Did you feel the world stop spinning on July 19? It was probably around 2pm Eastern Time on that Sunday.
Oh you didn't. You want to know why I thought it would????
Because I wore a bikini on the beach in front of other people!!!!
And unlike my dreams the world did NOT stop spinning. None of you even knew it happened outside of my posts on social media.
This was a HUGE step for me outside of my comfort one. It was more like a freakin' LEAP outside of the comfort zone.
In September 2012, I bought this bikini in honor of my 30th birthday. At that time I figured it would never see the light of day.
Now in December 2012, the following conversation took place:
Linds: "I'm going to keep Spinning for every Pina Colada I will have in Aruba."
Dani: "Well I don't have a vacation coming up. So what am I pushing for?"
Linds: "To make sure you wear that bikini next summer."
(Thanks blog for keeping track of these things for me)
And you know what? In August 2013, I wore the bikini in the safety of Lindsey's backyard with a few close friends with me.
THAT was enough public for me.
Flash forward to July 2015 where I am still working on body confidence and body love.
So on July 19 the wife and I took a drive up to Ogunquit, Maine. Before we left I put the bikini on under my clothing. While in the car, I clued my wife in to my possible plan - wearing the bikini in public on the beach. I hadn't fully committed to it happening. I really thought if I didn't tell anyone I wouldn't have to follow through. ;)
Telling the wife brought it one step closer to reality.
We had a great lunch and headed to walk on the beach. The wife didn't have a bathing suit with her so we pieced together this awesome outfit at the beach store.
Sexy right? This ridiculous shirt makes me so happy every time I see it.
With the wife in the water, it was time to bite the bullet and do this thing. It's like ripping off a bandaid right?
I slowly took the shorts off and already felt so exposed. What would happen when I took my tank top off.
I dug deep. took a breath and pulled the tank off.
Not a single person looked at me, pointed at my flaws or laughed at my paleness. It was like it wasn't a big deal to them.
I was still freaking out on the inside. I felt so freakin' exposed and basically naked.
I tried to just focus on the wife. I had her take pics because I know no one would believe that it happened otherwise.
Look I bought it in September 2012 and it took me until July 2015 to make it happen. :P I was on the scenic route - just like with my weight-loss journey. :)
The smile was 100% authentic. While feeling uncomfortable physically, mentally I was doing jumping jacks for tackling such a big fear of mine.
I was trying hard not to stare at the photos and point out the flaws. Like I usually do. Instead I focused on how proud I felt. I did this. I put myself out there.
Body love/confidence/acceptance is something I've struggled with my whole life. I wish - like some - I could've accepted and loved myself (heck even liked myself) no matter what. But it wasn't in my DNA.
While losing my weight, I thought once I hit goal that all the love would be there naturally.
I just shed the layers of fat I was hiding under. Hitting goal left everything raw and exposed.
This was a topic I was aware of and worked on while losing. Don't think I ignored this part. I just thought it would get easier as the number on the scale decreased. So I continue to work every single day to like then love the person I am... flaws and all.
It takes time. There is no magic pill to take and it all works itself out. Nope.
When I looked around the beach, I was immediately drawn to people's confidence in whatever they chose to wear. I yearned for that. I know that it will take time.
It happens by doing little things (let's call this a HUGE thing) like this and building off of them.
I'm working to build the foundation one experience at a time.
I owe a huge thanks to the wife for being there with me that day - and every day - as I take this journey.
There is no one else I would've rather been on that beach with.
Will this bikini see the light of day again? That is undetermined. Not sure if I can put people through that paleness again. ;)
For now I soak up the experience and look to the next.
What will you do next towards more body love/acceptance?