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ATHENA1966 Posts: 2,519
11/7/12 9:57 P

Jessica I am willing to bet that your daughter is proud of you every single day. Callus words that come from those who have not walked in your shoes are meaningless. Don't use your energy on them. Your accomplishments are amazing. I mean that.

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11/7/12 6:37 P

I think you are a lot stronger than you give yourself credit for :-)

Kris

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11/7/12 1:17 P

wow, thank you all for such strong kind words....put it the way you all put it, makes sense. My family should realize that me being here is a miracle because it could have been so much different. That my daughter still has her mother than can take care of her is huge. I need to voice that to my husband and other family members. Remind that cancer has changed me, made me a little stronger and yes left me with some scars, but i am going to do my best to embrace the scars, and let them remind me just what i have been through and how truly blessed that i am here and capable of running and being active.

thank you all for the very kind uplifting words....i needed that.


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11/6/12 3:55 P

You are a great strong woman! You are a mother, an athlete, a fighter, a survivor!! WOW To run a HM 4 months after a surgery! Congratulations! This is a great example for your daughter. Don't listen to those rude remarks about your body. My family did similar remarks but they stopped. I was actually very assertive about it-they were rude so I were rude back. They just had to shut up and I absolutely didn't care about their feelings.Was it mean from my side? I don't think so.
I have a floppy belly with an ugly postsurgery scar and a lot of stretchmarks. I am short and shortlegged. And my butts sticks out LOL I am 45 years old and have more wrinkles than my 55 years old sister.My hair is grey. Once there was a lady at the playground who thought I was my youngest boy's grandmother.
I wouldn't like to be one of those perfect models. It is their job to look like this ,and fotoshop helps, too!

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11/6/12 3:35 P

A couple comments come to mind:

1) WOW - a HALF MARATHON? You GO girl :-)

2) Ditto BARB0863's comment re "...a bunch of asses!" It is extremely rude of them to pass these comments. I think I would be inclined to tell them at the time that they come out with these comments that they are hurtful, and unjustified. Remind them that you are still healing from serious surgery as a result of a serious illness, and this can take a very long time. Then ask them to be more respectful in their comments to you. Having said that tho', perhaps that are only saying it in 'fun' ( only thing is it is THEIR fun and at your expense:-(

Kris

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11/6/12 12:40 P

First off, congrats on beating cancer!

Now, please don't take the rest of this the wrong way, your family members who make these unkind comments are being a bunch of asses! Have they even taken the time to think that if you hadn't beaten cancer you wouldn't be here for them to find flaws with? There is part of me that would like to tell them that it is better to be a little soft or have a bigger butt than not be around at all. Do they realize that every day you are here should be celebrated?

Your daughter still has her mom, don't let what those others say influence who you are or what you see when you look in the mirror. You've been through a life or death fight and won (faults and all)!

emoticon

JESSICAMONT32 SparkPoints: (9,904)
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11/6/12 7:18 A

Thank you Kris,


your insight is so thoughtful and so right on. Its only been four and half months since my last surgery i need to remember that. Sunday I ran my first half marathon after all my surgeries I came in at 1:49:52 not a PR but I am proud of myself. my belly may not be flat and my thighs may be a bit larger but I was able to squeek just under 1:50:00. I have hard time not hating my body when my family points out all the time my flaws , that as they say " you are looking a little soft these days" or "wow has your butt gotten bigger"
Though I am really proud I haven' said a negative thing about my body in front of my daughter in over a week and I will not ever again. I will fake it in front of her so she does not suffer from this.

on a more silly note i did go out a bye a few of those garments that holds your belly in and I am finding that yeah they aren't the most comfortable but they are doing the trick with the belly issue. :-)


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11/3/12 5:39 P

Where it comes to the incision scars, they can take quite some time to lose their sensitivity. When I had surgery on both my wrists it took a couple years for me to lose that 'not nice' sensation. I didn't have it all the time, but sometimes. There were times that they seemed really tight and irritated me, and that was with NOTHING on them.

When I was in a bad accident and I suffered a few fractured ribs and fractured clavicle, I was unable to wear clothing that I would normally wear because of pain. Altho' your problem was different to mine, the healing process is no different - it takes time. I wasn't able to wear trou for about a year - now I'm in them all the time.

It boils down to having patience, and it WILL be that you can wear what you want.

I am also wondering whether in part that your surgery is part of the reason why your belly feels like it does. If so, then time and appropriate exercise when cleared for it, will take care of that.

As a final thought - if you can stop yourself beating yourself up in front of your daughter (well done on that, too:-), then how about stop beating yourself up FULL-STOP!!

BIG hugs,
Kris

JESSICAMONT32 SparkPoints: (9,904)
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11/3/12 1:21 P

Hi Jami,


Thank you for the reply. Actually finally admitting to myself that I that dont have good self esteem has helped a little. I made some phone calls yesterday to get in and talk to someone. I am also trying really hard to remember that the women we see plastered on mags are sometime air brushed. Though that one is hard for me to remember. Having low self esteem is such a hard thing to overcome. I worry that I will pass it along to my daughter, she is only 2.5 years old so I know i have time to get help. I wont let myself beat myself up verbally infront of her because that is just setting a bad example.

