To Klaire and others:
For those who cannot do any kind of strenuous exercise, I have heard that doing Pilates (beginner's version - floor work only!) and very light beginner's yoga (floor work) have been successful. Like I mentioned in my earlier post, even doing mild forms of exercise while sitting in a chair can be beneficial (leg lifts, ankle flexes, using canned goods as hand weights and doing tricep and bicep workouts, etc. etc.). Even just doing those mild forms of exercise will add benefits.
Klaire - I swim laps in the summer and I find that the ladies and I who do that care nothing about how we look in our swimming suits. We are there for a purpose, to try to stay as healthy as we can! We have caps on our heads, sunscreen on our noses, goggles on our faces, plugs in our ears, fins on our feet, T-shirts to protect us from the sun while in the water, etc. etc. We laugh that we each look like some type of sea creature - but we are doing what we need to do in order to maintain our health. So, you will find that there are very few who are judging your body and those who are judging it are not worth the time and effort that you give to them by even considering what they think. They are obviously the ones with issues - not you. So, dive into the water and do aerobics or swim laps. You are the one who matters - not them!
Peace and Blessings