Body Confidence on Vacation

David and I leave Friday for Tortola. We will spend a glorious week sailing around the British Virgin Islands.

CaribbeanMap

I am ecstatic! I am also a little crazy this week getting things ready. I’m stocking up on food and Hailey supplies so the grandparents won’t need to shop for her while they are already doing us the huge favor of watching her. I’m cleaning the house so it’s nice for everyone’s stay. I’m getting laundry done, packing our bags and getting out things like sunscreen (!!!).

One thing I’m not doing?

Crash dieting.

You could always tell when spring break was coming in high school because suddenly every girl would be carrying around a Slim Fast. Sad, but true. Knowing that I’d be in a bathing suit around a billion other girls had me cutting calories, too.

Once on vacation, I’d also enlist all the tricks. Maybe you know what I mean… Crossing my legs so my thighs wouldn’t spread out while I sat, flexing my stomach muscles for pictures, sitting up super straight so my stomach wouldn’t fold over my bathing suit.

Now I’m not saying there is anything wrong with wanting to look good or standing in a flattering pose, but to constantly be sucking in, flexing or turning down delicious food and drinks sucks the fun right out of vacation.

I’m sad I spent so many years worried about it.

This vacation I’m vowing not to waste an ounce of mental energy on such shallow, trivial, self-absorbed thoughts.

Maybe it’s because I’m getting older and just don’t care. Maybe it’s because I have a husband who thinks I’m smoking hot and somehow doesn’t notice my cellulite (God bless him).  Maybe it’s because becoming a mom shows me there are a lot more important things in life than how you look in a bikini. Mostly I think I’m just finally comfortable in my own skin.

My body isn’t perfect. I have scars, I have loose skin, I have a billion “freckles”, but I’m healthy and I take care of myself. I am able to go snorkeling, dive in the water, run down the beach, dance with my husband and go waterskiing. And those are the memories I want to make.

body confidence

So guess what I won’t have the this vacation? Six-pack abs. Guess what I will have? A big glass of wine and a damn good time.

Now back to packing…

Are you comfortable in a bathing suit?

Have you always been that way?

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Comments

  1. says

    I’ve been thinking a lot about this topic lately, as Vishnu and I are planning a tropical vacation for June. Honestly, a few years ago, I would’ve taken very drastic measures to ensure that I looked decent in my bathing suit. Like most women, I still have areas I’d like to firm up (especially for this trip). But I’m not going to stress about it or cut out entire food groups to lose a few pounds. I’m over that. Instead, I’m just going to do what I’ve always been doing – continue to eat nutritious meals and exercise regularly…oh and and watch the extra sugar consumption. Key word extra – I won’t give up my daily piece of dark chocolate…ever! ;)
    Parita @ myinnershakti recently posted..Weekend Mish MashMy Profile

  2. says

    This sailing adventure sounds awesome. I am sure all of you are going to enjoy it and I can’t wait to see photos of this trip.
    I’ve never worn a bikini. My goal is to, one day. For now, I have achieved my goal in looking good in a normal bathing suit after losing 97lbs.
    blackhuff recently posted..A sessionMy Profile

  3. says

    I’m comfortable in a bathing suit around my husband and strangers but that’s pretty much it. I feel very, very uncomfortable around my family and friends – like they are judging me, which they probably aren’t. It’s actually something I’ve been thinking about because we’re going to Florida this weekend to visit my father and stepmother and they have a hot tub and I’m scared to wear a bikini in front of them.
    Lee recently posted..Fun New ThingsMy Profile

    • says

      I used to have the same fear! I think what helped me relax is realizing that I was feeling way too self important. While I was busy standing in the right position to look skinny, everyone else was having fun. It dawned on me that I cared how I looked a lot more than anyone else cared how I looked. I hope you get to soak and enjoy that glorious hot tub!

