The other night I posted a picture of myself on Instagram in a swimsuit. It was a moment of vulnerability but one of pride for me.
The past year has not been a good year when it comes to positive body image. I’ve gained some weight and despite my best efforts, the scale has stayed stagnant. I recently rejoined Body Back/Fit4Mom because two years ago when I felt strong and was closer to my goals, that’s what I was doing. I stopped because life was stressful, work was stressful and now, well, life is stressful still (hi, pandemic) but I needed to go back to something I knew and loved and would show up for.
But, between my two weeks back on Body Back, and the two swimsuits that I LOVE from Aerie, I wanted to capture myself at the beach. So often, we moms don’t get in the photo. We’re the photo takers. Or we hide behind the lens to cover up our insecurities. I didn’t want – when we look back on our pictures from our beach vacation (the first since Disney three years ago!) – to not have pictures of ME. I didn’t want to see photos just of my two favorite dudes.
My insecurities aren’t going away, but I’m not letting the number on the scale determine whether I feel strong or whether I feel good about myself.
Let’s quit the diet culture – it’s fine to have weight loss goals, but let’s stop letting them be all-consuming (seriously – hubs and I forgot about both of our goals – we ate all the delicious foods in Delaware and drank all the delightful beers, and decided to start a beer & book podcast). I’ve tried just about every diet fad from Keto to Paleo, to Whole 30 (or Whole 10 in my case before I dropped out). I’ve done Beachbody, Isagenix, and while the immediate results worked, those weight loss MLMs are not exactly wallet-friendly.
I’m not quite at the body positivity place where I have 200% fantastic body image or am 200% accepting of where I am. But the other evening, when we hung out at the beach during sunset, felt really good to not worry about how my stomach looked, or if my arms looked too fat or the cellulite on my thighs.
Instead, these past few days at the beach I felt sunkissed, sexy, and comfortable. I didn’t think about those 30 extra pounds that I’ve worried about for the past 6 years. I have to remember my legs have done big things (4 marathons! Hundreds of miles! Dozens of races!). I’ve done strong things, and I’ve raised a 7-year-old.
When in doubt, think about all the amazing things you’ve done. Find clothing that makes you feel beautiful and ask to take the picture. I promise you won’t regret it.
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