Are there two more feared words in the female vocabulary than “Swimsuit Season”? If there are I can’t think of them.
The thought of putting on a bathing suit – in many cases something smaller than your bra and underwear – and prancing around in public can be unbearable. Okay, you don’t prance. But even a modest one-piece bathing suit leaves little to the imagination and can be a serious blow to your self-esteem.
When you wear a bathing suit there is nowhere to hide. If you’re anything like me you feel extremely self-conscious, like everybody is looking at every ripple, wrinkle and bulge. Frankly, bathing suits with tummy control are great, but I’m waiting for one with thigh control.
Some things just cannot be reined in by spandex.
So what are we to do? Go to the beach or pool covered up from head to toe? Throw off the towel in a flash, and then make a mad dash for the water? Stay home????
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None of those is an acceptable option, especially “stay home.” When I was 120 lbs. heavier than I am now that’s exactly what I did though. Oh, I always had some excuse why I couldn’t go, but the truth is I couldn’t bear to be bare. Er, uncovered I guess. I felt the eyes and judgment of everyone on me, and it was simply more than I could endure. I missed out on years worth of fun at beach and pool outings. On those occasions my excuses failed me I went fully clothed so as to avoid what I felt was the scrutiny of others.
Whether that judgment was real or imagined doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I felt horrible, ashamed of my body and mortified that people were “forced” to look at me. We can go back and forth all day long about whether or not I could’ve found a way to accept myself in that body, but at the time I could not have imagined doing so.
I can tell you that being fit and healthy have made all the difference to me. And I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that being smaller helps too. It’s not vanity so much as feeling comfortable in my own skin. There are people who can feel comfortable in skin much larger than mine. More power to them, I say. It still doesn’t make obesity healthy, but if it works for them, who am I to judge?
It didn’t work for me though. I think it comes down to whether or not you’re happy with yourself; I wasn’t. Now that I’m fit, healthy (and smaller) I am.
If swimsuit season is intimidating for you, start following along with my blogs and videos. I know what it feels like to want desperately to change. I also know what it feels like to have done it.
Summer’s waiting for us. C’mon, we got this!