Beach Bodies and Bikinis

zadar beach panorama.jpg

When I left the States, my scale said I weighed 96 pounds.

That number, of course, is a ridiculous falsehood. I weigh that plus the weight of a small child, which doesn’t paint a pleasant mental picture as we enter swimsuit season.

swimsuit season.jpg

I didn’t bother to buy a new scale when mine went haywire because I didn’t mind it being wrong. The only time it caused me problems was the night before my overseas flight. Some of my girlfriends came over to bid me farewell. They helped me carry my duffel bags to my trunk. Then they gave me sound advice to do some rearranging to distribute the weight better. It was nearly midnight when my friend Jennifer walked down the street to her house and brought back her scale. We stood in the street by my car with the scale and the luggage and repacked, and she was the only one brave enough to step on the scale with the bags and announce how much everything weighed.

Since I’ve been in Croatia, I haven’t stepped foot near a scale, but I know I’m a little lighter than when I arrived. I don’t know how much weight I’ve lost, but it’s probably a good 10 to 15 pounds, just from walking and riding my bike everywhere. Still, I’m in no danger of becoming a 96-pound weakling.


Now that it’s summertime, I am thinking more about my size and what I should wear to the beach. The European women all wear bikinis. I mean, all of them, no matter their age or their size. And they don’t seem to care whether they have beach bodies. That also goes for the men of all ages and sizes who seem to think Speedos are appropriate.


I am 46 years old. I haven’t entertained the idea of wearing a bikini since I was about 16. Even then, I didn’t like to show my belly.

Here, my go-to black, one-piece, soccer-mom swimsuit is a dead giveaway that I am an American tourist. Sarge says I should blend in with the locals and wear a bikini. I told him he is the one who will have to look at my belly rolls. And I am not encouraging him to adopt the Speedo look.


There is something freeing about the idea of wearing whatever you want to the beach and not being self-conscious about it. Maybe it is the European way. Or maybe it will grow on me with age, and the older I get, the less I will care about what other people think.




38 thoughts on “Beach Bodies and Bikinis

  1. I struggled with this as well. When I saw a post about how a mom was never in pictures with her kids because she was overweight, I stopped caring. Our kids don’t care if we weight 95 lb or 195 lb. They care about mom. Great post!


    1. Thanks. I read the same post about the mom who was never in pictures. I agree that we pay more attention to our own flaws than anyone else.


  2. I have the same problem every year when I go on holiday! I dont really mind my size everywhere else but on the beach. And its not like I am trying to get attention of other guys as I am happily married, I guess its just world is not ready yet to be openminded and you know some people still might judge you … But you just need to not to worry about it, just be happy who you are !


  3. The beach is fun for everyone. If it doesn’t make you comfortable, then it’s not fun! Do what’s right for you. In the end though, you’ll find people aren’t that bother what others are wearing on the beach….unless it’s a birthday suit!


  4. I am really small and “have the body” for a bathing suit and I have never worn one in front of other people without a cover. I am hoping to get past that fear this summer. I feel like I am thinking to hard about it.


  5. thanks for this post, tanya! not a big fan of being in a bathing suit and was just telling Meredith, our high school class mate, that I should have tried on the suit tonight before I wore it! i am trying to get better about not caring! glad to hear you are staying busy over there! VM stll misses you!


    1. Thanks, Amy! I think we all have swimwear issues. Not sure how to get over that and not care 🙂 Send my greetings to everyone there at VM!


  6. Your pictures are stunning! And I have not rocked a bikini since having kids..don’t know if I ever will again. I do feel comfortable though in the one piece cut-out-type ones though…they seem to cover the areas that need covering, but still feel fun! LOL ! 🙂


    1. I never realised how different American women are compared to their European counterparts. I’m 52 and I have just bought a new bikini for my holidays – it has never occured to me to buy a one piece – I do own one but I only wear it to do “serious” swimming (which is why it is sitting in my drawer looking lonely with tag still in place 😜) The mens speedos are definitely hilarious and are mostly worn by continental European males! I prefer baggy swim shorts on men – whatever age or size!


  7. It’s a funny thing isn’t it? We won’t go out in our underwear but somehow a bikini is ok lol. I wear a bikini regardless of what I think of my body because I want to maximise my tan when I’m on the beach lol


  8. I haven’t worn a bikini and dont even plan to wear one!
    However, with age I have seen my abs getting replaced by belly and my muscles sagging a bit. But earlier i didn’t have enough knowledge or experience about how things work. Now i do !
    I guess that is what matters as we grow old. I guess if i can be comfortable in my skin and stay fit enough to work and work out during the day, I am happy.


  9. Absolutely love this. I find traveling has helped me let go with how uptight I am with my weight. At home I could check the scale easily a few times before lunchtime. I have clearly gained weight and at this point all I can say is (don’t mind my French) fuck it! ❤


  10. I could never imagine doing that in America. And there’s no simple lifestyle method of losing weight here either. Everyone has cars, and everyone uses said cars to go to McDonalds. I’m envious you found a place to feel free and good about yourself. Not so envious of the speedos, though……..


    1. It is easier to be healthier here. They don’t sell all of the junk food that we have in America. And having one car has forced me to move more. It’s been a good thing!


  11. Love this post. Agree – we pay particular attention to our flaws instead of embracing our bodies as they’re and not care what other think. I’m guilty of that myself.


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