Diving in head first. That's all I thought about on scorching-hot prairie summer days, begging my mom to take me to Queen Elizabeth pool. I loved the way you would smell like chlorine for hours after you had left as a reminder of the absolute joy you felt when you were swimming. You didn't have a care in the world. It was the epitome of summer.
But at some point we started to care more about the way we looked in a bathing suit than simply whether or not we wanted to go swimming. Personally, it's the same self doubt that creeps into my mind when pulling on spandex shorts on my way to work out, that nagging voice that whispers 'you probably aren't ( _________ ) enough". And the longer that we let that voice win out, the longer that we're going to be on the sidelines of our own lives.
The battle to best your insecurities as I'm learning isn't about waking up one day and suddenly loving every single inch of who you are. For me it's been about focusing on what my body can do, embracing the privileges it does afford me and consciously trying to criticize myself less. If clothes don't fit the exact way I want them to I don't blame my body for letting me down. I remind myself that those thighs that prevent this pair of skinny jeans from sliding seamlessly over my hips are the same thighs that enable me to run 5 km in under 40 minutes. I've stopped thinking of my body in terms of 'before' or 'after' when I look in the mirror. I've stopped emotionally punishing myself for eating a slice of cake or skipping a work out. This is me and my body on this given day and it's unique, flawed, and beautiful.
Lastly one of the best pieces of advice I've ever been given was to more actively choose the media you consume. Once I started following bloggers / models that look like me on Instagram and other social media, I started to subtly reinforce that my body is normal / beautiful / enough. It's such a simple tip that has made a huge difference in how I view the way I look.
Now stand back as I dive in head first.
Stretch marks, cellulite and scars; none of these photos have been air brushed.
Marielle is wearing Lipstick Queen Sinner in 'Fire Red', Kevyn Aucoin blush in 'Ariana' and Sculpting Powder, and Amaterasu mascara. Her nails are painted with Jin Soon 'Pop Orange' nail polish. Marielle's hair is styled with Bumble & Bumble Surf Infusion.