Thursday, June 5, 2014

I Posted Pictures of Myself in a Bikini and Why I Did It

Yes, I did that. Today I broke down and posted pictures of myself, on Facebook, wearing a bikini. This is something I swore I would never, ever do. My reason for not doing it were many. Most were because I didn't feel my body was good enough to be seen in a bikini, in short - embarrassment and shame.

I am 41 years old and have had five kids. My body certainly wasn't good enough to be seen...right? This is what the internet and society would have me believe. Unfortunately, it is something I believed and it had to stop. I am not 6 ft tall with legs up to my neck. I am not a super model and I am shaped like a pear, not an hourglass and certainly not a freeway.

A few weeks ago, I started getting serious about getting into shape. I enlisted the help of my buddy Shawn. He's extremely fit and I know he would force me to keep going even when I wanted to give up. Still, I just couldn't visualize the progress I was making. This past week a lot of things happened that gave me pause about my anti-pictures-of-me-in-a-bikini stance. My friend Dan has been working out and posting pictures of his progress. I think he's doing a great job. His body isn't perfect yet either, but here he was embracing the progress he was making and being proud of it. Owning it! Then yesterday I watched a video of a "big" girl pole-dancing on Britain's Got Talent. That woman was out there doing stuff I could never do. I don't have that kind of upper body strength. Her confidence was amazing to watch and I admired her for putting herself out there.

I have been working hard too so why shouldn't I be proud of my progress and show it off? Well, there came that nagging idea that my progress wasn't good enough to show off yet. I hunted around the internet and saw many sites recommending taking pictures to give yourself a better perspective. We are all so hypercritical of ourselves that sometimes we can't see the forest for the trees.

Of course, I also witnessed the internet being cruel. Shaming people for their size, lumps, bumps and imperfections. Girls being shamed for not having breasts, breasts that were too large, being fat, having cellulite, etc and you know was happening to men too. When did it become okay to belittle people for trying? There is a heavyset, older man that I see at the track nearly every day. He comes there to jog and is obviously trying to get healthy. The other day a group of teenagers were making fun of him. They were laughing at how slow he ran, his jiggling belly and how hard he was breathing. I dearly wanted to slap them silly and felt protective of the man that was just trying to better himself. We were both trying to accomplish the same thing and  no one has any right to shame him for being a work-in-progress.

After all this, today I decided I needed to put up or shut up. I needed to get a better perspective of myself, my body, and realize that I am worth being proud of. My hard work needs to be celebrated and the naysayers can bite me. I need to not worry what some insecure, immature idiot is going to think of my body so long as I can stand up proudly and say, "Look at what I have done so far! Look at what I accomplished!"

I did this for my daughters, myself and those friends/family that are trying to do the same thing I am...get healthy. I did this for all the people out there that just don't feel good enough. You are good enough and fuck what the internet says. Put down the fashion magazines and embrace yourself. If you don't like something, by all means change it but don't compare yourself to society's idea of perfection. Be your own perfection.

So I my body isn't perfect and it will never be perfect by everyone's standards, I accept that. Just look at what I have done so far. Eat a dick if you think my body is disgusting because I am proud of it.

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