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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    40

    Default If I can do it....you can too! Scars and all...

    I read these boards all the time and I see all the stories of the people that are so nervous and self conscious about shedding their clothing and heading to the AN beach, so, I thought I would tell you a little bit about my first time....

    In October 2011 my husband and I went to CN celebrating our 15th anniversary, my 40th birthday and my 5 year cancer free mark. As a breast cancer survivor my body is covered with over 20 inches of scars caused from a bilateral mastectomy and reconstruction, but for some crazy reason I felt that I HAD to walk naked on the beach on my 40th birthday.

    After a few drinks (Bob Marley's) we headed over to the AN beach, found a chair and off came the suit. After a while of sitting and getting comfortable hubby and I headed out to the water. What an amazing feeling to swim in the warm water naked! I was suprisingly comfortable, so much so that we ended up migrating over to a group of people that were congregating on their floaties.
    No one stared at me or asked any questions unless I brought it up.

    We went back nearly everyday on our vacation and again to CN in Oct 2012. This April we are heading to CSS for a few days to try out SSB and then back home to CN.

    The "naked" experience for me was the most empowering thing I could have ever done. I feel that it was the end of a painful journey and the acceptance of my new body, I feel so much more confident now !

    So if you have doubts, just try it...you never know what it may do for you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    306

    Default

    Congrats to you on your positive experience (and attitude, if I may be so bold!). Your review will be of enormous help to many who will umm and err about the imperfections in their body before trying AN. We were exactly the same but now would feel a little sad if we were unable to go AN on vacation. Perhaps I could ask that you copy and paste your comments into 'feedback after your vacation' thread here on the AN section. It will be great for others potential newbies to AN. Many thanks. Murtle
    Last edited by Murtle; January 23rd, 2013 at 12:30 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    37

    Default

    This is a wonderful story thank you for sharing it. We are going in March and I too have some scars. You have given me some peace of mind!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    1,276

    Default

    Fantastic. I hope lots of other people with similar concerns will read this. You're right. It is the most empowering experience someone can have. Maybe we'll see you on trading places day, and you can visit our island. Thanks very much for posting.

    Richie

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    352

    Default

    Congratulations on your 15th anniversary, 40th birthday and especially your 5th year being cancer free! I can only imagine the difficult road you must have been on. I'm so glad you are better and got to enjoy the A/N experience.
    Best of luck to you and your husband.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    454

    Default

    rnjennifer,

    I commend you for having the courage to even try the AN experience. It took me some time and thought before I commented on your post, but here goes.
    My wife works in the oncology outpatient department at our local hospital, so she sees many who have battled with cancer, some who have won, some who have lost. It is certainly a life altering experience that should never have to be suffered by anyone. We have the means to do so much today, but the battle against cancer still seems to elude us. At this time, our family is dealing with my step dad who is battling. We just lost my brother in law last September to Leukemia. We do understand what you have been through.
    For you to have the courage to go AN, to let people see your scars amazes me. It certainly tells me much about you. You have battled and won, you have an appreciation for life, you have an amazing hubby and family who supports you, no matter what. You are stronger than you think. To me, those scars are not ugly or unsightly. They are beauty marks. Proof of what you have beat, battle scars so to speak. Wear them with pride.
    Those who are too shy, or worried about what others may think, who cares. So what if someone is a bit larger, smaller, taller, thinner, older, younger. Compared to what you carry with you, all those things are nothing. Too bad many don't have your attitude and zest for life.
    Kudos to you for having the courage to walk naked and not care what people think. You are a better person than most for it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    334

    Default

    Wow - we share the same story. My wife and I went to CTI for our 15th anniversary in 2010, and it was her 40th birthday. She had just completed her reconstruction from her mastectomy 7 years prior. While there, we met another woman who had the same surgery performed recently as well. She never thought it would be possible to go to the island again, but she was unphased by it once she had taken her top off.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    126

    Default

    Congrats! While I don't have any surgical scars, the tanning I did before we went on vacation only highlighted my stretch marks on my stomach, butt, and thighs. I was very nervous about that before we went, but then I decided to look at them in an entirely new light. I lost 40 lbs prior to this trip. It was not easy, but I wanted to do it so I would feel better trying the island. I decided to look at my stretch marks as my battle scars and wear them with a badge of honor. I worked hard to lose that weight (still have another 40 to go), and they serve as a reminder of how far I've come. Being naked in the sunshine and the ocean is one of the most exhilarating things I've ever experienced, and honestly, an AN beach is the great equalizer. Everyone is in the same boat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    8

