Swimming in positivity

Okay, so I found myself at a department store this morning looking for a spring jacket when I rounded the corner and was confronted with the swimsuits. My first thought: “I need a swimsuit since I threw away the one I had been wearing for seven years that barely fit me anymore.” My second thought: “I hate swimsuit shopping.” There they were…this season’s most fashionable cuts and colors. And my mind was instantly awhirr with the myriad options: one piece, two piece; bikini bottoms, bikini tops, flared skirts; over-the-neck straps, two straps, no straps; padded, not padded; wires, no wires; long torso, regular torso; slimming, regular; cover-up, no cover-up; sarong, sundress. I sighed so loudly that I drew the looks of several nearby shoppers. One woman gave me something of a knowing half-smile and went back to her shopping.

I decided to just relax my eyes (like you do when you’re looking at one of those Magic Eye 3D images) and see what colors jumped out at me. I was immediately drawn to the turquoises, sea greens, and plum purples. Everything else was out. Okay…one decision made. The next was relatively easy: bikini tops were out. You see, I am what the fashion industry calls “full-figured”. I decided that today I would call myself, “Beautifully curvy”. Yeah, that sounds good. As a curvy woman, I would be looking at one piece suits that had enough strap strength to give me some lift. Men, you don’t know what you’re missing not having to deal with some of this stuff.

Okay, so I grabbed several one pieces in my favorite colors and headed for the dressing room. I felt my heart racing and my face flushing as I tried on the different suits, somewhat afraid to look in the mirror. At one point I repeated my mantra to myself, “I am beautiful, healthy, and strong.” It helped a little. My eyes settled on all of the usual suspects: tummy, love handles, thighs. To my surprise, I heard a voice inside me saying, “You’ve come a long way, Megan. This is your body and it is beautiful. You exercise regularly and it shows. Your arms look more toned. Your back is stronger.” Who was that? Is it possible that I really have enough gentleness, enough self-love inside me that I truly can stay positive…even when trying on swimsuits?! It seemed impossible and yet I heard it loud and clear.

Truth be told, I was not jumping up and down about how fabulous I looked. However, I think it was a huge step forward that I was able to arm myself with healthy body thoughts (realistic thoughts) and recognize the positive changes I see. I wonder if others of you out there can arm yourself with positive thoughts in the same way. Let’s all try to swim in (realistic) positivity.

Peace, joy, and health.

–Megan

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6 thoughts on “Swimming in positivity

  1. Leslie Neshama says:

    Megan: I am so proud of you!
    You got out of B.E.D.
    BATHING-SUIT EXPOSURE DAY.
    You did it with courage and empowerment and with the sense that neither you, nor the process had to be perfect. You have come so far, and I support your continued hard work.
    Recently, I told my therapist about my realizing that I was very courageous to have survived my childhood. I also said that I realized that I had MUCH COMPASSION for that little girl…..
    Yesterday, after I had confronted a friend, in which I stood my ground by expressing where I was coming from (and also acknowledged my mistake in the situation), I felt so very much like a binge was imminent.
    Then, for a moment, I offered that little girl inside me COMPASSION. Why, she had just spoken up for her Self, and in a symbolic way, I had “stood up to my mother”.
    Do you know what?
    The binge feelings immediately dissipated.
    Let us carry Compassion close to us. Compassion in the swim suit department, compassion in the dressing rooms. Compassion and kindness.

    Thank you for listening.

  2. Leslie Neshama says:

    Love to you, Megan, and to all of us trying daily to get out of B.E.D.

    I had a very discouraging day today, as I did not treat myself with respect nor care. Reading your blog reminds me that I can always begin again, this very moment……

    I feel like I just can’t get a hold of myself.

    I need to breathe, and rest, and start again.

    Thank you for being there. The work continues………………

    Leslie

    • getoutofbedonedayatatime says:

      Hi, Leslie.
      Thanks for sharing your discouragement. It takes courage to recognize the need to start again. Just keep in mind that you’re never completely starting over. Each time you fall and pick yourself up again, you have new knowledge to apply to the next situation. Yes, keep breathing (and keep in mind that the exhale is just as important at the inhale…my mom reminded me of that this week…we spend so much time telling ourselves to “Breathe!” that we forget to exhale).
      You’ve just inspired me for my next post. Thanks!
      –Megan

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