May 2, 2015

Would You Rather Be Skinny or Happy?

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Right now, every lifestyle magazine, health and wellness website, and local gym is shouting about bikini season. If you didn’t get the memo, it’s time to get our “bikini body” back, stat.

Cue high amounts of anxiety, 30-day juice cleanses, and 5-day a week stinks at the gym.

Sigh.

I don’t know about you, but I’m so tired of being told how much I should weigh. Seriously! My body is curvy and beautiful and I am cool with that. So fitting into a tiny bikini (although that would be nice) is a not a goal I shoot for once the summer arrives.

Here’s why.

When I was at my peak of suffering with psoriasis and arthritis, I was a size 00. I was thin, yes. But I was in constant pain and totally depressed.

Then, one day, my miracle medication arrived. My skin began to clear up. My pain began to subside. So I started going to lots of delicious restaurants. I took long walks and met up with friends. I went on romantic dates with cute boys. Finally, freedom!

Soon, I became a much healthier weight. Of course, like any other woman, I would get self-conscious about my shape; that I wasn’t as skinny as I used to be. But I kept reminding myself that I’d rather be happy and healthy than striving to be unrealistically thin.

I’m not gonna lie. My body confidence is still a work in progress, but I have made amazing strides in accepting it just the way it is.

Here are 3 ways to love your body no matter what this summer:

1. Find a bathing suit that isn’t about fitting in, but about feeling great. So many of us would love to confidently wear a string bikini to the beach. But let’s be honest, who is actually comfortable showing that much skin? If wearing something revealing doesn’t feel good, don’t do it. There are so many beautiful one-piece suits out there, so pick one that makes you feel beautiful. Simple as that.

2. Become one with nature. Have you ever noticed how imperfect nature is? Almost every tree is missing a branch. Grass isn’t always completely green. When I see these things, I’m always reminded that those imperfections are what make nature beautiful and whole. We all have flaws, but it is possible to find beauty in those flaws. So let the natural world be your mirror for practicing radical self-love even if your thighs don’t look like Gisele’s!

3. Surround yourself with positive people. There’s nothing worse than being surrounded by girlfriends who are constantly complaining about being fat or comparing themselves to skinny girls. What you need is to hang out with friends who embrace their true selves and their bodies so that you can do the same. Consider this your body confidence cocoon.

So yes, body confidence is a daily practice for us all. And speaking for myself, it doesn’t always come easily. But this summer consider how much more freedom you would have if you just focused on having fun and make happiness your ultimate goal, not the size of your waist.

Now, I’d love to hear from you. How does the summer make you feel about your figure?  Are you able to embrace your bathing suit size or do you shy away from being in public when it’s time to wear one?  If you have tips of your own for body confidence – I would love for you to join our #LoveEntourage in the comments below and share your wisdom.

Remember, love yourself first.

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Comments

  • Melanie

    That is such a lovely photo of you – you look healthy and alive. The media bombards us of edited photos and makes us strive for the perfect body. I need to lose weight but I will do it on my terms and loving my life and enjoying my health is what matters to me. Its not just how we look on the outside that matters but we need to make sure that what’s inside is beautiful too. Thanks for reminding us of this – have a great week.

    • Nitika

      Thanks so much for the kind words about my photo Melanie! I was honestly a bit nervous to send out this email so your feedback means a lot to me. I am SO right there with you on the media + taking our own time to get healthy. Stay beautiful and you have a great week too!!! xoxo

      • Melanie

        Hey Nitika so many women need to hear your message. Women are naturally curvy and its the media who try to make us feel that we aren’t good enough and that we’ll never be good enough. Your photo is stunning its alive and real and you are truly beautiful. I love how its playful too. If a woman is starving herself for fear of being ridiculed she wont be enjoying life. I don’t view wearing a bikini or swimsuit as a competition and to try and make other women feel inferior to me its all about honouring my body and wearing accessories which bring out my curves and make me feel attractive. I live in the UK and when we get the sun we are so happy I love wearing my summer dresses and caring for my skin and getting a tan. To me that is more important than trying to walk around like a stick insect all in the name of fashion. I would rather see your photo on the cover of a magazine than some photo shopped photo that makes me feel that I’ll never have the right figure. Keep doing what you’re doing the world needs your message.

