Weighty Matters

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Body Comfort and Comparisons

on August 4, 2013

We were blessed with another weekend of excellent weather.  I invited four friends to go out on the boat.  We headed out to a reef sanctuary area, hoping to snorkel, but a lot of other people had the same idea.  By the time we arrived, the only mooring buoys open were on the outer border in 50 plus feet of water.  That would have been fine if we were scuba diving and could swim down closer to the bottom.  For snorkeling at the surface, it was too deep to see anything.

No worries, however,  The water was warm.  A light breeze blew and there were enough clouds to keep the sun from baking us.  We snagged a buoy, and basically had a floating party.  Lots of conversation on the boat and in the water.  Periodically, we’d climb up for a snack or another bottle of water.  It was just relaxing and grand.

After a couple of hours, we packed up and then went to the sandbar to meet up with more friends.  This is a popular weekend activity, as you can imagine.  Dozens of boats anchored up along the shoreline.  With the tide out, the expanse of shallow water and beach spread out wide and long.  More conversation, snacking, and cool drinks took place, and we played with my friends three dogs too.

I live in a place where bathing suits, tank tops and shorts are the most common attire.  It was always secretly uncomfortable for me with a body so much bigger than most people  I was okay wearing shorts, but I would absolutely not wear a tank top with my huge upper arms.  My one piece bathing suits always had either a skirt to cover most of my upper thighs, or I had girly swim pants that I could pull up.  In public I’d wear a t-shirt or  sunguard shirt with uva and uvb protection.  Not a bad idea to protect my skin, but it also helped me be a little less self-conscious.

So, now I’m thinner but I’m still self-conscious.  Most of the 50 pounds I still need to lose are positioned from my abdomen to my knees.  My arms are definitely thinner and more toned, but there are still flabby pouches and saggy skin hanging down.

Here’s the thing.  Today, with the exception of one friend who eats nothing unhealthy and is a yoga instructor, none of the women I was around today has a perfect body.  Even the friend who is a Zumba instructor with an awesome, toned, cut physique has some ripples and dimples.  A couple of the other women are closer to my weight than that of the yoga instructor, but they all seemed so much more comfortable.  One was in a bathing suit without a skirt and walked and swam around without a shirt covering her arms.  Another even had on a two piece suit!

I was pretty much wowed by their comfort level.  I watched the small groups of people standing in the shallow water chatting, just observing for a little while.  I realized that nobody cared because well, nobody cared whether anyone’s arms were too fat, or the guy in the chair has a beer belly, or if someone had some cellulite on her upper thigh.

I thought and thought about it for a big longer and decided to see how it would feel to reveal a little more of myself.  I took off my rash shirt and rejoined the group.  I’m sure it’s no surprise that nobody recoiled in horror.  I was surprised to find that, after a minute, I no longer cared either.  Am I completely over being self-conscious?  No.  Am I ready to stock up on tank tops for the hot August days?  No.

Did I learn that in the right situation, I don’t have to cover myself up quite as much?  Yes.  I have more body comfort to do so.

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3 responses to “Body Comfort and Comparisons

  1. Hope says:

    Go you! Remember, we always judge ourselves far more harshly than anybody else ever could.

  2. Skye says:

    Body comfort is important and I think it’s a huge step for you, so woo hoo! Self-consciousness is so hard to break; I still struggle with it even after some dedicated therapy toward it. And you are making strides all on your own. So I’ll just wave my pom-poms and yell “Go Mary!!” 🙂

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