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    From Hatred to Love in Eight Short Weeks

    As I write this article, I have been a Naturist for just two months. However, it has been a life transforming two months and what follows is the story of how in just a few short weeks Naturism has taken me on a journey from absolutely hating my own body to the point of not even looking at myself in the mirror getting out of the bath, to feeling completely accepting of myself, lumps, bumps, wobbly bits, and all.

    In January I went on a date with a lovely man called Peter, who is a naturist. I had heard of nudists before, and knew it wasn't anything weird, or sexual, but I'd never actually met one in the flesh before. (Please pardon the pun! Also just to be clear Peter was fully clothed on our date!!).

    We hit it off straight away and Peter made it very clear how important naturism was to him. His face lit up when he told me about how he became a naturist and his journey since then. I knew then and there if I wanted a relationship with this man, I would have to give naturism a go at the very least. If I didn't like it, at least I'd have tried it. Peter put no pressure on me at all to try, but I could see what it meant to him, and as someone who believe's couples should enjoy things together as much as possible, I knew I had to try. Peter had brought me a very helpful BN booklet which I read on the train home.

    Peter and I continued chatting and a second date happened. I knew then that this man was someone special, and so just a few days later as I was getting out of the bath, I decided I would try to look in a full length mirror before I got dressed (a big deal for me! Not least because I am over 50, overweight, and have had three children, but also because of other factors in my life that have led me to have very low self-esteem). However...I did it!! Yes, at first, I wasn't overly pleased with what I saw, but I quickly realised I wasn't completely disgusted either.

    I couldn't wait to tell Peter. I felt so proud of myself that I had managed to look at myself completely naked. When I did tell him, he sent me back to the mirror and told me to look at myself and repeat a bible verse (we are both Christians) that says: 'You are fearfully and wonderfully made' over and over while looking at myself naked. I did, and the longer I looked at myself the better I felt.

    A couple of weekends later, I went with Peter for a Naturist swim and sauna. It was mostly men that were there, only two other women. The first thing I noticed was how safe I felt. No-one was looking at my body! They were talking to me. Looking straight at my face. In no time at all I was chatting happily to lots of different people and completely forgot that I was naked. I had a great time.

    However, a couple of things made me feel very sad. Firstly, where were all the women?? And secondly, many of these men told me how their wives/partners didn't support their naturism. Some weren't even allowed to tell their own children. All I could think was..'why?' Naturism is not something weird!! What could be more natural then being in the skin you were born with?? What I had also learned very quickly that day, is that bodies come in all shapes and sizes. I made my mind up there and then that I would not feel ashamed of the decision I had recently made to become a naturist, and more than that, over time I would try to find a way to speak out to other women and try to encourage them to give it a go.

    At the beginning of February, I went with Peter to a naturist party at the house of some friends of his. I met other naturist men and women who were all really lovely. The women in particular were very encouraging and made me feel really relaxed, at home and welcome. We danced, laughed, ate

    and drank together. It was a lot of fun! What struck me more than all of that though, was how at ease I felt with myself. I felt confident, happy, content and at peace, a feeling I have not felt for many many years. As the weeks go on, and my journey with naturism continues, my confidence just grows and grows. Naturism has freed me from my inhibitions and low self esteem. I still have my moments, but 95% of the time I love my body now, and I honestly don't care who knows I am a naturist. I refuse to feel ashamed. Every lump, bump, scar etc. I have, was earned and has a story that has shaped my life.

    Come on women, let's make sure future generations of women don't grow up with the same hang ups we did. Let's not continue to allow media and magazines to tell us what is beautiful. Let's give our daughters, nieces, grand-daughters, the gift of confidence and positive body image. Get naked! It will set you free!

    Lastly to wives and partners who struggle with the idea of naturism, give it a go! You might love it like I do! However, you will never know, if you don't try. The cherry on the cake for me, is that Peter and I can enjoy all aspects of our lives together. Come on ladies! Don't be shy. You are beautiful!

    Siobhan Crowther


    Edited by Andrew Welch

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