>Body of Shame

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Despite my struggle to build a stronger defense and grow a thicker skin, to keep things in perspective and not imbue things that really should have no true bearing on my sense of self worth with personal meaning, it amazes me how the most innocent and innocuous of comments can send me into a self loathing spiral. A simple reference to a heavy person not trying hard enough to lose weight is enough to cause all of the self loathing and body issues I have to bubble to the surface and overwhelm me with shame and disgust. All the demons that have haunted me my whole life come rushing to the surface, making me want to cover up, hide away and stop eating all together. To embrace the fear that I have no real self control, I am doomed to be trapped in a body I despise and that I am not a worthy lover, person or friend because of it. It makes me wonder if my friends are embarrassed or ashamed to be seen with me; I suddenly cringe at all the times I have dared to prance about naked or in just a bathing suit in front of people without a care in the world; all the Undie Monday pics I have posted; the times I have worn a T-shirt that showed off my paunch or rolls or wore jeans that were snug when they should have been baggy. I wonder how I could ever feel OK with myself or my body when the reality is, I still hate my body and myself for looking this way. This all leads to a depression and funk that sometimes encourages me to get back on track and make diet and exercise my sole purpose and focus every day, and other times sends me in the other direction and my compulsive eating and natural propensity for slothness kicks in, all depending on what reserves of will power I am able to muster at any given time.

What drives me craziest about all of this is that I see the beauty in other men so clearly, from the well toned men to the pleasantly plump. I love the variety and diversity of curve and form. I am attracted to confidant, secure men, regardless of their size or weight. I truly believe all of my friends are beautiful inside and out and encourage them to be comfortable in and out of clothes, to recognize their own beauty and to be proud of themselves.

SO why can’t I find that own level of constant, positive reinforcement for myself? And why, even when I start to feel closer to that, do I allow even the simplest aside to shatter it all?

This entry was posted in Body shame, Personal Growth, Weight. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to >Body of Shame

  1. mikesays says:

    >Being told that "it's just in your mind" doesn't help much. You know that.Just know you aren't alone. Many of us feel the same way.

  2. Kyle says:

    >Sean, you are a sensitive guy, that's why the bite of the comment stings so. The comment was rude and thoughtless. Body issues are a tough subject, with no easy answers. I'm just glad you are as open minded about bodies as you are, and that most of the time you are able to keep inane societal crap out of your head. That's a mighty accomplishment right there. Don't beat yourself up about the small stuff.

  3. RG says:

    >What mean prick said something to you to hurt your feelings and crush your self-esteem? Hold my purse – I'm going to fuck him up.And for the record – you're a HAWT man. If you weren't married….I'm just sayin'….

  4. >You speak my mind, sassy friend.

  5. Mark in DE says:

    >You're asking the million dollar questions! Just know you are not alone in asking them.

  6. raindog469 says:

    >Know what? About 19 years ago, I went on a self-imposed diet (tuna, oatmeal and cottage cheese, and very little else) and lost a hundred pounds in just over a year.I've seen a few pictures of me as I was then. I looked great. But what I heard was rumors that I had AIDS and was wasting away from it. I wasn't. And I looked in the mirror and still thought I was fat. If someone would have just shown me a picture of myself a couple of years earlier, next to a current picture of me as I was then, maybe I would have finally realized how great I looked, started developing confidence and wearing clothes that showed it. Instead, eventually I decided I couldn't win either way, went back to eating for comfort when I felt down, and before my current health-related weight loss battle started, I was almost as heavy as I'd ever been. My attitude toward public nudity wasn't a comfort with my own body, but a constant push and pull between distaste for my own body and thoughts like "if they don't like it, screw them". A few years ago, I'd have slunk away when people started teasing me about doing a cannonball, bathing suit or not, regardless of whether it was done in fun or cruelty. Now, obviously, not so much, even if I have another 70 or 80 pounds to really get healthy again.As it happens, I know you have pictures of yourself when you were like two of your current self, because I've seen some, and I'm kind of amazed at your progress, honestly. Look at them, and let yourself think, "What a long way I've come" and maybe even "Wow, I'd totally do me now." Wouldn't you? Wouldn't lots of people, and one in particular?There's always room for improvement, no matter how great something is. Your house is awesome, and I know you're happy living there, but I'll bet you can think of half a dozen things you wish were even better about it. In the same way, you can accept that you are desirable in your present state of being, even as you continue to improve yourself each day.

  7. Ur-spo says:

    >I've been away for a week; I've missed you.Your demons are common ones, so you are not alone. The bastards like to shout a lot, don't they. Most demons can't be exorcized but they can be put in their place. They can't stand being mocked, so when ever my body image demon starts spewing, I take a deep breath and imagine putting a cream pie in its puss. Then I buckle down to what I can do, what I can't do, and zoom in on what really counts, which is love.

