It’s that time of year again. The weather’s getting warmer and lots of us are heading off on our summer holidays, which means it’s officially swimwear season!
The term ‘bikini body ready’ is a funny one. As much as I hate the pressure from society to look amazing in a bikini and have my body in its best condition, I can’t help but put pressure on myself to look good. This comes down to having a lot of body confidence issues over the years (which I explained in a lot of depth in another post here). But in short, my tummy has always been the main thing that’s got me down. I’m only 5ft and am very small in the boob area, so every time I look in the mirror all I see is tummy. So as you can imagine, getting used to wearing a bikini again each summer is a little scary for me.
Since that blog post last year, I have lost around a stone in weight – however whilst my confidence has improved, I’m still not oozing confidence and my current relationship with the gym is not very good, so I feel a little like I’m letting myself down. I feel like I will almost never be satisfied with what I have? It’s really sad when I think about it, but I feel like this is something that will gradually improve as I get older. Accepting my body and the way it sometimes changes is definitely something that is hard to grasp, for me anyway.
However, I’m doing my very best to accept myself for who I am and I am absolutely going to wear a bikini this summer. Who cares if I don’t have the flattest stomach in the world? Who cares if I don’t have perky boobs and a nice cleavage to fill my bikini? Who cares if I don’t have ‘dat booty’?! My boyfriend Aaron always reminds me that there are so many people on the beach and around the pool who don’t even know me or might not even notice I’m there. So they’re definitely not all going to be staring at me and looking at my body in the same way that I am. In reality, they might be thinking the exact same thing about themselves or just be enjoying their holiday instead of looking at people’s bodies! Once I start to tell myself this, it usually makes me feel a bit better about myself.
Whilst I might not feel 100% comfortable in my bikini, there are a few things I like to do before I go on holiday to make myself feel a bit more pampered and confident…
Make my skin silky smooth
It’s kind of a running joke within my family that I have ‘lizard skin’ (lol) – my skin, especially on my legs is just SO DRY. I have to admit, I’m not exactly the best at keeping up the moisturising routine. But before I go on holiday, I make a special effort to keep my skin as smooth as possible. At the moment I’ve been loving the Baylis and Harding Coconut & Lime Body Butter because it smells amazing and it’s really thick and creamy, so it adds a lot of moisture back in to my skin. I also make sure to shave my legs on the reg so I really get that ‘wow I’m a dolphin’ feeling – hahaha.
Get on my gradual tanning routine
As well as dry skin, I’m also very pale and it takes me a while to build up a natural tan (unlike my Mum and boyfriend who go brown so easily, jealous). I’ve never actually done this prior a holiday before, but this year I’m gradually fake tanning the week before I go away. Why have I not done this before?! Already I feel so much more confident and am loving my natural sunkissed glow. I’ve been the St Tropez Gradual Tan Pre Shower Mousse. It builds up so naturally and doesn’t go streaky at all. It says to leave it on for one minute before rinsing off in the shower, but I usually leave it on for around 5-10 minutes as I find this gives a much nicer and more noticeable glow, whilst still with the ability to keep building it up over days to come.
Buy some new swimwear
Sometimes I look through my swimwear drawer and feel completely uninspired. Wearing an old bikini that I don’t necessarily love any more definitely doesn’t make me feel the best, so investing in one or maybe a few new pieces of swimwear is a great way to boost my confidence. I’ve bought a couple of new bikinis this year and actually a couple of swimming costumes (from F&F at Tesco would you believe?! Check them out) which I haven’t worn since I was probably about 12. But I have to say they look so pretty on and really flatter my figure.
Give my nails some well-deserved attention
Painting my nails can really make me feel like I’ve got my life together. Looking down and seeing freshly painted nails on both my fingers AND toes is just the best feeling. I just feel more pampered, pretty and put together? I know it’s only such a small thing, but it really does make a huge difference. Plus, a summer holiday is a perfect excuse for putting on a gorgeous summery nail polish. I’m going to Ibiza so I might even put some glitter on my nails too!
If you’re struggling with body confidence at this time of year especially, I really hope this post is useful and just so you know, you are definitely NOT alone! Lots of love x
How do you feel about the pressure to look good in a bikini? Is there anything you do to make yourself feel more confident and comfortable?