Sleeping in. Check!
Grillin out. Check!
Tailgating like a boss. Check!
Cheering for my team. Check!
And last but not least…
Packing up the swimsuits Big CHECK!!!
I am OVER the hot weather, the pool and definitely, putting on a swimsuit. Give me sweaters, jeans and boots.
Yesterday at the football game I polished off a little of everything at our tailgate. I even finished Matthew’s hotdog after he took one bite and declared he was done. I did this all guilt free because there is ZERO chance that Steph is going to see a swimsuit until next May. Holla!!! As long as I can still zip my jeans on Monday, I am golden.
Honestly, how many women can say that they just love the way that they look in a swimsuit?? If you can…seriously, awesome for you! Over the last ten years, my body has literally been through hell and back. Years of fertility treatments, shots, surgeries and being restricted from any kind of exercise are not kind to your body. When I finally got pregnant with twins, I was in the hospital on bed rest for 11 weeks. That is 77 days of laying down.
My family and friends always visited me bearing edible gifts, so I would be spared one hospital meal. I ate every single bit with a smile. I was eating for three, right? And some days, Arby’s curly fries were the highlight of my very boring day. No exaggeration.
One day late in my pregnancy, the cleaning lady came in to mop my room. We had become friends during my stay, and I looked forward to her coming. I had been crying a little bit and was embarrassed. There was no such thing as privacy when you lived in a hospital. I quickly wiped my tears so that she wouldn’t feel uncomfortable. I painted on my happy face ready to shoot the breeze as she mopped away.
I leaned over to grab my water off the table as we were chatting away and my shirt came up a little bit. She said, “Shooey Girl! I didn’t realize you had all those stretch marks on your hips!” I was no longer concerned with making her uncomfortable, and I just let the tears roll.
Fast forward several years and another pregnancy later, I was sitting in my nice “slimming” tankini with my husband, Eric, at the beach. Since I had Matthew almost seven years ago, I have become very good about exercising regularly. Unfortunately, that does nothing to erase my stretch marks on my hips. My tankini hid some of my “wobbly bits, “ but there was no hiding all of the stretch marks. After a few minutes of people watching, I pointed out to Eric that every single lady that passed by was wearing a bikini. Some rocked it and some thought they did. And some just didn’t care; they were at the beach! The only lady that was wearing a swimsuit close to mine was 30 years my senior. I turned to Eric and said, “Next summer I will either be in a bikini or a maternity swim suit.” (We were in the middle of fertility treatments with our frozen embryos.)
After we had our last failed Frozen Embryo Transfer and we made it through the chaos of the holidays, I got serious about reclaiming my body. I exercised and I watched what I ate. (Then I decided I liked to eat too much, so I compromised by eating a few more salads and exercising a little more!) As we got closer to summer, I spent way too much money on two bikinis that were supposed to be just perfect for my body type. I sat out in my backyard wearing them to get a little color…because who doesn’t feel better with a little color??
When I took my kids to the pool for the first time last summer it required a pretty big pep talk to myself. I felt pretty good, but I was still self-conscious. It didn’t matter if I had lost weight and got in shape. I still had these stretch marks on my hips. They had faded but they may as well have been bright red in my mind. I put off taking off my cover up as long as I could. And dang it if a kid didn’t ask me to take them to the potty as soon as I disrobed! Now I had to walk across the whole pool deck in a bikini to take their little booties to pee.
My sweet little Matthew would tell me every now and again how beautiful he thought I was. Then he would laugh because my “belly button would kinda dance” when I walked. It was such a good reminder. My babies thought I was pretty and most importantly, Eric, thought I was perfect the way I was. That was all in the world that mattered.
I finally have gotten to a very comfortable place in my life and it took a very uncomfortable piece of clothing to help get me there. I am going to be healthy. I am going to eat healthy so that I have the energy I need to take care of my family and myself. I am not going to cut out all the fun stuff because life is too short to not have Arby’s curly fries. I am going to exercise, so I can be physically fit. I may not have a six-pack, but I can play kickball with my kids and not collapse 😉
I will never be in the same place that I was ten years ago. Thank God for that. Today I am stronger mentally, spiritually and physically. And I will never be a size 0 again. I will gladly leave that size to the teenagers of the world. I am a gladiator Mama with the stretch marks to prove it.
All that being said, am I pumped to not wear a swimsuit the next several months?
Hell to the YES.