self-love

A Self-Lover's Guide To Finding The Perfect Swimsuit For Your Body

bikini body

 

(Spoiler Alert: it’s way easier than rag mags make it seem.)

Step 1.

First, acknowledge this fact: Your bod is hot.

Regardless of shape, size, dimensions, numbers, pounds, scars, marks, or anything else, your body is the home to your soul and therefore it’s f*cking magical and mad hot.

Step 2.

Know that, because your bod is already perfect in all of its glory, anything you put on it — especially when it comes to swimsuits — is also going to look perfect (and mad hot).

I realize everything I’m saying probably directly contradicts your results of the “dressing for your body type” quiz you took in ninth grade, but can I just offer you this: instead of listening to master marketers of fast fashion, and “style experts” who know absolutely nothing about you, is it such a radical notion to suggest that you simply dress for yourself?

What makes you feel good? Wear it.

What outfit are you most comfortable in? Rock it.

What makes you feel confident? Repeat it.

Step 3.

Apply the above learning to your search for the perfect swimsuit.

Who knows? It might already be in your possession.

The infamous bikini.

The infamous bikini.

Like, let me provide you with a case and point. I have this bathing suit that I’m absolutely obsessed with. I bought it when I was in London because I was really lonely one day and convinced myself that buying a bikini from Agent Provocateur would make me feel better (and it did, for like 5 minutes, but that’s not the point of this story).

Anyway, after the sales lady convinced me that I couldn’t live without said bikini, I proudly toted my new purch back to my flat where I unwrapped it with gentle care and tried it on again in front of the mirror. The sales lady had been right, I didn’t want to imagine a life without my new bikini.

However, despite my adoration over my new bathing suit, whenever I was given an opportunity to wear it — poolside, or at the beach — I chickened out. Out loud, I told myself I was saving it for a special occasion, but in my head, I was telling myself that I couldn’t actually pull it off in public; that I was too “volumptuous” for such a scandalous two-piece, that others would be offended by my body in my bathing suit.

Because my body didn’t look anything like the body of the women who modeled my new suit in the magazines or on the billboards, it sat in my drawer for an entire season, lonely as I was on the day I purchased it.

I would visit it from time to time — try it on and admire its lines, the way it hugged and flaunted my womanly curves. I would take mirror selfies in my bikini and imagine fantastical scenarios of myself sunning on some golden sand in a far away land where I could wear my two-piece in peace. I longed to slip it on and pull it off, the way all the girls on Instagram did. But I didn’t.

Instead of embracing my shape, I shamed myself. Told myself I’d only wear it when I lost 10 pounds. Promised myself the opportunity to rock it, as if it were a prize for when I got “in shape.” I told myself I needed to earn the right to wear it. 

And then one day, a year and then some after I found my perfect bikini, I pulled it out of its original pink tissue that I had carefully re-wrapped it in, and I put it on. And I went to the beach. And within 5 minutes of being out in the sun, a woman tapped me on the shoulder.

“Can I just say, that bathing suit is stunning and you look lovely in it,” she said.

“Thank you,” I responded. And then I laid back down, closed my eyes and smiled. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I'm not exactly sure what changed in that year, or where my confidence came from that day. Maybe it’s because I’m getting older, maybe it’s because I care a lot less than I used to about what others think, maybe it’s because I have a boyfriend who loves my body the way it is (and no matter how much it weighs), OR maybe I'm just learning to love myself a little harder, but I learned a valuable lesson. I can wear anything I want to wear. (And so can you.)

SO. As far as I’m concerned, any bathing suit that you LOVE as much as I love my "London bikini," any bathing suit that makes you feel good, any bathing suit that you have absolutely any desire to wear at all...IS THE PERFECT SWIMSUIT FOR YOUR HOTTIE BODY. 

Trust me. 

(And even if there's nobody there to tap you on the shoulder and tell you how stunning you look, know that I'm virtually tapping you on the shoulder and telling you — you look stunning.)

 

 

THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON LITTLEFOOLBOOK.

The Subtle Alchemy Of Self-Love

In our totally *unbiased* opinions, self-love is the secret ingredient to actually enjoying your life (and your summer!), and high-vibe health.

It’s also kind of like alchemy.

The Alchemy Of Self-Love

It’s not linear or a straightforward point A to point B type of trajectory. It’s more like an ongoing, expansive, alchemy-esque process. It’s a journey that takes time, practice, and patience. It can be messy, and hard, and frustrating at times. (What kind of transformation isn’t?) And when you’re in it, it can feel nearly impossible, but when you’re on the other side, it feels a whole lot like magic.

Pic via  instagram

Pic via instagram

Here’s how it works:

Self-love starts with doing ‘the work’ meaning, the uncomfortable inner work we usually run away from til you’re walking the self-love walk and talking the self-love talk. Then you begin to feel a shift. Like an actual, sometimes visceral, often physical shift. Your perspective expands, you begin to glow (from the inside out), your confidence skyrockets, and if you keep going, you may even begin to fancy the reflection you see in the mirror. YOU, yes the same you that once believed you had nothing important to say and your nose was three times too large for your face finally realize, that you and your words DO in fact matter, and you DO actually have important things to say, and while your nose may not be the smallest nose in the world, it’s the perfect nose for your face.

