Ladies, I know it’s hard to bear it all. I’ll say this once. Get the swimsuit on and PLAY!
If your inner child needs ANYTHING this summer, it’s to get out of the house ( even if it’s your backyard) and PLAY! Quarantine is HARD on our little selves!
I have had rolls and bumps and lumps my whole life. I still remember my first interaction with body image. I was 6, and my dance class was performing to the song “Isty Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” When I got my costume in class and we all tried them on in the studio, I looked in the mirror and saw my little belly.
My cute little baby belly that I still had from being a toddler. The same baby belly that all of my older friends in class had already lost because they were taller and OLDER than me! But I saw that belly, and thought “Oh no. My belly sticks out. Does anyone else’s belly stick out? Is it suppose to look like this? I’ve never worn a bikini before. Maybe it’s wrong? Am I wearing it wrong? Maybe this is just how it looks on me? It’s my belly. No one else has a belly. How come my belly sticks out and theirs doesn’t?”
I went round ‘and round’. I would take my costume out of my drawers everyday for the next month until the recital and try it on to see if anything changed. Did I finally look like the other girls in my class? Is my belly flat yet? Can I wear it now?
Then I would look in the mirror and think “Nope, still me. Still my belly hanging out. Still not good enough” I HATED that costume. I felt naked and exposed and violated. I was ashamed and embarrassed to even go on stage. AND I WAS 6 YEARS OLD! I had created my OWN SHAME MESSAGES AT 6 YEARS OLD OVER A BIKINI COSTUME THAT WAS SO DANG CUTE! But because I didn’t look like the other girls in my class, because I felt like an outsider, because my cute tiny belly was hanging out of my bikini bottoms, my heart was broken.
I have struggled with this message my whole life. My weight is a constant anxiety point. My body is too! All because of a low key anxiety attack over a swim suit costume when I was 6 years old and didn’t look like my friends.
Now, that I have pin pointed this shame message or inner child wound, in my life, I can go back as my adult self in a calm and empathic manner, and reparent those shame messages. I can take this moment to tell Little Kelly, “You were a BABY! You were the cutest one in that class! The other girls were older than you and you were still your cute toddler self!”
I bet you can go back to a similar moment in your life and realize where your body messages started. We all have them. There is a reason why you don’t want to go to pool parties, or to the beach or even put a swim suit on to play with your kids while they play in the sprinklers!
We can rewire our thoughts around our own bodies to release us from the shame and embarrassment. We can live a life that’s full of freedom and FUN! We just need to find the moment when you had your first interaction with body image and then you can sit in your adult chair and tell little you all the things you need to hear in order to heal that trauma.
You can use the PDF below to do this work for yourself so that you can actually buy a swim suit you love, and wear it all summer with absolute confidence and JOY!
When you sit down to do this exercise, find a quiet place and take some big deep breaths. Envision your lungs expanding to full capacity. Then start finding that very first shame message around body image. It may hurt for a little while. Sit with it and then come back and talk to yourself with love.
Now I want to see everyone out there this summer flaunting their cute suits!