I Wore A Crop Top And Nobody Died

It was hot AF on Saturday.

We took Judah to an all day music festival headlined by Imagine Dragons at The BB&T Pavilion in Camden for his Kindergarten graduation gift. We got lawn seats, thinking he would have more fun in a space where he could dance and run around as opposed to having to stay in his seat and watch out for other people right next to him.

It was a good idea, in theory. But it was really freaking hot up on that lawn with no shade.

I sat boiling in my beach chair, looking around at all of the young girls with their friends, in their short shorts and cute little crop tops.

"I used to look like you," I wanted to tell them. "Just wait. Just wait until you're in your 30's and you've got two pregnancies under your belt. You'll see. It doesn't last forever."

Photographic evidence. I was young once. 
I knew I was being a hater. I was sad because all of their little outfits were so adorable and I don't feel like I can dress that way anymore. I was acting exactly like the kind of bitter, past-her-prime mom that I swore I would never be.

Also, did I mention it was a billion degrees out?

Sweat was dripping down my face, down my back and - sorry if this is TMI - over the stitches from my recent breast reduction, which was making me super uncomfortable and a little bit nervous. I watched the girls walk by in their crop tops (and, in some cases, bralettes as tops. Is that a thing now? Apparently it is.) evidently unbothered by the heat and thought about how much more comfortable I would be in a short t-shirt or swimsuit top. 

But I don't do that anymore. It had easily been 8 years since I showed my midriff in public. 

I'm not fat. I know that. In fact, I lost 50 pounds over the past few years. 

But I am someone who is never satisfied. I used to think that if I could just lose the weight, I would be comfortable wearing a swimsuit or showing my belly. I wouldn't even care about the stretch marks. 

Then I lost the weight. And, suddenly, it wasn't enough. I didn't think I would ever feel comfortable letting people see my belly unless I had a six pack. 

Well, guess what? I don't have a six pack. I'm working on it. But it may never show up. 

And in the meantime, it was really effing hot outside

I finally decided that I was not going to make it through this show if I didn't find some way to cool my body down. So I took a deep breath and knotted my t-shirt in the front. Mom belly, stretch marks and all. 

You know what happened?

NOTHING. Except that I got to feel a cool breeze against my skin and had a much better time. 

Nobody pointed and laughed. Nobody told me to cover up. Nobody even noticed.

Eleanor Roosevelt famously said, "You wouldn't worry so much about what others think of you if you realized how seldom they do." And she was right.

I have spent the past several years wearing bulky, baggy clothes, covering up a body that I was ashamed of because I was worried about what other people would think.

(And, yes, I know, my body was a perfect home for my two babies and that was a blessing. Guess what, moms? We're allowed to appreciate the miracles our bodies performed and still not like our stretch marks.)

When the extreme heat pushed me to put that aside, I realized that nobody but me is worrying about what my body looks like. And if I'm comfortable, that really is all that matters.

So you know what I did the next day? I wore a bikini for the first time in 10 years.

I don't have abs. 

I do have stretch marks and cellulite. 

But I'm finally, truly okay with that. 

I am going to continue on my quest for a flat stomach because working out and eating well makes me feel good about myself. 

But I am no longer waiting for a six pack to start feeling good in my skin.


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