More specifically and more importantly, I wore a bathing suit and nothing else – no pants or shorts, no t-shirt, no cover up of any kind. Today, I wore a bathing suit in public, and ya know what? It was okay.
(I don’t have photographic evidence because, well, progress not perfection.)
It’s been about 6 or 7 years since I’ve worn a bathing suit without a shirt and capris over top . . . and that was about 80 pounds ago. I was still fat then, but I wasn’t this fat. I hated how I looked back then too, but not this much.
Today, my family went to Clementon Park. It was a bus trip with my daughter’s summer camp, so she did have some friends she could go on rides with (I only did the log flume and the Ferris wheel because I’m not sure I’d fit on the others). But around 3pm, my daughter wanted to go in the wave pool and none of her friends were around . . . and, honestly, I wanted to go in too. I love roller coasters and I love the water and I love doing fun things with my daughter . . . and while I may still be too fat for the roller coasters, I am not too fat for the wave pool. So, I decided to join my daughter.
I didn’t bring a second pair of pants, and I knew if I wore my capris in the pool that I’d end up back on the bus wet and uncomfortable. I made a decision . . . and for the first time in 6ish years, my thighs saw sunlight.
This is a big deal, and not just because of my insecurities about my weight (though that’s certainly a nice size chunk of it). Some of you reading this might already know that I’m a (mostly) recovering self-injurer. My thighs have always been my burning and cutting location of choice because I’ve always felt fairly confident they would never be seen. I have scars from lighter burns and razor cuts, some from my most recent relapse, which was only 3 months ago. I can write about self-injury, and I can talk about self-injury, but I have not put myself in a position to allow the world to see my scars (not this fresh, not this noticeable) for about 17 years.
I can’t say the decision to remove my capris came without anxiety. I spent more time than I care to discuss thinking about the possibility throughout the day. But in the end, enjoying the moment with my daughter was more important than my insecurities.
And guess what . . . I had a great time. We splashed and played and jumped waves for nearly an hour. My daughter didn’t notice my scars; she couldn’t have cared less about my fat. She just enjoyed playing with mommy, getting flipped and dunked by mommy, laughing and being silly with mommy.
Next year, I hope to ride those roller coasters with her, but in the meantime, I can still be an awesome mom who does fun things with her kid . . . . even when . . . . especially when that means overcoming my insecurities.