Bikini

Today is National Bikini Day! Did you know that? I did not! It popped up on my calendar and got me to thinking……thinking about women and bathing suits.
This past weekend I went to a pool party. I was nervous as I did not know many people and was unsure what bathing suit to wear. I brought a few options, both 2 piece because my only other suit is a one piece that I wear to swim laps.
I put on my bikini and went in the pool….a little nervous. There were about 6 other women there(all over 40)….and all got in the pool. All had on all sorts of bathing suits but what was amazing was that all of the women complemented each other on each other’s swimwear and all seemed comfortable in the water. This was a first for me.
I have never been comfortable in swimwear. I have worn bikinis, tankinis and one pieces but I have never liked the way I look in any of them. I know that this started at a young age. I found an old photo from when I was 17 the summer before senior year. I was covered from head to toe…long sleeve shirt and large beach towel wrapped around my lower half. At first glance one would think it was cold on the beach…nope. The others in the photo (that I cut out!) are all in skimpy 80’s bikinis, short shorts and tank tops. I hated my body and always thought I was fat. I mean I was bigger than most girls but I was not the wafer thin image of beauty of that time.
I gained and lost weight my whole life. I was never confident in my figure and constantly compared myself to others standard of beauty. I looked to others (usually men) for validation that I was pretty.
Fast forward 17 years. I was a 34 year old mom to 3 girls under the age of 6. I was not happy that someone took a photo of me and remember being very upset once I saw it….and saw how large I was. I mean I knew I was big and I was not comfortable wearing a bathing suit at the beach. The photo just made it worse.
At 46, I wrote about my body and the envy of younger women here
Today I went for a bike ride and then chose to read near the lake. I asked a few passing teens to take a photo of me in my bikini. It was uncomfortable to ask but I pushed past those feelings and listened as they coached me on how to pose. I explained to the girls that I am usually the one behind the camera as a mom. One said that her mom “is like you ….ya know….in her 30’s …..and always says the same thing…..” I said well, “I am 55 so…….” They were stunned!
I really just wanted the photos for me and waited until I got home to look at them. Then I got to thinking…..I am at a point in my life that I really have no fucks left to give. Why not be proud to wear a 2 piece? Why not be proud of this body? Do my arms jiggle? Yup! Do my thighs rub together? Yup! Do I have a fupah/pooch/belly? Yup! Who cares? I have carried and fed 4 babies with this body. I have run countless miles and finished 9 marathons. I have peddled enough miles to circle the world more times than I can count. I have enjoyed many good meals and some fast food too (yuck!). It is time I loved this vessel that carries me though the world.
Looking back I would have told that 17 year old to let it go. That not every one is going to like you or your body. Loving yourself is going to get you further in life than the self hate that will lead to many toxic relationships. I would tell that 34 year old momma to stop and take a breath. Those babies love your lap and love to snuggle you. They are watching how you act and listening to how you speak about your body. Teach them to love themselves as they are. 55 year old me is going to love on the woman in the mirror more. She is going to continue to enjoy good food and a good workout, and she is going to wear more bikinis!
Eat the food.
Take a walk.
Run/Ride the miles
Soak up the sun (and wear sunscreen!)
Wear whatever makes you feel like a badass!
Love that person staring back at you from the mirror!
You Are Beautiful!
Peace,
#tutulady
#forwardisapace

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