As Ireland's heatwave rages on, the nation has unexpectedly had to whip out a summer wardrobe - togs and all - and while many of us are delighted at the prospect of sunning ourselves in Bettystown or going for a dip at the Forty Foot, donning a swimsuit isn't always an easy prospect.
On the subject of swimwear and self-care, RTÉ 2fm presenter Louise McSharry shared an inspiring and thought-provoking message to her social media followers.
I posted this on Instagram yesterday and it struck a chord with some people so I thought it might be useful to post it here too. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/Dj9NpIY0No— Louise McSharry (@louisemcsharry) July 1, 2018
The message reads:
"Had a couple of lovely swims in the Irish Sea over the last couple of days. I’m working on helping Sam [Louise's son] conquer his fear of sand and the sea. We’re making great progress."
"I love swimming in the sea, but almost every time I do it I feel a tinge of sadness about all the times I didn’t swim growing up because I was too afraid to be seen in a swimsuit.
"There are a lot of things I didn’t do in my teens and twenties because I was ashamed of my body.
"Thankfully I came to the conclusion that I deserved to enjoy my life rather than hiding away because of something as superficial as my body’s appearance.
"I decided that if people judged me, it didn’t matter, that what mattered was living my actual life and not sitting on the sidelines watching other people going on sun holidays or swimming in the sea."
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"As it happens, I’m not aware of anyone making any judgement or comment since I started doing and wearing what I want. Maybe they do, but I think because I’ve decided I don’t care, I don’t even notice it if it is happening.
"If you’re someone who feels like you can’t do that, because you’re not thin enough, or you can’t wear a swimsuit because you don’t have the right type of body, please have a good think about where those thoughts come from.
"You deserve to live a full life now.
"Not ‘when you lose the weight’, because you might never ‘lose the weight’ and actually you’re probably just fine as you are.
"One thing’s for sure, you won’t find yourself lying on your deathbed thinking ‘thank god I didn’t take my cardigan off on that really hot day’ or ‘I’m really glad I didn’t go swimming with my friends all those times.’
"You deserve to LIVE, whatever body you’re in."
The tweet struck a chord with many of Louise's followers and has already gained 1.9k likes and 338 shares.