Dear the person who needs to read this,

The perfect bikini body is not the way you look it’s the confidence you have when you put on a swimsuit. The term “Perfect Bikini Body” was created by businesses to make a profit off of the insecurities of others. It doesn’t exists, it’s just a popular slogan/catchphrase that society picked up and began to hold people to the standards these businesses created.

The real way to achieve the perfect bikini body, is to learn how to love yourself, your body, and most importantly learn how to be confident.

The biggest mistake most people make when trying to get in shape for summer is their “inspo” pictures. I made this mistake for YEARS. I would create a board on pinterest of women, who in my brain, had  the “perfect bikini body”. And for years I strived to try and look like those women and I always failed. Why did I fail? Because my body wasn’t built the same way as theirs. I have really long legs and a super short torso which means even when I am in my best shape I’m going to a have a pudgier stomach because my organs have to go somewhere right? For years I hated how my stomach wouldn’t get completely flat or how hard it was for me to achieve abs. There are two reasons for this; first, it’s just the way my body is built and second, in the summer I love to eat bread and ice cream which would leave me being bloated by lunchtime. So I have a choice, I can either stop eating ice cream and bread or I can ration myself a little bit on my ice cream intake and be confident and accepting of the way my body looks after I eat certain foods. No matter what we will always look thinner in the mornings than we do by the end of the day.

So, an important step in being confident is to get a better understanding of your body. Do you have long legs, a long torso, or are they proportioned evenly? Do you have broad shoulders, or wider hips? Do you have a defined hourglass or are you more athletic fit? Study your body and instead of saving photos of models for inspiration try to create an image in your mind of what the healthiest version of you would look like. For me it’s basically what I look like now with a little less fat on my love handles, a slimmer face, and more muscle everywhere else. But I will still have a little pudge on my stomach due to the way my body is built. Once you create this image in your mind, you’ve tackled the hardest part, which is accepting your body and the way it’ll look when you are in your “best shape”. I put “best shape” in quotations because I believe everyone can smash it out at the gym every day and eat super clean and healthy and get #shredded but in my opinion your “best shape” is your idea of a balanced healthy lifestyle. Because girl you are NOT gonna see me working out every day and eating super clean. I’m going to workout at my own level and pace and I’m still going to eat a small bowl of ice cream almost every day of summer. That’s just the truth. And this is where I begin to repeat myself a lot as I say…it’s all about confidence and what makes you feel best.

Confidence has been the key all along. You could be in the best shape you’ve ever been in, but if you don’t have confidence in your body then you won’t be happy.

Here is a photo of me from my senior year. This photo was taken at one of the healthiest points in my life physically. I wasn’t my thinnest here, but I was working out, eating well, and was doing everything right. But I HATED this picture. I hated how pale I was, hated my thighs, hated the fat beside my armpit, and so much more. According to my idea of how to achieve the perfect bikini body, I was doing everything right, but I lacked the self confidence to rock my bikini.

In the photo you can see my discomfort. I asked my friend to take photos but as soon as she started to take them I immediately felt insecure. I tried to pose and shift my body but in every photo she took my shoulders were hunched which immediately pushed out my stomach more. When you’re feeling confident you tend to stand taller, but when you’re feeling unconfident you shrink into your body trying to make yourself smaller.

You can most likely guess what I’m going to say next, confidence has always been the key.

So how do you start to feel more confident? Unfortunately it’s not this permanent thing we can have. It starts as a daily challenge. Start by complimenting yourself. Maybe scroll through Instagram less or unfollow people who make you insecure; it’s okay to do this. It’s a negative source you don’t need in your life at the moment and you can always follow back later.

The next step is to write it down. And by it I mean the things you want to do or accomplish that  will help you become more confident. Maybe you’ve always wanted to be good at yoga or you want to start drinking more protein shakes write it down. Maybe when you take morning walks you feel better and more prepared for the day. Whatever brings a smile across your face and creates an ounce of confidence to your day write it down.

Here’s my list;

  • I feel more confident when I start my day off with a yoga class or a walk
  • I feel more confident when I eat healthy snacks and lunches at school
  • I feel more confident when I curl my hair
  • I feel more confident when I wear clothes that are more girly
  • I feel more confident when I wear a little bit of makeup
  • I feel more confident when my nails are painted
  • I feel more confident if I eat a good breakfast
  • I feel more confident when I wash my face daily
  • I feel more confident when I weight train once a week
  • I feel more confident when I wear lipstick
  • I feel more confident when I drink a lot of water

Writing things down makes it seem more permanent than just thoughts in your head. It makes it tangible and visible. Keep this list somewhere where you can look back on it, and try to do one thing almost every day of the week. Not everyday will I have enough time to curl my hair but I could try to drink more water that day. Maybe it’s raining or cold so I can’t go for a walk, instead I could paint my nails and put on a fun lipstick. You can find ways to add these little things into your day to day life. Slowly your mood will change and being confident will become easier.

There will be days where you feel gross and you want to cry because you hate the way you look, it may just be PMS, or it may just be one of those days and it’s okay to feel that way. Let yourself have your moment, treat yourself to a sweet treat or a guilty pleasure. Feel sorry for yourself for a short period of time and then pick yourself back up and get through the rest of the day. If you push through, the following day you won’t regret or feel guilty about pouting, sulking, and eating bad all day. You’ll feel confident in your ability to get through the challenges.

We live in a world full of social media, societal norms, and annoying Bikini Body advertisements that only showcase models with the same bodies. But we can’t use those as excuses. Instead we can use them as motivation to go against the norm and be brave, confident, and fearless in your body. Change will come but we have to be willing to change first.

The perfect bikini body isn’t the way your body looks in a bikini, it’s the confidence you have when you put it on.

Xoxo, mar.

Always Remember to Love Who You Are.

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