  4. Hanna says

    Yes, I’m very scared of bathing suits right now! I’ve always felt somewhat nervous in a bikini, but once I had babies it got worse. It definitely takes some of the fun out of a sunny vacation!

  5. Lauren K says

    I can’t say I didn’t work a little harder at CrossFit the month before Cancun (it was January and I overindulged for 3 months with holidays). With that being said, I felt the most relaxed ever and actually didn’t care…just wanted to feel good. I was burning off any extra energy so I could fully indulge in those tacos and tequila!

  6. says

    Have a blast on your trip! I think it is awesome that you won’t be worrying about anything while on vacation! I know way too many girls who sacrifice lots on vacation to “look good” in pictures, when it really didn’t matter. I am a firm believer in working for what you want, and working takes way longer than a week! I am feeling good in a bathing suit! I never used to, but I’ve been working on staying toned and building muscle, and I want to show it off!

    • says

      I totally agree. I feel like I’m finally at a place in life where I work out consistently and eat the good stuff, and that makes my body healthier and better looking than I could ever get it to look with a week or two crash course :)

  7. Vivian says

    Love this post! You are too awesome, and I love how much your and David’s mutual love and adoration comes through in your blog. Have a great trip! And, lucky Hailey for getting to spend a whole week with her grandparents :)

    • says

      Aw, thanks!! I feel a little cheesy sometimes, but my goodness, I love that man ;)
      And, yes!, Hailey is going to LOVE a week with her grandparents. Hope she misses me at least a little ;)

  8. Paulina says

    My body confidence shot through the roof after I had a baby. Physically, I don’t look as “hot” as I did before, but I stopped caring as much. However, I tend to get down on myself when I’m getting dressed up for a night out, but that has to do with my lack of cute and stylish clothes. I need to make time for myself to shop for more than just clothes for the office and pajamas! Have a fabulous time and don’t waste one single second criticizing your bikini bod, mama!

    • says

      I am so much more confident after having Hailey, too. Isn’t that weird? It’s totally the opposite of what I’d expect to happen,but here I am!
      And I so feel you on the lack of clothes. I wear the same 4 shirts over and over. I’m not exaggerating. Have you heard of stitchfix? I’m thinking about trying it out.

  9. Whitney says

    I am 100% guilty of trying to drop a few pounds before bikini season! But when I’m on vacay I do not hold back on the food and booze.. hoping it all balances out! :)

  10. Kathryn says

    I completely agree!!

    Also wanted to say that I’ve done the vacation you are about to do several times and it’s my FAVORITE! In case you haven’t done it, my favorite spots are: Jost Van Dyke (and the Soggy Dollar), the Pelicans, Norman Island (and the Willy T), Peter Island and Bitter End.

    Honestly, there’s too much to do to worry about anything :)

    • says

      THANK YOU for the suggestions!! We almost honeymooned at Peter Island and I can’t wait to see it! David has stayed at the Bitter End before and loved it. We saw something online about the soggy dollar and I’m determined to check it out. I’m glad you have good things to say about this type of vacay :)

  11. says

    I’m still trying to gain some of my confidence back after having a baby… er 10 months ago – I have a lot of leftover flabby skin and some stretch marks and need to just make more time to tone up. I’m okay with not buying a two piece, though… I’m of the mindset that if we were going to go on vacation in the near future, I wouldn’t crash diet and worry the whole time. I buy things I feel comfortable in now so I can enjoy myself thoroughly rather than worrying about whether or not my muffin top is hanging out. ;)

  12. says

    I wouldn’t say I am super confident but I don’t mind being in a bathing suit. Now that I am a mom, I might choose my bathing suits differently. I hope you have tons of fun on your vacation and hopefully we can take a vacation soon.
    Karen recently posted..Totes Excited…My Profile

    • says

      I debated whether I should get a one piece now that I’m a mom, but honestly, I’m more comfortable in a two piece, so I’m going with it. I think it’s all about what picking what you feel best in!

