On swimsuit shopping.

I just got back from vacation. It was a beach vacation, which I alluded to in last week’s blog. I wasn’t stressed about it to any real level, but since it’s been conditioned into me forever, I did think about my body and how it was going to look in a swimsuit.

Swimsuits are not something I’m normally worried about. I pick a cute one, I put it on, I move down the road. For whatever reason, this year, I was all up in my head about it. The ones I had didn’t seem good enough, and I couldn’t seem to find anything new that I liked, or that fit.

A few weeks prior to leaving, I had a panicked conversation with a friend of mine about swimsuit shopping. I was standing in a dressing room in a suit looking at myself and going, “What. The. Hell. Is this all about?!” I texted this friend shortly after, knowing that, as a fellow fitpro, she would get this and not dismiss me and my feelings. I lamented my frustration, like, duh, I know I look fine, but why does this shopping suck so much? Why does everything look terrible? And WHY am I so lumpy like a potato?

We had a good laugh about frumpy vegetable bodies, but she calmed me down pretty quickly when she observed, “I don’t think it’s a surprise that you have been feeling outta whack and disproportionate in life, and now you are literally manifesting that physically.”

Whoa, accurate.

At the time, I had been feeling out of whack. It was a rough winter, I’d been stressed thinking and working through this professional transition I’m making, struggling with past, present, future, and specific categories. I hadn’t connected it because I was rather in the weeds, but my friend was spot on. It took that outside perspective to shake me out of my bubble and remind me that, of course, it had nothing to do with my body.

So rarely does it.

Nearly every time something like this comes about, it has next to nothing to do with our actual physical form. Getting pissed about clothes or shopping, or frustrated at food or exercise, or upset about cellulite or changing body sizes usually has a different root cause. I’m not saying it’s easy to see, or easy to work with. I had to seek out a trusted friend and outside assessment to figure it out. But for me, when I was able to do that, it all became a lot clearer, and I got a lot kinder a lot quicker to my body when I realized it was not the source of my aggravation.

My friend also gently reminded me that it’s a phase. We go through ebbs and flows in life, times of ups, times of downs. Often, in those ebbs, everything is affected, sometimes things that aren’t normally touched. In this instance, my body image took a crazy hit that it hadn’t necessarily taken previously. I felt uncomfortable and insecure, which was absolutely in line with how I was feeling elsewhere.

Fast forward a few weeks to the vacation itself. In the weeks since the shopping incident, I had made some decisions about the professional stuff that had me feeling disproportionate, and I was feeling much more confident. I had just come off a highly successful Creating Your Big Life Workshop, and had scheduled another one. I had some great client conversations that solidified the right direction for me. Indeed, it was just a phase, and I was starting to feel like things were flowing again.

So when we got to Aruba? Armed with one new suit, and two old ones, I strutted my pale bum across the white sand without a care. The incongruences cleared up in other areas, I didn’t think for one second about any perceived incongruences in my body. Funny how that works.

swimsuit shopping | Kourtney Thomas

I know it’s tough, especially this time of year. Regardless of whether we’ve stopped reading terrible “women’s” magazines, we’re still subjected to a lot of “It’s swimsuit season!” messaging. I firmly believe we make this swimsuit stuff way more complicated than it has to be, but I do acknowledge that sometimes, there’s more to it.

And that’s the part I encourage you to acknowledge. This year, instead of getting stressed about swimsuit shopping as you stand in the dressing room, or just giving up and sweating in an uncomfortable t-shirt and shorts, think about where you might be feeling a little wonky in your life. See if you can make any connections between that and how you’re feeling wonky about your body, if you are. Then, consider addressing the source. Remember, it’s likely a phase that you can work through.

And when you’re feeling more aligned in life, it generally follows that you’ll feel a lot more aligned putting on your suit of choice and rocking your pale bum down the beach too.

I’m going to share a few more insights from my vacation about bodies and mindset in the next couple weeks. I hope you’ll hang out. You can get them directly in your inbox by signing up here.

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