I remember when I was in my 20s, I would hear people say to enjoy my body because it only gets tougher to keep in shape as you get older. I turned 30 and didn’t feel any changes so I thought I was fine. But this year, at 33, I now understand what those people meant.
It’s been harder for me to keep in shape recently. A year ago, a workout hiatus wouldn’t matter. I’d hit a few pilates classes and my stomach would instantly flatten and my butt would lift. These days it takes much more of an effort.
Now that we’re in full swimsuit season mode, I’ve found myself feeling down about my appearance. I look at photos from previous years and think, why don’t I look like that anymore? The healthy response would be to eat better and work out more. But for some reason I found myself feeling discouraged and skipping a workout class for a comforting bowl of pasta. I’d wake up, look at my cellulite, and repeat the downward spiral of being upset when I saw my Facebook memories show photos of my former bikini body.
When I took these photos on the beach a few weeks ago, the purpose of the post was to chat about one-piece swimsuits (I did round up some at the end of the post in case you’re interested). But I want to be real with you guys. So much of our world these days are perfect images on social media. So I wanted to share that no matter what you see on Instagram or Facebook, everyone has their insecurities. I’m currently trying to obsess less over my cellulite, white spots and new love handles that I certainly don’t love. And instead I’m trying to focus on the positives.
With my body changes I am now a fuller cup size. That means I actually fill out the top half of my bathing suits! I’ve realized that the important part about body image is focusing on the attributes you love about yourself. Sure I don’t feel as comfortable anymore walking around in an itty-bitty bikini (seriously when did bottoms get so tiny?!). But I now embrace my curves with new swimsuit shapes that flatter my figure.
So as we head into the weekend, I want to encourage you (and to remind myself!) to focus on the body parts you love. It’s all about learning to accept yourself for who you are. Because as one of my favorite yoga teachers, Arielle, always says at the end of class…
You are more than enough.
Photos by Michelle Kyle