I'm just a fat gal with a blog and an opinion. Well, lots of opinions.

Can’t Start The New Before Letting Go Of The Old…


Yesterday was my last true day at the cafe. And I had never received so many compliments in one day…ever! I didn’t dress up or wear make up, shit, I didn’t even brush my hair! Just slapped a big hot pink flower headband on that bitch and headed out the door! Ha-ha! I was told I was smiling bigger than ever before. Huh, hadn’t thought of that as an outfit accessory. But it was true, I was smiling and happy and so ready to walk away entirely. What I also hadn’t counted on was my own body issues becoming more apparent. Oops!

Night before last, we were suiting up to go swimming with out niece and my MIL. I thought I heard a bunch of kids in the pool and cringed. My husband asked what was up and I explained that I get anxiety from the thought of being in a pool full of kids. And he said that yes, he realized this as well (about me) and that my body issues aren’t entirely resolved. I said to him, “Well, yeah! Everyone has body issues.” and left it at that. Then later his mom mentioned the length of my swim suit after I called it a swim dress. It goes down to my knees, y’all! It’s one of those sporty Junonia numbers with the zipper in front (got it on clearance for a steal a year or two ago). It’s so comfortable and keeps my boobs in place (which I need) and I like it. It’s not terribly stylish, but I’m all about comfort, so fuck it!

But it’s true. I do still struggle. I am not a Fatkini Riot-er. It’s not that I didn’t want a new swim suit this year, it’s just that we are fucking poor and they cost so damned much! Even looking at the clearance ones at Torrid the other day, I either didn’t like them or they were too expensive. As I explained to my husband though, it’s not so much my body specifically, as my armpit cysts and other similar anomalies. My niece pointed to my armpit yesterday and said, “Oh you have mosquito bites, too?” and I had to explain that it was either heat rash or cysts. UGH!

And there is fuck all I can do about it. I cover them for my comfort, no one elses. When my pits aren’t inflamed, I’ll go sleeveless. I honestly don’t mind it now. But huge red blotchy sores? No thanks, not wanting the world to see ’em. Is that so wrong? That’s not the whole story though, is it? I don’t like how my waist line looks bare. I have a permanant pink/red line that goes along it and wouldn’t dream of showing it to anyone, ever…except my husband. I am getting used to showing more of my bare legs, but that is still and may always be a struggle for me. Part of me will always be a scruffy tom boy, no matter what frilly things I put on.

And so I reflect and ponder and consider these issues while also wondering what tomorrow will bring. I am so optimistic about the future now. I know that the universe chose to take mercy on me and nothing short of a (I hate to use the word, but) miracle took place so that I could sell my cafe. In this economy it is truly a wonder that we’ve been able to struggle along this long! But I am humbled and ever so grateful for all that has transpired these last 2-3 years. And I am trying my best to enjoy this in-between time. I slept in this morning (an hour), I am playing fetch with my puggyman, I am listenting to music instead of morning radio! *Sigh* So nice! Peace and space. This is what I needed all along!

Now, to sort through this paperwork and tax business?! Ha-ha! And dust off the old resume. They still use those, don’t they? Resumes? Ha-ha! It seems like everything has changed since I’ve been out of the workforce. But I suppose that is a post unto itself.

What body issues do you still struggle with? What one part of your body would you never show the world, why? What kind of bathing suit do you rock at the pool or beach? Are you a proud fatkini riot-er? I want to hear the good and the bad. The proud and the shy! Why? Because you ALL amaze the shit out of me! <3

17 Comments to

“Can’t Start The New Before Letting Go Of The Old…”

  1. On August 11th, 2011 at 8:44 am TropicalChrome Says:

    “Is that so wrong?”

    No, no it’s not.

    Not because fat women shouldn’t show bare arms or midriffs or legs or whatever, but because it’s *your choice*. And I thought that’s part of what FA is all about – to give people the same respect and autonomy and choice regardless of their size. Choosing not to is a fine and valid choice.

    I’m 47, and I grew up in a time where Fat. Women. Did. Not. Go. Sleeveless. In. Public. Period. No exceptions, it was Just. Not. Done. And yeah, all of this is still ingrained even when I know it’s complete nonsense – which means going sleeveless is still a big deal for me and I have to be in the right headspace to pull it off. I’m getting a lot better at it which pleases me, but it’s still not something I choose to do all that often. I don’t have to.

