Tag Archive | body image

Stepping Out Of The Comfort Zone!

So I had a funny conversation with my son yesterday before we left to go swimming at my Mother-In-Laws.   I had my new bathing suit on and this is the conversation that I had with my 8 year old son.

Him, “Is that a new bathing suit?”   (This boy misses nothing and I will warn his future wife)

Me, “Yes.”

Him, “What are those lines on your stomach?”

Me, “They are from you and your brothers when  you were in my tummy as babies.”

Him, “Ok. Can we go to Mimi’s now?”

When we get there the boys immediately go in the pool.   Me, I like to sit and get nice and hot before I go in.   So, I’m sitting there with my cover up on and finally get to the point (very quickly as it’s really hot) where I’m ready for a swim.   I take my cover up off.

Guess what happens?

Nothing!

The earth did not open up and swallow me.

The birds did not stop chirping.

Not one of the people at the pool looked twice or thought twice about my suit.

I might just wear it again:)

Then another funny thing happened.

Even though I posted it here on my blog for the few of you who actually read my posts (although the FB share button does show that this post was shared a few times!  Who did that?).  I also shared in the closed FB group that started this all.  Then my friend Dawn encouraged me to share it on our local MRTT page.  We are always sharing our sweaty selfies after our runs.   It was a leap to share it there because I knew more people would see it there than here, but I did anyway.   The response was overwhelming and amazing.

There were many positive comments and a few who commented that they couldn’t wear a two piece and that I was braver than them as in my post I did say truthfully I was trying to be brave.   I will tell you something?   Each and everyone of those Mama’s could so rock a two piece and I’m not sure why we all think we can’t.

My favorite comment though was

I like your power pose! You’re rocking that body, that suit and LIFE!

Now, I did not post the picture for likes or compliments.   Honestly.   I did it as a way of empowering myself.   To step out of my comfort zone.

You know what?

It was worth it!

Yes, I know that there are “mean girls” out there who may say things about me wearing a two piece bathing suit, but I don’t think I care anymore.

In talking to another friend who said my post was inspiring, she commented on how she thinks about what her own self consciousnesses will do to her daughters.   Children do learn not just from what we say, but what we do.   They see so much more than what we give them credit for.

So I encourage you to step out of your comfort zone to see what happens.

It might just surprise you!

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Diving Right In – Slowly!

So if you didn’t notice, I have what you call on “online presence”  to say the very least.    I belong to a few online running/exercise groups with a few of them being intertwined.

In one of the groups a discussion began regarding the ESPN Magazine Body Issue.   Not that I’m a prude, but Ok can we have a body issue that their not naked.   Ok, maybe I am a prude because the pictures are tasteful, but still.   Now this post isn’t about ESPN magazine, so I will just share the link that opened the discussion or just Google ESPN Body Issue.

Anyway, the discussion and conversation evolved into more than just the athletes but body image as a whole.   Then women in the group started sharing pictures of themselves from races, swimsuits, and just empowering images.   I even shared one of my race photos.   It was one from the NJ State Sprint Triathlon.    It was a day that I felt that I wasn’t at my best, but yet I still crossed the finish line (actually in not a bad time).    Yes, you can reflect on what you could do different and learn from it, but every finished race is an accomplishment.   Ever race that you start is inspiring.  No matter how bad a race is once you cross the finish line you can’t help but know that you’ve accomplished something.

NJS1117Reading their inspiring words and seeing their inspiring images gave me courage.   For all my swagger, I still have very poor body image.   Yes, I can run a marathon.   Yes, I will do a Triathlon, but ask me to put a swimsuit on and I might just run the other way.   Why is that?    I mean there are people of ALL different body types wearing just what they want.   Their confidence amazes me.    I look at pictures of me crossing the finish line at the Gortex Philly Marathon and I think, “Damn, is that what I look like from behind” and not in a complementary way.

Philly Marathon

Philly Marathon Finish

Well I decided it was just time for me to dive right in.   That is usually how I get into all my races, so why not do the same with my bathing suit.   No real thought process.   Just sign up and let the chips fall where they fall.    So this morning, I went to my favorite store (Athlete – like you didn’t know).   I have been eying this bathing suit since I first saw it in the spring.    Didn’t buy it because “I don’t have the right body for it”    I’ve got stretch marks.   I’ve don’t have a flat stomach.   I don’t have on hourglass figure.  Blah, Blah, Blah.

I do have a body though and it’s up to me what I put on it.

I bought the suit.

Bathing SuitI’m going to wear the suit:)

Sometimes:)

It Is What It Is!

I will never have the body that I want.    At this point in my life it really is not lack of trying.   Although, in all honesty I could eat better and eat less cake and chocolate; but what is life without cake and chocolate?   For me though, it really is partly the way my body is designed and shaped.   I do not have an hourglass figure.   As much as we all try, we can never look like those that we see on TV or magazines.   A lot of that may do with the fact they have a style crew, a nutritionist, a trainer, and have many of their photos airbrushed to beyond perfection.    We have all seen where the airbrushing has even gone too far!  Think Kardashian.   Actually, lets not think about her!   But even when it’s not taken to the extreme, it does remove ever “imperfection” making the rest of us mere mortals think somehow we are doing something wrong.

Case in point

Cameron Diaz is a beautiful and fit woman, but she is a normal woman

at least in the first picture!

Airbrushing

There are no amount of exercise that will get you to the second picture.

It’s just not going to happen.

Never Ever.

So we all need to stop buying into the hype that we are somehow lacking because that just isn’t the case.   Now, I am not saying that I don’t look in the mirror and see things that I wish I  looked different.   I think that is normal.   I know that I was looking at a picture that my sister took of me at the Philadelphia Marathon.   Rather than looking at the picture and reveling in the accomplishment of what I had accomplished, I looked at it and thought,

“My God is this what I look like from behind!”

Philly12

Luckily, my next thought was,

“What is wrong with you?   The picture shows you completing a major major major accomplishment!   This is the body that carried you 26.2 miles.   This is what strength and endurance looks like.   This is the way God made you to so that you could do these things.”

Now, don’t get me wrong.   I still wish that I looked more like Cameron Diaz.   I will even take the unedited version.   But in the whole scheme of things, my body does not define who I am.   If you were to somehow put what makes me in a completely different body, I would still be me.    The outside does not define who you are.   It is who you are on the inside.

So I will stick with what I’ve got.   This is the body that carried 3 children.   This is the body that went through 3 c-sections to birth them.  As my favorite expression goes,

It is what it is!