QUESTIONS WITH NO (GOOD) ANSWERS
If you’d found yourself in the bathing suit section of Dillard’s a few weeks ago you might have heard some sad, colorful language emanating from the farthest corner of the dressing room.
Phrases I uttered during the first 2-piece I tried on:
When did I get THAT there? I should really look back there more often…How can someone exercise so much and still have so many things going wrong? It’s the bathing suit, yeah, the weird cut is just making me look worse than I actually look in real life…
And for the second (more conservative) 2-piece:
Ok, that’s better…oh, good Lord, no it’s not. What the hell is even happening there?
And the 3rd attempt:
I thought black was slimming? How can something look that good on the hangar and this bad on my body?
Honestly, there’s nothing like trying on bathing suits to remind a woman of her age (and just how much ice cream she really eats).
Hey, here’s an idea, why don’t retail stores set up a temporary bar at the entrance of every bathing suit section? #makebathingsuitshoppingfun
I finally purchased what’s basically a spandex 3-piece suit that ties in the back.
GRAVITY, CONSTIPATION & CROWDS
As I transition into bathing suits that cover more skin than my workout clothes I’ve come to realize there are parts of me sliding south and I can’t stop them. The nooks and crannies of my once-sexy assemblage is inching, reaching, stretching, and sagging closer to the Earth every single day.
Twenty years ago I didn’t even know what the words constipation, hemorrhoids, bunions, insomnia, or reflux even meant. Now I talk with friends, family (and sometimes complete strangers) on those topics for hours. Yes, hours.
And it’s not just my body. Oh, no, that would be too easy. It’s my brain, too.
How can someone forget where they’re going on the way to that place? And don’t even ask me where I was last Wednesday because I can’t remember what I ate for breakfast.
And my social skills were never anything to brag about but now my entire life is scheduled around avoiding other people. Crowds are like the plague. Oh, and traffic, too. Traffic makes my head explode and must be avoided at all costs. Groceries at midnight, I say!
So, I guess my bathing suit adventure is really just one more piece of the puzzle…
THE REAL MEANING OF TIRED
My sister recently shared a post on Twitter that said:
“Being an adult is pretty easy, you just feel tired all the time and tell people how tired you are and they tell you how tired they are”–Random (awesome) tweeter
That guy totally nailed adulthood.
The older I get the more my stamina shrinks. It’s currently the size of a pencil eraser.
I think my bathing suit experience felt worse because it landed right after I decided to update the photos here at One Strong Southern Girl.
My husband has the job of taking pictures of me for the website. It’s not easy.
I print out poses of beautiful, fit women I’m trying to emulate to guide him in achieving the right angles but my only real instruction to him is this: Make Me Look Pretty.
It used to be: Make me look slim and pretty.
But two demands seemed too much to ask for, so now he has the one rule to focus on.
And yet, after a 3 hour photo-session there are hundreds of photos that bring us to tears (from laughing so hard) because of just how NOT PRETTY I can look.
Now, having a good laugh with my husband is fun, up until it dawns on me just how long we’ve been laughing at images of me…
And yet, a few days later I still went and tried on bathing suits…
I’ve always struggled with body image so I can’t say I’ve ever met a bathing suit season at the door and gave it a hug, but when I was younger it was easier. There was always The Future. I had plenty of time to change anything I didn’t like on my body because there was so much time left to do it.
Now, Time is an ugly beast that looms over me—a sweaty thing in the corner of every room that smells like a port-o-potty and wears a smug expression and a T-shirt that says, ‘It’s going to get worse’.
THE POINT YOU’VE BEEN WAITING FOR
So, here comes the point of my little post. (*Thanks for your patience. I forgot what I was writing about for a little while so I stopped and then fell asleep for a bit.*)
But here it is—I’m in charge of everything. (*I grab my shield and big-ass sword and pose like Mr. Clean*…Until the kids notice and tell me to stop being weird…)
Well, ok, not everything.
But the only person driving the ME bus is ME. I decide if there’s a stop at the corner of Self-Doubt & Depression or if I give that intersection the finger and move on to Kick-Ass Boulevard.
I’M A BADASS
When I returned to the car after buying that bathing suit, I wiped a few tears, decided that I probably shouldn’t take a nap in my car in the mall parking lot, and did what I should have done a few hours prior, I reminded myself that I’m a badass.
The truth is that I feel confident and strong during a workout but all too often deflate at a steady rate as the day wears on (and can plummet at rocket-speed if I slip into a bathing suit). And by the time dinner rolls around I might have the confidence of a rug.
But one of the reasons I started One Strong Southern Girl was to help show women how physical exercise will lead to a strong, healthy body but also, a strong and healthy mind. I have to practice the words I preach here every day.
ROOSTERS HAVE IT FIGURED OUT
I chose this image for today’s post for a reason.
This rooster has the best attitude. I can just hear him saying, So, I got a big ass growth on my nose, what about it? I’ll peck your face off if you don’t like it. (I’m sure that big-ass growth belongs there but let’s just all agree it looks weird.)
But that’s the attitude I want to walk around with. So, I’m not perfect. No one is. But it’s me and I’m basically awesome. (I laughed as I typed that but you get the idea…you’re in charge.)
TELL SOMEONE SHE’S AWESOME TODAY
So, stop what you’re doing right now and say: I’m a total Badass. Then go tell a woman she’s a badass today. It might be just the thing she needs to hear.
I’m actually looking forward to trying on bathing suits again next year. #notreally #thatsalie
Thank you for reading!
You’re a strong and beautiful badass!
Have an amazing day!
“Life is complicated. Fitness doesn’t have to be.”
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