For the past few months I have transformed. Shedding my skin in tiny, cleansing ways. At first, it was about losing weight, and fitting into a pair of jeans that didn’t have elastic on the waist (yes, I owned those. Don’t judge!). But, for the past month my transformation has become more than just my jean size. I have started to care for myself again. I have been able to look in the mirror and smirk back at my reflection. When someone has said I look good, I have said “thank you” instead of making a crack about my appearance. I have finally began to enjoy all my wobbly bits and jiggly parts…because they are apart of me. Because hating my body, and hiding myself under baggy clothes was exhausting. There is such a tremendous amount of joy that comes with being comfortable in your own skin. What a profound lesson….I have begun to love myself. Who knew?! When I mentioned to my best friend that I wore a bikini the other week and was looking forward to the beach this summer, she seemed shocked and huffed “but you never do that. you hate that”. She was right, the thought of being in front of others in a bikini or shorts used to terrify me. So, you may ask, what has changed? Well, here is the answer…I no longer base my self-acceptance on anyone else. After so much loss, I refuse to lose any more memories or potential adventures because I am afraid of a strangers glare or condemnation. One of my current mantras is: “Not my circus. Not my monkeys”. Meaning, the craziness and mindless judgements of the crowd is not my problem.
This past week I got to enjoy the company of women who adored themselves, and joyfully embraced their muffin tops, and mommy bodies. It was an amazing. They were more focused on being good mothers, and honoring their friendships, rather than berating themselves over the extra 10 pounds or lack of perfect wardrobe. I had the honor of sitting with one of my closest friends, and basked in the glow of her newfound mommydom. She shared with me how she too is transitioning and realised that she is a bit “hippie”. She has never been more beautiful to me. Her complete contentment with her choices, and her path was…for lack of a better word….completely awesome. Then, there was another mother who laughed about her muffin top, and calmly stated that she “had better things to do than worry about my belly. My husband thinks I am hot, so who else am I worried about”. What a blazingly good statement! And why has it taken me 36 years to love my belly? Well, ok… I may not completely love my belly….but I am trying. We need to start treating eachother with respect, and stop the self hatred. Maybe if we started telling ourselves “I am beautiful, I am funny, and freaking fantastic” instead of “I am fat, I am lazy, and I am miserable” than things would change. I know things have changed for me. I may not look the best in shorts, but I am happy to stop hiding under my extra large sundresses.
So, this summer I will be at the beach in a bathing suit with my belly and my fair skin on full display…. and I can guarantee you I will be having a blast.