Bikini bods and full-length mirrors

Since cheerleading has left my life and running has become unreliable, I’ve had to put in extra effort to stay fit and eat healthy. However, I think everyone can relate when I say that constantly being happy with your outward appearance can be frustrating. There’s always room for improvement, and knowing that can lead to a nasty cycle of never feeling satisfied with how you look.

My roommate Aly and I recently went bikini shopping, and contrary to most, we were pretty excited to do so. We eat well, push ourselves to the limit at the gym and keep each other motivated; we both felt pretty confident rockin’ a two-piece suit. I purchased a cute coral combo and after Aly yelled at me for asking, “okay are you sure if I stand this way I still don’t have a shadow from my love handles?” and other absurd questions, I was walking around Victoria’s Secret like I was a 6-foot runway model. Ha!

How do you see yourself?
How do you see yourself?

That was two weeks ago. Today was a different story.

Being the petite 4″11 quirky blonde that I am, it is pretty much a guarantee that I have to hem every pair of pants I own. I went to the tailor today and was stuck in a room with wall-to-wall full-length mirrors. As I changed in and out of nine different pairs of pants, I started to feel bad about myself and how I looked.

I’m not one to make excuses, so I couldn’t sit there and attribute my dislikes to things like the lighting of the room or the possible distortion of the mirrors. Now I know I am no body-builder (nor do I have the personal desire to be one) but I am proud of my body and how I have taken care of it throughout the near-24 years I have been on this planet. So why did I feel like an overweight wench all the sudden?

I don’t have to sit here and preach how the media portrays what is a desirable body type. While I am proud of the fact that I ignore celebrity gossip and trends as much as possible, I still fall victim to questioning whether I fit into the guidelines of society’s interpretation of beautiful.

I got into my car and realized that I had a choice – just like I believe you always do. I could go home and eat out of the two cartons of ice cream I had in the freezer (tempting) or I could go to the gym; I could sulk about how I’m not totally happy with myself today or I could actively do something about it.

I went to the gym. I didn’t have an insane workout where I felt like I could kick someone’s ass. But I took The Perks of Being a Wallflower out of my bag, hopped on the treadmill, put the incline to 6.1 and did a fast walk for a straight hour while knocking back a few chapters (i’m a slow reader.)

If you’re not happy – with how you look, what your goals are, the people you’re surrounded by, whatever it may be – do something to change it. Just make sure that you’re making a change for no one but yourself. Hollywood trends will come and go, some people will think you’re a dud while others will think you’re God’s gift to the Earth. However, the views and beliefs you have of yourself will always be the ones that matter most. At the end of the day, be confident that your choices have made you someone who you can be proud of, inside and out.

Macy Gray, Beauty in the World
Give this one a listen — Macy Gray, Beauty in the World

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