    I’m afraid my swimsuit is a practical athletic lap suit with no lycra/spandex so it holds up to pool chemicals – I swim several times a week, and it’s cheaper in the long run to get one of these suits because they last. It’s not an ugly suit, but it’s definitely function over form for the purpose.

  2. On August 11th, 2011 at 8:55 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @TropicalChrome: Thank you! And yeah, I have a hard time with these instances where your head knows it’s bullshit, yet you still feel compelled to follow some ridiculous “rule.”

  3. On August 11th, 2011 at 12:30 pm Twistie Says:

    I actually haven’t owned a swimsuit in years, which is sad considering that I’m such a fish in the water. But since I don’t have regular access to a pool to swim in, and – as you say – they are damn expensive… well, I have no good reason to go get one and a hell of a lot of good reasons not to buy one at all. Sigh. Maybe if money loosens up over the next ten months or so I’ll get a cheap kiddie blow-up wading pool to keep in the backyard and something swimmy to wear when lounging in it.

    But it just isn’t the same as diving into water, wriggling along underneath the surface, and then jumping up to get that next breath.

    I miss swimming.

    Oh, and since my shoulders are so narrow and sloping, I have to shop extra-carefully for a swim suit that will actually stay up on me and not expose my upper ladybits. I do tend to prefer to keep those a little on the unexhibited side, but part of it is the reluctance to get arrested for public nudity.

    If I ever get arrested, I want it to be because I was part of a protest rally, not because my swimsuit fell down on accident due to narrow shoulders and too-flimsy straps.

    Attitude is one of the best fashion accessories you can possibly have, you know. A confident walk, a truly happy smile, eyes that inform all comers that you will take no bullshit and no fucking around… they say so much more than what color you wear or how you happened to style your hair that morning.

  4. On August 11th, 2011 at 1:54 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    @Twistie: A halter style would work perfectly for your shoulder issue, I think. But as you said, expensive! I had forgotten how much I loved to swim until this week. My MIL even commented on my dive and general style and I recall spending nearly every day of summer of my childhood at the community pool, 50 cents a day! I taught myself to swim and never looked back I guess.
    I seriously doubt you could get arrested for a swim suit malfunction, but I agree on what you’d rather get arrested for. Thanks for being such a rad lady. I cannot wait to meet you…one day!

  5. On August 11th, 2011 at 12:43 pm E Says:

    I am most comfortable in a one-piece (I have an awesome one-piece that I bought a few years ago and no new ones that I’ve tried on have come close to its awesomeness). But, partly because I do want to take part in breaking boundaries for fat people, I bought a two-piece this summer…actually two separate pieces. The bottom piece comes up high in what I suppose is supposed to be a vintage look, and this has made me feel quite comfortable in it (body-wise). The bikini top is polka dotted, but not really supportive enough as it turns out. Luckily, the bottom piece is black so I could get another top at some point and it would still go with the bottom. Wearing this slightly covered up bikini has given me quite a bit of confidence, actually, and I might try to go for a more revealing one next year (as in, not a high-waisted bottom piece). I definitely think that people should wear what they feel comfortable in at the beach, but for me I like the idea of pushing my comfort levels a bit to help normalize visuals of fat for everyone. I don’t do a lot of active activism, but this is one thing I am trying to do. And I always have my one-piece for days when I’m just not feeling it.

    Also, just because we know something is caused by an unfair culture doesn’t mean that we can easily remove ourselves from that culture, so of course you have every right to be uncomfortable about some aspects of your body or public swimming situations.

  6. On August 11th, 2011 at 1:57 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    @E: Thank you for pushing those visible fat boundaries! I love how so many fats this year are taking the fatkini challenge and just going for it! I had wanted to as well, but money was my first issue there. I love the retro look! So awesome! And yeah, I should just accept that about myself, that some things won’t ever be okay for me to show the world. Hmm…Thanks!

