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?


5 thoughts on “The Competition: Mine to Lose

  1. I think I wrote that wrong- a size 10 isn’t FAT but I felt like it was… I wanted you to know that even though I lost the weight I still felt the same whether I was a size 2 or the size 10… LOL! God the whole weight thing just sucks! I know when I was “skinny” I still wished I looked different, so yes I do know that it is a mental thing with me. I would love to know what happened to me as a kid that I have had such low self esteem and always felt like I was in a competition. Really I led a pretty simple lifestyle, I was the 3rd of 4 kids (2 boys and 2 girls), had a mom that was a stay at home mom, went to a Catholic grade school, blah blah blah… I don’t want to be the needy person that always wants to look good, but dang I just can’t seem to shake it no matter what size or shape my body is in!

    Keep up all of your hard work! I admire how you put 110% in EVERYTHING you take on in all aspects of your life!

    1. Oh I know. Its just a matter of never being happy with ourselves. I too wonder why I am like this. I imagine my dad leaving had something to do with it. But I wish I could fix it already!!!

  2. Oh how I relate to this… I was at a pretty sad point in my life years ago, a size 10 (at times busting out of those) and I started dating someone- PUHLEEZ I have no self esteem as it is and then as the relationship goes further and to that point, I can’t even fathom the thought of getting naked in front of him I mean come on I am FAT and his ex from what I understood was a size 4 and all of 5 ft. 2 in. Oh yeah, and don’t even let me get started on the fake boobs she had. I was mortified, petrified, downright disgusted with myself and how I had let myself to get this way. Mind you I have NOT had a baby. I was the skinny girl in high school that could never borrow any of my friends clothes because as they put it “they looked like they were still on the rack on me”

    My point being, I stayed in this relationship, took care of him and his 3 children that he brought into my life, moved in together and started maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle, being active by taking care of my new “family” and just starting a new chapter in my life. During our time together the weight slowly came off and then started rapidly coming off, I couldn’t believe it… Let me tell you, I got down to a size 2 and those were big on me but guess what I still had/have no self esteem. Everyone talked/commented on how much weight I had lost but I still didn’t feel pretty or the like the one everyone looked at or wanted.

    I am out of that relationship and up to a size 4, some days I can still wear my 2’s but as my sister (my best friend) tells me- It doesn’t matter, easy for her to say, she is married with 2 kids, skinny, and has it all. I am single again in my mid 30’s still with no self esteem, scared to death of going to Mexico next month and don’t want to even think of getting into a bikini. I really don’t know where my lack of esteem has come from but no matter how big or skinny I am/was it still hasn’t changed.

    I applaud you for your weight loss because you did it the right way, eating right, exercising, quitting smoking, etc. I didn’t do it the right way, mine was mostly stress when I was dropping th weight extremely fast last year. I know I was not in a healthy situation as I have explained to you before BUT there are still times I wish I was down those 10 lbs I probably have put on… I guess no matter how skinny I got, I still never felt it…. I still wasn’t happy and I still wanted to look better/prettier. I have always told in every email I have ever sent to you, I have felt a connection to you because so much of what you say, I feel which is why I enjoy reading your blogs so much. So with that being said, we both need to work on just getting over it I guess, I am not sure how to do it, but I need to TRY… I am going to Mexico for 10 days and will have to be around the SAME people day in and day out, something I am not looking forward to, I will be checking everyone out upon arrival wondering, guessing, and questioning how I am going to compare….

    LIFE SUCKS for us women that just don’t seem to have it all doesn’t it??

    1. Ugh. See, now I am looking at your numbers and totally feeling jealous!! I was never skinny, but until I had a kid, I never worried that much about my weight. I never loved my body or how I looked in any way. I always felt like the ugliest girl in the room. But the weight was not much of a concern ever. But having a baby at 30…your body just does NOT bounce back like it does at 20. I waited too long I guess.

      Please do not feel bad about being a size 4!! That makes me feel even worse for being a 10 LMAO!!! And I WISH stress caused weight loss for me. Shit. I am such an emotional eater, stress probably makes it worse for me.

      I don’t starve myself. I don’t binge. No barfing. No laxatives or pills. But in a way, I feel like I have some kind of eating disorder. Or something that makes me obsess about weight. I really hate it. If I feel this way after 10 more pounds lost, then I will know it is a mental issue. 10 lbs will put me where I was pre-pregnancy and at a healthy weight. Now, I just have to do it!!

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