Bikini Bodies

Bear with me guys, this might get a little rambly and off path a little, but I’ve been thinking a lot lately about weight. Not necessarily weight…more like (mainly) women’s unhealthy obsession with weight. But I don’t even really think weight is the issue…it’s more what we look like, how big or small we are…why is there such an emphasis on our size? Why is this a thing? Like at what point did women start deciding that their value comes from how they look on the outside instead of the content of their character?

“If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou

I don’t think I fit the societal norms here, to be honest. I am big, plus size, overweight, obese, morbidly obese, fat, whatever term you use for describing my size…however, I have NEVER seen myself as big as I actually am. I am confident in my body. Is it harder to do some things physically because of my size, I’m sure it is, but I wouldn’t know because I’ve never been the super tiny girl. I’ve always ‘had some meat on my bones’. Was it harder when I was dating, to be bigger than other girls my age? Nope, I never had trouble getting asked out or getting male attention. Do I have low self-esteem or self confidence because of my size? No, not really. I don’t find my self-worth in my dress size…sorry, not sorry that I don’t see myself as less than because I don’t fit what society has deemed as attractive and worthy all because the scale is a higher number than you are comfortable seeing.

Is this to say that I don’t place value on taking care of myself or eating healthy and moving? Heck no! What I am saying is that I don’t think it’s healthy for one to be so consumed with eating healthy and exercising for the sole purpose of losing weight as opposed to eating healthy and exercising because it’s good for you, no matter your size or the number on the scale. I’m pretty healthy, I have no medical issues that are typically attributed to being overweight (high bp, diabetes, circulation issues, high cholesterol) but people don’t see our medical records when they look at us, do they? They just look at me and see how big I am and automatically assume I must consume all the unhealthiest of foods and do nothing but sit on my butt.

weight does not determine worth

As I’ve scrolled through each of my social media accounts lately, it has struck me that even the most ‘healthy’ and fit, the thinnest people I know still aren’t happy with their bodies. Why? Who is telling you that you aren’t good enough? Why are you letting them? This isn’t even about body positivity to me right now. I do want every body to feel good about themselves, but when I think about it, I want everyone to feel good about themselves because they are happy in their life and relationships and career. I am definitely not trying to knock people who are proud of themselves for being the healthiest, most fit, strongest they have ever been because they are taking the time to work and push to accomplish things physically to test themselves. I think that is amazing and awesome! I just worry about the women who are out there killing themselves to attain a smaller size or smaller number on the scale just because they think that will make them happy or make other people happy.

“Work out because you love your body, not because you hate it” – Katie Goulet

I have many friends who have expressed feelings of not being confident to even wear a swimsuit, let a lone a bikini, because they have a belly, or thick thighs, or are just bigger than what society has told them is the appropriate size to be right now. Each time, the thing that comes to mind is how to get a bikini body….have a body, put a bikini on it, now you have a bikini body. I recently took this to heart and purchased a bikini. Not a tankini like has been my go to for the last 10ish years…but an actual bikini. And I love it. I feel confident in it. It makes me happy to wear it. And I hope that when my daughter sees me in it, she sees that she too can wear whatever makes her feel confident and beautiful and doesn’t let other peoples opinions get into her head and ruin her self image.

For a really long time, I followed the crowd – must lose weight so I can be more acceptable to everyone around me, must hide my body because no one wants to see a plus size woman in anything that shows any skin, must perpetuate the cycle of self hate because that’s what society tells women is normal behavior…I thought I was so fat, I thought I was unattractive, I thought I was unhealthy, I thought my value was tied into the number on the scale. In all of these old pictures of me, I thought I was so huge compared to my friends…what the hell was I on?! Looking at them now, I see a beautiful woman who was healthy and was the same size as all of her friends! All those years I spent hating myself, my body, because why?…I don’t even know at this point.

Do I say all of this to say that I never have moments of weakness now when I see a picture of myself and think, wow am I really that big? No, I totally have those moments but they don’t define me. The number on the scale doesn’t define me. I don’t have a single desire to lose weight so that people will find me easier to look at, or more worthy of their attention. I have a desire to be healthy and to work on loving all of myself, flaws and imperfections included. I’m not willing to hide for anyone anymore. My wish for every woman I know, is that she would see herself and love herself, as is. Stop the self hate, start loving yourself so we can stop the cycle of teaching our children to hate themselves if they don’t fit whatever society has deemed acceptable. <3

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Travel Log: Goldfield Mine Arizona

adventure

Hello and welcome to another installment of the Travel Log! Today I’m sharing some pics and info about our road trip to Goldfield Ghost Town in Apache Junction, Arizona. Goldfield is an old mining, ghost town that is near the base of the Superstition Mountains, it was originally settled in 1892 when it was discovered to have rich, high grade gold ore. A town was established soon after in 1893.

Goldfield Ghost Town Chapel #goldfieldarizona #ghosts #sundayfunday #familyday #familyadventureday #arizona

A photo posted by Chrissy Thomas (@dashofdiva) on

The official find in addition to the legend of the Lost Dutchman led dozens of miners to the area which led to saloons, boarding houses, schools and other businesses.

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Goldfield Mine, Apache Junction, Arizona

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Old West Mining Town alittledashofdiva.com

Goldfield Mine, Arizona

After a few years, when the mines veins of gold ore were played out, the miners started to desert the town in search of the next town with lots of gold to still be had…

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Goldfield Mine

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Union Pacific Railroad Sign alittledashofdiva.com

Union Pacific Railroad Sign, Goldfield Mine, Arizona

After a long time, a local bought the land and decided to make the Goldfield Ghost Town what it is today, a tourist attraction with a restaurant, gift shops, zipline, train ride around the town with a guide who tells you the history and also about the Lost Dutchman. We really enjoyed spending a day out at Goldfield, learning a little about the history of mining in our state, being outside and spending the day as a family was the best part. I love spending days taking short road trips with my little family to learn about the little podunk towns across the state. One of my favorite ways to spend time as a family, actually.

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Southern Pacific Lines alittledashofdiva.com

Southern Pacific Lines, Goldfield Mine, Arizona

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona alittledashofdiva.com

Travel Log - Goldfield Mine Arizona Superstition Mountains Lost Dutchman alittledashofdiva.com

Superstition Mountains, Lost Dutchman, Arizona

If you like finding little, out of the way places to have a great family day, I’d definitely add Goldfield to your list of places to check out in the valley.