Sandy toes, crashing waves, and seagulls flying above. The sun’s warmth is blanketing your skin. It’s 90 degrees and you’re sitting in your beach chair, toes in the sand. You peek over your sunglasses at all the beach goers, waist deep in the water. Why are you still in the sand when you could be cooling down in the crisp, Atlantic water?
Swimsuits. That’s why. The person above was me.
I cannot tell you how many years I was envious over people brave enough to throw a bathing suit on. They really didn’t care what anyone thought, they were just enjoying their beach days. I was too busy sweltering, in my capris and t-shirt, more than likely with a towel draped over my lap concealing myself. It wasn’t that I didn’t like swimming, I did! It was because I was petrified that everyone would be staring at me.
First of all, I’m not that important that the world would feel the need to stare. However, many of us women have this mental image of ourselves being 10 ft tall in the middle of the beach with a Superbowl sized audience watching our next move. Here’s a newsflash, it doesn’t happen. Most people are just people watching like you were earlier. They probably aren’t judging you. There’s a little negative voice inside of you that likes to show itself and tell you otherwise. We’ll call that voice the enemy. The enemy can go find a great white shark to hang with. We need to learn to silence it.
Back to swimsuits. Why are we covering ourselves up because we don’t have a perfect body? Baby weight, cellulite, bingo wings, pale skin, freckles, whatever it is we are trying to cover up, is it worth it? Is it worth feeling the freedom of swimming in the ocean, a lake, or a pool? Chances are it’s not.
I was that girl. I was that girl in high school when I was the smallest I have ever been. I was that girl after my first child was born and again after my second. I started to continue being her after my third child was born and something clicked. This life we have? Well, it’s pretty darn short. Why in the world am I covering myself up over what people will think of my body. MY body! It’s mine! I worked hard and earned every scar, every ounce of weight I gained probably has a story. A memory that I or my children will carry with them forever! Do I want one of those memories to be of mommy refusing to wear a bathing suit to swim with them? Nope. It’s not happening anymore. I won’t do it to myself, but most of all I don’t want to damage them!
Going back to the people who may judge you or make a comment, there’s one thing to remember: Their problem is not with your cellulite. It’s not with your lack of muscles. It’s not with your extra weight. Their real problem is their inability to love their own self. I guarantee you that people who are truly comfortable in their own skin, who don’t criticize every detail of their body, I guarantee they will not make a comment about another person’s body. They’ll see you for who you are, not for what your body looks like.
Don’t lose memories focusing on not having that thigh gap or six pack. Make memories, mama. Go get that swimsuit on and get in the water!
Gentleman, this goes for you too! Get in there!
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