At Size 16, There’s Only One Thing I’ll Be Worried About At The Pool

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“I wear a size 16.

My belly is squishy and bears the stretch marks of the babies I carried more than a few years ago.

I took a style and fit inventory for a subscription box last week and they informed me my body is shaped like a raindrop. Come to think of it, that was true even 15 years and 30 pounds ago.

The last time I was at the doctor, I asked him about a spot on my skin and he just smiled and told me it’s an age spot. Cool. Cool.


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My thighs cover a lot of ground when I sit down.

I’ve got a red birthmark up the middle of my forehead that the doc told my parents would fade when I was a baby. It didn’t.

My skin tone can best be described as Irish pale, freckled, aging, sensitive, and au naturel.

If I had to guess, I’d say I’m about 25 pounds heavier than the charts say I should be.

Oh, and one more thing…

When the sun is out, you’ll find me in one of the super cute plus-sized bathing suits I bought at Walmart.

I’ll be slathered in sunscreen and wearing long-last lipstick that makes me feel pretty.

You’ll know it’s me because I’ll be cheering for my kid as she yells, ‘Mom! Watch this!’ and jumps off the diving board for the 1,000th time.

My husband will come outside to ‘tell me something,’ but we’ll both know he’s just checking me out. And I’ll let him.

The only thing I’ll be worried about at the pool is how much more sweet tea I can drink without having to wiggle out of that cute new suit for a potty break.

I am both imperfect AND happy to be me.

For a long time, I thought I had to either learn to love every bit of my body or figure out how to change it.

So I spent a lot of time trying to change the parts I thought I could and some more time stewing on how a woman could genuinely love her stretch marks and cellulite.

I’ve long since put down that lie because guess what? I don’t love every little thing about me that you could put under a microscope.

But I do love me.

The truth is my inherent value, satisfaction with life, contribution to the world, worthiness to be loved, and overall happiness have pretty much nothing to do with what I look like in a mirror. Go figure.

Do you know what looks better on my raindrop-shaped body than any single digit size, perfect skin tone, or thin thighs?

Joy.

Happiness.

Contentment.

Laugh lines.

Peace.

All I’m saying is you can live your life, friend. Starting today. Go ahead and keep working toward being the best version of yourself, but don’t forget that today’s version is pretty great. Yes, even with dimply thighs.”

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Mandy of Happy Like This.

Mom takes bikini selfie near the pool, embracing her birthmark and signs of aging
Courtesy of Mandy H.

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