A note for myself at the start of Bikini Season 2024. 

Summertime equals outside water time.  We’re excited about heading out to the beaches, visiting new waterparks, spending time at the pool, and paddle boarding on the lake. Growing up, I spent most of my waking hours on St. Augustine Beach — eating all my meals, meeting up with friends, working as a lifeguard, and lounging in the sun (Yes, I see a dermatologist annually!). But this post isn’t about sun damage or skin health. 

It’s about feeling confident in my skin, in my postpartum times two body. Could I eat a cleaner diet? For my health and wellness, YES! But can I have that croissant, too? Also, yes. Could I add a few more workouts to my weekday routine? Sure, but for mental wellness and robust bone health, not to meet a beauty standard set by media, influencers, and an industry that wants to sell me something. Should I cut out all sugars, carbs, and fats to appease a diet fad culture that overtook our parents in the 80s and 90s? Absolutely not. Should I cut out processed, over-surgery things if they make me feel foggy, depressed, or chemically unwell, I should definitely look into that (oooh, my sweet tooth!). 

It’s about practicing what I preach to clients, friends, and my daughter — about body neutrality — for myself. It’s about making sure when I walk outside in my bikini, I feel and exert a sense of confidence and strength, acknowledging that my body has done a lot to get me to be the person I am today. I want an outlook that helps my daughter grow up not to fear food, worry about the changes coming with adolescence, and not shame her for outlandish standards, make-believe, and nonsense on their behalf. 

Enjoying time in the sun, in my bikini, with my family, not worried if my belly flub hangs over the waist seam or if my cellulite looks wrinkly while I cannonball into the pool. Cherishing pictures of me with my kids in our matching outfits, squinty smiles, and not being overly concerned if I didn’t ‘suck it all in’ for the picture. My kids and my husband all get to have soft bellies in pictures, so why can’t I? Well, I can! And you can, too! Soft, happy bellies for everyone!

Enjoy your summer, your time in the sun, sand, and water — wherever you might be. Know that your body has done amazing things and continues to show up and do amazing things for you. Maybe it grew and delivered a baby. Maybe it’s undergone various treatments and surgeries to help you live beyond cancer. Maybe it’s fighting daily against an auto-immune or neurogenic issue to allow you to show up for those you love day in and day out. It’s doing a lot; let it wear whatever it wants — a mumu, itsy-bitsy bikini, one-piece, or cute pair of board shorts. 

Live your best life this summer and every day in between.

All that matters in those pictures is being with people you love in a place that brings you happiness — wherever that might be for you! It’s going to be a great Bikini Season in 2024, after all!

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