For the first time in my entire adult life, and quite possibly my life in general, I did something I never thought I would have the courage to do. I bought a two-piece swimsuit. I’m not talking tankini with a skirt. I’m talking, shows a little of your middle skin, two-piece swimsuit. For some this might not seem like a huge accomplishment, but the rest of you will understand my celebration. I know what you’re thinking, “wow, she must’ve lost a lot of weight and wants to show off her new body.” Nope! Sorry to disappoint, it’s just the same me, showcasing my mom bod. I may have cellulite and tiger stripes galore but this body has carried two children. Perfect or not, this body is mine.
The honest truth, I’m tired of being ashamed. I’m tired of being afraid that I will be judged for wearing something that only “skinny” people are supposed to wear. Who gets to decide what the societal norms are anyway? Things that were once taboo are now perfectly acceptable. Trends and fashion change, the one thing that has yet to evolve is small-minded people. Well, I’m here to say, “you do you!” What I wear as an “overweight” person is none of your concern.
As a mother of two daughters, I am terrified to be raising them in the world we are living in. How can I teach them to be body confident when our lives are saturated with body shaming from social media and politicians? The only way I know how is to teach them by example. The day I received my swimsuit in the mail I hesitantly tried it on. Online clothing purchases can definitely be hit or miss so I was already preparing myself for the worst. To my surprise it actually fit! Later that evening I was snuggling with my 8 year old in bed when she put her nose right up to mine and said, “Mommy I really like your new swimsuit, you looked really pretty.” As my heart melted, I thought to myself, “we are doing it.” In that moment my daughter didn’t see her fat mom, she saw her mom having the confidence to try on her new clothes and put on a fashion show for her kids.
Last weekend, I went to a pool party and I almost let my anxiety get the best of me. I thought about opting for the tankini, but instead I wore that new swimsuit. I can’t say that I wasn’t absolutely terrified to walk around with part of my stomach exposed, but I did it! Through all of my struggles with my weight, I am finally beginning to understand that losing weight will not cure my negative body image. The solution lies within myself and I am the only one that can begin the process of moving along the path to self- acceptance and self-confidence. On my new quest, I have begun writing down quotes or affirmations when I come across them that I think my work-in-progress self needs to remember and commit to memory. I may add or subtract from my list but the theme remains the same. My current list includes the following five quotes and affirmations:
- “All bodies are different.”
- “Your weight does not define your worth.”
- “There is no wrong way to have a body.”
- “I will not compare myself to other women.”
- “Numbers may describe my size, weight or shape, but they don’t define me.”
I wish I could say I have every aspect of my life in order, but the reality is that no one does. Being perfect doesn’t really sound like fun. All I want is to create a nurturing environment for my girls. If they can’t trust their mom to instill that confidence in them, who will do it?
I would love to hear your tips and tricks on how you changed your mindset and the steps you took to becoming a secure, self-confident mom!