These three little words are harmless by themselves, but string them together and women of all sizes cringe. I too used to cringe and for a better part of my life I didn’t even own a real bathing suit. I wore gym shorts or old yoga pants cut off above where my thighs had finally rubbed a hole. I wore a sports bra underneath a t-shirt or tank top if it was really hot out. You see I am a plus sized woman. I have pretty much been this size for the better part of my adult life. Puberty hit and I seemed to explode.
Society had and still does put quite a bit of emphasis on being trim, slim and fit. I never used to feel comfortable in my own skin, but I loved myself. I know it sounds confusing but let me explain. I always have loved who I am as a person, but doubted that love because society and peers told me I shouldn’t love myself because of my size. Fat girls were told they couldn’t or shouldn’t dress the way they do now. I love that so many plus sized models are out in the mainstream giving young girls and us older chicks some self esteem and courage to finally be who we feel like we are inside!
A few years ago I decided to buy a real bathing suit. I asked friends I trusted where the best places to shop online for quality suits were. I could try them on in the comfort and safety of my own bathroom and if I liked them, I kept them. For the first time ever I felt good about how I looked in a swimsuit. We even had a cookout/pool party and I wore one of the suit tops with a pair of jean shorts and I felt fan-freaking-tastic!! I got so many compliments that day. It felt good! I felt good! I was being accepted for the first time despite my size! I thought to myself that this has to be a fluke.
It wasn’t a fluke, in fact it was the start of a wonderful and positive relationship with my body. Sure, it took a few years to get past the little things I was focusing on and finally deciding that I could and should be happy and not wait around for life to happen. I needed to do what made me happy. My whole life I feel as if I have been in a big giant waiting room. Waiting till I lost enough weight so I would be more ‘socially acceptable’. Waiting for my hair to grow, till I had more money and the list goes on and on. Honestly I don’t even know how I got married, had kids, got divorced and re-married again with the self esteem I had!
The whole diet industry is set up for suckers like me, just waiting to be preyed upon based on my level of insecurity. My hatred of my body and being told I won’t find true love if I am fat. How sad is that? It wasn’t for lack of trying to lose weight either. I tried all the pills, potions, diets, soups and shakes. Sure, I lost weight. Gained it all back and then some more as well each and every time. Starvation diets and super restrictive diets do not work!
Today just a few short years later, (I say short because time seems to go by so fast as we get older), I have successfully shopped and purchased 3 new suits! I still order online because that is just how I roll when I shop for just about anything since I really don’t like shopping in a store with all the people. I just don’t like crowds much and I also don’t like to be checked up on a million times while I am browsing the racks. I realize it is their job, and I appreciate being welcomed to the store and given a quick rundown of the sales that day. After that if I need you I will come get you and ask my question.
I am happy with my size and the kind of person I am. Do I want to lose weight, sure I would love to drop a few pounds just to be able to move around better, it just makes good sense at this point in my life. I am almost 49 years old and I am finally enjoying my life. Living and enjoying each day, doing the things I love to do instead of feeling like I should be or act differently. I still have days where I wish I had stuck to a diet or could lose some weight, but I don’t linger on the subject much anymore.
I will never apologize for being who I am ever again, or try to change just to keep a friend. My hope is that someone out there reads this or sees my pictures I took with my bathing suits on and decides that they too are good enough. They too can be happy with who they are and love themselves unconditionally no matter what size the tag on their swimsuit says.
I am sure you have noticed that in these pics my face is hidden. My hair was a hot mess this morning, and I am more self conscious about my hair than my body. So what does that tell you? Be proud of who you are, love yourself and Live your life by your own rules!
YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL!