It’s the Most Horrible Time of the Year [i.e. swimsuit season]

There is a very real possibility I will be putting on my swimsuit this weekend. Possibly. Maybe. I haven’t decided yet. People everywhere, of all shapes and sizes, dread pulling their swimsuits out of closets and dressers this time of year. This particular fat lady is no exception.

As someone who has been larger my entire life – chubby to fat, gain then lose then gain then lose, ad nauseam – I cannot remember a single swimsuit I have ever felt comfortable in. None. Not ever. Going all the way back to childhood. Sure, I had swimsuits I thought were really cute and that I looked acceptable in, but that was really as good as it got. If I wasn’t ashamed of my stomach, I was ashamed of my thighs, or my arms, or my small boobs.

One event in particular sticks out in my mind even now. During a summer camping trip with family, we were swimming in the park’s pool (not the lake, for a change) and two boys there were making fun of my weight. Decidedly chubby at this point, but just a kid. I was maybe 11? Or 12? Maybe 13? The only way I knew how to handle the situation was to do cannonball after cannonball off of the diving board in their direction to splash them. I guess it was my way to show them that I didn’t care. I did care, of course. The entire time at the pool was ruined and I scarfed down an ice cream sandwich afterwards. Sweet, comforting food to hide my humiliation.

This is what comes to mind whenever I think about putting on a swimsuit.

I actually haven’t even worn one in a few years. Unless you are willing to shell out $100+, it can be pretty hard for a super fat person to find something that works. Eventually the Land’s End separates I bought on clearance stopped fitting (it was ugly has hell anyway) and I just didn’t buy anything new. Until last year, that is when I decided to face my demons and swim again. I bought the swimsuit. Kind of ugly, very tacky, but it fits (it met my most important criteria = on sale and in my size). And then . . . nothing. I never made it to the pool.

The swimsuit in question. You know, on a model that really give a plus size person a good picture of how it fits.
Here is the ugly swimsuit in question. You know, on a model that really gives a plus size person a good picture of how it will fit.

So here we are. Another summer and that swimsuit still wadded up in my drawer. Can I drum up the courage to put it on and venture into my in-laws new enviable pool? Maybe. I love to swim. Wish me luck.



  1. Do It! You won’t shock your family! And more important, swimming is the one sport that doesn’t care if you carry extra weight. In fact, those extra pounds just help you stay bouyant, so any energy exerted is all used to propel you forward. Swimming is very forgiving, no one can see what is below the water line. I know, I lost 50 lhs in last couple years, and swimming was my only (but very regular) exercise. Enjoy!

  2. I understand how you feel, but I like that suit a lot and I hope you use it and enjoy the pool.
    My brother told me for years that I had bird legs. Then my (ex) husband told me for 17 yrs the same thing while his eyes wandered to other women.
    I’ve been married for 20 yrs to an angel who tells me constantly he loves my legs. I’ll answer his compliment back with a no there not which I think hurts his feelings. I’m 63 and still fussing about immature and cruel comments from idiots. I’m determined to let go of that crap and wear my suit and have a good time. I hope you will too, because you are admired by many women and you deserve some R&R once in a while.

  3. Aww, Stephanie. Thanks for sharing this. I feel your pain and haven’t been in a swimsuit for years. A dear friend always asks if I want to join her for water aerobics, and I always ask if you’re allowed to wear running pants. Running shorts topped by a built-in bra tank top has been my go-to water activity outfit for for years, but the shorts do nothing to hide my dimpled and shapeless legs. I agree with “Anonymous”: Let go of that crap, wear your suit and have a good time!

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