Ladies, today I’m speaking to you! I am sick and tired of us berating our bodies and am here today to call out to as you all to just TRY to reprogram your thought patterns. That’s what the culprit is, our thoughts. Over time we have built up negative thoughts towards our bodies which guide our self-esteem. Ask yourself, have you even looked back at a photo of yourself which was taken years ago and thought how good you looked….and yet at the time of the photo you hated the way your body looked?

That’s a simple example of how our self-perception is skewed!

Love Your Bikini Worthy Body Dammit!!

I know that I’ve done this and even as recent as last year, I felt uncomfortable in a bathing suit and NO way would you catch me in a bikini. I’ve been putting effort into my health but also into my internal thoughts towards my body.

I now refuse to let these thoughts trap me into missing out on life and the things I enjoy. I will not longer sit on the beach in an uncomfortable swimsuit dress which pinches as it “tucks” me in; I won’t run out of the pool to grab a towel before someone sees me and I most certainly won’t bypass swimming with my family because I’m ashamed!

Bikini Worthy Body

This year I reached out to my friends at Hapari Swimwear and asked them if I could get a bikini in order to snatch the freedom of publicly loving my body. That’s what this is….freedom.

Once I dropped the horrible feeling of my perception of other people’s opinions, I felt a weight lifted. Today I’m proud to stand 5’4″ at 190 pounds in my lovely white bikini….both in my own backyard and here in the wide-open blogisphere.

I chose a comfy bikini which would allow me to swim with the girls while feeling the sun on my skin. I chose Hapari because they have a vast array of high-quality swimsuits to fit all body types, tastes and needs. The suit I am in is the Malia Bandeau Bikini Top which has underwire, adjustable hook closure and three-way strap styling which makes it super comfy. The bottoms are the Drawstring Swim Skirt with Bottom which has drawstring sides that I can adjust, nobody needs to see too much when I bend over!

I am proud to feel good about my body, because the way it looks is the least of its attributes. Perhaps it’s because I had a horrible car accident 4 years ago and have experienced horrific chronic pain, migraines and have trudged the hill of recovery for so long…but today I’m just plain grateful and proud my body is strong enough to lead me to all of life’s blessings.

SoberJulie bikini

Toss Aside Bad Body Image & Get Into Loving Your Body

I don’t care who you are or how big you think you are, you ARE beautiful today dammit. You are strong, capable and certainly worthy of the freedom a positive self-image brings. I have been that woman, sitting on the sidelines under the shadow of hating my body and I can tell you it SUCKS.

Today all I’m asking is that you begin to change the way you think and feel about your body. Instead of seeing saggy skin, stretch marks and scars, look at what your body does for you. Just take wee steps to begin to love yourself in every way.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t love the way my bod jiggles when I am trying to swagger….but the amazing things my body is capable of far outweighs this irritation.

When I feel like eyes may be on me, judging my bikini-clad bodacious bod…I just remind myself that I’m not that important to others and frankly their opinions aren’t to me. My own comfort comes from my own opinion of me and dammit I love the skin I am in today!



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329 Responses

  1. Every word in your post is right on….even at my skinniest, I have hated how I look. Truer words could never have been spoken Julie and you are a darn awesome example of what a REAL WOMAN should look like …… Gorgeous, empowered and WOW!!!! I would sooooo get a bikini because of this!!!! Love ya!

  2. I can’t decide there is a few that I love!! Thanks for the chance..I feel after 5 yrs its time to feel beautiful in a swim suit again. :)

  3. Congratulations, Julie. Society puts too much pressure on us all to look a certain way. Be confident in yourself!

    May I suggest to your readers an ebook that is free today on Amazon, titled
    “The Myth of Being Thin: How the Truth of Self-Acceptance Will Set You Free in 4 Simple Steps”

    I have not had a chance to read it yet.

  4. I love a bikini, and recently went to Cuba and only took those with me! I even had guys telling me, they were impressed with my confidence, and rocking the bikini without a flat tummy and toned legs. Personally, I loved it!

  5. Looking at the website and there are so many awesome suits! I would choose a Bandeau Tankini top with either a boyshort bottom or a drawstring swim skirt bottom

  6. How fabulous are you?
    For reals lady, you’re awesome!

    I’ve shared this post on as many platforms as possible because I love it so much!


