I Am Who I Am Cause I Say I Am

A while ago, I walked into a swimsuit store excited for one of the first times in my life. I knew if not everything, most suits would fit. At a size 22, that was barely the case even at plus size stores.

Sooooo, as I begin to pick out two pieces and trendy low cut one pieces and all the things I saw what I considered “cool girls” to wear, I was stopped by an employee and was excited to get some help figuring out what was going to work.

The woman helping me was staring at the stack of swimsuits in my hand with a big HELL NAW in her eyes.

As I went into the fitting room she exchanged my cute little bikinis for one-piece skirt suits ( I mean wtf, am I old and in a swim cap?!) As the pile of no’s grew from her suggestions, I tried on a v-neck suit I had seen everywhere. When I looked in the mirror I was shocked I looked like one of the “cool girls”. I wasn’t used to it and in an attempt to find validation, I asked the employee if the suit worked.

The HELL NAW look was obvious once again. She hated every part of what was going on and even told me “maybe this style isn’t for someone with your *shape”.

*shape = sagging post-op body

That day, I left with a 50’s style bikini (so cute, but the worst tan lines and  the most awkward diaper looking pictures) and felt ok about maybe hiding that I had so many flaws under the 12 inch waist band.

For another year, I rocked swimsuits that covered me up in all the areas I thought I needed to hide. I had that woman’s voice in my head telling me my boobs were too saggy for v-necks and my stomach was too rippled for a regular bikini.

I’d look at my body undressed and feel disgusted and pray a distant relative would leave me a hundred thousand dollars to surgically fix every inch of me so I could wear a “cool girl” bathing suit.

When you lose 130 pounds, there is no magical way to lift everything six inches without surgery. Excess skin is part of the equation when deciding to lose weight, even with lifting weights and swimming (despite what all the old ladies at the nail salon tell me) I knew my thighs jumped to the beat as I walked and I knew I had those Kendrick Lamar un-photoshopped stretch marks all over. I guess you could say I was self-aware to a fault.

Somewhere along the way, I found the exact Kiini one piece I had tried on earlier. This time, I was pushing myself to try new things, find my joy and stop comparing myself to others. I said fuck it, spent my whole paycheck and wore the swimsuit the next day.

The people at my pool didn’t seem to care where my boobs sat or if my thighs were accentuated  by the stitching. I honestly do not think one person even looked up from their book. I had a great day in a super cute swimsuit.

The moral of this story is that I let a random person tell me something wasn’t for me.

This idea extends to so much more than just body issues and what I should/shouldn’t wear. From that day in my swimsuit, I vowed to pay more attention to all of the roadblocks I was letting other people put in my way.

If I want to be a self-esteem/food/travel blogger, I’m going to do it. If I want to cut my hair in an unbecoming fashion, hell yes it is getting the chop. If you tell me I’m not photogenic, I’m done pretending that’s true.

There is not one person, even yourself that can say you aren’t capable.

I am on this journey trying to love life and sometimes that means reminding myself, I am capable of anything I want to do or wear.