Bikini Woes

via Healthy Kitchen
via Healthy Kitchen

Summer is in full swing here in our small mountain town – it was over 30°C all weekend long, sunny, and beautiful. We spent our last few days hiking, downhill mountain biking, and splashing around in the lake. It was our little boy’s first time in a lake since he was a baby, and at first he wasn’t sure about any of it – but soon he realised he could splash his sister with water, repeatedly, and he found it great fun!

Let’s back up for just a second – we didn’t splash around in the lake. No, my husband and my two kids did, but I? I sat on the sidelines, in the shade on our blanket, watching them. Smiling and waving at them. Not quite knowing whether or not I should put on my bikini and join them. 

I had the cons listed in my head: I hated cold water. By the time I got my bikini on, Holland would most likely not want to stay in the lake, and I would have put it on for nothing. I wasn’t even sure if my bikini fit, I hadn’t worn it in so long.

Glancing around at the bodies on the beach, I noted there were 3 obese people in a sea of ‘regular’ or ‘fit’ bodies. I tried to imagine whose body was similar to mine, what would I look like out here on the beach, half-naked, in front of everyone.

I could feel my eyes pricking up with tears as I realised that this wasn’t the first time my weight held me back from doing something I wanted to do. But I blinked them away. I thought long and hard about why I  couldn’t bring myself to put on my bathing suit.

“Mama, are you coming in?” My daughter shouting at me from the water. I waved and shook my head no.

I just couldn’t do it. Ever since I realised how big I was and how much weight I gained, I’ve become more self-conscious about myself – about what I’m wearing and what I’m doing. I kept thinking what a bad example I was to my daughter.

But in the end I just couldn’t do it. And I just sat in the shade, in the hot hot heat, wishing I had the balls to put on a bathing suit and not worry about what I looked like or what people thought.

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  • Poor love! I know that feeling, I went a few summers without hitting the beach and I grew up 2km from the beach. It really sucks! It isn’t about having the “bikini body” or doing x amount of situps it’s about you. Your mindset and saying screw you to it all! So find a bikini/ 1 piece/ sarong and get out there. No one is looking at you but you. Took me a few summers to work that out. Don’t let your insecurity let you miss any more time in the lake with your family x

    • I think a sarong might still make me feel ‘sexy and fabulous’ while hiding a bit of fluff, I will be on the look out for one. Thank you for commenting 🙂

  • Great, honest post. Thanks! This is SUCH a universal struggle; I can totally relate. I swim a lot with my family, and also do not have what anyone would consider a bikini body. So I don’t wear one. I wear a one piece with a dress cover-up that I remove at the last possible moment minute. Or I wear a tankini with a t-shirt over it. I have even worn – many times – a pair of knee-length jean shorts into the lake. I know I should get over it and not worry about my chubby tummy and cellulite thighs, but on days when I can’t bring myself to, I just wear more clothing into the water! When my sister had recently had a baby, she got her life-guarding certification. Every day for the training with a bunch of teenagers, she wore a pair of spandex running shorts and a lycra tank-top because a bathing suit would make her too self-conscious and distract her. She called it her “bathing costume.” 🙂 And about being an example to your kids, good for you for thinking about the big picture! It sounds to me like you’re doing a great job, even if you do stay dry on the beach!

    • I’ve tried wearing a one-piece but the one-pieces I like are meant for Victoria’s Secrets angels, not for fluffy moms of 2! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  • Whenever we spend time traveling and at the pool I notice ALL the different bodies…especially while in the US…but the truth is, I think people spend more time worrying what they look like than people are actually critiquing you. Sure there are some rock hard bodies but there are even more soft rounded bodies.

    It sounds like you need to go swim suit shopping and buy a suit that you feel fabulous in. One piece or bikini. Whatever makes you feel like putting it on and playing with your kiddos.

  • I hear you. But u know what? Fuck it! Let’s make a pact that by the end of the summer we will have FUN in our bikinis even though we feel self-conscious!!

