There is an old picture of me with a skimpy two-piece bikini walking on a beach somewhere in Door County carrying a big log. Don’t ask me why I was carrying the log. I was probably 12. Long legs, barely there cleavage. I was confident and carefree. That was the last time I was that confident and carefree in a bathing suit.
As the years passed and my body changed, developed and expanded, I tried to stay in control by dieting and covering up with over-sized shirts. I would think back to the picture as an ideal, a goal and image of what was once was AND what could/should be again.
Not so! I would never be twelve again! What made me think that I could have a pre-adolescent body again??? Hello!?!
I’ve thought over the years as I’ve dealt with life’s ups and downs…depression, divorce, infertility…that at least I exercise. I’ve felt that the process of moving my body and engaging in the PROCESS of exercise has kept me sane and out of the loony bin. The emotional and physical energy that it takes to lose weight or start a diet would be overwhelming. When I walk my dog, jog on the treadmill, or go all warrior in yoga, I am investing in my body image–an picture of me that is in my mind.
How many years has it been since I’ve worn a girl’s large? Huhmmm…40 years!
I will always have big boobs and a fluffy tummy (not even the result of child baring). But my image of the perfect body remains as a picture of the 12-year-old me.
Then…big smile. no boobs. long tan legs.
Now…Peaceful grin. Mature curves. Toned legs.
Strong on the beach.