How do you all find ways to appreicate your body just the way it is? What are some tricks I can do to hide my belly? What bothers me the most is the the incision scars hurt when I wear jeans, it pinches and doesnt feel good at all. Also they are still 4 months out still very sentivtive to touch.

ATHENA1966 Posts: 2,519
11/3/12 12:12 P

Jessica,

I think you have every reason to be angry. You have been through a lot. It seems that you have in one way, already identified what may be the root of some of your feelings, and that is a low self esteem. I only say this because I see a therapist and it has helped me deal with some life long challenges, that for me all come back to on theme. The belief that I am not good enough. It took me hitting a breaking point before I got some help. On another note, go to some spa's as another poster suggested. Real every day women like us are not in a magazine or on TV. I miss my stomach too.

Take care,

Jami


JESSICAMONT32 SparkPoints: (9,904)
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11/2/12 1:11 P

Thank you all for the replys,

Loving myself is my biggest struggle. I have never had great esteem. Though I am determined to make a change and start to respect myself. I may hate the way my belly jiggles, but I have to keep reminding myself it does not define who I am. Having a flat stomach isn't going to solve my marriage problems ( insecurity because my husband cheated on me way back ) I still dont trust. and having a flat belly wont stop the cancer from coming back, if it does than it does. It is hard to remember that when I look in the mirror but I will start from today on to remind myself that my body shape doesnt make me a bad or good person.

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11/2/12 4:55 A

Hi, Jessica !

How do you stop judging yourself ? That's not an easy thing. The first thing you have to understand is that the reason a model has a perfect tummy is because they've been airbrushed to look perfect in the magazines. That's not reality. Most women DO NOT have a perfectly flat stomach like that. Most women DO jiggle. Most women DO have a curved stomach. The magazines are peddling an image that's just not realistic or achievable for 95% of the world's women.

That's why you can't beat yourself up because you don't look like those women. None of us do ! Take a good look at the women you see in the grocery store. How many of those do you think have flat stomachs ? Maybe 1 or 2 out of how many people ? hundreds. That's what women really look like. That's reality. Reality doesn't sell magazines, illusion and perfection sell magazines.

No one is perfect. Now, here's something you could consider. If you really want that perfectly flat stomach, then consider getting a tummy tuck. Lots of women who felt they had sagging skin or a bit of excess weight around their middle did have one done. Cosmetic surgery is always an option. Of course, you still have to learn to love yourself warts and all.



Edited by: ARCHIMEDESII at: 11/2/2012 (04:56)
INKSPATTERS Posts: 41
11/1/12 11:11 P

As far as body image goes: this might sound really weird, but are there any traditional all-female spas/saunas/hot springs near where you live where clothing or bathing suits aren't allowed? I think a lot of the hatred and anxiety that we develop around our bodies comes from literally not knowing what a normal human body looks like. Our only basis of comparison for naked/nearly naked bodies comes from highly photoshopped images of people whose full time job is living up to certain arbitrary physical standards, so we mentally classify that look as "normal" and then berate ourselves for not measuring up.

I live in China, where women have no problem getting naked in front of other women, and just showering in the locker room at the gym and seeing what other women actually look like has made me feel way, way more comfortable and happy with my body. I know it sounds kind of hippie woo-woo, but it might be worth a shot!

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (138,138)
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11/1/12 7:33 P

My Sweet - I can truly understand your feeling down about what life has dealt you. I have felt the same way but for different reasons. The fact is that this is happened and we can't undo it, but we CAN heal and move on - you have to have faith that this WILL happen. You ask how can you get over the anger of what was dealt you, well the best way is for you to talk with a Therapist. They can help immensely. I know that losing your fertility is a big blow to you, but you have gained your LIFE! I know that I would far rather have life, than have fertility and lose my life! A Therapist will also be able to help you with your body image, your anxiety, and for you to accept that not every one is the same. You must also remember that a lot of what you see in magazines have been digitally altered to enhance. A lot of those you see in the magazines and on TV also virtually starve themselves to get to this unhealthily low weight. They are seriously increasing their risk of osteoporosis, and organ disease. Please don't feel you should emulate them!

Remember, too, that if you don't manage to run 5k's in under 20 minutes, that isn't a bad thing. A LOT of people can't do that - heck - a lot of people can't run 5k's full stop!! I can't even run 500 metres, and I USED to be a brilliant athlete. At one stage in my life I was even training for the trials for the Commonwealth Games. It didn't happen (guys came on the scene.)

BIG hugs, and remember, we are here for you!

