The Swimsuit

Today was the first time in three years that I have worn a swimsuit. Doesn’t seem like a long time since every year flies by so quickly but it is for someone who loves water parks and swimming. I refused to put on a swimsuit since I have had my daughter until today. I always thought I was way to fat to put one on and nobody would want to see me in one. Now I ‘m not going to lie I have lost some weight in the past year put I am nowhere near where I want to be. The past two summers I have taken my daughter to the beach but I would always wear clothes. The first year it was a t-shirt and capris and last year it was athletic shorts and a t-shirt. I never wanted to rob her of having a love of water so I want to take her to the beach and things. There are a some tricky things about taking your kids swimming when you are wearing clothes:

  1. Kids don’t stay where they are supposed to. You are going to get wet and once you are wet your clothes look pasted on and you might as well have worn a swimsuit.
  2. Kids want you to play with them and it is hard to play in the water when you are wearing jean capris.
  3. You kind of look silly at the beach fully clothed when everyone else is enjoying the warm weather and water.
  4. You are at a beach or water facility. It is warm and you are fully clothed. Not a good combination. Rashes and sweat can occur.

Back to the swimsuit debacle. So I actually had to borrow a swimsuit because I don’t even own one. The reason for the swimsuit was I had decided I really wanted to go swimming and try the sauna at the gym. I really missed swimming so I was super excited to go. Of course body issues arose and a lot of self-consciousness. Not only my weight but scars and all the like. See after you have cancer you are pretty much guaranteed one scar. I call it my port scar; because well, that’s where they put my port to get my chemo. More than likely you are going to have other scars from surgeries too. Plus after you have kids nothing is where it was before. After I was assured that I would be able to run quickly from the locker room to the pool I was really ready.

After I put my suit on and did a body check in the mirror I was ready to sprint into the pool. (Body check means making sure everything that is supposed to be covered is) I ran to the door and was about to fling it open when I realized; it was locked. Crap. I was with my dad so obviously he was not in the locker room with me. I ran to the door of the locker room and realized that the men’s locker room door was open so like a child I yelled “Dad?” Luckily he responded. I asked him if his door to the pool was locked too and he said it was. I am not sure what came over me but I volunteered to go and find another entrance. So there is body-conscious me running the halls trying to find a staff member in my swimsuit. After having a nice conversation with a gentlemen that works at the gym I learned that the pool was down for repairs and the sauna was closed at that time of day. Not a big deal; I still got my workout in for the day the pool and sauna were just a bonus.

After I got back in the locker room to get dressed I realized that being in that swimsuit really wasn’t that bad. The employee that I talked to did not care about my scars or my weight. He told me what I needed to know and even gave me a book recommendation. (Not a book about pools; if you have ever met me you know one conversation leads into five more.) Anyway, I got to thinking about all of the things I want to do now that I got my butt in that swimsuit. Take my daughter to the beach, water park and pool. Oh the possibilities! Then I thought am I giving my daughter a bad opinion on body image because I don’t wear swimsuits and have insecurities about my body? Those kids are always listening and even if I don’t say it to her she will most likely hear me. In the past she didn’t realize that everyone else was swimming while I was in street clothes but soon she will. I don’t ever want her to think it’s not okay to get in a swimsuit and have fun. Whether it be with her friends or her own kids. I also want her to know that she can always be comfortable with herself. I love to make memories with her and it’s hard to make memories from the shoreline. So I decided from now on whether I lose, maintain or gain weight. I am going to do all of the things I want to do with her. All of this time I have been thinking and saying out loud that I am too big to wear a suit. But my daughter doesn’t care about my weight or my scars; she just wants mommy to play with her. After today I don’t think anyone else really does either. Besides taking a very active toddler to any type of water facility will keep me busy enough to where I won’t have time to worry about what people are thinking. In this world it is hard enough for women to be okay with their body and my daughter doesn’t need that type of thinking to come from her own mother. So from now on I will put on the swimsuit.