6.27.2008

#94 - Going to the beach

I managed to swallow my pride and slip into my capri pants this season despite my hesitation. By no means am I comfortable wearing them, well... physically comfortable, yes, emotionally comfortable, no. I was starting to think the other day, as the hot sun was making me melt, that it's getting time to hit the beach. Ugh, the beach. A fat girl's worst nightmare. We spend the whole year trying to cover up our fat with long tunics, black attire, and layered looks. But at the beach there is no hiding! I don't care what kind of "slimming" swim suit you find, you still are exposed. I hate that! I really don't relish the idea of showing off my cellulite to the world.

But it's not even just the fact that I have to bare my, well, everything in a bathing suit, it's more. I love walking along the beach, looking at all the shells and creatures at the shore edge, but honestly, even the walking can be tough sometimes. The reason: the sand. My thin counterparts flit along the beach, seeming to have no problem walking in the sand, while I, on the other hand, sink deep into the sand with every step. Is this a beach or quicksand? So with every step it takes mammoth strength to free myself from the grasp of the beach sand. Does this happen to you too? Or am I just some weird freak of nature, incapable of walking in the sand? I do know that exercise experts say walking on the beach is extremely healthy for the reason that it IS hard to walk on. I guess even skinny people sink a bit into the sand as they walk, but come on, I leave holes in the beach when I walk. OK, maybe it's not that bad, but it sometimes feels that way.

There is other stuff I feel I can't do at the beach when I'm heavy. I live along water and the other day my boyfriend and I were out watching jet-skiers zip by. That looked like tons of fun, but in my mind, I said, "yeah I'm probably too fat to do that." Probably not true, but it's those awkward moments when you are in the jet-ski rental shop when they ask you your weight or you see a maximum weight limit for the jet-skis (which of course shows you are too heavy). It's mostly moments like those that keep me from doing adventurous things. The total fear of embarrassment.

The one thing I do like about going to the beach is the actual swimming. Being fat has it's benefits here. While everyone is exhausted from swimming and treading water, I can stay in the water for hours if desired without tiring. Why? Well, fat floats. So I can hide my cellulite beneath the waves and enjoy the sun and surf while getting a little exercise with swimming and floating around. It's this that keeps me coming back to the beach despite the embarrassment of baring my ass. But at some point you need to get out of the water. Staying in the water too long will turn you into a total prune, and pruney cellulite is not a pretty sight.

At some point in my day of embarrassment at the beach, I get over it, I suck it up, get out of the water, and bask in the sun like everyone else. You have every right to enjoy a day at the beach like everyone else. A little embarrassment shouldn't hold you back from the things you like to do, ever! If it helps you to get over the embarrassment, make sure you swim a lot, then you can consider your day at the beach as exercise. I live a little more than a mile from the public beach. I know that first visit to the beach will be the toughest. I'll feel every eye on me, assuming they are all judging me because I'm fat. I think the important thing here to remember is that NO ONE likes wearing a swim suit. How many skinny girls have you heard bitching about swim suit season? When you think someone is staring at you, realize it might be the opposite, that they might we wondering what you think of them. Get over the fear of embarrassment, enjoy the summer, enjoy the beach, enjoy life! Being trapped inside yourself with all these fears just isn't worth it. Keep reminding yourself of what you've done and what you are doing. Feeling like you're being judged by evil stares from strangers? Well screw them! Remind yourself that you are working on losing weight and getting healthy, you've lost 5 pounds, 10 pounds, 20, 50, 100+. It will never matter what "those" people think. The only thing that matters is you. How do you feel about yourself? Are you confident? Are you strong? Are you happy? Maybe it will take a little bruised ego and a little getting over your fears, but get on that swim suit and get down to the beach! You know I'll be there. I might be trying to dig my feet out of the sand, but I'll be there!

28 comments:

Shanna said...

I'm not sure where you live, but I am in the Ft. Lauderdale area, and I love going to the beach.

HOWEVER, I hate it when, you gain all your confidence, you think you look good in your new suit as you check yourself out in the bathroom mirror (just don't look at the rear view...trust me!), THEN you get to the beach and this skinny little nothing, walks past you in her itty bitty string bikini. It is at that moment, you wish the sand really would just swallow you up.

It sucks how we let our insecurities have so much control over us. I, for one, am guilty of putting things off. I say to myself, "When I lose X sizes or X pounds, then I'll do it." WHY?!? I am literally "weighting" my life away. I allow others and the thoughts of others, along with my own insecurities, to steal my joy.

That is so ridiculous. Time to stop preparing to live, and just start living!

Thanks for the post...helps to know I'm not alone! =)

This Mom said...