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    I too have scars from a mastectomy and reconstruction. And have been cancer free now for 8 years!!! My husband wants to go to the au-natural and I promised I would give it a try. Now with your letter I feel that I can do it. We are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and this vacation is our gift to ourselves.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    257

    Default

    I am a 33 year old woman who experienced AN for the first time about three years ago at CTI. Loved it! Although I wasn't apprenhensive about going, I have lived with a scar from open heart surgery all my life. Of course, I was a little more "aware" of it that day but my experiences on the island (and since at SSB at CSS) have been nothing but supportive and encouraging. The odd person will say things like "your scare makes you even more beautiful"...totally unexpected given that it was just a random comment by someone as I walked by. To be honest, my AN experiences have made me accept my scar and appreciate that it's part of my story and it's a story I'm proud to tell! To anyone reading this who has insecurities...your AN experience may just help to overcome them and allow you to feel beautiful and confident in a way you didn't know possible! Enjoy!
    Kris

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    689

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Sun Kissed View Post
    I am a 33 year old woman who experienced AN for the first time about three years ago at CTI. Loved it! Although I wasn't apprenhensive about going, I have lived with a scar from open heart surgery all my life. Of course, I was a little more "aware" of it that day but my experiences on the island (and since at SSB at CSS) have been nothing but supportive and encouraging. The odd person will say things like "your scare makes you even more beautiful"...totally unexpected given that it was just a random comment by someone as I walked by. To be honest, my AN experiences have made me accept my scar and appreciate that it's part of my story and it's a story I'm proud to tell! To anyone reading this who has insecurities...your AN experience may just help to overcome them and allow you to feel beautiful and confident in a way you didn't know possible! Enjoy!
    Well said Kris...you are beautiful inside and out and I'm delighted to be able to call you my friend. Can't wait to see you in April!
    (Karen&Paul)

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    257

    Default

    Karen - your post brought a tear to my eye. Words can't describe how excited we will be to see you and Paul at SSB on April 8th.
    Kris

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Last year was our first trip to CN and the AN beach. I was scared to death!! Thirteen years ago, I had transplant surgery at the ripe old age of 39. I have a huge scar down the center of my stomach from my chest down past my higs. I just knew everyone would stare, laugh, or get down right disgusted seeing me. I will note, the remainder of my body looks pretty darn great for someone 53. We had such a wonderful time and never had anyone to my knowledge make me feel ugly, undesireable, etc.

    We are headed back to CN from March 17th-24th and we will be back on the AN beach every day.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    66

    Default

    isn,t it funny..forty seems to be the magic age..in my case not cancer, but life had kicked me in the face enough to be brave..also just hitting forty..you just don't care anymore.i have enough compassion folr myself and others to let it all hang out..almost everyone at ssb on our trip was over forty..i could have never done it in my 20's..too self concious despite a banging body.Now in my forties having lost 90 lbs and living in a pretty loose skin suit..who cares?most freeing thing i ever did..back in july!

  15. #15

    Default

    Hello! mJennifer, I am so happy for you and envy your strength! I can tell you are a caring person because you took the time to share your story.

    I must admit, that I love A/N and enjoy everyday at SSB; however, hubby and I have decided to branch out and give CN a try. I am so comfortable on SSB....I will be 52 this year and admit that I am not the skinniest person and the "girls" have definitely been impacted by gravity, but I don't mind and my hubby doesn't mind. But boy am I nervous about the openness of CN and that first walk into the water ......After reading the stories of others on this page, I've decided to give myself a mental kick in the butt and tell myself to get over it and enjoy!:-) As Randymon says: "Lov N Life!":-)

  16. #16

    Default

    Some great posts on this thread that should provide encouragement to those who may be nervous about their "imperfections." My wife and I have surgical scars aplenty, but are looking forward to our third trip to SSB on March 13-19. We thought about vacationing elsewhere, but find A/N, and SSB, too relaxing and friendly to pass up. Our attitudes -- SSB is the reward and part of the recovery from life's challenges, including serious surgeries. Hope all can enjoy as much as we do.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    533

