I Cannot Believe I Am Going To Post This…
No, really, I cannot believe I am going to post this…
Do you ever tell yourself when you see an unflattering picture that, “NO ONE will EVER see this picture!”, and then you bury it deep down in some box, or if you are like me you try to crop off the bad parts and then just delete it? Although, now, those same pictures are the ones that your friends and family decide should go on Facebook and it never fails that everyone in the picture looks fantastic, and then I am sitting in some weird position where my chin looks like it has a chin, with one eye closed, and my mouth looks like I am in mid word of some 80’s rock ballad… ahh… Facebook!
The unicorn of all pictures for me is the bikini or bathing suit picture, which is why I started the 365 Day Bikini Challenge ! Terrified that pictures of me might some day be on the internet whilst in a bikini at my highest weight ever has been such a deterrent for a few hard pressed rules that I set for my self at the beginning of the year that it actually has been working. I think I may have been a bit loosey-goosey with the rules and perhaps I need to revisit them a bit, but nonetheless it has kept me from eating at drive thrus for going 8 months… this coming from a girl who used to eat drive thru food several times a week!
Anyway… about 2 years ago my Aunt Sue had sent me some pictures she came across while she was pursuing our vast family photo collection. I opened up the text message to find me in a bikini! Immediately horrified I closed the message and tossed my phone across the room. I couldn’t believe it… they were going to go viral, I just knew it! How could she send those over an unsecured network! I slowly decided to confront the pictures again, because in my mind they were hideous… I think in one of them I was asking her not to take the picture. I remember seeing those pictures after she took them and I couldn’t even look at them I was so embarrassed. I slowly picked up my phone that was now lodged between a couch cushion and dog. I opened the message and took a long look at the pictures. Okay, wait… I am pretty darn cute! Not only that, but a sense of pride and hope came over me… that body is in this body!?!?! Granted, that body was my freshman year of high school body, but I was the same height I am now and that body is in this body… I just know it! And now I want to find it!
The funny thing is that I really thought I was fat. Yes, I was a bit curvier than my friends, but I was certainly not fat. This picture ambush by my Aunt Sue was the best thing she could have ever done for me. She knew that one day I would look back on these pictures and see my potential, see the beauty that I didn’t see at the time, and realize that the beliefs I have in this head of mine aren’t always true. What a gift she gave me that day!
I was curious if I had any other photos of me in a bathing suit around that time frame, or later, and that’s when I realized I didn’t really have any. I found one from senior year of high school in which I cut off most of my legs in the photo… what I wouldn’t give to have my legs back and those fabulous glasses!
I remember I used to be terrified of pool parties in high school. Thank goodness I grew up in Colorado where pool party season is quite short! However, I didn’t escape high school without one. It was a group of kids who got together to throw a 16 birthday party at the pool on the Air Force base. I was totally anxious, a little nauseous and didn’t want to go… but one of the people throwing the party was my best friend at the time and I wanted to be there for her! So, the day of the party I packed up two suits: a one piece and a two piece. I wanted to see what the pool was like and what the other girls were wearing before I decided on which one to wear. I got to the pool and it was an indoor pool. All of the girls were in one piece suits… okay, great, I can do this. From the other side of the locker room a friend was in a panic because she forgot her suit. I felt bad for her. I didn’t want her to be left out of the fun so I offered her one of mine, praying with all of my might she would be all about the black bikini I brought. I gave her the choice of the one piece or the two piece… she immediately took the one piece leaving me with the black bikini. I understood why she took the one piece, she was a bit bustier on top and the bikini would have been quite a show for the boys on her. Yeah, but guess what…. that made me the show, not really my style when it came to prancing around in swimwear. I sucked it up, put on the bikini, then had to walk the entire length of the Olympic sized pool to get to the ladder… because there was no way I was jumping into the deep end in a bikini… yeah, that would’ve been all I needed to become that girl who jumped in the pool and popped up out of the water only to find her boobs popped out too! So, I walked the line. Got in the pool. I did it. My now hubby who was at that party assures me that I looked great and the boys approved. Funny, I don’t remember much else, I was so self conscious that I honestly don’t remember the party… such a shame!
It just amazes me how our minds can create such distortions in our views… especially of ourselves. I just feel like I have missed so much of my own life becasue I have been so self conscious of my body. This year has been different. I have challenged myself this year to respect my body and love myself just as I am. The closer I get to that place of love the easier it is to just be me. Just like the number on the scale does not define me, I will not let my physical size define me. I am more than a body. When I strip away my negative thoughts about my body and replace them simply with love that’s at the place where I am truly being me. So, in celebration of me being me, I am posting two of the only bathing suit photos… other than the 365 Bikini Challenge Photos that are currently password protected in the depths of my computer, that I have of myself at around my highest weight ever. In the first picture I was in Mexico with my mom, and I struck my typical pose whenever I was in a bathing suit and the camera came out. The second, I think I was a few pounds down from my highest weight… because, of course, I frantically started trying to lose weight a week prior to going on a trip to Hawaii… oomph, if only I had known then what I know now! Maybe I would have let my hubby take more pictures, and maybe I would have had more fun in my bathing suit enjoying Hawaii instead of hiding under my cover-ups…
Okay I did it. It’s out there.
It feels good to celebrate where I am going by acknowledging where I have come from… I know my celebration has just begun! I know that body is in this body… it will come out. I have made that promise to myself and I will keep it!