Growing up, I never felt comfortable in a swimsuit. Girls with model-like bodies surrounded me while I was at the pool and beach, and as a result, I would always compare myself to them. When I entered high school, I wanted to fit in, and as a result, I started to work out excessively and had a rigorous diet. I once starved myself for a day so that I could have a chicken sandwich and fries from Chick-fil-a. I was losing weight, but I wasn't healthy. Nobody in my family batted an eye at my unhealthy weight loss that summer, they were just glad that I was losing weight.

I didn't get my "perfect swimsuit body" that summer, instead, I got an unhealthy relationship with both food and my body that took me six years to overcome. Throughout those six years, I had an on again off again diet and workout routine that I had. I cut meat from my diet, carbs, ate a ton of fruits and veggies, nothing seemed to work.

I hated eating in public as well, and during my sophomore year of high school, I ended up eating lunch alone in my journalism teachers classroom every day. I felt like everyone thought that I was fat and disgusting and that I didn't deserve to have friends. I started to isolate myself, which soon led me into a deep depression.

I started getting treatment for my depression when I graduated high school, but I never really got treated for my eating habits. This caused me to leave school for two years and focus on getting better. At first, I thought the initial cause for my depression was just a chemical imbalance in my brain, which is true, but as I began to dig deeper, I realized that a lot of my issues sprung from me hating my body, and striving for a body image that I could never achieve.

For a couple of years, while I was in therapy, I continued to spiral back and forth with the eating and workout routine that I had in high school. I started doing everything I could to get the perfect body so that I could wear a bathing suit. It wasn't until my sister got married and I had to participate in the wedding that I truly began to change the way that I see my body. I started doing an intense workout and diet for the wedding so that I could look pretty in my bridesmaids dress, but I soon realized that I wasn't working out or trying to lose weight for myself, I was only doing it to so that I could be pretty for my sister. I soon stopped the diet, and the intense workout sessions and I am happy to say that I now have the ideal beach body, but it still took a lot of work for me to get it.

I had to gain confidence in myself. After six years of hating my body, I had to reevaluate the way that I saw myself completely. It wasn't easy, and to this day, I still have moments where I feel incredibly self-conscious about my body. But, everybody has flaws in their bodies. I know I'm not the only one of my friends who is self-conscious about their body, but everyone has a perfect body in their way. We all have the perfect beach body, and it doesn't matter what size bathing suit you wear or if you have any flaws on your body. We are all perfect in our way.