Kathryn's Tips: Bathing Suit Shopping After Weight Loss

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Kathryn Naphy is a mother of two who has maintained her 100+ pound weight loss since 2006, when she had weight-loss surgery at Penn.

Bathing suit season is here. Now that we’ve lost weight, that no longer fills us with dread, right? Eh, not so much.

If you are anything like me, you had in your head that once the weight came off, you’d feel confident and ready to rock the beach, but once it happened, you still don’t feel quite as sure of yourself as you had hoped.

My first summer after I lost weight, I was so excited to go shopping for new suits. I thought for the first time in my adult life, I’d look great in all those cute suits I couldn’t wear when I was heavy! After the first few I tried on though, I quickly realized I was going to have to rethink my idea of a “cute suit.” I needed to rethink everything about bathing suit shopping.

A change of mind

For starters, I always had quite a large chest, and after the weight came off, it was, um, not as large. There was also the issue, now, of having loose skin. Before surgery, I always wore one piece suits, obviously, but just the regular high cut leg suits. Now, that style was pushing loose skin around into unattractive blobs. I felt like I was back to square one with the body issues.

Truth be told, I think all of us have some parts of our bodies we’d like to change, and for me, I just had to change my mindset. I’m ashamed to say, I had a kind of image of myself as having a supermodel body once I got “skinny,” so first things first, THAT image had to go out the window! I went for different cut suits, and found some very cute, and very flattering ones that made me feel much more confident. For example, I now wear suits with flirty little skirts to cover up any loose thigh skin. I love suits with ruching on the belly to help with any giggly belly, and tankini tops that have busy patterns to play up my lack of chest.

When you’re out shopping this season for the perfect suit, try on tons of different styles, even if it’s not something you usually wear. Our bodies have changed shape, so what used to work might not anymore and that’s okay. If this is your first swimsuit season since your WLS or your tenth, remember you’re not alone if you feel a twinge of anxiety in the dressing rooms. There are so many swimsuit cuts and styles now, there’s one out there for all of us to feel our best on the beach this year.

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Learn about bariatric surgery and get the support you need to continue on your weight-loss journey. We offer workouts, recipes and tips from Bariatric Surgery program team members, and stories from patients like you.

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