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Own It. Forgive Yourself. | Wearing a bikini in front of other moms….

I had some deep thinking occur the other night at 2am.  I was thinking about the swim class I’ve signed up FITbaby and it was time for the first class. My former self [pre-FITbaby] would have obsessed over wearing a bathing suit in front of my friends…obsessed! I would have thought about it day and night for weeks or months. I would have thought about eating no carbs or less carbs or working out more. I would have thought about making sure my tummy was flat, etc.

Back to the deep thinking….I was wondering… “what has changed?” Why don’t I care anymore? What’s the difference? I discovered…a few things about myself that I thought might help others…..

Own It. & Forgive Yourself. 

Making Fitness a Priority. I own that I am not working out as much as I should right now…barely at all most weeks. I know that’s bad. I know I’m not making fitness a priority. I know it. I own it.  There is no one to blame but myself. Finding time for fitness is tough but important. I know that I will do better. I know that I am not making excuses. I am simply not making it the priority it should be. I have not fallen off the wagon completely…I am active. I am busy. I am moving.

Making Nutrition a Priority. I am making time for nutrition.  We eat healthy [and we feed FITbaby healthy foods – read about baby led weaning part 1, baby led weaning part 2 & baby led weaning part 3]  I am eating 80-90% well. But, I’m not doing organized exercise [Crossfit] and building back the muscle I lost the last two years.

Forgive Yourself. So, I owned it. I am not making fitness the priority. Therefore I’m not rock solid. But, I am NOT beating myself up for that. I am NOT feeling sorry for myself. I am not making excuses.  The former me would have hated myself when I look in the mirror. Instead when I have time to look in the mirror I see the positives and the things I could work on but I love myself. I love that what I see in the mirror is what FITbaby loves about me. I am proud to be her mother and I think she’d be proud of me.

Forgive yourself for not being perfect. Forgive yourself for not looking perfect.  I own that the reason I do not look the way I want to look right now is b/c I own that I am not making fitness a priority. This does not make me a bad person. I do not feel bad about myself. I do not feel sorry for myself. I am not ashamed of myself [like the former me would have.] I am not beating myself up for being lazy and fat. I am not beating up my body for not reacting the way it should.

Why are you overweight? Why aren’t you in the best shape? Why is that? Is it because…

  • you haven’t made YOU a priority?
  • you haven’t made fitness a priority?
  • you haven’t made nutrition a priority?
  • you are an emotional eater?
  • etc. etc.

There are tons of reasons why…what are those reasons? Figure it out. & Own it. The first step to change is knowing what needs changing. For you to identify how to change you must know what the problem is.  Own it. And, then, forgive yourself.  Are you an emotional eater? That’s not your fault, but you have to change it. Do you need to seek help? Food is an addiction like other addictions. Seek help! Are you working too much and working out too little? [me.] That’s your fault [haha] but it doesn’t make you a bad person or less of a person. It is what it is. Now accept it. And change it. Remember, baby steps are all it takes to get started and often it’s baby steps that get you started on your way to BIG changes!

I am so much freaking more than what I look like.

[Check out the Styleberry Gift Guide 2011 for info on the pic above and the photo!] And the photo above was taken by the talented styleberry herself!

The next profound thing I remembered was how much less I care about what I look like. Don’t get me wrong. I still care. I still want to look beautiful for myself and sexy for my husband and stylish for my daughter. But I am so much freaking more than what I look like. I enjoy my life. I enjoy my family. I enjoy my jobs. I enjoy my time. I enjoy it all…even though I don’t have the perfect arms. I enjoy it all without thinking about how I look every minute of every day.  I do not look in every mirror I pass by, because my brain is too full of more important things like…how to be a better mother, how to build my business for my children’s future[s], what needs to be done next, who needs my help and support, etc.  I do not worry about wearing a bathing suit with my friends. If they are truly my friends they will not care if I have a six pack.  My friends will love me for what I DO, who I AM, what I THINK, and how I INSPIRE them and not for how tight my butt is.  

