If you had asked me a few years ago what my favorite season was, I’d always say winter. I’d make something up about how I love Christmas and sweaters, but I mostly just liked that I could hide my body in big layers and no one would know what I actually looked like. I was terrified of summer, and I’d miss every pool party, every outdoor picnic, and every beach day because I was afraid of people seeing me in a swimsuit. Not only did I miss out on fun events with friends and family, but I only made myself hate my body more and more. After a while, hating the way you look can get tiresome, and it just takes away any of the energy you have to do anything else.
Fast forward a few years, and I think I can finally say that I LOVE summer, and as scary as it can be sometimes, I love wearing cute shorts and tanks when the weather gets warm. Swimsuits, however, are still difficult for me. Yeah, you can wear a cover-up, but it isn’t all that easy to hide in a swimsuit. As someone who’s grown to love swimming and hanging out on the beach with friends and family, I’ve had to find ways to feel confident enough to wear something that won’t make me sweat buckets. Here’s how I’ve become comfortable enough in my body to rock all those adorable swimsuits I was stockpiling for years.
Find the right swimsuit for your body type
Picking the right swimsuit can make all the difference, especially after having kids. Do you feel more comfortable in a one piece or a high-waist bottom with a bandeau top? Do you like cut-outs or want something super full coverage? Trying on different swimsuits to find what looks best on you can work wonders for making you feel confident and excited on the beach.
“Practice” around your house
This sounds a little weird, but it has helped me a TON. Put on your swimsuit and just hang around your house. Do some laundry, play with your kids, cook dinner — whatever you do in your home. This gets you comfortable in the swimsuit. Maybe the bottoms are too tight or too big, and it’s just awkward to walk around in, or you find out this swimsuit makes your butt look amazing. This helps you decide if you like the way it fits before you hit the pool, and it forces you to spend some time with your body in a way you might not normally. (i.e. in leggings and a big t-shirt on the couch — no shame!)
Surround yourself with friends and family
People who support and love you for you when you’re nervous or self-conscious are always my go-to. Head to the beach with your family and friends who make you feel confident and will focus on the fun you’re having rather than the way you look. Because kids don’t notice what you look like in your bathing suit. They’re more focused on your sand castle-making abilities. Don’t surround yourself with friends who will compare their bodies (and yours!) to others or who complain or body-shame. It’s hard enough to deal with my own inner critics, the last thing I need is someone else bringing my body down.
Forget “bikini ready”
I don’t care what anyone says, every body is a “bikini body.” Realizing that you don’t need to do a juice detox or some special workout to feel confident on the beach really makes it all worth it. Swimming, splashing in the waves with your kids, making a sandcastle, walking along the water – there are so many fun activities you can do in a swimsuit that are so much more worthwhile than looking a certain way. Getting active and eating healthy is always good for you, but know that your body is ready for a swimsuit any time.
Invest in a good cover-up and fun accessories
Walking from the car to the beach can be the most uncomfortable, scary walk ever. (Okay, I’m being a little dramatic. Maybe it’s just all the stuff that makes it the longest.walk.ever.) Having the right cover-up that makes you feel less vulnerable on that walk makes the entire beach day better. Want something that is going to totally cover you up? A long, maxi dress is the move. A sheer wrap dress or top shows off your bikini while making you feel a little more modest. A wrap skirt shows off that adorable bikini top or one-piece – or if you can’t take a vacation, it’ll make you feel like you’re in Mexico sipping margaritas all day long instead of at the community pool. Taking the time to make your suit look extra fabulous can go a long way. Whether it’s a nice pair of sunnies, a floppy straw hat, the perfect beach bag or an adorable pair of pool slides, going the extra mile with your accessories gives you that extra boost of confidence.