I posted a pic of myself wearing a skimpy bikini on social media yesterday, which is something that’s somewhat out of character for me. I don’t typically want to draw attention to myself; especially sexual attention. But it felt important to own how hard it was for me to even be wearing it in the first place.
I have some significant body image issues. When I look at myself, I don’t usually see a thin, attractive, middle aged woman. I see loose skin, cellulite, stretch marks, and fifteen pounds of fat that needs to go. I often avoid looking at myself in mirrors because I dislike what I see. So when I find the courage to expose myself to the world in all my imperfections, it feels like something to be celebrated.
Our society places too much emphasis on perfection. There is an expectation that even at almost 37 years old, after breast cancer and a baby, I should look like a Victoria’s Secret model. When I look at myself and see how far I am from that ideal, it’s extremely discouraging. But why? This body grew and birthed a healthy 8 1/2 pound baby. It survived cancer. It’s strong and beautiful and I should own that.
I’m not saying I’ll feel like this every day or that I’m going to stop working towards my goal of getting fitter, but I am going to make a much bigger effort to love myself just as I am right now. Because I’m beautiful and good; inside and out.