Hi Biffa, this is my first post on these forums so bare with me!
I used to have the same problem as you, body conscious wise, but one day just snapped out of it and thought to myself, if someone else has got a problem, wants to laugh and make fun of how big i am (6’2’’ and 20+ stone, majority of the weight on my thighs and gut) WHILST i am doing exercise making an effort to do something about it, it says more about their shallow personality and train of thought than it does about my, yours or anyone else’s commitment for a healthier lifestyle.
I couldn’t walk around town or our local esplanade/seafront area topless like some people do in the summer because i personally think it’s tacky and distasteful, but when the time and place is appropriate why should you suffer in doing something you naturally want to do.
When i go swimming with me wife and daughter i literally look like the whale washed up on the beach but it stopped bothering me because i am there for me and 90% of the time to have fun with my daughter and the water helps with my back (i have a slipped & degenerating discs).
Screw what people think about you, you are doing it for you and what makes you happy. Losing face too these sorts of situations can make you upset, send you into depression, anxiety and have all sorts of negative repercussions which will only affect you and quite frankly, all because of other people opinions which really don’t matter!
This summer my family went on holiday abroad and I embarrassed them because i’m the only one who is obese, but my 1 holiday in the last 4 years, my 2nd ever holiday abroad I couldn’t of cared less. I wore bright and loud swim shorts and clothes, I was jumping in the pool, on every ride at the water park, I drew lots of attention, but a few people commented, you and your daughter look like you’re having a great time on that ride etc… and for me that was worth more than the couple of thousand people that looked and laughed.
Ultimately, do what makes you happy, it’s your one and only chance at life, its only ever yours so don’t let anyone else dictate it for you.
Now go bloody swimming!!!
Take care bud!