I'm a pretty confident girl. I went through a "phase" in middle school, (oh, didn't we all?) but other than that, I've loved myself, faults and all, for as long as I can remember, even when I felt most alone. There are parts about my body I love, and parts about my body I wish were a little different, but overall, I wouldn't pay a single dollar to change what I was born with. Sure, I wear make-up, sure, I dress in things that suit my body, and sure, I go for a spray-tan if I'm hitting a beach in the middle of winter. I do things to take care of myself, like working out (although not nearly as much as I should) and taking care of my appearance.
However, body image... it's been something I've struggled with since high school. For the most part, I love(d) my body. However, I'm also a crash dieter. Wedding coming up? Time to starve myself! Vacation down south? See ya, carbs! Leading up to every important occasion, I'd stop eating the things I loved so I could lose those last 10 pounds that never seem to go away. Of course, a crash diet—or, in my case, a diet void of all carbs—made me completely and utterly miserable. It's no secret that if you give up carbs the weight will come off quicker than you can say pasta, but the second you touch a carb, it's all back on, baby. It's a battle I just cannot win.
This past January I went to south Florida with my family on our annual winter vacation and I stopped eating carbs a few weeks before we left. This time, though, I hated it more than ever before. The thought of having to eat eggs every.single.morning made me sick. And so, even though I lost 10 pounds in seven days (seriously) I wanted to cry. So I just stopped dieting. I looked at myself in the mirror, and said, "Go eat a sandwich, girlfriend." And I did. And it was delicious.
I packed two one-piece bathing suits, a bikini, and a tankini in my suitcase, and off we went to enjoy a week by the ocean. The next morning, I put on my bikini, and I looked good. In my eyes. And to my children. And I played in the sand, and I built sand castles, and I collected shells even though the waves were knocking me down. Even though I wasn't at my perfect ideal body weight, even though I wasn't skinny mini Lou. Maybe I was starting to come to terms with the fact that it's okay that I don't look like I did when I was 17?
Those bikinis I loved to wear when I was 20, that I'm still holding on to, in hopes I'll wear them again one day? I'm thinking I should just toss them. After all, I've got a drawer full of new swim wear, so why am I holding on to the past? I can work out every day and eat healthy, but I'm not going to have the body I had before. I've had two children. I'm 36 years old. And I've got curves! And I'm so totally okay with this. I wear bikinis. And I smile.
My wish is for other people to also be comfortable in their skin. I'm telling you, I wasn't even my most confident when I was at my skinniest. Feeling confident has nothing to do with the number on the scale, I swear.
I'm not saying don't try to look your best; you should take care of your appearance, stay healthy, and respect your body. I'm just saying YOU LOOK GOOD, DAMN IT. We're not all supposed to be a size 0. And for those of you who are? YOU LOOK GOOD, TOO, DAMN IT. Honestly. Life is too short to not eat cupcakes and run on the beach without a care in the world.