Let me start off with a disclaimer:
I DO have stretch marks and loose skin from pregnancy/losing weight.
They are (mostly) all below my belly button and are hidden with bikini bottoms.
You can still see them in a bikini, though.
I also have them on my hips from gaining weight over the years (the place I gain weight first is my hips).
YES, I am self conscious about it. YES, I still have anxiety when I'm out in public in a bikini.
I am constantly thinking about what I look like, how other people are seeing me, if they can see my stretch marks, what they are thinking, etc.
I won't lie there.
You typically won't see me in a bikini in public without a drink in my hand.
It's because I'm uncomfortable!!!!
How do I even get the confidence to put on a bikini and make the initial first steps into a public place in it?
I can tell you this... I have worked HARD for my body.
No, it's not perfect. Yes, I have stretch marks. Yes, I still jiggle when I walk. I have cellulite on the back of my legs.
But I'm also confident in my journey.
I'm proud that I've lost the amount of weight I have and have done it in a healthy way.
I don't look like a supermodel, I probably never will.
But I've lived my journey. I know what all hard work it has taken to get me in that bikini.
So while I may be sweating bullets, I am still proud.
I worked my ass off to look the way I do, imperfections and all.
And if you're going to think negative thoughts about me or make negative comments about how I look in a bikini, then you can suck it.
I have noticed this goes both ways.
I used to maybe judge people in bathing suits when I was thinner (before I ever got fat) about how they looked, etc.
I was young and selfish and hadn't been through any kind of weight struggles. What did I know?
But I can tell you that NOW, I judge NO ONE.
I don't care if you're 300 lbs. in a bikini, you will see no judgement from me.
Because that's YOUR journey. Maybe you've lost 100 lbs. already, how am I to know?
Same thing when you see me in a bikini.
Don't judge me. You may not know my story.
This goes for the skinny people, too.
I used to snicker at you when I was bigger. I'd think "I'll never look like that" or "man, she needs to eat a hamburger."
No, I'm not super skinny now, but I am on the smaller side. So don't snicker at me and think you know my struggles. You probably don't.
And I promise not to do the same.
Everyone has their own story.
The reason y'all can't really "see" my stretch marks in all their glory is because I am self conscious about them and hide them as much as I can.
That's very difficult for me to admit to. Because I try and put myself out there for the benefit of others, but I do still have things I don't like to show you.
Megan has offered to come over and do an ItWorks experiment with me and wrap me up and take pictures with her HD camera! I about freaked out when she offered.
Someone else up close and personal??? LOOKING AT MY STRETCH MARKS!??!?! NO THANK YOU!
Despite all that I am proud of what all I have accomplished and how I've helped women along the way.
And if that sets me up for scrutiny, so be it.
Now don't get me wrong, the second I can afford a tummy tuck, I'm so getting one (hopefully by my 30th birthday).
But until then, I'll rock my bikini, with my stretch marks and flaws for the whole world to see.
Because you haven't been in my shoes, and you don't know that, while it's not perfect, it's certainly progress!
One of my readers made that for me and posted it on my Facebook page. I thought it was funny because I look NOTHING like that.
But I did used to look like this...
Like I said... Progress, not perfection!