After having 2 kids, and the stretchmarks to go with them, I became uncomfortable with my body. I would only wear one piece swimsuits to the beach and most of the time I wouldn't go at all. I missed a lot of fun days with my husband and kids. One day my husband came home with a 2 piece bikini, said we were going to be going on a little trip and that I would need it to go swimming at the hotel we were staying at. I took the suit with me, but I didn't think I'd be wearing it.
The first day I refused to wear it and they went swimming while I stayed in bed. The next day day I reluctantly agreed to go but only later at night after I thought everyone else would be out of the pool.
Well, we got to the pool and there are several other guests still swimming. I laid on one of the recliners covered by my towel, not wanting anyone to see my fat. After I made many excuses, my husband came over, picked me up, and threw me in the pool! I stayed in the pool and had a great time playing with my kids; chasing them around.
After returning to the room, he and I sat down and talked. During the conversation he said something to me that I think about every time I start to feel discouraged about going out in a swimsuit. He said "I don't know why you worry about it so much. You have never seen these people before, will probably never see them again, and if you do they won't remember you." I thought about this and realized that I was giving more attention and consideration to the thoughts of what others were thinking about me then I was giving to my own kids and husband. Most of the time these strangers weren't even looking at me! I was torturing myself by telling myself they were talking about me, secretly, and laughing at me. My husband went on to tell me that I was beautiful just the way I was. He loved me for me, not just what I looked like.
I am now much more relaxed and I don't mind wearing a bikini. I actually own several now! I am still trying to lose weight. My husband has always been very supportive of what I want, for myself, but at the same time he is also making me feel good about myself regardless of whether I have made my weight loss goals.
So don't listen to the TV or radio with all the commercials telling you that you need to be a certain size. Just be yourself, relax, and have fun. That's all I do now. My husband even took me to a "clothing optional" beach and got me to go topless, but that's a whole other article! Just find a swimsuit you like and forget about these "strangers".