Paradise, right? Yes. We were in paradise, but for someone who struggles with weight and body image issues, this trip felt more like a trip to Nightmareville. I'm not complaining, don't get me wrong. I'm just saying that squeezing into a bathing suit and putting myself out in public is a challenge I had to face head on this past week, albeit in paradise.
I was nervous. I was filled with dread.
But guess what?
I lived! I survived! I succeeded!
What choice did I have? We'd paid a lot of money, we'd traveled a fair distance. What was I going to do, hole up in our condo? Trips like this one often force me out of my comfort zone and make me do things I would otherwise not want to do. Besides, summer is coming (at least I'm told it's coming) and I'm going to have to put on a bathing suit sooner or later. This trip just forced my hand and made me don a suit earlier than normal. Here's what I learned:
- when push comes to shove, I can get over my poor body image and enjoy the warm weather
- my girls enjoyed having me on the beach and in the water with them
- I wasn't the largest person on the beach or in a swimsuit
- maybe I'm not as physically repulsive as I imagine
No one was looking at me in my swimsuit and sticking their finger in their mouth, making the international gagging motion. Maybe I need to get over myself and realize my poor self-image comes from deep inside the recesses of my (sick) mind and I should tell my mind to shut up. Maybe I need to stop being so self-absorbed. Maybe I need to stop looking at people larger than myself and thinking, "Wow, if she can wear that bikini, then what am I worried about?"
I tell my girls (almost every day) to love themselves, to be kind to others because everyone they meet is fighting some sort of battle and that they're perfect just the way they are.
Maybe I need to listen to my own advice and practice what I preach.