All For One

ON HER| Swimsuit:  c/o Bodyglove via Swim 'n Sport (order a size down if you are in between)
ON HIM| Shirt: PacSun (same here) | Sunnies: Ray Ban

Already, this is my most complemented swim suit this season. Not only is it comfortable (it is made out of wet suit material in the front!), but it also is adorable. It also made me feel confident as it has the perfect fit for my body type! Swim 'n Sport carries the one-piece alongside many many other suits. & you can find swimsuits of every style there! Bikini, tankini, one-piece. They even have cover-ups and fitness clothing. It's kind of a one-stop-shop for your summer active life.

I am just going to go out there and say it. Our society has an issue.  This issue is not of the financial kind. It isn't of the violent kind. This is the mental kind.  You see, I have struggled with this issue for years. I have seen friends, family, co-workers, and even strangers struggle with it for years.
The issue is body image.
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+I was only 9 years old when one of my good guy friends told me I had cankles. At the time, I didn't know what he meant. I was naive to the evil word and simply asked him what they were. When he told me that it meant that it looked like I didn't have any ankles, but just leg, I was shocked. The rest of the car ride we sat in silence and I have never gotten over the idea of my large ankles. Truth is, I was a 2-3 hour a day dancer at the time, and then continued in my active lifestyle throughout high school, so the ankle thing was- and is- genetic predisposition. My grandma says it is my Czech genes. My mom says it means I have strong ankles. 
+I was only 11 when the boy down the street- a friend who also was in my church class, laughed at me riding my new bike. He questioned me if it could hold someone who weighed 150 pounds. That night, I cried to my mom. I had always had a "grown up girl" body as my mom called it. I weighed a whopping 90 pounds in the third grade. But I wasn't big. I was sturdy, and strong, and I happened to be taller than all the other kids in my class. By the time I was 11, I probably weighed 20 more pounds. That's 40 pounds shy of what the boy had mocked me of being.
+I was only fourteen when I first heard a girl purging in the school bathroom. You see, I would go and get ready in the school bathroom every morning after attending early morning seminary. The initial day it happened, I worried that the girl was sick. After the third day, I knew this wasn't the case. Every day she would bring her empty yogurt cup and dump it in the trash, and then proceed to the nearest bathroom stall. I didn't know the girl. We simply shared glances in the mirror before she ducked her head into the stall. She was already skinny. & by skinny, I mean she had the body that many girls would love to have. In fact, it appeared it was in her genes to be skinny. It was too bad that at the time that I never had the courage to express to her that she already looked beautiful. That she didn't need to obtain her beauty through such torture.
+It was just the other day at my summer camp job that I witnessed an eight year old boy throw out his popcorn included in his lunch saying, "I can't eat junk or I will get fat."
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You see, there was a time in between 12 and 14 that I was overweight. Some children go through an awkward gangly age. Some get acne. Some need braces. I simply became larger than life. The last half of eighth grade I realized I no longer wanted to be chubby. I watched what I ate, cut out treats and sugar, and was determined to be "popular" by high school.
That was the problem... I confused being skinny with being cool.
Granted, I could have used to lose some pounds, for health's sake. But that isn't why I wanted to lose the weight. I wanted boys to notice me. For girls to call me pretty. To stop being teased. 
Now, my body fluctuates. I moved. Gained weight. Broke up with a boyfriend. Lost weight. Went to college. Gained weight. Had foot surgery. Gained more weight. Began to love hikes. Lost weight. Sent a missionary off. Lost more weight. Had surgery again. Gained more weight. I guess you can say I eat my feelings. My physical and mental pain can be made more comfortable through food.  This wouldn't be such an issue, if I had been teased. If the mocking stories didn't ring in my mind whenever I gain 5 pounds. If there wasn't a stigma behind the way a body is shaped.
But there is. 
But we can change that. 
I have learned to love my body. It does amazing things. Withstands huge amounts of force and pressure. Let's me breathe, exercise, walk. Don't get me wrong, I still get down about it.
I am still a size 6 or 8 (depending on the day, time, or whether I want to squeeze into my tight jeans)- which deems me a 'plus size model' in the fashion industry.
I now rank in at the 150 mark that that boy teased me about years ago.
But, I am happy. I am healthy. I can do great things.
Sure, I am not tiny. I am not even as small as most fashion bloggers. 
But, maybe that achieves my cool status I was looking for in high school. You know why? Because I am comfortable in my body. & when I am not comfortable in my own body, I still push myself to feel comfortable. There has definitely been times I have  procrastinated posting an outfit for fear of being judged on my figure. But, every time I succeed in pushing past that anxiety, I see it as a win in my book.
I want to teach my future daughters that they are smart alongside being pretty.
I want to teach my future sons that a women's body is not the first thing to look for.
I want to teach my future children to treat others with kindness and respect their decisions on how they treat their bodies in regards to food and exercise.
So I guess I am asking you to do that, too. Make sure that you love your body in front of them. Make sure that you tell them that it is normal to feel bloated and unattractive sometimes. Make sure that they treat others' bodies kindly. You never know what actions or words will affect a person for life.

Just for the record... wearing a one piece does not make you fat. Wearing a one piece does not make you appear fat. It does not make you seem self-consious, or insecure. In fact, I think a one-piece shows confidence.

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9 comments:

  1. your bathingsuit is so cute on you and the colors literally scream for summer

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  2. I love everything you said here! And girl you look amazing! Xo

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    1. Thanks girl! I hope that everything is going well! xo

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  3. Oh man! We are so much the same, girl! I was worried about my arm hair in second grade. Called chubby in fifth and made fun of for my unibrow in sixth. In highschool I was always insecure about my little belly "pooch. I can't really remember ever not being self conscious... Its sad. I'm still working on it today. I've always hated my legs and that's what I get hung up on still at times :/ you are such an inspiration!! Someday I'll love my body the way it is, somedays I already do. You are such a babe and so beautiful inside and out girl!! Thanks for having the guts to put your story out there :)

    Jessi
    www.haircutandgeneralattitude.com.

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  4. You look great and I just love that swimsuit! Great post...thanks for sharing. Truly inspirational. :-)

    ~Whitney

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  5. I love that suit! And you are gorgeous. Darling blog!

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  6. I definitely had my share of teasing and self consciousness growing up - it wasn't about body image though, it was about my ethnicity. But, I can still relate to this on so many levels. Thanks for sharing your story with such honesty! I agree with jessi up there that you are gorgeous and are definitely rocking this suit! Carylee | morepiecesofme.com

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  7. definitely needed to read this today! thank you. xox

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I love reading your comments, and I always try to respond to every single one! Thank you for stopping by! xoxo