Fat Girl Swimming …

First swim of the year down at Cudgeon Creek this afternoon. And despite a little sunburn (what was I thinking not putting on sunscreen!?!?!?), I continue to be amazed at just how I’ve learned to give-n0-fcks about going into the water.

I haven’t been confident swimming since I was probably 18. It’s not because I have a fear of swimming – I don’t. It’s because of body shaming and just basically being embarrassed. I’m a confident swimmer, I’ve just not been confident swimming.

I’ve written previously about my body image journey (for example 2015 & 2017 with a content warning).

Today I got changed and walked straight to the water not caring about who could see me, then I got out, washed off, drove to the fish & chip shop, ate, and then drove home.

It was fantastic! It was a perfect swim on a perfect day. It was cleansing, healing and absolutely divine. I continue to credit a dear friend with my renewed love of swimming. She took me to Bribie Island one day a few years ago, and I was hooked.

In addition to the brain work I’ve done to shift my thinking about what is an acceptable body (I highly recommend everyone doing this work), I also got practical about the logistics of getting in the water.

So, here it goes.

Now I’m not an adventurous dresser, nor particularly fashionable so my style won’t suit everyone. In order to be confident swimming, I had to find a swimming outfit that gave me confidence.

What I’ve found worked for me is a three-piece outfit.

  1. An old Panache underwire bra with the wire gone.
  2. A pair of Autograph ‘boy-leg’ swimming shorts (OMG, I LOVE these so much)
  3. A 3XL rashie top from KMart

This three-piece outfit lives in a pink Kathmandu Pack&Go packing cell in my wardrobe and whenever I travel in summer, I grab it and go. Which reminds me – I should probably throw in a bottle of sunscreen in it as well.

I wouldn’t mind moving from my plain black & white rashie to something a little more colourful and lovely. But I haven’t seen any fashionable rashies in larger sizes yet.

It should also be said that my solution is practical from a swimming-in-Queensland sun safety perspective!

Wearing the bra swimming might seem strange to some, but it’s my reality. I think #saggyboobsmatter is a fantastic movement, led by the incredible Chidera Eggerue. But as an almost 50-year-old 22M, I’m going to pass. And until I can find a swimsuit that can cater to my size, in order for me to be comfortable, I’m wearing an old bra in the water.

I highly recommend swimming for plus size and fat adventurers. It’s refreshing and cleansing, as well as healthy and great exercise. Swimming brings people together and it can help clear your mind. But you need to find the togs/trunks/swimmers that work for you. And don’t let other peoples’ ideas of what is appropriate get to you.

Happy swimming.

2 thoughts on “Fat Girl Swimming …”

  1. Leesa, I wear the exact same except boardies and an underwire bra (20K here). But I wouldn’t recommend doing laps in an underwire … it has caused a nasty rub under my arms many times until I worked out what the cause was…. Water cures all that ails you! 💛

    1. Oh I know what you mean. The old one I wear is an underwire bra without the wire. Once they get old and the wires pop out, I just save them for swimming. lol. But yes, chafing is the WORST!

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