By Shani Petroff
The weather is sweltering — a perfect time to go swimming. But many people won’t, and not because they don’t like the water, but because they don’t want to be seen in a bathing suit.
So I’m here to tell you: Just do it!
A few months ago, I was visiting relatives. I was told to bring a bathing suit. The idea made me cringe. The pool they wanted to go to wasn’t in their backyard—it was a community one—and that meant I’d have to be in a bathing suit in front of a large group of strangers.
I thought about staying home while everyone else went swimming — how my butt, thighs, and hips would be on full display and what others would think. I’d wish I was thinner.
And then I put on the bathing suit and went to the pool.
I didn’t want to let my insecurities stop me. I want to be at goal, and I’m working on getting there, but I’m not going to stop living and enjoying my life because I haven’t reached that milestone.
And you know what?
I had a great time swimming! Enough so, that I went back the next day, and when I was visiting other relatives last month, I didn’t think twice about getting in a swimsuit and going to the pool.
It’s easy to let fears prevail and worry about what other people think, but if someone has a problem with the way we look, it’s his/her problem, not ours.
Confidence at every size is key.
I know that can be easier said than done, so for those of us who need a little extra boost, here are a few tips that helped me.
1. Find a bathing suit you feel good in. This may not be easy, but the right one is out there. I tried on no less than 100 bathing suits until I finally found one that I liked and felt comfortable in. I tend to be extra self-conscious about my bottom half, so I found a suit that showed off my waist and chest. I bought it in black and liked it so much that I tracked down the same one in red and bought it, too.
2. Surround yourself with supportive people. There were strangers at the pool, but I also went with people I love — people who want the best for me and love me at any size. Knowing they had my back helped.
3. Fake it ’til you make it. Don’t feel confident? That’s okay. Pretend you do. Walk with your head held high, act like you are strong and beautiful — because you are, and if you tell it to yourself enough, hopefully you will realize it’s true.
We’ve got this! Summer is not over, so make sure to take advantage of it, and as an added plus, swimming is a great way to get some FitPoints® in. Let’s not let the rest of August or life pass us by.
Pssst! Keep up with me on Connect at: Shani!
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