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Getting Ready for Swimsuit Season

Water volleyball

With summer and hot weather approaching, bathing suit-and-shorts season is upon us.  Women (and men) often tell me that they will not wear a bathing suit, sleeveless shirt, and/or shorts because of their negative feelings about their body.  They are worried that people will judge them.  Unfortunately, because of their desire to feel psychologically comfortable, they may be physically uncomfortable.  Furthermore, they miss out on swimming, boating, or going to the beach–activities they would enjoy.   

If you avoid wearing certain clothes because you’re embarrassed about your body, start by challenging your fear that people are judging you.  Many people may not even be paying any attention to you or what you’re wearing.  How do you know that people are judging you?  Yes, some people may judge/criticize you because of your weight (and that reflects negatively on them, not you), but not everyone will do so.  Some people may give you credit for participating in the fun instead of sitting on the sidelines. 

Instead of saying “I can’t wear a bathing suit,” ask yourself “how can I wear a bathing suit?”  What could you do to feel more comfortable in your bathing suit?  Wear a t-shirt or cover up over it? 

Ask yourself whether it’s really worth missing out on feeling comfortable (physically) or participating in fun activities because of how you feel about your body.  Do you really want to allow your fear that people will judge you to control your behavior?

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