the Swimsuit Edition: a body positive shindig

Okay folks,
so I am roaming on unchartered waters here..

During my relaxing break in Phuket,
I decided to snap a few piccies of me in my usual swimsuit (it’s not snazzy) before I went for a swim. I say it again and again on the blog, I am a total waterbaby and the pool is my kind of place to find some Zen. There is something about the silence found under water that soothes my soul. Now if only I could convince the hubster to get our PADI certification so that I could enjoy diving in the vast oceans! Alas he is terrified of the water, even if it comes to just his shoulders..

I posted a few images of my belly on IG a few months ago. I was tired of hiding and feeling ashamed of my body. It was strangely liberating! I was shocked that so many people liked the post and thanked me for sharing. I was very grateful for the kind words.

These were those pics :

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This was what I said in the caption:

This is my belly.
It is a part of me that I have hidden over layers of clothing, shape wear and mad exercise routines. I have seen my fellow plus size sisters show their bellies off this Summer in bikinis/fatkinis and I have had friends proudly declare “This is my belly. So What”.

This makes me feel really vulnerable because I have cried and run home when people have stared at my tummy when I was headed out to meet people.

I have wanted to stab the belly and I Have punched it out of anger. I worked my butt off trying to flatten it but mostly the sides would shape up and the front would subside a little.

Listen, you can unfollow me if this is too much for you. I am done caring about what others think. I am so done with hiding.

This is my round, tiger striped imperfect belly. It is soft and my cats love it as do my dogs. My waist is hidden here but I love it’s imperfections. I have been training myself to look into the mirror instead of averting my gaze.

I will not let your discomfort at seeing my fat body make me feel bad about myself anymore. I am fat, plus sized, big, zaftig – and whatever else – and I accept it.

I ACCEPT IT.”

8 weeks on, do I feel any better about my body? I cannot lie, it isn’t like I love my body..but I don’t loathe it either. It’s a work in progress.

Having become a size 18-20 has been challenging. I have been fat shamed a lot more. I get concern trolls.

But I know my life best and my struggles. I know that this is a moment for me to unlearn the old thoughts I surround myself with.

It was hard being on holiday.
It was hard celebrating Diwali. Why?
Because I was aware of the fat scanning and covert fat shaming that would ensue. But I enjoyed myself anyway and I am so proud of myself for that.

Before my first swim at the resort, I felt shy and nervous about taking the towel off to wade into the pool. But let me let you in on a secret – Every woman who is at the pool, is wondering about Her body. No matter what her size is. So that thought helped me a little.

Also, the thought of being in the water and feeling refreshed made me a lot braver. I don’t frequent public pools in Singapore even though I love to swim because I am very particular about hygiene and I have been very harshly Fat shamed before. I left the community pool with tears in my eyes a lot of those times.

I really love my friends. They never make me feel uncomfortable in my skin and when I am around them, I am too busy enjoying myself to be body conscious. But when I am alone, it’s a different story.

When I have the hubster by my side,
I can conquer the world. I hope that someday I can feel that way when I am out and about by myself.

Alright! Here are the pics :

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This was the first pic and I was still noticeably nervous.

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Since I was headed to the pool, I was barefaced.

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Still a little bashful here but feeling better.

The swimsuit was bought from local online store Singsale. They import products from Australia and although I am not crazy about their very basic plus sized collection, I was glad to have found a suit in my size and in a colour that I like.

The kimono wrap is from Cotton On.
I normally wear them as a coverup to the pool or when chilling at home.

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So I got even braver and removed the wrap..

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I like that last shot, where I look more like me and less like a deer caught in the headlights :p

My arms.
They are flappy and echo a while after I wave hello. They have weird dangly lumps that I cannot explain. They can be muscular when paired with my swimmer’s shoulders. They help me propel through still waters, hold my loved ones and carry heavy weights..I can carry pretty hefty things with ease.
I wonder if I could carry myself? Hmmm.

My derrière
It sticks out no matter how many Spanxx I hide it under. It hurts when I sit on a bar stool or stationary bike. It can balance tea cups. It looks pretty fine in clothing.

My thighs
The part of the body I am Most conscious about. You will never see me in a mini skirt or short shorts. They have been drizzled in cellulite for as long as I can recall. They used to be made fun of in school. But they are strong. They can serve quite the kick.
They are a nice cushion for the pets.
They are a part of my body that I am still learning to love.

I have miles to go before I can finally exclaim that I have come to accept my size and body. But then, that is what this blog is for..it is an excavation of the past demons and exorcism of them. It is an exploration of the beliefs that I have held. It is a discovery into myself. It is a place of growth and positivity.

So onwards I plod along.
And I hope that you remember that it isn’t the end goal in mind that will make all the difference, it is the journey that it takes you. So take away your blinkers, feel the rawness and the pain and the jubilation.

And have fun while you’re at it.
Fashion, Cooking, DIY designs – whatever makes you happy.

Sending you lots of love,
xxxo Aarti Olivia

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4 thoughts on “the Swimsuit Edition: a body positive shindig

  1. Ah the balancing of the cups. Be proud my stunning far away friend. I need your swimsuit lol just go on ship it to me. I love all of this and i spend so much on swimming stuff to just look at it or a cover up. Im getting out there girl, because you told me i could and i finally heard myself speak. Enjoy your body a day at a time. Shopping and investment makes me happy id be happier if id just be full of myself all the time. Xxxx

    Oh and wear those minni skirts, im a mini dress queen lol β™‘

  2. You look lovely in your swimming costume! I am always nervous in mine but recently I took a trip with my family to a type of resort kind of place that had a water park. I love to swim so I could not resist… and do you know not one single person enjoying the place looked like a model in their swimsuit. Everyone had lumps and bumps and jiggling bits and uneven skin tone and a couple of blemishes… and I thought good grief we are probably so busy worrying about our bodies that no one is enjoying the slides! So I decided to just get on with it… and no one died from seeing my big white ass!

  3. Nice suit, I love the cut and colour. I think the thing to remember is that so many of us are uncomfortable with our bodies so you are definitely not alone in all of this!
    xo
    styleontheside.com

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