sjcoray's Journal, 07 March 2013

Body issues.

Body. Issues.

Many people have them - I'd even go so far as to assume that most of us on here have them. Otherwise, why would we be on here? I have buddies who are exceptionally beautiful men and women with (what I see as) great bodies - still working to "perfect" them. I think it's a bit like that meme we see on Facebook and Pinterest, right? Why are we comparing our whole lives to the snapshot of these beautiful models/actresses/actors/whoever.

I think it's because they are there. I'm sure it's a self-feeding cycle, that the advertising and media agencies follow what they believe we find beautiful, but also I wouldn't be surprised if they do a little bit of telling us what is beautiful.

I don't know if all my fear of relationship issues stem from my body issues or if there's more (I think there's more) - but I think that my body issues are a considerable part of it. When I was a teenager, probably even a late teenager, my dad told me that I just didn't have a body that men were attracted to. The terrible part about this is that I love my dad, and I know he didn't mean for it to be hurtful, or certainly to have an effect that's lasted this long - but man how that's carried with me.

I see women out there with bodies that are at least no better than mine (societally speaking - that's going to be the key assumption here because I don't always believe that skinny is healthier than not skinny and so on) who are happy in relationships. With men of all sizes - skinny, tall, short, not-skinny. You name it. How I'd love to watch movies of their lives to see how their brains, their thought processes on the whole thing, are different than mine.

But because they're out there, having these great relationships - I know it's not only my body that's preventing me from finding happiness in this area, there's got to be something else too. I think it's a fear of failure, a fear of picking the wrong person and hurting not only myself and him, but our children down the road. And then I think about what an idiot I am to have these thoughts on a first and second date. Perhaps it's the fear that I'm not good enough, that I'll always be watching him wondering why he's with me.

So for all that, I find I am frequently attracted to unavailable me. Usually after I decide I'm interested I find out they're married, or in a relationship, or just got out of one, or something - something that makes them emotionally unattainable. Please note - I absolutely never pursue the men in relationships. That's just a shitty thing to do and I wouldn't honestly want to be with him if he was going to do something like cheat on his girl. Even if it's with me.

Where does this come from. Well. One way that I tend to find these unavailable men is online (sort of). Not the online dating kind of thing - but through chat from playing online games. Oh god, it sounds so terrible to put it down in words. I swear am not a sexual predator - I do not go out seeking anyone online to meet or sext or anything like that. In fact I usually put the kibosh on things if I think they're getting out of hand because I don't typically know the nature of the person on the other end of the keyboard. But I will chat and if someone seems of age and interesting, I will flirt.

But I guess one of my thoughts in this area is (and I have this same thought when I go to a bar) - if I'm a good, reasonable person, and I'm online/in a bar - doesn't that mean that there is at least the possiblity that there are other good people online/in a bar?

So now there's this guy. One I've had the occasion to chat with some online a fair bit which has recently turned into emails, and for the past couple days, phone calls. Still nothing overtly sexual as I'm having a tough time being sure it's where I want to go. But what I know (believe?) about this guy is that he's from England, a little younger than me, hard working and very nice. We've sent pictures - clean pictures - I do have one or two of myself that I actually like and think I'm reasonably attractive in. And he's adorable. He's fun to talk to and he likes to read and the night I recommended my favorite book he bought it to read himself.

I can find myself very easily being attracted to this man - but we live a continent away from each other. How can you truly be attracted to someone you're not around? And then if he does come over for a visit as we've chuckled about, though I doubt ever seriously (the anxiety is already building) - what if I don't pass muster? What if he doesn't? And how do I work through all these issues? Should I brush this off as stupid flirtation and not give it another thought? Or do I consider trying to push myself to seeing something through?

I can be, and have been, charming. I'm fairly witty and fun to be around. I genuinely like people and like to spread happiness. Besides my "smooshes" and exceptionally large calves and head - I don't have any particularly ugly physical deformity. So people ask me why I'm single (oh, how I love that question) - and all I can really say is, "I just don't really put myself out there". Physically, as in, I don't spend a whole lot of time out trolling for guys - but I know also emotionally, I just have so many doubts that that guy, that cute one at the pool league at the bar, the one I've been mildly flirting with - is even remotely attracted to me. Or some other situation like that. So I guess in part I'm single for the worst reason of all, one that I think in person you wouldn't actually suspect. I'm single because I have no confidence in myself.

