Confession: Swimsuit Season and Body Image

15 Apr

Happy Monday!

Spring is here … which means swimsuit season is almost upon us. Normally, this would really FREAK me out but I realized something lately about myself. Something quite remarkable and I want to tell you about it today. It’s remarkable because it’s different from the way I’ve been thinking for many, many years. Spring is different for me this year. Let me explain but first, some background …

KateUpdates Skinny

I’ve never been labeled as a skinny, thin, trim or slim girl. I’ve always been average height, weight and build. I don’t mean that as a negative, just a fact. Although I’ve always had confidence and a positive body image (thank you for that, Mom!) the all to common self-doubt and body criticism gradually crept in over the years.

I’ve gotten used to critiquing appearance and evaluating what others might think of how I look. Glancing in windows to check my reflection, comparing my size to other girls’ sizes or wondering how this or that makes me look had all become commonplace for better or worse.

Suddenly, Exposed …

This spring, however, something has changed. I realized it about a week ago when the weather started warming up and it was nice enough to go outside without a coat. Normally this change in seasons would leave me wishing for the comfort of my coat to cover up any part of me I was unsure of due to holiday eating and lack of fitness in the colder months.

Spring comes and the layers begin to peel away revealing any and all damage or lax that had been permitted in winter. Spring has always been a time of mixed emotions for me because of this. And so, the self-consciousness would happen every spring with me scrambling to gain control of my fitness and food habits. I’d suffer the discomfort of clothes that fit just a little too tight and hide behind loose dresses or even going ‘up’ a dress size.

Mirror, Mirror

Maybe this hasn’t ever been the case for you but I’m sharing this because I think it could be the case for some of us. We all want to feel our best, look our best and be our best selves. It’s so hard not to compare our bodies and it’s all too easy to be critical of the way we look AND let that dictate how we feel about ourselves. These feels can even sweep you into a depression if you linger in them. It’s hard work to eat healthy and invest in our fitness. It’s really hard.

There is HOPE

This spring, something has changed for me. I realize I’m not scared anymore. I’ve been working on being healthier, stronger and living life to the fullest since last August. You’ve seen my journey and we’ve helped each other progress, with the goal of being the healthiest we can be. This spring, I’m reaping the benefits. I’m not afraid to go “coat-less” this year. I’ve worked hard to get where I am and I feel confident in the changes that I’ve seen in my mind and body. I feel amazing because I’m feeding my body good, healthy things and I’m making time to workout each week.

I’m not Scared Anymore

I’m still not where I want to be. I still have progress to make. I’m still fighting the temptation to gauge my progress with the scale. I’m really not sure what I weigh right now and I’m in between dress sizes. Do those things impact how I feel about myself? Honestly, yes they still do. I’m working hard to remove that negative thinking and inaccurate measurement of who I am.

In the meantime, those things are factors in how I feel I guess but mostly it’s the pride and self-gratification that I’m feeling from all the hard work I’ve put in. This spring, I say, “Bring it!!!” because I’m ready. I want to challenge you to embrace where you are this spring. Don’t be afraid of where you are. Look back and see how far you’ve come. Then look forward and get excited for where you’re going.

You’re more than your dress size.

~ Kate

2 comments
NotAPunkRocker
NotAPunkRocker

Very good attitude!  We have water park passes for the first time this year, so I have to consider getting a bathing suit for the first time in YEARS.  *deep breaths*

RebeccaTodd
RebeccaTodd

Love this post Kate! I personally do not use a scale- won't step on them except for at the doctor's. I just don't see a point! I know I am up a few pounds after a winter of less activity and more happy eating (I don't eat when stressed- kinda backwards from some!), but I just couldn't care less. I'm glad to hear that you are free-er of such things this year! I bet your confidence just shines through now. Congrats! 

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