In a week and a half I am heading to Florida for some much needed relaxation and sunshine. For five days straight, I have nothing planned except getting a start on my summer tan. What could be better than that?
The only downside to my mini vacation, however, is trying to find a swimsuit. For obvious reasons, my suit from last year does not even come close to fitting and I'm pretty sure I threw it out sometime last fall. For the lucky few people who actually enjoy swimsuit shopping, I seriously envy you. For the rest of us, on the other hand, it can be one of the most dreaded days of the year. After recently gaining a significant amount of weight, I wasn't even sure if I had the guts to enter a fitting room to begin the process of finding the right fit.
Earlier this week, to my surprise, I did find the courage to do a little swimsuit shopping. Over the past few months, I have learned some great shopping strategies to help keep my body image in check. My favorite is to grab a bunch of different sizes, bring them to the fitting room, try them on WITHOUT looking at the tag, and just go with the one that fits the best.
If I am being completely honest, I had planned on buying a one-piece to cover up my new shape. Thankfully as I was looking at the suits, however, I decided I was way too young to go for the one-piece.
After trying on what felt like every single suit in the store, ironically, I went with the very first one I tried on. Why does that always seem to happen? It fit perfectly, it is my favorite color, pink, and it is a size XL.
Yes, I did stupidly give in and look at the size on the tag, which almost gave me heart attack. Am I really a size XL?!
Am I crazy for posting these pictures? Absolutely.
Is my body at a healthy weight? Yup.
Did I spend hours in the gym before swimsuit shopping? I haven't worked out in over a year.
Do I eat Reese's peanut-butter cups everyday? Religiously.
Am I 45-50 pounds heavier than the last time I wore a swimsuit? Yes.
Does it matter? Not at all.
For the first time in a decade, I am not obsessing about the amount of weight I want to lose before spring break. The swimsuit I bought fits my body now, rather than the body I dream of having; even if it is an XL.
When I was underweight and very sick, I always wondered why they even made bikinis above a size small. As I type that now, I realize how incredibly ridiculous and flat out rude that sounds, but when I was sick, I honestly did not understand how anyone above a size 2 could feel comfortable in a swimsuit.
As much as I was dreading swimsuit shopping, it actually turned out to be somewhat of a turning point in my recovery. I know I have said it a million times and even wear a bracelet that says "numbers do not define me," but for the first time I really, truly believe it. In this particular swimsuit, I'm a size XL and - dare I say it - I feel pretty darn good in it.