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.
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.