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I’m not going to lie, this post took a lot of guts (and sit ups). However, Debenhams kindly invited me to check out their range of this season’s swimwear and I didn’t think too much about it. That was until I had to take photos of myself wearing the swimwear….

Why didn’t it occur to me that I’d need to take these photos?! I was happily taking pics of bikinis, tankinis and full swimsuits in store. Impressed by how huge the range was and such affordable prices.

Then I took my selection and pushed the pram into the largest changing room I could find.

It was spacious and fortunately the light was flattering too. (Thank goodness!) Although they were beautiful, I was ready to be more adventurous than a swimsuit. Now is the time to love the body I’m in and let the sun get to my skin for once.

So here we go… and in line with my values, I promise there’s been no editing at all in this photo #realbodies

After two children and two lots of surgery on my legs to cure me of lipoedema, I’m finally embracing the skin I’m in. I can’t say that I’m 100% there but I’m certainly on my way and a lot closer to walking around without trying to hide my post partum wrinkly belly with my hands. At the point of this photo, I vowed not to even pack a sarong. However I do need to be realistic and with two toddlers to take on holiday with me, I bought my first pair of swim shorts in well over a decade. This time it wasn’t to hide anything, they were just for practical running after children reasons!

I found the sizing to be great at Debenhams too. I was able to just pick one size across a number of bands including Debenhams’ own range and they all fit perfectly. Until a year ago I would have never thought it possible for me to do this. However Debenhams sell a ton of two piece swimwear sets separately so if you are different sizes on top to your bottom half then you can mix and match to your heart’s content.

So here’s my top tips of getting beach body confident:

  1. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself (inside and out). Give it back too – your vibe attracts your tribe!
  2. Know your style. I know that certain lengths, cuts and types of fabric just simply don’t look good on me so know to avoid them. Because of my curves and wobbly bits, clean lines, block colours and a structured bikini top is what I need but everyone is different so experiment in the changing rooms before you invest.
  3. Get to a department store like Debenhams where you can try on lots of different brands during the same shopping trip. This will save you loads of time and you can mix and match across brands in the same lighting.
  4. If you feel more confident with a tan like I do then start early with applying a daily gradual fake tan.
  5. Adding shorts or a sarong can give you that little bit extra confidence for walking between the changing room and pool or from the safety of your sun lounger to the bar.
  6. There are loads of free mobile phone apps you can download on the run up to your holiday if you want to start eating healthier and moving more. I particularly love MyFitnessPal and a combination of sit up challenge and squat challenge apps to keep me motivated.

With prices starting at only £6 for a pair of classic black side-tie bikini bottoms, you really can’t go wrong with bagging your holiday swimwear at Debenhams. Check out the full collection here and have an amazing summer holiday!

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Hollie