The Bathing Suit

Okay, here’s a little about me and the past of this blog: this blog used to be my diet and exercise blog. I’ve documented Weight Watchers, Paleo, and Keto. I’ve documented exercise programs. I’ve documented successes. And I’ve documented frustrations.

One thing that I have not documented is my disorders. I have had undiagnosed bulimia since I was in high school. When I was doing the Paleo diet, I became so restrictive that I became worried that I had crossed over into orthorexia. When I came off of the Paleo diet after five years, due to a high stress level, I tried to experiment with how different foods made me feel while enjoying foods that I had restricted myself from for so long. I gained a lot of weight very quickly as my body sought to heal itself from all of the restricting I had done. The stressful jobs that I have held over the past year and a half have not helped; my bulimia came roaring back with a vengeance about a year ago.

I count myself in recovery now, as I try to learn healthy ways to handle stress and relate to food. I am not restricting my food choices, but am trying to be aware of how I feel when I am eating at certain times of the day, as well as being aware of how certain foods make me feel. I know that my stress at work now is leading to me binge after work. I am trying to incorporate different stress-reduction techniques to help with that as well.

One aspect of this that has been hard to deal with has been my larger body size. I think I have blocked my emotions from my thought processes when it comes to having a larger body. I have tried to be matter-of-fact about needing to buy larger clothing, but this weekend I needed to buy a bathing suit. This is a task that I have always hated because I have not been comfortable with my body in a bathing suit since I was a child. In fact, last summer I didn’t even buy a bathing suit. I took my daughter to the pool and didn’t swim, and even went to the beach and didn’t swim.

This year I decided it was going to be different. I have unlimited time this summer to be at the pool, and I would like to thoroughly enjoy myself while I am there. No not buying a suit just because I hate the process. There are unlimited choices out there, so I just need to find one that I like.

And I did find one that I like from Torrid, which I ordered (thank goodness for Torrid). But my daughter is all over me to swim NOW, and the bathing suit isn’t supposed to be here until Monday. So I needed to find a suitable stand-in.

I went to Walmart, which was probably my first mistake, but I needed something cheap because my funds are really low right now. And I went through the same humiliating experience that I have always gone through when it comes to shopping for bathing suits. I was so upset when I got out of the store that I cried in my car and wallowed in my embarrassment in my bed when I got home.

I did buy a top that I actually do like. But tops have never been the problem for me. I bought some shorts to go with them because the bottoms they were selling with the tops were cut weird and were very unflattering. But I had to put it in perspective – my body is not what is the problem.

The problem has been companies not willing to make clothing that flatters bigger bodies. They take the designs that flatter smaller bodies and adapt them – make them in larger sizes, and it doesn’t work. It feeds this culture that says we need to be smaller, we need to restrict, we need to diet, we need to fit the image that stares at us from the cover of every magazine. But I’ll tell you what that message got me: two different eating disorders, a hugely disordered body image, and a need for a recovery mentality that I have to work at every single day.

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