Bathing Beauties

I could not help myself on my recent vacation… I looked with a critical and envious eye at the swimsuit clad bodies of the women I was traveling with.  Skinny minnies, both of them.

Wife Number One lives an active outdoorsy lifestyle.  She mountain bikes, hikes, has done mini-triathlons, plays frisbee, walks her dog, bikes around town instead of driving.  She does no official exercise other than yoga, but she does that at an advanced level.  And her arms are killer!  Better than Michelle Obama’s any day of the week:)  Wife Number One wore a bikini.  And she looked good in it.  Not like a Sports Illustrated model, but like a fit healthy normal woman.  During the trip she ate and drank what she wanted and I am sure she never diets.  She loves cupcakes:)

Wife Number Two has a pool in her backyard and the tan to prove it.  She wears swimsuits just to do work around the yard and while in her home office.  She bought a new suit on our vacation and worried the tankini was too matronly looking.  It was not!  She is lean and trim and has no saddlebags or thigh jiggle.  She sat by the pool in her suit while I walked around with a sarong tied to my waist.  Sigh.  Interestingly, she turned down most dessert, saying she really doesn’t like sweets.  My husband and I both wondered if it was a great way to diet without others asking questions but then I noticed that Wife Number Two ate all the bread and potatoes and poured on the salad dressing.  And she wasn’t afraid of a cocktail or two or three.  I’ll never know for sure, but she seems like the type who can eat whatever she wants and never gain a pound.

I have always admired women (and men for that matter) who seem comfortable enough with their bodies to wear swimsuits proudly.  Whether they have perfect thighs or middle-aged spread.  A confident body at any shape or size.  (Okay, I will admit I don’t need to see anyone’s body in a thong.)  I have never had that self confidence, at any weight, at any age.   Well, looking back I did seem pretty comfortable in a bikini at age 8:)  But I remember being in high school and wearing shorts on the beach over my swimsuit because I was embarrassed by my skinny thighs.  Oh to have those thighs now.

Honestly, I felt okay about myself in my swimsuit this past weekend.  Not great… and not confident, but much better than I would have without the last several months of exercise and diet.  Those months made a huge difference in how I felt on this trip.  And the reality is that I may never feel great and confident in a swimsuit.  That’s just not who I am.  So I am glad that my swimsuit wearing days are few and far between.  And thankful for my sarong.

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28 Comments

Filed under appearance, body and/or body image, clothing, influence of others, vacation

28 responses to “Bathing Beauties

  1. That cartoon pic is hilarious!! Love it.

    Oh…the dreaded bathing suit. We are going on a cruise in July and I DREAD the swimsuit part. Ugh.

    I have always been self concious in a swim suit…even 2 summers ago at a size 4. It is something that may always stay with me I guess.
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Big step…. =-.

    • Karen

      I think there is a clear connection between swimsuit comfort and just general body image. I need to work on the latter too.

  2. You know, my trainer has always said that you can really eat whatever you want when you are fit and exercising (within moderation). Maybe Wife #2 is at that place. She’s on vacation, says to herself she’ll indulge on vacation, but when she is back home she’ll be eating better. You know, it’s not a usual thing. Just a thought.

    Glad you had fun and more confidence this time around at the beach. 🙂
    .-= Anonymous Fat Girl´s last blog ..4 Shocking secrets about fast food & apple drop biscuits recipe =-.

    • Karen

      I did wonder if that was the case. And I guess I will never know. After all, I certainly ate more on my trip than I would at home. For me, vacations have ALWAYS been partly about good food.

  3. This picture and your post just made me laugh out loud! How funny! I, too, have never felt comfortable in a bathing suit; however, this is the YEAR! I have a beach vacation in 3 months…just about! Hopefully, I will be bathing suit ready. You should know…I have never and will never be a bikini girl! Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog…by the way 🙂
    .-= Corletta Brown´s last blog ..And the winner is…. =-.

    • Karen

      Corletta – Having seen a photo of you in your exercise clothes, I believe that you will ROCK your swimsuit! Especially with your goals for the coming months.

  4. that picture is a riot. have you ever seen norbit? the scene where respusha goes to the water park and is wearing a bikini….and the guy says, um, mam you need to have bottoms on…so she lifts up her belly and yep, there they are…all hidden by her enormous belly…lol funny. Now there is a large woman who is comfortable with wearing a suit! lol

    Anyway….I am thankful we don’t need to wear them very often and when I do, I am not around many ppl I actually know…lol
    .-= losingmore´s last blog ..And I’m off… =-.

    • Karen

      I have not seen it but I love the image you describe:) And I can tell you that knowing I would be around friends and that we would take pictures was a great motivator over the last few months.

