Want to see why putting my behind on the internet changed my life? Keep reading to see this gingham bathing suit, and why it was such a big deal to share these pictures.
Two. That's the amount of times I'd worn a bathing suit since Lydia was born before last summer. And we live in Southern California. And also two. The amount of times I practically broke down in tears before putting those suits on. Now, I get that this sounds ridiculous and maybe even a little self centered. Look at our world. And I care THIS much about putting on a bathing suit? How is that even possible? Insecurities are funny that way, right? They lie to you. They steal your energy. They suck your attention. You fixate on the size of your thighs instead of your toddler's first time at the beach. You tell your husband to not take ANY pictures of you with your baby in the sand, because all you can think is that you don't ACTUALLY want to see what your post-baby belly looks like. You'd rather live in the ignorance is bliss category (and in clothes, it doesn't look THAT bad).
<pictures by Annie Vovan>
Last May, I made a rookie mistake that turned into one of the most defining moments of my life. I talked to YOU. Off the cuff, I started joking on Instagram Stories about how much I hated wearing a bathing suit. And I sarcastically said that, the only thing that would get me out of my head would be to put pictures of myself in a bathing suit on the internet. Because then…..who would care about the other ladies at the pool and their judgement. The entire world would have ALREADY seen the pictures on the interwebs. I definitely didn't expect the response I got. Message after message. Of other moms. Telling me how they felt the same way. Telling me I had to do it. That it was for all of us.
So basically, you guys backed me into a corner. I'd committed. Thank god for my very understanding photographer, who let me take THESE pictures in the privacy of her home. No one there but her, me and her lovely pool. And even in that scenario? I almost backed out.
Now here's the crazy thing. And the reason those pictures changed my life. Because when I actually SAW the photos? I loved them. I didn't care about my thighs. And when I saw them in a photo, I realized…..I was wrong. They looked fine. And I looked, happy.
This Gingham Bathing Suit and Celebrating Mom Bods
Fast forward to this fall (because right before the holidays is the PERFECT time to wear bathing suits, ha)! I got an email from Danielle, the owner of Olivia and Ocean. Her company has been making adorable KIDS bathing suits for years. And I'm not gonna lie, I was a little apprehensive. While I'm totally fine putting myself in a bathing suit on the internet…..we had decided NOT to put pictures of Lydia in bathing suits online. I figured she was going to ask about sending Lydia a suit, and man…..was I wrong. My conversation with Danielle inspired me, I wasn't the only one who wanted to empower moms to celebrate their bodies and to just ENJOY the pool or beach. She had spent YEARS designing suits with a post baby body in mind. And in November? She wanted me to come with two other moms and her to take pictures in the suits in preparation for a launch in February.
Even after all of this empowerment, I was still nervous. When I got to the shoot, I'm not going to lie…..I almost refused to put on this adorable gingham bathing suit. I was the biggest woman there. How embarrassing. Were these other women judging me? Did they think I looked fat?
And you know what pushed me? LYDIA WAS THERE. And she was having a blast. All she wanted was to use this cute flamingo float and to get in the pool. And the minute I put this gingham bathing suit on? I felt amazing. It fit like a dream. It flattered like crazy. And the best part? Lydia and I had a blast.
All because I put my behind in a bathing suit on the internet. So my encouragement for y'all today? Just do it ladies. Wear the suit. I promise, it will get easier. I promise, you'll realize it's all in your head. I promise, you'll look back at that moment as one that changed your perspective. And I promise, you'll have a blast with your kids.
Olivia and Ocean‘s amazing I Love Mom Bods line is available NOW including this killer gingham bathing suit.
For more of my bathing suit posts (since once I started, I couldn't stop) check out: