Since having my daughter over 6 years ago, I have felt immensely uncomfortable wearing a swim suit. Shopping for one is the absolute worst. I would honestly rather have a pap smear. And these suits!! GAWD. They are either made for size zero 20 year olds or an Italian grandmother. Finding one, trying it on and subsequently wearing it all summer…the swim suit is my nemesis. The Newman to my Seinfeld. I hate it with a passion. But it is one of those things that just must be done; especially since we have a boat for which we went into debt.
You may know that I lost some 30 pounds last Spring. The weight loss has pretty much stopped even though I have another 10 to lose. But, I could be trying harder too. Even with the weight loss, it appears I feel no more comfortable with my body and especially in a swim suit. I thought I would. I thought that comparatively I would look so much better. But I still see this fat chic who looks older and older by the minute. This epiphany (is that even what it is?) came to me this past weekend while at the water park.
I was wearing my old lady swimsuit that looks like a dress. I brought 3 with me, but that was the least offending. Standing in front of that mirror started to push me into quite the bad mood. When I see that reflection, I see all of these rolls, scars, veins, sagginess…and it just starts this negative conversation that will remain yackin’ for the rest of the trip. We get down to the water parks and I start the competition. There is no prize, trophy or award at the end of this competition. The competitors don’t even know they are participating. And the only place is last.
I start eyeballing my opponents from their hair down to their ankles. The first thing I notice is the moms with new babies. Embarrassingly, I almost get into a stare. And its not at the cutie bundle she is holding. It is due to my confusion and envy. How are these new moms so thin already? Their babies are like 2, 4, 6 months and their tummies are flat as can be. How is this possible and shouldn’t there be a law against it?? I sit and wonder what they do or don’t do to look that way. Do they starve themselves? Are they just blessed with genetic lucky charms? Cocaine? Please say it’s cocaine.
Once in a while I would let Charlie into my world of self destructive put downs. He would always tell me I looked fine, that I wasn’t fat, or that I just gain in my belly while others have big butts. None of these responses helped me whatsoever. Worthless!! I will go back to my head now.
So, not that I was listening to Charlie or anything…but I started thinking about that issue of body fat placement. Why do I get cursed with the bad area? I have no ass at all and this big beer belly. Like a potato on toothpicks. An apple with a face. I would love to have hips and an ass. NO one wants a big fat gut. I declare this completely unfair and I should receive some sort of reparations from the body fat fairy. Fuck that. NO FAIR.
As I got deeper into my self criticism in between water sliding and stair climbing, I began to notice how good some of the women who were clearly older than me looked. I mean, women with like 10 kids there, about 45 and still way younger looking and thinner than me. How do THEY do it?
Yea, once in a while I would notice the typical Wisconsin sized woman. But I wouldn’t pay nearly as much attention. And honestly, I was even jealous of them. Maybe not because their swim suits were clearly 4 sizes too small or because their ass crack swallowed their bikini bottom…but because they were having fun and looking happy regardless of how they may have looked. To be such a larger size and be confident enough to wear a skimpy two piece, seriously, I actually think I am more envious of them than the skinny bitches. They get to eat AND be just fine with lettin’ it all go.
What makes them so at peace with their bodies while I obsess about every flaw and aging change? They don’t even entertain the idea of sucking in their gut before landing at the end of the slide. They don’t try to cover up with a granny skirted suit. They are just fine with who they are. Again. NO FAIR!!I suppose I should take that one up with the psychiatric fairy.
I did, however, notice that I am not the only one. There were also women there whose bodies looked good, very normal, no noticeable rolls, boobs weren’t down to their knees…yet they were still wearing cover up-ish swim styles. If I looked like them, I say to myself, I would SO be in a two piece. So, while others are probably not as analytical or obsessive about this whole topic as I am…there are clearly others who have body issues. So, at least I have company in that camp.
Now, what to do about it. I could be more strict with my diet. I could increase my already high fitness times. I could invent invisible waterproof Spanx. But what I would really prefer is gaining an acceptance and perhaps even some respect for myself and how I look. I would really love to think about doing fun things without worrying about how gross I will look. I want to be able to see a hot chic without thinking I am garbage in comparison. I want to relieve myself of the envy, the obsessing, the comparing, the self loathing. But how does one accomplish that? If you figure it out, will you let me know?