I'm going to transcend back several years here. 20 plus to be exact, to a time when I over and over again wanted to know why boys don't have to wear shirts and I do.
I remember fighting this point over and over and over again, because it seemed to be just another double standard of society. We BOTH have nipples, so why must mine remain covered while theirs don't need to be?
I think it goes without saying that I never won the argument and I believe that my mother shut it down most of the time by telling me I would go to jail and that was that.
Today I'm 35, it's 90+ degrees outside and we are digging out half our front lawn to expand our driveway. Did I mention our lawn is clay and we are doing it by hand. My shirt is drenched in sweat and I'm starting to get legit angry over the fact that I can't be outside topless as this sweaty t-shirt is hanging off my body.
The hubs looks at me and says- so take your shirt off and just wear your sports bra.
I have NEVER done that before. I mean I have worn my bathing suit in public. I have worn my bathing suit to wash the car but I have NEVER worn shorts and a sports bra without a shirt.
My answer: I can't.
His response: Why?
My answer: I just stared at him, I didn't have an answer. Then I started to make excuses - no one wants to see me in a sports bra. We live on a main road with a LOT of traffic.
His response: No one wants to see the neighbor sitting on his tractor cutting the grass without his shirt on either but he doesn't care - so why do you?
I went inside for a few minutes.
Can I REALLY do this? I've been lazy with my workouts lately. My body still has several more pounds to go before I hit a comfortable status. What will people think? What will people say?
- HOLD UP -
Why does any of that matter? Why am I going down this rabbit hole?
I have built a studio that completely embraces the body positive movement. Where we ACCEPT the fact that women's bodies don't look like they do in magazines and we are ok with it! We are better than ok with it, we PROMOTE it!
Am I really going to keep my t-shirt on, and be uncomfortable and miserable because I'm scared to show off my body?
Here goes nothing....
Embracing your body doesn't mean that you are totally comfortable. It doesn't mean that you look in the mirror and love every little detail about yourself down to the stray eyebrow hair and stretch mark. Body positivity means loving yourself, and being confident in your amazing, strong body regardless of your flaws. It means saying "I'm not perfect, but I'm still amazing".
So whether its working outside in your sports bra, wearing a tank top in the summer and showing off your arms, or just looking in the mirror and saying something kind to yourself when you see your beautiful face - find some ways to work body positivity in. I don't have to see you to know you are beautiful, we all are in our own ways. Show your beautiful self some love.
And if you were wondering -
I crushed it: in my yard, in my sports bra with all the cars passing by on my busy road.
TABITHA SWEENEY is the founder and owner of Vitality Buffalo. Vitality Buffalo is a fitness studio specializing in family friendly fitness.