Sometimes no matter how much we exercise, eat healthily and take care of ourselves having body confidence can feel like a constant battle.
Whilst away on our holiday in Ibiza recently I realised my issues with how I look goes so much deeper than what size bikini I’m wearing.
I’d been working out a lot and following a nutrition plan, I was back in my white jeans and my denim shorts – both of which I hadn’t been able to fit into for more than two years. In theory I should have been feeling super confident but a trip to the beach made me realise I was anything but.
On our first day I happily posted a picture of my daughter and me in our swimwear – I received some lovely comments about how great I looked which were lovely.
A few days into it all though and I was eating what I wanted and drinking red wine and I started to feel bloated as you do – I mean holidays are about enjoying yourself and letting go. What happens to me though is I start to not like myself and wherever I look all I can see is my bloated tummy and all of a sudden I don’t feel that great about how I look anymore.
We were so excited about having a beach day as when we were in Ibiza last July it was just too hot for the kids but as soon as we arrived and paid for our sunbeds I started to feel anxious. Everywhere I looked there were people in their swimwear, all shapes and sizes happily strutting around looking at ease with their semi nakedness.
Then it happened…..a goddess appeared from no where, she looked like a supermodel, not a trace of fat, cellulite or any other kind of marks on her body and she’d definitely not had children. She looked great and she knew it and as she pulled up a sunbed in front of my husband my heart sank. There she lay this picture of perfection stretched out on her front with just her two pert buttocks that you could crack a walnut with starring my husband in the face.
I suddenly felt ill, that was it, and there was no way I was going to take my dress off now.
Chris’s take on it was “You put pictures of yourself in your pants on Instagram for goodness sakes! You look great” it’s different though, I can’t see people looking at the picture. There’s something oddly strange about being in just my bikini surrounded by strangers, I just couldn’t do it and so I didn’t.
I work hard to keep fit and stay in shape and exercising does help me to feel more confident however one of my biggest issues is over coming a fear of being judged by people and in this case people I didn’t even know.
Rather sadly my daughter ended up doing the same and I’m sure she was just copying me, which makes me feel terrible. I want her to grow up confident about her body and not care about being in shorts, a dress or a swimsuit.
Then there was the afternoon when I’d been having so much fun with the kids in the pool and Chris started taking photos.
I wanted to post a picture on my instagram page but my thigh looked so massive it stopped me in my tracks.
Chris told me how silly I was being and that I should be proud of a picture that shows a beautiful moment with my children so I posted it and I wrote about how un comfortable I felt actually putting the photo out there.
I had such a strong response, comments from women who felt exactly the same and a message from a Dad who also struggled with how he looks.
I started to think about how hard we can be on ourselves, how sometimes everyone else’s opinion of us matters more than our own and how can that be?
It’s not healthy waiting to be judged, letting that fear stop us from appreciating who we are, what we look like and somehow taking away a love and respect that we should have for ourselves and our bodies.
Often our opinion of ourselves is far worse than anyone else’s opinion of us.
If you are one of those people who gets your kit off and doesn’t worry then I applaud you. However if you’re like me and struggle with finding that inner confidence to do so then I get it, we are a work in progress but it’s important that we don’t give up.
You wouldn’t tell a friend that they were ugly or not good enough to wear swimwear on a beach so why should we say it to ourselves?
That love and support we give to everyone else, we need to give to ourselves, those compliments we pay to our nearest and dearest daily, we need to pay to ourselves too.
My goal is to be on a beach running around in my bikini not caring at all or worrying what other people think.
I think I’ll get there; I’m just not sure how long it’s going to take me.