Hello. My name is Crystal Thompson and I’ve never had a perfect body. For the last 40 years I’ve declined all invites to pool parties, camping getaways and weekend trips. Everyone else had a perfect body so clearly they deserved to go while I clearly deserved to stay home, wearing a moo moo, eating Hagen Daaz, loathing my imperfection.
Two summers ago, while my husband Blair and I were still dating, he thought it would be a Super Fun Thing to take our kids to the beach. I almost had heart failure. I couldn’t figure out a good reason to decline the invite. So I went.
I parked my miserable self on a beach chair, wore a tank top + skirt and waited for the Super Fun Thing to end. I put on a “good show” for the children: I smiled big, I congratulated them on their sand castles, I watched them on their boogie boards, I bought them ice cream. I hoped no none would noticed that I didn’t wear a bathing suit to the beach.
I made what could have been a Super Fun Thing all about me, my shortcomings and my disapproval of myself. I never stopped to think about the fun I missed out on with the children, nor did I consider what kind of message I was sending to my then 12-year-old step daughter. It certainly wasn’t, “Be proud of who you are, however you’re showing up, on any given day.”
We’ve been married for almost two incredible years now. Last weekend Blair and I thought it would be a Super Fun Thing to take our kids to the beach. And it was. I wore a bikini. Not because I woke up with a perfect body. My stomach isn’t flat. I have cellulite. My butt jiggles when I walk. Last week I noticed the skin around my knees wrinkles when I’m in downward dog.
Here’s what changed: I showed up accepting my 41-year-old body. My stomach met the sun. I played frisbee with my son in my bikini. Guess what? The bay watch did not demand that I cover up. No 20-year-olds made fun of me. Our children did not throw up their lunches. My husband thinks I look great. Finally-the beach has become a Super Fun Thing.
As Byron Katie puts it, “When I argue with reality I lose – but only 100% of the time.” I got a grip. I stopped arguing with the reality of how God formed my physical body. I stopped suffering over crap I can’t change. I’ve been quite a bit heavier and I’ve been a bit lighter than I am today. And that’s reality. It’s also reality that we all deserve to wear a bikini if we want to, regardless of our body weight.
When you look back on your life do you wanna think, “I should have worn more moo moos. I should have covered myself up more. I should have avoided the fun of wearing a bathing suit and playing with my kids.” Didn’t think so. Me neither.
I don’t care what you weigh or how your body is choosing to show up today. Accept it. Accept this is how you’re showing up in the world today. If someone has a problem with that, let that be their business. THEY have the problem, not you, not your body. Their problem has 0% to do with you and 100% to do with their crappy thoughts about themselves projected onto you.
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