  7. On August 11th, 2011 at 2:05 pm erylin Says:

    Even after 5 years of eating disorder counseling, and years of trying to love my body i STILL hate my stomach with a passion. i have vivid dreams/nightmares of chopping it off with a huge and sharp butcher knife, then sewing it back together. i like my arms, my legs, my ass, my boobiers….but my stomach anf gtfo. seriously.

    i usually rock a 1 peice myself but this year i got a tankini. cute little skirt or boy shorts (got 2 different black bottoms) and a tank top style turqouise and green zebra print with shirred sides. i like it i think. next times i will opt out on the shirred sides, the strings just dangle and slow me down. this last week at schlitterbahn i opted for the first time in 2 years of suit ownership to NOT saftey pin the top to the bottm. i let my belly show….baby steps i suppose, but i am on the road to body acceptance goodness.

  8. On August 11th, 2011 at 2:08 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    @erylin: **Hugs** I know how that feels. Though for me the body part changed from time to time. Wanting to be more traditionally proportioned, etc. I guess we can get to a point where we have to just accept that you don’t have to love and adore every part of your body, so long as you can take good care of it as a whole and accept yourself as you are? Not sure I’m saying that right. Thank you for sharing your story here. <3

  9. On August 11th, 2011 at 7:27 pm Chutti Says:

    Hmmmm. It is DEFINITELY all about what YOU find comfortable. Which, sometimes for me is pushing the envelope. I grew up with a mom who was very into extreme modesty, and only partly b/c of deh fatz. More general lack of confidence/repression issues.
    So of COURSe, my response was-wahooo! I’ll wear/do whatever I fricken want!~\ Which has actually stood me in good stead all this time.
    I tend to feel what is “business appropriate” and culturally appropriate can be fairly conservative. When I lived in Asia I covered my head and arms at all times b/c that was what alllll the women did. And it helped me make connections…and didn’t feel restrictive. Just normal there.

    That said, my first consideration in choosing a swimsuit is….swimability. My pet peeve is too much fabric on the legs getting all tangly. Or the hem on the top being too loose and floating up in your way. I once had a Speedo (I know! Plus?) with a weight in the hem to keep it flat.
    My first Tankini was from Lane Bryant in the late 90’s. I would KILL to have it again. Very plain black with white sewed on stripes down the sides…like addidas pants. Just briefs and a half top. With a HUGE white zipper with HUGE white circle pull. Total strangers stopped me all the time to say how great it was I could wear that. Dang, I got my money’s worth out of that one!

    Oh, there is NOTHING that beats that fish feeling for me. How nice with all that’s going on you got some strokes (yes, pun intended) from MIL on your swimming! I am very fortunate to have my regular swim now at a women’s college known for being very accepting of non gender conformity. My big self in wacky tankinis is not even beginning to be the most flamboyant/shocking/non-normative thing there.
    That said, I have an embarassment of suits. Almost all purchased for cheap in the dead of winter. I am a fan of buying off season in general, and that goes triple for swim wear. I too love lurve love Junonia for quality…at winter prices. Their most recent ones are pretty frumpy and not going on sale much. I will sob when my triathalon pants and shimmel from them bite the dust.
    I am having great luck with racerback tankinis from ….Target. Not super quality, but they seem to go for around $19 on sale. And show up in 20+ sizes at Goodwill in the winter. Keep an eye out. I wear KMart “athletix” spandex bike shorts as bottoms a lot. Black bottoms are easy to find on clearance-just got 2 pairs from LandSEnd at Sears for $1.50 ea.
    Separates are easy to mix on the QT.
    Look in the underwear/nightgown/ athletic dept at big box stores like Target, Kmart, etc. I don’t shop Wal-Mart anymore due to long political story, but the one in Santa Clarita off Hwy 5 has TONS of plus separates CHEEP. Must be for all the folks on their way to theme park vacations.

    Think outta the box. If you’re willing to do separates, there’s loads of $10 bathing suits out there!

  10. On August 12th, 2011 at 7:55 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Chutti: I am beginning to believe that you are some sort of mad genius! I’m the bargain huntress in my circle of friends, but you seem to be ahead of my game, gurl! Ha! I love it! I looked at the clearance racks at Target, but no 26’s. There’s no Kmart around here or I’d be all over that shit! But I like your idea of thinking outside the box on this. Thank you for bringing that to my eyes. We’ve gone swimming every single day since…Saturday? Sunday? Eh, I don’t know…a lot!!! Last night may have been too much for me. My sinuses feel permanently chlorinated! Ha-ha! But I always have fun. It’s nice to re-connect with my body in this way, this old way for me. After so many years of not doing it. Woo!

