Weight Loss Support - Are you too embarrassed to swim?

View Full Version : Are you too embarrassed to swim?

01-20-2005, 05:16 AM
Hi all,

Just wondered whether many of you people out there are as embarrassed as I am to swim in public say at pools or beaches? I live in a country that has wonderful beaches close to practically everywhere and yet as an overweight woman I feel I can't go swimming in public and even if public swimming pools have women only sessions it doesn't entice me to go as I still feel panicky about getting in and out of the water in front of people.

I love swimming and can't afford a pool in the garden!

Are there many of you that feel similarly?


thanks for your replies

01-20-2005, 08:22 AM
I started swimming for exercise about a year and a half ago. The first couple of times at the pool, I was so self-conscious that it was real work to get myself to go. I felt like everyone would be staring at me, judging me. And this was after I lost a significant amount of weight.

But then I started looking around at who was there. Overweight people, older people, pregnant women, children of all sizes, in addition to a few people who looked to me like athletes. Nobody I saw had a perfect body, and people of course do look, but I didn't feel any judgement from anyone other than myself.

I figure if I am swimming and more or less underwater, who can tell what I look like, and I wear a towel or coverup getting in and out. Swimming is such great exercise, full body no impact cardio, that it would be a shame to miss out on it if you love it.

So, the first couple times are hard, then it just becomes routine.

There ARE jerks in the world. You will run into them. Recognize them for what they are.

01-20-2005, 03:41 PM
I am but I'm not.

I mean, the fact of the matter is that I'm overweight. I can't hide it...even if I wore a t-shirt, that would just make me stand out even more.

Granted, I don't go swimming or to the beach necessarily for fun on the weekends, but I do often go to my in-laws for pool parties, or swim at the health club. I used to get very self concious in general just to walk into the gym. Now I'm getting fit, exercising hard, and getting in shape...I feel I work harder than many of the people there who are thin. I feel good about myself.

I can't change the way I look today, but over time as I do exercise, I know my confidence will increase and I'll feel even better, especially about the swimsuit issue. But for now, I'm going to walk, jog, swim, etc...to get the body I will feel better about having. You really have to love yourself now and accept yourself for what you are in order to change. You may get stares, you may get mean faces for it...but I want to enjoy myself.

I say take some time to go shopping and get yourself a cute, flattering suit and hop on in the pool or to the beach. Enjoy yourself, love your self, and get fit!

PS: Land's End has great, flattering suits of good quality. They are a bit pricey, but you know, when I got mine in the mail and wore it to a pool party, the way it made me feel was SO worth the $85!

01-20-2005, 04:05 PM
Yup- but like the others, you get over it. No one is judging you besides yourself, everyone else is thinking about what they look like in their bathing suits!

and I agree with Girlie- go buy yourself a nice swimsuit... I'm getting married in March and going to the bahamas (I'll HAVE to wear a bathing suit). I bought myself a bikini (for the first time EVER!). It was $90 but I know I look good in it and I can't wait to wear it!

01-20-2005, 04:38 PM
I wear a tankini....imo it's pretty flattering so I don't mind swimming...I went to the ocean though and the waves ripped the top right over my head!!!

01-20-2005, 04:54 PM
Boy can I answer this one. First off, as you see from my tracker, I started at over 400 lbs. I am also 51 not 20. I have always felt that the only judgment you have is the one you put on yourself. STAND UP FOR YOURSELF! BE PROUD OF WHO YOU ARE NO MATTER THE SIZE. Do you realize you are letting them WIN when you stay away from a pool? I hate to say this, but for each of us that is overweight and ASHAMED, we feed into the gossips, the behind the hand talkers, the plain out dumb *** rude people and the like. I have never slunk into a pool in my life. I don't care if it is little kids or svelte teenagers, I look them dead in the eye, smile, say hello and whatever to take the first power away from them. How can you be rude to someone who is nice to you? Then if something is said, said, "Excuse me, I didn't hear what you said." Most won't repeat it, but if they have the balls to do so, have a comeback to shut them up. For instance with a little kid who says, "You're fat or why are you fat?" (I had this happen last year) I said to her, "Why are you black?" I put it back on her. A stupid adult or teen with a fat ***, lard ***, comment should be dealt with, "Excuse me, but my boyfriend, husband, whatever likes my fat *** so why should I care what you think!" and walk away (it doesn't matter if you have one or not, PRETEND FOR GOODNESS SAKE). YOU HAVE TO TAKE THE POWER AWAY AND THE ONLY WAY TO DO THAT IS NOT TO BE ASHAMED OR EMBARRASSED! My GOD, I am SO tired of having to tell overweight women we are beautiful too no matter what size we are. I don't have to lose weight to be beautiful, I already am. I lose weight to get healthy and if the benefits include smaller clothes and abilitities I have lost to weight gain, terrific, but I FOR ONE WILL NEVER EVER EVER EVER BE EMBARRASSED TO WEAR A SWIMSUIT. Oh, one last thought, wear a suit that looks good on you. I mean if you are 250 lbs don't try to smoosh yourself into a two piece. SPEND THE MONEY and buy a nice suit even if it is expensive. You will be glad you did! I hate those suits with skirts as they make someone overweight look even more so and someone young look old. I prefer tanks with great accents at the shoulders, waist, bustline, whatever is the best of your assets. Please do play into idiots hands. Take charge of your life and go for it!


01-20-2005, 08:10 PM
I was never that self-conscious about my body. I used to be sort of shy around people, but that had nothing to do with my body image. I knew I was overweight, but never thought that I looked grossly overweight because I felt I carried even the extra pounds well. Maybe it's all in how we see ourselves. But what I did know was that I didn't want to "flaunt" my extra weight. So yeah, I was overweight, but I wasn't going to wear a thong bikini and draw stares either. Stares not for being overweight but being overweight with a bad choice of clothing. LOL

So I always went for the one piece suits that have the skirt that starts under the breasts. It hides just as well as a t-shirt IMO.

