Sunday, July 01, 2007

Oh, The Horror!

It was like something out of a horror movie. My swimsuit was ruined and I had to do the unthinkable - swimsuit shopping! AHHHHHHH! Not only is that always a scary job, the price tag has gotten scary too! What happened to the $9.99 rack? Not even Wal-Mart sells them that cheap. So I set out to try some on and buy one before I had to swim at swimming lessons and head out on our trip. I tried on at least 30 different suits (nursing in the fitting room in between) and I didn't like a single one! Now, I want to say that it was because there are no cute swimsuits out there, but the truth of the matter is that I don't like the way my body looks in any swimsuit. I mean, come one, I just had my fifth baby is eight years! I'm in my thirties now, my VERY early thirties, but still I'm not 18 anymore and a lot has changed. I ended up buying a cheap suit at Wal-Mart, but at least I one-upped my friend who wore her maternity suit (she's not pregnant) and pinned it in in several key places.

Even my skinny friends- trust me I have some - that are probably a size 2 don't like how they look in their swimsuits. Why do we as women struggle with body image? I just want someone to come out in their swimsuit and say, "I think I look Great!" I don't think that happens very often.

I want to teach my kids, specifically my girls, to take care of their bodies. They are God's creation. But I want them to be free and not be obsessed with how they look especially as we move into the preteen and teenage years. It seems the way to do that is to help them focus on their inner qualities and learn that their hearts are the most important thing and that they are valuable to God and He loves them for who they are - not what they look like!

I suppose they also take cues from me. If I am overly sensitive about my outward appearance, they will be too. Some people are ALWAYS wanting to lose weight and unhappy with how they look. I think they look awesome. But if that is all I talk about and worry about, it could be easily picked up by my little girl audience.

Sometimes I am tempted to not swim and have fun with my family just to avoid the dreaded swimsuit. Or not dress nice (I need to remind myself that Pajama pants are for SLEEPING in) or take care of myself because I don't like how I look. Or not play baseball or soccer because I am out of shape. But that's not freedom.

I swam at a water park in March with my family and I was very pregnant. I proudly wore my thrift store maternity swimsuit and played in the water. Pregnancy is probably the one time that I don't have to worry about if I look fat in my suit because I know I do and I don't care! Tonight I had a blast swimming with the kids in my Wal-Mart suit. I think I went down the waterslide at least 50 times laughing and screaming. I don't want to miss out on that stuff just because of a little or a lot of baby fat and a cheap swimsuit!

Sometimes we catch the show "America's Got Talent". It's a cheesy form of American Idol. David Hasselhoff is one of the judges - need I say more? Anyway, they had a singing group on this week that described themselves as a Plus-Sized version of some girl band. I have no idea who the group is, but they were all glammed up and they were not thin. But they were happy and comfortable with the way they looked. And they could actually sing. They said they wanted to win the competition for real women everywhere. They were living life and they are going to Vegas!

So, even though I hope to shed some of those extra pounds in the near future, (rice cakes anyone?) it shouldn't stop me from living life now. I hope to transfer that into a spiritual lesson for the girls. Our confidence and image comes from Christ and He thinks we are so valuable that He died for us. It doesn't get much better than that! Get out there are SWIM!

1 Corithians 6:19-20
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body .