Friday 17 June 2022

Leggings Won't Make You Invisible - Embrace the Summer!

Summer is almost here with the first heatwave predicted for the end of this week. Whilst everyone else seems excited for the sunshine, the days out, the beach days and the summer wardrobes, for some the mention of a heatwaves fills them with dread. I have to be honest with you, I too am... was, one of those people. You see I should probably start this post off with saying that I am a plus size women myself. 

I have always been "curvier" but after the birth of both of my children I put on quite a bit of weight and have yo-yo dieted until I can diet no more. I practically live in leggings, baggy dresses (or my pyjamas if I could get away with it). I hide from the camera, always in the background in my trusty leggings, black clothes and a hope that these will help me blend in, become invisible if you will. But this year something has changed and I wanted to share it with you in the hope that it might inspire some of you to change too! 

So what changed...?

It was actually all down to a photo, or the lack of I guess. I actively avoid photos, always the one behind the camera, always hidden at the back of the group, always a sideliner watching everyone else have fun, too afraid to stand out and join in. I am the one who sneakily deletes any photo that may have captured me or where I have been caught in the background, as though in my brain deleting the photo meant others hadn't actually seen me in real life, it really makes no sense right? 

But that's when it hit me, not only did I have no photos of me, I had no photos of me with the kids, with my husband, at events, milestones and birthday parties. But not only was there no photos, there were no memories either, because I was never actually there. It hit me that my kids memories will always be of me on the side-lines, watching from afar, miserably sweating on a hot busy beach in my leggings and cardigan whilst they frolicked in the sea and had the time of their lives. And why.... because I was worried someone might see that I had curves, that I was fatter than them? Did I seriously think my leggings made me invisible? The reality is they don't, everyone can still see me, but instead of seeing my having fun with my kids, they see me sitting there miserable. 

It got me thinking that when my kids are older they won't have the memories with me, the photos to remember all of our changing faces. And when I am older, perhaps even a granny, with kids who have grown and maybe even have their own families, what would I regret more? Someone seeing me having fun, or never having fun with my kids because I was too afraid of other peoples opinions.?

Life is short, even if it doesn't feel like it at the time. Life is definitely too short to be sweating on the beach in baggy dark clothing when there is a whole ocean to cool you down. It is too short to delete the photos that will some day be memories for your kids. And I can guarantee that when they look back at those photos, perhaps when you are no longer here, they won't have how you looked or what you wore, or how jiggly your belly was. Those photos will be memories filled with fun, laughter and conversation starters. 

You don't have to go all out in one go, small steps, swap your baggy clothes or fitting leggings for a floaty maxi dress or a midi dress (just below the knee). Slip a pair of shorts over your costume or a t-shirt if you prefer. You will still feel so much better and will still be able to join in, small steps are better than no steps.

You can do it too...!

So next time you are at the beach, next time your kids ask you to join in, next time you face a choice of chucking on your costume or watching from the side lines, choose fun. Choose visible, choose laughter, choose memories and living in the moment. I can tell you now, not only is everyone else probably too busy having their own fun, making their own memories but after a little time has passed you will be far to busy enjoying the moment to even care what anyone else is thinking. And those who might care, they don't matter to you. They aren't your friends, your family, in fact you will probably never see them again but even if you do, so what. A body is a body and anyone who is so offended by a body clearly isn't worth your time or worry. 

Remember, you are just as visible in those leggings and baggy t-shirt as you are in your costume, the only difference is the smile you will probably wear with your costume and the memories you will make once you step away from the side line instead of the sad, hot, miserable face you will have if you don't embrace life. 

Embrace your bodies this summer, they come in all shapes, sizes, weights and heights but EVERY BODY deserves happiness and to be comfortable. Whatever you wear this summer, rock it with a smile and love yourself, enjoy the moments and the memories and before you know it you will wonder why you have waited so long to do it. 


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