Monday, July 16, 2012

It Was an Itsy-Bitsy, Teeny-Weeny...

I did something yesterday that was either very brave or very foolish. I didn’t have an awful lot of choice in the decision, although I suppose I could have chickened out entirely. But I took a deep breath and I did it.

I wore a bikini in public.

Not just public, but in front of people ranging from strangers to acquaintances to close friends. In other words, a bunch of people most of whom know me and are likely to see me again.

This might not seem like a big deal, except if you recall that I’m 43 years old, had two children after the age of 40 (one of them less than a year ago), and have not darkened the door of a gym in my entire LIFE. Also, the only time I have ever publicly worn a bikini was on my honeymoon, by request of my husband, and when I was at pretty much my lowest adult weight. (Which I am NOT currently at.)

But I have to say, although nobody would confuse me with a supermodel, given the factors above, I looked pretty damn good. And it was probably good exercise that I kept my tummy sucked in for a solid four hours.

To back up for a moment, I have to admit that the reason I wore a bikini is that I could not find any of my other three full-coverage bathing suits, because I am a mom and when I get out of the pool and change from my swimsuit into dry clothes, I am generally rushing to get two small children out of their swimsuits and swim diapers into dry clothes and regular diapers before they pee on the couch. So my suits generally get tossed wherever. Bottom line being that it was my own fault I had to wear the bikini or forego swimming at all, but there you are. Bikini.

My point, however, is that I was dreading doing it. I didn’t want people to look at me and think, “Ugh, does she really think she looks good in that?” or “She looks like an ad for liposuction.” But once I did it, and forgot to worry about it, I didn’t really care what people were thinking. And, based on the comments I did get (or overhear), they were more along the lines of, “Wow, she looks great,” or “You’d never know she had a one-year-old,” or “Good for her!”

I’m sure there were a few youngsters thinking, “I’ll never wear a bikini if I look like that!” but you know, who cares? My friends thought I looked great. My husband thought I looked great. I thought I looked…not horrendous. (I’m a tough critic; “not horrendous” is the equivalent of about 4-1/2 stars). So at the end of the day (both literally and figuratively), I ended up facing my fears and discovering that there wasn’t anything to be afraid of, after all.

And isn’t that usually the case? Once you face your fears, you almost always either conquer them or find out there wasn’t anything to be afraid of in the first place. So the next time you have to face something you’re afraid of, think of me in a bikini. It’ll either give you courage or a good laugh. Win-win!

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