For the first time in years, I spent more of the weekend undressed rather than clothed. By undressed, I’m referring to the fact that I spent most of the weekend in my bathing suit.
This probably doesn’t seem like a big deal – I am a Floridian, after all – but for someone like me, this was pretty huge. Spending an extended period of time in the Lycra equivalent of a bra and panties is quite the test for someone with body image/weight issues.
Saturday, I went boating with friends. For six hours, I sat in a bathing suit with 9 other people. People I trust, of course, but vulnerable and exposed nonetheless. Amazingly, I felt great. Comfortable, even. I didn’t worry about how my body looked and just enjoyed the sun, the water, and the company of my friends.
Monday was more of a test: a public beach. Hundreds upon hundreds of men and women – also mostly naked – looking and judging. Yes, there were times on the beach where I felt uncomfortable (some people really do stare and it’s not enjoyable), but I felt at ease for the most part.
What used to be a dreaded (and often avoided) necessity – wearing a bathing suit – became a natural and casual experience. I didn’t worry. I didn’t think about it, really, except for when I caught someone watching me in that observant, judgmental way I recognize from my heavier days. It was rare and I brushed it off for the most part.
This weekend was a very freeing experience. I feel more comfortable with my body as a result. Perhaps a few more weekends spent in a bikini and I’ll one day grow to love my body. Here’s hoping!
Don’t judge me for the dreaded duck-face; this was after five hours of hot sun and a few beers. I was feeling… happy. 🙂
Bon appetit, my friends!