This is it. The kids have been out for roughly less than a week and the day is upon us. The weather has turned upwards, the sun will shine today, and yes, the pool WILL be open. I have no excuse not to go and 4 kids that are begging to do so. So this is it. The day I drag out the swimsuit from the depths of my drawer, shake out the dust, and pull it kicking and screaming over my body.
I think it goes without saying that most women in the continental United States would have the same feelings I do today. (I say the US because I think there are probably countries out there, especially those without constant inundations from the media, where the women have healthier and less distorted body images than we do here. I don't have data to back it up, but I wouldn't be surprised to find out that the hunch is indeed a fact.) It's not that I, and women like me, can't appreciate ourselves. In my case, the legs that are able to run many times a week, the arms that at one point were able to hold two babies at a time (and can still haul a 40 pound almost 5 year old) or the hips that have managed to make my form look more womanly than when I was 12. But as most of you are aware, it isn't the good things that we concentrate on, it's the bad things. The varicose veins on my lower legs, the dimples in my thighs that are beginning to peek out, the extra skin that gathers around my middle.
The funny thing is, I bet most of you who know me don't see those issues, at least on me. You might be able to identify them on yourself, or you might find something else to pick on somewhere on your body, and its anyone's guess whether or not they're really there. But I know that when I look at other people, I don't see all the imperfections they'd likely put on a list of things wrong with the body. I see their sparkling wit, beautiful eyes, infectious laughter or effervescent energy. I remind myself of this every day, that I am my own worst critic. You still ain't going to find me in a bikini, though.