Editor’s Note: We warmly welcome author Kay Wills Wyma, whose writing weaves humor in with faith and reality checks. –Barb
It’s that time of the year, again. Groans can be heard coming from mall dressings-rooms across the globe.
“I hate shopping for swim-suits,” said my college-aged niece.
“I do, too.” I replied, secretly wishing to be a twenty year-old like her rather than a budding 50 year-old, soon to face a 3-way mirror.
We’re not alone. 70 percent of Americans would rather go to the dentist, do their taxes, sit in the middle aisle on an airplane, or visit their in-laws than go swimsuit shopping, according to a fairly recent survey.
But, rather than give sewn-together pieces of spandex cloth any power, here are Ten Tips for Swimsuit-Shopping Survival.
No 10: Talk to yourself. Confirm that yes – you are, in fact, the same person in jeans and a sweater as you are in a swimsuit. [Repeat step as needed.]
No 9: Code-Word Photoshop. Those grocery store checkout magazine covers that taunt us with “my new beach-body”… airbrushed.
No 8: Take Back-Up. Cagney had Lacy, Rizzoli had Isles – swimsuit-shopping dressing rooms are no different than most homicide crime scenes. Our thoughts can be notorious joy killers. So, grab a friend and be prepared to believe her. [Warning: Never try on swim-suits together – begs comparison.]
No 7: Look straight ahead. When perusing the rack, keep your eyes on your own paper. Don’t look at the shopper next to you, eye their size or suit choices. You are not that person.
No 6: Choose carefully. Be honest. Best to avoid wishful thinking.
No 5: Glasses. Bring and put on glasses, sunglasses or rose-colored if you have them. Never allow dressing-room lighting to ruin your mood.
No 4: Take control: Forcefully dispel negative thoughts. In 10 years, you’ll look back and wish you could look the way you do now. [Good time to repeat: I’m the same person in jeans and a sweater.]
No 3: Pick and pray. Just pick one. Get over questionable mirror angles and size tags that never deserve the power we give them to mess with our thoughts. Take your tag, scratch out the 1 and make that size 12 a 2. Instant boost. Then, pray for yourself and for the person in the dressing room next to you. She’s wishing for candescent over bright/highlight-every-flaw- that-is-or-isn’t-there fluorescent lighting too.
No 2: Perspective. My niece points us in the right direction:
“Yeah,” she continued. “I don’t like swimsuit or shoe shopping.”
“Yeah, swim suits and pairs of shoes – those really need to be something you LOVE – since you only have one or two for the entire season.”
For her – a disdain for swimsuit shopping has nothing to do with body-image or self-worth. Her thoughts have rarely, if ever, been held prisoner to an airbrushed ideal.
She doesn’t think that way because she doesn’t see that way.
She is visually-impaired. And though her sight is limited, she sees more than anyone I know. She is also one of the most content people I know – even when shopping for swimsuits.
“I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.” (Helen Keller)
No 1: Focus: Don’t allow racing thoughts to focus on limitations – especially if they have anything to do with body image. Think about the positive things. But if thoughts race, let them be vague, “like a breeze among flowers.”Your worth resides much deeper than any exterior image seen in a mirror.
Copyright 2015 Kay Wills Wyma.
Image via Shutterstock, licensed by the author.
About the Author: Kay Wills Wyma is a blogger, mother of five, and the author of Cleaning House through which she has appeared on The TODAY Show, The New York Times, Focus on the Family, and more. In her latest book, I’m Happy for You (Sort of … not really), Kay tackles the topic of comparison and finding contentment in a live-out-loud world.
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