As I’m away on a hen do this weekend in a sunnier climate and donning a bikini (swimsuit) – I have been thinking a lot about my body and how I feel about it- after two babies and reaching 30.
Carrying and birthing my boys is quite simply the best thing I ever did. But I hated every second of being pregnant. I quite like clothes and I quite like myself and I just wasn’t myself for those long months. I couldn’t wait to get un-pregnant. Not because I wanted my pre-baby bod back because it was never that good, but I wanted to feel like me again.
In my late teens and early 20s I thought my body was all kinds of hideous. I wished I could change this and that and be less fatty here and a bit more curvy there. I think this is normal for most girls. I’ve always been confident but never truly happy. Now, I don’t know whether it’s being 30 (cough) or being a mother to two kids, but now I couldn’t give a fuck. Well… I do. But less. I don’t totally walk around in a skimpy bikini thinking “I just don’t care.” My bikini is high waisted to cover that funny flap of skin on my lower tummy that’s yet to go back after it was stretched to the max (will it ever?). I have a lovely selection of beach cover ups. And I’ve done three layers of fake tan (of course) in a bid to cover up the wobbly bits. BUT I am so much more confident in this swimsuit than I have ever been. And it’s nice. Really nice. I look in the mirror and think I look good. Not bad. Go girl. If only I could have had this confidence in my 20s.
I think I know why I feel this way. I feel differently about my body. I think it’s bloody amazing. What it did, what it’s done, what I MADE. I was lucky enough to have two very straight forward pregnancies and two very straight forward births and this body that I’ve been in for 30 years has done me so proud. It stretched, squeezed and adapted with such ease that I truly felt this is what I was made to do. It was a glorious realisation that I am not here to look good in a bikini. This is what life is about.
Yes, it’s got stretch marks, yes it has a jelly belly, yes my legs are stumpy, yes I have no boobs but you know what? I do not care. I can cover all that up anyway. Makeup, fake tan and a clever bikini and I’m well away. In my 20s I was a size 6/8 (I’ve always been naturally petite) but now I’m a 12, with an arse and no boobs. And I’m happier now than I was when my labels said XS. In the week before this holiday I had a curry, Greggs pasty and donut and all the duty free chocolate my husband bought home from the stag do the week before. I think it’s the rebel in me that will just not conform and diet to be ‘bikini ready’. Sod the bikini bod. I’m ok as long as I’m laying down and breathing in. If I turn on my side it’s a different story- reminiscent of Salvador Dali’s clocks. All slipping south. And like Dali said- “you will never reach perfection” so this is what I’ve got and I’m determined to be happy with it.
This feeling I wish I could spread to everyone. But only years and children bought it to me. Anyway must dash, we have two bottles of Moët waiting for us.
*I cannot confirm nor deny that I was pissed during the writing of this blog post*