I have always looked forward to summer trips to the beach. When I was a kid, we often spent a week at Ocean City, MD and those visits bring back great memories. Summer time was also meant for camp, with twice a day swimming, my favorite part of the day.
As an adult, swimming is still an activity to look forward to, though much more rare. When we travel as a family, I will always search for a hotel with a pool. There is little better to get the kids ready for bed than a night time swim. Sleep doesn't come much easier. . . for mom and dad either.
As a kid, even as a big kid, I never thought about wearing a shirt to swim. You just didn't do that. I didn't care. I don't even remember kids in camp caring very much. As the years went on, though, I definitely got more self conscious about my body. I probably started wearing a t-shirt to swim in public sometime in my late teens.
Over time, it just became part of my swimming routine. Even packing for a trip, I would always be sure to have a few "swim shirts" in the suitcase. I've never felt comfortable as an adult not wearing a shirt, even with prior big losses.
Things are different now. I've lost so much more than ever before. When I look at my dressed profile in the mirror, I see a reasonably regular sized guy, but when I take my shirt off, I still don't like what I see. Though the belly is still there, I am now seeing excess skin. I'm also not fond of the man boobs that I hope to rid myself of through weight work.
I know that I really shouldn't care what anyone else thinks. Believe me, I know that. Unfortunately, the long term memory part of my brain is really having a tough time forgetting the old guy with the gross frame. I really need to deal with that part of my brain before our August trip to the beach. That will be the real test on whether to shirt or not to shirt.