Every Body is a Bikini Body

Jun 28, 2016 | 12 comments

I know I’m not unique in having an ongoing love/hate affair with my body but man, if there is anything that brings those insecurities to light it’s summertime. There are years where I really, really, really hate my body then there are other years where I’m like, “Screw you insecurities!” and I rock the hell outta my bikini. So far, this year has not been one of those years.

This year my weight is the highest it’s been in 3 years and I cringed at the thought of having to buy a swimsuit for our trip to Orlando. I didn’t even consider a bikini. I refused to even try one on at the store. I insisted that I would only consider a full one-piece that was good at hiding my extra curves. I’ve always had curves, as an adult I’ve never weighed less than 135lbs. I’m happy at 135 but since I’m only 5’2″ all of those charts and crap say I should “ideally” be 118lbs. Whose “ideal” is that anyway? I feel like I’d be way too thin at 118lbs. I feel like I was strong and healthy at 135. 

Here’s a pic of me circa 2010 at the beach in Florida. I think I weighed about 140 – 145 here.

Ashley 2010

This next picture was taken in 2011. I was about 145lb – 150lb at that time. I know I was heavier than I should have been (according to those “ideal” charts) but I’m happy with my weight in this picture. I feel like I look healthy.

I was heavily involved in martial arts at the time and I know that I was fit. I didn’t have a 6-pack and I wasn’t all muscle but I was strong, active, and healthy. I practiced kata all of the time (more on that tomorrow) and I competed in martial art tournaments. I was a fighter and I was happy with my weight. 

Oh, and that Mario doll? At the time my siblings and I were taking that doll on a tour around the world. He went to South Africa, Mexico, the Eastern Caribbean, and all throughout the United States. The week this picture was taken I just happened to be in South Florida at the beach. Mario really gets around. 😉 


It all went downhill for me in 2012.

I started becoming incredibly body conscious (although my weight remained about the same). I started wearing one-piece swimsuits or tankini’s because I didn’t feel as comfortable in my own skin anymore. I hated shopping for swimsuits and I started to really tear apart my body. Maybe it was because of my age? I turned 30 in 2012 and started becoming really critical of my post-30 body. I wasn’t in martial arts anymore (I quit due to injury) and was working in an office so I was less physically active. I was married and my husband was fighting a life-threatening illness (which he completely overcame). All of my attention at the time was on taking care of him and praying for a cure. I just didn’t prioritize myself anymore and as I took less care of myself I felt less confident with my own body.

We still went to the beach (he loved it) but I only took pictures on the beach if I was wearing clothes, or at least a pair of shorts. I took a lot of pictures like this one…

Ashley 2013

Now, here it is in 2016 and I insisted on a one-piece curve-hiding swimsuit for Orlando and flat-out refused to allow anyone to take pictures of me. Not a single one. We spent two days at a gorgeous hotel with my family and I don’t have a single picture of our time poolside because I was feeling ashamed of myself. 

I tore apart every inch of my body. I hated my arms, my stomach, my butt and my thighs. I was so concerned about every single extra pound I’ve gained that I couldn’t let loose and truly enjoy myself. It made me sad. I was starting to feel like summer wasn’t for me anymore and that’s awful.

Then, I discovered this article about 20 plus-size bikini clad women that are sexy AF and I felt even more ashamed. I wasn’t ashamed over my body, suddenly I was feeling ashamed that I ever thought that my body was less than acceptable or that I felt like I needed to hide it away from the world. Right now, I only weigh 5 – 10 lbs more than I did in 2012 so WTH is my problem? How in the world did I allow 5 – 10 lbs to completely decimate my self-confidence?! 

I’m going out this weekend to shop for a new bikini because I’m wearing it this summer, extra weight be damned!

Here are a few of my favorites…

Get shopping friends! Don’t be like I’ve been over the last few years and don’t let your self-doubt hold you back. You only get one body and the years tick by quickly. Get out there. Buy that bikini. Rock the hell out of it and enjoy your summer!

You deserve it.