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Soul Surfer Bethany Hamilton On Being Your Best Self, Insecurities And All

The pro surfer and new mom shares tips on how to stay confident and body-positive this summer.

via Aaron Lieber Films
via Aaron Lieber Films

At Livingly, I’ve spoken with my fair share of inspiring women to find out how they choose to live their lives beautifully.

So when I got the opportunity to chat with Bethany Hamilton, I jumped at the chance. I, like many others, couldn’t help but be inspired by the American professional surfer who survived a 2003 shark attack in which her left arm was bitten off –– and who ultimately returned to the waves to slay the world of professional surfing.

The 2011 film Soul Surfer, based on Hamilton’s New York Times best-selling autobiography of the same name, is more than a little inspiring (and trust me, I was sure to let Bethany know that!) After all, both the book and its movie adaptation really show viewers just how frightening her attack, and getting back into the water after it happened, must have been for the young girl. 

Now, more than 10 years later, Bethany uses her platform as a professional athlete to promote a healthy lifestyle and body-positive mindset. Here she shares her insight on how she overcame fears, stays thankful for what she has, and maintains a confident and self-loving mindset –– and how we can too, despite flaws and insecurities.

And when we asked her what living beautifully means to her, we were just as inspired by the new mom’s positive attitude: "Living beautifully to me means just to be your beautiful, natural self," she shared. "Not putting on a show . . . but just to be kind and love others. Just be your beautiful self –– always keep it simple!"

View the full exclusive interview below.