1. I am beautiful.
2. I do not have to look like I belong on the cover of the swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated to wear a bathing suit.
3. I’m thankful for my skin.
4. It’s okay that I can see my cellulite—cellulite doesn’t mean I’m not beautiful. It’s okay to celebrate my tan or the fact that I must slather myself with zinc when I go outside because I’m reminiscent of Snow White, and if I don’t, I look like a lobster. There is a beauty to be found in all shades.
5. I’m thankful for my legs.
6. It’s okay that I wish I had better-defined leg muscles, but the lack of muscle definition doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be wearing a bathing suit. My legs still carry me from point A to point B, and that is something to appreciate. That is something to celebrate, too.
7. I’m thankful for my stomach.
8. It’s okay that I have a soft tummy. Maybe my soft tummy means I’ve carried a baby or two. Or three. Or four. Perhaps my soft tummy is a reminder of vacations and fancy drinks or long dinners that fed not only my stomach but my soul, too. Or maybe my tummy isn’t soft—maybe I have washboard abs. And maybe those abs are a beautiful blend of working out and genetics. Or maybe not. But I remember that there’s a beauty to a perfectly chiseled human, and there’s as much beauty in softness, too.
9. I’m thankful for my arms.
10. Maybe they’re toned and built and would give Jean Claude Van Dam a run for his money, or perhaps they’re not. Maybe they’re just arms. But you know what? Either way, my arms get to hold the ones I love close. These are the arms that reach to hug. These are the arms that let me pick up what I need to and push away when I want to and hold on just as long as I need to.
11. I’m thankful for my limbs.
12. I’m thankful to be alive in this dressing room right now.
13. I’m thankful to be wearing this one-piece because it makes me feel comfortable and it makes me feel beautiful.
14. I’m thankful to be wearing this bikini because it makes me feel comfortable and it makes me feel beautiful.
15. I’m thankful to put on whatever bathing suit I feel like, in whatever shape, or color, or form, because I can.
16. I am beautiful, and I’ll repeat that to myself as I stare at my reflection in the mirror as long as I have to until I don’t have to say it anymore because I know it in my bones.