Highlights for Bathing Suit Panic Attack
- Attack! (0:30)
- How to stop the violence (1:20)
- Right NOW (3:20)
- How to have a beach body (4:35)
- You get my point? (5:40)
- How about you? (6:10)
Bathing Suit Panic Attack
So, a couple of years ago, my brother asked me to watch my niece and nephew for the day, and I thought, Oh my gosh, this is perfect. I’m going to take them to the pool with my other two nephews … we’re going to have so much fun!
Well, it was a great idea until about five minutes before my brother rolled into the driveway, and I realized that I had not put my bathing suit on yet for that season.
I went into full panic mode.
I began searching for the “right suit” that hides me the best and makes me look okay, and I was bargaining in my head…
Where can I take these kids that does not involve a bathing suit? Can I take them to Chuck E. Cheese’s, can I take them to the Toys R Us, where in the world can I take them? Can I bargain with them? Is there something else I can do with them to make up for this day of fun?
I was sweating, on the verge of tears, and saying horrible things to myself in my head.
How to Stop the Violence
I am sure there are so many other women who can relate to this exact situation.
I want to change all of that. I want to stop the panic and the mean-girl voice in our heads … and it starts with me.
I stopped the violence just as soon as it started, but I had to make a decision. I asked myself some really quick questions:
What do I want?
In that moment, what did I really want? I wanted to spend the day with my niece and my nephews. I wanted to have fun. I wanted to laugh with them. And, in that moment, that required going to the pool.
I guess there were a million other things I could have done, but I really wanted to take them to the pool, and they were excited about it, so that’s where we had to go.
The next question is…
Am I going to let feeling a little self-conscious or not good enough or unworthy stop me?
Am I going to sit on the sidelines of my life – or fully clothed on the edge of the pool – and miss out on life? Am I going to do that?
My worthiness is not defined by the size of my bathing suit. My niece and my nephews do not care what size bathing suit I am wearing; they only care that Aunt Shawna takes them to the pool.
My niece and nephews are not going to be at my funeral talking about or caring about what my body looked like. Nobody is going to be at my funeral saying “Oh, Aunt Shawna, she wore a size <whatever> bathing suit.” Nope.
Nobody cares about that stuff. When you’re dead and gone, nobody is going to be talking about what size pants you wore, or what you looked like in your bathing suit … they’re going to be missing YOU.
And so, the gift is to be present … now.
Show up … NOW.
Get in a bathing suit … NOW.
I’m really glad that I got over all my shit and took them to the pool. We had a great time! I got to spend three hours with them in the pool playing; it was about making memories and having fun.
I didn’t spend the entire time worrying about what my butt looked like; I was too busy having fun. And what other people think of me? It’s none of my business. Besides, what other people may or may not say about me in my bathing suit says way more about them than it will ever say about me.
What I cared about in those moments at the pool were those four little people: spending time with them and letting them know how much I love them. Nothing can replace those moments.
If I had chosen to stay home or not get into my bathing suit, I would have missed out on so much fun … and that’s the reality, that’s the choice we have to make.
Memorial Day’s right around the corner, and summer’s warming up…!
Put. your bathing suit. on.
How to Have a Beach Body
I have a sign in my office that says—
How to have a beach body:
Have a body.
Go to the beach.
And it’s the same thing with the pool!
I know so many people who will not get in a bathing suit. They will not go to the pool, they will not go to the beach, they will not enjoy summertime. They spend their summer fully clothed head-to-toe, like armor. If that’s what they want, then that’s fine. No judgment.
But they’re missing out on some good times. They’re missing out on what life could be.
Some of my best moments are from sitting around the pool watching my nieces and nephews play, having a beverage. Sometimes I even go to the pool by myself and work.
I put my headphones on, I listen to music, I write … I even selected the music for my podcast. I do all kinds of stuff … in my bathing suit at the pool! I don’t get as much work done at the beach, though, because it’s a little sandy. 😊
You Get My Point?
My point is that, for me, enjoyment and life being lived happens at the beach. It happens at the pool.
And so, if I’m feeling self-conscious and don’t allow myself to go, or if I’m feeling that I can’t go because I have to get in a bathing suit, then I’m missing out on all that enjoyment and life being lived where it happens most and best for me.
And so no more. No more. I’m not doing that anymore.
How About You…?
I want every woman to feel comfortable and confident and amazing this summer! So, remember this if your bathing suit sends you into panic mode—
Ask yourself: What do I want?
And then, go do it.
…and if that involves a bathing suit, then so be it.
Feel great right now. Stop putting your life on hold until you lose 10 pounds or 20 pounds or 100 pounds or whatever it is. Love yourself right now.
Live your life.
Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and there is no guarantee that if we lose 20 pounds, then we’ll be happy. We might start chasing something else to find our happiness.
Be happy now. Make a choice to be happy and enjoy the moment.
THIS is how you find your feisty!
This article was originally published on June 28, 2016, and has been updated.