Featured Photo by Carlos Alberto Gómez Iñiguez
How many of us planned to work our butts off (literally) to get the body we want before a big vacation?
I’m imagining millions of raised hands.
How many of us actually got the body we wanted before said vacation?
If your hand is still in the air, congratulations! I am so impressed.
If you lowered your hand…this post is for you.
I lowered my hand, too
I’m going to Kauai very soon, and I’ve been working out like crazy for it. Unfortunately, I still wouldn’t feel comfortable dancing around on the beach in a two piece.
Which makes sense, because I will never feel comfortable dancing around the beach in a two piece unless I’ve got a six pack and a gap between my thighs.
I know…face palm, right? Just typing that makes me feel ridiculous. Like many women, my standards for feeling comfortable in my body are way too high.
I’m sure many people think I have no right to complain about my body. Which, you’re right, it’s silly. But in my own self-critical space, that perspective means nothing to me. (If you’re an enneagram nerd like me, I’m a type 3 sx/sp for some perspective on how irrational I am about my body image).
While I’ve come a long way with my body image, I still have a ways to go. That’s okay, though. I know I’ll come to love my body no matter what eventually. I’m only getting closer as time goes on.
I get that the real success here isn’t going to be found in sculpted legs and 18% body fat, at least not the long-term success. It’s going to be found in learning how to truly love my body as it is right now, in this moment.
I’m working on it, but I’m just not there yet.
And unless I get “there” in the next few hours, there’s going to be a five-letter word starting with “K” and ending with “auai” bringing me face to face with my insecurities. So how do I manage this situation without feeling like a slave to my body image the entire vacation?
Because knowing me, my insecurities are going to start flaring at the PDX airport as soon as I see some skinny bitches *ahem* women, with “better” bodies than me.
And Lord knows it’s just going to get worse in the Lihue airport and even worse when I’m face to face with these same skinny bitches (yes, bitches) when they’re practically naked and frolicking on the beach.
What am I to do when I notice my stomach rolls bunching up on our inner tubing tour?
What am I to do when I wake up from a fun night of food and drinking to find my stomach has bloated three extra inches?
What am I to do if I’m stuck on our five-hour sailing tour face to face with a skinny bitch wearing a string bikini?
Pretend she doesn’t exist?
Push her overboard?
Is there a way out of this madness?
Yes, there is.
The way out of this madness
I’m going to walk you right into this one…
So even though we planned it out differently, we didn’t end up achieving the body we wanted before our vacation, right?
And so there will be times when we feel insecure about our body on this vacation?
But we know that learning to love our body no matter what will ultimately set us free from feeling uncomfortable about our bodies?
Well, what better time to really learn how to love our bodies than when we are face to face with our discomfort of it?
The way out of this madness is to turn straight toward your discomfort, whenever it arises, and welcome it to sit with you intimately.
It might be painful, but pay attention to what areas are most painful to you, because there lies your path to freedom from this discomfort.
What if, instead of pushing that poor woman overboard, we took a look inside ourselves, at all the discomfort roiling around, and asked what it can teach us about loving our bodies?
What if the discomfort we were working so hard to avoid on this vacation is actually the exact thing we need in order to learn how to set ourselves free from our body image?
Because the truth is, we are already bigger than our body image.
We are so big, that we can welcome in all the discomfort we feel and still have room for all the joy and relaxation this vacation will also undoubtedly bring. We can hold our insecurities and study them and work with them and be present with our discomfort and vulnerability. This is the most efficient way to grow.
Vacations are amazing opportunities to face our insecurity head on, and learn how to rise above it. Hint: “rising above” anything is usually counter-intuitive in that you “rise above” when you finally surrender and embrace.
I am bigger than my body image. Click To Tweet
I vow to do my very best to embrace any discomfort about my body during my vacation. I will hold it and sit with it until I learn something that helps me take the next step in setting myself free from impossible standards. I have the power to do this because I believe that I am bigger than my body image, and I can welcome in any discomfort it brings and still have plenty of space leftover.
Who’s with me?
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