Hellooooo it is good to be back! Timm and I have been on our second honeymoon, a week in Lanzarote and we had a blummin’ brilliant time!
The weather was amazing and so I had to deal with the insecurities of going on the beach and having my scars on display. Now if you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am not a wallflower when it comes to showing off my scars and ostomy from all the photo shoots I have done.
But I do these for a reason, I want to raise awareness of IBD and lessen the stigma of having an ostomy or lots of scars from surgeries. Being photographed by talented husband Timm and then editing the images and sharing online reduces the panic in showing the world my entirely imperfect body as it is not a face to face interaction.
And so I do still have insecurities about my body and the scars that criss cross my stomach, that might be hard to believe as I promote loving your body and having self confidence. But I am only human, the reason I can talk about having body confidence and coping strategies to deal with having your ostomy or scars on show is because I have all those fears, I just work hard to overcome them in the hope that I can help others with the same worries.
For my first jaunt out on the sands I wore a bikini on the family beach, my scars that reach from my sternum right down into my groin, plus two more scars on either side of my abdomen, were all on show. I saw the odd glance that turned into a double take, one nudge and whisper and quite a few children have a good old gawk. None of those looks were offensive in their nature, there was no malice, just curiosity. That is natural but it did make me feel like I was on display, I felt watched and a little uncomfortable, perhaps some of this was in my head, but it was still how I felt.
Our next beach trip was a little different, we went to a naturist beach… It is one of those things that was on my bucket list, something I wanted to try before I died. I had been to one once before but there was no one else on the beach and so this time, going on to a busy nudist beach was a challenge. I was really nervous, Timm and I went to a corner and slipped off our clothes and laid down quickly, giggling like kids. We put on our sunglasses and had a look around to see lots of nude people, some sunbathing, some sat chatting, some walking or swimming.
It was odd at first, I felt extremely self conscious, but after a while I realised there was such a nice atmosphere, no one was staring at one another, I felt no judgment, totally comfortable and really relaxed.
The beach was filled with men and women of all shapes and sizes and though you got the odd glance and smile, everyone kept to themselves and there was no judgement. A totally different feeling to being on a normal beach. Perhaps it is the fact that without clothes, we are all a little vulnerable. Or perhaps it is that being nude is a great leveller. Either way we loved the day and for the first time I felt great in my own skin and didn’t worry about the sight of my scars. Isn’t that a weird thing, I felt more comfortable with no clothes on, than with a swimsuit or bikini.
As a woman who is a size 14-16 with lumps, bumps and jiggly bits, a naturist beach wouldn’t usually be somewhere I would think of as relaxing, but it really was. My size wasn’t even a thought and my scars were soon forgotten about, the most attention I got was for my tattoos!
I wouldn’t call myself a naturist now, I don’t feel the need to be naked all the time and nor would I go out of my way to find naturist beaches, but I can say that a good chunk of the good feeling on our holiday came from our visits to the nudist beaches and I’m really happy to say that the experience has helped me on my way to accepting and loving my scars.
So what do you think? Is it something you have done or something you would try?
Let me know in the comments below.
Love Sam xx