I am so ashamed of my body

  • I was involved in this forum a long time ago, and never stuck with it. I always felt that the advice and the support I received were very helpful, but I could not stay motivated. I could really use your help now. I lost almost 30lbs., and put 28 back on. I'm so disgusted with myself. I feel terrible physically, and emotionally. We are going on vacation to southern CA in June, and I DO NOT want to even go looking like I do. It truly doesn't help that my husband tells me that he thinks I'm beautiful and sexy the way I am - I can not believe that this could be true! It's almost like I am too depressed to even exercise, and when I do, my back hurts, my joints ache and I feel OLD! I guess I just need some encouragement to get started again. I really need you all!

    Thanks for reading my rambling...
  • :hugs: Your husband and we can tell you all day long that you are fine and that you look fine. But if you don't believe it then it means nothing and can actually be really really annoying and frustrating. So, it is you who really needs to love you.
    I am working on that too. It is really difficult, and I don't have any real advice, only commiserations.
    But welcome back!!!
  • You are right. I don't love myself like I should. I need to get over that. I told my 17 year old daughter today how important it was to learn that beauty is not just what people see, but what is inside. I guess I need to listen to my own advice - it's just hard to relate it when you're talking to your daughter who is young and thin and beautiful (we were discussing modeling and what sometimes happens to models as they age). Anyway thanks for the wisdom.

  • i wish i could agree with the whole internal beauty thing but thats not what runs this world, its not what matters now a days. in many if not all the situations i have been in (specially in my career) image is about 90% if not everything.. yes i belive in inner beauty, but thats not what the entire world sees. im sorry i couldnt help out with this question like you would of liked. i can only wish you best of luck in whatever you decide.

    p.s southern california is not a big deal. its not all about what you see on tv (the hills ect ect) most of the people are like you and i. its just another place in this world.
  • I agree that beauty is often valued above almost everything in this world, but I don't think that means we have to, or should value it to the same degree. I was watching "Extreme Makeover," lastnight and a young woman who was not beautiful, but not nearly as "ugly" as she thought herself. A flattering wardrobe and some makeup would have definitely brought her well into "average." She had a nice figure, and a nice complextion, but she had a long nose and large ears. Definitely the kind of girl that kids would make fun of in grade school, but not the deformed mutant she seemed to consider herself. She was very open about having never been kissed at the age of 26, because she was afraid of dating/rejection. I have seen far "uglier" people live much fuller lives, so the world wasn't holding herself back nearly as much as she was holding herself back. After the makeover, she was by the world's standards, quite beautiful, and I felt happy for her, and sad as well that she needed such an external overhaul to feel ok.

    I weigh more than 350 lbs, and weighed about 20 lbs above that when I met my husband. He was nearly 400 lbs when we met (and unfortunately has regained to this point again, after dropping 60 lbs). I had met men who were "into fat chicks," for a variety of reasons before, but most seemed to be overly insecure themselves or sexually obsessed to the point I felt like an object of a fetish rather than a person. It was funny, because I could actually relate to thin, gorgeous friends who complained that men came on to them "only for their body." Never would imagine at 3X their weight, I would be able to say the same thing, but I found it true of men looking for BBWs.

    I've been morbidly obese all of my life, and have had successful careers (first in social service, then in the corporate world), and a full life despite my weight. Yes, it did hold me back in many ways, but I often found another route to what I wanted, or learned what was really important from it.

    My husband and I both are losing weight together, and we want and need to for our health, but not because we want to be "more attractive" for each other. I'm not saying that might not be a wonderful side effect, but the fact is our love and acceptance for each other is probably the sexiest thing in the universe, and we both have very few of the body image insecurities you would expect, at least with each other.

    I truly believe that it is much easier and more successful to lose weight when you feel great about yourself, than it is to lose weight in order to feel better about yourself. Not that there isn't a snowball effect. Losing weight does boost my self esteem and self-image a little, but my self-esteem was pretty healthy to start (hubby says I'll have a big head, and leave him for someone sexier when I lose more weight).
  • Colleen, your story is really inspirational to me because of what you said about your self-esteem. I think that' s such an important thing to have, a healthy body image, no matter what size or shape. When I'm feeling bad about myself I like to get up and dance or just think about the strength that I do have. My legs might be on the larger side but they get me really far. I know for me it's more about being healthy, as you said, and about being in shape than being skinny. But good self-esteem should come first, as you said, if the journey is going to be enjoyable and doable.

    Another thing is that it is all about how you carry yourself. I have a friend who is probably 20lbs. bigger than I am, and she's always going out in sexy outfits and things that I think I'm too fat to wear. But in reality, no matter what you put on, if you rock it with confidence, people are going to think you look good. It's something I try to remember when I go out, along with the fact that you usually look better to other people than you do to yourself.
  • hey babsy, i hope you find the encouragement you're looking for here. you know, in my experience, it doesn't matter how many times someone tells me i look great, because when i look in the mirror i see myself not only 30 lbs overweight, but even bigger. and it grosses me out to see the reflection of my body right now. and i'm convinced if i'm disgusted with how i look, then everyone else must be as well.

    i think we both have to step out of that mold and work on our self esteem. and i think we can do that with support from the many members here that know exactly how we feel and the love of our husbands. it's day by day... it gets better day by day.

    good luck.
  • Thanks snowbunny. Sometimes it seems like our culture expects us to hate ourselves if we're not perfect (usually physically), and even with a healthy self-image it's so easy to fall into that trap at least occasionally. Think about how terrible it would be to be handcuffed to a person we don't like 24/7. How much worse is it to share the same skin, to actually BE the person we don't like?

    I can't imagine it, and I guess I'm very lucky in that regard. I think it may have held up my weight loss in the past, when I thought of dieting as deprivation (which I felt I didn't deserve, maybe?), but now that I see a healthy lifestyle as a gift to myself, something I deserve, it's been more successful (not easier, but definitely more successful - slower but without the major backsliding and regaining that has been my life story).
  • Hang In There!
    I saw that you're planning a trip to SoCal in June! I live in SoCal and you will have a very good time regardless! It really isn't what alot of people think it's like here - we are all shapes and sizes just like everywhere else! I have gained ALOT of weight since having my thyroid removed a few months ago and with it came the feeling of being too deepressed to do anything about it too..... Slowly but surely I am trying to get away from that and change things around! My guy tells me the same thing your hubby does and I think the same way you do all the time - How Can He? But he does and mine does too - we just need to get to the point where WE like ourselves and WE WILL! Where in SoCal are you visiting? MAKE IT FUN!!!!!!!
  • Obodoji
    Hi Ladies,
    I'm new here...and I think I have found what I was looking for! You seem like a fabulous bunch - I think most people are, once you get to know them. Not always easy in our western culture. I am a woman too, and fall prey to our society's myth that outward appearance is all that matters. I have been skinny. And it's heady stuff, when people treat you better just because you're shaped like a model. No one cares that you deprive yourself of food on a regular basis, and work out like a madwoman to achieve that look. And the reward - being admired and ogled - isn't even worth it. It's good for those occasions you go out, or to the beach. At work and at home it's your character and what you accomplish that counts. And if you're like me (not naturally skinny), you don't even have the energy to accomplish much after the workouts. But am I happy not being tiny anymore? No. Not with all my self talk, and knowledge about what is, in fact, true. I ask myself if I like my friends any better if they look good. No. And are my skinny friends any happier in their relationships? No. And was I happier then? Maybe that kind of illusional happiness an addict has after their fix. It drives me crazy that I want something that isn't even good for me, except for giving me superficial, meaningless affirmation.