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What I Learned From My Swim Suit Shopping Experience

Guest Blogger: Claudia Hufham
This time of year, I always seem to get a bit down. It’s cold outside, dark and dreary even. My mood seems to follow suit. Not being able to get outside as much and the long stretch to the next holiday at work makes it a big ‘ol downer.

I try to keep in my mind that if we didn’t have winter, we wouldn’t be so happy about spring and summer. Winter makes me appreciate the warmer months. By the time summer is over I am so ready for cooler weather. It usually works out just fine, but for some reason this winter seems to be lasting a long time.
So what does a girl need to do to keep her spirits up? I have found that having a “project” is always a good way to keep the blues away. Unfortunately, eating seems to be the project that I have found interesting these days. Eating and sitting around reading or watching movies. The struggle is real.

Once I get home from work, I often don’t want to go out again, maybe because it’s cold and yucky but also because of the sad look on Rokko, the dog’s face! Oh my, that face.
Lately, it seems my favorite pastime is being inside. All I want to do is just snuggle up on the couch with the dog, but I know that I need to get up and move, but do I? Nope!

Isn’t It Funny

Sadly, in the pursuit of staying busy and keeping my spirits up, I had a bright idea that turned out to be anything but mood changing. My dumb idea was to go bathing suit shopping! What was I thinking?? Of course, there have been times in my life when I have been the queen of bad ideas! Apparently, I am still sporting that crown!
Buying a bathing suit at any time of the year for me is torture at best, mainly because I am so hard on myself. I get that shouldn’t be and I am working on it, but self-loathing is not something that goes away overnight! Not only was it my lack of a tan that I was having trouble with, but seems that the Christmas pounds that have moved onto my hips and without a bunch of work on my part, have no intention of moving out.

I had forgotten the way putting on a bathing suit makes me feel! Sort of like birthing a child. You have the first one and while you are in the middle of it, you think, I am never doing this again! But then time passes and somehow you are all into having another one, forgetting the torture you went through!

To add insult to injury, if you will, trying on a bathing suit in a dressing room with those horrible lights and not so great mirrors doesn’t make the experience any better.

On a side note: If I owned a store, let me tell you those mirrors would be the kind that make you look tall and skinny!! Not to mention the lights would be warm and flattering.

So, I thought I’d cut out the whole dressing room thing and order them online, so I can try them on in the security of my own house. I ordered them off the internet! Its February! Who needs a bathing suit now? Why not get the urge to buy a big snuggly sweat-suit or maybe some flannel pajamas? Oh but noooo….
There Are Rules
When ordering a swimsuit online, there are rules. First, you must measure yourself. That alone takes some deep breathing exercises and maybe a glass or two of wine.

Once that nightmare is over, you have to find yourself on the size chart. My daughter had already warned me since she had bought a suit that she loves from this particular website. “Don’t pay attention to the size Mom. It’s just a number” she said. I heard her, but was so excited at the prospect of a new suit and how cute I was going to look this summer on the beach in it that I didn’t process her statement completely.

So I compare my measurements to find myself on the size chart. WHAT?? Breathing deeply, I repeated to myself “it’s just a number, it doesn’t define me” Wow, between the holidays AND not having a job it seems I needed to stay out of the panty.
Snacking – A New Olympic Sport
I am pretty sure that while on my “hiatus” I turned “snacking” into some kind of a sport! I have a great talent for convincing myself that if I eat small portions that it somehow doesn’t count. For instance, if I eat a half of a cookie and walk away, then 10 mins later I eat the rest of the cookie and I do this 4000 times a day; it’s all good! I didn’t eat it all at once so therefore all those calories are spread-out… what the heck am I talking about??  My hips say oh I’ll show you “spread-out”; everything counts.

Well, I sucked it up (literally and figuratively) and ordered the suits. Even after the trauma of figuring out my size, I was excited at the prospect of receiving them in the mail. The day finally came and I ripped open the package. Up close and personal they were not as pretty as I had remembered them to be in the picture but ok. Let’s try.

Hmmm it wasn’t the dressing room lights and mirror …

Ouch! Not one of the three was I crazy about. One was way shorter on me than it was in the picture. It looked terrible. One was too big (oh praise sweet baby Jesus!)  and the other, just didn’t do anything for me. This made me want to run to the kitchen and eat! Not the reaction any sane woman should have. Ok, this is a problem. Why don’t I want to work out when I am stressed or blue or down? Why can’t that be a thing?

Maybe I should start the whole bathing suit thing with a shot of vodka! Lessons learned! I realize that before I put another swimsuit on I am going to, at the very least, put on some sunless tanning stuff. Maybe that will help?


Always Learning
Apparently, I am not one of those people that learn from my mistakes the first time I make one. I need to make the mistake at least 5 or 6 times and then the light bulb goes on! But at least at some point I learn right?
What I’ve learned from my swim suit buying experience:
1. Don’t be so hard on yourself! Haven’t I learned that one million times by now?
2. Self-tanner makes everything look better? Fingers crossed.
3. The size is just a number – whether a small or large number, but still just a number.
4. Moderation is key! It’s not the cookies fault, it’s the amount I choose to consume! So everything in moderation and keeping a healthy snack alternative is a good idea!
I am looking forward to getting out of the house more with some good weather predicted in the near future. After all this, here’s my advice to myself: I HAVE ONE LIFE AND WHO THE CARES WHAT I LOOK LIKE IN A BATHING SUIT? No one, that’s who and if  the suit makes me happy and the sun makes me happy well, that’s all I need. Life happens outside your comfort zone. Why let something so trivial keep you from enjoying your life?

About the Author
Claudia Hufham is a blogger, mom to two grown kids and a Boxer/American Bulldog, who found herself looking for a new career at age 59. In her quest to reinvent herself and save her sanity, she started a blog. Her humor and down to earth story telling of her life lessons have led her to be featured on sites like Feedspot.com. You can read more from Claudia at Claudiareinvented. You can follow Claudia on her Instagram and FaceBook Page as well.
Claudiareinvented is featured on Feedspot as one of the Top 10 Women Over 50 Blogs