Saturday, June 13, 2015

Own Your Body

Two days ago, I decided not to care and I wore a bikini at our neighborhood pool.  In the eleven years since I've had kids, I very rarely walk out in public without a shirt over my bathing suit.

About five years ago, we were on vacation in Malaysia and I saw a 70+ year old woman in a bikini (practically a thong)- she did not care about her cellulite or any other skin imperfection, she was with her husband at the beach and she was happy.  I thought, if she can wear a bikini, why can't I?
That day, I wore a bikini without a shirt and I felt free.  Since then, I have not really been around people I know without a shirt over my bathing suit.

You know what?  I don't have a bad body.  I should not be embarrassed by my stretch marks.  My slightly distended stomach and umbilical hernia were carefully curated over 45 months of pregnancies.

Wouldn't it be great if we could do anything and our bodies would be perfect all the time.  A mom gives birth and magically her body returns to normal as if it didn't just grow a 9 pound human being.  We eat whatever we want and our bodies don't extend.  We get burnt or cut, and scars just fade away.
Reality is we all have imperfections, some we've had all along, some we acquired along the way.  Own your imperfections.  But most importantly own your body.
Your body is yours and yours alone.  You may think your nose is too big, or wish for a smaller waist, or less curly hair, maybe if your eyes were blue, the world would be kinder- these things, they are what make us who we are.  I may not like that my stomach isn't as flat as it was when I was 25, but I'm a mom, I've had 5 babies and I'm OK with the fact that it will never be perfectly flat again.

The other day when I went to the pool without my shirt on, at first I was nervous, I started looking around to make sure people weren't giving me that "glance".  I made sure I wasn't being classified as the lady who was at the pool in a bikini who definitely should not be allowed to wear one.

I've watched a lot of episodes of What Not to Wear to know what's age appropriate and style appropriate for me.  I know the suit I was wearing was cute, comfy, and looked good (to me).  The bottom line is, I'm the only person whose opinion matters.  If I feel good, if I like the fit and style, then why should I even consider if other people are staring at me.  I know if people are making small talk about my body, then they are not really important to me.

I don't go to crossfit to lose weight from my body, I go to lose weight off my shoulders. I go to free myself of burdens of life that we carry day in and day out.  I work hard to make myself stronger and more capable.  I focus on numbers that I can move, times that I can finish in, not the ones a needle points to.  I am more capable now than I ever have been no matter if I'm 115, 135, or 155#- I'm going to own my body because it can do miraculous things.
Your imperfections make you unique.  Without them you would be someone else.  Own your body, own how you take care of it, and own what it's capable of.

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