You want to see bikini photos?

Y'all...yesterday, for the first time ever in my life, EVER, I tried on a bikini.

I didn't hate it.

Not what I look like in a bikini. But this is the suit.

This was definitely another profound moment in this journey for me. I actually thought to myself that I might one day wear this in public. I don't even like wearing the skirted one-piece suits in public! Now, I'm no Sports Illustrated model, not by a long shot. Most people might look at me in a bikini and think I look gross - and that's cool. I think the general public consensus is that bikinis aren't meant for everyone. But for someone that has spent the better part of her life being closer to 300lbs than an ideal weight and housed a giganto baby for 9 months...
(Izzy was a whopping 8lbs 5oz!) 
I liked what I saw. I may not be beach-bikini ready - but I'm certainly backyard-in-my-pool ready. wanna see?

Well, I need something from you. Because after all, this is huge. I need some incentive to share this one! I've always been open with just about everything during this weight loss saga - and perhaps at times a little too open. Maybe this is one of those times? Goodness knows, once its on the internet, it's there forever. But there is something I really, really want. And I can't get it without your help.

I was nominated by my friend Stephanie at A Grande Life for BlogHer's Voices of the Year. Never in a million years did I think any of my posts were worthy of submission. This is a invaluable opportunity to reach out to many people - some who might be struggling with the same issues I've been fighting for nearly 35 years.  But to even be considered for this honor, I need to get past the voting round. That won't happen without your votes and I've got less than 48 hours to do it!

I need you to know, this means so much more to me than some bragging rights over winning a contest. I know on the surface that weight loss, smaller clothes, logging some miles and bikinis are all very superficial. There are nominees in my category who've experience loss of siblings, spouses, parents and children. There are  nominees that have experienced profound, life altering moments. And on the surface, in comparison, my journey may seem ridiculous and inconsequential. Because anyone can lose weight, right? Well...yeah. What's so special about me?

The thing is that I've done a lot of stuff in my life...but I've never really done anything that meant anything. I'm not just losing weight. Through this blog I've had the opportunity to touch many lives and encourage people to move toward their health goals. If I 'win' this contest, I win nothing more than an opportunity to speak in front of the 100's of attendees at the Voices of the year ceremony. But hopefully my story will speak to someone and change their life forever. That to me is more rewarding than the size of my clothing. 

This is about being brave and vulnerable in the hopes of helping others.

What's all this got to do with bikini photos? Well, in exchange for your making the effort to vote, I will be brave and vulnerable. I will post the photos of me in a bikini. The same photos I sent to a friend via text from the dressing room and made her swear to take them to her grave. The photos that will probably make you realize that you could totally rock a bikini this year. Like I've always said all along 'If I can do this, you can too.' That even applies to bikinis.


I will only post these photos if y'all can get me past 100 votes. That means I need you to share this in your circles on Twitter, Facebook, wherever you roam on the internet.

Here's the catch: You have to log in to the BlogHer site. It should be as simple as logging in with your Facebook account. Total pain in the ass, right? Yeah, I know. And I wish I could give you better incentive than bikini photos...but look at it this way: you could walk away completely inspired or you could walk away with material for a terrific new internet meme at my expense. Its a toss up, a risk I'm willing to take.

To sweeten the pot, this is one of the few photos that exists of me in a swimsuit. Sexy, no?