The significance of this gift is that I haven't worn a bikini (thank goodness for tankinis) in at least 14 years, but maybe longer. Like most women, I'd rather have a root canal than shop for a bathing suit. But I'm thinking a double root canal sounds like more fun than prancing around the beach in a bikini. However, I knew it would mean a lot to Mark. And it did. He told me over and over how great I looked and thanked me for stepping out of my comfort zone.
I'd love to tell you that in the weeks before his birthday I really buckled down and lost 10, 15 or 20 pounds and that when I put on the bathing suit I felt amazing about myself. However, that's sadly not the case. It was just normal me in a bikini feeling very apprehensive and anxious. I will say the only reason I was brave enough to do this is because Mark builds me up constantly.
Since we met almost 9 years ago, there's not been a single day that he's seen me and not told me I was beautiful. He says it in a sincere way and I know he means it. He gets frustrated with me when I don't accept or believe him. And somedays it's really hard to believe him. I'm thankful for him and his encouragement every day.
Why am I sharing all of this? Because as women we are much too hard on ourselves about our physical appearance. We don't think we should wear bikinis or feel good about the way we look until we reach perfection. Perfection, by the way, is a myth. Even the people who I believe should have rock solid confidence, still have moments and days of insecurities. So my challenge to myself and anyone who reads this - embrace the way you look and celebrate it. Sure you can work on being fitter and more toned and lose weight, but don't forget to enjoy where you are now.