Saturday, April 6, 2013

Swimsuit Shopping

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.

(Serious) Progress.
 

30 comments:

  1. this is such an empowering post. I feel you on this one. I swimsuit shopped last summer for the first time in six years at a healthy weight. did the size xl scare me? Oh yes, but then I realized that it didn't matter because I was the happiest I had been in a long time, size and all. I hope you have an amazing time in the sun. Reading this made me smile from ear to ear

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    1. Aw, thank you! You are absolutely right- the size does not matter one bit. Happiness and health are all that matters. This comment makes me smile from ear to ear! :) xo

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  2. Wow, Kelsi where do I begin? This post just made my whole entire day. I was all worked up these past few weeks and my body image has been at an all time low, and reading this post just totally switched my mood. You are so brave and honestly I look up to you!!! I hope one day I can be half the woman you have become, you truly are an inspiration.

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    1. Goodness, Kendra, where do I even begin? Thank you so much! I'm glad your mood has been switched, but you are doing much better than you think. This is a long, hard battle, but you're still fighting! I'm so glad we are not alone in this. <3

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  3. You are inspiring! Seriously, just seeing you and reading your words and knowing that it is so possible to be recovered, happy and healthy is motivation. You look so happy too :)

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    1. Thank you!! I was pretty nervous about posting this, but I think it's important to show what REAL bodies look like. Recovery is totally possible and healthy, happy bodies are hottttt ;) <3

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  4. Kelsi,

    Ahh what a post! You look gorgeous in your new swimsuit! Thank you so much for your courage, strength, and vulnerability. You're amazing and such an inspiration to me. I hope you have a blast on your trip :)

    <3 Rebecca

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    1. Thanks Rebecca! I hope you are doing well- sending lots of love! <3

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  5. How could that body be XL? Something must be wrong in the society... seriously. You look great seriously, and HAPPY SERIOUSLY! Your posts bring my brain to have a psychic change. Your recovery is amazing. Thank you for your share, and yes, you are such an inspiration! xoxo

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    1. Thank you! Yes, society is a little out of whack, but it just goes to show (once again) that size means NOTHING. Keep up the good work! xoxo <3

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  6. You are beautiful. Your smile, your hair and you body must drive a bunch of man crazy, isn't it ?
    I'm actually trying to recover from my ED and this picture gives me hopes... Bones are not that beautiful, I can tell you.

    Take care of you.
    xx. A French Friend.

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    1. You can definitely recovery, too. It took me awhile to get here, but the fight is definitely worth it. No matter what size you are, as long as it's healthy, it is beautiful! xo <3

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  7. Absolutely STUNNING!!!! i love that bikini, it looks great on you and it FITS, which is something that counts far beyond what "size" it is. you look fab. Its is barely even spring here in the UK, but this post (like so many of your posts) has motivated me to keep on with this battle for recovery. My ED is still lingering but i know that i dont want it to ruin yet another summer... if you can stop working out and enjoy food and look that happy and good and free, then i want IN on that too :)
    thankyou times 100 xx

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    1. Hey girl,
      Yup, you can absolutely stop working out, enjoy, food, be happy, and carefree! Just keep up the good work- your hard work will pay off. I promise! I don't feel good everyday, but the good days have started to outweigh the bad days, so that's all that matters.
      Keep fighting!! xoxo <3

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  8. I LOVE this!! This is the first time I've commented but I've been reading for a while. I'm Katy from Libero, by the way!

    This post is so inspirational, hun. You have made such AMAZING progress! Soooo proud of you, lovely! Well done <3

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    1. Thanks Katy!! That really means a lot coming from a fellow "coworker." :)

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  9. I know size doesn't mean anything, but if I had to guess based on the picture alone what size you were wearing, I would guess medium. That suit looks damn good on you, and so does your confidence =)

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    1. Thank you! I will take a medium any day :)

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  10. You look great in your swimsuit and have nothing to be ashamed of. I can't believe it's an XL... then again, who really cares what the tag says, people will see you wearing it not the tag.

    However... the "Say Hell No to Size Zero" image makes me extremely sad. I'm 5'0" (okay, I'm 4'11" and 3/4 according to my doc), and I'm a size zero. I don't look unhealthy, I don't eat Reeses every day (but I do have ice cream most nights), and this is just my frame. I do work out and run a lot, but I love it and it makes me happy.

    Yes, society promotes thinness, but I don't think shaming someone who may legitimately be a certain size without eating only salads to get there is the way to go :(.

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    1. Hey Amy,
      I honestly did worry about that as I was posting this, but it is not meant in anyway to make you (or the other size zeros out there) feel shameful. I do apologize for that. However, that picture does have the NEDA recovery symbol on it, so I thought that helped direct it towards eating disordered people. All that matters is that you are healthy and happy. Thanks for bringing awareness to this topic, I will be more mindful in the future.

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    2. Hi Kelsi!

      I want to start by saying you look INCREDIBLE in your swimsuit!! XL is crazy, sizes are getting too small these days!

      I greatly respect you for your thoughtful response to Amy's comment (SUPER thoughtful!!), and thank you for resolving to be more mindful of smaller framed people!
      I did want to let you know that there are more of us out there! I am 4'11 as well, and when I'm eating and working out like I should, I am a size 0/1. (If I get lazy and don't have the added muscle mass, I am a 00.) I work very hard every day to be as "big" as I am now, so the "Say Hell No to Size Zero" picture was offensive to me. I did not recognize that there was a NEDA symbol on it, so knowing that makes me feel a little better! However, I agree with you that numbers do not matter at all as long as you are healthy, so when actual sizes get called out as 'unhealthy' (which is usually any size below a 2) it makes me sad.


      Again, thank you for being so receptive to Amy's comment! You might be surprised to know how many people are generally bitter toward smaller people! Your response was so refreshing to read!

      Natalie

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    3. Hey Natalie!

      Thanks so much for the comment, I really appreciate it. I believe that people are generally bitter towards smaller people, which is so sad. That picture was not meant to be harmful in any way. I think for those of us who do have eating disorders, size 0 is like the ultimate achievement, so saying "hell no" to it is our way of talking back to our ED and gaining control over our healthy minds. Learning to love my body at it's healthiest size has been a difficult journey, but I'm getting there. :)

      Again, I never meant to insult or cause anyone to feel shameful. My mom is actually one of those naturally tiny people, so I really should have reconsidered posting it. Everyone's body frame is different and like I said, I will be much more mindful of the pictures I use in the future. I am all about excepting your body at its healthiest state and for some people (like you & Amy!) that is a size 0.

      Thanks again, I appreciate your honesty! :)

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  11. Not to be forward, but what bmi did you recover to?

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  12. You look great! And seriously thank you for posting these pics: It really helps me (trying to gain weight) feel better about wearing bikinis again. You really look great, healthy, happy, and full of confidence.

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    1. Thank you!! Keep up the good work. Weight gain is the hardest part, but you will feel better very soon! :)

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  13. Thank you so much for replying, it really does give me some comfort- gaining is such a scary process. Thank you for being so brave

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    1. For me, gaining was the scariest part and your weight WILL redistribute with time. Hang in there! The weight gain is worth it in the end. xo <3

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  14. After looking at those pictures, I would have never in a million years guessed you had an ED. You look happy, healthy, and very confident, like you've been living in that body your entire life. Work it, girl!

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