I got back from Ibiza last Friday and all I have been able to think about is how happy I was. The photo above sums it up. Natural hair, nipples on show, tinkerbell dress and just being unapologetic me. If you follow me on instagram (shoestringchicblog) you will have seen no end of bikini and outfit photos but lets go right back to the beginning on why this holiday was better than any others ....
The Count Down.
Within a week of booking this holiday I was back at Slimming World. I know, diet culture had me firmly in its grip. I was determined that THIS holiday would be the one where I would look amazing in a bikini because I had worked it all out. I had x amount of weeks. If I lost x amount of weight per week I could be at x weight by the time the holiday came. ALL I NEEDED WAS WILLPOWER DAMNIT. I could do this.
However, spur of the moment in January I saw tickets were on sale for Taryn Brumfits documentary embrace, for the premiere and I thought why not? I had never been to a Premiere and I might like the film. Little did I know how much it would change my life! I had started my journey into body positivity last year, but it was always a kind of "I'll learn to love my body DURING my weight loss journey" kind of thing, rather than how I am now, loving my body exactly as it is. No intention to change it.
From the moment I got home I decided to Embrace my body. I threw away my scales and I started really embracing my body. I spent a lot of time studying my body in the mirror, taking photos of it from different angles, reading lots of body positive blogs, deleting anyone from my social media that dragged me down.
My countdown changed there and then. I started to think in terms of how excited I was for my holiday and not in terms of what I needed to do to change my body before then.
Swimwear shopping is stressful! I used to stress because I was worried about flashing my flesh on the beach! This time I was so excited to get shopping and tried on a fair amount of swimwear. The problem that I had was the sizing is so strange! Also people think that once you are past a size 12 you want shape wear! One of the problems I have with my IBS is that I often have a really sore tummy and honestly what I didn't want was something sucking me in!
So the very first success I had was this nautical swimming costume from tesco, but honestly the sizing is so messed up! I'm a size 16 but all belly and no boobs and I had to get it in a size 20, but anyone with boobs would struggle! Fun fact too, I accidentally washed it with my work trousers the week before my holiday and dyed it blue ...
In the end my favourite bikinis actually ended up being from primark and around £5 a set (Including the one above)
The second thing I loved was going to my favourite charity shops and looking for things that made me look fabulous, rather than my usual of buying lots of things to slim in to and then beating myself up when I didn't actually fit in them! I'm going to be sharing some of my best buys over the next few weeks (Including three Henry Holland dresses ...)
Once I was there I 100% relaxed. I wasn't spending my time comparing myself to everyone else round the pool which I usually do. I just got comfy on a sunbed in my bikini, belly hanging out, reading (I read 4 books that week). I even stood in the pool up to my knees and stood reading. Normally I wouldn't have been comfortable unless my belly was under the water.
I didn't set myself any silly food rules. Before I had told myself I could only drink diet drinks. Could only have dessert every other day. I could only do ... blah blah blah. I ate when I was hungry, drank whatever I wanted (mostly Nestea. Which is bloody amazing.)
I just wanted to share this with you all, because before this holiday I would have never thought that I could be this happy without losing a single pound. Accepting my body hasn't been the easiest journey, but it has helped so much surrounding myself with positive people on all of my social media accounts. I will be doing a post soon about the wonderful people that have really helped me in my journey. I am still fighting some days and I don't think this will change any time soon. I find myself fighting a culture that tries to tell me that I am not healthy, because of my weight when I know the contrary is true!