Got the Bathing Suit Blues? Do this!
6 Steps to Feel Bad-ass in your Bathing-suit this Summer:
This post is my loving response to the 60+ women and men I interviewed for my book, The Body Image Blueprint. For when I asked the question, “when do you feel least comfortable in your skin?” more than 65% of participants mentioned being in a bathing suit as top on that list. It kills me to know that many women and men won’t even go to a public beach or pool for the dread of wearing a bathing suit. These are women and men who love being outside, love swimming and the ocean but refuse to take part in that joy any more. I wondered what it was about swimsuits in particular that made us all feel so uncomfortable and vulnerable. Is it the fear of other people judging us? A modesty issue? Was it how the material felt on the skin that made it so onerous? Whatever the reasons – I honor and respect them. but I also gently ask you that if you too feel wretched when wearing a suit or being at the beach or public pool to sample these 6 strategies.
And please report back to me. I’d love to know if these techniques work for you the way they have worked for me.
1. Find a bathing suit that fits your unique body and style. Make sure it is comfortable and is the correct size. (I love www.modcloth.com to buy amazingly comfortable and stylish suits). Buy a beautiful sarong, caftan or coverup in a style and material that makes you feel comfortable.
2. Recognize and acknowledge that you feel like people may be looking at you and/or making judgements. Ask yourself: Is this true? Or is it a story I’m making up because of how I feel about myself?
3. Get in the water. We are all weightless in water and the sensory experience can help us feel embodied and alive – one of the ways we can improve our body image.
4. Stand at the pool or beach for a moment in complete mindfulness and presence. Notice the thought bubbles. Just notice how your body feels and where you are holding tension, ambivalence or stress. Breathe through that and recite a positive mantra. “I am worthy as I am” “My body is meant to do amazing things.” “I will not let shame or fear hold me back for what I want to do in my life.” or make up your own.
5. Take a minute to notice other people at the pool or beach. Notice how we are all interconnected and we all feel the same concerns, insecurities and self-judgements. Most people are too wrapped up in their own body concerns to be worrying or judging you. Seriously. Remember that. We all have our stories – but you’re allowed to let go of yours.
6. Take a minute to compliment at least 2 people. Complimenting others is a gift to them but also to you. It doesn’t have to be about that person’s looks or their bathing suit. It could be about how well they are managing with watching 3 kids at the pool or their really nice beach bag or for their taste in music. Whatever. Give yourself a gift by making someone else’s day.
Which of these resonate with you the most? Which will you try? Let me know in the comments section below!