This weekend, people saw both more and less of me for the first time.
More of me as I wore a bikini—In Public!—for the first time. Ever, I think. Not counting a few romps in our backyard sprinkler with the kids this summer. I don’t remember owning one when I was a kid, and I was so self-conscious during jr high and high school that I never wanted one. I could probably write a whole treatise on my body image issues and how they came about. Maybe another day.
As for the less of me, that is the reason I felt brave enough to show my navel in public. I’ve lost a little weight. We’re not talking model-slim or ribs sticking out or anything like that. In fact, so far, its under 10 pounds of weight loss (depending on where you count my starting point and whether I hop on the scale in the early morning or after dinner….). After each baby, I got my weight back to my starting point, which is the same as I’ve weighed since about the end of college. I think today I’ve gone back to around sophomore year of college. Not quite Freshman year, and certainly not what my first drivers license listed (106! I think that was a stretch even at 16…). The weight loss is slow-going. 8-9 pounds over 3 months. I’m not starving myself, and really only counting calories during the week, when packing both breakfast and lunch to eat at work makes the task pretty mindless. And easy to stick to (the alternatives being an always-half-empty vending machine, nasty cafeteria, or wasting 20 minutes in the car driving to buy junk food).
I also admit that my goal is driven by our Wii Fit, which reminds me to set a goal to reach my ideal BMI every time I turn it on. I’m at a BMI of about 23 (ideal is supposed to be 22). I ought to hit 22 in about 4 pounds. That’s my goal: to shut up the Wii Fit. And possibly to buy clothes in single-digit sizes. Possibly. I have been somewhat surprised that I’m not really down a clothing size yet. Its more that my skinny pants fit comfortably, and some form-fitting t-shirts fit my form better. The only place that I ought to be down a size is in bras—and that is depressing. Because, darnit, its not even the bandsize that’s shrinking (I do not have a delicately proportioned ribcage—or delicate bone structure of any type)—it’s the cup size that has dropped. Bah.
The occasion for my belly-baring was that on Friday, our family went to Aquaport, a nice water park in Maryland Heights. That is also a new thing, btw—we’ve lived fairly close by for almost 9 years, now, and never gone. The kids had a great time. They have wonderful kiddie pool areas including a water slide that Charlotte loved, and Trystan feared to try. He was big enough, but wanted to go with a parent, and we were too big. We all enjoyed the lazy river. Charlotte can almost ride by herself (*she* certainly thought she could, *I* wanted her to be within reach because she can’t quite touch the bottom, even if she can swim well enough). Trystan rides very well on the lap of an adult. The tricky part there is that I have to get positioned on the tube float and have someone hand him in.
Looking around that day, I realized that my still-not-even-close-to-perfect body is well within acceptable bikini standards, at least among the mortal post-baby population. I saw quite a few bronzed bellies that I would never have bared, but that didn’t look that bad. I definitely have looser standards for other people than for myself. I was self-conscious of my stretch marks and droopiness below the navel, but really, it wasn’t so bad. Just pale. But I’m pale all over, and self-tanners either turn me funny colors or don’t last very long.