I know exactly what you are talking about! I HATE going to the beach with my family because I feel like the "fat mom" surrounded by skinny moms with dark tans...

Time for me to get over it, I guess! Great post!

dkaz said...

About 8 years ago, I had lost about 100 lbs. and was wearing size 12 for the first time in many years. My whole extended family was going to Disney World. My sister and I went shopping for some summery clothes for me; capris had recently come back into fashion. I tried several pairs on in my size and they just didn't look right. My sister came into the dressing room and said "You look like the Incredible Hulk!" - and she was right! I looked like I was wearing some child's pants and had somehow grown while wearing them (I, too, have muscular calves). I eventually found a pair that fit better, but I was very self-conscious and I was in much better shape then than I am now. I sweltered wearing jeans in Florida rather than wear shorts.
I very recently stopped allowing my worries about how I look (on my journey to fitness) prevent me from doing things. I am fatter than you and I jet-skied with my kids last summer and it was awesome. I wasted a lot of years worrying and now I still worry, but not as much. I don't want to miss anymore of my life.

Ready to Shrink said...

Chubby Chick directed me to your site after my post (http://ready2shrink.blogspot.com/2008/06/hyc-check-in-or-this-stupid-3.html) today. I am really glad that she did. I am going to try and brave the swim suit. I hope I can be as brave as you. Nicely done!

Catherine said...

"When you think someone is staring at you, realize it might be the opposite, that they might we wondering what you think of them."

That is exactly right. People pay far less attention to our physical appearance than we imagine they do when we are feeling insecure. Chances are that nobody even notices the things that drive you crazy, whether it's that you have a big zit on your chin, a bad hair day, a mismatched outfit, or cellulite on your ass. Especially at the beach. Everyone is way too worried about what *they* look like in their bathing suits to worry about what you look like in yours.

Supple Mama said...

I am not sure if I will brave a swimsuit this year, but your post made me think. good job!

airlie said...

I am so with you on the not trying things for the fear of embarrassment and the questions that might be asked!

I am 500kms from the beach (thankfully) coz I hate the whole baring it all issue too!

Christa D said...

I think you are right when you say no one thinks they look good in a swimsuit. Even though I have lost 40 lbs, there is no way that I'm getting in a suit this summer but I am wearing skirts--not since grade 7 have I worn a skirt. Thanks for sharing.

Hai Heaven said...

It's always sort of humbling to find that you're not the only one that has a particular issue. I, too, have worried too much about what others would think because of my weight. While I won't be suiting up this year, your words have been planted within my memory for the next time I consider letting embarrassment ruin a good time.

Anonymous said...

thank you. That was a good read and certainly makes one think :)

JJ said...

First of all I want to thank you for sharing your weight-loss journey with us.
I'm in the uk, 23, 5'5 and have been somewhere between 250 and 300 for over five years. I'd tried different support groups, but everyone else seemed to start at half my size.
Many of the reasons you've mentioned (I've just read the archives) strike a chord, and you've inspired me to re-start my healthy eating program.
Concerning this post, I love going to the sea-side and swimming in the sea. Mostly we'd go out of season, when there were few people around, and I'd spend most of the time in the sea, even in early march and late october.
Unfortunately I don't do that any more. I don't even bother with my swimming costume. Last autumn I'd come out of the sea to dry off before we came home, and I was lying on my stomach reading, when a group of teenage boys walked past, loudly pointing out the 'beached whale'. Until then, the sea-side had been a place where I could 'forget' that I was obese, and just enjoy myself, now I sit on the sand in my jeans, staring at the sea, and wishing I was swimming in it again.

Eddie Pugmire said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eddie Pugmire said...

PS:

Even though I am relatively athletic, I was not BORN with a muscular body. I eat extremely healthy and I must or else I will become scrawny. Being muscular from being scrawny is actually just as difficult if not more! If I do not exercise for a week I may lose 5-10 lb, no joke. My weight fluctuates 5 or so pounds in a day due to water intake. Also, companies charge more for weight gain, as opposed to weight loss. Just trying to give you hope! It is not impossible, or too difficult. I just can't express how happy I am to see someone say "I am going to lose weight" as opposed to say "I can't help it" as they eat another unhealthy meal and never exercise.

Anonymous said...

You can't even imagine how real this is to me. few years ago I went on a family vacation to Gulf Shores. I am a Drug and alcohol counselor helping those who are addicted to drugs find drug rehab facilities they need. So when I was at the beach I remember the kids were out in the water and I had gone down to the water's edge to hang out with them and when I came back up the shore there was a small sand bump to go up, maybe 1 1/2 feet tall. I should have been able to just step up and keep going but instead I felt I needed to jump up to get over it. I was so over weight that I caught my leg on the edge and ended up flopping around like a beached whale in the sand. I was so embarrassed that I didn't return to the beach during our vacation but this was the point I decided that is enough I have to lose weight. It took me a year or more but I did lose the weight and I am now much happier and much healthier.

