I haven’t worn a bathing suit in over five years. The last time we found ourselves on a family vacation was on the beaches of Michigan where I wore a t-shirt and shorts because I didn't like the way I looked. Disappointing, yes but absolutely truthful. This week the beach was on our agenda and the thought crossed my mind again. Maybe I should just wear a tank top and shorts. No one wants to see me in a swimsuit.
I'm not a skinny girl. I never have been. I wasn't blessed with a high metabolism or the perfect shape.
And yet they tell us this is the year of hot girl summer, but what exactly does that mean?
Is there some ideal body I should be looking at on Instagram or weight-loss program I'm supposed to subscribe to? Because let's be real, I haven't had a gap between my thighs since the fourth grade. My love for ice cream runs deep. Deep like the dimples that have seemingly taken up residency in places I didn't even know they could. My arms flap when I wave and my kiddo affectionately says "I'm soft."
I would like to think he's talking about my heart, but I know better.
It's fine, I thought. I'll just wear shorts and a tank. I'll be more comfortable that way. I stared at myself for a few moments in the mirror trying to convince myself that hiding was the better option. But it wasn't. I'm 38 years old for crying out loud. Time to put up or shut up. So I grabbed my trustee black one-piece, threw my hair in a top knot and decided I was going all in.
And you know what? No one cared. No one gawked or stared. No one pointed or shook their head while mumbling under their breath. No one even noticed, except for one person. My little boy. He noticed that his mom was care-free. I was there for all of it.
And it got me thinking, how many times have you been there? How many times do you find yourself hiding under a beach towel or perching under the cabana while your family has all of the fun without you.
Put. On. The. Dang. Suit. For the love. I stood on the sidelines of my own life for five years because of my own insecurities. Don't do the same. The right time … it's now. The right number on the scale … it's whatever number you're at today. Stop living for other people and start living for yourself. You're waiting for perfect and I can tell you from experience, it doesn't exist. Hot girl summer, it's not a picture or a certain look. It's not a slim waistline or chiseled abs.
Hot girl summer is the art of not giving a crap. It's living unapologetically. It's owning every flaw and saying you know what, I'm good where I'm at. So go on with your bad self. Dust off the old swimsuit and wear it like the badass you are. I guarantee when you do people won't be thinking about what swim suit you're wearing, they'll be saying I want to live like that … free.