Health

21-Year-Old's First Bikini Pic Reveals Something More Important Than Skin

Summer is coming, and with it, endless discussion about how to get a "bikini body." But one woman is reminding us that to get a bikini body, you really just need to put a bikini on your body.

Though Lesley Miller is only 21 years old, she's already lived through a lifetime of body-shaming. This inspired her to break her cycle of self-hatred by wearing her first-ever bikini and posting her swimsuit pic on Facebook, via Love What Matters:

bikini body

"I've spent the past 18 years of my life waiting."

As Miller writes in the Facebook post, she's busting out the bikini now, because "I've spent the past 18 years of my life waiting." She explains:

"I kept my body covered up and hidden away. I told myself that one day I would finally let myself be seen; I would finally do all of the things I dreamed of when I was enough. Thin enough, happy enough, confident enough. When my body looked the way that it was 'supposed' to.

I fought my body every step of the way, continually ashamed and silent."

She describes how she joined Weight Watchers as a 7-year-old. At age 9, she went to weight loss camp. At 11, Miller claims she was the youngest person to undergo weight loss surgery. The surgeon apparently promised her happiness.

But at 15, Miller started self-harming ("I thought I deserved it."). At 20, she lost half of her body weight. Still, she didn't think she was ready to be seen in a bikini. After letting a year go by, she was tired of waiting.

"You can see it all. Weird bulges and rolls of fat."

Miller goes on to describe her body:

"Hanging excess skin. Stretch marks, cellulite, surgical and self harm scars. Awkward protrusion on my abdomen from my lap band."

But there's a reason why Miller is so frank:

"I want to learn to love all of myself, not just the parts I've been told are 'acceptable.' Because the secret is, I was always enough. And you are too."

Miller's post revealed that she isn't alone.

Facebook comments praised Miller and thanked her for stepping outside her comfort zone because by doing so, she was helping many others with similar body image issues.

[H/T PEOPLE]