When I planned a week long beach vacation in Georgia, I was excited for the sun, sand and relaxation. My girls had never been to the ocean and even though we were driving the 17 hour trek, I knew they’d do great as we’d done many road trips as a family. What I wasn’t looking forward to so much was the inevitability of buying a new swimsuit, and even worse, having to wear it!

Sarah and her kids on Tybee Island, Georgia

There’s a specific moment that I was dreading…I’m sure many of you know what I’m talking about.  When you stand up from your safely hidden spot on the sand and though you don’t dare look around, you assume everyone is gawking, or even worse, staring at your cellulite-covered thighs and bulging bum. Your face flushes with embarrassment just imaging the comments and every step towards the water is painful with imagined humiliation.

But then something changed.

Sarah and her kids on Tybee Island, Georgia

A few days before we left for the trip I had a breakthrough moment where I decided I needed to love myself more and try to enjoy every moment of this vacation. I wrote a cathartic blog post about my binge dieting (you can read it here) and all the supportive comments and people reaching out with their own struggles helped me realize I wasn’t alone in my body image issues.

I decided to test my new found self-love by treating myself to a new swimsuit, despite many past shopping experiences that ended in tears. This time I ended up buying 2!  I brought Apryl along as my support person, because honestly we all need a BFF when trying on Lycra. Instead of looking for the basic black one piece that covers EVERYTHING, I chose bright, fun and stylish suits. By the time we got to the beach I was actually excited to wear them. I couldn’t wait to show them off and dare I say, I even felt sexy.

Sarah and Ellie on Tybee Island, Georgia

This new attitude meant that instead of worrying about what I looked like, I focused on spending time with my kids. I played in the sand. I laid in the sun. And I even jumped the waves. I built sand castles and sat in unflattering positions without giving a shit. And you know what? My girls noticed. They saw a mom who was happy to play and who wanted to walk around looking for shells. Who wanted to go to the beach and wanted to have fun. Not someone who wouldn’t get up and take a step without first covering herself up.

Sarah and her kids on Tybee Island, Georgia

It was unbelievably liberating. Never before have I actually enjoyed being in a swimsuit or enjoyed being at the beach.  When I stopped worrying about other people and I started enjoying what we were doing. It felt amazing!

S,o no matter what your size, or how far you think you are from your ideal size, I say treat yourself to some fun, sexy swimwear that makes you WANT to wear it!



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