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How do you accept body flaws?

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Even at my heaviest, my arms were proportionately bigger than the rest of me. It's always been depressing. To make it worse, my arms have been covered in stretch marks since I was ten years old. Not your average stretch marks either -- long, wide, stark-white ridges. It's been well over twenty years and they haven't faded a bit. I have them from my the back of my shoulders to the middle of my forearm. Even though I've lost a lot of weight, my arms have not shrunk much. I do strength training exercises and my muscles are bigger, but it doesn't really matter with all the fat and saggy skin. My arms have gone down about 2" each over the past 70 lbs I've lost. Women twice my weight have smaller arms than I do. I'm 18 lbs from a healthy BMI and my arms are still big enough to use one of those extra large blood pressure cuffs. I usually don't wear short sleeves, but one day I did and someone took a picture of me and it depressed me.

This picture was taken later the same day (oooh, I got tan). The outfit doesn't look so bad if I arrange my arms in certain ways, but I hate that I have to be so "aware" of how I'm standing. Just ugh.

I'm also really self-conscious about the fat on my back and my saggy thighs. I am very happy about my progress, but at the same time it's kind of depressing to work this hard and this long and still have these issues. I'm not going to give up or anything, but I *did* give up once before for this very reason.

I'm just venting, but how can a person just get over this stuff?
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm a man and have had these similiar feelings between my weight and a birthmark on my back. So much that I would always wear a shirt while swimming. I wasn't very fat as a child or my teens, but enough for me to feel I was. Probably stemmed from a single Mom who was always worried about her weight and taking diet pills, while giving them to me also.

    Anyway, you look beautiful! We all have some hang up about ourselves that we don't like or are embarrassed by. You've accomplished so much and look so good! emoticon
    2110 days ago
    This is such a good topic, because I know so many women can relate. Negative talk and low self esteem are always testing my weight loss efforts. If I am feeling good when I wake up, flat tummy, good skin, hair is nice, then I am EXTRA motivated to workout out, maybe twice, skip the ice cream, and be AWESOME. But, if I wake up the day after a buffet, bloated and breaking out, my arms (yes I am the same way) feel huge, what is that bulge on my thigh, and how do I get rid of this lower tummy pouch?! So why not have a cookie for breakfast, or several, then ehh I don't want to workout... and you see my point. I can feel skinny and beautiful and then literally, one day..24 HOURS later, somehow tell myself I am too heavy and not attractive. Now, science has taught me that is physically not possible... yet I believe it?!

    I am sorry I have not found a great way to counter it, except to "fake" it sometimes. Dress in the black dress that always looks good, do my make up, straighten my hair, and pretend I look good, then maybe one day I will truly believe it! Because honestly chica, we really are beautiful. We just choose not to see it.

    You look great, and you will only continue to look better. So emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2121 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/29/2012 7:50:33 AM
    Believe me I know how you feel! We have struggled with our weights since we were little so this is something we are always going to have to deal with. Learning to accept ourselves as is and seeing us how others do!! We are so used to looking in the mirror and seeing "fat" it is hard to see anything else. I think you look great! You are also a very pretty girl! You have to remember as much as it sucks we all carry are weight differently and lose differently then everyone else. Give it time! I also heard that is takes at least a year for the skin to catch up. Keep doing what you are doing!!! Don't give up!!

    Angie emoticon
    2129 days ago
  • CHERRY666
    First off, you're gorgeous. I love your style, too.

    Accepting your so-called flaws is a hard thing to do. I feel the same way about my thighs/legs in general. When I see women 200 pounds heavier than me than have nearly the same measurements. . . . it's sort of depressing when I dwell on it, BUT that's just how my body is, like it or not. I think exercising has helped me feel better about them because I'm actually trying to DO something about it, you know? Plus, where would I be without my legs, even if I don't like my thighs and think my calves are too big? Sure, shopping for pants is a big pain, but at least I have legs, and at least I can do things like run, or walk through pretty parks, or whatever. I'm doing the best I can, and if my body happens to like extra fat around my thighs, then so be it. I can still kick butt, even with a little extra wiggle.
    2131 days ago
    Juliana, you are doing so great! And you look fabulous! But here's some links for you to check out if you want to "try" something different. To change the body that you have into the body that you want. These moves might look weird, but when you TRY them you will FEEL them working. My scale might not be moving, but my body IS changing in a way I never thought possible, from following Tracy's Meta Program. So here's some FREE Tracy workouts for you to check out. (If I did this right, this 1st one is just Tracy's giving you some tips about how to do some of the moves. Which is really helpful and only a few minutes long.)

    Tracy's sitting arm workout

    Tracy's standing arm workout

    Tracy's Butt & thigh workout

    I was able to get all these links to work as long as I copied and pasted them into a new window. If i just tried to open the URL it wouldn't work. : (
    2131 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/19/2012 3:38:39 PM
    First I wanted to start off by saying you are adorable, you look so great in your pics! As for your flaws, just remember we all have them, and that other people do not zero in on them as much as you think, we definitely are our own worst critics!

    I think a lot of people have those stubborn areas that are the last to shrink, my arms and my stomach are my biggest flaws. I have only recently really truly realized that no matter how much weight I lose, I will forever have loose, ugly skin, and I will probably never wear a bikini. I honestly used to think that if I worked hard enough and lost enough pounds, that my stomach would follow suit, and now I realize how wrong I was.

