Talking Swimsuits + Body Image + Pool Floats

OKC Blogger Amanda Martin shares her thoughts on body image while wearing an Amazon Tassel Bikini
Tassel Bikini, only $25 and comes in a ton of colors! | Unicorn Float & Watermelon Island c/o Intex | $10 Designer Inspired Sunnies 

Swimsuit season is here which means swimsuit shopping is I the only one who loathes trying on swimsuits and looking in the mirror? No? Good. There was a day a few years ago that I loved my body and was proud of my thick thighs and broad shoulders but now? Not so much. I'm challenging myself to get back to that mindset - both physically and mentally - and I thought the best way to do that was to put it in writing. Hopefully my vulnerability encourages someone along the way! 

As women, I think we all battle body image issues at some point in our lives (or all the time) no matter how big or small we are. I remember my first "negative" thought about myself was how huge my calves were during Vacation Bible School sitting next to my two best friends. calves are still cankles, but I've moved on to feeling negative about other areas of my body as an muffin top, love handles, bra bulge, bingo wings, thunder thighs, etc. Sure, I'm good at hiding them in real clothes that flatter me, but in a swimsuit? It's all out in the open. 

I've been on a roller coaster of health and fitness stages the last couple of years and I'm currently in a valley. I was at my fittest in 2015-2016 but I had a pretty intense shoulder surgery a year and a half ago that was followed up by a gallbladder surgery last summer. My "comeback" has been challenging (just as much mentally as physically) and getting back into a healthy eating and workout routine (especially both at the same time) has been much harder than I expected. I think knowing what I once was has made me feel worse and more insecure about my current physical state. 

PAUSE. How cute are these floats from Intex, the worldwide leader in above ground pools and inflatables? They sent them to me to feature in a blog post and I LOVE 'em! I'm pretty picky with my "laying out" floats because I don't like to be too deep in the water (it messes up my tan lines haha). The Watermelon Island float sets me up out of the water but still lets me splash around with my feet or hands. You will find me on my watermelon all summer long. The Unicorn Ride-On float is just the right size to hang out on - I was able to get on and float around without falling off! RESUME.

Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK Blog rides an Intex Unicorn Float

Intex Watermelon Float is perfect for floating in the pool and getting a tan

I have a bad habit of overeating .... especially sweets .... and I am worse about doing it when I'm feeling down. Hand me that tub of ice cream or a giant piece of chocolate cake and let me eat my feelings! Body image issues + binging on desserts is a bad combination because it only fixes the problem momentarily.....eventually it just leads to intensified body image issues thanks to all those sugary carbs and extra calories that pack on pounds. It's a terrible cycle, isn't it?

I recently spent ten days in Europe with my mom and ate my way through Paris (all the pastries, please). As soon as I got home, I turned around and flew to Miami for a weeklong work trip. You guys know I live to travel and don't regret a single bite of food I eat when on the road, but upon coming home, my pants fit a bit tighter and putting on a swimsuit for this shoot made me want to cry.  That was a wake-up call for, "OK, it's time to get your butt in gear" moment. I may not be at my worst physically, but I'm definitely not at my best, either. And mentally, I feel like I'm a hot mess!

Full disclosure here:  I am often annoyed by super skinny Instagrammers who "size up to a 2" and complain about their body image issues......please know that I am not a size 2. I am not huge, but I am not tiny, either. I am a size 6/8 who often sizes up to a large because of my height, big legs and broad shoulders. I have always been bigger boned and had to constantly work hard to stay fit. I will never be super tiny, and I'm OK with that. I have been VERY in shape and I have also been kinda chubby. Currently I'm somewhere in the middle but knowing what I am capable of looking like makes me feel bad about where I'm currently at. 

Now, I KNOW my physical appearance isn't everything and has nothing to do with who I am. I am not less worthy or less important because the number on the scale is a bit higher. I know I should have "self love" because I am loved by others, regardless of how thin, strong, fit or flabby I am. I am "perfectly and wonderfully made" but I also need to do the best I can to take care of my body and be the best version of myself (mentally and physically)....ya feel me?

Oklahoma Blogger Amanda Martin shows off her Intex Watermelon Pool Float

Amanda Martin of Amanda's OK floats around the pool on her Intex Unicorn Ride On Pool Float

Intex has the cutest pool floats for summer fun!

Intex Unicorn Pool Float

So, in conclusion, here is a little reminder that you are amazing, regardless of if you are in a fitness rut or on top of muscle mountain (lol). But no matter your weight, always try to be the best version of yourself (even if you have to take a break and eat that cake from time to time). Don't let the scale determine your mood or define who you are as a person, but let it encourage you to work harder towards your goals. 

For me, I'm challenging myself to get back to a physical state that makes my mental state better. Here is what I'm doing now through July 1 - please keep me accountable! If I am comfortable in a swimsuit or crop top by July 1 I'm going to reward myself with a little designer purchase haha. 

  • NO sweets during the work week
  • NO alcohol during the work week
  • A gallon of water a day
  • Stick to my macros every day (even on weekends, fitting sweets and alcohol if desired) 
  • Workout 5 days a week when possible (4 days a week at a minimum) 

I challenge you to do this with me - or another version that is better suited for your personal goals/diet/etc. Thanks for letting me word vomit and brain dump all over this post and be open, real and vulnerable with you. I hope it encourages someone out there to know that you aren't alone in your body image struggle.

Intex has sponsored this post and has provided product samples. 
As always all thoughts and opinions are my own! 

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