  13. Stefanie says

    One thing I like to remind myself: There is always someone who is going to look worse than you in a bathing suit and someone who will look better than you. Who cares!? It’s not a contest! :)
    Enjoy your vacation! I can’t wait to see all your pics!

  14. Danielle says

    One of the things you didn’t point out that I think is perhaps the most important: you have a daughter. It is your privilege and responsibility to instill in her a positive body image and confidence. She will watch you and see how you respond to your perceptions of your body. If you truly believe you are strong and confident and secure in your own skin, she’ll emulate that. I think that’s a much more important point than “I’m a mom so now I just don’t care as much.” You are beautiful! Have an amazing trip!

    • says

      Well said! I definitely want Hailey to grow up with a healthy body image. I love that she gets to see me take care of my body and reap the rewards without me ever pointing out my jean size. It’s about a lifestyle, not a number. Great comment!

  15. says

    Loved this post!

    I’d say I’m 75% comfortable in a bikini. It’s definitely not my favorite thing to wear, but usually when I do, I’m having fun! I try really hard to be happy with how my body looks, but I can’t lie, I wish my thighs were a little smaller! Then again, who knows if it’d really make me happy. I need to just stop being so hard on myself. Like you mentioned, I have a body where I’m able to do all those things too, and I should be proud & thankful of that.
    Kelli H recently posted..Two Tastings in HealdsburgMy Profile

    • says

      You’re preaching the the choir on wanting smaller thighs! It’s always been my “trouble” spot. I’ve finally accepted that my thighs are strong because of years of gymnastics and cheerleading and no amount of squats are going to change their build. Now I find myself noticing the definition developing in them and I’m proud. David has substantial thighs, too, from years of soccer and we always joke how great it’s going to be to be when we stay sturdy and strong through our elderly years :)

      • Whitney says

        OH man my husband has soccer thighs too and it’s so hard for him to find jeans because his waist is tiny but his legs are so muscular! haha

  16. Amy Cole says

    Awesome post! We just recently vacationed in the Virgin Islands! We were in St. John and St. Thomas the first week of Feb! It was absolutely amazing there. It was hands down some of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. You are going to have an amazing time! I have recently (over the past 2 years) gained alot of confidence being in a bikini. I don’t have the perfect body by any means but I have worked very hard for the one I have. I decided to accept it and rock it!! Have a wonderful vacation and be sure to enjoy the delicious rum over there!!!

    • says

      Oh, you just made me even more excited!! I’m so glad you had a great vacation. I love your mindset that you worked hard for the body you have and are going to rock it. That’s such a great way to put it :)

  17. says

    I love this post. Its amazing.. nobody’s perfect, we all have scars… extra skin, long torsos, long legs… weird feet. Who cares? It makes us real.. it makes us different.

    Own it.

    Thanks for writing this. :)

  18. says

    Once again, an awesome post! I admit that in summers past when I was carrying around a LOT of extra weight, I did everything to stay out of the sun and especially a bathing suit. This summer, I’m not perfect, but I’m SO much more confident than I have been and I can’t wait to have fun at the beach.
    Vacations = relaxing and not worrying about food, counting anything or pressures about anything! Enjoy your time away :)
    Jen@HealthyFoodandFamily recently posted..Weekly Weigh In {2.25.13}My Profile

  19. says

    Amen! There’s so much more to life than appearance. Being healthy and able to do the things we want to do is what makes a good body. I don’t want to live that way (obsessed over my flaws and depriving myself), and I don’t want my kids to grow up with that kind of attitude/behavior either.

    Have fun on your trip!
    Melissa recently posted..Sailing by Ash BreezeMy Profile

  20. says

    Amen.

    I read this post before heading out to the beach this morning and instead of grabbing my tankini or one-piece as I intended, I went for the two piece. My husband thanks you.

