What I'm Really Afraid Of

Hey ladies.  As I'm sure you can tell by my absence from the blogosphere the past couple of days, I haven't been doing so great working toward my goals.  I did do The Shred on day 4, but I haven't done it the past four days.  Day 5 was really busy, and I was just tired.  My body isn't used to working that intensely.  I'm thinking I might start again, but do it every other day this time until I reach that level where I can really give it all I've got.  However, tiredness and busy plans aren't the only reasons I haven't worked out or eaten well the past few days.

Every time I start straying from my plan and back into Obesity Zone, that magical land of self-destruction, I've been making an effort to give some serious thought to the question, "Why?".  Why do I do this again and again?  What is it that's keeping me from achieving my goals?  The answer is obviously multi-faceted and complicated, but yesterday I gained some clarity on part of the reason why.

I'm afraid that even if I put in the effort to seriously change my lifestyle and get super fit and healthy, when I finally achieve my goal weight (somewhere around 160 - what a normal BMI for my height would be) I will still hate the way I look.

Now, I know that sounds a little fucked up.  How could I ever hate the way I look at 160 pounds?  Well, there are a lot of little things about my body that are, basically, wrong.  Things that are messed up, that quite literally could not be fixed without surgery (if that, even).

The following might be a little TMI, but I want to explain.  The grand majority of my issues are skin problems.  While I naturally have nice, pale skin that tans to a lovely bronze color, the quality of my skin is pretty shitty.  I've always had acne, blackheads, and whiteheads on my face.  My pores are huge and I have a lot of scarring from picking at blemishes.  I have dark circles under my eyes and some small wrinkles already forming.  Weight loss won't change that, so I'll have to deal with it no matter how thin I am.

I have scars in my cleavage from terrible acne I got there when I was about 15.  My hormones just went absolutely insane, and the fact that I was horribly depressed and quit eating more than once a day probably didn't help.  I got the giant pimples, I popped and picked at them, and now people always point at my chest when I wear low-cut tops and say, "What's that?".  I hate it, but there's nothing I can do about it.  And I'm afraid that boob-shrinking weight loss would just make it more noticeable.

If I were to ever wear a bikini, you would instantly notice the patches of fucked up skin under my breasts.  Years of underwire support have made big swaths of skin red, dry, and irritated.  I do my best to keep it cleansed and moisturized, but I'm scared that it will always look like this.  At least now, when I'm overweight and only feel comfortable wearing a tankini, nobody can see that skin.  I'm afraid to expose it to the world.

On my stomach...where do I even start?  I have a big splotch of purple spider veins on my left side that I've probably had since I was 16.  I have lots of stretch marks from weight gain that will never go away, and a permanent red line where my belly fat folds when I sit.  My honest-to-god worst fear is for somebody other than my boyfriend or family to see my bare stomach.  Which is why being comfortable in a bikini is basically my life's holy grail.  But I'm afraid that even if I lose weight, my stretch marks and spider veins will still be there, always.  As if they were pointing at me and laughing at my obviously stupid desire for that bikini. 

The last, and worst, problem with my skin that weight loss would only make more obvious is on my thighs.  More specifically, right in the crease where the very top of my inner thigh meets the pelvic area.  The bikini line, I suppose you might say.  Ever since I was young, I've gotten what must be some kind of terrible acne right in that spot.  I get these very large, very painful bumps beneath the skin.  I can feel them rub against my underwear whenever I sit, stand, walk, or even change position.  Not only are they painful, but the skin on top of them usually turns dark and purple, and I have a lot of scars from trying to pop them like regular zits when I was younger.  Even now, after I've finally figured out not to touch or mess with them, they'll still leave scars just from being there.  My skin is permanently fucked up in that most private area.  If I wear swimsuit bottoms now, you can't see the marks because of the way the fat on my thighs kind of comes together.  But if I ever weighed 160, you would see it.  You would see it from a mile away.  The thought of anybody noticing it honestly makes me panic.  Just thinking about it right now has my heart rate elevated.

But I think the worst thing about all of this is not that I would feel uncomfortable in a bikini with all these skin issues.  The worst part is that now that my boyfriend and I might break up, I feel like no other man would want me.  Like no other man would look past all that terrible skin, especially the part on my inner thighs.  It's true that I had all these skin problems when my boyfriend and I got together, but I honestly did not have sex with the lights on until I was absolutely, 100% sure he was in love with me and didn't care what I looked like.  And really, it wasn't until last year that I fully believed him when he said he didn't care (and we've been together for over four years now). 

Rationally, I know that confidence is far more sexy than being thin or having good skin.  But I can't help but feel despair when I look in the mirror and realize that weight loss won't necessarily make me feel better about the way I look.  And I think that is what makes me go off plan, every time.  That's what I'm really afraid of.

I've never had health insurance that would cover a visit to the dermatologist, and I won't until I find a real job with benefits.  So I have to put up with it.  There's nothing I can do to make my skin better.

I obviously still have a lot of self-esteem and self-worth issues to deal with.  I just can't get over the panic I feel when I think about stepping out in a bikini without perfect skin or trying to date anyone but my boyfriend.  I don't know what to do about it, but that feeling is always in the back of my mind, telling me my lifestyle changes are pointless.  That weight loss won't change anything. That I'm always going to be insecure, unhappy, and embarrassed.

...blah.  I need all the cyber hugs you can give me today, friends.  :(


  1. I send you a zillion hun! HUGHUGHUG! I know how you feel im extremely uncomfortable with parts of my body as well For me it was always worse with my upper arms I have arm strech marks arm pit to elbow very noticible i always wore long sleeves ALWAYS finally when I got pregnant it was to hot and I just gave in and wore a tank top noone cared! I felt so free! Your more special to people than just bein pretty to look at honey.Your so beautiful inside and out.We all have our parts we dont like every woman out there does and we all know how you feel HUG!

  2. here's a big hug for you Erika you will get there!

    Remember- don't look at yourself and say bad things. Pretend you are looking at your best friend in the mirror and imagine saying all those horrible things to their face- how awful would you make them feel? You are doing the exact same thing. So just STOP for a second. And start finding things you do like about yourself. Do you have pretty eyes? How about your smile? Do you feel pretty when you are wearing a certain color? What about when you style your hair?

    You need to figure this out for yourself, but I know you can do it. Here's an extra hug, just in case.

  3. Hey, listen, I know exactly how you feel.....hugs!


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