Swimsuit Season: A Good Word from Shauna

To my women, all of you—fierce and fine!
First, if you are not already familiar with Shauna Niequist I cannot recommend her writing enough! Currently going through her new book, SAVOR, which includes a lot of her previous writings. The past couple of days, she has touched on a tender and admittedly embarrassing topic that I wrestle with: SWIMSUIT SEASON!!  It can feel silly and ridiculous, but I know I am not alone in my body image struggles and insecurities.  Posting a few excerpts from the last couple of days that have challenged me to shift my perspective and encourage me to embrace this season fully!  Happy sweet summertime, beautiful ladies!! ALL OF YOU!
“So here we are again, my favorite time of year, summer at the lake, and the idea of someone — anyone! — seeing me in my swimsuit makes me feel a little anxious. I want to find any and every excuse to stay covered, stay inside, stay invisible.
But if I do that, I’ll miss the best parts of summer….So this is what I’m going to do:
I’m going to swim. I’m going to paddleboard. I’m going to make sand castles and make-believe and make memories with my kids. I’m going to cannonball into the icy lake water.
I’m going to live in the body God made me, not because it’s perfect but because it’s mine. 
And I’m going to be thankful for health and for the ability to run and move and dance and swim.
Embrace the joys of summer by dancing, swimming, sailing, wriggling your toes in the sand, or even just feeling the sun on your face!
I’m not going to give in to the cultural pressure that says women’s bodies are only beautiful when they’re very, very small. 
I’m going to take up every inch of space that I need, even though our world is obsessed with the idea that women should only take up just the tiniest bits of space. 
I’m going to practice believing that I am more than my body, that I am more than my hips, that I am more than my stretch-marked stomach. 
I’m going to allow my shoulders to feel the sun, and even (gasp!) my thighs!
I’m not going to bow to the voice inside my head that says I should be ashamed of myself for being so fat, so wrong, so unruly and wild. 
I’m not going to develop a relationship with my cover-up that borders on obsessive.  
This summer, I’m not going to hide. 
This is my promise to you, and also my invitation.
Repeat after me: swimsuit ready or not, here I come.” –Shauna Niequist