A few thoughts from Joely Carey, fresh from the beach

This post is for anyone feeling pretty ’meh’ about their bod with an impending summer holiday, all whilst coping with the pre, the mid and the post menopausal symptoms, alongside the physical and emotional realities that can bring us.

I am on holiday, in Greece, in the sunshine. Like most, I dreaded putting on a swimming costume of any sort, let alone a bikini.

A year post hysterectomy, my waist is significantly thicker, belly softer, hips rounder and I have my take-to-the-grave belly scars, deep purpley-red saggy stretch marks that run deep across my lower abdomen as testament to bearing two very big babies, two years apart, over 20 years ago.

I’m at a resort which is very European, mainly German, Dutch, French. And, one week in I am more positive about my body than I have been in years. So many women here of all shapes and sizes, proudly wearing bikinis. Big boobs, no boobs, bellies, bottoms, thighs… They’re all wandering in and out of the sea, to the beach bar and back again, without a care in the world.

As a result, I’ve bought some bikinis here and am wearing them. For one, it’s SO MUCH cooler and, secondly, my stretch marks are tanning, and look a little less angry.

So, I’m embracing our European sisters’ confidence in their bodies. And, encourage you all to do the same. I’ll never swathe myself in a black ‘secretly slimming’ and suffocating black cossie again.

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