        • Nitika

          This is truly beautiful Melanie, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with me. Clearly, I couldn’t agree with you more. Wear that bathing suit and have a BLAST sweet thing. Lots of love xoxo

  • Joan Rickman

    Wow! What a great blog. You’re right. I was obsessed about my figure all my life. I became a total gym rat, ate unbelievably healthy and then…..I got a thyroid issue (to the point where I had to have it removed) and gained weight like crazy. At first I was depressed and felt unattractive and then I saw a very curvy TV star who was extremely sexy and confident. That’s when a light bulb went off; it’s not about what you look like. It’s the confidence that you feel and show loving the person you are right now; not the person you’ll be when you loose 30 pounds or get that perfect tan or wear your makeup in that perfect way. If you love (truly love) yourself, you’ll automatically be sexy to others because everyone has stuff they don’t like about themselves and they’ll envy you for being so confident. It’s the imperfections that make us beautiful. XOXO

    • Nitika

      Hooray!!!! Love this so so so much Joan!! YES. Good for you for being open to that light bulb going off. I am so happy to hear that and thank you so much for sharing your story with us here. Lots of love xoxo

  • Kelsea

    you are spot on Nittie! Social media is amazing but it can also be the worst instigator of making you feel bad about yourself. I would much rather be happy than skinny. And while I just signed up at a new gym I did it for my mind more than anything. My favorite body confidence role model, Beyonce 😉

    • Nitika

      I so love this – thanks for sharing Kelsea!! And yes – OMG Beyonce is everything. Good choice!!! xoxo

  • omar

    Lovely blog ! I only wish all the girls start to feel the same way n the guys should stop going after the bodies n should appreciate the other qualities in a women – I m not sure if u want my opinion about yourself but you are absolutely beautiful – may God gives u all the happiness n health – take care

    • Nitika

      Awww I love that you commented and shared this Omar! First off, thank you for your kind words. Second, I wish women everywhere could hear a man saying this things to her. So powerful. Thank you!! xo

  • Nisha

    Thanks for writing this article at the perfect time! Yet again, I feel like you truly understand what most women are feeling. I personally am struggling with my weight which makes self-love very difficult for me. I used to be thin, I used to be able to go go and go without getting tired, I used to be able to look in the mirrorand love who was looking back at me. I gainedmuch weight during the pregnancy of my daughter who is now 6. I can’t keep going down this road of self loathing because of my weight. It has been very destructive to my self esteem. Just last week I started seeing a dietician who will help me recognize the habits that I need to break in order to lose weight but most importantly, keep it off. Thank you for posting blogs that truly resonate with real women and real issues. I continue to count on your support and uplifting advice every day, Nitika!

    • Nitika

      First of all Nisha, thank you so much for this beautiful comment. Your courage to share and put yourself out there is honestly break taking. Second of all, good for you for taking loving action by going to see someone who can help support you with your goals!! Owning your beautiful, curvy body isn’t about being unhealthy. It’s about being conscious and that includes being conscious about what you put in your body. I am sending you so much love and I am so glad you came to visit today! xoxo

  • Lauren

    Thank you so much for this positive and inspiring message. I feel as women we’re constantly made to feel that having the “perfect body” is having it all- while for so many, achieving that goal of the perfect body that society so eagerly thrusts upon us, makes us lose focus of the beauty that we all possess. I’ve learned to strive for health, and if a better figure comes along with it then great! But I’ve also learned that having a naturally curvy shape is a part of me- and I married a man who wouldn’t have it any other way! This time of year brings so much pressure, along with a natural comparison of how we look compared to the girl next to us. I love your point about choosing the best suit for you, and not allowing insecurities to prevent you from living! Because while the girl in the string bikini feels comfortable showing that much skin- and I salute her for that confidence- that doesn’t mean that we’re any different on the inside. We all want to feel beautiful and loved. As women, we need to support one another, embrace our differences and love one another for the beautiful people we are- inside and out! So from one sister to another- you are beautiful and thank you again for promoting a message of health and self confidence!

