Bathing suit shopping is not fun for me. It has never been fun. No matter what size I am, I hate trying on bathing suits. Hence the reason my old black suit lasted for 5 years. Every time I wore it I would carefully rinse it in clear water, and hang it to dry. I treated that bathing suit with kid gloves. Not because I loved it, but rather because I didn’t want to have to try a new one on.
When I began my trip UP the scale, I stopped wearing a bathing suit, instead opting for capri pants and a big shirt. It was so embarrassing to go to a swimming party dressed as if I were meeting some friends for lunch. I’d stand around on the pool deck, watching other people swim, feeling as conspicuous as an elephant might in your living room. People would stand around and talk to me, but eventually the lure of their children calling, “Mommy come play with me!” would take them away from me and back to their fun.
Whenever we visited the beach I broke out the capris again, suffering through the indignity and uncomfortableness of getting my pants and shirt wet, but having to happily smile the whole time. Sand sticks to everything, and although it’s fun in a bathing suit, its not so fun in capri pants! John would tell me, “We don’t know anybody – just wear a bathing suit. Who cares?!” I’d shake my head, refusing to even be drawn into that conversation. After all, even if I would consider his suggestion, I’d never agree, because then I’d have to go try on a bathing suit, and that would not be good.
As I lost weight, one of my goals was to be able to swim with my children. When I reached my goal size, I knew it was time. I went shopping and found a modest bathing suit. I still didn’t like the way I looked, but at least no one would laugh and say, “Look at the beached whale sitting on the towel!” The first time we went to the pool was a wonderful experience. I was able to get in, and splash around with the children rather than standing on the sidelines.
Trips to the beach were a completely different experience too. It felt good to be in clothing that was appropriate for the event. I realized that before, people probably noticed me more when I wore my capri pants on the beach than they did in my bathing suit. The kids appreciated the fact that I was able to sit down in the sand and build sandcastles rather than standing around trying to stay clean.
I understand that my unwillingness to put on a bathing suit when I was a size 28 was my own decision. I probably shouldn’t have cared what other people would think, but I did. I did care, and I still do. Body image, operation beautiful, and other such thoughts are wonderful, but it still comes down to doing what you are comfortable with. Sometimes it takes feeling uncomfortable with yourself in order to get motivated enough to change!
I wonder if there are certain clothes that you are waiting to wear before you lose your weight and get healthy? Or are you like I wish I was – confident whatever your weight?