You may be surprised to find out that in our modern day many women have never worn a bikini. I never wore a bikini before. And “before”meaning, before I moved to Costa Rica. Why had I never worn one? Simple. I had never felt comfortable enough. As a woman, the concept of fat shaming is not new to me, and whether it was society’s standards shaping my inner world, I simply did not have the confidence that enabled me to totally embrace my body. Though, I’ve never thought of myself as fat, yet I’m definitely not skinny, nor am I totally fit either, I’ve got curves.
For me, moving to Costa Rica was an opportunity to “start my life over”. Not that my life before was bad per say, but my husband and I hadn’t quit our career-orientated-jobs in Dallas for nothing. We started on our Costa Rican adventure and now that we had made time to explore ourselves, to delve into our new life, try new things, we could afford to be brave, and in every faucet of our lives. Like Eleanor Roosevelt said: “You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Well, I certainly never thought I could wear a bikini.
Shortly after moving here, I came to realize that Costa Rica was not just a beautiful place, but the local people have beautiful hearts as well, and they come in all shapes and sizes. They are kind to everyone, and accept peo-ple for who they are. This totally helped with my new way of thinking to love myself for exactly the person I was curves and all. The place we were staying at when we first arrived in Costa Rica had a community pool. I definitely didn’t dive in right away, but the longer I was there, and embrac-ing this new life, the more I was beginning to feel better and better about myself, and my body. One day I thought to myself, well why not put on that bikini? What do I have to lose? And so, it was decided. It’s not like they’re going to throw me out of the pool for being too voluptuous, right?
And so I went ahead, I just – DID IT. And then, I actually went swimming! I actually forgot about being so self-conscious, about even being in a bikini, I just enjoyed my swim. The sun was out, the birds were chirping, there were fruit trees all around me what more could I ask for? I was in paradise, and I was living in the moment. It was certainly not the hell I had imagined when the thought of putting on my bikini first crossed my mind. And little by little, from this point forward, I started embracing my curves and my body more. Also, I was eating natural, not processed foods, and being outdoors and active most of the time helped my outlook and confidence as well. I felt more comfortable in my body. I mean this is who I am, and I only have this one life to live. Why should I be afraid to bare my body? I already loved myself, and now, I had started loving my body as well, I felt empowered, and it felt great! I felt like I could literally take on the world.
Several months later, my husband Greg and I vacationed on the Guanacaste coast of Costa Rica, and we stayed at a chic all-inclusive hotel with a gorgeous pool and of course, it was right on the beach. And this time, I didn’t even think twice about packing only a bikini. And who would’ve guessed, I had a blast. My added bonus, Greg was thrilled to see me confidently wearing my bikini. As it turns out overcoming my fear was a win/win for both. Never would I have imagined I would have found all this confidence simply because I did the thing that I thought I could not do. Looking back now, I see that that decision has slowly trickled into many aspects of my life and I now feel I can overcome challenges, and with confidence. I mean, if I can wear a bikini, what can’t I do?!
“I don’t know where my story will end, but no where in the text will it ever read: She gave up.”- Jen Seymour
About the Writer Jen Seymour
Jen is the author of the book Costa Rica Chica. When not writing or blogging, she is either hiking, baking, playing piano, yoga-ing, sipping coffee, or enjoying a glass of (boxed) wine! …Or, yelling at her husband to come kill a bug. Read her blog and find her book at www.CostaRicaChica.com.