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Lindsey Vonn Shares Inspiring Self-Love Message in Bikini

She’s “happy to be surrounded by people who love me for who I am.”

Lindsey Vonn, the former World Cup alpine ski racer, is living her best life. Recent photos have her posing confidently in swimsuits after intense workouts; yesterday, she posted Instagram photos and a video of her on a motorboat, looking fit in a bikini. "Smiling because I'm finally my authentic self 100% of the time," she captioned the photo. "And happy to be surrounded by people who love me for who I am. Getting to this point has taken a long time but I'm here and I'm not going anywhere! #beyou #goofball" ("Beautiful! Thanks for the inspiration," said one of her 2.1 million followers.) How does Vonn stay so on point mentally? Read on for a few of the tips she's shared with others—and to see the photos that prove she's in a good place.

Vonn Didn't Always Accept Herself

"While it may seem like I've always been comfortable with who I am, I definitely have not always felt that," Vonn said on the Keep Going Podcast—Presented By TB12. "I had a hard time after I won the Olympics because I was taken outside my ski bubble and put in this entertainment and celebrity bubble and around people that were half my size." She continued: "I was like, 'Am I supposed to look like this?' I had never compared myself really to others." A quote she gave at the Kimmel Center as part of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Health of America Forum was also revealing: "It's hard to feel 100% confident without skiing," Vonn said, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "A lot of times I feel just incredibly insecure, without that anchor in my life. Some days I wake up and I feel like I'm a complete failure, and other days I wake up and I feel really good."

Her Mental Health is Intertwined with Her Physical Health

Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

"Mentally, I just like pushing myself," Vonn tells Women's Health. "I like feeling strong, and when I feel physically strong, I feel so much more mentally strong. When I work out, I feel like I'm healthier and more confident. I've achieved something, no matter how small." She added: "Finding ways to push myself in the gym has given me a lot of comfort and general confidence," she explains. "Working out was definitely my rock throughout the pandemic, too."

Vonn Recommends Therapy to Anyone Who Might Need It

Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

"Therapy and medication drastically improved my life," Vonn said at the Blue Cross Forum. "I never told anyone this was something I struggled with, not even my family, until after I was divorced [in 2011]. It felt like it was a step I needed to take to move forward." She encouraged others to ask for help. "I was always the person who didn't ask for help," Vonn said. "But I'd encourage anyone who's struggling to go to a professional, even if you can't share with your family and friends yet. In general, people just need to be open about their health care struggles and the support that they need."

Vonn Reminds You It's What's on the Inside That Counts

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

"You know, I have cellulite, I have stretch marks," Vonn said on Keep Going Podcast. "I work out every single day and I still have all those things and they're not going away. So it's like, this is me and, you know, take it or leave it. I try to be myself. And I think for kids, you know, explaining to them to be there themselves is really easy to say, but it's really hard to do, especially when you've got not only kids in school, but then social media, you've got people just, you know, bullying you all the time. It's very, very difficult to do that….It's just trying to get them to believe in themselves and, um, you know, embrace their uniqueness because we're all unique and special in our own way. And, you know, the exterior doesn't match necessarily the interior—you're what you are inside. Like all this makeup washes off, and you have to be a good person and believe in yourself, deep inside. And sometimes that's the hardest thing to do in life is to really be confident in who you are."

Vonn Has Wisdom to Impart, From On High

Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images

As a professional skier, Vonn has literally been to the top of the mountain and come back with wisdom. "In the end, it's mental maturity to let your best come out," she has said. Other gems: "It's amazing. Life changes very quickly, in a very positive way, if you let it." And this one, perfect for a skier, and for us all: "When you fall down, just get up again." She felt the same way even after her divorce: "I just had to really rely more on myself and find that mental toughness," she said. "I had to not rely on anyone, and that gave me a lot of strength and confidence going forward."

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