My point with this blog has always been to help women become free from obsessing over their bodies, feel good about themselves and separate their self image from their self worth. I wish I had the magic answer. I don’t. I know it is different for everyone, but I wish everyone freedom from hating our bodies…and freedom from hating ourselves for our bodies.  I hope that I helped someone re-frame their thinking today…..please share this post and comment if I did that or if I failed miserably and made you feel worse, please tell me that too!!!

Kelly B. - So true, Tori!! Great post! I admit I’m not to the point you’re at about loving myself…..yet. My thinking has gotten better, but I’ve still got a long ways to go in accepting myself the way God made me. I swing from being proud of myself for losing 27 lbs to berating myself for taking 2.5 years to do it and that I have 20 lbs left to go. Sometimes I’m like “enough already…..negative voices go away!” Lol! I consistently tell my daughters how beautiful and special they are….I have to remember to tell myself the same things….and to cut myself some slack for not being perfect. We are definitely our own worst critics. The more reminders the better about being kinder to ourselves….so thank you for continuing to remind us women that it’s ok to just love ourselves! 🙂

Margie - this is exactly what I needed to read as we embark on a three week trip to a wedding and the beach. My post-baby body is not anywhere near what I consider in shape, but I just have to own where I am and be thankful for our new baby. Thank you!

tori - 2.5 years is probably better than a shorter time because you probably (a) took if off slower which is both healthier and more likely you’ll keep it off and you probably (b) learned some mental lessons along the way. As long as we learn about ourselves through the journey I think it’s worthwhile!! We ARE our own worst critics! And, thanks for your kind words!

tori - You are beautiful and strong! You are such an athlete! You’ll get your body back quickly I’m sure…but after babies (especially #2) it takes time! Enjoy your time w/ your kids! Get a suit that you can “move” in and won’t fall off and just enjoy!

shawna [of styleberryBLOG] - it took a baby to free me as well. 🙂 our bodies are capable of amazing things. carrying a 35lb baby is way more fun than a 35lb dumbbell…and much more of an accomplishment, too!! I love this!

tori - I was SO worried I’d feel horrible about myself after a baby. I thought I’d have extra lbs to lose, no time to workout, etc etc. I was terrified. I can’t believe that pregnancy and motherhood has freed me from body issues! I also think that not dieting during TTC and pregnancy helped my body get back to it’s normal rhythm and no longer feel deprived and hungry, therefore I don’t have to work as hard…or it’s BFing and I’ll see a difference later. Who knows! 🙂

Amy - Tori… THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU. I needed to read this tonight. I needed this reminder.
And you are a beautiful Mommy who should be VERY proud of the example you set for your daughter! She’s a lucky little lady!

Jenn - I love this Tori!!! I’m not as fit as I was 2 years ago either but you know what like you I’m owning it and it’s okay! I’ll get back there but right now I’m doing what I can.

Sara, Food Blogger on a Diet / Ms. Adventures in Italy - I’ve been living in Italy for 9 years, and it always amazes me how much people agonize over wearing 2-pieces in the US when compared to here in Italy. There, you see all shapes, ages, and body types wearing them and no one really cares (yes, there are imperfect bodies here, too). I think it’s a shame society in the US expects that only perfect-bodied women will wear 2-pieces, so I applaud you for wearing that bikini – you should feel free to wear it at any size.

Melissa - Great post! I doubt I’d wear a bikini regardless (still traumatized after my top coming out of place on a waterslide 😉 ), but I totally agree that we are so much more than our appearance. Our bodies can DO so many things for us, and that matters more than whether or not they look perfect. I found that especially after becoming a mother, I was more appreciative of what my body had done/could do. Pretty amazing, actually!

tori - That is a serious issue when swimming with babies…nudity! 🙂 I have to be soo careful!!! Thanks for the comment!!!

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