    I could beat myself up about it, but I'm not. I've realized that all I can do is keep doing what I'm doing, work hard, and hope for the best. My flaws absolutely look better now than they did 40+ lbs, ago, and I'm sure your arms look better now than they did when you first started out.

    There are no fast fixes for our flaws, so we need to just grit our teeth and keep working on them.

    Good luck hunny, and don't get so down on yourself, because you look great and your hard work really shows!
    2131 days ago
    As a number of others have stated...everyone has flaws and some you never really get over. However, you can work hard to focus on those things that you love about yourself and work what you have. Finding clothes to accentuate your best assets will draw the focus to what you love and less attention to the parts you don't.

    Good luck dear! You are a BEAUTIFUL lady!
    Hugs ~ Melissa
    2131 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/19/2012 2:15:36 PM
    I too struggle with self image and hating the way I look. It looks like you've gotten some good ideas and support. You can do this!
    2131 days ago
    Acceptance of our bodies is one of the hardest things to do. We all have our flaws and most of the time we're the only ones that see them. You are beautiful and I think that you will learn to accept what you can't change. emoticon
    2131 days ago
  • JELLEN726
    I wish had the answer because I have the same exact problem and the same hurdle to struggle over. Please take comfort and solace in knowing you are not alone and do not give up EVER emoticon emoticon
    2131 days ago
    Oh boy - I've always had hips much wider than my waist and upper body (and a very short torso, to boot!), and now that I'm at my goal weight, I still have the hardest time finding pants that fit. Most pants ar cut for people with tummies, not for sideways width. Add to that the aging process which has caused the pads of fat which used to be on my hips to move to my outer thighs, and UGH!

    In any case, I've discovered that I have to just accept and love myself as I am - there are some things that no amount of healthy eating/exercise will change, like those outer thighs. Amazing things happen once we start loving ourselves as we are.

    AND, BOB240 is right - you are gorgeous, so don't sweat the arms:)!
    2131 days ago
    I have no idea!!! I think I've told you before - I have the same issue with my stomach. I loved my stomach - before pregnancy. Then I got pregressively more scarred and saggy with each pregnancy. I had big kids, and my stomach looks like a pile of jello in the middle, and has sunbeam streaks coming out from the center of the jello pile. Then my last kid made my stomach foldover, which will never go away without surgery. I will never be happy with my stomach again, and that's just sad. I haven't found a way to accept it. I just keep hoping that if I lose more, it'll go away...or at least go away some. :/ I wish I had better advice...I'm about 16 lbs from a healthy weight right now, and yeah, no dice for me yet. Maybe we'll discover something fantastic in the next 15-20 lbs?? :D
    2131 days ago
    My arms are the part I dislike the most on me too. Even losing almost 50 lbs, while they are smaller than they were, they still just seem to big to me. Overall I'm so happy with my progress that I have just learned that some things aren't in my control. I will continue to work on them though. Your pics look great!
    2131 days ago
    With me it's my legs. I've had varicose veins since I was about 11 and have hated my legs since. I always try and not go any shorter than capris and try and avoid swimsuits more because of my veins than my weight. I don't know if you can get over those certain things that can't be changed. I try and concentrate on feeling fabulous on the things I can change and just wear capris. lol!
    2131 days ago
    I hated pretty much every part of my body for most of my life, and had many 'why did God make me with so many flaws??" rants.
    To change it I started looking at my body every single day and telling myself that it was beautiful. All of it. Like, ' my toes are beautiful, my feet are beautiful, my ankles are beautiful, my calves are beautiful' and so on. There was no because or justification, they were just beautiful. And eventually as I was saying the words, I believed them.
    Who says your 'flaws' are flaws? I think you look absolutely gorgeous and I reckon you should tell yourself that too.
    2131 days ago
    Accepting things we can't change is not easy.
    2132 days ago
    I don't know if you ever really get over those things. I think remembering that everyone has flaws helps a bit. Also, focusing on the things that you do like helps, too.

    2132 days ago

    Comment edited on: 7/19/2012 6:18:12 AM
  • BOB240
    Male perspective..

    easy...look at your face. Most people will look at your face because it is very good. Who's looking at ams with eyes like that??????????????
    2132 days ago
    I have bad stretch marks too, so I can sympathize with you there. I don't have the problem with my arms... but I do with my butt. I have a Kim Kardashian butt and while that might sound like a good thing to some people it can be very frustrating. Pants that fit my thighs will not cover it and pants that cover it are baggy and loose everywhere else. I've taken myself in photo shop and I actually look about twenty pounds thinner when you take the size down on my badonkadonk. It gives the allusion that I'm much larger than I really am. It really makes so many things difficult, finding pants, finding underwear, even sleeping... I can't sleep on my back because it creates such a large arch in my back that I'll be sore for days. As much as it drives me crazy though, it really is a part of me and I've come to accept it. We don't always get along, but some days we do. I think you have to just come to terms with the fact that your body won't always do what you want it to, but that doesn't mean that you're not beautiful. You might not like what you see everyday, but you know how hard you've worked and how good of a person you are and those are the things that matter.
    2132 days ago
    I've always hated my arms, and my thighs, and my stretch marks, I got to the bottom of my healthy weight range and still hated them. I think to a certain extent it's less about how you look and more about accepting yourself as you are. I really have no idea how you go about doing that?? I'm sorry I can't be more help... emoticon
    2132 days ago
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