Earlier this month I had the opportunity to take an aerial yoga class. After much deliberation on whether I should or shouldn’t take it, I eventually convinced myself that I was too heavy, felt embarrassed, and ultimately decided not to do it. Well, the opportunity came around again and I though what the hell, just sign up and have fun! I went, and no, I wasn’t too heavy, had the time of my life, and it was an overall amazing experience. This got me thinking …. What else have I been missing out on because of my warped body image issues?
I used to surf, a lot. I would drop my son off at school, surf all morning and then pick him up. For some reason or another the amount of time I spent out on the water became less, and less, and then it stopped completely. When I realized how much I missed it, I knew I had to get back out in the water, but by that time, I had gained a lot of weight. I told myself that as soon as I’d lost weight, I’d start surfing again. I kept myself from enjoying something that I loved because I was too concerned about how I’d look out in the water. I used to joke and say that sharks would be super excited when they saw me, they’d say “OMG! we’ve hit the jackpot! look at that enormous seal!” It was sad.
It took me a long time to realize how damaging and ridiculous I was being, not to mention depriving myself of something that brought me so much joy. It all hit me one day as I was driving my son back from surf P.E (yes, it exists). At the time he was a sophomore, I was joking and told him that maybe next time I would go out with him. The reaction I got was completely unexpected. He turned, looked at me with a huge smile on his face, and said “mom! that would be awesome!”
Me: “are you kidding, me? Wouldn’t it be embarrassing to have your mom out surfing with you and all your friends?”
My son: “What are you talking about? I have the most badass mom, ever, and it would be so cool!”
After I told him to watch his language, we laughed and I said that we’d go out that weekend, which we did.
My son didn’t care how I looked, in fact, it wasn’t even something that had crossed his mind. The fact that I was going to be out in the water with him, surfing, was, in his view, the best thing ever! 😉
We can drive ourselves crazy thinking about how should or shouldn’t look like, but what we fail to realized is that this prevents us from fully enjoying our lives. Who cares what other people think, are you happy? Healthy? Loved? That should be the only thing that matters in life. Do the things you love to do, and don’t let something trivial set you back. We only have this life, and it goes by quickly, so enjoy it, love yourself, and HAVE FUN!
Here’s a pic of my aerial yoga class, and one with my son after our much needed surf session.