Bathing Suit Philosophy

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

So, my son's girlfriend accidently shrunk my bathing suit in the dryer last week. My silent rejoicing at the fact that I wouldn't ever have to squeeze into another one was quickly extinguished when my daughter exclaimed, "We'll have to go get you a new one!" To add to the pressure, I then received an email from Abby, the girlfriend, with a link to Lands End and a note apologizing and saying that she wanted me to pick out a new suit, which she would pay for. Now, even though she shrunk it, number one: it was an accident, and number two: she works for minimum wage at Starbucks and is still paying off the car she totalled a few months ago. No way was I going to let her buy me a $60 swimsuit. (And no way was I going to let her, a size 0, order me a size 12.)

Now, you probably wonder why anyone in Seattle even NEEDS a bathing suit if they're not taking water aerobics or swimming laps in an indoor pool. If anyone ever does venture into a lake, it's only around Labor Day after we've had some warm temperatures for a few weeks. Even then, it's bone-chilling. The only reason I need a bathing suit is because my daughter and I travel occasionally for her Irish dance competitions and she has managed to cajole me into the pool with her when we stay at a hotel. She's been the one to convince me that no one else really cares what I look like and it's ridiculous for me to be so obsessed about it. And I've discovered that it wouldn't matter anyway, because we're usually the only ones in the pool and hot tub. I finally figured out that if my slender, beautiful, little daughter isn't embarrassed by me, then I shouldn't be embarrassed by me, either.

So, today we set off for Penney's with a photo of the perfect suit ripped from an ad and a $10 coupon. She, of course, got sidetracked in the clearance racks, then the dresses, then the shoes, and I was beginning to think she had forgotten all about our original mission, but no such luck. "We have to find your bathing suit!" she said. "I think they sold them all." I said. Nope, there they were - racks upon racks of every color and style imaginable. She holds up a tiny little zebra-striped top. "You should try this on!," she smiles. Yeah, maybe 19 years ago before four pregnancies and three insatiable nursing babies caused my perfect 34B's to balloon to 38D's. "Yeah, that might cover my nip*les," I reply.

We finally find what we came for - a beautiful teal shirred one-piece with substantial enough straps to hold the girls up. I slowly meander toward the fitting room, stopping as often as possible to delay the inevitable. I finally get up the nerve to undress in front of the hated full-length mirror and pull on this tiny piece of lycra that magically stretches to fit my substantial curves. And you know what? It doesn't look half bad. The shirred waist tucks me in around the middle and it's not creeping up in all the wrong places. If it weren't for my fat little legs, I'd say I looked pretty good for a middle-aged mom of three.

I guess the moral of this story is Acceptance. I have to accept the way I look right now at this moment, on this day, if I am going to continue to try to change. No, I haven't lost the 30 pounds I thought I would have lost by now, but I'm exercising and lifting weights and eating well. I'm trying and I have to accept that I'm trying. Not getting angry about the way I look, or getting frustrated that the hundreds of squats I've done haven't given me long, lovely legs, or just throwing in the towel because I ate too much chocolate yesterday. I have to live today. Memories with my daughter aren't going to wait until I look great in a bathing suit. I have to put that bathing suit on today and make those memories before it's too late. Fat legs notwithstanding.

P.S. Driving home, I said to Amy, "I've always had fat legs. My entire life. I'll never have legs like yours." She turned to me and said, "You'd look really funny with my legs." It was a moment of pure insight. I realized that God had given me MY legs and I needed to stop wishing for someone else's.
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  • no profile photo CD1315172
    Daughters always encourage their moms.
    3450 days ago
    That was cute, I would be terrrified to go shopping with the girl friend, but then I saw what size you were and knew you would be ok.

    3551 days ago
    Okay, as I read this I'm saying to myself... how can you say you have fat legs when you're a 12 (I'm an 18)? I'm the only one in the world with fat legs - lol. Your daughter is bright, and the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
    emoticon Keep rockin' it!
    3577 days ago
    julie, this is another great blog !! you and your daughter have the best times together. she's wise way beyond her years because she has you for a mom !!
    forget your legs and have lots of fun times in the pool and hot tub with amy!!! emoticon emoticon
    3589 days ago
  • no profile photo CD4419646
    That was a good story! Thank you for sharing!
    3589 days ago
    Julie, You have a very smart daughter.
    3589 days ago
    Great blog. Thanks for sharing emoticon
    3591 days ago
  • no profile photo CD7296616
    Great blog! Thanks...I needed that:) Amy is a sweetie but it stands to reason because she has a great mom! emoticon
    3591 days ago
  • BEEJAY49
    If only everyone could have a daughter like yours! You are so lucky, and so is she! Thank you for sharing this story. :)
    3591 days ago
    LOL Awesome. I would love to shop with you. What a riot. And? GOOD FOR YOU!
    3591 days ago
    Wow. That was some pretty awesome insight. Thank you for sharing it!
    3591 days ago
    Out of the mouth of babes!!!! Amy's insight into the facts of life was great. We would look quite funny with teeny bopper legs!!! Tell her she made me laugh and see my own legs as very special and made for me me by a great God who knew what legs would go with this curvy Barb body!! Glad you found a comfy bathing suit and made a wonderful memory with Amy!! Smiles and hugs to you today. Barb
    3592 days ago
    Oh, this is so good! Amy sounds like a wonderful daughter - and I bet that suit looks great on you. Exercise, strength training and good nutrition make a huge difference.
    3592 days ago
  • AMAS92568
    Great blog! I went through the same process about a month ago and it was quite the experience.

    While I was in Phoenix I spent a lot of time around the pool and lawn areas of the hotel. I didn't get to use the pool (wrong timing) but I did see a lot of people who were definitely not Bo Derek 10s yet they were having a great time.

    I'm glad you let your daughter talk you into getting a new suit. Life is just too short to miss out on those great times with kids in the pool!

    3592 days ago
    This a great blog Julie, you are so right that we need to live in the moment and enjoy all of the blessings that have come our way. I heard on the radio yesterday that the US is obsessed with body size. In certain parts of Italy I've heard they LOVE curvy women. Cherish these times with your daughter. You'll never be what you once were-you're better! Thanks for a great blog. emoticon
    3592 days ago
  • BUSYMOM911
    Great blog. You've come a long way! emoticon

    Memories can be a blessing and a curse. We seem to remember the best, which is good, but then we compare everything that comes after to them! We are our worst enemy, judging ourselves when others don't give what's worrying us a second thought.

    Are you going to post a picture of yourself in the new suit? LoL
    3592 days ago
  • TANYAP71
    What a great daughter!
    3592 days ago
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