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To bikini or not to bikini?

That is the question Laura Zappulla is pondering in this blog post.

Laura Zappulla

A couple of weeks ago I returned from a beach holiday in Thailand. We were there for a friend’s wedding and spent a good part of our time lounging around under palm trees, taking dips in the ocean. Perfect activities for swimmers and sarong!

When I bought my first pair of bathers post-surgery, it was all still quite new. I didn’t really know what to expect with my ostomy in general, let alone when swimming. I wanted something I would be comfortable in, so I opted for the support of a full one piece. I wore this travelling around Europe and now know that it’s completely fine and I have never had any issues when swimming at all.

So this time I was adamant I would get myself a sexy bikini! Off I went to the Christmas sales ready to find the perfect 2 piece. I tried on a few different cossies and styles including the high wasted pants which I thought might be the go, but I didn’t like anything. There was something that just wasn’t quite right with everything I tried on. I am not much of a beach goer either, so I didn’t want to spend a fortune on a swimsuit I might only wear a couple of times a year.

Then I started thinking … I will be there with people I know – will it make them uncomfortable if my bag is showing? I know deep down these are friends who love me and would be totally fine with it, but it somehow seems different to if I was just around a bunch of strangers. Plus, if I wear a 2 piece I’ll end up with a weird looking bag tan line!

Then I started questioning myself. Am I just making up excuses? Am I really ok with wearing a bikini when I have a bag?

I’m open and willing to get my belly out. I’ve taken photos flashing my bag in public places all over the world. I am not embarrassed or ashamed of my ostomy in the slightest. But flashing for a photo is quite different to laying it all out there in a bikini.

I have so much respect and admiration for people comfortable bagging it in a bikini.I put pressure on myself to be a good role model and empower others, and I really had every intention of getting a bikini for this trip! I am a little disappointed in myself that I didn’t, but everyone can lack a bit of confidence and be self-conscious in certain situations. There is nothing wrong with being modest either. Everyone is different. It doesn’t mean I am ashamed or weak or that I’ll never wear a bikini again, I just opted not to this time.

I’ve decided for next time a 2 piece with a longer singlet top might be the way to go for me. My bag might show; it just won’t be quite as obvious or conspicuous as a skimpier bikini (which I wouldn’t have worn before surgery either - not that there is anything wrong with that!). It will also be much easier to pull up and down every time I need to go to the toilet than a one piece!

Conclusion … whatever you choose, there's no right or wrong. It's all about what's right for you, and more importantly wearing whatever you are comfortable in and makes you feel good!

Visit Laura over at her blog site stomalicious.wordpress.com

If you would like to share your story with us, please email mail@eakin.co.uk