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No-Shame November #1

Friends! The deadline for No-Shame November is fast approaching–Saturday, November 5.

Haven’t heard of No-Shame November? It’s an opportunity to take a small personal risk and go a little bit outside of your comfort zone to stand up for what you believe in. For more information on how to participate and submit, take a look here.

Linking up with Amanda’s Thinking Out Loud over at Running with Spoons to spread the word!

And…I’m ready to share mine!

I actually had a totally different idea in mind for my No-Shame November, but I went to Sierra Trading Company a few weeks ago to buy a warm pair of gloves and protect my hands from the cold. And I found…this!dscn2301Okay, just the bottom. I’ve had the top since spring.

(I don’t have a picture of myself in the bikini, but it’s not out of shame: more concern about how pictures can circulate online.)

For those of you who don’t follow my blog, I have a history with an eating disorder and a longer history of disordered eating–using food and exercise to manipulate my body weight and shape out of anxiety and fear.

For a lot of that time, I remember that I owned a bikini–one I got when I was in junior high, actually–but that I never actually wore it. Every time I put it on in the privacy of my own home, I felt fat and unattractive, even though I knew intellectually that I was at a “healthy” weight. I remember imagining sometimes, like when I’d work out, that if I just got skinny enough, then I’d be able to wear a bikini.

Seems dumb, I know. As someone who lived in Kansas at the time and visited the beach about as often as I visited a shopping mall (virtually never), I had no occasion to wear a bikini, let alone worry about what others might think when they saw me in it.

But that’s how eating disorders go. Your mind gets stuck on this thing–often something that never even mattered to you before–and it won’t let go.

I did eventually get to a place where I thought I was “skinny enough” to wear a bikini. I was also extremely miserable in myriad other ways.

Since I’ve been in recovery, I often remind myself that you should never be ashamed to wear something that shows your body. Swimwear is supposed to be minimal, and bodies are just bodies. Nothing to be ashamed of, or proud of, for that matter. But despite thinking that, I never actually took the risk to wear one myself.

So I saw this bikini at Sierra Trading Co. and I thought, it’s time to prove to yourself that the body you have now is good enough.

So I bought the damn bikini bottom. It helps that it was marked off like 70%. ๐Ÿ˜›

I even wore it to the sauna at my student rec center, where I was previously kicked out because, apparently, you have to be in a bathing suit to be in the sauna at the student rec center. Why I don’t know.

What I learned? It was fine. No one looked at me funny or tried to tell me that I shouldn’t have been wearing what I was wearing. No one thought it was anywhere near a big a deal as I did. Actually, I felt as ignored as I usually do at the gym in my dorky cycling tights. Just a gal doing her thing.


Looking forward to hearing what you share for No-Shame November!

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  1. Kat says:

    Girl that suit is SOOO cute!! I’m with you on the bikini though – bathing suits is that one area that I feel the most vulnerable in. I’ll rock a sports bra and nike shorts no problem, but a bikini? That’s a tough one for me!! I did ok this summer with it but I still had some days where I was like “yeahhh nope not happening!” I was upset that I wasn’t able to have a fully free and confident summer but I take the positives WITH the negatives. The days I did rock my bikini I didn’t think about my body ONCE. I just enjoyed the sun, the water and the time with my loved ones. Gotta start somewhere, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    1. Joyce says:

      Thanks girl! I think it’s awesome that you were still able to get out in the bikini and enjoy the beautiful weather and feel confident, even if other days you didn’t feel totally comfortable. No shame in that. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Alyssa says:

    This is SO awesome and truly made me smile. I am so proud of you for buying that bathing suit bottom and wearing it to the sauna. Those little victories have the power to make us feel SO good, and I’m happy that you had one!

  3. That’s a huge step, Joyce! A struggle that I think many of us girls know, even those we see wearing bikinis like it wasn’t a issue for them might pick themselves apart in secret.
    You picked a pretty combo for your bikini ‘debut’ as well!

    1. Joyce says:

      Thanks, Miss Polkadot! I love pink ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. You go, girl! I absolutely had to do this for myself too. And once i put it on and realized no one cared, it was freeing!
    Very cute suit!

    1. Joyce says:

      Aweesome–so glad to hear you took this challenge too.

  5. Love this! Congrats on taking a step that’s really huge–coming from someone who’s also dealt with the bikini-wearing struggles before. I love the print of the bikini bottom, too. It’s super cute. ๐Ÿ™‚ I still need to think of my No-Shame November!

  6. Cora says:

    Excellent choice, Joyce :).
    This story made me so jazzed. Imagine a gigantic, air borne high five and “booya!” coming your way.
    It’s interesting – the realization that we actually aren’t as noticed as we think we are (in regards to how we look etc) could be a disheartening thing, but it can also be an extremely freeing thing. It’s been an interesting part of my recovery to realize that here I am, assuming others are noticing if I’ve gained weight or have rolls or am eating a cheeseburger, when really – who am I to think they’d be paying that much attention? We are all in our own heads anyways so chances are we aren’t even that noticed. Sorry if that isn’t very helpful to say. But it just means we should wear or do whatever the heck we want because nobody cares!
    Proud of you. And I love this month theme.

    1. Joyce says:

      Yeah–being noticed/unnoticed is an interesting element of disordered eating I’ve noticed. Sometimes folks with histories disordered eating want to stand out and be recognized, sometimes we just want to disappear. And sometimes both.

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