Last weekend when we went to Hershey Park, we spent the second half of the day at the water park.
It was really hot, and it was packed.
And I heard someone say, “There are women here who have no business wearing a bikini.”
I wasn’t wearing a bikini.
I wasn’t even wearing a bathing suit at all. Being there with Numbers 3 through 7 by myself, I was so stressed out I couldn’t even get into the changing room to change.
But had I been wearing a bikini, I would have fallen into the category of women who have no business wearing a bikini.
My midsection is nowhere near toned right now. Well, it kind of is.
But it’s hidden under a protective layer of insulation.
My thighs rub together.
Even at my lightest, when I was under 120 pounds, I never had the elusive thigh gap.
Not that I ever wanted it.
I’d have to be skeletal in order to have a thigh gap.
Thigh rub will always be a thing for me.
But right now it’s cranked up a couple notches.
I don’t really mind, though, because I love my legs.
Even with a little extra meat on them, they are still pretty kick ass.
There are other areas of my body I really like.
My skin is great.
I like my hands.
I like my back and my shoulders.
I’m pretty happy about my ass.
I focus on those things.
Not on my lack of a visible six pack.
But I am not in the shape I want to be in right now.
It’s not like I’m out of shape. Not in the least.
But I’m not beating myself up or denying myself or covering myself up because of it.
Down here on vacation I’ve been able to get back into my exercise routine.
I feel stronger already.
And I have been proudly wearing my bikini.
There are probably people who are wondering if I’m pregnant again.
Yesterday as we were walking to the beach I saw a woman who was probably about ten years older than me.
She had a kick ass tan, and she was wearing a bright pink bikini.
Every time she took a step, her stomach jiggled a little bit.
She wasn’t overweight.
But she wasn’t shredded.
She didn’t have a six-pack.
But she looked awesome. Just walking down the street in a bikini.
And that made her even more attractive.
Once we got to the beach, I saw another woman there who was very large.
She must have been at least 300 pounds.
And she was wearing a bikini.
And she looked really good in it!
And her husband had his arms around her and they were both having a blast in the water.
It was quite obvious that he found his wife, at her current size and shape, to be really attractive.
But it was her confidence that really made her attractive to me.
Now I don’t know what the status of her health is.
That is a whole different thing.
It’s very important. And maybe health-wise that woman wasn’t super healthy.
But what I thought of when I saw this woman who was smiling and having fun with her husband and being affectionate and having affection returned to her was that if her husband were at Hershey Park last weekend, he would probably have a whole different set of criteria for women who have no business being in a bikini.
As far as I’m concerned, if you are a woman with a body, then you have business being in a bikini.
That’s the only criteria.
(Although, if you are dude who wants to wear a bikini, go for it).
I think one of the reasons society feels there are only certain people who are worthy of wearing a bikini is because as parents, and especially as moms, we say things like I could never wear a bikini.
You are so brave for wearing a bikini.
I hate wearing a bathing suit.
Our children hear us saying these things.
And we teach them that only specific people have the luxury of wearing a bikini.
I’m not teaching that to my kids.
Every day so far on vacation I have gotten up and exercised.
And then I have put on a bikini and thigh rubbed my way to the beach.
My girls will never be taught that only certain people should feel confident in a bikini.
Not from me, anyway.
That’s where it has to start.
From us. Letting our children see that health and vanity are not connected.
I know 100% for sure that the 118 pound me from twelve years ago was nowhere near as healthy as the 150-160 pound 46-year-old me.
Not even close.
The 118 pound me smoked 1-2 packs of cigarettes a day, hardly ever ate, and couldn’t run a half a mile if my life depended on it.
Now, at somewhere between 150 and 160 pounds, I can run marathons and do a butt load of push ups. My blood pressure is perfect, and my resting heart rate is in the 40’s.
But I definitely don’t have a six pack.
And I’m totally okay with that.
Now I’m off to the beach.
If you are looking for me, I’m the blond chick in the gray bikini letting it all hang out, boogie boarding, jiggling in some places, teaching my girls (and boys) what’s really important, and feeling free and awesome.
Because I definitely have business wearing a bikini.
We all do.