Beached Whale

We had a big weekend at Hawks Nest this weekend with two of our best friends – sun, sand, water, alcohol. Not to mention the cheese and crackers, fish and chips, bacon and eggs. It was fantastic… Except for how I felt like a beached whale the whole time. Best friend A cracked a joke about how we needn’t be worried about looking out for sharks, it’s the Japanese Whalers that we need to be concerned with. Hilarious, but devastatingly accurate.

I pulled out my swim suit on Friday morning before work and gave it a go, just to be sure that it still did fit. Yes… But I had to shimmy. I shimmy shimmy shimmied into it again on Saturday morning and lathered my milky skin in SPF 50+ all the while avoiding the mirror and ignoring the lack of support from the skinny shoulder straps. I kept my maxi dress on until we had fully set up our shade, towels, esky and magazines up the quiet end of the beach. The end with less of those happy, skinny, tanned types. I am very lucky that I have a fiancĂ© and two best friends whom I feel completely comfortable with and I know that they don’t care if my tummy is a little flubby or my thighs suffocate touch each other. But I care. Oh god, do I care. Will I be in a bikini next summer? Actually I don’t care so much about that. Do I want to look great in a one piece next summer? You bet I do! I want to be able to walk along the beach in just my swimmers and feel confident. To feel like maybe people are looking at me because I look good, because I look happy. Rather than because of the size of my stomach or how self conscious I obviously am in anything other than a maxi dress and giant sunglasses.

Maybe two years ago I was at the beach for a weekend and I came out of the bedroom in my swimmers and someone close to me looked at me thoughtfully and said, “Is this the biggest you’ve ever been?” I died. I will never forget the embarrassment and devastation I felt in that moment. I brushed off the comment but I felt like it was choking me, like right then my size was definition of who I am… who I have always been and will ever be. I love that person but when I stop and think of that moment I still want to cry. I still resent them for what they said.

12wbt kicks off tomorrow. It’s 10.30pm and I need to be up at 5.30 for the gym. I will never again feel like a beached whale.



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