Bikinis are what nightmares are made of: fact. The reality of seeing my reflection in a changing room mirror where it seems all my lumps and bumps are on show, well it is no wonder I put it off buying them.
But this year I decided it was going to be different. It was about time to face my lack of body confidence head on.
I have never been the most confident about the way I look: that is what glasses from a young age and a long period in the awkward years did to me. But after Ava and Esme, well, it has to be said any body confidence I had had disappeared. Suddenley my body had changed so much and it no longer felt like mine anymore. There were lumps and bumps that hadn't been there before and this thought of "I'm a mother can I still wear this?" ran through my head far too often.
Being a mother is not my only identity and doesn't define me.
Yes being a mother is a huge part of my day to day to role but I am so much more than a mother. I am also a sister, a daughter, an avid fashion follower, a handbag obsessive, chocolate addict, lover of terrible jokes. The list could go on and on... What I am trying to say is that there is so much more to my personality and I don't have to limit it to one of badges I wear. At the end of the day whether I wear a bikini or not has nothing to do with whether I am a good mum or not so why do I even consider motherhood when choosing what I wear?
"Comparison is the thief of joy"
I know this is not a new quote but it is so true. Endless comparisons to other people just removed the little confidence I did have and lowered my self esteem. No-one will look exactly like me and have my exact body, but that doesn't mean that mine is worth less or worse than anyone elses. Instead of focussing on everyone else I needed to focus on myself and what was good for me.
Which leads me on to positive self talk.
Over the years my biggest critic was and still is myself. It became a habit that I would almost annihilate myself before leaving the house just so no-one else could state any unknown flaws, and all it did was make me feel so negative about myself .
No-one is perfect but there is so much good to be seen and acknowledged. Now I focus on that instead of the tiny negatives that I used to blow way out of proportion.
The gym has really helped with this as it has made me see the changes iin my body but also has helped changed my mindset and made me proud of my body for what it can do and how strong it is.
The last big change I did was I stopped putting my body confidence and self worth in the hands of someone else. All that matters now is what I think about myself.
I was in a situation where my self worth and confidence had hit rock bottom because of someone's actions and the way in which they saw me, or probably the way I thought they saw me. I felt like I was not good enough in any way.
It wasn't until I removed myself from that situation that I realised the toll it had taken on me. I never want to be in a position whereby someone's opinion of me is more important than my own.
At the end of the day though holidays are about making treasured memories not about how good I looked in a bikini. What matters is my happiness and confidence and for the first time in quite a while I felt comfortable in my skin and happy with my reflection in the mirror.
I might not have a "perfect" body but my body gave me two beautiful girls; it keeps me alive every single day without me giving it a second thought; and it keeps me standing and provides me with the resilience to weather the storms life throw at me.
No wonder I have found my body confidence: I am so proud of this body of mine.