Thanks for the blog and sharing your life.

john - from fat to fit said...

Even when I was thin I didn't like taking my shirt off in public. My problem is I've got a pool in my backyard so it happens more than I would like. For some reason I find myself doing a lot of night time swimming...

Anonymous said...

I always go to the beach in the fall when I don't look out of place fully clothed. I prefer it, not being a swimmer, but a sea-gazer. The beach is much less crowded!

For those who want to swim, there are swimsuit options that don't expose so much flesh. Here's an article in the Chicago Sun-Times:

http://jump.suntimes.com/list.cfm?tag=modest-swimwear

Also:
http://www.wholesomewear.com/page-3.html

Karen

Joe said...

I definetly understand the confidence thing. As a guy I try to have the I don't care attitude but in the back of my head it does.

http://mybigfatdiary.com

Jem said...

Well done! Going to the beach used to be terrifying for me! In every sense of the word. I used to be petrifyed of merely getting into my swimming stuff as I became so self concious. It is refreshing to see someone take that step and do something they are afraid of! :)

Regards
JWard

http://www.fastfatlossproductreviews.blogspot.com

Coleen said...

Wow, Do I ever understand! Recently I went to a swimming pool with my kids and got a look at myself in a full length florecently lit mirror. OMG--- I scared myself to death! Not only was there celulite everywhere, but I was glow-in-the-dark-white. My skin NEVER sees the light of day. The bad nes. We're doing a TV show about getting healthier so I was also on camera in said bathing suit. Oh the horror of al lthe future viewers!!!

http://thethompsonsontv.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

I've lost 55 lbs in about 3 years and I finally got the nerve to go to a shoe store and try on some leather boots to see if I could get them around my calf. I couldn't and it was disappointing and kind of embarrassing, but the sales girl put it in perspective when she told me that her twin sister has muscular legs and can't wear them either. It seems not matter what size you are, you still feel self-conscious about it (even skinny girls dealing with swimsuit season).

Fat 'n Furious said...

Your blog is tough to read because I feel your pain. I am just starting my journey into weight loss. No, I should say I am starting again. It has been a roller coaster ride for 20 long years of struggle. Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration!

srk said...

It is, however, incredibly easier to project yourself as the sexiest at the beach by putting on sexy bikinis available for sale at http://www.verysexybikini.com. This statement holds true for the sole reason that as soon as you make your choice from the whole array of swim wears offered by us, they would perfectly complement your body, thereby making your figure attractive to the young and old alike. So, buy swim suit from us immediately and enjoy your day at the beach.

Amber said...

Ok so I’m by no means small or little around the middle... and I am now planning a trip to the beach and I have the cutest little bathing suit... that I can't wait to wear on the beach
I don't care what people think about me when I’m on the beach... I’m going to have fun with my friends for my birthday... (By the way, they aren’t small either)...
I don't try to hide myself behind clothes or layers... I embrace what I have...

I have heard some of the worse things about being big (from my own family)
However, I have learned to get over it...
You just have to learn to be happy and comfortable with yourself

One week direct diet said...

yes thats right your blog is tough to read because I feel your pain. I am just starting my journey into weight loss. No, I should say I am starting again. It has been a roller coaster ride for 20 long years of struggle. Keep up the good work, you are an inspiration!

john said...

It is definitely easier to buy bikini online than looking for your favorite bikini wear in a bikini store located in the marketplace. You can purchase a bikini piece online straightway from your home by logging in to http://www.verysexybikini.com and submitting your requirements. However, as soon as you place order at this website, the product would be delivered right at your doorstep at the earliest.

Anonymous said...

I was just at the beach yesterday and I was the only big girl there...I wear a tankini with a bottom that has a little skirt on it and i felt pretty good, and was fortunate not to hear anything (mean comments). Strangely enough, i heard a few other university students talking about a guy having a "butt back" i guess some sort of love handles? So i guess guys get it too! I think it's important to go to the beach and do other things that you enjoy even if you are not totally happy with your overweight body, because i think most women and a lot of men, aren't happy with their bodies either...I hope next summer to have the confidence and have lost enough weight to look healthy and more toned.

Online Pharmacies said...

In my opinion the most probable thing is that when we come to a beach nobody pays attention to us because everybody thinks what other people think about him. It is like a closed circle.

mbbambina said...

Now i am very happy which i may give you all my happiness which i sense now. When I needed it many, here could assist me to. You should take a crack at the idea also.