  7. I LOVED this post and your honest feelings. Ive struggled with my weight in the past couple of years after a life of being slender. Life happens and age happens and it’s not easy adjusting to a newer, fuller you, but embrace yourself for being beautiful no matter what shape or size. thanks for being real.

  8. I love the one you have on, but am so not comfortable in a bikini>>>>not great self body image. Love bright colours

  9. Beautifully written, I must admit…. I have always struggled with body image. It was until I met and married my husband that it would truly eat at me and my self esteem, and in return I would eat. For the past 6 years I have slowly dug myself out of a body hating nightmare because of him. When I am sloppy waking up, or a mess from doing yard work and chores he always tells me I am beautiful, sexy etc. I feel comfortable with who I am and dress a lot better too, lol. I will wear some 2 pieces and shorts now where before it was baggy t shirts and Capri and a one piece. I LOVE the Mikado V-neck tankini in yellow.

  10. You look fantastic Julie xxx You are truly an inspiration and I must send a shout out to your husband….he is such a good sport! Such a wonderful family you have! I think I would choose the RETRO FASHION PLUS SIZE TWIST TANKINI TOP with the DENIM PLUS SIZE STRAIGHT SWIM SKIRT!

  11. Julie – I think you were dead on with all you discussed in this post. We should love our body’s no matter what! With impressionable kids around I am always teaching my children to love and take good care of their bodies and be proud of who they are inside and out. If I got to choose a bathing suit from Hapari, I wold choose a twist bikini top with a cute tie bottom :-)

  12. I am comfortable with my body now because I nursed it back to health and am still in the process of making it fitter (read: not being out of breath after 5 flight of stairs; seeing leg muscles again when I flex). Would I like to lose another 10 lbs? Of course! But my priority is being comfortable in body and with my body. I would love a new bikini too! The goal is to have one that makes your body looks ITS best, note THE best.

  13. I would chose one in a cute pattern or bold solid. Two piece for sure. Something to accentuate my hard earned body! :)

  14. I like the one piece suits that have the waist slimming feature, but my husband would say to go for the bikini.

  15. I loved the story and I know everything you are saying is true, but I won’t even go out to eat afraid people are watching me, I was thinner when I was drinking and that is because that is all I was doing is drinking who needed food when the booze filled you up. Then I was put on disability for RA and severe arthritis and quit drinking because I had a mini stroke caused from drinking while on my meds, well since I quit drinking I’ve gained a whole bunch of weight this is the most I have ever weighed and it is very embarrassing. I refuse to go with my husband to his dad’s place becauase his dad even makes fun of me, I’ve gone through 3 MRI’s and all his dad has to say to me is don’t break the machine or you won’t fit into the machine they’ll have to get a bigger one brought in, so hearing that from so called family I don’t leave the house to much, plus I have tried to walk but I can’t even go a block and my back evferything starts to seize up and it’s so painful I get tears and have to struggle to get back home…but being called a cow and fatty and so many other names from strangers even, that is why I refuse to wear anything but pants and a shirt to go out, I’m already struggling with myself for Wed. I go in for a tattoo and I’m having a fit about what they are going to be saying about me behind my back, I was even considering cancelling but I already put a deposit down so I have to go..I know I need to be stronger and love who I am but it’s so dam hard to when others put you down…ok I think I’m done venting sorry for the long read, but I feel a little better now..thanks for the great story and you look awesome Julie!!

    1. Vent away my friend but in your heart please know that you are brave, strong and beautiful. Begin working on how you think of yourself, little by little and remember that people who are healthy and happy don’t bash others. Sounds like your Father In Law falls into that space and just dismiss what he says knowing that God loves you just as you are today.

      1. Thank you for the kind words, today was the first in a very long time that I actually went into town wearing capri’s and just a t-shirt, that was a big step for me, and I am feeling a little better today!! :)

  16. Amazing Julie. Such a proud and powerful post. I cannot thank you enough – I SO needed to read this right now. I need to spend a lot more time loving myself and focusing on the good things rather than worrying about what others think.

  17. either a really cute tankini with a skirt bottom or a one piece with the old school look that is sooo cute right now

  18. LOVE this article. Bravo to you, so inspiring. I think I would pick the Retro Fashion SOS Underwire Tankini!


  20. I just had a look at the Hapari site and there are so many awesome swimsuits! I think I’d choose the Denim Dancing Leaves SOS Underwire Tankini with the Black Boy Short Swim Bottom.

