I got a nudge recently to post on this blog again, and ever since I have been trying to figure out why it is that I stopped. Busy? Sure. Always. But I think it's because I am not a natural advice-giver and I sure don't have everything figured out. So maybe I feel slightly uncomfortable coming off like I do. I usually only give advice to people I am really close to or those who ask for it. But then I often end with, "But I don't really know..." or "that's just what I think" because everyone has their own set of trials and circumstances. So I hope you will take that disclaimer into account as I settle in and go forward with this blog. I make no promises of frequency, but I do think I want to be in this for the long haul. I just re-read my previous posts and regained the passion for the subject matter.
So this is a post I had in my head to do at the beginning of the summer, but never got around to.
I have cellulite on my thighs. I have never been a fan of the cellulite on my thighs. I have always been jealous of the women who have thin, non-cellulite thighs. I have done my best to shield the world of the cellulite on my thighs. This means that for years I wore shorts with all of my bathing suits. I thought that the cute long tankinis with shorts were my answer when they came out...the coverage of a one piece that looks cute with shorts! I remember the devastation that came in the dressing room when I tried one on because I had been so excited about it. Sadly, those shorts did not cover the (say it with me) cellulite on my thighs. So I was always on the hunt for a one-piece bathing suit that would match whatever long-enough board shorts I could find.
Note, however, that I used the words WORE and WAS in the above paragraph. Meaning, the cellulite on my thighs coverage is past-tense. I'll explain why.
I think bodies are pretty rad. They do AMAZING things for us every day. My body has healed itself of sickness, carried 3 children to term, is currently nurturing and growing another human as I type this, been through a miscarriage, put up with the strain of a marathon and other races without giving out on me, allows me to experience and appreciate nature, go hiking, taste wonderful food, kiss and snuggle my husband and children daily, exercise, kneel to pray, clean my home... And yet, as I talked about in my mirror post, I have a hard time not focusing on the negative when I look at my body.
In the past 4 years I have run my booty off and have come to the realization that the cellulite is with me for the long haul. But last year I was thinking about how great my body really was and how healthy I felt and thought, 'Forget it! I am not covering up my thighs anymore. My body is what it is and I think it's pretty amazing. So I have cellulite? So I've got some curvy legs and my thighs will never NOT touch?' I just felt the need to celebrate my body by not wearing shorts with my swimsuits anymore. Make sense? No? Well, it was a very liberating moment for me and the thoughts I had totally correlated with this decision in my mind.
The first time I went to the pool after making this decision, I was having hot flashes because I was freaked out about not having the safety of the shorts. My heart was beating really fast. I was about to ditch a 12-year or more safety net. I was with my hubby and kids. I'd told the hubs that I was going swimming sans shorts and he assured me of his love for my body and that I didn't need them. I think I may have packed a pair just in case it was too hard for me. But I did it. And it was important for me. I don't really care what anyone was or was not thinking, this was just for me. I wanted to tell my body THANK YOU and I love everything about you.
I think we need to spend a LOT less time focusing on what we want to change about how we look. I know there are many of you who are already fabulous at this, but I also know there are so many who struggle. Sure, exercise and healthy habits are good and important. But it's not about how we look in a bathing suit or the numbers on a scale...it's about how we FEEL. It's about being comfortable in our skin. It's about focusing on how incredible these bodies are that we've been given. I think it's about celebrating all shapes and sizes. And, yes, even cellulite. I love the Dove Beauty Campaign. If you haven't seen this Dove Evolution video, you should watch it. Or if you have seen it, you should watch it again. It's no secret that our culture celebrates mythical beauty and thinness (is that a word? it didn't spell check on me, so I guess it is)...mythical because so much of what we see is airbrushed or made over. Let's change our own minds and in turn maybe we can change our culture. Heaven knows I want it to be different for my 3-year-old daughter than it has been for me. I love her not-so-little belly now and I'll love it just as much if she still has it in 12 years. She's so beautiful and perfect to me and I want her to feel that about herself always.
Maybe you don't want, or need, to bag the shorts when you go swimming, but find some way to celebrate the miracle and beauty that is YOUR body! Because it IS beautiful and miraculous. It is enough.