Hello beach body!

Beach body - Mayra Louise

How to have a beach body? Have a body. Go to the beach. Right. I know this to be true, now, but for years it wasn’t that simple for me. Life just wasn’t a beach. Even though I loved the beach, the sea and being sun kissed, I didn’t like my body on the beach. Especially not in a bathing suit or bikini. I felt like I didn’t belong there. The beach is a place for slim, toned and perfect people. At least that was what I told myself.

A couple of days ago I visited my mom and asked her if she had pictures of me as a child and a teen on the beach. What I saw really hurt me. I went from a little happy girl playing in the sand to an awkward teen who covered up her size 12 body. I remember feeling like that. Ashamed. Huge. Not good enough. Fat. I covered my body with my arms or wore a big t-shirt that would hide everything that I now know to be beautiful.

beach body

‘I missed out on a lot of fun at the beach’

I’ve been uncomfortable with my beach body for years. It started when my curves appeared and it ended when I decided to love myself. That was about twenty years later. I missed out on a lot of fun at the beach. I remember being 14 and walking on a Spanish beach with a friend during a holiday saying ‘Next year I want to be skinny enough to wear a thong on the beach’. I don’t know why on earth I wanted to wear a thong bikini but my statement screams ‘not good enough’. And it really sucks that I felt like that growing up.

beach body

‘I didn’t have the confidence to walk from my beach chair to the bar in my bathing suit’

A couple years later I was on the beach with friends. I did not want to take off my dress. It would make me feel exposed and vulnerable to actually show my body in a bathing suit. Only during a holiday outside of The Netherlands I’d sometimes feel good enough to sit on a beach in a bikini. Especially when it was a ‘private beach’ or when there would be almost nobody around. In The Netherlands there are a couple of beaches with bars filled with shiny, happy and ofcourse skinny people. I sometimes ended up there with friends and felt so ashamed of my size that I would actually fully dress myself again before ordering a drink at the bar. I didn’t have the confidence to walk from my beach chair to the bar in my bathing suit. Whenever someone would look at me when I was on a beach I thought I was being judged for being overweight. I felt like an intruder, like I wasn’t supposed to be there.

beach body

‘I remember feeling like that. Ashamed. Huge. Not good enough. Fat’

As a model I always tried to avoid bikini and lingerie shoots. Only when surprised –or when I felt like I needed to get over myself- I would accept wearing lingerie or bathing suits during shoots. Shooting curves is not something every photographer can do well, that was part of my fear. The last lingerie shoot I did was a disaster. So unflattering. When I saw the magazine I could do nothing but cry. Never again, I said to myself.

beach body

‘This is my body, my only body and therefore I will love it’

About 2,5 years ago my mom took me on a holiday. Before I left a friend told me on Facebook that she wanted me to post a picture in bikini when I got back. It made me nervous but I accepted the ‘challenge’. During the holiday I would for the first time in years feel at ease in my bikini. No shame anymore. It wasn’t my body that changed, but my mind. You can say my mind expanded a size or two. I had finally let go of everything I believed to be true about my beach body. This is my body, my only body and therefore I will love it.

beach body

‘My beach body has never been more ready’

And now here I am posting selfies in a bikini on the internet because Gabi Fresh and Ashley Graham told me to. It still scared me but I’m loving every part of it. Even though it’s February and I’ll probably have to wait for months to be able to flaunt my curves in a bikini, my beach body has never been more ready. Now gimme a beach!

beach body

What’s your story when it comes to your body? Have you ever felt like you didn’t have a beach body? I’d love to hear from you!

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  1. Wat een super stoer artikel! Je ziet er práchtig uit en je mag super trots zijn op jezelf. (: Ik ben op dit moment mijn eetpatroon aan het verbeteren met BodieBoost, omdat ik op dit moment op mijn zwaarst ooit ben en ik eerlijk gezegd gewoon niet helemaal happy en comfortabel in m’n lichaam op dit moment. Niet dat ik niet in een bikini het strand op durf, want wat dat betreft vind ik dat iedereen gewoon een beach-body heeft inderdaad! (:

  2. Wat fijn om je nu zo te zien huppelen in je bikini! En ik denk altijd zo: iedereen heeft wel iets wat iemand anders weer zou willen hebben! Ik ben echt hartstikke jaloers op die dikke bos krullen van je. 🙂

