Her reply, "Sure, I'd love to."
She proceeded to run up stairs in a flash to dig out her swimsuit from the top drawer of her dresser. Recently we had taken some hand me down swimsuits out of storage, so she was eager to chose a suit to her liking. Today she would wear her Paul Frank monkey swimsuit, which I just adore because quite often I refer to her as my little monk-a-la-ronk.
I on the other hand, slowly made my way into my bedroom, trying to conjure up the last time I actually donned my swimsuit. August of 2009, in my backyard. Does wearing a swimsuit in one's backyard even count as having the self confidence to wear a suit in public? I don't think so. I headed to my dresser, but came up fruitless. I had moved my swimsuit to a small storage bin in the back of my closet, with the likes of my sexy nighties, pantyhose, and a random bikini. All items I haven't worn in let's just say, quite some time.
All I could really think to myself was, swimming was this MY idea? I stripped down out of my pajamas and stepped my naked leg into the black lycra swimsuit. That was the first step, seeing if it fit me and it did. Of course I instantly turned around to see how large my ass appeared in the swimsuit, but I must have one of those slimming mirrors because it just looked half way normal. I don't quite know how to explain the body image I conjure up of myself, sometimes when I look in the mirror this is what I believe I will see:Honestly, that's not a joke, nor is it intended to poke fun at body image issues, but that picture pretty much sums up how I think my ass looks. Really, I don't know how I look from behind in natural lighting in a swimsuit, I just know how a slimming mirror makes me look. I don't even have cellulite in the mirror I own and let me be the first one to say, I know I have cellulite on my thighs. Fact. Oddly not proven by mirror images of myself.
So really, I ask my daughter casually if she wants to go swimming and those thoughts are what's going through my mind. Going out to the rec center with my daughter to swim is quite frankly an absurd notion in my world. I dread swimsuits and swimming.
Then I just take a moment to step away from all the negativity of how I perceive myself to look. The endless thoughts of how I wish I was 25 pounds thinner, about how I wish I looked kick ass in a swimsuit, and how I try to convince myself to just bail on the whole idea. I stand in front of the mirror, shoulders back and look myself in the eye. I tell myself so what, I whisper it to myself, then I say it out loud, "So What!". I put on my Juicy sweats, a t-shirt, grab a pair of panties, and throw them in the bag with our towels.
We arrive at the rec center, lock up our belongings, and head into the pool area. In that moment I feel like I am standing in a public place naked, but I'm not. There's so much working through in my mind to beat the obstacles, the feelings, the disappointment of how I view myself. In that exact moment when I am all wrapped up in my head, GL squeals in delight seeing the alligator water slide. She looks up at the long and windy yellow tube slide and asks if we can go down that one first! She is delighted by our experience at the swimming pool, which by far surpasses any of my body image issues.
I regret not taking my girls swimming more often. Funny enough I come to realize after a few minutes at the pool, I'm not the only woman with cellulite. Truly, no one cares that I do. Maybe someday I'll even post a picture of myself in a swimsuit. Alright maybe not, let's not get too carried away here.