It’s Not Just a Bathing Suit

Showing my body…

in a bikini…

on social media.

Terrifying doesn’t even cover it.

I remember looking at pictures of women posing in their bathing suits and rolling my eyes – “My goodness,” I thought. “They really need attention from someone.” I’d scroll past the photos slightly irritated and jealous by their boldness.

As I was struggling with my body, I often questioned whether I’d ever be skinny enough to wear a bathing suit and then post it on FB (Yes, I had this thought many times.) I thought about how people would laugh and talk about me. “Well, she looked good with clothes on, but look at her now, she should pile on the layers!”

Cruel? For sure. After all, no one was actually saying this. It was just going on in my head.

After starting Hammer and Chisel a year ago, I balked at the idea of showing my body to everyone I knew.  I clearly remember the day when I was working as a photographer, and I accidentally forgot to format (clear) one of my memory cards. I handed that card off at work and my stomach twisted when I realized what was on it – my BEFORE pictures. Me, in my sports bra and shorts and all my insecurity.

When I finished my first program and took my after photos I realized my body was in some of the best shape it had ever been, However, I was still scared of sharing. Somehow publicly showing those photos made me less proud of what I had accomplished.

Over the next few months, as my body continued to change, so did my mind. I stopped being so critical of myself and started embracing my body. Muscles & definition began showing and my confidence grew. I become discouraged with my progress when I stepped on a scale and vowed to never use one of those dirty things ever again.

Just as I was at the height of my achievements, I fell off track. I lost my drive and stopped working hard. Before I knew it, I had lost so much strength that I had fought to gain. Critical thoughts entered my mind and I felt myself slipping away.

Life in general had kind of spiraled out of my control, and I was losing a grasp on what was important to me.

I regrouped and vowed that I would fight tooth and nail for what was important to me – family and my mental & physical health.

I got back on track and worked my butt off.

So no, I’m not posting my bathing suit pictures so that I can get comments and likes. I’m posting them so I can share my physical, emotional & mental strength. You think it’s all physical? You don’t think I have quiet fights with myself when the workout becomes too hard or I’d rather sleep in than wake up and workout? I’m posting my pictures so that other woman can look and say, I can do that.

I CAN DO THAT!

I want to be confident.

I want to be strong.

I want to share that it’s not easy – not at all.

When I push past a barrier; when I run one more mile, or do 5 more reps, or wake up and press play instead of sleeping in, I WIN.

That mentality pours in to other parts of my life. When I’m faced with an obstacle, I acknowledge that it won’t be easy, but I know I will find a way. It may not be my original plan, but somehow, some way I will accomplish what I set out to do.

I’m not just posting a picture of myself in a bathing suit on social media.

I’m posting a picture of hard work, dedication, failure, success, self-doubt, insecurity, progress, power, and strength.

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