Since I plan on spending a lot of time in the pool, I needed to get a swimsuit. Yes, it's a little early to buy one, but previous experience has shown me that if I don't start looking while the stores are full of options, well, my options will be pretty limited. So I started looking online, and ended up ordering a bunch of tops, bottoms, and one-pieces from both JC Penney and Land's End. Free shipping, easy returns, and a credit card sure makes for some easy purchases - plus I could try on everything in my own home instead of getting all hot and sweaty in a store dressing room.
Now, I didn't have a lot of hope when I was picking out suits - honestly, I was just looking for something that would work so I could cool down in Florida. I was mostly interested in tankini-type suits, with different bottoms (boy shorts, skirts, etc) and I ended up being pretty surprised by what I was seeing - there were a lot more options than the last time I really shopped for a swimsuit, which was over five years ago. There were tankinis with a loose, blouson shape, and some that looked like you were wearing a cute sports bra with a tank top over it. Seeing as I am never happy with how my stomach looks (this holds true for when I was at my thinnest - my stomach never went back to the flatness of my youth, unfortunately), I was intrigued by the possibility of getting a suit that wasn't tight on my belly.
My first shipment arrived, and I took a deep breath, steeled myself for the worst, and tried on a top and bottom. You know what? I didn't hate it. I did not hate how I looked in that swimsuit. If you knew how amazing that was, well...actually, I suspect most of you do, because trying on swimsuits is not for sissies. But it was OK. I could have gone with the first thing I tried on, miracle of miracles. Emboldened, I went to the mall and tried on some other suits while I was waiting for the rest of my order to arrive, and I came home with a pair of high-waisted swim shorts that I absolutely love, so at that point, all I needed was a top.
Diane happened to be over when the UPS truck arrived bearing a huge bag of swimwear and I had a little try on session so she could help me decide. She was pretty funny - some of the suits I'd chosen (because I was casting a pretty wide net) were rejected immediately - she was all "you're not even going to try this one on, it's too old lady" - and she was right. Like I said earlier, I didn't have high hopes of anything looking good, so I put a lot of different suits in my cart. This is what I ended up choosing:
Not me, obviously. It has a T-strap in the back that's pretty cute.
The bonus was that I only paid $22 for this after some online discounts, so that was pretty sweet, and it leaves me some extra money to find a cover up, woohoo!
The question now is, why did I feel OK about these suits? My body hasn't miraculously changed shape or size recently. I haven't been consciously doing any positive mantras toward body acceptance. My legs are still large and in charge, as is my stomach. But maybe all the running has firmed things up a tiny bit? Or maybe all the running has made me appreciate my body more for what it can do, and I'm not so focused on looking like a beach babe in a swimsuit - sadly that ship sailed while I was a teenager (and I didn't appreciate that body while I had it). So I don't know, except that this was a new and, dare I say it, GOOD experience. And that hasn't happened very often for me when it comes to swimsuits. I'll gladly accept it.