If you are one of the few people that looks forward to swimsuit season then hooray! I am happy for you! But if you are like me and aren’t so in love with it then read on, maybe you feel or have felt just like me.
So I was NEVER comfortable in my own skin, honestly NEVER. Okay well maybe when I was a little kid and didn’t know any different but the time of my life that I can remember, well I haven’t been very comfortable with me.
I have always hated swimming suits because they exposed too much of me, I couldn’t cover up or hide my body and I just didn’t like that. I don’t remember wanting to swim much as a teenager unless you count the water aerobics classes early in the morning at the rec center with all the old grandmas. I just stayed away from the pool. Honestly, I was even self conscious at home just getting in and out of our hot tub. Sad I know. But hey, we are all friends here and I am just telling it how it was…is?
I always had a swimsuit because sometimes you just can’t avoid it completely and have to put one on. I always opted for one that was pretty much a suit covered by a long piece of fabric, they called it a skirt but it was different than the skirts I see today, and it came down mid thigh. I would have been more than happy if it came mid calf! Even though once I was wet it clung to me, I at least felt a little more comfortable when dry and it didn’t show off everything.
Fast forward a bunch of years and I have lost a lot of weight, work out a lot and am in the best shape of my life. Yet I still am not completely comfortable in a suit. Luckily for me board shorts are the thing and they are even making some that are a little longer and I am a little more comfortable. Although I will admit that every time I am at the pool and see girls/women in just their suit, no shorts, I am super jealous. Their bodies aren’t perfect either yet they don’t seem to mind. I am always envious of them and want to know how they are able to do that!
Fast forward even more and I am married to an amazing guy that knows my body issues and is always there to boost me up when I am feeling a little down. We went on a belated honeymoon cruise after being married for a few months. We were going to a couple places in the Caribbean and that meant lots of beach and pool time and I needed to get a couple of swim suits. I ordered so many, SO many. Tried on probably two dozen and wasn’t in love with the way I looked in any of them but found two that were ok. I didn’t want to have to spend the money on a couple pairs of board shorts so that I wouldn’t always have to wear the one pair that was wet. So I told Rob my goal was to go sans shorts. Just my swimming suit and that’s it, no shorts to cover up anything. And you know what? I did it! I only wore shorts or a cover-up getting on or off the boat and when we were just walking around! But if we were in the water I wore just my suit! And you know what, people weren’t staring at me. No one was laughing or pointing. It was really hard the first day or two but gradually got easier. I know to some of you that may seem like a small accomplishment but to me it was HUGE!
(I can’t believe I am actually putting pictures on here of me in a swimsuit, yikes!!)
Fast forward two years and we were taking Olivia to Seven Peaks for her first time swimming. I know it’s pathetic, our little girl was a year old before we took her swimming! Anyway, I was excited to take her but a little anxious about putting on a swimsuit. I decided I was keeping the shorts on, I just couldn’t go without. Olivia loved it, she is in heaven in water and we had a lot of fun watching her figure out what to do in the water. When we were done I quickly pulled off the wet shorts and pulled on my cover-up so that I was a little less wet. And in those 10 seconds it took to do all of that I felt embarrassed. I wished I could have pulled that cover up down even faster. The whole rest of the day I was in a little bit of a funk because of it.
And when I say a little bit of a funk, I actually mean I was a little bit depressed. It was hard for me to be confident in my body when I was working out a lot and working out hard. Now that I have a baby and my workouts consist of walks and short workouts I can squeeze in before she wakes up. My body may appear the same size was as it was before I was pregnant but it’s a little softer than I would like it to be. Okay, it is a lot softer. I don’t feel as strong as I used to and I miss that. I used to be able to do a Spin class for an hour and it didn’t kill me. Now I do a 15 minute cardio workout at home and feel like I just might die. Change is hard, real hard. It’s hard to adapt and get used to a new normal.
But I don’t want to hate my body and because of that have a daughter that grows up hating hers. So my goal for the summer is to work a little harder and get back to the point of where I can be comfortable in just my swimming suit again. So keep tabs on me, by the end of this summer that is where I want to be. I want to be confident again. I want to be confident in my new body that was able to grow a healthy baby. That is what matters. Not that I used to be able to go out and bike 1o0 miles. I grew a baby and that is amazing and even if it kills me I will figure out how to be confident!
I hear people complain about people they see at the pool. People they don’t think should be wearing a bikini, people that should cover up more, people that really should put a pair of shorts on. You know what I think though, you go girl! If you love your body and are comfortable without a pair of shorts on with your suit or want to don a bikini then do it! I am envious of you and will cheer you on…but please please please come and tell me your secret! Until then, I am going to keep working on it and maybe one of these days I will get back to that point…