    Kudos to you, Julie, for embracing your body. You’re beautiful and your confidence makes you even more stunning. I’ve always been so hard on myself, even when I know I shouldn’t be … but I’m working on it! :-)

  21. Great post Julie!

    Even when I was smaller I was never happy with my body and now I look back at those pictures and wish I had that body back.

    Love this pictures of you rockin your ‘kini! You look marvelous!

  22. First off all you are gorgeous girl! Way to rock that beautiful bikini! I too would sport a bikini, because I LOVE my body and so does my husband! I am very hard on myself, but you know what I also have confidence! We don’t need to all be size 0 to be considered beautiful!

  23. I love the bikini! I am not a typical bikini body but I love 2 pieces as it is easy to get out of to change, go bathroom, take an insulin shot, etc. I would love to pick the Hapari black scoop 1 piece.

  24. You look great!! :) My husband tells me pretty much the same thing you’re saying!! My body is mine, and that I should love it as much as he does, and who cares what other people think. Thank-you for your inspirational pep talk.

  25. I would love to rock a bikini but after four kids, my belly looks like cottage cheese lol …so I would have to go with a tanking for sure

  26. Oops, forgot the ‘swimsuit pick’ part…..I would choose the Mikado Hibiscus Twist Bikini Top with the Black Drawstring Swim Skirt with Bottom.

  27. Thank you for the reminder Julie! I’ve just started my journey to self love and the hardest part is accepting my body. This post has helped me to look beyond the number on the scale and look at the strength & health it provides me every day!
    As for which suit I’d choose, I think a eye-catching bikini may be in order!

  28. I’ve never had the guts to go out on a public beach in a bikini and haven’t even worn one for the past 20 years. One of my worst character limitations is the way I Give Too Much Of A Shit about what other people think. I’m turning 50 this October and I’m finished with that bullshit. I’m going to Fire Island, NY in July and am currently shopping for my first bikini. Rock on, sistah. xx /G

  29. I definitely need a bathing suit with underwire support. I’d probably ask the team at Hapari for advice but at first glance I think a simple black underwire tankini with a fun pair of bottoms would be my choice.

  30. i like a 2 peice but the one that covers my belly as I have bad scars one healed good but the other is new and pretty bad

  31. I would pick the RETRO FASHION SEASIDE TANKINI AND SWIMDRESS – I LOVE LOVE LOVE the retro look of this!!! Very pin up girl!

  32. I’ve been wearing the same swimsuit for 11 years! Pathetic. I’d choose a two piece that had board shorts.

  33. You know what…last year…I bought my very first bikini…I was never comfortable showing my body..I’d always wear tankini’s with shorts..but last year I said…shag it…I’m getting a bikini! If people don’t wanna see me then..they can just look away! I love wearing bikinis!!

  34. I love this post! Good for you.. you’ll have more fun this summer! If I won I’d comb through the website, but I’d definitely get a bikini. I just don’t know which one.

  35. I just checked out the awesome website, and I would definitely be picking up a tankini with another bikini top! I am ready to show off my bikini body, dammit!! This is a fantastic post Julie – I am so proud of you!!!! Keep on rockin’ sista!

  36. Great post and you looks great in that Bikini! The swimsuit I would pick would be a Tankini with Swim Shorts. I have had numerous surgeries on my abdomen including an ostomy so I don’t think I will ever be brave enough to do the Bikini.

  37. I’ve been speaking to this topic with my customers this season . . . we need to love our bodies, no matter what anyone else thinks . . . how do you explain a healthy self image to a daughter otherwise?

    The suit I’d pick would have a skirted bottom and any top that isn’t a balter!@

    Thank you, Julie!

  38. You look awesome in your cute bikini. Your post is exactly what I needed to hear today. I would choose and tankini or something with boy shorts.

