"Do you want to come swimming with us?" my kids asked a few days ago on a beautiful, sunny, warm Seattle day (we do get those once in awhile).

It's astonishing how many thoughts can flit through someone's mind in the space of a couple of seconds.

I recently wrote an article titled, 'Bikini season almost here - are your daughters ready?' that pointed out that our daughters aren't the only ones with body image issues and we sometimes don't realize the effect our words have on our girls. This raced through my mind as I struggled to answer my waiting kids, as well as the thought that I really didn't want to put on a bathing suit. You know... until I'd lost 10 pounds, got a tan, a bikini wax... all the usual excuses. Here was my chance to put my money where my mouth is.

"Sure," I heard myself answer.

Whew. Glad that came out right. My deepest fear is becoming any kind of hypocrite, and believe me when I say kids and teens have a finely tuned radar for hypocrisy.

I put a bathing suit on, hid my initial discomfort at exposing so much skin, and forgot about it 10 minutes later as we all cavorted in our apartment complex pool. Really, I'm so grateful my teens like to hang out with me that little details like wearing a bathing suit to do it become inconsequential. I do actually have some body image issues, but I'm proud of myself for overcoming them enough to focus on what's really important - making sure my kids don't have them and just spending time with them. What's a bathing suit compared to the mental well-being of my offspring? That's right.

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Tags: body, image

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