  8. bearpupuk says:

    >First off you are a handsome sexy guy. I look forward to your pics on undie Mondays and I'm sure there are plenty of people who agree!However I do know exactly what you mean. I find all sorts of guys attractive from toned to decidedly chubby, but I feel my own chubbiness makes me undesirable and unlovable. Thankfully a couple of lovely guys recently showed me I was wrong about that.It just goes to show that the whole issue has far more to do with us and what goes on inside our heads than anything other people might think!A good friend once told me that if someone is negative about your appearance you should remember the following cliche… "Those who matter don't care about such things and those who care about such things don't matter"Hugs n Stuff

  9. >The Brents have it. We have one life. Relax, enjoy, as best you are able. I'd run my hands up and down your… scalp, any day. Mmm, fuzzy.

  10. Raybeard says:

    >I'm practically speechless reading your blog. But Brent is right – we're assuredly not the only two who think you're a real hottie. In fact you sizzle!But I do know EXACTLY what you mean when you talk of a single word causing the whole house of cards to tumble. But in addition to a direct comment it can also be the merest inflection of a word, the minutest pause in speech – which may not even have been intended to hurt – but there again, there's just the possibility that it MAY have been.It's over 50 years since a school colleague said that when I ran I looked like a giraffe, to be inadvertently confirmed shortly afterwards by a chance remark from my beloved mother, laughing, to the effect I had a disproportionate body. Since then I don't think there has been one single day in the last half-century without feeling terribly self-conscious about my physical self, often to the extent of dreading going outside at all and being seen. If my mum had had the slightest idea of the permanent anguish she had caused me from that moment on I don't doubt for one second that she wouldn't have said it. I can promise you, Wonderboy, that there is a HUGE number of guys who would positively kill to have a body like yours. And that's not said just to make you feel better. Please believe it.Hugs, cuddles – and kisses all over.XXXXXX

  11. Brent says:

    >I could have written this post… but I will tell you, you look great. I think you are hot. I look forward to seeing you on undie monday. The hottest guy I know does not fit the classic good looks, with his belly and untoned body… but I would do things to him that would make his toes curl. Don't worry about what other people think, you only have once chance at this life.. have fun and enjoy it, and screw anyone who doesn't like it.

  12. >Be proud of your body because you're unique.

  13. Kelly says:

    >Honey… I say sulk for a moment (as I do in front of mirror when I catch myself not sucking it in) then have a cosmo or four! Always takes my mind off what is ailing me…I am like you in that I don't like myself sometimes when I could have had a nice salad instead of Taco Bell…or could have gone to the gym but made myself think of some excuse not to go… for the most part I think we all do it and in the end it is up to us to force ourselves to do something to make us feel better… for me thinking about how good I feel when someone says that i look like have lost weight it great and when I can take one picture and it be okay, not 20 and pic the best two to send for undie mondies… i mean, well you know what i mean…. smooches… and for the record most of your recent pics, it seems you have lost some weight….just saying… hugz from the south!

  14. Sean says:

    >I think you need to rethink that comment. I don't think nudist really have body issues. It seems like you're reacting more to a negative comment and the person who said it then the comment being about you weight or body image. Next time just say to them, "What a rude thing to say. What's wrong with you?" Then see how you feel.

  15. Sue says:

    >I am a naturally skinny person and though I have always obsessed about my body, now I am unhappy because at age 54, I have developed fat on my belly from menopause. It is really driving me nuts. I plan to exercise it off, but find that I am too lazy to do it. It is nothing that anybody notices except for me.But I have noticed that all of this obsessing has not changed what my body looks like at all. So I conclude that having any emotions about what you look like is not constructive. Does this mean that I will stop obsessing? No. I am not wired that way. I have been thin all my life and can't stand any fat on my body. It will take a long time to get accustomed to, or I will succeed in getting rid of it. But what does it mean for you? All your emotional highs and lows have no impact on your overall body weight, unless they change your eating habits. I have chosen a diet that I stick to every day. For breakfast I have Quaker quick oats and decaf coffee with no calorie sweetener. I have a sandwich for lunch with a piece of fruit. I eat yogurt with fruit for a snack and snack on almonds if I feel peckish. For dinner I have a deck of cards sized piece of meat/fish and a salad. I eat no cookies, cakes, or ice cream unless it is a special occasion. I never eat rice, potatoes, pasta, or other carbs like that. My weight has been stable for years.Then, I try to exercise every day for at least 20 minutes. This summer I have been very lucky because I have been able to ride my bicycle again. Also, I have been snorkeling in a nearby lake with my husband. I take a constructive approach to the whole body and weight thing. But still I obsess. I hope some of this is helpful to you. Sigh.http://fairviewsue.wordpress.com/

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