TOMORROW afternoon I will be stripping off.
And, slipping into an itsy bitsy teeny weeny bikini. Maybe the black one. Possibly the red one.
But either way, I will be popping it on and hot footing it to the nearest beach or pool.
I haven’t been abroad for about four years so I am ready for the sunshine and the waves, the sand and the breeze, the relaxation and the switching off.
But it’s been a looong time since I’ve bared my bod in a sunny destination in public. And since then, my body has changed quite a bit.
It’s been through a pregnancy. It’s given birth. It’s breastfed my daughter and it’s aged a little too.
It is not the same as it once was, when I last strutted my sassy stuff on a hot Ibiza beach.
It’s not as lean. Nor as toned.
It’s showing a few more signs of wear.
I have a few stretchmarks and a kind of squishy bit at the bottom of my tummy that will never go back to how it was.
Yes, I am different.
Not that much. But enough.
Enough to feel a little nervous. Enough to have wibble wobbles about baring all. Enough to make my heart beat a little faster when I decided to dig out my designer bikinis the other week that I haven’t worn for four whole years and try them on.
In broad daylight.
I’ve always been pretty confident about my shape and size, but I admit, I had to take a few deep breaths when I went to try on the first one.
When I went to look in the mirror.
But what I saw, erased the nerves and then made me feel a little silly, for even worrying about it.
Because what I saw was a more feminine, womanly shape.
I saw curves. I saw the stretchmarks that came when I grew Elsie in my tummy.
I saw a body that knows how to love life. That enjoys great food, wine, dancing and hot sex.
I saw a body that gave me the greatest gift.
I saw a body that looks different but is still pretty bloody marvellous all the same.
And I saw me.
I saw a woman whom has grown more comfortable in her own skin.
I saw a woman whom doesn’t believe in diets and will not support them.
I saw a woman who loves her self, even the imperfect, wobbly bits.
And I realised how fortunate I am, to see myself this way, when so many don’t or can’t.
Because we’re not meant to be like this are we?
I’m not meant to be ok with showing off my imperfect flesh. And neither of course are you.
We’re supposed to feel the fear, we’re supposed to eat less and exercise more, we’re supposed to be nervous and unsure whether we can still pull off a bikini.
But I do not and I will not.
What have I done in terms of getting my body ‘bikini ready’?
Very, very little.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve eaten the same as I always have. Sometimes chips. Other times a salad.
I’ve drank wine and guzzled cups of tea.
I’ve sorted out what I’m wearing with my bikinis, because you know a gal likes to look her best.
I’ve shaved my legs, I’ve exfoliated and later, I’m gonna slap on some fake tan because I like to have a bit of colour.
And bob’s your uncle, what do you know, but I’m ready! Da, daa! Beach, here I come!
My ‘bikini body’ is not perfect. Far from it.
But that’s OK, I love it anyway!
And guess what my friend?
When it comes to your bikini body, so should you.
So please, PLEASE, do. x