Lessons on body image I learned from my daughter
On my recent west coast family vacation, we ate out a lot. I'm talking every meal. For 12 days. Well, nearly 12 days. By the last 3 days, we went to the grocery store, bought some real food and cooked in.
Because it was the west coast, California specifically, and there are beaches a plenty, we spent a good deal of time on the beach. In a bikini. Normally not a big deal. I don't normally feel overly self-conscious. During this trip, I was feeling quite uncomfortable in my bikini. Southern California, after all, is the mecca of beautiful beach bodies. I had eaten way too much crap and was feeling a bit bloated, and pale (everyone there is so tan!).
I began comparing myself to everyone else on the beach, which can be a dangerous road to travel. I watched my daughter rock her bikini. Now, she is 16 years old and has that perfect 16 year old bod. When I was 16, I didn't feel comfortable rocking my bikini. In fact, I would starve myself and over exercise to feel somewhat ok in my bikini. But here was my daughter, chowing down at all meals, splurging on ice cream, rocking her bikini without worrying about feeling bloated or or in any way uncomfortable. She was just having fun and soaking up all that the Southern California coast had to offer. Sheesh! I'm 46 years old, comparing myself to teenagers and 20 somethings, and getting all self-conscious. I'm taking myself out of the moment and out of the beauty of California to feel crappy about myself.
So I continued to watch my daughter. I learned that it's a waste of time to worry about not looking perfect. Covering myself up was taking away from the pleasure of being in the sun and sand. Plus, how I felt was not how other people saw me. My daughter felt bloated, but I couldn't see it. She still had that perfect little 16 year old body. It's the confidence and joy people see, or they see the insecurity and sadness. It's the confidence and joy that gives the perfect beach body. Rock that bikini with confidence and enjoy all of the summer moments.
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