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Sunday, 4 December 2016

A Humbling Experience

Yesterday, the husband and I were shopping. He needed new clothes to wear to an upcoming wedding and we were doing a little bit of Christmas shopping at the same time. I was in Winners (which I think would be like an American T.J. Max - discounted clothes, housewares, shoes, etc.) and noticed a rack of bathing suits. We will likely be going away somewhere warm this winter and I thought I could really use a new bathing suit (are you guessing where this is going?).

Can I just say that trying on bathing suits for all but the most beautiful of our species must be one of the most humbling, hideous experiences out there? Standing in the change room with my sock marks on my calves, bright white skin contrasting with what must be new veins, and the thought, "Remember when I thought I was fat, when I was sixteen? What I would give to be that "fat" now," going through my mind, I got the nerve up to wrestle into three different styles of bathing suits.

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Here's a question. Do you still wear a two piece bathing suit? Notice I did not say bikini because the thought of skinny straps and triangles of lycra is just too much for me at this age. There is also the "tankini" where by you don respectable bottoms and a top that comes down to meet the bottoms, so two pieces, but in a covered up way. Tankinis are fine as long as the top actually does meet the bottom because the last thing you want is a rogue roll to pop up between top and bottom.

The trying on experience was a depressing one with me getting somewhat stuck with the inner underwire type bra-lette flipped up inside the top of the bathing suit, poking above the neckline and then having to reach up from underneath to flip it over and pry it down between fabric and my flesh. I had a similar moment with a yoga top in the past. The whole thing made me regret that Wendy's bacon deluxe I had just enjoyed an hour ago. As I peeled off pieces and snapped elasticised straps, I started to mentally promise myself I would start working out again, eat more salads, cut back on my wine (?).

In the end, under the interrogation lights of the change room, I decided on an excellently priced ONE PIECE, which would contain the relatively newly acquired lumps and sags of my fifty-year old body, but would do nothing to hide my thighs (not even going to go there).

I honestly wouldn't mind if this came back in style.

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27 comments:

  1. You are a brave youngun. I would not try on bathing suits at my age, just get one and take it home. I went in to Saks not long ago and asked why they had so many sandals and they told me because so many go tropical places in winter. I wish I could go there all winter. Just play like you are European and don't mind going half naked on the beach. Before the greenhouse took the place of my pool, I always swam naked. It feels like clothing now if I go swimming.

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  2. I hate swimsuit auditioning. Too humiliating. I'm a one piece girl. One very big piece. That said, I did buy a couple of pairs of tankini bottoms last fall on sale and will try to find the right top next year. We'll see -- that "coming down enough" issue is the one that worries me!

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  3. Sometimes I find that it is better not to look in the mirror.

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  4. Jenn, You are still young and I bet you do not look as you described yourself. Stop...remember you just thought you were fat at 16...so embrace yourself as you are right now. :):) I have been trying to get my granddaughter to design bathing suits to go for every age....I would not want to wear a normal bathing suit because of my age...I just think as we age we are more modest. So some nice shorts of varying lengths and tops with snug sleeves( capped to long in mesh materials.) Have fun and be kind to yourself sweet girl. Blessings, xoxo, Susie

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  5. My theory is do not look in a full length mirror lol! Thanks for finding my blog Jenn I am now a follower of your sweet blog.
    Hugs,
    Kris

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  6. Back in the day when I tended my booth and sold wares in the hot, hot sun of summer, and wished I were brave enough to wear shorts, I began to inventory the legs in shorts going by. Except the very young and vain, they looked like mine, or worse. I added shorts to my repertoire before the next weekend.

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  7. A few years back I was trying on bathing suits and the change room had mirrors all round. I almost cried. How did fat get on my back? Yes, bring back the 16 year old body but I want my 46 year old wisdom to enjoy it.

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  8. I can definitely relate. There is nothing like swimsuit shopping to keep our egos in check. My husband tells me I need to embrace my middle aged body, but that is a constant challenge with Jennifer Aniston (who is my age) popping up on the covers of magazines at every checkout aisle. The expectations are certainly higher for 50 year old women than when I was a girl.

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    1. Let's both keep in mind that the Jennifer Aniston's of the world have personal trainers and cooks and people who, for the right money, will slap a donut right out their hands before they take a bite. I hear she does a lot of yoga. Good for her.

