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This is how I have always been most comfortable in a bathing suit….with something covering me up. It’s an insecurity that I have had since I was a chubby kid and no matter my age or size, I always feel like I should never don a bathing suit. But here I am in all my glory and with over 10K views on my twirling bikini Instagram reel. I guess it’s time to let those insecurities go.

The bikini look was not planned, and if truth be told, I had to borrow the bikini bottoms from my friend who was the owner of the splendid house where the lifestyle shoot took place. I was honestly praying she did not have anything that would fit me, but since she did, I had to go with it. I want to say it was a sign from God, but I doubt God was interested or had anything to do with it at all.

In any case, I DID IT. It’s out there now and there is no taking it back. And I survived. Nothing bad happened. It wasn’t awful. It was freeing actually. I do not know who could be looking at the IG video to make up for those 10+K views, but I don’t really care either. How about that? I don’t even know if that’s a lot of views, but for me it is, so I am going to enjoy the moment and hope I inspired one person. Just one.

I know for myself I’ve have a long list of women who have inspired me and continue to inspire me to this day to be myself. Here is what I learned. It is true what they say about stepping out of your comfort zone in order to grow. I cannot express how anxious I was when my team started talking about me doing the bikini shot. I went into a trance listening like I was not in the room. I was horrified, and like I said, I was praying we could not find any bottoms to fit me. As the scene progressed, again I prayed, but this time I prayed for grace and strength to do what I needed to do and make it look good.

Causing things to be even more uncomfortable was I had an audience. Yup, a small audience, but an audience, nonetheless. Not only was my team there but the owners of the gorgeous house, my husband (he is not allowed on another set, ever), and Leo, the neighbor (but I found out about Leo after the shoot). Being semi-naked will cause most people to be vulnerable, and I am definitely one of those people. I’m private like that. Maybe you could say I’m even shy. Being in front of other people exacerbates those feelings significantly. It is one thing to be in front of your photographer, hair and makeup person, stylist, but trying to perform at your most vulnerable with friends and husband watching you? No. That is not happening again if I can help it.

But I DID IT. It’s done. I never have to do it again if I don’t want to, but I could. And I probably will because I know I’ll be okay. Nothing bad is going to happen. If someone makes a snide comment, I am sure I can handle it properly and with grace. Nah, that’s not true, I will probably bite their head off because that’s how I roll. I’m not that young, insecure, scared 20-year-old anymore, and have not been for a long, long time. I am a mature older woman who doesn’t let anyone make me feel anything unless I allow it, and I’m not allowing much negativity into my space anymore. It’s about time, right?

I can honestly say I am grateful I did it, and I’m so glad it was spur of the moment, so I didn’t stress too much about it prior to the shoot. I am grateful for being pushed to examine that part of my vulnerability and learn that I can go there without falling apart. I even feel a better about my body since. It empowered me and now I understand women who accept themselves lovingly. It’s a beautiful thing.

I know for myself the first thing I thought of when the idea of the bikini shot was broached was, I am not good enough. I do not look as good as _____ (insert any name that comes to mind because I thought of about 10 ladies right off the top of my head). People will think I have lost my mind thinking I can do this. It went on and on. All that did was give me an excuse for not taking a risk, and that is precisely why I finally did it. I held my head high and went out there and got out of my head and did my best. I survived. I am still here, and I’m over 10K views. Comparison is the thief of all joy. Do not let it rob you of your joy.

Here is my two cents. Ladies, go out there and live. Take the risks. Do what makes you feel uncomfortable, within reason of course. Never do anything you do not want to do, but if it’s in a safe environment and it will help you to grow in a positive way, try it. I would bet that most of the time, it turns out successfully. Find your tribe and encourage one another. Listen to your gut; it will never steer you wrong. In the last few weeks, I have made some big changes and decisions that started before the bikini shot, and I’ve never felt stronger or more confident. The bikini shot was actually the cherry on top of my beautiful cake.

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