Body Image

Might as well get this out in the open right now.  I hate the way I look.  I am disgusted by my reflection in the mirror.  I can’t possibly fathom why my wife was/is attracted to me.  It makes absolutely no sense to me.  I mean, there must be a reason why it took 26 years for a woman to show the slightest interest in me (her).

I don’t have many pictures of myself because of this.  I try to avoid the camera.  Every now and then I allow myself to be photographed.  Here’s a few

The only part of me that I ever liked was my long hair.  Look at it.  Isn’t it amazing!

LongHair

And now look at me!  Nothing left.  Damnit!

Bald

When I finished college (for the 3rd time) in 2002, I was the strongest that I have ever been.  I’ve always been into lifting weights.  As a younger man, before I knew any better, I associated pure strength and power with being in shape.  At that time I weighed about 240lbs.  Now, at 5’7″ that’s a lot of fat.  Sure I had a lot of muscle but trust me, I was no bodybuilder.

After entering the workforce, my wife (girlfriend at that time) and I decided to make a real effort to lose some weight and make a few changes.  Through a lot of hard work and bitching/moaning/swearing, I plateaued at about 200lbs.  Pretty good I thought.  40lbs in about a year or so.  The problem is, I wasn’t satisfied even though I’d managed to keep it off for a couple of years.

In 2005 I found Muay Thai.  The weight started to come off.  I ended up at about 185lbs by 2007.  Even though I was working my body harder than ever, I still saw a lot of fat all over.  I wondered why I couldn’t look all ripped.  I worked out until exhaustion several days a week.  Both strength training and conditioning.

Here’s the answer.  I’m a fucking pig.  I eat like a son-of-a-bitch.  I literally can’t stop myself.  After years of reading and research, I consider myself to be somewhat knowledgeable in fitness and health, but for the love of Jeebus, I can’t make myself do it.

This is the leanest I have ever been at 172lbs.  It was the morning before the 2013 Ontario Open BJJ tournament.  I didn’t keep it off.

Pose

I know you’re going to say that I look fine here.  All I see is that belly and massive love handles.  There’s a reason why I’m always photographed straight on.  Plus all the back fat that you don’t see here!!!  YUCK!

Currently I’m 178 and struggling to stay there.  I’m in the gym every day almost.  I lift, run, jump, bike, squat, climb, punch, and anything else that is considered exercise.  I keep resetting my goals thinking that this time will be different.  Maybe it will last for a month or two, but in the end it all comes back to that fucking pig thing.  Damnit!

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14 thoughts on “Body Image”

  1. Hey. Congratulations on being so honest about your self. But a question: if you were to die tomorrow would you think it was a shame that you invested so much time hating yourself rather than in your wife and kids? I don’t know if anything in my post http://boxjumping.wordpress.com/2013/09/16/you-see-skinny-i-see-damn-you-gotta-hit-the-weights-cos-those-bones-are-gonna-break/

    Would resonate with you but. …you can’t hate yourself forever. Just be healthy and accept yourself, love handles and all. Like your wife does. Besides, when you attain perfection what will that mean anyway? No one will give you a prize and your wife will love you in the same way. I’ve struggled with this too. I’m 172cm and strong and got down to 130 pounds, looking anorexic and even then wasn’t 100% satisfied. It’s ridiculous.

  2. Be thankful for what you have, because the alternative sucks and steals your happiness. Recently I was very afraid I had MS (multiple sclerosis) but luckily I now know that’s not the case. This health scare made me decide to be thankful for a healthy body! I try my best to be kind to myself. I wish you all the best with your self-esteem issues, they can be tough to beat.

  3. if your visceral sense says this body doesn’t fully express your being, go for it and make the change instead of falling for the flowery bullshit of pseudo acceptance. acceptance will naturally occur when all that has to be done has been done.

    given your history, I suggest you try tacfit. it’s an excellent training program by Scott that includes recovery as part of the intense training protocols.also I believe you’ve already taken a look at the kalimpune WordPress blog where I posted some videos
    on relaxed bodyweight training. all the best in your quest for uncompromising top notch health and fitness

  4. don’t beat yourself up. You are an amazing person, who wants to make some changes in life. Nothing wrong with that. Set your goals and go for it. We all deserve good lives, so go live it.

  5. Yeah, it is kind of funny, that whole body image thing. I ballooned after my back surgery, and now that I am able to work out again, I am losing tons of weight and starting to get slightly cut. My wife comments on how slimmer I look, yet in my mind all I see is the same heffalump. My dad, a former body builder (squatted 500 at the age of 48), told me once that body image can be a curse of working out – first the biceps are starting to look good, but the pecs seem small. Then the pecs look ok, but the lats or quads seem puny. Then these look ok, but the biceps seem small again…and it keeps going. Best of luck in overcoming this. I am still working on it, otherwise I could give you the advice of a lifetime. Oh yeah, rock the baldness. I have the anti-mullet going on. Chicks dig it.

  6. Hah! You’re doing pretty good here.

    I’ve had some weight struggles of my own- I haven’t, you know, actually checked my weight in a while, but I’m pretty sure it’s still well over 200 lbs. At least a lot of it is nice, dense muscle- Just, you know, covered by a thick layer of flabby skin that just won’t go away.

  7. HI
    Nice blog, and an intriguing subject. I was so envious looking at those skiing shots. I used to be quite the fanny adams about all this stuff, and like you I had my big sport which was surfing: and got so massive I ended up playing rugby again which was wonderful after flapping round my twenties as a stoner. This physical image stuff – for me was all tied in with the alpha sex machine, dog behind the eyes type mentality. Tho’ sorry to say that when my old Dad died it all dropped away and I sat on a bed for a year. I just don’t think muscle obsession is the way to go, and is extremely unmasculine, if anything – I don’t think women like it. I suppose harmony is the way. Anyways you’re a plenty good-looking lad, just don’t go hurting yourself with all that fighting. atb, and thanks for reading my crappy story.

  8. You look great! My husband says the same thing about me as in he has no clue why I’m so attracted to him. But I am! Love handles and all. He’s the most gorgeous man on earth to me 🙂 Keep up the good work and appreciate what your wife thinks of you- she’s all that matters anyway 🙂

  9. I read this while eating some cranberry bread and desperately wanting another piece. I hear you about your concerns to get fitter as I share them. We are each our own worse critics. But hopefully as tough as you are on yourself I hope you can see how far you have come and be proud of that 🙂

  10. Anth. Ive known you for many years. But dont really know you. I genuinely like the man you are just as much as the kid I met in grade 9. I hope you obtained your goals and find some clarity with the attention and insight you are giving yourself and your life. I hope i’m lucky enough to be there when you cross off a bucket list item. We aren’t as close as I’d like… But I hope you know I’m here for you and would support you in anything. Stay focused and stay positive. You are a great man Twon.

  11. I totally relate. Different path, but same thing. I’ve beeb smaller, larger, super sized, super lean… Never quite “happy” with myself as-is. We are supposed to get over the internal dialogue, think positive, etc. I work on that, but part of it may just be who we are! I eat bad food. I heart bad food. I burn extra calories to HAVE bad food! Awesome to find another similar soul in blogger land. Keep kicking ass! xo… M

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