This of course is absolutely amazing and the goal of this self-love journey, but this is also where things can get tricky. Because if you’re anything like us, you suddenly want to tell everyone everything. And if you’re anything like us a few years ago, you might have a sliiiiight inadvertent tendency to lovingly push things onto people. Which, speaking from experience, never plays out well.

We know you want to tweet, insta, Facebook, snapchat, iMessage, email, and shout from the high heavens that THIS is what you’re doing and THIS is what your sister, bf, bff, __ [insert your person here], *should* be doing, too, but the thing with self-love (and almost everything else in life) is that you can’t force it onto others. They have to be ready and willing to make the changes themselves. It’s kind of a hard pill to swallow if you mechanically slip into the caregiver role, but everyone is on their own beautiful, unique journey and maybe they’ll hop on the self-love train, maybe they won’t. It’s not up to you to decide when or how they will, or if they ever do. That’s for them to choose. So even though it will be difficult (we know you mean well and want your loved ones to feels just as free, liberated, and powerful as you feel), save the sage advice, self-love mantras, and unsolicited inspirational pep talks until you’re asked about why you’re so glowy. You will be asked. (A side effect of loving yourself is irresistibility.) For now, the best thing you can do to help others get through their sh*t is to lead by example and to send love from afar. When you exude the high vibe positive energy you’ve gained from truly loving yourself, your whole self, the people around you can feel it and will pick up on that. Eventually, if they’re interested, and most importantly, ready, they’ll approach you about it or explore it on their own. You’re already making a big difference in the world simply by being YOU.

Thoughts? Things to say? Share with us below! This space is as much yours as it is ours, and we love to hear your words!


THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON URBAN ALCHEMY.

How to Actually Enjoy Your July Long Weekend Self-Love Style

Whether you’re Canadian (like me!) or American (like my boyfriend), you’ve got a beautiful long weekend coming up and if possible, you should plan to spend it doing exactly what you want.

You’re probably like, duh. But hear me out. 

I’ve long been the girl who goes with the flow. If my friends or family asked me what I felt like doing during the long weekend (or anytime at all, ever), in the past, I probably would have answered with something like, “Oh, I’m easy! Whatever you guys want to do is great.” Which is precisely how I’ve wound up, tired and alone in an Uber delivering me from one place I didn’t want to be, to another. And it’s also the reason that I got so drunk that one time (who am I kidding? — plenty of times) at that party where I didn’t know anybody because it was awkward AF, and why were we there again? Oh right, because “I’m easy!” And it’s definitely the reason I’ve woken up to angry texts from my BFF for making a Houdini exit at “the club” well before the night was deemed over. All because I conceded to other people’s plans, priorities and ideas of fun without actually consulting myself for an opinion. Being the “chill” girl, the “up for anything,” and the “I don’t mind” girl is exhausting.

While it’s one thing to be agreeable, it’s another thing altogether to sacrifice your own well-being for someone else’s idea of a “good time.” We live in a YESculture. It’s totally normal to want to be a people pleaser amongst your people. But sometimes constantly saying YES to your friends, your S.O., your family, your boss, your co-workers, means a default NO on your end — a NO to yourpriorities, your to-do lists, and your idea of a good time.

SO. It's time to prioritize your own agenda with these 4 ridiculously simple tips for actually enjoying your July Long Weekend.

1. Ask yourself, how do you honestly want to spend your time?

Chances are, there are a million things going on this long weekend. A beach bash and bonfire at your parent’s cabin. A BBQ at your BFF’s boyfriend’s brother’s house. Your grandma really wants to hit the yard sale scene (it’s always lit on long weekends). That band your bestie’s obsessed with is playing downtown and your BF’s graduating class is having a good ol’ fashioned house party.

You’ve got options, girl. But first, ask yourself — how do you honestly want to spend your time? What’s your idea of a GT? And is it aligned with anything else that’s going on? If YES, great. Hit up that BBQ and crash the house-party late night. But if it’s a NO, then maybe it’s time to stop being a YES woman for other people, and start being a YES woman for yourself. 

(BTW. It’s 100% okay for your BFF to want to spend her July Long booze cruising, and for you to want to spend it at a yoga retreat. Or vice versa. Just acknowledge the difference and make a plan.)

2. Plan accordingly.

Once you’ve given it some thought, start making the plans.

If all your friends are hitting up the free concert in town, but you’re dying for some 1-on-1 time with your BF at the beach, make it happen.

Let your friends know you’ll meet up with them later. Let your BF know what time to be ready, and to pack a bathing suit.

Done.

Believe it or not, while you’re friends will likely miss your presence, they won’t hold your priorities against you. (If they do, they’re not good friends.) And your BF, well, he’s been dying for 1-on-1 time, but didn’t want to seem needy.

