The last time she wore a bikini was when she was 13 at 'fat camp'.
Now two decades later, Sarah Sapora, 38, a Los Angeles-based blogger has conquered her demons and is back in a string bikini - and sharing it all for her social media fans to see.
Posing in a turquoise bikini in Malibu and posing with a male model friend, Sarah admits it's taken her a very long time to feel comfortable with her body again after that experience in her teens.
"[The bikini] wasn’t even mine; I borrowed it from a counselor and wore it just long enough to lay on a towel by the tennis court during rest period for 45 minutes that single summer day," Sarah wrote in her post. "Someone snapped a photo of it. I remember seeing it once, but that’s it. It’s taken me 25 years to feel that free in my body again.”
Despite her misgivings, Sarah decided to pose in the revealing bikini in a bid to prove that women should love their body no matter what their shapes.
“Although I had worn high-waisted bikinis in the past, this was the first time I wore an actual string bikini. I was so nervous when I opened the box — it was the size of a Scrunchie," Sapora told Yahoo Style.
“I wanted to do this shoot with a male friend because there are so few representations of plus women just enjoying life without emphasis on their weight."
Sarah clarified in her post that while she’s always loved herself, how she defines self-acceptance has evolved.
“I have always passionately believed in the right we all have to feel easy in our skin,” she wrote. “At any size, at any weight, at any stage of life. But feeling ‘acceptance’ in our skin isn’t the same thing as feeling free in our body. And, as I know now, it isn’t the same as feeling bold.”
She also emphasises on her blog, Sarah Plus Life, that while her goal is to shed weight from her 158kg frame, that desire doesn’t stem from pressure to confirm to society ideals — only to be “the most badass strong, balanced and joy-filled version of me I can be.”
What’s more, Sarah gives herself — and her readers — a wake-up call in her post. “Want to know something? Sit down for this, because this overweight, 38-year old woman is about to drop a truth bomb on you,” she wrote. “Ready? That hiding? That anxiety you feel about who you are and what you look like? That fear you have that people are looking and going to laugh at you for dreaming big, being bold, or coloring outside the lines? It’s bananas.”
After all, she explains, self-love is infectious. “Let me explain. The more fulfilled Sarah is, the more I live who I am, and the more joy I feel in my life, the better friend I am. The better colleague I am. The more loving a daughter. The more present I will be for the man that I love.”
She continued: “It took me years to figure it out; I underrated myself for a long time. I didn’t do it intentionally, but it happened just the same. Now? I show up fierce. I show up free. I show up with joy from the inside out.”