Tips to get OUT of your head and IN to your swimsuit

Ahhhh summer. The hot air, the sweet smell of watermelon & sunscreen, the extra time with the kiddos, the vacations, and….the dreaded swimsuits.
The summer season can be challenging when it comes to insecurities about our bodies. Swimsuits are vulnerable things for moms…am I right? Even if you’re wearing a one-piece with a cover-up, somehow being at the pool exposes much more about our bodies than we’re used to. For me, being postpartum, pregnant, and still getting used to this new version of my body has brought on mindset challenges as we get in the pool daily as a family.
In addition, the fitness industry tends to prey on insecure, hopeless, fearful women this time of year. “You’re not summer ready,” “Your body is not good enough,” “You haven’t lost that extra 10 pounds yet,” or “Everyone will notice the weight you’ve gained this year” are lies that bombard us daily so that we will give in to just about anything to feel safe and secure in our swimsuits this summer, even if that means avoiding them all together. But ladies, that’s all those messages are– LIES!
One of the most heartbreaking things for me to hear is women holding back and not participating or showing up because they are insecure about their bodies. Summer brings this out in us even more.

Here are my 4 tips to getting out of your head and INTO your swimsuit this summer

  1. You don’t have to earn the right to wear a certain type of swimsuit.You’ve heard it said before (or maybe you’ve even said it before, too)… “I wish I could pull off wearing a swimsuit like that.” Well, why can’t you? What are these arbitrary rules that tell you you’re unable to wear any type of swimsuit of your choosing? Despite what society or the media has told you, your body doesn’t have to look a certain way or be at a certain weight in order to wear the swimsuit you want. You don’t have to earn the right to wear your dream bikini, tankini, one-piece….Your body is worthy enough as it is, right now, to wear what you like.
  2. No one cares as much as you do. Yikes…is that hard to hear? As much as I hate to break it to you, the truth is you are the only one who cares about the way your body looks in your swimsuit. You are the only one nitpicking and critiquing and disapproving. Once we realize that the judgments and criticisms are just in our head and are not reality, then there’s FREEDOM. That means we can literally change our mindset and the dialogue in our heads to therefore change our pool experience. When we change our thoughts to realize we are the only ones noticing or caring about the things we’re so worried about, and instead choose acceptance and grace about the way we look, then we have brain space to focus on the things that do matter. Betty Crocker over there, who you’re convinced is judging the 5 pounds you gained this year, is probably too focused on her own extra 5 pounds to notice yours. So let’s be FREE to acknowledge the nitpicking doesn’t help us and get in that swimsuit anyway!
  3. Guilting yourself never makes you better. We all know it too well- the “punishment” mentality. If I get in my head, guilt myself, put myself down just enough, then maybe I will actually change- stick to that exercise routine I’ve started over and over, quit my sugar addiction, finally lose the extra 10 lbs…whatever it is for you. We think the punishment mentality is serving us, but it is actually doing the opposite- getting us stuck in a negative mind trap that spirals us into even more guilt, shame, condemnation. I also believe that in the summer, we are subconsciously shaming & punishing ourselves by telling ourselves we are not good enough, small enough, fit enough, whatever enough to just put a swimsuit on and get in the pool! We are not allowed to enjoy the fun because of our own failures. Well, here’s a liberating truth- that mentality will never serve you. You know what does? A mentality of love, understanding, grace, acceptance, and truth. One that tells you who you are and the quality of your life is more important than those last 10 lbs, mama. One that uses truth and encouragement to move you in the right direction. So even if you’re feeling less-than, like a failure, and insecure in your body this season, let go of the shame, guilt, and condemnation. It is working against you and continuing the cycle that you are in!
  4. The culture changes when YOU change. Here’s the deal- When you step out in confidence and boldness despite your insecurities, it changes things. It matters. You never know when your own confidence will inspire another mom at the pool to also step out in confidence herself, and to overcome her own insecurities. We can’t sit around and wait for the summer body image culture to change. We have to rise up and be the change. We are not victims to societal and cultural norms or dialogue, we are influencers and overcomers. We can make a difference. You can change the culture by talking differently about your own body, not being afraid to wear the swimsuit or clothes that you want, and by getting out of your comfort zones by doing things you typically wouldn’t want to do because of your own body insecurity.

Here’s to a summer of confidence- not because you stuck with your January diet (because who did, really?), but because we chose to not care and got in to our swimsuits anyway. Here’s to a summer where making memories with your kids trumps your own imperfections in your body. Here’s to a summer of being the change you want to see!