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  9. I love all of your comments! Words of wisdom - don't look in the mirror, lots of other people look worse than you, forego clothes altogether and swim naked (that one could clear out a whole pool at a resort!) Thanks for dropping by!! (Yes, Birdie, today's wisdom would have gone a long way when I was 16!)

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  10. One time I was forced to take the three year old with me to try on bathing suits. Comments ranged from: Your boobs hang out of that one...to....does that come down over your butt any further---to...my dad won't want you to wear that one anywhere!

    Humbling and exhausting and I walked away with NO suit. I kinda like those ones at the very end. lol xo Diana

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  11. I think women are too paranoid of how they look in swimsuits.

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    1. Alas Adam, you are too right on that one. My husband is sporting a fantastic 52 year old "tummy" (polite term) and could care less who sees him, how far it sticks out, and how he compares to other men poolside. It is an issue with us that is as old as time.

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  12. I felt a bit like that orangutan when I was on the beach yesterday with my daughter and her friends.

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  13. One piece, definitely! I tried on suits on my Spanish holiday recently and found they were much better at disguising the flaws in my aging body! They were not designed only for the young and shapely. Perhaps the Europeans have the best idea.

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  14. Oh boy, do I know this feeling! I had to buy a bathing suit for our trip to Cuba last spring and it was startling. And somewhat traumatizing. To answer your question: NO! No way do I wear a two piece anymore even though my husband tries to encourage me. He has no issues with his own body, just me. This is a thing with us women. We're the ones that are always getting the body shaming. And we're always self conscious. And self critical. Sigh...

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    1. Yes, startling. That's a good way to describe it.

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  15. After years of avoiding all things bathing suit, I broke down and bought a sort of tasteful bikini three years ago while on holiday. It was hot & I really wanted to swim in the lake. I wore the darn thing once, briefly, before accidentally(?) leaving it behind in the hotel. Oops.
    Last year, I purchased a rather robust-looking Speedo suit that's just collecting dust in a dresser drawer. Ugh.

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  16. Boy oh boy I know just how you felt in that dressing room. Happened to me once. Couldn't believe what I saw in those mirrors. Now I measure up and buy online. lonnger Tankini with short type bottoms. I swim and enjoy it....once I'm in the water lol

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  17. Bathing suits! - oh no, never in a public place with my form. Oh the horrors of the mere thought of it ... I do like the latest in bathing suits that have little skirts attached, still not full coverage but much better than the cut up to my armpit sides. You are a brave woman. :)

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  18. Oh my, oh my, oh my....honey, I gave up a two piece years ago. I knew when we moved back to Texas and were able to have a home with a ppol, I was going to own the cutest one piece bathing suits I could find, wear a cute cover-up and enjoy a glass of wine by the pool. I don't worry about looking as good as I did back in "the day!" This post has just made my week! Classic!

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  19. Tankini that does meet, and a swimming costume for me. Not together but there's an idea! I bought a high necked costume from Boden last year. It has a keyhole gap in the chest but comes up to the neck. Its classier than it sounds and is a gold colour. I think I linked it in the summer on my mutton style blog, my 'other' blog. The 'boring one'. If you have boden that's worth a look.

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  20. I have a few tankinis - I get them a size bigger than my size so nothing looks buldgy. I wore bikinis into my thirties and then it was just not doable. I know some people feel comfortable no matter what, and I give them credit. ME? If I know I don't look good in it, I do care. I just do. So, I wear something that looks what I consider to be fitting for my body at my age. (now 51).

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  21. Ugh! It is so hard to try on swim suits. Giving up the wine may be a bit rash. I vow to lose weight every night and every afternoon I lose my will power. The struggle is real. I wear a one piece miracle suit. The problem lies in getting it off in a porta potty when it's hot, and I'm sweaty, and sandy. I had a nightmare experience all while holding my breath. I came gasping out to a line of people who had all heard me bumbling around in the the porta potty. It's a problem, those one piece suits cover more but are a pain. At the end of the day, I'm not the fattest gal on the beach. Not the skinniest either but hey, I usually have a lot of fun! And you will too!

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  22. Hilarious post Jenn...
    I am lucky enough to live close to both Winners and Marshalls, and I can try things on in the privacy of my own mirror!
    I got a nice one piece last Spring at Winners...I see they have the same suit out now, for people going South...
    I would N E V E R try one on at the store...you are such a trooper!!
    And...you are not fat!
    Cheers!
    Linda :o)

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  23. What a hoot! Sure, I can laugh -- I won't be putting myself through this for several more months!

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