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Gone Swimmin’

What do you do when you are stressed about naming your book? You shop, of course! Spending unbudgeted money on clothing sure beats eating a pint of ice cream. Of course, when the garment you are looking for is a swimsuit it’s quite possible it might make your stress levels rise instead of fall. But I am paying my rent every month on time, so I figure I should take advantage of the pool my dollars are helping maintain. I also finally feel thin enough that the idea of swimsuit shopping only launches me to 50%-60% of my maximum heart rate instead of 80%-90%.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I bought a swimsuit. It was probably the 90′s. I can’t remember the last time I went swimming either, but I think it was in the lake at my friend’s house, a home they don’t even own anymore. I also forgot to bring my swimsuit home because I left it to dry in their bathroom. I did not get it back until my ass could no longer fit inside it, spandex be damned.

I dug up that teal suit from the box of skinny clothes awhile ago. It finally fits again, but I don’t think it’s all that flattering since it’s a one-piece that actually reveals my thighs. My legs basically have the same excess skin issues that my underarms have. I notice the underarms jiggle whenever I reach out to grab something while I’m wearing a short-sleeved shirt or tank top. I don’t usually notice the thigh flesh because I’m not prone to go around the house in my underpants sticking my legs out at right angles to my body. But it is there, and while I don’t really care that my thighs look a bit saggy, I don’t really want to put them on display either.

Lucky for me, swimsuit trends have changed since the 90′s and we now have tankinis and skirtinis and martinis. Okay, we always had martinis. They should serve martinis while we shop for our tankinis. It would surely help customers deal with the shopping process. I stopped at Kohl’s last week before my last TurboKick class and tried on some stuff, but didn’t really like anything. The dressing rooms were clogged with other people’s garments too, which makes me wonder is it really so exhausting to hang your items on the rack outside the changing room? Sheesh.

Fashion Bug had a 50% off sale on swimsuits last weekend, so I decided to try them. It was a little frustrating to have to go up to the size 16 misses swimsuit when I have been wearing size 14 women’s jeans. I checked the sizing charts online (Fashion Bug | Lane Bryant) and both sizes have the same waist measurement and only one inch difference in the hip measurement. So they are basically the same size in the sense of the surface area they consume, they just have different numbers in the tags. When you consider the fact that I wore a size 12 mini-skirt to the art fair, maybe you can see why dress size does not matter. It’s like they pick these numbers off of balls from a lottery machine.

I bought this swimsuit:

I got an extra 10% off of the 50% mark-down because I had a coupon, so I only spent about 30-something bucks, which I thought was a good price. My only complaint is that the top and bottom were sold together instead of mix-and-match. I think the 14 top would have fit better because I have no breasts. Back in elementary school kids would enter “55378008″ onto a calculator and turn it around to say “Boobless” on the screen. That perfectly describes me. Last year at this time I wore a snug size 14 dress to a wedding and even though I’ve lost about 40 pounds since then, I’m really only down to a size 12 or 10 because dress size is typically determined at the bust. However, I was also wearing size 22 jeans at the time and I’m now down to a size 14. I carry most of my fat below my boobs. I suppose I could have tried to switch the size 16 top for a size 14, like people who have one foot bigger than the other sometimes try to do when they buy shoes. But I would have felt bad about that, so I just bought the matched-sized set. On the positive side, I find that the more weight I lose, the closer my top-half size has become to my bottom-half size.

Last evening I carefully peaked out my window to surveil the pool and confirm that it was deserted before I took my swimsuit out for a test swim. I am generally very confident about my body, but seriously, even I have my limits. I did a half-assed shaving job on my legs, slipped on my flip-flops and trotted over to the pool with my towel. As I rounded the corner I heard a voice echoing against the bricks. Oh no! A neighbor was sitting on the second floor landing above the pool talking on his cell phone. My complex gets shoddy cell phone reception, so people can frequently be seen and heard talking on their phones in the courtyards during the summer. I hadn’t been able to see him from my window.

