6 Ways to Feel Beautiful in a Swimsuit This Summer
We know that so many women struggle with feeling confident in their own skin–especially when swimsuit season rolls around. But we also know that summer is too sweet to spend it on the sidelines! So today, Noonday Ambassador Sara Lopez is sharing what she’s learned about diving into swimsuit season with confidence and grace.
It’s that time of year.
Wondering if it’s even possible to feel confident in a swimsuit? I read something on Instagram the other day.
How to get a swimsuit body: Step one—put a swimsuit on your body. That’s it. You’re done.
I found that very interesting. We have to be told and reminded that who we are right now can be beautiful. Summer can be very stressful. Aside from vacations, camps, and having to entertain my kids all day, I have to think about putting on a swimsuit. And I hate swimsuits. I usually wear some kind of cover-up, then jump in the pool as soon as I take it off to conceal myself in the water.
But recently, I’ve come to feel OK in my swimsuit. It took time and work, but it isn’t something that gives me night sweats anymore.
How did I do it?
Well, I started loving myself for who I am in each moment. Not for who I could be or how I could look if I lost 20-40 pounds, but for who I am right now. I can sometimes wish my weight were a different number, but it isn’t something I dwell on or demoralize myself about anymore. I started seeing my right now kind of beautiful!
1. I stopped being cruel to myself…
It’s funny how much what you think about yourself affects how you feel about yourself. This seems like common sense, but it took me a while to fully internalize it.
There were times I would look into the mirror and say, “I hate you. Why can’t you be skinnier?” And you can imagine the kind of toll that dialogue took on how I saw my reflection and came to think of myself. I was essentially being a bully to my own body. I remember wondering, would I talk to a friend that way? Or a stranger on the street?
No. Never. We’re taught to be kind to others, but we should also be reminded to be kind to ourselves.
So, I stopped being mean to myself and angry at my body for not doing or being what I wanted…
2. … and I started speaking kindly to myself.
I started to appreciate my body for all it has done in the past and everything it does on a daily basis. I made a list to remind myself:
I am rarely sick.
I birthed three babies.
I can exercise (when I want to).
I can hear my kids’ laughter.
I can enjoy a beautiful sunset and all the amazing colors it creates.
These things may sound basic, but each one is really quite a blessing.
I put up notes on my bathroom mirror to remind myself: I am beautiful right now. Whenever I looked at my body, I turned from my first instinct of negative talk and started smiling at myself instead. It’s crazy how a smile (even to yourself) can change your day. Then I got to thinking, “Wow, I have a nice smile.” And that encouraged me to start smiling at strangers on the street and in the grocery store. If a smile can change my day, maybe it can change someone else’s.
When you feel better about yourself, you like to see others feeling good about themselves too!
3. I saw my beauty through other people’s eyes.
I have a wonderful husband and three boys. Yup, I am totally outnumbered in my house. I have four people telling me I am beautiful and loved all the time. But when they would say “you are beautiful,” I would argue or brush it aside as something they were obligated to tell me. When someone said that I looked pretty, I would think, well, for someone at my weight I may look pretty. I wouldn’t let their compliments sink in or accept them as truth.
Then, slowly, I realized that they all see me for much more than my weight. And when I started believing them, letting their words grow in my mind, I began to see myself through their eyes. I could view myself through a different lens—one that took in more than numbers on the scale. When people compliment me now, I don’t dismiss it. I take them at their word, and say thank you. Who knew taking a compliment would be so hard?!
4. I stopped measuring beauty by a bathroom scale.
I started exercising to be healthy and feel strong, not to lose weight or punish myself. A few years ago, I got into Pure Barre, and I love that it’s low impact and does wonders for my core. My back hurts less and I can feel my muscles, which is amazing for my self-confidence.
To the outside world, I don’t look much different, but I can feel the difference. So I stopped working out to look good for others and started to work out for myself. The change in motivation has helped me stick with it. When I can’t go work out for some reason, I really miss it and always find my way back.
5. I realized being comfortable is being beautiful.
So I splurged on a swimsuit that made me feel comfortable.
Gone are the days where I can walk into Target and buy a soft cup bathing suit. But I’m OK with that! Being overweight and having nursed three children, I need extra support. That means having a swimsuit with a built-in bra for support—AKA underwire. And that support is more expensive. It kills me to spend so much on something I wear only a few times a year, but splurging on a flattering swimsuit that I can feel confident and secure in really is worth it. (By the way, did you know that Land’s End makes swim shorts for women? I know, right. You can now go to the pool and not worry that everything is hanging out. Getting down in the sand and playing with my kids is important to me, and being covered up makes me feel less self-conscious. So I wear what allows me to enjoy my time at the pool.)
Find whatever makes you comfortable and wear it proudly!
6. I’ll keep choosing to see my “right now” kind of beauty.
All this took time. I didn’t wake up one morning and love myself. I had to change how my mind was wired. I still slip and let unkind words fill my thoughts, but now I can stop, turn around, and remind myself of the truth.
I am beautiful today—not 20 pounds lighter—but right now at my current weight (which is top secret and only God, my doctor, and I will ever know).
How will you embrace your “right now” kind of beauty?
Meet Sara Lopez
Sara lives in the suburbs of Austin with her high school sweetheart husband, three active boys, and her Goldendoodle, Penny Princessa. On a normal day, you will find Sara driving all around town chauffeuring her homeschooled boys from one activity to another. As a professional photographer, Sara loves to get to know people and capture them loving life.