Kris xx

JESSICAMONT32 SparkPoints: (9,904)
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11/1/12 6:26 P

Hi Thank you for the both replays


I know i need to start to rethink about my body not the way it looks but what it can do such as a 23 5k . It just so hard when I see images everywhere I turn on taunt tummies. I feel like I could never measure up. It frustrating when friends and family say that I look gaunt in my face when I don't feel like I am by no means underweight. Yea I do want a flatter stomach but more than that I want to run faster 5ks I would love one day to break under 20 mintues and one day to run a full marathon though i am afraid that my anxiety will get in the way of the marathon dreams. Once I am out for more than two hours on a run I get increadiably anxious.

My Question to all is this : How do I stop judging myself to all those models on the cover of magazines? And how to get over the anger of what was dealt me.....losing my fertility has sent me on a quest of why me. I know i am not alone in that matter but still sometimes I get so angry and so sad that it drives me to the sweets. I guess it is one day at a time right? Thanks all for letting me get that out.

SLIMMERKIWI SparkPoints: (138,138)
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11/1/12 5:13 P

Jessica - your anger is actually grief. This is a very common thing when a person has been through a health crisis such as yours. Below is a link that you may find helpful:
www.helpguide.org/mental/grief_loss.htm>

I don't know if you are on any meds other than those patches, but be aware that SOME medications can actually make it more difficult to lose weight, and some can cause weight gain. IF you are on meds, it would be helpful to talk with your Dr about this.

I have lost a bucket load of weight but my waist (around the navel) has barely changed at all. BUT I have gone from a NZ size 20-22 to a 12-14 - occasionally a 16 in the trou. My tummy is VERY jiggly. I know that doing things like Pilates will help considerably with that - it is just my getting around to doing it! I sometimes look at the 'jiggly' tummy being good where it comes to clothes - it is easier to squash into some of them and with a light-weight tubular tummy trimmer it flattens it so no-one else sees :-)

Your mother has given you very sound advice - heed it. Weight isn't what makes a person! Your weight isn't exactly a HUGE amount of overweight, either. Your friends have noticed a skinny face - perhaps that might be to do with your recent medical issues - perhaps it might be because you aren't really overweight as such. I know my Dr didn't want me to lose any more weight 2kg ago (approx. 4 1/2 lb). My face was starting to look quite gaunt. He told me I had done really well to lose the weight that I had, and not everyone is meant to be in that so-called healthy BMI range. Even now WITH that further loss, I am slightly over the 25 BMI.

My suggestion??? Don't focus on your weight, but rather eating a good balanced diet, which will also help you with your healing, and getting exercise - what your Dr recommends for this point of time.

Kris

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11/1/12 1:04 P

Jessica,

You've made great strides battling cancer. You can't beat yourself up because the weight isn't coming off as fast as you'd like. I know we'd all love for the weight to be gone overnight, but as you know, weight loss doesn't work like that. As we age, our bodies do change. And yes, weight loss will be slower than when we were younger. However, don't let that get you down. And definitely don't let a little sagging or excess skin get you down either.

I lost the weight before peri menopause hit, you know what ? I still have sagging skin. In fact, my stomach bears a more than passing resemblance to a Shar Pei puppy ! that's no exaggeration. I do have a lot of excess skin on my stomach because of my own weight loss. Do I let that bother me ? NO.

What I've learned from my own years of yo yo dieting is this,"what my body can do is way more important than how it looks". Will you lose weight ? Eventually. Will you be perfect ? nope. that's because none of us are perfect. Learn to appreciate what your body can do and I think you'll be pleasantly surprized.

emoticon

JESSICAMONT32 SparkPoints: (9,904)
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11/1/12 12:50 P

So I went to my docs today. Some of you may know that I have battled ovarian cancer and beat it Yay!!!! Thankfully my type of OC was not fed off my hormones so i was able to be placed on HRT . I have a patch that I switch out twice a week that gives me that does of estrogen and progesterone i need. Today i found because technically i am considered post menapause my weight loss will be more difficult than the average women that is 32. It is coming off a lot slower :-( I know i should be happy that it is coming off ( even though today i stepped on the scale it and was about over a pound from a few days ago) I can't help but be angry. Angry that I have had to deal with cancer, that i deal with stupid hot flashes so bad that when its only 40 out I feel like it is 100. That at night i literally sweat so bad that i soak the bed( it is very embrassing ) I know i will win this battle of my weight, I am thankful that I am cancer free and that I am able to do the things i love to do , like run, but i can't help but not be happy with my gut. All the running I do, the Tae-bo and i still have a waist of 34 1/2 i carry so much of my weight in my belly ...... friends say i look too skinny in the face ( sickly) but my belly just jiggles. There is so much fat there that grabbing it with my hands does not even get it all. I wont let this get me down. It is just one more hurdle I must face. like my mother says, no one is going to love you any more or less on what you weigh....sorry about the vent. I just sometimes need to write on here to let things out. I don't really have anyone in my life that I can express these feelings with. Thankk you all for listening.


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