01-20-2005, 11:54 PM
those little dresses are cute too :)

01-21-2005, 10:06 AM
Well my mom has a pool so I just go over there. I definitely wouldn't be thrilled about taking this bod to a public pool!

01-21-2005, 10:23 AM
I love what you said, Faye. That's so right.

Whether you're 10 pounds overweight or 100, or more, you're overweight. Wearing a "bathing dress" or t-shirt isn't going to hide your body, just make you look worse and stand out. I think people look worse in the suits with the little skirts.

Land's End has some really great tankinis. Not sure what size they go up to...I absolutely loved mine. And I didn't dare get a plain black suit - the typical thing for someone who is overweight to do. I got a bright blue print. And I felt good and proud in it. Fully dressed or in a bathing suit, I'm still overweight either way - no point in looking frumpy. Even though someon is overweight, they have the same right and priviledge to use a public pool and to have fun. I don't act like I'm embarassed because I no longer am. It's me, and until I lose the weight, people are just going to have to live with it. Last summer I went to a public pool and laid out in the sun with all the skinny girls. I felt like I got a couple of looks, but hey...there's enough sun for everyone. Summer used to be a time when I'd hide out...but no way.

Now there is a difference between doing things tastefully and just looking terrible. So take your time, find something cute, like a suit with a matching sarong for when you're walking out to the pool. Feel good about yourself.

01-21-2005, 10:36 AM
some one, landsend of ll bean has a mock tankini. it looks like a tankini but is attached undeneath so that you don't get a bulge where the said wasteband would meet your stomach if it were there. i have one and absolutely love it. it has a high neck line which is nice since i have very little to show off in the chest area. great support and super comfortable.

01-21-2005, 05:33 PM
awww, I love the dresses, mine wasn't frumpy at all, it showed off my curves.... anyhow my tankini is black and pruple with a hyacinth (sp) print on it and I'm determined to go to the pool this year, I just found out there is a public pool right near me... !!!

01-21-2005, 05:57 PM
I've always loved the water and never let a little (or now a whole lot) of fat get in my way. At home or around close friends and family I wore a two piece bathing suit but when I swam laps at the public pool, I nice black one piece. I was self-conscious the first couple of times I went but only whether or not I could swim the laps or not. After that, the manager of the pool even started making the kids get out of my way so I could swim laps. I say definitely go, hold your head high and enjoy yourself. You deserve to be at that pool just like everyone else.

01-21-2005, 06:13 PM

Where did you get it? I must say that not ALL the swim dresses are horrid...but some definitely are!

PS is that you in the pic? Looks like Kelly Osbourne. :)

Land's End has the mock tankini.
I don't even know if LL Bean has larger sizes.
Do they?


01-21-2005, 07:05 PM
umm, i think I got it at kmart, it was kind of form fitting, it wasn't frumpy at all, navy blue with tiny polka dots....

and yes that's in my pic and I hear that I look like kelly all the time, especially now that her bangs are a different color than her hair...we have a similar fashion sense :) thanks I take it as a compliment...

01-21-2005, 11:21 PM

Where did you get it? I must say that not ALL the swim dresses are horrid...but some definitely are!

I got mine from Wal*Mart and it was adorable. I had one that was purple flowers of some type...purple and black. It looked like the baby doll type shirts. The top was form fitting, all a one piece suit, with the skirt in a sheerer material from under the breasts to the tops of the thighs. Most of my weight, which had been carried in my mid section and rearend, wasn't poking out of the suit that way. I later switched to a one-piece that had diagonal pleats. That also helped with the midsection. Then I went to a two-piece with a skirt on the bottom as my hips still seemed to be bursting from a regular pair of bikini bottoms. LOL

01-22-2005, 11:02 AM
I feel a bit self conscious in a swimsuit, but I have a two piece tankini and love it. My dh says I'm his little mermaid (where he gets the little from I don't know!!!), so if I am good enough for him I am good enough for anyone! I love swimming, when you are in the water, it's like you are weightless and almost invisible. Until some teenager dive bombs on you!!! :)

01-22-2005, 11:16 AM
I have an above ground pool so I am fine swimming in that, but out in public I hate it. Several summers ago my husband and I went to a water park that had water slides in it. I wore a t-shirt and swim shorts over my bathing suit. Luckily they did not make me go in just my swim suit, but I still hated that people could see my chuddy snow white legs!! :yikes:

01-22-2005, 12:13 PM
I'm not so sure I'll ever swim again after watching Eric Cartman take swimming lessons with all the first graders peeing in the pool last night on Southpark.

01-23-2005, 10:49 AM
When I went on holiday last year I was 178lbs. Far from my heaviest ever weight (260.5) but still wanting to lose around 20-30lbs. I never ever thought I would do it, but I actually wore a bikini!! For the first day or so I felt mega self-conscious, but like others have already said, there are always going to be people a lot bigger than you, just the same as there are always going to be people a lot smaller. No one really cares, and no one really shows that much interest in YOU. They're too busy worrying about how THEY look probably!!

01-25-2005, 07:23 PM
I have always been too embarassed to swim or take water aerobics. But I recently found out that the gym near me has a special water aerobics/free swim class twice a week evenings specifically for people trying to lose a signifigant amount of weight, and the swim area is closed to everyone else during that time. Embarasment-eraser, right? Well, now I am too embarassed to go because other people in the gym will see me going into the overweight-only swim class and *gasp* realize I'm fat! Oh, the tangled web we weave.