The following is what I like to call "my beach opera". This is how it goes for me every single time I go to a beach. Some will find this highly annoying. Some will relate. Some will think I am not setting a strong example for women. That I should be more confident than this. I should. This is simply my truth. One thing about truths is that they don't always match up to shoulds. This is part body image, part aging, part amusement regarding the beach life paradigm where it is acceptable to walk around half naked with asses, boobs and bellies hanging out in every direction, which would otherwise be totally inappropriate in any other setting.
I appreciate how the beach allows the uncovering of ourselves.
So excited to be here yet suddenly regretful of not taking better care of myself. I am chubby, white and self conscious. Pasty with excited trepidation. I have a heightened awareness of every chunk of my body and ounce of skin so I am slow to disrobe. I am feeling unnatural in this beach state of half nakedness. There are perfect Scandinavian asses on display everywhere. I feel like a neon light of blanched imperfection. Still. I am here in paradise.
I begin in a one-piece.
Working on the transition from city life to beach mode. Beginning the day in a bikini. I use all my energy to keep my back straight and suck everything in. I find it difficult to believe that there used to be a time when I could twist and bend in a blissed out state of bikini unawareness. Damn those 16 year old glory days. I try to believe that if I don't look down at my rolls somehow my husband won't see them either. Why do I suddenly care so much about the imperfections of my body? He sees me naked every single day. Aren't I above this? Clearly I am not as evolved as I tell myself. I'm angry at myself for caring. .... and also eating.
I am exposed.
I'm adapting to the minimally clothed beach life. I don't mind the uneven sunburn patches on my skin because I am somewhat glowing with radiance and relaxation. I focus on this rather than the touching of my thighs. I tell myself that the extra weight is just a representation of a woman who likes to have a good time. So what? I eat. I drink. I be merry. Also, my husband and I sort of have matching bellies, which reminds me that we like to have a good time together. I am envious of his ability to completely not care at all. Of course I have been infected by the disease of society's impossible ideal female body image and he is immune to such nonsense because he has a penis.
I work on tanning the fat.
The sun is softening my stiff stance. In fact, it shines and radiates from my skin adding some sexy to every ounce of meat on my body. My physical form has reconnected with my personhood and I'm remembering how to walk naturally in a bathing suit. I strut down the beach in a somewhat loose and natural flow state. My hips sway and my arms move from side to side. Oh yeah! I am moving like a normal person again. Hooray! Finding my freedom.
I am transformed.
I am tanned and luminous. I meditate on the beach. Eyes closed, confidently sitting up straight in my bikini allowing the world to know that I am a juicy sexy sun goddess of love (handles). I bask. I bend. I commune with the universe. I'm ten pounds heavier than I want to be, but I am a million pounds lighter suddenly.
I am living where soul meets body. (one of my favorite songs by the way)
I belong in a bathing suit on the beach. When I step out of the ocean, I am a bronze salted glimmering beach biscuit. I wonder what it would be like to visit a nudist beach next. My body is a middle aged wonderland.
I have fully embraced the beach paradigm shift.
Home bound. Transported back to the city where it is unnatural to spend one's day in a bathing suit. Where a walk downtown in a bikini is akin to sporting your skivvies in public. Offensive and inappropriate. Back to reality and closed toe shoes. Back to the office where my suntanned skin will resemble Madge from "There's Something About Mary" under the fluorescent lights but the anguish of any extra pounds is comfortably camouflaged in my work wardrobe.