  5. Ohh I can so relate, Karen. Even now I don’t feel very confident in a bathing suit… there will always be cellulite, and pudginess, and imperfections… even at my smallest! I envy people too who can wear things with great confidence. When we went to Mexico last summer, I was in awe of Europeans who were FAR from “perfect” and how they let it all just sort of..hang out! lol! It was a topless beach and there were plenty of older folks who went for that option. It was inspiring (and a little uncomfortable, haha) to see how little they cared about their imperfections.
    .-= Anna´s last blog ..Sucking air =-.

    • Karen

      I so agree! About how I feel even at my smallest in a suit, and about the confident Europeans. Someone who has traveled more or lived abroad might be able to tell us why the body image thing is so different.

  6. Yes, I alway admire those types too that can be so comfortable in their own skin to wear next to nothing. I even admire more so the ones that are really heavy and still do it. Bravo to showing some skin!

  7. I think exercise plays a big part of being able to eat whatever. It is a great thing to feel confident in your body!

    Even when I weighed 165, I still felt very much like a fat girl. I think it is a process that we go through and then come to the other side of! 🙂

    I admire those who are confident in their bodies regardless of shape or size. I think that in itself is a gift!

    ~Kellie
    .-= The Chubby Girl Diaries´s last blog ..Weird tales from the scale and getting over mommy guilt =-.

    • Karen

      My first thought when I had my injury and could not do any more upper body strength training was that any bit of muscle tone I had was going to be gone just in time to get in my suit and sleeveless tops! Sigh.

  8. I ❤ you.

    My worry is and always has been/will be my cave dwelling fluorescence.
    .-= JourneyBeyondSurvival´s last blog ..Bless My Cookie Tosser! =-.

  9. That cartoon is a riot! I hate wearing a bathing suit, they are so skimpy!

    I can’t help but notice what skinny women do at the dinner table. I am curious about how they maintain their figures.

    I wish I were confident enough to not worry about how I look around the pool but I am not there yet.

    • Karen

      I really have a hard time finding suits that fit. But I can say for sure that having one that has the right support makes a big difference to how I feel and I have also felt tons better in the skirted ones, although a bit matronly.

  10. I am for once excited about going bathing suit shopping this year! I will for the first time in a long time be in half decent shape for my age.

    I want to get to a place like your friends, where I can maintain and enjoy myself at the same time without worrying about every little bite, and know that a vacation won’t set me off on a month long binge when I get back home!
    .-= Carla´s last blog ..Outdoor running vs. indoor running =-.

  11. That cartoon made me laugh outloud and my kids said, “What’s so funny?” I quickly switched screens so they wouldn’t see what I think is funny!

    I still don’t like bathing suits. Probably never will.
    .-= Diane Fit to the Finish´s last blog ..Are You A Picky Eater? =-.

    • Karen

      Oh that cracks me up! I just saw your spread in Shape, finally. So cool. I’ll try to remember to leave a comment on your blog in case you don’t come back to read this.

  12. Good for you for putting on a suit! Who wants to be at the beach in capri pants and a t-shirt? Even at my heaviest, when we would go to the beach, I would just say “screw it”, it’s my vacation dollars, put on my cover-up, jiggle my way out to the sand, and slink into my snorkeling gear. You know, if blubber is good enough for whales, it’s good enough for me!
    Actually, whales don’t have stretch marks, sagging skin, and a society that shuns them for being huge…
    As for me, I embrace my inner beluga while trying to get my body more dolphin-like!
    .-= Sskar´s last blog ..Monitoring My Obesity Hormones – Yeah, Right =-.

    • Karen

      OMG that is so funny! Thanks for starting my day with a chuckle. One summer I was at my mom’s lake house in exercise shorts and top because I just refused to buy a bigger swimsuit. It was depressing. Let’s go back to laughing about whales.

  13. loved the cartoon! thanks for the morning laugh!

    i don’t think there are too many of us, especially as we get older, who LOVE to put on a bathing suit in front of others.

    but the truth is, just with eating, i think people (women) are more worried about themselves and in their own worlds than really looking at what you are eating/doing/wearing. i think it’s more of an internal pressure we put on ourselves. jmho.

    • Karen

      I am sure you are right… and no one else is looking at me like I am. But wouldn’t it be interesting to know what they were thinking or saying, or heaven forbid posting in a blog, about me?!

  14. LOVE that cartoon! I used to joke with my trainers that I was easier to measure now–my breasts and my waist can be taken with one measure. A joke, yes, but not far from the truth. 🙂

    glad you felt comfortable in your swimsuit. I’m not sure any of us who’ve had weight problems would ever feel totally confident, but comfortable is good. Very good. 🙂
    .-= Cammy@TippyToeDiet´s last blog ..Is This Thing On? =-.

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