Confident and Cool at the pool

I learned something about my body this weekend.

I’m proud of it.

Over the last 20 years I’ve struggled, like many if us do, with my body image. Since puberty hit and Jr. High I’ve struggled with my body. I was a “big boned” girl and was always the tallest in my elementary school classes (nicknamed Conan the Barbarian by some mean boys in 6th grade). I wore big thick glasses. I had moved from Denmark and didn’t have many friends. There were a lot of things I just didn’t get. I didn’t fit in and was constantly on the outside and was teased (a lot). Girls wouldn’t include me.

I’ve always felt fat and not fit. I’ve never been happy with where I was. Even at my skinniest (after living in Jerusalem and weighing 20 pounds less than I do now) I was never comfortable in a swim suit. I’d always wear a t-shirt to cover up.

Getting pregnant the first time was really hard for me to see my transform and gain weight. Especially after finally getting to my “ideal weight” after some decent weight gain after marriage. I’ve never felt too comfortable in my own skin. But as I watched my body transform I gained a new appreciation for my body and it’s ability to be a vessel for life.

With this last pregnancy I once again marveled at my new form and ever expanding belly. I was on bed rest for 8 weeks where I lost all muscle. For me just walking was hard for two months. Getting back basic muscle tone has been work. So getting back to my pre-pregnancy weight is still 10 pounds off and the baby is almost 5 months. Everything is stretched and clothes don’t fit the same.

You’d think my response to seeing two beautiful high school girls parading in Billabong bikini’s by the pool would be a moment of self loathing or embarrassment. My old self would have quickly sized up these pretty girls and made a mental cross-comparison of my flaws to their youth.

But here’s the funny thing. I didn’t.

For the first time a felt confident, in my swim suit (from Wal-mart).

I sat proudly in 2 foot kiddie pool with my handsome husband and two darling children. I looked at my children . They passed through me, through my beautifully imperfect body, and come out perfect.

As I nursed my baby in the shade I felt a great sense of appreciation for my body and it’s ability to transform; to gain weight, bare children, provide milk and still have enough energy to chase after the three year old – all on no sleep.

Who would have thought that it would take 32 years to get to this point?

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Go Adventure Mom’s found, Kathy Dalton, launched Go Adventure Mom in 2012 in an effort to bring women together that love travel and the outdoors. As a former ski instructor, Kathy has taken her love for outdoor recreation and through the power of social media has created a platform to share her passion with the world. As a mom of three, Kathy loves to share her family adventures in Utah, cross-country skiing up Millcreek Canyon, skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, camping in Grand Teton National Park and camping in the Uintas. Kathy has been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post, Parents and Parenting magazine. Kathy is a regular contributor to Visit Salt Lake and is a tip contributor on TripAdvisor.

There are 15 Comments

  1. Posted by Wendy from Wendys Hat

    You look incredible!

  2. Posted by Victoria S.

    Nicely written. You look great! I love the lighting and the look on your and your baby’s face are perfect. A beautiful picture!

  3. Posted by Emily

    You are stunning! I loved this post and needed it today. Thank you!

  4. Posted by Carla S.

    I think you look beautiful and you have such a beautiful baby! Inspiring post. =)

  5. Posted by dryd

    You are absolutely gorgeous. I feel the same way about my body. It took way too long, but I’m so proud of my body.
    I made a life.
    I have single handedly created (with the help of my husband), grown, birthed, and grown some more, a human being.
    My body is proof and I love it.

  6. Posted by dryd

    The red building in the background had me wondering where you were from, then noticed your posts about utah. Hello fellow Utahn.

  7. Posted by Denice

    Wow. As usual, what a well-written entry that so many of us can relate to!! What is amazing to me is that you have always seemed to me like “one of those people”, who doesn’t have to worry about body image, to me! I guess it just goes to show that we all have so many of the same worries, deep down inside. Kudos to you for being brave enough to share!! And what a great perspective, to be thankful for your body and it’s ability to adapt and change. I’m going to try to take a lesson from you, Kathy. Thanks!!

  8. Posted by Kathy

    Thanks Denice, you’re too kind. I think we all have our insecurities. It’s so easy to hate this and that about your body. But I think the real challenge is raising daughters that are confident in their own skin and that their body with it’s imperfections are a gift from Heavenly Father.

  9. Posted by Kathy

    The red brick building is our house. We live close Highland High School.

  10. Posted by Kathy

    I love that “my body is proof and I love it”!

  11. Posted by Kathy

    Thanks Carla! It’s kind of funny because I wrote the entire post on my iPhone as we drove back from St. George. So there were a few typos but thanks for being patient with the mistakes.

  12. Posted by Kathy

    You’re MY inspiration Ms. Triathlete! It is my dream to do a tri but have realized it’s not in the cards at the current phase of life I am in. For now I’ll stick with running with the chariot carrier :)

  13. Posted by Kathy

    Thanks friend, you are so sweet. I’m looking forward to fun playdates at Sugarhouse park!

  14. Posted by Kathy

    Thanks friend!

  15. Posted by Serida Foss

    True beauty comes from the inside out- you look radiant and beautiful because of that!!! And look at what you have co-created now thats a work of art!

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