Live From the Dressing Room: It's Bathing Suit Season and I'm Baring it All!
I am always going on and on in my personal blog, tweets and Facebook about how I love my workouts. But let’s face it. When it comes down to bathing suit season, no amount of working out has really prepared me against the life long trauma of body issues and images out there that contradict what I look like.
Though I am convinced that I am in better shape than I was just a year ago, and I can feel the difference, the weight of my body image issues still holds me down, despite the weight that I have lost. I am still riddled with insecurities, despite all the things that I have done to over come them.
But how can I inspire anyone - my family, my friends, my readers - to pursue a path to healthy living when I myself can’t come to terms with my body and embrace who I am, no matter what I look like? I always complain that someone has to take the step to show the beauty in our individual selves, tell the world that despite what the mainstream messages say, our bodies are beautiful.
So, hyped up on coffee and an overdose of positivity, I headed to my local Target not only to take on the task of buying a bathing suit for an upcoming trip, but to also take pictures to say, “Heck freaking YEAH I’m gorgeous!!”
I walked in and was immediately bombarded with rows and rows of candy color bikinis. I will admit I tried the top of one on and it was clear the target audiences for these bikinis are not meant to have breasts. So, I moved on.
I reached for my “comfort suit” – you know the one, we all have one. It covered everything, with a short-like bottom that reached to almost the half of my thigh. But it felt wrong. I wanted to really celebrate my accomplishments. So I went for smaller.
My comfort suit, almost not a suit at all.
The next suit I tried on was a bit more my tom boy style and I loved the way it looked despite the fact that (gasp!) you could see my thighs!
My “tomboy” suit. More exposing, but still cute.
I took a deep breath and picked another that, despite being a one-piece, seemed a bit high on the bottom and low on the top. It looked, well, smaller.
The voice in my head said, “Leave it. Go for the shorts. You’re a mom, who’s gonna care? Just leave it!”
But I didn’t. I turned my back to the mirror and pulled it on. I turned around and for a moment I stared at myself. I looked great! Yeah, I actually thought that. "I look great,” I said to myself and it wasn’t a pep talk, it was, for me, real. My hips and thighs, my waist and curves, I just loved them.
For the first time, in a very long time, I saw someone very beautiful looking back at me and I could feel my eyes tear up.
Of course, when it was time to take the picture knowing you all would see it I got uncomfortable and started to see the not so beautiful things…I tugged and pulled at the suit, but it wasn’t going anywhere. It refused to cover anything more than it already did.
Feeling very va-va-voom in this suit!
I walked out of the store a little in awe of my experience, and with two new bathing suits. No amount of florescent lighting in the dressing room could kill the excitement of seeing my body in a way that I thought was beautiful and I wanted to bottle that feeling and carry it with me forever.
Another day will come when I will look at myself in the mirror attentively again and I will start putting myself down. It may be that as you head out this season to buy your own bathing suit you will do the same.
To that I say, ignore those voices and the negative chatter in your head! I know that if you open your mind to it you too will see a beautiful woman staring back at you, past the whispering messages of contradiction, past the effects of fluorescent lighting, past your own rejections. It’s not easy, I know, but we have to start loving who we are at some point and why not right then, when you buy your next bathing suit? Take on bathing suit season with your head held high, because the beautiful you is waiting to be discovered and she wants you to find a rocking bathing suit to flaunt her.