I have fat on my body.
Everyone does. I just happen to have more of it than others. It doesn’t make me less of a wife, mother, person or woman.
Being fat shouldn’t define who I am. But it has for far too long.
Each stare, glare or snicker defined me. I identified with the pessimism until it became all I latched on to. In an attempt for control the negativity, I let an eating disorder define me. Each time I stuck my fingers down my throat, I let defeat define who I was. With therapy and love, you can now define me as a survivor. Nevertheless, the fat remains on my body.
You can dress the phrasing up as you wish using words like “curvy,” “plus-sized,” and “chubby,” but at the end of the day I have rolls and dimples and folds. But I also have passion, spunk and determination. All of my flaws (if they must be considered such) and strengths do define me; they define me together as a woman.
I have struggled for years with letting just my body define me. I was the little girl at the public pool in a one-piece bathing suit because my friends told me I shouldn’t wear a two-piece because I “jiggled” too much. I was the teenager wearing an oversized t-shirt over my bathing suit because I didn’t want to be stared at like an exhibit on display. And up until last month, I was the woman too afraid to wear a bikini so that I wouldn’t offend anyone.
The truth is that I was offending only myself the entire time by thinking I wasn’t worthy enough of wearing what I wanted. I wasn’t speaking up for the little girl who ended up anorexic in second grade in an attempt to fit in. I wasn’t speaking up for the teenager who ended up turning to bulimia in an attempt for control. I wasn’t speaking up for the woman I’ve fought so strongly to become.
So I purchased a bikini online. Even walking into the store to pick it up I was anxious, as if there would be a crowd picketing with signs and pitchforks. When I tried it on in the dressing room, I had a moment that brought me to tears in all the best ways.
I realized that my body–the body that gave life to my child, the body that has volunteered countless hours to causes that fuel my soul, the body that carried me to the top of the tallest building in Wisconsin twice–is worthy of being in a bikini… rolls, dimples, folds and all.
And much to my amazement, no one stared or snickered at me when I put that bikini on for the first time in public. I felt invincible. I jumped and splashed and enjoyed being in the moment with my husband and my son, who couldn’t have cared less about my attire. I jiggled and wiggled in all the wrong (and right) places. They love me despite my fat and maybe I should take a lesson from them and do the same.
I will continue to work out and eat better but it won’t be for everyone else. It will be for me, and for my boys, so that I can be healthier and live longer so we can be a family for as long as possible. I will never lose all of my fat, and I’m not sure if I want to any more. It’s taken me a long time to realize that I am more than my rolls and dimples and folds, but they are a beautiful part of the beautiful woman I’ve become.
To have a bikini body, you must follow three steps.
- Have a body.
- Put it in a bikini.
- Don’t apologize.