Hi, I’m Hannah aka @spangledstar on Instagram. As a member who is still on the journey towards goal, one of my favourite aspects of losing weight has been my rising self-confidence. Looking in the mirror and loving what I see, choosing clothes that I wouldn’t have dreamed of before my body started changing shape.
But, I think a lot of you will agree, the confidence to wear a bikini or swimming costume takes a little longer to arrive! That nagging little voice that pops up every now and then to point out our lumps and bumps (I call mine Horrid Hannah) seems to particularly hate swimwear!
I have always been self-conscious in swimwear for as long as I can remember. I spent three years in Australia, living on beaches, and I can only find ONE photo of me in a bikini (the smile masking the shame that I was the biggest girl). Last year I went away feeling good but came home and hated all the photos of me in my bikini. I decided this year was going to be different.
In the weeks before we flew I knuckled down with the WW programme and lost as much as I could. I purchased three new bikinis and tried them on regularly to keep the motivation going. I even managed to get a tan before I left and I felt amazing! Check out this article on 5 ways to love your body!
That first day, I put on my favourite bikini and I went to the local beach with a spring in my step. We chose our spot and off came my dress ready for a spot of sunbathing. Then my partner, Matthew pulled out the camera and all of a sudden, I was in a mental panic as I tried to remember to suck my belly in, put my shoulders back, hold my face at a flattering angle and smile, and then look like I was having fun! A quick look at the photo and ‘delete’, I didn’t like how my belly rolls were showing! Although, as Matthew kindly pointed out, even the smallest of people will have the odd crease in their belly when lying at certain angles on a sunbed!
Matthew suggested a cool down in the sea, so I suck it all in and with a very deliberate walk (to reduce any cellulite jiggles) I dive ‘gracefully’ into the water. There’s a sudden knot in my stomach as I turn around to see that Matt is holding the waterproof action-cam and has been capturing candids without me realising! I playfully splash him in mock annoyance whilst secretly thinking ‘they’ll be getting deleted’! He’s acting like a man-child, splashing me, doing handstands and suddenly BAM! It hits me. I am with the love of my life, in a beautiful country, without a care in the world. Why am I obsessing about how I look when less than 24 hours ago I thought I looked great?! No one else is looking at me thinking ‘she shouldn’t be wearing that!' In fact there may even be people looking at me thinking I wish I looked like that in my bikini.
So, from that day on, I locked the nagging voice away, I enjoyed every second of my holiday and didn’t give a thought to what I looked like in my swimwear. Those candid photos that Matthew took, and I was so sure were going to be deleted... Well actually I looked really good in some of them and they have been included in holidays snaps that other people are allowed to see!
The moral of my story to those who still battle with the nagging voice during or at the end of their weight loss journey is to ENJOY LIFE. Make the most of every moment and don’t let yourself sabotage your happiness. Get that bikini or swimsuit that you love and wear it with pride. Why? Because no one else is looking; they are too busy enjoying their own holidays!