Tag Archives: self image

Bikini Body?

Ordering a bathing suit online is a ridiculous idea.  But when the company that makes the running shorts that make me feel hot, not just athletic, had a sale – I took the bait.

It is the time of the year that I have the Great Bikini Debate.  Last summer I tried to embrace the stretch marks. I gave it a solid effort.  I even tried to tan those mofos.  If I am 100% honest – the red bikini took a backseat to the trusty one piece the great majority of the time. And now here I am again, another year older, another year closer to the Year I Should Really Stop Wearing A Two Piece.  (I am not sure when that is, exactly, but I am certain it exists.)

Standing in my bathroom in the new two piece I could acknowledge that this summer’s bikini body is slightly more toned than last year’s.  I have run my ass off this year and it is starting to show.  Deep breath in.  Deep breath out.  Bend over.  Sit down.  Eh.  It is what it is but it is unlikely that it is gonna get better than it is right now, right? The fit is ok.  But the color?

Brown. The brown bikini was the only sale suit in my size.  I just don’t know about brown.

I called to Emily.  “Come here.  What do you think?”

She just stood there with her hand on her tiny little hip.   “Hmmm.  That’s a tricky question. I’m trying to decide what you want me to say.” Damn kid.

“The truth,” I answer.

“Well, you have really big boobs and that top is really big like a lot of fabric but weirdly it makes your boobs look not as noticeable. And I think it’s ok that your stomach is like, well, you know like that because you had two babies and you’re a great mom and you look pretty.” She paused to take a breath.  “Do you like it?”

I love her. I do.  I should have been more clear, I suppose.  “Do you like this color brown?” Sigh.

Back tattoo teapot

If the bikini makes its presence known this summer than the excitement will be two-fold.  My stomach and the stretch marks there really get all the press.  But it is high time that the wreckage on my hips and lower back get a little face time.  The 2014 new ink highlights them nicely.  Last summer’s motto seemed to be “if you can’t tone it, tan it.” This summer it is looking like I am embracing the “if you can’t tone it, tattoo it” philosophy.  Someday perhaps I will get to that level of peace where I don’t even have this conversation with myself. Maybe next spring when I am trying on bathing suits for my 39th summer I will only ask myself the question that my sweet Emily June asked me –  “Do I like it?” Maybe.  Someday.

Marital Relations in Three Easy Steps

Jeans come in a lot of varieties.  Unfortunately for me the only pairs of mine that fit in a manner that will allow for me to both stand up and sit down were first trimester maternity jeans.  Their elastic waist band and relative stretchiness are fantastic for the gal that is not interested in wearing them ten days in a row.  By mid afternoon I can’t keep them up and nothing says “these pants don’t really fit me” like constantly tugging at them.  I can forget all about the second day.  And by day three? They are like clown pants by then.

So, I was left with two options.  Squeeze in to my pre-pregnancy “fat jeans” (the jeans I wear right before I get my period, to events that require heavy eating or when I am planning on napping in my clothes) or buy a new pair in a larger size than I care to admit.

I chose option two.  I’d rather wear large, unattractive jeans than feel like a sausage.    The dreaded Mom jean, capable of making your perfectly round ass look completely flat or  the “boyfriend jean” a fancy way to say completely unflattering on everyone that is not 85 pounds or has any hips whatsofuckingever were on sale the day that I decided I’d take the plunge.  I was not, I repeat, not paying full price for jeans I only planned on wearing for a short time.

The Mom Jeans won.  I thought I’d be fine.  So what if they made my ass look like the broad side of a truck?  Stacy London has informed me that  Lee Riders will be instantly slimming, and that it will be “easy to look and feel my best.”  And they’re cheap.  Less than twenty bucks cheap.

Four days.  My Lee Riders and their slimming tummy control.  We made it for four days before I decided that when you have no abs whatsoever and you wear a nursing bra or  a shelf bra tank top that smashes your girls in to pancakes, albeit gigantic pancakes that give you armpit boob and cleavage all at once it is not wise to wear jeans that come up to said armpits and completely disguise your ass.  My ass is is the only place that twenty extra pounds comes in handy.  What was I thinking?  I needed ass-friendly cheap jeans.  STAT.

Old Navy coupon – you and me.  It was on.  It took six pairs of jeans.  One friend.  One dressing room.  Zero cocktails or tears.  And The Diva Skinny Jeans and I have made friends.  I intend to wear them every day for at least the next month.  And at thirty bucks that is still only a dollar a day.

And when you have two more weeks before you get, ahem, back in the saddle (post partum six week check up and a brand new IUD on February 28th, hollaaa!   Leap year will be memorable this year!) it is important to start early.  Prepping yourself mentally.  For the Big Event known as “resuming marital relations.”

Here’s my guide.  Three easy steps.

Step 1.  Get a pair of jeans that make you feel like a girl.  A regular, good looking, “might some day retire the ginormous full coverage cotton panties in favor of the fancy grown up lady knickers” girl.

Step 2.  Start trying to be less critical.  See yourself as others see you.  Not as your slightly Body Dysmorphic Disorder-ish self views you.  Step 2 is easy if you have a little loverboy living across the street.  This weekend Em’s buddy, Kellan, breezed through the living room and stopped dead in his tracks.  “HOW DID YOU GET SO SKINNY SO FAST??”  and he hugged me.  He said I was cute.  He’s six.  But I don’t care. I told MQD if he ever comes home to a Dear John letter explaining that I need to feel beautiful, go find Kellan.  I’ll be with him.

*source unknown

Step 3.  Make peace with the “tiger stripes.”   Last week MQD sent me this image.  He had seen it on a clever how to be a good dad blog.  I’ve since seen it in several places around the internetz.  It would be a hell of a lot easier to make friends with my “tiger stripes” if I had abs of ummm… not even steel.  What is a slightly less strong metal?  Abs of brass?  Shit, I’d settle for abs of cottage cheese if I could just have a visible waist.  I digress.

Step 3 ain’t easy.  But then neither is pimpin’.  And neither is just getting the fuck over yourself I have discovered.  But it seems the most direct path towards acceptance for me is to spill it. The truth.  My big deep, dark secrets spilled out in front of everyone.  A couple of weeks ago I posted a picture of my post-partum self.  I received a lot of kind comments and emails.  But it still sucked.
And it still sucks today.  But I am making progress.  Because if I have to be totally honest with myself I am more inclined to want to photoshop out the toothpaste on my bathroom mirror than the armpit boob or the stretch marks.  Now I can’t guarantee that is forward progress.  But it has to count for something.