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It’s summer time, and as we prepare for 4th of July gatherings, pool parties, vacations and the beach, moms are mostly excited. But in the back of our minds, lingering, is the thought of the dreaded BATHING SUIT. That is right, ladies, you aren’t alone. Statistics show that roughly 90% of women are not happy with their bodies, and I am not ashamed to admit that I am one of them.
Over the years, I have tried many diets and numerous workout systems. What I have realized that even when I have reached my ‘perfect’ weight, I still wasn’t happy with my body. I would still pick apart areas thinking ‘I could lose a little more here’, or ‘It would be perfect if it was a little flatter here.’ Then, I realized that it has more to do with my confidence, than my actual body. As I look back at memories from when I was younger mom, I can vividly recall moments that I was self-conscious about being in a bathing suit. Those negative thoughts almost drown out the wonderful memories of interacting with my children in those moments.
How I changed my mind
First of all, I am just a regular mom. I’m not a fitness expert or a healthy-eating guru. I’m just a normal woman, trying to make responsible choices with her health. Sometimes I succeed and sometimes I fail. However, I made a conscious decision a few years ago to start doing activities that I enjoyed, kept me active and were able to help me feel that I was nurturing a strong, healthy body. Doing this helps me in a few ways:
- I am able to do something I enjoy, which makes me a happier person, and ultimately a better wife and mom.
- These activities make me stronger physically, which helps me with my body image.
- I get time to myself, without my kids or husband. I love them, but alone time is nice too!
- Making new friends that are not an extension of my husband or kids.
All of these things don’t seem to be related to self-image, or ‘having the perfect body’, however, I can tell you for certain that they have helped me shape my body and more importantly, my mind, to be healthier. I am no longer as concerned with what others think. Giving myself the permission to participate freely is the best gift I have given myself.
How to implemented the change
Personally, I am not a fan of the gym. I have tried many times, and it just seems to be short-term commitment for me. However, there are so many other activities that will accomplish the same thing, without feeling like you are ‘working-out’. My favorite is dancing. I have found that taking various dance classes is a great work out and I tend to be a happier person when I am done. If you would like to start being active, but aren’t sure where to start, below are a list of suggestions:
- Roller Skating/Blading
- Walk/run around your kids field while they are at practice
- Boot camps, or outdoor workouts – they are still a workout but typically the scenery is much better!
The list is endless and might take a bit of work finding the right activity for you in your area. In addition, you might need to try a lot of new things to see what you like and what you don’t. Don’t stop trying though. Eventually you will find something you love!
In preparation for our upcoming vacation, I can’t say that I will not be ‘worried’ about what I will look like in my bathing suit. What I can say, is that I won’t let it stop me from doing all the activities with my kids that I want to do; kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, swimming, etc. I can also say, with confidence, I am not going to worry about always having a cover-up or shirt on. I want to remember this vacation for the memories that I am making with my family, not for being self-conscious about what I look like in my bathing suit.