(UGH! Just typing "swimsuit" is enough to make me cringe.)
As I tried on suit after suit and just got more and more frustrated.
Noticing the stretch marks on my belly.
And the weird thing that happened to my belly button after 3 pregnancies.
And the criss cross of horrific scars across my belly after being sliced open 3 different times for emergency c-sections.
And my sad, saggy, no-longer-perky boobs.
And my thighs that touch - A LOT.
I thought, "I hate my body. I'm so fat."
But here's the thing: I don't think I'm really THAT fat.
I'm not model-thin (never have been) and I don't look like I did pre-baby.
And unless you are model-thin or a stick or have that nice toned pre-baby body or are a celebrity or have gone through cosmetic surgery, well, you probably would never dream of calling me FAT. You might say I could stand to lose a little weight, but you probably wouldn't use the word "fat".
When I look in the mirror though all I see are the imperfections. I look closely and see it all. All the things that I'd like to change. All the flaws. And I want to go hide under a big mumu. I imagine that I could get this lifted and that tucked and this sucked out.
I could have left with no swimsuit at all and attempted to hide inside all summer. But, alas, I needed a swimsuit to be able to play with my wee ones and to keep them safe at the pool or while boating with friends or even in the backyard with the sprinkler. So I heaved a big sigh and found one that I thought covered enough skin so that I didn't look like I was trying to relive my now non-existent pre-baby-body but was stylish enough that I wasn't mistaken for trying to channel grandma.
After I got home and fretted more about my suit choice, I realized that the only one who examines me that closely is me.
So, when my wee ones asked if we could go outside and play in the sprinkler, I said a loud "YES!" as I decided it was way too hot to be in anything other than a swimsuit. I sat out there with the darling little blessings, in just my suit. No hiding under a massively over sized t-shirt. And just for good measure, I even ran through the sprinkler a little bit too.
I realized that it didn't matter. My children think I'm beautiful and tell me so all the time.
I would love to be more confident and comfortable with myself as I am. My newest goal is to be able to look at myself in the mirror and see the good, not just the bad. I want to raise my three daughters (and one son) with healthy body images and an appreciation for all of the different sizes, shapes, types of bodies.