When I was a teenager, a tough part of summer for me was the swimming. Particularly the togs question. I was a bit bigger than some of my friends and I was pretty self-conscious about it. In case you feel that way too, I want to share some of my experiences, and what has helped.
Here we go.
So I have always had a little bit of puppy fat, which I really started to notice when I was about 11. Add to that getting my boobs in a little early and you have me feeling like a giant lard-monster. Back then wearing togs didn’t bother me too much. I just wore one-pieces to hide my tummy.
And then it came. The dreaded TRIANGLE BIKINI. Everyone had one. You were pretty uncool if you didn’t. So I ran with that, and so did my friends, saying that people who wore them cared too much about being cool. We wore our uncoolness proudly. We flaunted our childish one-pieces. But really, there was no way I was letting anyone see my tummy. No way.
Fast forward a few years and tankinis became it. Even my professedly uncool friends had those. Tankinis were ok tummy-wise, but I had a new issue to contend with… boobs. Quite simply, all those tankinis did was flatten and squish and the thought of people seeing me not in a bra was pretty frightening. That’s about the time I started avoiding swimming. I’d tell my friends that I didn’t feel like it, or that I left my togs at home.
That makes me so SAD, you guys. I loved swimming and I let my fear of being seen in togs stop me from doing it. I want to go back and shake my younger self.
So let me tell you how I got (am still getting!) over it.
Now this story comes in my last year of highschool. My friends were all in bikinis and tankinis at this point. So I show up at a friend’s house during the holidays. Everyone is there. As usual I have purposefully left my togs at home to avoid swimming. And one of my friends takes off her top . And she looks gorgeous. And more importantly, she is having the time of her life. She’s doing bombs and dives and trying to splash people. And I think to myself, I want that. I just want to have fun with my friends. I’m not going to let this discomfort hold me back. And so I borrowed a pair of togs from a friend and jumped in too. I had so. much. fun.
Another thing about this friend. Her stomach wasn’t perfectly flat. But she was confident and having a blast. Which is what people notice, waaay before they look at your body.