I am very honored to have a special guest today joining us on our journey for Week 5 of A Girl’s Guide to Self-Confidence. I discovered Hillary on Pinterest, actually, through this pin and immediately reached out to her to be a part of our series. I’m thrilled that she said yes!Hillary is a Southern California mom to a daughter in preschool and a toddler son. Her husband is a Ph.D student and their lives are lived according to the quarter schedule. Because they make such adorable offspring Hillary plans to have another sometime in the next few years. She blogs at TheHillJean.com where she finds the fascinating in the mundane. She always tries to find the funny as well.
You can follow her on Facebook at Because My Life is Fascinating and Twitter @thehilljean
Right now, the internet, the book stores, the magazine racks, the television, the gym, and the billboards are crawling with messages about how to get “Bathing Suit Ready”. Girls and women of all ages are having a collective freakout. Temperatures rise, so the pounds need to fall.
Ever since I was in sixth grade I’ve hated this time of year. I despise this “season” where we aren’t good enough and have to follow some elaborate ritual to “ready” our bodies for the public eye. I long for the cozy, comfortable months of winter. The time where friends pass around fudge instead of new diet techniques.
Since Christmas, I’ve probably put on a good ten pounds.
Have I agonized over that weight?
You can bet your sweet cinnamon roll I have.
Have I dieted?
Well…yes and no. I’ve implemented many healthy habits since coming clean with my vicodin addiction. I had a total overhaul on what was going into my body. But sugar? Well, I have a hard time letting go of that sweet stuff. I’m being active, exercising most days of the week, and trying to eat as clean as I can.
The ten pounds aren’t really moving. BUT IT’S BATHING SUIT SEASON!
How do I talk about myself? How do I talk about my body? How do I communicate my fear of bathing suit season to my four year old daughter?
Those questions haunt and torment me. Bathing suit season is here, ready or not. My daughter is here–she is absorbing everything like a sponge, ready or not.
If I’m being honest, I’ll say I’m not ready for either. I don’t have it together. I don’t have the confident answers to handle both society and my little one. But I do have a fallout plan.
Here are some ways I’m dealing with both bathing suit season, and a listening daughter:
1.) I’m not going to hide. I might not like what I see in the mirror. I might not be bathing-suit ready. However, I have to participate in summer. I’m not going to miss out on memories with my kids in the pool and at the beach just because I’m not “ready.”
This is the part where I suck it up. And in, haha.
2.) I’m not going to talk down about myself in front of her. I shouldn’t talk down about myself in front of ANYONE, but if I’m honest, I let it slip around my mom and my husband. I whine to them. But I’ll never whine to her.
3.) I’m not going to be immodest. Let’s be frank, here: the whole bathing suit thing is just weird. While we cover our bras and panties year round it’s somehow ok to bare it all in a bikini. It’s weird, right? I can’t wear my bra on the beach, but the triangle top is perfectly fine.
I’m a lot more confident in my swimsuit when it covers up the important parts. Now is definitely not the time for me to “let it all hang out.” I found a great swimsuit that keeps my errant thighs and saggy boobs in check. Turns out, Spanx has a line of swimwear. Praise the Lord.
While I’m covering my flub, I’m also showing my daughter another version of swimwear. Living in SoCal, she’ll see everything under the sun. Literally. I’d like to demonstrate an option that doesn’t involve baring it all for the world to see.
So, I’ve got my issues. Don’t we all? I’m sure one day, my beautiful girl will have issues, too. But I’m doing the best I can to deal with my issues quietly. I don’t want my insecurities to be hers. I want her to feel confident, beautiful, and not worry about being “ready” for a stupid season.
You know that saying, “Fake it til you make it?”
Yah, that’s me right now. Cause I don’t have it all together, yet. I haven’t conquered my own fears. But for her sake, I’ll pretend I have.
Thank you so much, Kirsten, for having me on your lovely site! I appreciate the safety and luxury of being honest about hard things. We’re all in this together, right?
Thank you Hillary!
I hope you will all pop over to Hillary’s blog and let her know how awesome she is! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, then you’ll laugh some more. She’s fabulous!
Now it’s your turn:
– What activities might you be missing out on because you are self-conscious about your looks?
– How are the journals coming along? Any questions so far about our series?
Love this! I was just talking to my buddy today about girls, swimsuits, bodies, etc. I am definitely sending her this link. I remember when my daughter was born saying to my husband that I was NEVER allowed to say anything negative about my body in front of her. Now, as the mother to 4 boys too, I talk to my older boys about complimenting their friends who are girls when they look cute in something modest and fun like t-shirts and jeans. They aren’t dressing sexy for me. Thanks for this. Erin
This is a great post. I struggle daily with not saying something negative about myself out loud. Even the slightest sigh is so impressionable on little ears. My poor kid never swims with her mom though. I just cant get over that hump. This all has really given me a lot to think about!!