  3. Wat een mooie bikini, you look amazing! Echt, mooi verhaal. Ik heb er ook al jaren moeite mee. Als vrienden wilde zwemmen, bleef ik op mijn handdoekje met een sarong en onwijs veel ongemak op zo’n dag. Het afgelopen jaar is de knop om gegaan, omdat ik met mijn vriend op vakantie ging naar Italie. Eindelijk voelde ik me niet meer zo onprettig en accepteerde ik eindelijk mezelf. Beste vakantie ever 🙂 Ik hoop deze zomer ook zo’n post te kunnen doen, erg inspirerend!

    • Dank je wel voor het delen van jouw eigen ervaring! Fijn dat je zelf nu ook niet meer ongemakkelijk bent in bikini. Op naar de zomer!

  4. Wauw, je hebt een onwijs mooi inspirerend stuk geschreven. Ik herken mezelf erin, van het blije kleine meisje naar de tiener die niet naar het strand gaat omdat ze zich schaamt voor m’n lichaam. Ik had altijd wel een excuus als m’n vrienden naar t strand wilden, nu woon ik sinds kort in Den Haag en moet ik mezelf eraan geloven. Ik ben op zoek naar een bikini waarin ik mezelf goed genoeg voel om op het strand te liggen, ik vind het heel knap hoe je die stappen hebt kunnen zetten! Door jouw stuk heb ik besloten mezelf er definitief over te zetten, óók ik heb een bikini body.

    Liefs Danique
    Life Styling Journal

  5. Prachtige vrouw! Heel mooi stuk en vind t knap dat je buiten je comfort zone bent gegaan! You go girl, ik deel m op m’n Facebook. 🙂 liefs eva

  6. There should be more people like you around! It’s so impressive and inspiring how your mind changed. I love how you described it as ‘It wasn’t my body that changed, but my mind. You can say my mind expanded a size or two.’. Simply beautiful!

    You are a gorgeous woman and never forget: confidence is what makes a woman beautiful! Rock your feminine curves and keep loving yourself, girlie! <3


  7. God woman, you are an inspiration. I too am of the curvy persuasion and in recent years learned to love my body as is. Then I had kids and now I’m trying to come to terms with the excess skin that they left me with. I hope to be as happy to show myself in a bikini come summer.

  8. Prachtig hoe jij jezelf hebt ontwikkeld! Op de laatste foto straal je helemaal. Zo mooi! Ik denk dat veel vrouwen onzeker zijn om het strand. Ik ben zelf door verkeerde medicatie 2 jaar graat mager geweest. Van mooie rondingen naar cup aa. Afschuwelijk vond ik het. Met name door de reacties. Nu interesseert de mening van een ander over mijn figuur me weinig meer.

  9. Trots op je May dat je dit deelt, next stop is gewoon in die amber rose touwtjes torie op het strand hoor hihihi ik doe gezellig met je mee dan in een fluor roze! xxjes

  10. it’s a pity you didn’t realize how beautiful you were as a teenager! You look great in a bikini! You know the sad thing about my story is that I’ve never liked my body even when I was skinny, so after I’ve had two babies and got 2
    times bigger it was very hard to accept my new size. And it still is))) But now I understand that it’s in my mind. My mom had always had a very negative image of her own body and somehow I’ve inherited this. Partly because she never told me nice things about myself or that
    she loved me or that I was beautiful. So my self esteem used to be low and even now when my hubby tells me I am beautiful I think he is not telling the truth)
    Somehow I try to get out of this)
    Last summer on the beach wasn’t the best one) Gonna try to make the new one better )
    Thank you for your stories!

    • Thanks so much for sharing Daria! Looking back I really think: coulda, woulda, shoulda. But it’s okay 😉
      Wishing you lots of self-love and confidence! Get yourself a nice bikini and enjoy the beach.

  11. Pingback: Beach body, the sequel

  12. Hey wat een leuke blog heb je! Ik las dit artikel en ik vind me hier 100% in terug. In het negatieve gedeelte dan. Ik hoop dat ook ik ooit over mijn “schaamte” heen kom. Ik ben 20. Ben benieuwd wanneer en of mijn knop ooit omgaat.. 🙁

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