First off, I want to say that this is my own personal decision. This decision was a mental battle to start and now that I’ve made it, this decision feels right in my heart. I just want to be brutally honest and share with you why I’ve chosen to put the bikini away, unless I’m on a deserted island with the hubs maybe. 😉
A Little Backstory
When I was a young kid, the opposite sex was ALWAYS on my mind, the same sex even. I’m not sure why, I never had a traumatic experience, that I know of at least. I’m going to go with it being part of our carnal human instincts.
When I was in the 4th grade my parents divorced and we moved into some low income apartments with my mom. I made friends with two neighbor girls, one house was very religious and one house was very, how shall I say it, free spirited? I loved to play barbies, line dance to Achy Breaky Heart and Thriller of course, that cassette tape sadly died. Silliness soon changed into more adult conversations. One of my friends always talked heavier about time with boys than I had dared venturing to try. It created a bigger desire to become more enticing to guys. I was a tiny little thing, flat chested and athletic and she started developing curves way earlier than me. The itty bitty committee was not something I was proud to be a part of. Thankfully I was too shy to act on any impulse I may have had to start experimenting. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t start trying to dress to impress. Note the picture from my first day of sixth grade. 🙈
As I grew older I stayed active in sports until about my sophomore year in High School. I had developed depression and an even bigger decrease in self confidence. Being called dog eyes and again choosing friends who weren’t the best influence had me always questioning my self worth and looking for acceptance. I became more free about my body, quit wearing a bra and really let myself hang out. I’m not saying that not wearing a bra is a bad thing, just that I was doing it for attention. I was the girl you see around town and wonder if her parents know she is dressing like that, I’m sure my parents didn’t know or I didn’t care at least. Of course there were some daddy issues mingled in there and then finally finding a boyfriend who was actually more shy than I was had me all sorts of confused. Wanting love and not understanding what love really was at 15 was tough and I’m sure it’s something a lot of girls that age were and are battling with. Heck, even though I know I’m loved now I still struggle expressing love. I thought that being physically intimate was how love was shown. Don’t get me wrong here, there is something to be said about love and intimacy, it’s a wonderful way to express love with your husband or wife, but what I was doing then and up until probably 12 years ago was not love. I was trying to prove that I was worth something and using my body to do so. Not healthy.
What has Changed?
I realized love wasn’t there with that first serious relationship. Then I realized love definitely was not in the next one. The physical abuse and emotional tearing down from that relationship did a number on me. It made me realize how unhappy I was. It made me realize that jumping into bed with people was not growing a good relationship, it was grown based solely on lust and not working. While I was broken, I knew that I didn’t deserve that kind of love.
Then I met Troy. It’s been 11 years, I’m glad we chose to take it slow. It was a year before we moved in together. It wasn’t perfect to start but he was kind, good with my kids, fun and we could spend time together without sex and enjoy ourselves. I’m glad I was patient and stuck to my plan of getting to know him first, attraction is a hard beast to keep in check. It’s paid off and we’re married now! This year I finally realized I’m worth more than my body and if I’m honest it’s something I still struggle with and pray about often.
The No Bikini Decision…
This year has been full of ups and downs. I decided in January that I wanted to be baptized. I couldn’t get past the statement of beliefs and the thought of modesty. Before you start thinking cult, think back to what was worn during the time of Jesus, I doubt Mary Magdalen wore anything that resembled the bikini I wore last summer, we always dress nice going to church because we want to put our best foot forward for God but God is always with us, not just at church. I digress, if you look back through my different workout transformations you’ll see that I felt the need to wear the least amount of clothing possible to show the results my workouts were having. That’s the me who felt like my body had to be the display of my works, sex sells and I thought that if I didn’t blast bikini and booty pics, I wouldn’t make it as a coach. I don’t want people to buy things because of my body, I want people to buy things from me because they want to be healthy! I’ve decided that health isn’t just shown visibly in a half clad body, it can be shown in energy, glowing skin, healthy hair, attitude, happiness, just a zest for life! Conquering obstacles! In fact I started learning about my self worth at an obstacle race, I conquered something I never would have thought I could do before and learned that my body is strong, not something to just give away.
When I started coaching I didn’t feel comfortable posting bikini pics to start but I was told to get out of my comfort zone. I even got bold and posted a picture of myself in my underwear. That defeated my conscience and I am thankful that continuing to study and grow my relationship with God has helped me to realize that. It’s been baby step after baby step but I am happy.
We cannot give our hearts to God & keep our bodies for ourselves. Elisabeth Elliot
Shorts and a Tank
I purchased a pair of shorts and a tank top a few weeks ago because I didn’t want to blast my body as an object anymore. I wanted to be able to go out and swim or hang out on the beach and not get whistled at or harassed. I wanted to spend time with my family not worrying about adjusting my top or keeping my behind covered. I don’t feel like I need to share all of my body with anyone else anymore. My new swimwear has given me a new satisfaction.
It’s given me freedom. It’s given me peace. It’s given me more time to enjoy than to spend worrying if I “look good”.