I’ve always had low self-esteem & not a whole lot of self-confidence. As a pre-teen, my Grandmother told me I could be pretty if it wasn’t for my ‘pizza face’. When I walked through the halls in school, the ‘popular’ boys would literally bark at me because I was ‘dog ugly’. Even if you look at my wedding pictures from almost 15 years ago, I don’t hardly look like the same person. What you only see from looking at pictures is the physical transformation, not the mental or emotional one.
After we bought our convenience store, I gained a lot of weight! I was there roughly 13 hours a day surrounded by all the chips, pop & candy bars I could want. It took me too long to stop the cycle & attempt to take care of my body. I avoided swimsuits at all costs, until after we had our first daughter & I couldn’t. I started running a couple weeks before my 30th birthday because a friend from high school wanted to run a St. Patrick’s Day 7k in the cities. My treadmill in the basement was just there to collect dust, but it soon found its proper use & I nailed that 7k! After that, I was hooked & to this day, I run roughly 9 miles a week. I also learned to do HIIT workouts & muscle-building strength workouts. I’ve researched clean eating & try my best to implement that in my daily life. Now don’t get me wrong- I enjoy as much chocolate & wine as the next person. I truly enjoy a (small) bowl of ice cream on the couch with my kids while watching a movie & laughing. The key is the word ‘enjoy’. I’ve changed my relationship with food in order to change my self-confidence & outlook.
It still doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle in certain areas. I work hard (most of the time) to be healthy so I can annoy my husband for a really long time yet. The biggest area of struggle for me is intimacy & self-confidence because of my body-image.
Here’s a selfie I took while on vacation with my husband to the Dominican Republic in January 2019. I dreamed this picture would look a lot different. I wanted to see ab definition & thigh muscles. I wanted to see arm definition & a slimmer waist. This was day 2 in my second bikini- for my husband. This trip was about him. It was about us. It was about not being parents at the time. It was about not doing home projects or managing employees or any responsibilities basically. It was about each other & our love for each other & reconnecting in EVERY way… until Mother Nature arrived on day 2 😦
Here’s the main thing: My husband loves me & I love him. He has this habit, all the time, of fondling, squeezing, touching my body parts. He tells me I’m sexy & that he loves me & whispers in my ear things I will not divulge- but it makes me feel so special & it made wearing the bikini totally worth it! Also, instead of picking apart the picture for all the things wrong- I’m going to look for everything that’s right. I see legs that allow me to do squats & run & ride bike with my kids in the summer. I see legs that have allowed me to help my daughter learn basketball skills this year. I see arms that hold my husband & my children & babies that I love. I see arms that pray daily & lift weights & make pizza for a living & wood signs on the side. I see a belly that grew & protected two children & that enjoys wine & chocolate & pizza & ice cream & spinach & avocados. I see a belly that allows me to laugh with my children, husband, customers, employees & friends. I see a woman who does the best she can on a daily basis & isn’t defined by the number on the scale or the dimension of her waist.
I packed 4 bikinis & a one-piece for our trip & I wore every single one. By the time one of our last days came around, Mother Nature was in full swing & the last thing I felt like doing was putting on a bikini. Scott didn’t care that I was in shorts & a T-shirt- he fondles me no matter what I’m wearing! I just like saying the bikini’s are for him – because it makes it better when he gets the credit card bill. 🙂
I’ll wear them more often in the backyard this summer. I’ll help him wash my car wearing one & throw water balloons with my kids. I want my girls to understand that it’s perfectly fine to be themselves & enjoy every aspect of life regardless of their weight. My oldest daughter asked me the other day if she would have a soft belly like me one day. I told her it depended on the choices she makes in food & exercise & if she grows babies. Our bodies are all unique & awesome & no one is the same. She thought that was pretty cool & then moved on to the next thing. I hope I’m teaching my girls better body-image & self-confidence than I was taught. I hope they wear a bikini for themselves. In the mean time, I’ll wear one for my husband & strive to love myself more. I urge you to enjoy life & all it has to offer. Whether that involves wearing a bikini or not, know you are beautiful & loved & worth so much more than a number on a scale. Maybe your husband needs a bikini too?