But I couldn’t really turn around now or else I’d be that weird neighbor girl who walks around the complex in a swimsuit without ever actually going in the pool. I continued flipping and flopping to the gate and ignored him. Once I took off my glasses I couldn’t see the guy anyway, so I could just imagine the world had shrunk to what I could clearly see in a 2 foot bubble away from my face. I swam around in the pool for 10-15 minutes while this guy chattered on about work to the anonymous stranger. Geez, I had to listen to his boring conversation and I couldn’t even luck into something juicy, like an argument with his young, gay, Asian, lover.

“When are you going to give my boy, Mark a job, eh?” He jabbered into the phone. “He’s a great shot.” Oh my God. What kind of job was Mark applying for? I dunked my head under the water in an attempt to mute the sound. I got sick of listening to the conversation and made for the ladder, which was when my neighbor conveniently decided to end his phone call. But I was already climbing out of the water, so I kept hauling my wet ass upwards and walked to the lawn chair to retrieve my stuff.

I went back to my apartment and checked out the now wet suit in the mirror. None of the material had gone invisible. My butt crack was not showing. My top had stayed on. My first jaunt to the pool this millennium had gone swimmingly. I might make this a more frequent than a once-in-a-decade event.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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30 Comments

Peter • May 31, 2007 at 12:37 pm

Yay! There are few pleasures in life to rival outdoor summer swimming and lounging.

It makes a great part of a writer’s routine, too. According to Robert McCrum’s biography of the insanely prolific P. G. Wodehouse, Wodehouse usually swam, and floated, no fewer than three times a day as part of his routine, so as to think things over while writing. (Which was all the time.)

He also read detective fiction in the morning, strode all around the countryside, snoozed in an armchair after tea, and had his own personal happy hour every evening before dinner. Not a bad life.

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Peter • May 31, 2007 at 12:40 pm

P.S. On the debit side, swimming notoriously makes most people feel much hungrier than it should for the caloric expenditure involved. Something about feeling cold when you get out, or something?

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Debbie • May 31, 2007 at 12:44 pm

That’s a gorgeous suit. Congrats on venturing into the water. I think you ought to keep at it. Swimming’s great exercise.

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Kate • May 31, 2007 at 2:06 pm

Congrats! I love the suit. I bought my last suit at the Bug too. I need to buy a swimsuit this year. Which on the one hand is a Hooray (because the old ones are too big) and on the other hand is a Boo (because I really hate trying them on – thank goodness there are no mirrors at the beach :-) But now you have inspired me and I will find one I’m sure!

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Mymsie • May 31, 2007 at 2:14 pm

Cutie suitie! (Someone please stab me in the eye) I’m smitten on brown and teal lately. Love that combo!

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Kimberly • May 31, 2007 at 3:00 pm

I bought a boring black one piece.

I want that suit!

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Chris H • May 31, 2007 at 4:14 pm

I just love the swimsuit, and I am sure you look just fine in it. Good on you for going swimming, it’s a great form of exercise, and I love being in the water… my pedometers don’t, I have killed 3 so far!

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LadyT • May 31, 2007 at 4:52 pm

this suit is too cute! and i wish i was brave as you to go to my community pool…considering how much i pay in rent i should just screw the kids and neighbors and go out there anyway…..but i am too shy…..maybe in 20lbs…..

i wish i had known they were having a sale. i would have checked them out…actually, it wouldnt have mattered…i didnt have any money anyway.

OMG! i’m new to you and just read your stats…you have dropped sooo much weight! i will be bookmarking you so that i can learn all your secrets! *wink*

Be Blessed!

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lme • May 31, 2007 at 4:59 pm

Love the suit! Brown and light blue is one of my favorite color combos these days.

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jen • May 31, 2007 at 5:19 pm

That’s a great suit. Public swimming is the only thing more anxiety-inducing than swimsuit shopping, so congratulations on tackling both in the same week.

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Kelli • May 31, 2007 at 5:20 pm

OMG that suit is precious! I wish you had posted this last week when I was shopping for a suit, although I have not worn mine yet, so might return it and get that one. I know what you mean about sizes – I am in a 14/16 and ended up with a 2X swimsuit in order to cover everything and not get the buttcrack of death. Still, I am looking forward to swimming again.

