I don’t have time for a long entry because I have to go get ready to meet some friends by the pool. There is a cabana. And where there is a cabana, my friends, there is a cabana boy serving frosty beverages.

But I wanted to take a second to write this up because I don’t want to forget it.

See, part of meeting friends for swimming is putting on a bathing suit. And this is, for most American women, an act fraught with self-esteem peril! It’s as near to being naked in public as most of us will ever come.

I know some guys who are loathe to put on a swimsuit as well.

And this is, quite frankly, ridiculous. Swimming is about being in the water and splashing around and maybe trying to dunk your friend. It is about seeing how long you can hold your breath under water. It’s about feeling the sun on your shoulders and realizing you need to put on more sunscreen (note to self: BUY SUNSCREEN).

Think back to when you were going swimming as a kid. It was just fun. How old were you when you became aware that your thighs touched or that your butt stuck out farther than the other kids’ butts?

When did going to the pool become more about how you looked than about how swimming and playing around in the water made you feel?

I just spent the morning bathing suit shopping. I looked at stuff online all week and should have just sucked it up and ordered something on Monday and paid for super-fast shipping. I put it off though, because making that order would commit me to appearing in public in a bathing suit.

I laugh at my super powers of avoidance sometimes, I really do.

For the record, the suits at Target run a little small, there isn’t a lot of room in the bust, and there is NO support. The suits are $35 and the tankini pieces are each $20.

I went several other places but couldn’t bring myself to pay $90 for a swimsuit. I just don’t have ninety spare dollars at the moment, you know? I found myself at Ross.

(theme song break)

Do you love it? I love it! I got it at Ross!

(/theme song break)

All of their swimsuits are mixed in with the regular sizes because they have three categories: small, medium, and large. I found an adequate if monstrously obnoxious tropical floral suit for $20. No slimming panels, no fancy tummy control.

Because, I am fat. And I am going to be fat no matter if I have my clothes on or off. No swimming suit in the world is going to hide it and why should I spend ridiculous amounts of money in pursuit of it – not to mention make myself really squished and uncomfortable – when I am still going to be fat? Because, dude, there is nothing wrong with being fat and there is nothing wrong with being fat in a bathing suit.

I can’t wait to go swimming.

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  1. Posted May 5, 2007 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Good for you!

    I was all proud of myself because, when I was getting ready to do the Big Swim for Arthritis, my first thought wasn’t “How fat will I look in this suit?” but “How incredibly pale do my legs look after wearing pants all winter?” which is, to my way of thinking, a much more reasonable concern in April.

  2. Posted May 5, 2007 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Beautifully put.

  3. Posted May 5, 2007 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Heehee. Well, have fun!

    I personally like bathing suits more than swimming, but, then, I can’t swim! Splashing in shallow water is fun. And a dog that will fetch in the water is a great pool toy.

  4. evilevi
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    I am so glad I don’t have to go bathing suit shopping this year. I found one at St. Vinnie’s last year for $3 and I will do my best to wear it until I die so I never have to so through that insanity again.

    On a note related to this blog, but not specifically to this post, have you seen this article?


    It’s about a very interesting study showing how strongly genetics affect weight. It’s *especially* interesting that much of this research has been available for 15-20 years but hasn’t been publicized and hasn’t made a difference in the just-eat-fewer-calories message that gets crammed down everyone’s throats.

  5. Posted May 8, 2007 at 2:54 pm | Permalink

    Hooray!! beautiful.

  6. RoseCampion
    Posted May 8, 2007 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    I hope you had a great time swimming and that many festive and frosty beverages were consumed.

    My swimsuit problems aren’t so much finding one, or daring to wear it. It’s more the whole swimming thing. I find it impossible to go swimming just to have fun.

    My mom, desparate to slim down my burgeoning body somehow, forced me onto the high school swim team for several years. Highly competitive swim team. I spent hours a day in the pool, going back and forth from end to end, morning and evening practices. Swimming, to me, is work. I know there are things one can do in a pool besides swim laps, but my imagination fails me. Whenever I find myself in a pool, I always end up swimming laps, no matter how much I intend to just enjoy myself. I just don’t know how to reclaim a sense of fun.

    Because for me, it didn’t become about how I looked in a suit (note- no one looks sexy in a racerback speedo with goggles and a swimcap). But on the other hand, I still can’t seem to give myself permission to buy a fun or frivolous suit, only endless permutations on the functional racer back style. No retro style halter tops for me, no cute ruched swimdresses.

    The experience of being on the swim team did have some good things. I learned early on that I’m probably one of those people who are just meant to be fat. Swimming laps for three hours a day didn’t make me skinny, so I figured nothing else was going to, so why worry. I found a real sense that my body was more than how it looked, but how it performed, what it could for me. How it could power through the water length after length.

    But dang, sometimes I wish I could find that kid again, just splashing around the pool like an idiot.

  7. Posted May 9, 2007 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    You are awesome. And so exactly right.

  8. Posted May 9, 2007 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Ooo, don’t forget handstand and somersault contests! I totally rocked those.

    Since swimming is my cardio of choice, I had to buy a suit suitable for swimming laps 14 pounds and 21″ ago. The first time I went swimming at the pool, I was mortified, convinced that the lifeguards were all snickering at the fat girl who thinks she can swim.

    For me, swimming is about the joy of being in the water and I just have to suck up those humiliating moments of actually appearing in a swimsuit. Now that I’ve lost some weight, I feel a little better, but I am fully aware as I walk out of the locker room that my thighs are jiggly and they rub together.

  9. Jackie
    Posted May 11, 2007 at 12:47 am | Permalink

    Just thought I’d mention, Torrid sells really cute swimsuits.

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