  39. Right now, anything that fits. All my swim suits are pre – pregnancy and can’t afford to buy one at the moment :/ So I’m currently having to do with a small top and short shorts for my bottom:)

  40. I would definitely get one with a skirt for the bottom as for the top I would like to get something that you don’t see a lot of. Not something you would see in a woman my size with all these stretch marks. In fact I really like my stretch marks and don’t care what others think of them. I would like the top to have a unique cut. I like the colour red but also the colour yellow.I can’t settle on which one just yet I’m tired of trying to hide behind black. I know it covers rolls and loose skin (I recently lost some weight during my second pregnancy) but I could care less. I want to be able to see myself and feel drop dead gorgeous not like I’m trying to hide away all my “imperfections” Of which I used to feel like all the time. Like I had “imperfections”. Now I don’t feel like that at all. In part thanks to strong women like Julie and to my hunny :) This man has showed me how to feel good about me inside and out and strong women like Julie here has made me not afraid to show it off :)

  41. I would go for a sexy 1 piece, I know that sounds boring but for me that is outside of my comfort zone. I’ve never owned one and now they make some really cute one’s so I’m really considering going for it.

  42. You are such an inspiration to us all! As a slightly older lady I think I would go with a two piece but with a longer top and a skirt or boy shorts on the bottom.

  43. You look awesome! I really wish I had the same kind of confidence. I lost over 100 pounds, I’m thin now but still feel too uncomfortable to be out in a bikini.

    I’d pick the swim shorts with a tankini.

  44. love the swim suits on this site. I would love a tankini with shorts. Need something that holds me in. I like that they have swimsuits that fit real sized women.

  45. LOVE this post Julie! I have been wearing a bikini my whole life without confidence and I am so happy to see that women are standing up instead of hiding behind their cover-ups! I would totally chose a bikini if I won, but this time I would make sure that I rocked it! Thick legs and all!!

  46. I think I would choose a v neck one piece as it would be great for my aqua fit class at the pool

  47. I love your post but I am not there quite yet. I would probably get one of their tankinis with the swim shorts.

  48. Hi Julie,

    This is my first visit to your blog and the first article of yours that I have read.

    Body image issues are one of many reasons why people choose to drink. As I am sure you are aware, the excuse of losing inhibition, to feel better about oneself, is often used as an excuse to carry on drinking.

    So with this in mind I think your post is very inspirational and helpful to people.

    My problem was always my acne. I used to sit on beaches, sweltering under the heat, whilst refusing to remove my t-shirt. I would forge my mother’s signature so I could sit out swimming lessons, and during my first marriage I used to put out the lights before taking my clothes off.

    As I age, I mellow. With this mellowness I lose the ‘care’ I once had about people’s judgment’s of me. I don’t even think most of them existed. I realise that it’s my judgment of myself that is causing the pain. It has nothing to do with anybody else.

    Keep up the good work girl.


  49. What pretty ruffles! I like that there is such a variety of styles, so it’s easy to find something you’ll feel pretty in. I think the red hibiscus twist bikini is my favorite.

  50. Love your bikini!! I would choose that too, but they have so many great suits! I just saw on facebook a post that said ” I wish I was as thin as that past weight when I thought I was fat! Appreciation for our bodies is key, thanks for the post!

  51. I like the Women’s DREAM BLUE TWIST TANKINI TOP with blue skirt. These swimsuits are so pretty.

  52. I love the skirt bottoms like you have…I’m always most self conscious about that area…but I’ve seen some adorable one pieces lately too…it’d be a tough choice!

  53. LOVE this post! An excellent post for self-acceptance and true beauty. I would like a swimsuit with a halter-style neckline, a boost in the bust, and full coverage on the bottom.

  54. I would choose a two piece, the top would be a bandeau twist top and the bottoms full covered bum!

  55. There are so many pretty styles and choices. I think my favorite is a blue tankini top with a red polka dot bottom for a colorful suit. I love your review, it is one of the best reviews I have ever seen and I agree with everything you said!

  56. Id love to see my wife in a 2 piece but i fear hell would freezeth over before that would happen so something nice for her or even a decent pair of swim trunks for myself.

  57. I would choose a black v-neck on piece. It’s not that I don’t think I’d look great in a bikini, I just love surfing and swimming in the ocean and enjoy the security a one piece provides!

  58. I wish I could feel free enough to wear a bikini in public, but I still have insecurities about my surgical scars and my post babies body. I would choose a tankini and let it be a baby step towards a bikini someday soon.

  59. I wish I was as confident as you are in a swimsuit! You look FABULOUS!! For my comfort level right now, I would have to pick a one piece or a tankini. Maybe one day I’ll be able to rock a bikini as beautifully and as confidentially as you!!