I'm single because I have no confidence in myself.

I can try to run, and track my food logs and lift as much as I want. But I'm afraid it's just not going to fix that. I don't want to have confidence just because my thighs are a socially acceptable size.


I want a hero. I have for a long time. I want a knight in shining armor who will come save me from my own insecurities, my own feelings of inadequacy. But under my present state of mind - I highly doubt I will attract such a man. I know I sure am attracted to confidence, he should be too.


If you've gotten this far, here's some good news. I think the position where I've been a contractor for the past year is going to pick me up as a permanent employee - for which I'm very excited. I guess the potential release of stress about this topic has opened up my ability now to focus...elsewhere.

Phew.
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hi...There is a site called weight loss Apocalypse...scroll down 4 pages or so past all the hcg stuff... and there are great articles on food/control/body image and confidence...There are A LOT of us out there who struggle...good luck,you may run across something that helps! 
07 Mar 13 by member: iulani
Thanks :) I'll check it out! 
07 Mar 13 by member: sjcoray
Amazing. I absolutely adore your courage to put these words in print. So many of my thoughts have mirrored the ones you express in your journal, and I didn't really start seeing myself apart from my body image until just recently (in the past 2 years or so). I realized my "image" was actually tied very closely to professional success and confidence in my own abilities and intelligence- I also think a big, big part of it was a brain development (right around my 30th birthday, a light came on and I started seeing stuff for what it really was). But I still occasionally catch myself wanting someone else to come fix me. Then I smack myself (figuratively, of course) and internalize this message: "I am the only one responsible for my own happiness" Cheesy, I know. But it's TOTALLY true. You are your own hero. You are your own knight in shining armor and no one else but you can save you from your own securities. This british fellow sounds lovely! BUT, even if he's not or even if you guys don't hit it off, there are literally millions of other men that are in the running. There are millions of men who will categorically disagree with your dad about his opinion of your body. (Most)men are attracted to women. Period. There is no one body 'type' as the corporate American media would have us believe. Men like "smooshes" and are attracted to confidence and sensuality. You are awesome and your courage to post these raw and vulnerable thoughts alludes to the confidence that lies just under the surface.  
07 Mar 13 by member: Molly_82
Molly_82 is absolutely spot on, Steph ... come on ... YOU do NOT need someone to save you ... be your knight, etc. and you know this. I know, we all feel that way sometimes ... but ... i think if you just focus on yourself, your needs, your growth, your time, your everything, and are selfish(in a good way), then the right person will come along and accept all of it. no questions. trust me, i was in the saving business in my 20's, in my first marriage, etc. and until i realized i needed to take care of my own needs and not someone else's, did i find real love, an adult relationship, where we are both accepting of one another. i am sorry to hear about the body image and how you have carried your father's words with you even now ... but you also know you are the one who can take control, just as we all realize, and change how you perceive yourself. there are no short cuts here. also - online action, while fun, is not substitute for chemistry you'd find meeting face to face. remember, you can meet anyone, anytime, anywhere ... folks find one another in the strangest ways. it will happen. you are too great a person for it not to.  
07 Mar 13 by member: br_e_co
Whoooa! We are so similar! What a great journal. I am going to come back and comment some more!  
07 Mar 13 by member: Lizzygracemusic
Thanks for all your thoughts :) I was really trying to get this down to try to make more sense of all of it and help myself find direction (like - this is a fun diversion, but it is not the solution). But I also find the people on this site to be amazing, common-sense and I knew I could trust letting other people read all this. To Bre's point - I come back to the "you can meet anyone, anytime, anywhere" and don't want to disclude a charming Brit from online (as long as he's willing to travel out here to visit :P ). This is a battle I have waged with myself and will continue to wage. It's unfortunately not as easy as simply agreeing with your friends who are so supportive - but it always helps to have them. Thanks so much for reading and writing back and Lizzy, while this took a fair bit out of me, I will try to write more in the future :) 
07 Mar 13 by member: sjcoray
Agreed, very courageous to put all your thoughts out there. I find that helps me so much. I think a lot of us here have similar emotions/feelings. Or can relate to at least some parts of this journal. You're not alone. I am bad with advice and wise words to say... just know that I was reading! 
08 Mar 13 by member: Bkeller1023

     
 

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