As I’ve been losing weight over the past 5 months, I have noticed some differences in my behavior. Smoothies are in my life an awful lot of the time. Burgers don’t happen nearly as often (Sigh). I’m not self-conscious about how my body looks when I run. In fact, I think I look pretty darn powerful…at least at the start of the run. My body moves more easily in dance classes. I’m the girl doing the most powerful moves instead of the modifications.
And the biggest behavior change? I wear a bikini instead of a one-piece bathing suit.
I have never done this before. Through my entire adult life, I relied on the “vintage, retro, curvy, one-piece” look to get me by, and it’s been fine. Hell, it’s been pretty darn sexy at times. But I always envied my friends in their cute, colorful, little bikinis. And you know what’s a lot easier to do in a bikini? Go to the bathroom. I needed to get a bikini.
So, now that I am more comfortable in my body, I went out and bought a ridiculously expensive bikini that fits me juuuuust right. Lounging in it while watching episodes of “Game of Thrones” on my computer was great, but finally I decided I needed to get out there and show it off. But what would happen? Would people see my white, soft belly and laugh? Cry? Explode? Be so traumatized that they’d never go to the pool again?
Nope. They saw a girl in a bikini who was swimming her butt off.
I spend so much time being uncomfortable in my body. I pinch the fat on my thighs and sigh. I compulsively look around the room in exercise classes to see if I’m the fattest person. I have shed tears over my arms, my stomach, my chin and definitely, definitely my boobs. Even when friends or boyfriends have told me how much they like a part of me, I discount their opinions. They have to be nice, right? They can’t actually mean it.
But you know, my body is my body. How dare I hate something that has given me so much joy? My legs pump my bike’s pedals, even if my thighs are a bit larger than I’d like. Even with the jiggle, my arms can still hold a million grocery bags at once so I don’t have to make more than one trip from my car to the kitchen. The small of my back is the perfect place for a man to rest his hand as we dance. And my boobs and butt? Well, they come in handy every so often. There is so much joy to be had with my body the way it is now, not the way it’ll be when I’m 10 or 20 pounds lighter.
Why wait any longer to enjoy it? It’s time to jump in the water, whether my body is “perfect” or not. Who gets to choose perfect anyway? No one is there to judge me. No one cares. The only person who wants to make fun of me is myself. And that’s not very nice of me.
I’d rather be swimming.