  • Hi, just stopping by from Hump Day Happenings…I agree with Tami, F it! Life’s too short to miss out on special moments with our loved ones, and most of us don’t look great in bathing suits, so who cares! throw on board shorts or a cover up and go have a good time! 🙂 I get it, I’ve totally been there and then a few years down the line while looking at pics, I wonder what the hell was wrong with me?! and I wish I looked at least that good now. Life’s short, have a good time!

    B
    http://www.naughteebits.com

  • I hear you.. I wish i could wear a bikini sadly my stomach will never be bikini ready without a little surgical help but hey there are always one pieces right?

  • Glad to know I am not the only mom who struggles with this. I went to water country and I refused to reveal myself in my tankini. I did see some people about my size and bigger strutting their stuff but I kept my coverup on the entire time. My stomach isn’t that big but I worry about the stretch marks being out in the open. Its just not something I feel comfortable doing. #TurnUpTuesday

  • I don’t think you should be doing this to yourself, dear!
    Had you joined your family in the pool, you’d probably have written about that awesome experience when your son splashed water on you and giggled with joy.

    Go out and create memories rather than worrying about strangers who you would probably never ever see again.

    Wish you a great weekend ahead!

    -Tanya
    http://tanyaanurag.blogspot.com/

  • I think this is something that most women can relate to. For some women it’s a weight issue, and for others it could be something else that they don’t like about their bodies. I’m always self-conscious about my bony ribs and flat chest. I wish I had some more flesh on me so I had more curves!

  • Aw, I’m so sorry that you feel that way. I agree with others. I’ve always had troublesome skin and it has held me back in many ways. As a teenager I didn’t do as many things as I would have liked to do because of it.

    By the way, when I’m at the beach, I don’t really notice other people’s bodies. I mean, I notice them, but never judge, I feel like it’s pretty rare that people do. Everyone else is also just there to be with their family or enjoy the day 🙂

  • i hear you… been there… i turn to the quote “happiest girls are the prettiest” for inspiration. i think it’s true about beauty, in all ways. fun women are the most beautiful. women who play are the most attractive. you know? the living is what people will notice, promise!

  • I used to really struggle with this issue too until my husband and I recently moved 10 minutes from the beach. The beach is my absolute favorite place on earth, so I didn’t want anything to squelch my enjoyment of it. The first time I went in a bathing suit, I sat under my umbrella and looked at all the women around me. Most were wearing a bikini of some kind, and wouldn’t you know it, there wasn’t one fit body out there! Most of the women had soft, regular bodies which looked beautiful in their swim suits. I have a soft, regular body, so I decided right then to let myself enjoy the beach without worry. You are probably in better company than you think.

    Thank you for sharing on Hump Day Happenings!

  • I must admit I found this very sad. I didin’t realise (from comments also) that so many women feel so bad about themselves just because they don’t have model bodies. I am quite overweight myself but I wouldn’t dream of not enjoying going to the beach. I allways wear a bikini, though I don’t parade around it, except to sunbathe and going swimming. I wear a maxi dress for going to the bar or a longer walk. And you know what, I never got the impression that anyone was staring or judging or being horrified. You don’t have to wear a one piece, a bikini or a two piece can be just as flattering if not more. There are styles with more coverage or support, that I personally find more attractive than just two triangles and a piece of string. Have you ever seen a man avoiding the beach because of his beer gut? I haven’t. They allways seem to have a good time, not being bothered about it. Maybe we should learn something from them.

  • Oh This is so sad. Imam overweight, probably 60pounds of extra i could (should!) loose, floppy thighs full of varicose veins, but you know what, the fun i have with my daughter and the spark in her eyes and the smile on her face when i get in the water pour build sand castles with her is just too priceless and outweighs the cons, which really are all in head. Too soon, way too soon, those days of playing with her will be over and she will be going to the beach with her friends and will ask me to stay home… and i don’t want any regrets.