You’re all that and a bag of chips!

This weekend marks the start of swimsuit season. There’s no better time to embrace your body and love yourself.

I remember like yesterday the first time I decided I didn’t like my body. I was 12 and going to my best friend’s house for a birthday party. I was so excited, until I found out it was a pool party. I suddenly got really nervous. I couldn’t go! I wouldn’t be caught dead in a bathing suit around my friends. And, there would be boys there? Absolutely not!

I put on my bathing suit for good measure and stared at myself in the mirror. This 12-year-old girl, with 12-year-old hands and a 12-year-old face. I didn’t like her. I stared at myself with uncertainty and wrinkled my nose at the sight of my belly. I picked, I poked, but I couldn’t get anything to stay in place. I didn’t have a flat stomach, so obviously I wasn’t beautiful. Or so I was told by media and pop culture.

“I’m not going,” I told my mother.

It’s been 12 years since that day and my heart aches for that young girl. Why did I not think I was beautiful? Why was I so concerned with being seen so raw by my friends? No cover up, no towel; just me. Wouldn’t they still like me? I had a great personality and my body type didn’t define me, right?

So, today I wear a swimsuit and I wear it confidently. And you should, too.

There is such a thing as a perfect swimsuit body, and guess what? You have it! Yeah, you! You have the perfect swimsuit body once you put that swimsuit on and feel completely comfortable in your skin.

Don’t pick, poke at or overanalyze the parts of your body that you don’t like, but rather embrace the amazing things your body is capable of. After all, it is the only one you have!

Rocking that swimsuit is all about self-confidence. Be content with your body in this moment. Let that self-assurance shine brighter than the summer sun.

Oprah Winfrey featured an article on her website called “Dear Every Woman I Know, Including Me.” In it, the writer says if you don’t have that self-confidence yet, then pretend! Because every step toward self-love you take, and every inch of confidence you give someone’s daughter, makes the world a better place.

Young girls are tuned into an overwhelming number of messages describing “the perfect body” and, in turn, are becoming as obsessed with body image as adults, according to CNN.

Be a role model for these young girls. Love yourself, so that they can learn how to love themselves.

Oprah asks us to pledge to ourselves: “Step away from the mean girls … and say bye-bye to feeling bad about your looks. Are you ready to stop colluding with a culture that makes so many of us feel physically inadequate? Say goodbye to your inner critic, and take this pledge to be kinder to yourself and others.”

Get a confidence boost at our next Go Confidently event!

Learn more ways to be confident and silence your inner critic at our next event, “The Survival Guide to Being Human.” On June 30 at The Olmsted, speaker Allison Massari will share the secrets to mastering life — and they begin with choosing happiness and kindness. Register now for this free event.

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