Monday, September 3, 2012

The Bathing Suit

Happy Labor Day, Everyone!   Today marks the end of bathing suit season.  How was it?  As usual, I enjoyed the summer very much.  It seemed to go by very quickly. 

Today we have a Guest Blogger.  This is from someone who participated in one of my Conquer Emotional Eating and Make Fitness A LifestyleTM groups last year.  I'm so glad that she is continuing to do very well on her journey! 

Over the past several years I have been on many first dates where I did the usual female primping and hair and make-up, deciding what exactly to wear for the situation. However, I never had to wear a bathing suit for a first date – until recently.

It’s summer at the Jersey Shore and my fitness journey feels more like a lifestyle these days. Since December of 2011, I have lost about 35 pounds and have been further enhancing my makeover with a lot of time at the gym. It’s working because my clothes are smaller in size and I feel so much better with increased energy and stamina. However, old habits are hard to break, and I still see myself as huge when I look in a mirror. Like many of you reading this, I have a very poor self-image. I’m working on seeing myself-in a positive light, but I’m quite there just yet. I bought several new bathing suits this summer to fit my new size and have had many opportunities to wear them while swimming in my friends’ pools. When complimented, I cringe.

You’re wondering what this is leading to right? Ok, here it is. A blind date. And we’re going to a pool party! Naturally I wanted to go, but the idea of meeting a man for the first time while wearing a bathing suit was unbearable, and I agonized about going to the event. My date arrived to pick me up, and I had on a bathing suit cover-up which didn’t feel like it was covering much at all. He was wearing his bathing suit and a T-shirt, looking very good to me. Everyone else always looks better to me. Even though I was certain of a first date disaster, we headed out to the pool party. In my mind, I was absolutely sure I would be the largest person in the pool.

During the ride to the party, we had the opportunity to chat about things and get to know more about each other. Since he was a warm and friendly type, I did begin to feel somewhat less self-conscious about being in a bathing suit. We arrived and entered the pool area, still in T-shirt and cover-up, joined our friends and got into the party spirit. I finally suggested we go for a swim, which meant “exposing myself” for all to see. Well, I just stood up and removed my cover-up and smiled at my date. We got into the pool and just enjoyed each other and the rest of the day. I can’t say I was entirely relaxed about my body and my appearance, but I was comfortable. And for me, in this situation, comfortable was just fine.

I learned something about myself on this particular first date. Sometimes we have to force ourselves to take chances and be optimistic about a good outcome. So even after seeing me in a bathing suit, I was asked out for a second date, and the third date is almost here. This positive experience has defiantly pushed me to rethink my self-image and stop being my own worst critic. I know. Easier said than done. But I’m working on it.

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