Thursday, September 6, 2012

She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny what???

As those of you who follow me on Facebook already know, this year on vacation I did something that I have never done in my adult life- I purchased a bikini!

I had no intention of ever buying a bikini. In fact, this entire journey started when I showed up in Baltimore and showed Lexy the two size 6 bathing suits I had found on sale at TJ Maxx- which I thought were super flattering.  Her response: “those look great, but why the hell didn’t you buy a bikini?”  What followed was a discussion that can only be had between two people who have been close friends for a really long time:

Carrie: Um, because when you are super fat and lose weight the extra skin does not go away.
Lexy: Do not be stupid, you look fine.  You are a size 4-6 you need to be wearing an f’ing two-piece.
Carrie: I am not going to be one of those people who wear a two-piece with their extra flab hanging out. (Proceeds to show Lexy the extra skin left after losing 119 lbs)
Lexy: You need to wear a bikini. You are hot.
Carrie: Fine, I will try one on.  But that does not mean I am going to buy one.

Luckily there were plenty other distractions in Baltimore and so I was able to avoid my promise for a few days.  However, after our first day at the beach, Lexy and I ended up at Wings (or Waves, or Shells, or Bargain Beachwear- I can’t honestly remember there were 3 of them on every corner and I am pretty sure they are all owned by the same person) at midnight trying on bikinis.  After telling the Russian lady at the front door that no, in fact we were not interested in getting a henna tattoo, I entered the dressing room and started trying out different combinations of tops and bottoms.  Once I had found a style of bottom and top that I felt were the most flattering, it became easy to narrow down which ones to try on. To my surprise, I actually found a couple of bikinis that worked- and I ended up purchasing one!

The next day I bravely put on my newly purchased two piece and started getting ready for the beach. To be honest, I was still a tad self-conscious.  While I was proud that I had achieved so much in the past year that I was able to put on a bikini without looking absolutely ridiculous, I also was fully aware that I did not have the perfect bikini body.  As I walked out of the changing room, I was a little disappointed that I did not get more of a reaction from my family members. I was really hoping that they would compliment me and when their response was a little tepid, I started second guessing my decision.  But here is the thing- just because their reaction did not measure up to what I was hoping for did not mean that I looked terrible in a bikini- one of the most important things I have learned on this journey is that you cannot control other people’s reactions. So instead of running back to the bathroom and changing into one of my one-piece swimsuits, I decided to let Lexy take a picture of me in my two piece bathing suit and post it on Facebook.  I chose to do this not because I have the perfect bikini body that I wanted to show off- but for the exact opposite reason. I could spend hours listing things about my body that I would like to look differently: chiseled abs, perfectly smooth legs without any trace of cellulite, the baggy excess skin somehow magically erased, and heck, while we are at it, I’d like to have long flowing thick hair and wrinkle free eyes.  However, instead of focusing on the imperfections, I wanted to celebrate the fact that my body is so much stronger and leaner than it was over a year ago- which was a direct result of my hard work, sweat and dedication.. I wanted to celebrate the fact that I could actually fit into a size 6 bikini!

There are very few women on this planet who actually do have perfect bikini bodies, but just because we do not have the perfect airbrushed bikini body does not mean that we should not celebrate the bodies that we do have! 

This week I challenge you to comment on this post with one thing you like about your body!

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