  11. On August 12th, 2011 at 12:36 am Eclectica Says:

    Went swimming yesterday in my lovely suit that is Cerise pink with a florally top bit that is a halter neck. It shows off my boobs lots which probably prevents anyone looking at my legs too much.

    I’m not a wonderfully confident swimwear model but I have a toddler that loves swimming so I wear it and I go swimming. At the local pool it is all mummies or older women doing aqua aerobics so not a fashion contest anyway 🙂

    Oh and if anyone doesn’t like my body: fuck em!

  12. On August 12th, 2011 at 7:58 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Eclectica: I love your attitude! Yeah, my last suit was just too boobalicious and would often come open while swimming (cross front style). This new one, while not at all feminine, feels good on me at least and stays on perfectly. No florals (I wish) but simplicity is more my style, I suppose. Thanks so much for your comment. =0)

  13. On August 12th, 2011 at 6:45 am Missus Fahrenheit Says:

    I don’t have serious problems with any part of my body, but there are things I don’t *love*. My only major issue is really my upper arms. I have finally made peace, and part of making that peace, was accepting that sleeveless and spaghetti strapped stuff just isn’t for me and that I will have to find ways around that. It’s not even that I care so much what people think, even, it’s just that people have said things to me about them so many times that I don’t have the spoons most of the time to deal with comments. I have no problem calling people out for making fun of me or other fat people, but the “ARE THOSE STRETCHMARKS?” or “WHAT ARE THOSE SILVER LINES?” kinds of comments are just so tiring and I’m not really at a point where those comments wouldn’t affect my day. I’m not sure I ever will be, but part of making peace with myself is not pressuring myself to be a fearless body positive advocate all the time.

    In short, in a magical world without assholes, I’d probably walk around naked, but in the meantime, I’ll seek a little cover just to get through the day smoothly! 🙂

  14. On August 12th, 2011 at 8:01 am Not Blue at All Says:

    @Missus Fahrenheit: That is too bad. I have very large arms (19″ & 20″ respectively) and no one has ever made a comment about them, to me at least, ever. I’m not sure what I would say if they did. I do understand your not wanting to deal with the assholes though. I loved the whole wearing a small t-shirt under strappy dresses thing in the 90’s! Too cute! Now, if I could just find that style of t-shirt now days?! Ha-ha!

  15. On August 12th, 2011 at 9:18 am Chutti Says:

    Ohyouu. Farenheit- Sorry you got comments from tacky people. I try not to stress on things like my body, but I would have to say my least appreciated body part is my very large arms. I accept that I got them from working on a loading dock a looong time ago, but they won’t ever be ‘toned’ again and keep me from fitting into a lot of femme stuff I like.
    I just remind myself what they CAN do, and fortunately don’t get a lot of random comments like that. I suppose I’d feel differently if I did.

    Oh, one other swimsuit tip. I don’t generally pay much attention to stated sizes, and just try what I like. This goes twice for swimsuits. Sometimes a size or two smaller if it’s not overly constricting, will offer the boob support and flop reduction ( and for me below belly flap producing) support that makes swimming more streamlined.

    I subscribe to the “you can already tell I’m fat” aesthetic. If you’re OK with that, a tighter suit is usually much less jiggly and also easier to move in. They’re often purty darned stretchy, and get more so with wear.

    Keep hounding Goodwill in winter!

  16. On August 12th, 2011 at 12:45 pm Not Blue at All Says:

    @Chutti: Great point on sizing! I have learned to do that while shopping at thrift stores or even Ross. Just because it says XL and I’m easily a 28? It could in fact still fit and look great! And everyone knows how stretchy swim suits are! I love this: I subscribe to the “you can already tell I’m fat” aesthetic. This is how I feel as well, just didn’t know how to express it.

  17. On August 13th, 2011 at 9:09 am E Says:

    @Twistie: I have sloping shoulders too! I can’t really use all the bags that everyone has because they fall off of my shoulders so quickly! I decided this year that I would only buy halter-top bathing suits from now on because, like you said, bathing suits are expensive, and if I’m spending that much, I don’t want to settle for anything that won’t stay on me.

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