  60. Hello! Even though I have a belly, I would choose the Pink Desert Wave Tie Front String Bikini Top with matching bottoms. So cute! Thank-you!!

  61. I absolutely love this post. I’m only 25, but I’ve never worn a bikini in my life. Even when I had a flatter stomach I felt like a balloon. I’m 5ft 9in, 200lbs (recently lost 30lbs!) and so ready to rock a bikini. I’ve always looked at gorgeous women like yourself and envied your confidence. I’m READY to be just like you; a sexy, confident lady!!!

    Thank you so much, this post has reached me like no other!

    I would purchase a halter top with boy short-type bottoms. I have an obsession with how boy shorts make my butt look ;)

  62. I have stretch marks on my belly and large breasts, so I don’t feel comfortable in a teeny bikini, but I definitely would do a tankini with a lot of support!

  63. I would choose a one piece that hopefully make me look thinner. I like the one you choose. Looks good on you.

  64. I love this post. I find it really inspiring! I’d like a tankini with underwire. I like their denim tile SOS tankini.

  65. Happy, Colorful Triangle or V-neck style 2 piece baby!
    I have a lovely muffin top, some strong thunder thighs & 2 anywhere from DDD-FFF fitting boobies! All of which is well earned and says absolutely nothing about the beautiful person I try my best to be daily :) WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL :)

  66. I like the Hapari Denim Dancing Leaves Twist One Piece Swimsuit. I swim 3 times a week and like the ease of a one piece.
    Thanks for the contest.

  67. I’d love to find a ‘sexy mom’ suit with good support. Something that looks good but not too revealing ;)

  68. I love this post. :) I wish for every woman to feel comfortable in their own skin and to wear whatever they are comfortable in. I tend to be more comfortable in the tankini style bathing suits since I wind up sun burnt easily.

  69. First, let me say that you are so amazing and inspiring! What a beautiful blog post with a meaningful message. You totally rock! Oh, and I’d choose a tankini!

  70. I would choose the White Desert Wave Plus Size Sport Tankini Top to be paired with tummy tuk swim shorts.

  71. I think some people have unrealistic expectations about the body. Its always good to improve yourself, and become more fit. But being comfortable in your skin is also very important, dont forget that you judge yourself more harshly than others. I see some girls saying they dont like their bodies and I think they are absolutely beautiful!

  72. First I would like to commend you on your bravery and honesty. You look beautiful, and your right us women should stop beating ourselfs up and be happy with what we got. I dont think I’m brave enough to wear a two piece but I would definetly wear a one piece bathing suit.

  73. I really like the red twist one piece suit. It would be great for swimming lessons with my little one.

  74. Similar to what other ladies have said, even when I was 110 lbs, I hated how I looked. I’ve been trying to focus more on how I feel as opposed to how I think I look. Trying to do some more positive thinking. Thank you for this post.

    I love the Black Drawstring Tankini Top… also Desert Wave. I would have a hard time deciding. :)

  75. I would love to have the Denim Dancing Leaves SOS Tankini Top and Tummy Tuk Bottoms.


  76. I am glad for someone to post exactly how I feel. Just today on my facebook feed, a friend made a comment about not wanting to see other people in their bathing suits. I am proud of who I am, and I feel good in my body and I am not going to hide it! Thank you for a wonderful post! I would definitely get a bikini and I love the white one that you have on!

  77. I need a full swimming suit and one that has a little skirt on it at an attempt to cover up my full-sized body.

  78. I like the Carnival Push Up Bikini Top and a skirted bottom. These are cute swim suits.

  79. A nice one piece that is snug & comfy. SOS. Help. Pick me, pick me! Your next winner!!! Show me the money!!! It would be a dream come true & means more to me than anyone else to win. :( Starving artist here desperately needs the $100 gc to shop, swim to have fun, feel alive & inspired again. A life changing experience. Top of my bucket list. Thanks for the awesomeness, the contest, & generosity. Dear Santa: I’ve been nice. My X-Mas wish this year is to win this contest!

  80. Love the Retro Fashion Eyelet One Piece, I chose that particular suit because it accents the good parts and covers the not so good parts all while being cute and fun!

  81. I would love to get the Hibiscus Dream V-Neck Tankini Top and the Black Drawstring Swim Skirt with Bottom.

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