  21. says

    Good for you! Just enjoy your vacation- and beside, you ARE smokin’ hot. :) Oddly enough, Ive never felt more confident in a bathing suit than I did when I was pregnant. I’m hoping that confidence stuck with me, and I think it has. I’m pretty proud of the fact that my body made a baby, and if I have a little loose skin from it, well…it was more than well worth it. :)
    Erin @ The Grass Skirt recently posted..Lunchtime check-in (Salmon strawberry poppy seed salad)My Profile

  22. says

    I have read your blog for a while and just recently started my own so I am commenting now that I have a “face” on here. I really love the message in this post. I definitely feel insecure at times but you said it perfectly in that we should be happy that we are healthy and able to enjoy life with those we love and find the beauty in that, not how we look on the outside. :)
    Sarah@ making thyme for health recently posted..Rice and Quinoa Corn Cakes with Black Bean SalsaMy Profile

  23. says

    Great post! Love your confidence and perspective! I’ve got a 4 week old baby and am planning a beach vacation in another 3 weeks so swimwear has been in the back of my mind. (I’m too sleep deprived to really put much thought un it). Normally, I wear a two piece but I was thinking one piece for this trip since I’ve got some extra baby weight still but you’ve inspired me to reconsider :). My body did an amazing thing by giving birth and that’s something to be proud of. After all, won’t most people be looking at my adorable new son instead of me? I think so :)

  24. says

    What a great post, and just what everyone needs to be reminded of as Spring Break times get closer. I still compare my body to others, and I don’t think I have a realistic perception of my own body. Having been slightly overweight or just a little bit rounder than most of my friends for nearly my whole life, now that I’m (perhaps too) thin, I still get surprised when I see photos of myself.

    That being said, I don’t mind stripping down in the locker room at the gym, or worry too much about the state of my body in a bathing suit. I have always been pretty comfortable in my skin, even if I wasn’t feeling like it was 100% “perfect.”
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted..What I (Didn’t Calcul) Ate WednesdayMy Profile

  25. says

    Wow, I remember spring break! And those horrible power bars! (Yuck) Thank you for this post – have a blast on your vacation!
    Nicole recently posted..3My Profile

  26. says

    It’s crazy after dealing with body confidence issues for soo long, getting pregnant and then having a baby actually made me more comfortable with my body then ever before!
    And you have every right to be confident as well because you look great girl!
    Erin @Axell’s Kitchen recently posted..Dressing a baby boyMy Profile

  27. says

    I used to be all self conscious about myself in a bathing suit. Then, I was on a weekend bachelorette party beach trip with some friends and one of them made a comment about how great my breasts looked in a swimsuit and how she wished she filled hers out like I do. To me, all I wanted was to look like her in a swimsuit, slim, trim, and with no cellulite. But then it hit me here I was thinking I wished I Looked like her in a suit and she was comparing herself to me. I realized that we should all embrace what we have and not to worry about the rest- and as I’ve gotten older I could care less what people think of me in a swimsuit!
    Andie recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: They all Asked for YouMy Profile

  28. says

    This is seriously one of the greatest posts ever!
    I’ve never been comfortable in a bathing suit, but deal.
    I do work hard on my physical fitness & health & should be proud, but I have body image issues regardless of what anyone else things/says.
    I do have some good periods of time when I feel proud of my body, but they’re far & few between.
    Oh gosh, wish us women wweren’t like this. I talk a good talk, but can’t seem to do the walk. Glad you can. Hope you have a wonderful vacation!

  29. says

    This post made me smile, thanks for your honesty. I look back at my twenties (I’m 32 now) and realize how uncomfortable and self-conscious I was about my body a lot of the time, especially in a bikini. Last fall I was telling a very body obsessed 24 year old friend that I can only hope that she grows out of this stage as well. Unfortunately I don’t think it can be forced, it seems to be a slow growing process to arrive at this more content state. The upside to that is that hopefully we will all continue to become less concerned and more comfortable in our skin as we age!
    Faith recently posted..Head SpaceMy Profile

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