I've always been somewhat insecure of my body. Surprise surprise, right?! Let's be honest, most women these days have some sort of body issue. Whether you think your arms jiggle, you have "thunder thighs", or you simply think you're fat... the reality is you and I aren't the first (or the last for that matter) to dislike something about our bodies.

One of my biggest insecurities is what I look like in a bathing suit. Okay, I know, most women feel the same, right?! Don't write off this post just yet. I'm  going somewhere with this.

I actually remember the first time I thought I looked terrible in a bathing suit. I was fourteen years old and I was at the local community pool. My two friends and I had just arrived and we're quick to jump into the water. That day I had decided to wear my favorite hot pink bathing suit and I thought I looked cute. However, the moment I splashed into the pool, one of my well meaning friends said what I thought was one of the oddest things ever, She asked me why my bathing suit made it look like I had a fat pocket near my arm pit. I was so embarrassed that she even noticed. Somehow that moment spurred a long running series of insecurities. I would think things like my ribs stuck out in a weird way or I would obsess with the fact that my thighs touched. I was constantly comparing myself to the girls around me. I was ashamed that I wasn't stick thin and hated that I wasn't curve-less.

Sadly, I think this teenage sob story happens to a lot of girls. The worse part of it is: insecure girls grow into insecure women. Some of us grow out of it, but most of us will never forget that first boy who calls you fat or those girls at school who talk about the way you look behind your back. I'm in my late twenties and I still try to cover up as much as possible. I remember when I was in my early twenties, I hardly ever wore a bathing suit. It got so bad at one point that I wouldn't even go to the beach without a sweatshirt on because I thought I looked too fat. I mean for goodness sake, it wasn't until three years ago that I got over my fear of wearing shorts!

So where am I going with this? This blog, this journey, is meant to create a new mindset. Be more open and let go of things. My main thing is I'm trying to say "yes" more than I say "no" so this means when my daughter asked me a couple of days ago to go swimming (despite the fact that I didn't want to go), I gave in and said yes. That day I forced myself to put on my bathing suit and to get out of the house for the day.

Once we were at the pool, it didn't take long for my family to start begging me to get in the water. Usually I avoid, at all cost, other people seeing me in a bathing suit and on that day the pool was filled with people. I felt so shy getting into the water. I felt like everyone was looking at me, even though no one really was.

It wasn't until I was swimming around with my kids for a couple of minutes that I realized something. I don't care what other people think about me. Teaching my daughter to swim and watching my son playfully splash everyone in the "big pool" are memories I'm never going to want to forget. More importantly, I realized I wanted to be apart of the memories, not watch from the sidelines. It made me think about all those years that I said no to going to the pool or the beach. How many times have I said I can't or I don't want to because I felt fat or thought I didn't look great. Please tell me I'm not the only one who let fear hold me them back.

The moment I got home I began searching on the internet. In my mindset I kept thinking: Mama is going to buy a NEW bathing suit. No more sitting on the bench watching everyone else have fun. I don't care what my excuses were before. Every day I waste thinking like I used to is another day I don't fully enjoy my life.

So here's my message to all the women who may feel the same: Follow suit. There's no reason too big or too small to miss out on the best parts of life. Start off small. Buy yourself a new bathing suit. Jump into the pool. Have fun and forget the rest.

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