In a former life, I went bungee jumping.
Former life = when my boobs were small enough to only need a built-in bra in my tank top.
Oh man, those were the days.
I was in Vegas with a couple of my girlfriends in my early 20’s and each of us promised to do something “adventurous.” One got a tattoo of her name written in Mandarin. I often wonder if that actually does say her name. Then two of us went bungee jumping.
I vividly remember thinking I weighed too much to bungee jump. No, really. I was a fit girl, in her early 20’s who wasn’t wearing a bra for goodness sakes. I would love to be back there! But I was bigger than my tiny friends and for that I have a myriad of hang-ups about my weight. I decided to bungee jump anyway and forget the voice in my head telling me I was too big to do it.
Fun fact: Did you know you go up to bungee jump as a group and they do it one-by-one by weight? Yup. The heavier you are, the further down the line you are…and the longer you have to wait. I was third to last. So that was fun. And definitely didn’t play into the voice telling me that I was fat.
But you know what? I did it. I freakin’ did it.
There may or may not be video after the jump of me yelling to my girlfriends, “Did my boobs fall out?!” (They didn’t. I know you’re all heartbroken.)
The point is, I heard that stupid voice talk about my weight trying to shame me into not doing it…and I did it anyway.
As I pack for my trip to Spain and Portugal, nearly a decade later, that same voice comes back. Even in looking at tour excursions, some that may involve wearing a swimsuit AROUND STRANGERS, that same fear tells me to forget it.
I bought a dress recently (for $13!) that I thought would be perfect for Spain and Portugal and was super lightweight, which meant it took up very little room in my bag. But once I got home, I started having second thoughts.
“Is it too short? No, really. Do you think it’s too short?” I asked my husband that enough times that he just stopped answering. You know those cartoon characters that just blink when someone asks them the same question over and over? He sort of looked like that. I even texted my girlfriends who I’m meeting in Spain. “No! I love it! Not too short!”
So why am I second guessing it? Because it’s out of my realm. Out of my comfort zone. I don’t normally wear dresses that are “that” short. For gosh sakes, it shows my legs! And when I’m doing something different, fear strikes.
I don’t want this upcoming trip to be gripped in fear over my weight. Granted, I am going alone (to meet up with girlfriends) and I’ll be alone for an entire day and night in Portugal before I head back to the US. I don’t necessarily fear that. (Truth be told, I am a bit anxious about it, but heck I lived in London alone for a month longer than other interns because my company wanted to extend my stay. I can do a day!) If I can travel internationally alone, why would I let my weight hold me back from doing things once I’m there?
Well, I’m here to tell you that I’m not going to do that! I promise that if that voice pops up and tells me not to take a picture at a certain angle or not to go paddle boarding b/c I’ll be in a suit, I’m going to tell it to shut up. I will not let my negative weight-talk hold me back.
And I’m going to wear that damn dress.