I think this what Dena talks about here applies no matter your age!
The Swimsuit Blues
by Dena Dyer
Here's a little end-of-summer reflection to (hopefully!) brighten your afternoon:
The other day, our workplace had a cookout/swim party. Because my kids love to swim and my spouse was helping at the grill, I was the designated swim-parent.
So I had to get into my suit for the first time in a year. It was not a pretty sight. Since I’m nearly forty, my suit is a “smart” suit, which means it’s made of forgiving fabric and is black with vertical—not horizontal—stripes, for obvious reasons.
Unfortunately, the help stops there. My arms and thighs, God bless ‘em, are fully exposed. And can you say “whiteout”? I needed to apologize to my fellow swimmers for burning their retinas with my paleness. Oh well, at least the pool changing area had no mirror.
You know, on four out of five days, I feel pretty good about myself. After all, I’ve lost over fifty pounds since having my second child (yes, I ate for two—or was it five?—during pregnancy). I could tone up, but who has time when they’re juggling home, family, and work? I’m lucky if I can squeeze in a walk twice a week.
But speaking of squeezing, as I stuffed my post-pubescent body into the Spandex sausage-casing, I rethought my fitness regime. By the time I got one leg through its hole, I was vowing to do one hundred leg lifts a day. After hoisting my other leg up and through, I decided to perform several hundred sit-ups before breakfast. And after sucking in, pulling the swimsuit over my belly, and sticking my arms through, I decided that was workout enough.
Swimsuit season always makes me reconsider my “absolutely not, never, no way” stance on plastic surgery. After all, who couldn’t use a little nip and tuck here and there?
And I’m not alone. The numbers of women who’ve gone under the knife has increased to such an extent that a prominent Miami plastic surgeon has written a children’s book explaining why Mommy is getting a nose job and breast implants (really!).
It’s called My Beautiful Mommy and is written for readers ages 4-7. The book describes a mom explaining how she’ll appear after surgery. The daughter asks, “Why are you going to look different?” and the mother replies, “Not just different, my dear—prettier!”
But maybe the author is onto something. Why not create a whole series of books to help kids understand their mommies:
• My Cellulite-Free Mommy, for kids whose moms have had liposuction. (“Not just firm, my dear—less pockmarked!”)
• My Stylish Mommy, for children whose moms regularly spend way too much on accessories. (“It’s from your college fund, darling—can you say, ‘Prada’?”)
• My Tabloid Mommy, for those with moms on the front page of Star magazine (“I’m just wearing this towel over my face until we get in the car, sweetums.”)
Actually, when I stop beating myself up long enough to consider the costs, not to mention the risks, of plastic surgery, I come to my senses. The only reason I’d consider it is because our culture places such a high value on outer appearances, and I tend to get swept up in all the midriff-baring mania.
The things I read and watch--whether they’re lies on the front of a tabloid magazine or the truth from God’s word---determine the state of my heart. So when I immerse myself in His truth, I remember that God adores me, whether or not my arms are toned. He delights in me more than I can fathom, even though I will never have “abs of steel.” He loves every single part of me, from the stretch marks on my thighs to the tiny dark hairs sprouting on my chin.
And you know what else? My hubby and two sons don’t care what my measurements are, or how perfect I look. They love me simply because I’m me. In fact, they constantly tell me how nice I look. The other day, I woke up with some serious bed-hair. As I sat at my computer in a torn t-shirt and faded sweat pants, my sweet, thoughtful and obviously vision-impaired four year-old said, “Mommy, you’re pretty in your day clothes, your pajamas, or even on a date.” :)
And that, my dear readers, is worth ten Prada bags, fourteen tummy tucks, and at least a thousand sit-ups.
copyright 2008, Dena Dyer
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