When You’re At The Pool With All The Skinny Girls

So you’re going on a bachelorette weekend with skinny girls. You’re good, right?

You’ve outgrown that stage where you compare everyone else’s body to yours, right?

You don’t stare at hips, legs, arms, butts, stomachs — wondering what exercises she does, or watching what the skinny girls eat at dinners or parties.

You no longer count calories or keep a food journal or lie about skipping meals, right? That was high school.

You don’t weigh yourself every day or feel lightheaded when you stand up or foggy in your brain when you try to write. That was sophomore year of college.

You don’t think about the volleyball coach who told you that you’d jump higher if your legs were thinner.

You don’t listen to the monologue in your head about how your stomach looks when you lay on your side or how your butt looks when you sit cross-legged. You don’t think about the ex-boyfriend who used to squeeze the skin on your hips between his thumb and his index finger.

You don’t let your day turn depressed if your jeans feel a little snug. And you don’t get that familiar tightness in your chest when you eat dessert even though you promised yourself you wouldn’t. You don’t add an extra workout in just because you ate past feeling full.

You just don’t do any of that anymore.

So you’re going on a bachelorette weekend with skinny girls. Bathing suits and drinking and eating and fun. This is nothing against all the skinny girls. You’re in your 30s now and you know that your body doesn’t always look the way you want it to. You know that what you eat directly affects how you look, but you know that you love to eat.

You eat things in moderation. You have dessert. You go on walks when you feel too full. You know which clothes feel better on you at different times and you hear your boyfriend tell you that he loves your body every single week.

You know that you love your body sometimes and that you hate your body sometimes. But you know that it will pass. You know that nothing is perfect. You know that your body is strong and that it has survived tougher things than feeling fat.

You know that when you look back at pictures of yourself in high school and college, your first reaction is to think, “My, we were thin!” But you never felt thin. Years from now, you know you will look back at pictures of yourself at 31 and think, “Man, we looked good!”

So you learn to see things differently. You look in the mirror and you smile at the things that look good. You don’t spend nearly as much time looking at the things you don’t like. In fact, you just spend less time looking in the mirror.

You feel grateful for how your hair has grown long or how your eyebrows have become thicker. You wear less makeup. You love feeling strong after exercising and you love feeling warm and satisfied in your belly after you eat. You wish less often to feel skinny.

So when you’re with all the skinny girls in the bathing suits at the pool on the bachelorette weekend — you’ll know that you’ve been thinner before. But you’ll also know you’ve been bigger. You’ll know that you’ve worn smaller jeans or had thinner arms, but you’ll also remember feeling hungry a lot of the time.

Sure you will still look at their bodies, and you will still look at your own.

But you’ll feel more like yourself when you talk to people — because you realize that you have grown into yourself. And you will start to find moments of gratitude. You will feel grateful for your health. You will feel grateful for your strength. You will feel grateful because you are grounded in your body and less separate from it.

You will look down at the index finger you accidentally cut last month and realize that it healed in a matter of days and didn’t even leave a scar. And in that moment you will feel grateful because you’ll know that your body is a beautiful thing.