For years Sean and I have been promising the kids and each other that we would take a trip to Hawaii. This year we technically had three graduations...my oldest child from college, my middle from high school, and the youngest from kindergarten. It was the perfect time to finally follow through on a long held promise to ourselves. And when you go to Hawaii, covering up is almost a waste of the beautiful resources Hawaii has to offer. How do you do stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, or even hiking through a rainforest when you are completely covered from head to ankle in clothing? So, now that I think about the reason it took us so long to actually follow through on our paradise promises, it might have been an attempt to avoid endless beach trauma.
Now I am not saying that you have to be slim to come to Hawaii or to be able to rock a bikini. What I am saying that my body issues kept me from enjoying any beach for years, and it was all in my head. Last week, we finally had some downtime where we could just sit on the beach and relax. As I looked around me, there were plenty of people in bikinis that, like me, had bodies that did not measure up to the media's image of what a perfect body should be, but we all looked just fine. And as I looked around no one seemed to care that all their imperfect parts were hanging out.
So, in order to give less power to my fear of sharing my bumpy parts, I am sharing them in this blog so it is no longer a secret. I spent all ten days in Hawaii in my bikinis, and the only time I wore a one-piece was when I swam laps in the lagoon at the hotel. It was very liberating to not care what anyone thought of me and to just be proud of all I have accomplished instead of focusing on the tiny little flaws my weight fluctuations have left on me. I have a stomach pooch because of my two c-sections and some stretch marks around my belly and thighs, but oh well. I don't need to be perfect. Maybe if I say it enough times I will believe it all of the time instead of just most of the time.
I guess what I am hoping to share is that I would love if some of you, my readers, will not waste so much of your lives worrying about what others think about you. Who cares if your body is not perfect? What is perfection anyway? Here are two stories that I have come across in the last month that have helped me to have the courage to let it all hang out--I hope they will inspire you as well.
Great perspective about not teaching our kids to have the same insecurities we might have--Huffington Post: Mom's Put on That Swimsuit
An inspiring story about a woman who would not let a magazine make her cover her bumpy parts--Brooke Burmingham: Why I Refused to Put a Shirt on For Shape