Who Am I to Judge?

IMG_6355.JPGYou thrash about trying to kick off the socks about 3 hours after you went to bed. You’d been sleeping soundly, but you got tangled up in your jammies and it startled you awake. The waistband separates the top from the bottom and you’ve cut off the even distribution of air and heat.

So, you wear clothes to bed. Who am I to judge?

At the sound of your alarm, you leap out of bed and head into the bathroom. You warm up the shower and grab your bathrobe and get the coffee percolating. Back in the bathroom, you remove the bathrobe and jammies and jump into the hot water. You finish, dry yourself, and wrap in a towel as you had back to the bedroom to get dressed.

So, you keep covered moving about your home. Who am I to judge?

It’s mid-summer and you’re ready to refresh in the river. You throw on your swimsuit, shirt, and cover-up. Grabbing a towel, you remember your hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, because that sun can be mean. You get down to the river, throw down your stuff and jump in. In your swimsuit and your shirt.

So, you’re fully dressed for swimming. Who am I to judge?

The soil is tilled and it’s time to plant the seeds. You’re in a slightly shaded area, which is good, because it’s scorching hot outside. You’re button down is clinging to your undershirt is clinging to your skin. Everything is sticky. Your undies have soaked through and have become one with your jeans, while your socks feel like they might never peel off your feet. Your sweat has nowhere to escape, failing at its purpose of keeping you cool.

So, you’re draped in layers of cloth to garden. Who am I to judge?

I sleep nude. I walk around my house naked. I prefer skinny-dipping and gardening in minimal to no clothing. I practice non-sexual nudity and nude recreation. I am a contributor to my community, family, and work. Like you, even though I had cradle cap and a booty, I wasn’t wearing anything when I was born.

So, I’m a nudist. Who are you to judge?

I am not offended when you show up at my door all dressed up, that my “Clothing Optional Beyond This Point” sign in my entry way never seems to cause you to choose the option, that you prefer to have mixed fibers clinging to your body when splashing about, that you don’t have the same practices as I have.

We’re all human. Who are we to judge?

#NormalisingNaturism

Peace.

Back to Twitter

After deep consideration and missing the vibrant naturist community – my people – on Twitter, I’ve taken a different approach. I’m not going to mention what I’m not about, those keywords that seemed to attract the bots, and instead I’m just going to celebrate naturism and quietly delete those who don’t.

You can find me at https://twitter.com/fullvermonty doing my best to help our community in #NormalisingNaturism.

See you there!

Do I Look Fat in this Skin?

fullsizeoutput_b76dDespite my childhood leanings toward nudism, I didn’t have any point of reference that showed me that preferring nakedness was something in which many people worldwide partook. So, some of the other traditions – religion and schooling, for two – that inculcated body shame certainly were easier to fall prey to. Added to that, my body image suffered at the hands of the media presenting increasingly skinny people as the ideal and the norm when I was in my early twenties. Ultimately, it was the many times daily weighings, the meager meals, and the general misery about being within my skin that drove me back to my nudist roots, my truest self.

While nearly two decades have passed since the worst of the issues, I still, to this day, have the occasional struggles with body image. Especially as the busyness of jobs and parenting coupled with aging into the forties has made it a little more difficult to take off weight. (As life priorities took over, I put aside exercise, which yes, is one of the best things to do for yourself and your loved ones when life priorities take over…) So, I’m not immune to having negative feelings about my weight, despite nudism helping my overall body image.

Which made something from two years ago quite remarkable. My photo was taken late in the recreational season at the Ledges. In it (at the top), I look to myself to be quite roly-poly. And when I looked at the photo that night, I noticed that I didn’t have any negative feelings about it. It was what it was. But I also saw a body that had helped create children, that took me to and from the toils that support the household, that survived surgeries, and that brought me to that point in time. Sure, it’s not skinny, but aiming for skinny had always wallowed me into misery. Perhaps this was good enough. Just fine.

fullsizeoutput_c0bcA couple years earlier, I spent the evening of my birthday in my birthday suit. I was actually twenty or so pounds lighter, but also had a belly. It seemed I was always going to have it, perhaps because that’s my body type. Lauren Chamberlain helped change my perspective in 2018. The softball star posed for ESPN’s Body Issue and said, “I am not going to necessarily look like the ideal athlete. I will always be thick. I will always be a bigger girl. When I get muscle, it’s not cut. I have dimples and cellulite on my legs. But I’ve come to an understanding about that, instead of being picky about myself in the mirror.”

I have been the most active this past year than I have in the previous decade. But even when I used to run 60 miles a week half a lifetime ago, what Chamberlain says rings true. My abilities aren’t always reflected in my body, especially in a stereotypically athletic way. It wasn’t when I could run ten miles in my sleep and I don’t know what it will become as I’m back to running five miles at a time. But instead of being hung up on what isn’t there, I realized it would be better to appreciate what my body can do for me. I’m lucky to have the capacity to get out there and back in reasonable time. That’s more important that looking like a model.

At least, that’s the story I’m sticking to about 85% of the time. I still judge myself at times, still hear the whispers of the culture telling me it will never be good enough, but then I think of all the trials this body’s been through and I remember that just getting me to this moment is a victory to celebrate.

I wasn’t appreciative of my body back then and I was very mean to it. Nudism, in myriad ways, saved me from myself. Also, when I used to judge myself, it fueled judgment of others. Now, the ethos of “every body is beautiful” that we celebrate in the nudist community is helping me to be kinder to myself, to see the good in my body. I believe I’m now exercising for the right reasons – to maintain health, energy, and strength to allow those life priorities to take less of a toll.

There Once Was a Mansion in Key West…

IMG_5084About a decade ago, I spent my first anniversary at Marrero’s Guest Mansion on Key West. It was known among the nudist community, because it had a clothing-optional swimming pool, one of the few options for such enjoyment there. It was undoubtedly clothing optional, but was not necessarily nudist, since a few people seemed to want to use the pool for very specific activities.

Our first several days there, we met many nudists who were frequent visitors to the hotel. And after they checked out a different clientele showed up. It was almost intimidating to use the pool without clothes and we sort of soured on it, since the folks weren’t as friendly as the first set of people we met. (Note: Nudists are the friendliest people.) But we appreciated its existence.

A few weeks ago, I wanted to see how Marrero’s was doing and I read a review where the new ownership noted that they no longer keep the pool clothing optional. It’s swimsuits or get out. It’s sad when a nudist-friendly venue closes down for nudist use, even one as imperfect Marrero’s, because our options aren’t always plenty.

Here’s what was…

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