I too am guilty of not feeling ‘bathing suit season ready’. I used to loath getting in a swimsuit. But now, I say screw it. I’m showing my 13 year old that I can own it, even if it jiggles. Why does it have to jiggle so much???!! Ugh. Thanks Hilary, you are the sweetest.
What happens during bathing suit season…stays in bathing suit seas—- oh forget it and pass the chips. xo Love this
So well said. I think about this all the time, Hillary. Any confidence I have in my body right now is faked, but I don’t want to pass the legacy of my issues onto my daughter. Doing my best to give her an example of confidence. Also, amen about #3! Why do we hide bras but then parade even less-covering stuff on the beach?!
So true. I love the Lands End line of swimwear because they have suits designed to hold up my DDDs. I’m trying to suck it up and swim anyway because I want my daughters to see the example. Our family motto this year is “You are enough.” I need to keep reminding myself of that when I get a glimpse of myself wearing a bathing suit or even shorts, for that matter.
You inspire me! I hear you! I hate swim suit season, it always comes too fast and the body is never ready. So instead of stressing, why don’t we all just rock it? (Easier said than done). However, for my daughter, I keep my self loathing a secret, which is also easier said than done.
This haunts me. I’ve already said too much, but the point on your list that most keeps me in check is number one. Live and participate. In cake and swimming. I also want to lose ten pounds. I’d like to get back to a regular workout routine. But in the meantime, I’m happier than ever, and I hope that has as much impact on my kids as my whispered curses at my thighs.
I love this. Fake it ’til you make it. I have 2 girls and I am super conscious of what comes out of my mouth about body image. Thank you for these words.
Wish I had read this when I was a young mom. I was always so insecure in swimwear, and now when I look back at those pics, I was actually pretty hot! 🙂 Sometimes we build strongholds in our minds that aren’t even real! I definitely have learned along the way to not wait to lose those last 10 lbs. to enjoy life! Great post!!
Erin, so glad you enjoyed this post! I hope you’ll take the time to check out the entire series. And thanks for sharing!
Just remember Wendy – you’re daughter thinks you’re beautiful and loves spending time with you. Don’t miss out on those little moments that make life grand! So glad you stopped by today!
Glad you love Hillary’s post! I hope you’ll check out the rest of the series as well. 🙂
LOL! Great attitude!
Glad you stopped by Meredith!
I love the family motto! What a fabulous idea! So happy you came by and hope you’ll enjoy the entire series!
It is easier said than done, but I’m proud of you for putting your own negative thoughts aside for the sake of your daughter. 🙂 You are doing a great job!
I think we all struggle with that ten pound weight loss that just hangs around, but the fact that you are happier than ever speaks volumes. Great job!
So glad you stopped by! I’d love for you to check out the entire series 🙂
Thanks Alli! Hillary did a great job of keeping it real. So glad you stopped by!
Well said! It can be so hard to hide our own insecurities from our kids. But like you said, sometimes you have to fake it till you make it.
And this is why I love Lands’ End. Even if I had a perfect body, my New England modesty would prevent me from wearing a teeny bikini. A tankini that shows a tiny bit of tummy? Maybe. But that’s not something I have to worry about! LOL! But seriously, I love my LE bathing suit I got four years ago. The skirt is short, not dowdy, and the halter top covers but also shows a tad of cleavage. I think it’s perfect for a 37yo mom running around after her kids! 🙂
Love this and LOVE Hillary, I’ve always struggled with body and confidence issues but I hope my daughter never knows a thing about it until she needs someone to share her own stories with.
Thanks, Jessica! I think just about every girl/woman in America has dealt with it. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting to fight it!
I’ll have to check out Lands’ End! I hadn’t even thought about them for bathing suits.
Though I hate the idea of being a fake person, I think in this case it is definitely the lesser of two evils 🙂
Ugh we always look back and see ourselves through a different lens. Why can’t we enjoy it while we have it? Grrr. Its frustrating.
Glad to know I’m not the only one who whispers curses to her thighs. And love handles 🙂
I’ll rock it if you rock it 😉
Now that I live by the beach, I see women wearing things I wouldn’t even wear as underwear! Like, straight-up lingerie. Uncomfortable lingerie.
I like to believe that somewhere out there exists a place where jiggles are a thing of beauty 🙂