Have you considered going to the beach or a pool but passed it up because you’re not happy about how you look in a swimsuit?
It’s a brutal trap we create for ourselves when we get hung up on what we think others’ opinions may be about our physique and let that keep us from enjoying everything this great weather has to offer.
Last Sunday, as you can see from these pictures, my kids and I went to Shadow Cliffs for some well-deserved R&R. Maybe because it is early in the season, the water was not the murky brown it can sometimes be but a deep, rich turquoise that reminded me a little of Lake Tahoe. The shore and surrounding areas were clean, well-attended to and a little but not overly crowded. For little more than the $6 parking fee, we had an afternoon of sun and sand – with a couple of ice creams thrown into the mix.
I must admit that I was very briefly hesitant about going when my son suggested it. As a fitness professional, I do feel like I have an unspoken obligation to live the lifestyle I teach – and I do. But I’m not quite to my summer lean ideal body composition at the moment. So, in my own self-absorbed opinion, I may not look as good in a swim suit as I’d like. But that was only for a moment, as I reminded myself of three very important facts:
- I’m 50 years old.
- Nobody but me gives a hoot about a little softness around my middle.
- The afternoon was about me and my kids enjoying each other and a beautiful day, not my silly egocentric frailties.
I once heard Dr. Wayne Dyer say “Don’t worry about what others are thinking about you, because they’re not.”
Not long after we were there, I noticed a lot of very relaxed, unself-conscious, average looking people there who seemed to be having a great time without any concern for the perceived imperfections of their bodies. In fact, a woman who laid out a towel in front of me who I would guess was at least a size 12 was in a hot pink bikini and her head was shaved. The possibility occurred to me that she had bigger fish to fry than concern over being judged by others at this neighborhood lake. All this only reinforced my second wave reaction to blow off silly insecurities and enjoy the beautiful day my kids and I were meant to have. And so we did.
So, it turns out that playing dolphin, mock-wrestling with your kids in waist-depth water and building sandcastles is way more fun than worrying about that elusive six-pack.