By Beth Blair
Updated: March 05, 2015

This may not come as a surprise, but I have never been one to enjoy swimsuit shopping. As a woman with extra pounds, it feels like every little flaw, pooch, bump, and roll is trying its best to seep out of the thin material. It's like trying to hold a handful of Jell-o-and why would you want to hold a handful of Jell-o in the first place? I ask the same about wearing a swimsuit.

But the truth is, sometimes you just have to put on a suit to enjoy the little things that come with it, and swimming, waterslides, tubing, running through the sprinklers, or simply lying in the sun are all good reasons to wear one! Quite frankly, I'm tired of missing out.

It's been years since I've bought a new swimsuit, and the two in my dresser have been too big for a while. So when my Caribbean cruise was booked, I knew it was time to hit the racks. At first I was a nervous wreck, but I grabbed a handful of suits and got to work. Believe it or not, the third suit I tried on-a cute black and white shorts and tank style-fit nicely, and I actually stopped criticizing myself for a moment. It was then that I knew I had found my suit.

RELATED: The Best Swimsuit for Your Body Type: 2013 Edition

I felt comfortable during my entire cruise while I wore my new getup, whether I was at the pool, cave tubing, or snorkeling. It's amazing what the right style can do for a body. Even this summer when I take my kids to the Life Time Fitness pool and waterslides (their reward for letting me play tennis or working out) with the chance I might run into someone I know, I don't feel embarrassed hanging out or walking around.

While the style of suit certainly helps my comfort level, I think making healthy eating changes, working out regularly, becoming comfortable in my own skin, and, most of all, not caring what other people think are what have really made the difference for me in wearing a swimsuit in public. Plus, in 100 years no one will remember what I looked like in a swimsuit anyway. With that in mind, let the fun begin!

Need some pointers for finding the best suit for you? Check out the below video from behind-the-scenes at the swimsuit photo shoot from our June issue featuring Stacy London and Style for Hire stylists Beckie Klein and Martina Gordon as they find the perfect suit for five women with different body shapes.



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