*An old advertisement to put ON pounds for swimsuit season.
I’ve had this love hate relationship with swimming and bathing suits in the past. Mostly, I hate it. There has not been much love. This started in the 4th grade. I was chubby. Super chubby. And I had this blue glittery bathing suit. When you are 10 and chubby, it’s hard to find a good bathing suit that fits you well. The options were generally old lady bathing suits, or the largest “kid” sizes, which really just kind of barely fit me.
This relationship with bathing suits just kind of kept getting worse. If you were a heavy-set teen, I’m sure you can relate. I kind of settled on bathing suits with long t-shirts. This was not attractive. And this did not make it possible to really learn how to swim the right way. T-shirts weigh you down, and guess what? It kind of looks like you are in a wet t-shirt contest when you wear one while swimming.
At my heaviest weight I settled on the bathing suits with the skirts. This seemed to mostly work, but I still was covering up with the moo-moo looking um, dresses? I don’t know what to call it, a sheet with a hole at the top for your head. Again, not talking about my most highest point of fashion.
During the worst of my T2 diabetes I had really bad issues with my legs, including neuropathy and a lot of open skin infections. This caused a lot of scarring that I still have today. I had been really self conscious about it all.
And then I realized that those scars are like badges of honor.These are scars that I have because my health was THAT bad, and I turned that all around, so there is that. And I’m proud of that.
So this all brings me to this summer. I’m still obese. I’m just not AS obese as I used to be. And do you know what I feel about bathing suit season this year? BRING IT. That’s right, bring it on.
You know what I realized about wearing a bathing suit? No one cares about my bathing suit. Years and years of worrying and stressing about bathing suit season, all to come to this realization. I’m not sitting out at the pool eyeing everyone, and I don’t expect everyone else is doing the same. And if they are? Who cares? Seriously.
I’m still obese, and right now there is absolutely nothing I can do about that. I mean, I’m getting healthier, working towards my goals, but you know what I’ve learned in the past few years of doing this? It doesn’t happen over night. And do you know what that means? You just can’t stop living your life till your some magic number. Life is here and ready and there are all sorts of great things about it, including putting on a bathing suit and going for a swim or going to the ocean.
So today I joined a gym with an outdoor pool. Do you know why? Because I wanted to. That’s the only reason I needed, and that is the only reason you need. If you are overweight, obese, if you are at your ideal size, skinny, thin, fit, go get a bathing suit. If you want to swim, SWIM. If you want to go to the beach, GO TO THE BEACH, do it. It’s time to put an end to waiting for our lives to begin when we reach this ideal picture of what we think swimsuit ready is, or what an ideal body looks like. As someone who has been overweight/obese most of my life, I can tell you that I’ve wasted so much time in waiting to be thin, and I for one am tired of it, there is too much life to live, and too many things that I’m perfectly capable of doing at any size.
And this is what I want you to know: You are worth more than waiting to be an ideal size or body image to live your life. I have friends who are perfectly fit model types who stress over what they look like, and I have friends who are morbidly obese who stress over what they look like. I believe that no matter who you are, or what size you are that issue of how you feel about yourself will be there, so my advice? Live life. Do the things you want to do, I don’t care if you are size 22 or a size 2, you deserve to enjoy the time you have on this earth, and you deserve to not live with regret. I for one have way too much regret over the things that I did not do because of fear or embarrassment. Not anymore.
So the bottom line, how to get swimsuit ready?
Get a swimsuit.
You are ready.