Help Me Not Feel Like a Flabby Freaking Mess

Help, y'all.

In a month and a half, my husband and I are going to Grenada for a week. A WEEK OF VACATION IN A TROPICAL PLACE OMG HAS IT BEEN 45 DAYS YET?! This is epic, because a.) we've always been too broke to go anywhere, and b.) we've never had a honeymoon - or a vacation anywhere together, actually - and we've been married for almost 18 years.

But thanks to Curtis's spectacularly generous boss (seriously, best boss ever, no question), we are heading to a Grenadian resort. He and his wife (who is also awesome) spend nearly a month there every year, and this time, we're lucky enough to be tagging along for part of it. And I am so, so, so excited.

But I'm terrified of one aspect of the vacation. Not the plane crashing, not getting kidnapped by pirates in the middle of the Caribbean, not drinking the water and getting diarrhea. Nope. I'm scared of one thing and one thing only: wearing a swimsuit in public.

It's no secret that I have body issues galore. I have lost a lot of weight (see here for the "before" and here for the "after" and here for the tips, if you're curious). That's awesome and all, but the aftermath of a big weight loss is a big, saggy mess of skin. Because you can't diet loose skin away - so I have a literal flap of the shit covering my abs, which are actually pretty decent, except you can't tell BECAUSE OF THIS FREAKING SKIN APRON I'M STUCK WEARING.

Also: stretch marks. Tons and tons of stretch marks. Because, weight gain and loss. Ugh.

Also: boobs. Nonexistent. Sad and tired, threw in the towel after the last kid stopped nursing, like "Peace out! Our work is done here." Where at one point during my childbearing years I was wearing a D, these days I barely fill up an A cup, and even then I have a gap in the top because there's zero volume left. Gaaaaahhhh.

Add to that the "normal" body-image issues that almost every woman deals with, like cellulite, and you've got a hot mess. A dumpster fire of self-loathing. I look decent in clothes because I've learned over the years how to tuck and prop and what disguises everything best. But I've avoided swimsuits like the plague, because the thought of literally putting my most embarrassing physical flaws on full display makes me feel ill. And yes - I know I should just be like, "Screw it! I'm beautiful!" and practice unconditional bodily acceptance and all that, but if it were that easy, I'd have done it a long time ago. I seriously wish this type of thing were still en vogue because I would be unequivocally on board:

I don't think a therapist is going to cure me of my deep-seated insecurities in the next 45 days, so this is where you come in. I need you to be supportive of my superficial crap for just a minute and help me find a swimsuit (or actually like two or three of them, waaaahhhh). Here are my requirements:

- Works miracles

Just kidding, a little bit. Anyway, for real - my requirements:

- Padded. Underwire. Lifting. Like, with the boobs already in it.
- Either one piece, or a tankini that will NOT lift up and expose my stripey flab to the other vacationers
- Magical sucking-in properties, like some type of space-age Lycra
- Something that does not highlight lumpy hips and thighs
- Decently cute, not like something somebody's grandma would wear

It doesn't have to be comfortable - I'd rather experience physical restrictiveness than mental anguish. I don't care if it feels like Spanx. I just want to feel as confident as I possibly can so I can enjoy our first-ever married couple vacation.

Yes, I know I need help. But in the meantime - is there a particular brand or type of bathing suit you guys love? Lay it on me!!


  1. Try looking for a swim dress. They're one piece, very modest, but still a swim suit, so you're not going to be weighted down by the fabric when it's wet. Also, Lands End has GREAT swim separates. You can mix/match your tops and bottoms, and they have longer shorts to cover the junk in the trunk (I say that as one with a VERY junky trunk!). Now, if you google "modest swim suits" you might find old fashioned bathing costumes (and let's face it, what woman hasn't wanted those to come back in style) But you might find some age and body appropriate swim wear. Don't forget too you can always wear a cover up or a lava-lava when you're not in the water. Good luck! :)

  2. I second Lands End, but be prepared to spend a small fortune up front, knowing that you'll send back the majority that didn't make the cut. Specifically I'd suggest the Miracle Grecian (I think that's the name) - I saw it in action and it looks phenomenal on other people. (I have yet to be settled with it myself, but I'm beginning to think I have some dysmorphia thing where I think I'm skinnier than I am and thus am never satisfied when I look in a mirror.) It's got ruching and tons of Lycra and modest leg cuts. I haven't been pleased with their separates (but see above re my dysmorphia issues), and their Tugless Tanks are fairly boring to look at but hard to beat for overall look. Anyway, buy now, try everything on, and send back. Lots of styles, lots of colors/prints, try some tankinis, whatever sparks. Good luck, and think similarly svelte thoughts for me as I work toward my own hell-meets-paradise in April.

  3. So I've had too many kids in too few years and in the same situation with the belly area/baby's sucked the life out of my boobs, but this tank has carried me through two summers of everyday use without showing any wear - it doesn't have underwire, but seriously molded cups, it's not very comfortable (bonus), and we couldn't feed our kids for a week because it costs so much but it might be worth a try. Plus the ring things make me feel so fancy. I wear it with some Lands End bottoms - have a skirt thing and some boy shorts from there. Good luck!!

  4. I love the Land's End blouson tops and boy shorts. Now, I'll readily admit that it may fall into that category of something a grandma might wear, but it means I don't have to suck in my gut, and for that, I don't even mind the grandma-y vibe.

  5. I'm so excited for you! Finally a real vacation! Try swimsuits for all. They have several flattering swimsuits and they're models are also a part of the #bodypositivity movement. Have fun!

  6. This is cute

    Simply black

  7. Giiiiirrrl... This was me last summer! Lands end or j-crew and your gonna spend 100$. Glad to hear I'm not the only one with smoking abs no one will ever see. Seriously, it pisses me off!


Post a Comment

Commenting makes you big and strong! Okay, maybe just strong. Okay, so it's only your fingers. But still ...

Popular Posts