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentines10 View Post
    Some great posts on this thread that should provide encouragement to those who may be nervous about their "imperfections." My wife and I have surgical scars aplenty, but are looking forward to our third trip to SSB on March 13-19. We thought about vacationing elsewhere, but find A/N, and SSB, too relaxing and friendly to pass up. Our attitudes -- SSB is the reward and part of the recovery from life's challenges, including serious surgeries. Hope all can enjoy as much as we do.
    What a great post and way of looking at it. We will be there March 14-22, so hopefully we will meet. Paul and Frances

  18. #18

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Babs View Post
    I too have scars from a mastectomy and reconstruction. And have been cancer free now for 8 years!!! My husband wants to go to the au-natural and I promised I would give it a try. Now with your letter I feel that I can do it. We are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary and this vacation is our gift to ourselves.
    Babs, I know you can do it! I have been a nudist for over 10 years. I am a member of a place here in Colorado. There are women of all shapes, sizes, there are three that have had mastectomy's with no reconstruction. They just enjoy the nudist life! You will be amazed at how much stress we hold in our clothes. My doctor actually was surprised when my blood pressure went down when we finally found a place in CO. We are visiting CTI for the first time this year and will be spending most of our time on the Isle.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    50

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by grayturtless View Post
    What a great post and way of looking at it. We will be there March 14-22, so hopefully we will meet. Paul and Frances
    Paul & Frances, we will be there at almost the same times. We will be at CN from 3/17-3/24. Where will you be?

  20. #20

    Default

    Congrads - as a 20 year cancer patient I have learned how precious life is. Family, friends and all people in general. We have enjoyed lots of nude vacations simply because of the people that we have met are NEVER judgemental. Nicely said.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    40

    Default

    Thought I would comment on this to bring it back up for any others unsure of their scars. Headin back to CN in October, hope I still have the "balls"to do this again!

  22. #22

    Default

    I think it is a horrible idea and you and all others should STAY AWAY from the AN beach. Especially at SSB...... Just kidding, I only say that so my wife and I can have more choices for chairs. Actually, the meeting people with both internal and external scars is so heart warming. WELCOME and come join us AN folks as we renew our love for nature and each other.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    306

    Default

    rnjennifer, why, after such a positive post on the 'feedback' thread so long ago do you think that you may not 'have the balls' to revisit the AN beach again? That's a puzzle to me as there seemed, from your feedback, that you had come to the end of a long, arduous, journey and there was a new understanding about body issues not being issues any more. I am quite surprised at your comment but am sure that once you see that blue water, blue skies and feel the warm caribbean breeze on your face you will just get straight back to where you should be, AN stylie!

    Dinna fret!

  24. #24

    Default

    What a great thread! I have been to CN once and we will be back for our second trip in 11 days!! I have been curious to try AN but am FAR FROM bikini beautiful! But if all these brave women who battled and beat cancer, and may other issues can do it, my slightly over weight issues should be no problem right? I wanna try it, and hope I have the nerve once I am there! So if I can just keep this thread in mind, I should be fine! Can't wait to be "home" again!

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    306

    Default

    thezugelders. Oh bless you. You are experiencing the feelings of nervousness that all people feel when considering the idea of taking your kit off in public. Many older people (you may well be young!) even have issues undressing in front of our SO's, so to do so in public is way beyond comfortable. If one thinks about it, there are relatively few people who would even come across the opportunity to partake in the AN world and most, therefore, rarely even consider what it would be like. I experienced AN in the south of France when I was in my twenties (I was with an older lady who had partaken when she was in her 20's) and it was great fun and a really nice feeling. So getting to a hotel with AN facilities was not weird to me and, luckily, my wife wasn't churlish about it. Her only real downer was that she had purchased a myriad of lovely bikinis which were barely worn. In fact, we had, on occasions, to put on swim suits and wander over to the main beach for photo opps, just so that family could see the new swimsuits! hehe. If truth be told I prefer my wife in 'the altogether' but accept that clothes are a requirement of everyday life! hehehehe.

    Anyway, I am confident that after a while trawling through this thread (get yourself a glass of whatever you fancy and make yourself comfy!) http://couples.com/mb/showthread.php...-Your-vacation , you will realise that we were all asking ourselves 'Shall I? Shan't I?" at some point and it is really a mind, and life, changing experience. I started this thread just prior to our first trip to CSS. It has proven helpful beyond my wildest expectations and I suspect that many new AN'ers took the plunge because if the things that people have reported here after their own 'first experience'. You will see the same views and experiences reported again and again. There is definitely a pattern there. There are also some really funny posts and comments. Enjoy the thread and please report back if you and your partner do try the AN experience.

    Peace and love.

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