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JustShy • May 31, 2007 at 6:13 pm

Cute swimsuit, and congrats on ignoring the guy and swimming anyways! I know that would be a big hurdle for me to jump.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • May 31, 2007 at 3:06 pm

Those little skirts on swimsuits are just the best. No need for a coverup. Just grab a towel & flip flops, and go.

I am jealous, btw. We are the same height, I weigh 3.5 less, but my size 16 pants/jeans only fit if they have a little spandex in them. I definitely need to follow your tips on exercise.

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Brigitte • June 1, 2007 at 6:34 am

Good for you for going anyway. Your suit is beautiful.

I love the asian lover comment. You have my type of sense of humour.

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Lose Weight With Me • June 1, 2007 at 7:14 am

I avoided swimming for years in order to avoid the embarrassment that came with going out in public with my shirt off. Even now I may go sit at poolside, but I just can’t bring myself to peel off my shirt and jump in.

Brian

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BrightAngel • June 1, 2007 at 8:40 am

HooRay for you. Good job.

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Penelope's Web • June 1, 2007 at 11:56 am

Congratulations! I actually did buy a couple of (skirted) suits; whether I’ll wear them is another matter. It’s a pity that during the last Fit Athletic Period in my life (which lasted for about 8 years, actually, until it was followed by the Injured Period), I never wore the two-piece suit I bought.

I’m actually thinking of buying myself dive skins, since I am the whitest white who ever whited, and I don’t want to have to tote sunblock by the drum with me to the beach or pool. A dive skin will also nicely snug up any loose skin I happen to have.

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spacedcowgirl • June 1, 2007 at 4:37 pm

Have you seen the “boobless” t-shirt?

http://www.glarkware.com/productcart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=3&idproduct=1668

Pretty funny. Between that and his “I rock at BASIC” one, it’s not hard to figure out that he’s around my age. Of course, you’re just a whippersnapper by comparison, but nevertheless. :)

I love the swimsuit. Very pretty. I agree with the previous commenter that brown and teal is a great combination.

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kentuckienne • June 5, 2007 at 11:45 am

Congratulations on the suit — so cute! I’ve been looking for a new one, but everything seems to be designed either for boobless 15-year-olds or 60-year-old women. Also, I really wouldn’t worry about the swimsuit size — as frustrating as it is, I’ve never worn a swimsuit in a size that corresponded to my “real” size, whatever that is. I’ve gone up as much as four sizes, probably because I’m long-torsoed.

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HK • June 15, 2007 at 10:51 am

Hi, I think your blog is interesting, and it’s great what you’ve accomplished so far. But I wanted to comment on what bothered me about this post (btw, this comment isn’t necessarily for public posting, although you’re free to do so if you wish). I paused a bit when I read the word “asian” in your blog. I just wonder why it’s more scandalous for the young gay lover to be Asian than of any other race. Is it because Asian cultures genereally aren’t too accepting of gayness? Or is it just more shocking that the lover is not white? I just think that you wouldn’t have described the mythical gay lover as black, so why is describing him as Asian okay? I don’t know how diverse your reading population is generally, but as an Asian American, I tend to be more responsive to use of race in any writing. I had noticed another use of race in your earlier blog entry (sorry, I don’t recall which one), and I was also a bit taken aback at that. I just thought that if you’re going to be writing a book (and the blog) for a national audience, it would be appreciated if you could be a bit more sensitive in your use of race. I know you must get tons of emails criticizing this or that in your blogs, and I very reluctantly added to such emails because the use of race in this blog entry really bothered me. Thanks, and good luck with your remaining weight loss.

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PastaQueen • June 15, 2007 at 11:07 am

HK – It’s okay to criticize if you do it politely, which you did. I don’t really remember why I said “Asian” in this post. I would guess I was just trying to create more vivid imagery by adding a description. I could have just as easily said his “latin lover,” but then that would probably offend the latino population. I admit that as a white woman I get the benefit of white priviledge and don’t really have to think about race in my daily life. I will keep this in mind when I write in the future.

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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