope these tips can help you overcome your discomfort and realize all the benefits putting on a bathing suit can bring.