How to Love The Body You See in The Mirror
I’m leaving for Mexico tomorrow. I cannot wait. The anticipation of the beach, warm weather and sand between my toes is my definition of relaxation.
Packing, nope, not so thrilling. Nevertheless, critical when leaving one season for another.
Shorts packed? Check. T-shirts packed? Check. Running gear packed? Check. PJs and loungewear? Check. Bathing suit.
Bathing suit. PAUSE.
What is it about the bathing suit? So damn needy.
It goes without saying that when you’ve spent the last six months living in winter hibernating, eating comfort soups and stews, cozying up in flannels with a book or movie and being just a tad-less-active-in-general, the bathing suit causes pause. And necessitates a try on. You know, just to see if it, well, still fits.
So, on it goes…. meander over to the Full-Length Mirror…. deep breath…… expletive.
I used my inside voice. At least I think I did.
And so begins the internal discourse: “So wait a second. You’ve been planning for this trip. Planning for it for a long time. You booked it last August in fact. So how come you look like this? Oh, that bathing suit just doesn’t work…. and you’ve been working out. Eating well. Anticipating The Bathing Suit.
So, how come you look like THIS?”
Things shifted inside my head as I looked at myself from different angles trying to take in what I saw. The questions began: “How come my thighs are so jiggly? How can I shave off a little more belly fat? How come my body is so ill-proportioned? Why didn’t you work out a little more Susan?”
Then came the outside raft of questions. The kind that get fired off to the husband (poor husband): “Do I look okay in this bathing suit? Does this bathing suit bottom make my ass look big? Should I bring this bathing suit along? Do you like my legs?”
What was I checking for?
Those questions and their answers had a hot mess of emotions in their wake. All of them clamouring at my sense of self. A big dark cloud hung over me raining hail. Raining HELL.
(Hands up my friends if you’ve EVER felt this way.)
And I sat there, post bathing suit try on feeling confused. Sad. Frustrated. Angry.
Angry at the questions. And, angry at the answers.
I began thinking to myself about the questions I’d been asking. Why were these the questions I was asking myself? And to what set of assumptions where they saddled up to that I could get knocked down like this? Where was the question: “How does it feel to be so lean?” And, “how does strong feel in your body with the extra muscle in your body?” And “how good does it feel to have all this energy from getting great sleep and eating well?”
And then there, for some reason I could see oh-so-clearly the Bullshit.
A whole set of questions attached to an assumption that a lean, healthy, strong, well nourished body has to look a certain way, be a certain size, with a certain set of proportions in order to be beach worthy. To Be Worthy. Worthy of?
I won’t answer that because I am a lean, healthy, strong, well nourished woman. And I am worthy. Beach worthy. Just plain worthy.
So I’m calling Bullshit and leaving the stale, unhelpful questions behind. I’m not so naive to think they won’t wiggle their way into my suitcase and squirm their way into the lining of my bathing suit, but I see them now. I see that they are no longer questions that I need to answer. And when they emerge I will ask myself the questions that matter:
Am I healthy?
Am I strong?
Am I well nourished?
Yes, I am.
If you want these to be your questions or you have your own set of questions you want to anchor to, let’s chat. An an Integral Coach I meet questions like this face to face, help sort out the assumptions they’re entangled with and will engage with you in crafting a New Way of going through life. Let’s chat.