I got asked if I was pregnant at the beach (i’m not) and I feel beautiful

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So, as I write this I am on holiday in a sleepy coastal town a few hours north of Perth. To set the scene it’s blue, warm and weather that is only appropriate of a bikini. Oh, and I am currently a lot heavier than I would like to be. As I have spoken about over here and here I have a big-ass (in more ways than one) hormonal imbalance which has stacked on extra weight that is particularly stubborn. For someone who since high school struggled with body image it has been… I guess the only word is brutal. But it has also been amazing.

Allow me to indulge my inner life coach and get all positive thinking on yo ass but this period of chubbiness has actually been magical. I am enlightened. I have changed. I have realised what is important. It has reminded me that I certainly don’t judge anyone by the way they look… so why should I judge myself? It has forced me to rise.

The difference in my attitude towards my weight (and the power it has over me) has been particularly highlighted on this holiday. So lets get back there. Back to the sleepy beach town.

Now despite my impressive flexing of my self-love and acceptance muscle I still find myself slightly uncomfortable in my short shorts and singlets. But I am persevering, reminding and being.

I love my curves. I love being voluptuous. I am beautiful.

My mantra is on repeat.

I was sitting on the beach, playing with my daughter, a little girl of about four years old approached me. She had a bright blonde bob, big blue eyes and a button nose. She was totes adorbs. She asked me if it was okay to play with me and my daughter. Of course it was. So she sweetly played and we laughed and I (for a brief moment) felt clucky. Don’t worry dear husband if you are reading… the cluckiness soon dissipated. She told me I was pretty and kissed and cooed with Lucy. Then she turned to me – sweet as pie – and said the following words…

“Do you have a baby in your belly?”

What a bitch.

Yes, I swore at a toddler. Internally at least. Because she was being malicious right? Wasn’t she?

I composed myself. I realised that she was just a sweet little girl who could not help but notice my feminine paunch. She wasn’t trying to hurt me… she was just trying to make conversation. Badly. Oh… and she was four for Christs sake!

After I told her that Father Christmas died in a fiery sled-crash I calmly let her know that ‘no, no I didn’t have a baby in my belly. It was just from food”. “Okay!” she replied and turned to build a sandcastle with Lucy as if nothing had happened. Kids are ruthless.

That night I went home and I sulked a bit. The next day came and I didn’t feel particularly happy about squishing myself into some too-small clothes again. I was mulling it over in bed and considering the remaining days of my holiday confined to a one-bedroom cabin, when my little lady sidled up to me.

My daughter, who is just starting to talk, grabbed my hand and tugged it towards the door saying “Lets go beach… Nemo! … Swim… See SHARKS” (she doesn’t quite have a handle on effective marketing yet).

All I wanted to do was don my pyjamas, not brush my hair and pretty much watch Dr Phil. I thought about kicking healthy eating to the curb – because obviously it is not doing anything for me. I considered throwing my hands in the air and stop taking the nasty tasting herbs I am using to help me heal. I didn’t want to go outside – to paradise by the way. I just wanted to sit there and ponder how bad I felt. You know, really marinade in it. And then I looked at Lucy’s face. Something clicked. I stood up and squeezed into my shorts. I patted my little faux-pregnant tummy and f@$*ing strutted out of the house.

That day on the beach (which I will note was very busy) I proudly shunned my sarong. I splashed in the water. I sat down and built sandcastles. I let every jiggly bit jiggle as I chased Lucy around and under the jetty. We laughed and loved and swam.

It felt so good. And with my daughter looking up at me with nothing but love in her eyes… I felt beautiful.

In the week following ‘the incident’ as it shall be known forever more I have seriously stuck the finger to my self esteem deficit. For example;

  • I accepted an invitation to speak at a wellness event. A first. And something I am nervous about. BAM Confidence. BAM right in the face.
  • I have got my Dita Von Teese on and started using the liquid eyeliner again. Although, lets be honest, it is slightly more Amy Winehouse than Dita Von Teese. But it still makes me feel fancy pants.
  • I have realised that while I am 10 or 15kgs over my standard weight… a lot of that seems to be residing on my chest. So I have been flaunting my jubblies like a Victoria Secret runway show. Because right now they are more full and magnificent that I imagine they will ever be again.

And do you know what the best bit about it all is. I’ve lost weight! In that one week that in times past would have seen me turn to crappy food and behavior instead I tackled it head on and didn’t stop living. Instead of sitting on my butt inside I was running, walking, swimming, doing a bit of beach side yoga and climbing up a massive playground net (yes, in just my bathers). Moving my body in a positive way and ditching the stress (because as I have spoken about over here stress doesn’t do anything to help you waistline).

You see, hiding yourself away to ‘protect’ yourself does the exact opposite. Instead of ‘other people’ judging you (guess what – they aren’t!) you open yourself to a much more pervasive attack… your own mind turns on you. Isolating yourself from the world and the activities you love seriously screws with your happy vibes. It leads to stress. It leads to boredom. It leads to self-loathing.

And none of those paths lead to a radiant, glowing demeanor, I can tell you now.

This new attitude of mine – or fattitude if you will – is as foreign to me as it is simple. I can’t believe I have spent the last 15 or so years punishing myself in the guise of motivation. A few years back I would have taken that little question and maybe written it on my fridge. I would have made a concerted decision to adopt a disordered way of eating. All decisions based from fear rather than (the only) other option, which is love. Operating out of a place of love just felt so much freakin’ better!

So I beg of you, beautiful woman… if you are intentionally wearing clothes that make you feel shit as “motivation” – stop. Don’t wait till you feel better to have a shopping spree. Go and buy yourself one or two (dare ya) outfits that make you feel beautiful. Feeling beautiful will provide far more motivation to change than trying to heckle yourself thin. Don’t use guilt or fear as motivation.

Do your hair. Go dancing. Reconnect with your mascara. Go to a salsa class or wear a crop top to yoga. Move your body. Do whatever it is that makes you feel sexy. Love your darn fabulous body no matter whether you want it to be thinner, fuller, more tanned or toned.

You are beautiful. You are enough. Now go get into a bikini and flaunt your damn body, you sexy minx.

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