    • Nitika

      I love this so much – thanks for sharing your truth here Lauren!! I totally agree with all that you wrote and am SO ready to let go of the pressure this season. I feel like it’s the first time in years I am loving my curves and I hope other women are joining in that like you and I!! Lots of love xoxo

  • Naomi Teeter

    I love this so much! Thank you for sharing, Nitika!

    Even after losing 125 pounds, I still don’t have a “bikini body” according to the beauty industry.

    It’s way better to just accept yourself the way you are and allow yourself to have fun, despite the judgement of others. <3

    • Nitika

      Thank you Naomi!! So happy that you enjoyed this blog and YAY for getting healthy and taking great care of yourself. That is ALL that it’s about. Sending you so much love + thrilled to see you on this site!! xoxo

  • Dara McKenna

    Being happy and feeling good is what it’s all about! I’m 63 and got married last month. I am studying to be a Yoga instructor transitioning from being a nurse to a teacher.

    • Nitika

      WOW!! Go you Dara!! That’s so amazing + thank you for being an inspiration for all of us!!!! Lots of love xoxoxo

  • Paige @ Self-Love Summer

    Nitika, thank you so much for your vulnerability. This is such an encouraging post. Just shared this inside our FB group 🙂 Such a great reminder to love yourself now, and do the things that truly bring you joy. I have a similar story of being too thin at one point, and feeling really unhealthy (and actually, not as happy as I am today!). Thanks for sharing!

    • Nitika

      Oh my gosh that’s so sweet! Thank you for sharing this with your FB Group – that means a lot and I love that this post moved you to do that!! So glad to have you sharing on the site, lots of love Paige! xoxo

  • Charlotte, French reader

    Hi !
    I am so happy to read this article ! It is absolutely what I need by now ! Thank you, it’s not always easy to be self-confident, especially in summer.
    You are beautiful and so positive. Thanks a lot for your advice. XO

    • Nitika

      Thanks so much Charlotte! Glad you found it helpful 🙂 Lots of love! xo

  • Toya

    I agree with everything you wrote here, Nitika. I swear I get anxiety when the summer months begin to roll in and I have yet to get my ‘bikini’ body.

    • Nitika

      Hope you’re feeling ok this summer – we are all beautiful in our own perfect way + that includes you Toya!!! Lots of love xoxo

  • Sarah

    Great post! And you are so on point, it is 100% bikini and cleanse season, according to most women’s magazines. Even though Fall is my favorite season, I find that I continue to want it more and more, because besides the humidity, I get so tired of reading about and seeing bikini bods everywhere I turn. I wish summer would be a season everyone could enjoy and not find themselves stuck in frequent comparisons with others. We need to change the season into the summer of fun and not bikini season.

    • Nitika

      Thanks so much Sarah! I am so glad that you found this post resonated with you + I am SO onboard to claiming this as the summer of FUN! Lots of love xoxo

  • Patience Yusuf

    I feel so encouraged! Thank you so much!!!

    • Nitika

      YAY! So happy you feel encouraged!!! Lots of love xx

  • Ana

    I love this. Happy and healthy trumps everything. I have a background in the fitness industry and I wish they would get this already. If it’s just about being skinny or a smaller ass, we’ve all missed the point. Great post Nitika.

    • Nitika

      Thanks so much Ana! Thrilled you liked it 😉 The thought of being happy + healthy over anything else just makes me let out a deep sigh of relief. YES! Lots of love xoxo

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