Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Show Your Belly Mommy

A couple of weeks ago, I was putting on my shirt and getting ready for a run when E comes in and asks, "Mommy, why you not show your belly?" What she was really getting at was why was I putting on a shirt and not running in just a sports bra and capris. I wasn't really sure where the question came from and just told her I felt like wearing a shirt.

After some thought I realized that when I took E to the #OrlandoUnited 5k a couple weeks ago, she noticed that some women run in just a sports bra and bottom. At one point during the race, she asked me why the girl in front of us was running and holding her shirt. I told her that it was because she was hot and didn't have to wear a shirt if she didn't want to.

Since that first question, she has asked me about it a couple more times. In most cases I just deflect or say that I am more comfortable wearing a shirt.  One day she even complemented me on not wearing a shirt. (Really I had come in from a very humid early morning run and my soaking wet shirt hadn't made it much past the front door. I felt a little guilty about that one.)

My body confidence has gone up and down over the years. Sometimes in relation to my actual appearance, but for other reasons as well. Even before I had E, I was never comfortable working out without a shirt, and having a baby didn't really help that. For me wearing a shirt is not just about hiding my belly, but also about preventing a Janet Jackson style wardrobe malfunction.

Setting a good example for E is huge for me. It is part of why I run and why I work to stay strong. I don't see myself working out without a shirt anytime soon, but she did motivate me to buy my first post-baby bikini (and wear it). My body is not perfect, but it is strong and getting stronger.

Having fun at Blizzard Beach

You can tell what hasn't seen the sun in a while.
 Shirt, no shirt, one-piece, tankini, bikini...the most important thing is being comfortable in your own skin and that is the message I want to send her. Raising a girl child is hard.