Have you ever dreaded summer? The thought of having to show skin because wearing jeans and a sweater just ain’t ideal in 100 degree weather. Let me be the first to say that I “use” to hate summer. I live in the valley so the temperature would always be scorching. I would love to stay isolated in an air conditioned home or store, but I don’t like being cold for too long even though I was born in January! Slowly but surely I had to force myself to take off layers like an onion, I would peel and cry. What happened to my perfect little body, I would examine in front of the floor mirror. Where did that bruise come from, my thighs didn’t have dimples in them yesterday, why is there still a family of stretch marks living on my stomach, and where are the abs the magazines told me I would have in seven days. There was no Victoria Secret Model starring back at me, nope just Victoria Taylor. I can laugh till the tears flow now, but years ago I would seriously wonder. After having three kids, nursing two of them for a year, gaining weight drastically and losing it drastically because I have a high metabolism, I stop criticizing myself and started loving the woman looking back at me in the mirror. GOSH YOU’RE GORGEOUS, I would recited each time I looked in the mirror. I think my husband said it so much that I started to believe it. For 14 years, this man loved all of me, no matter what form my body was taking, he was there oohing and aahing, I was his model, his muse, his good thing, the mother of his kids and the wife of his youth. If he could look at me in such a way then why was I tripping.
Each year I would build up the courage to bare it all, not my birthday suit, but my mid section the part that I felt ashamed of. I remember reading something about stretch marks are like tiger stripes and how beautiful they are, but deep down inside I was thinking HOW COULD THEY BE? I wasn’t lazy during my three pregnancies, I rubbed every oil and cream on my tummy as I could, ate decent and drank lots of water, but each and every time my babies found a way to leave their print. I became more in love with my stretch marks when I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to hid behind a dang one-piece, don’t get me wrong I found a fierce one-piece at Forever 21, but why couldn’t I wear the two-piece, was it against the law, was it a crime to reveal the skin I was in, was it forbidden because I was a Christian, LOL. Girl chill, it was always available to me, I’m the one that passed by it like it was poison. It was finally time to say goodbye to the one-piece and all the one-pieces I own. For my 14th wedding anniversary, we took what I like to call a “LOVE CRUISE,” to Mexico. I went bikini shopping with my daughter. When I got home to try it on I wanted to scream because everything was hanging out and hanging over, but I kept my composure and decided to work out each day for the next 7 days too much exercise and my husband said I would lose my booty, LOL so I paced myself. I only had one week people to tighten and firm up so it wouldn’t look like I borrowed my 12 year old daughters swimsuit.
Every other day I would try it on, and everyday it was looking like a win for me. The day before the cruise I threw it in the bag and said this is it, no turning back. I have to admit I grabbed a lacy shawl to cover up, so I wouldn’t offend the elderly, hahaha, nope it was my subconscious mind playing tricks on me. Fast forward and here’s how I looked on my cruise showing what I tried to hid and debating on whether to leave the shawl in the room or not. My abs sorta came through, but I felt good. A week of exercising, drinking water, and less starches was just what the doctor ordered. Oh and I got a rubber beauty collateral brush that I used all over my body after every shower, it gets your skin smooth. None of my pictures are photoshopped on IG or ever, those are my real legs, boobs and butt, after putting in work. LOL!
The world, social media, magazines, the internet, pinterest has a way of making you feel that you’re not it. But I want to let you know that you ARE! You’re the IT GIRL, without the “S.H.,” part girl LOL! Let me tell you why you’re the “IT.” You were created by a loving, wise, pure, perfect, gentle, amazing GOD, who had you in mind before the foundations of the world, before your mom and dad boo’d up. Before you were formed in your moms belly. He knew you would have that skin, eye, hair color, that shape whether apple, pear, banana, or hourglass. On any given day we can be each of these shapes and still we would be beautiful because we’re designed in God’s image. So with that being said I want you to repeat after me, by all means look in the mirror as you recite this out loud…
I am unique
I am fierce
I am who God says I am
I am lovely, beautiful, amazing
I am loving every part of my body because it makes me who I am
I am worth loving, worth getting to know, worth dying for (because Christ loved you that much to die for you)
I am going to take care of the body God gave me, not to impress anyone, but to be my best self (self care is not selfish)
I am (insert your name) a wonderful work of art, God’s masterpiece
I am going to enjoy being who I am and bringing glory to God
I wish you nothing but love this summer and every summer thereafter. The only person you can compete and compare with is the woman or man in the mirror, so don’t let guilt, shame, fear, lies, self hate set, in you are GORGEOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Please be sure to leave your comments. I can’t wait to hear how you’ve overcome body image, body shaming, or just your own thoughts. Let’s be free.