Summer thighs and the livin is easy

Posted: July 4, 2016 in Uncategorized


Ahhh, summer. What comes to mind when you hear those words? Hot lazy beach days? Ice cold beers? Melting ice cream and happy, care free children? Me too!

And also, skin. Tons of skin. Shorts, tank tops, bathing suits. All the things I fear, because I am a woman who happens to have insecurities about my body. Isn’t that crazy? The idea that in spite of all of those wonderful things to look forward to about summertime, one of the foremost thoughts on my mind is how I’m going to look in my shorts?

I know this isn’t a new revelation. There have been many blogs and articles written, tears shed and conversations over wine about woman’s  love/hate relationship with summertime and body image.  Women have been hating and hiding their bodies for a long time. I feel like there is a major push/pull relationship between the Body Acceptance movement and the Health and Fitness platform. Like really, what is the message we should be getting? Should we be happy with our bodies the way they are, or should we be working our asses off to make it better, whatever that means?  I feel it everyday in my own life. I wake up in the morning and instantly start thinking about my weight. I set my alarm early with the hope that I’ll wake up ready and willing to fit in some kind of “work out” and then hit snooze because frankly I’d rather sleep. I finally get up and begin my day already with the seed of defeat planted in my mind because I’ve already lost the first battle.  As I shower, I glance at my belly and think about how it would be smaller if I could actually get out of bed to exercise in the morning.  I make a cup of coffee and head upstairs to get dressed. Will I find something to wear today that fits and looks half decent?  Some days the thoughts are more derogatory than others, but recently after a bit of a weight gain, the thoughts have been decidedly more negative.  Not much in my closet still fits like it used to.  The tight fit of my clothes remind me what a failure I’ve been at trying to eat healthier and get in shape.  So generally I wake up everyday and start preparing for the day by telling myself how crappy I look and what a failure I am because of it. Doesn’t that sound fun?

Soooooo, in the interest of trying to make a change in my life, I decided to try and look at this problem from another angle.  I do like to exercise and I know I feel better when I do it, but I also sometimes would rather sit on the couch and watch the Jays game and drink a beer. So there has to be some kind of happy medium in between the relentless tug of war between accepting my body and trying to make it better. I know I can’t lose my spare tire overnight. But you know what I can lose? My shitty attitude.

I made a decision. Last year, I dreaded hot summer days and prayed for rain. I suffered through an entire summer with only one ugly pair of shorts that fit because I refused to go and buy a bigger pair. I wasn’t going to give in! I was going to lose that weight and get back into my fashionable clothes and they will fit me like they should! If I buy bigger shorts, where’s the motivation to lose the weight? Well guess what? One year later, I didn’t buy bigger shorts AND I didn’t lose the weight. The only thing I accomplished with that genius game plan was a definite feeling of failure and a closet full of dusty, out of style clothes. I decided that this year would be different. I went shopping.

I bought clothes that fit. They fit my bigger body. I bought a bigger size of shorts. I expected to feel like a failure again. I expected defeat, self disgust. Sadness.

You know what I actually felt?

Comfortable. My shorts fit. I looked fine. My waistband didn’t dig into my skin. My shorts didn’t crawl up my arse. They fit, and they felt good.  The next time I went to get dressed in the morning I knew I would have something to wear that looked good, and kept my skin cool on a hot day. Whether I was taking a walk to the park with my kids on a hot day, or sitting on the couch with a beer cheering on the Jays, I was comfortable. In my shorts. In my skin. I went to the lake and walked around in short shorts and nobody stared at me and pointed and laughed. You know why? Because nobody cares! They care about their melting ice cream, their cold beers, and their happy, carefree children. They actually don’t care about my thighs!

I haven’t gotten rid of my old clothes. I’m human, I still have hope! I might keep hitting that snooze button, I might get my act together. Who knows! But in the meantime, I’m going to welcome the sunshine this summer. I will enjoy the ice cream, and the pool with my kids, and the warm summer breeze on my legs and bare arms. And the ice-cold beer. Bring on the beer!


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