OKAY. So. Maybe there’s no free concert in your town, or you don’t have a BF, but you get my point. Once you give yourself the permission to actually have your own thoughts, feelings, and opinions about what you want to do — listen to them. And then plan accordingly. You hold the power, babe. 

3. Recruit your squad.

Now that you know what you want to do, and how you want to spend your July Long Weekend, recruit your squad. Sure, your friends may already have other plans, but they might be YES women, too, so throw out your plan as an option and give them the opportunity to choose it, if they want.

Or, maybe you’re planning to finally spend some long overdue time with yourself. In which case, your squad is YOU. And that’s perfect.

Whatever you do, don’t peer pressure or bully anyone into your weekend schedule. Because then you’re right back where you started, except the one making the sacrifice is your BFF. And she doesn’t deserve that. 

4. Do you & enjoy.

Congratulations! You’ve just resisted the status quo, prioritized number one (that's you!), and learned a valuable lesson in self-care. All that’s left to do now is enjoy the weekend you’ve planned for yourself, knowing that you’re spending it exactly how you want to spend it.

While you’re busy doing you, try to remember and understand that other people’s priorities are not a reflection of you. And vice versa. We’re all just trying to have a good time, the best way we know how. Just because your bestie opted out of your plan, doesn’t mean she doesn’t love you.

PS. These tips are easily transferable beyond the long weekend and can totally be applied to your everyday life.


THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON LITTLEFOOLBOOK.

Self-Love 101: Have You Loved You, Lately?

No, seriously. Think about it. Have you loved you, lately?

Here’s the deal. I spent a lot of time thinking I knew all about self-love because I’d spoil myself with money I didn’t have on products I didn’t need from Sephora. I spent a lot of time thinking loving myself meant splurging on a pair of $200 jeans (even though they were two sizes too small for me, and I’d have to lose a bunch of weight and bone density to fit into them.) I spent a lot of time believing that self-love could be bought — ordered online from a swanky retailer in AUS, costing me a leg and an arm in shipping, but hey, that’s (self)love baby! It wasn’t. What it actually was is lingerie that sat in my drawer because I never felt like any occasion was the right occasion to wear it. (True self-love would have been wearing it anyway, just for me, because it made me feel good.)

From the outside looking in, things probably looked gravy, baby. Like, I was going on lots of dates, always wearing new clothes, my liquid eyeliner was always on point (even if it took me 37 minutes in front of a mirror just to paint two single lines), and I did whatever I wanted, on my own terms (like eating pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner), because I was the boss of my own life.

Except, during that time, I was also binging and purging in private, picking at my nails til they bled, sleeping in because what was the point of getting up? And fat-shaming myself under the fluorescent light of my bathroom. Self-love? More like self-loathing.  

And while my intentions were good — I was trying to find happy and be happy — they were ill-directed. I was looking for (self)love in all the wrong places — in other people, in products, and in material items. I was looking for self-love in the bottom of a Slim Fast.

The truth is, I spent a lot of time thinking I was loving myself up, but not actually doing the work of loving myself IRL, at all.

So let me ask again. Have you loved you, lately? And I’m not talking about the faux, self-loathing kind of “self-love.” I’m talking about the un-judgemental, the forgiving, patient and optimistic self-love. The real self-love that can’t be bought online, in a store, or from another person.

Self Love 101: In order to feel the results, you must do the work.

What does that mean?

It means changing your mentality. 

Instead of thinking, “Gawd, I hate the way my arms look in this tank,” try, “my arms are perfect exactly as they are, this shirt just isn’t right for me."

It means silencing your inner mean girl.

Instead of listening to that voice in your head that says, “you can’t do that,” or “you’ll never be good enough,” listen to your inner optimist that tells you, “yes you f*&king can.” 

Spoiler Alert: You can literally do anything. And I don't mean that in a cliche, fluffy way. I mean it in the true sense of the sentiment. I would know. I wrote a book despite my bitchy inner mean girl. 

It means disregarding your insecurities, rewriting the story in your head and acknowledging all that you are — right here, and right now.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Self-love is all about appreciating your own unique brand of beauty, recognizing your myriad gifts, and honoring yourself. This can be hard to do when you’re not sure where to start, or when you’re blinded by society’s definition of worthy.

So, start at square one. Put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard) and write down everything you love about yourself. Save the modesty.

Pro tip: be mindful of what you focus on. Self-love isn’t just about body image, or what’s on the outside. It’s also about taking notice of what’s on the inside, what your unique talents are, and the irreplaceable space you take up in this world.

Read your newly penned love list anytime you need a boost, and add to it often.

Need help? Phone a friend. Ask your BFF what she loves about you and use her answers as a jumping off point for realizing just how incredible you truly are. (I do this all the time with my brothers — mostly, I’m just fishing for compliments but calling it self-love.)


THIS POST ORIGINALLY APPEARED ON LITTLEFOOLBOOK.