Sick of the Skin I’m In

  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Mar 27, 2012 1:31 PM GMT
    CliffNotes/SparkNotes version: I hate the way I look (scroll down) and can't shake the mentality of feeling inferior to more in shape guys.

    Warning: TL;DR ahead. You’ve been warned.

    This is something I want to share because it’s something that’s been bothering me for quite a while. Some of my friends understand this but can’t really relate. I know there are other gay guys out there who’ve probably experienced the same thing, so I’m hoping for some feedback.
    For a vast majority of my life, I was bombarded (thanks to my mother) with those posteresque hunk of the month calendars of guys with bulging biceps (and other parts), ripped abs and perfect pecs. Around the time my mother first started hanging them, I never gave much thought to sexuality, but I wondered if that’s the type of man that every woman wanted to fall in love with. Mind you, this should have started turning the gears in my head to possibly figuring out how to end up like that, but I was a butterball and didn’t play sports. I drank far too much soda, consumed way too many PopTarts and could have given a borderline diabetic a run for their money.
    Around the time my ex and I broke up (about five years ago), I committed the ultimate taboo in my own mental set of rules. That was to never hook up. I could never wrap my brain around the concept of just throwing away sex with someone you had no attachment to. That’s something that still carries through to this day (of which I’m scoffed at for). I guess I’m rather conservative. Then again, not to toot my own horn but when you’re good in the sack and everything else about you disappears and that’s all guys want… there’s a problem.

    At any rate, the unthinkable happened and I was emotionally devastated for a long time. The person I did it with was someone I looked up to and respected as a fellow peer not only for his intelligence, but also for his killer good looks and a body to die for. At this point in my life I was about a year into my soda purge but still didn’t have a clue what to do. I was 210lbs, a size 36”, a couple rolls short of a full back of jelly rolls and a whole mess of other things. So, after that night, I was never so ashamed of my body in my entire life. I lost a friend together with any sort of respect for myself as an individual.

    After that I started running. I tried P90X but couldn’t really do it in my room much less the living room with college roommates. I started losing a little weight from running, but I ended up eating a hefty dinner every night after doing so. I had no idea what was going on. I started dating someone who introduced me to the gym. This didn’t go well because I was ‘weak’ but I wasn’t. I was throwing up heavier weights at the time than most, but still wasn’t good enough. My self-deprecation continued. I graduated, happily being a size smaller than I was a couple years prior. I joined a gym near work and was there every other day.
    I grew frustrated.

    I tried following every workout plan known to mankind. Nothing seemed to be showing me any results. I started starving myself. Then I got the flu. I woke up the next day with a super flat stomach. I was so happy! I even took a picture in the mirror. The next day, I resumed eating and all of a sudden I had a tummy again. I was crushed. I couldn’t understand what was going on.

    At some point, I started balancing out. But once I was down, I somehow yo-yo’d back up again. I just couldn’t obtain the body I saw in magazines no matter “how easy” they made it seem. I tried pushing myself further and further, slipping more and more into a horrid self-conscious state. The site I was on had pics of me shirtless. Guys would comment but I’d shrug it off because I could see nothing but fat upon fat upon fat. I started to hate myself more and more.

    Enter me today.

    Last year I was forced to move back in with my parents, which has been an emotional toll and a half for me. I think just prior to my moving home I started to develop signs of depression (in addition to my already compounded body dysmorphic disorder). But, like everything, I just ignored it. Throughout the course of my journey I’ve absorbed a vast amount of information and have become a walking plethora of knowledge in certain aspects to nutrition and working out. It’s great to be able to help others, but just like everything has been with my studies, when it comes to me, it’s always the opposite.

    People laugh at me for being so overly health conscious with what I put into my body. Granted, it’s not to the extreme that people think it is. I’ll cheat and have cookies or a bagel or something every now and again, but nothing like a McDonald’s meal or anything. I just laugh and say “we’ll see who lives longer, okay?”

    But inside it just kills me. I think to myself “if only you knew the hell I was living in”. Social media has destroyed me. Even sites like this have as well. I just see all of these guys around me with the bodies that I want to have, but no matter how hard I try I just can’t obtain it. Everyone makes it seem so easy, yet when I follow through with everything to the most minute detail, either the opposite happens or nothing happens at all. Then again, I sorta do it to myself. I follow Andrew Christian for example on Facebook. There’s a picture posted daily of one of their models. I just stare at it going “if only”.
    I went running with a guy for a date of sorts. As we were running, he very loudly boasts that he ‘doesn’t have any fat’. Mind you he doesn’t. He has a very ripped physique that I’m quite jealous of. As we’re running he squeezes my side or arm or something and goes “oh yeah it looks like you’ve got some fat on ya”. Not only did that piss me off but it was just callous. I don’t know my current body fat percentage and I’m afraid to know it based on that incident. Suffice to say, he was just an immature 21 year old with no clue of how the world works (typical snobbish NYC family with wads of cash mentality) and a lack of regard for others around him. I was like “later!”.

    At any rate, to come full circle with something. I just want some feedback. Honest and truthful. You can call me a fat ass, you can call me saggy tits, whatever. I’m desperately trying to shake this horrible feeling and feel better about myself… because maybe then I can feel a little happier whenever I wake up.

    The following is a pic of me when I woke up. No food in me, no fluids, nothing:

    http://assets4.rjstatic.com/photos/member/468/d2b188428236c5e0f0fd79eeb6a3c39a.jpg

    I had my body fat tested this morning and the trainer at the gym told me I was at 13%. I pretty much lost my marbles and had a horrible workout after that. I thought I was a lot further along than that… the measurements don’t make sense to me (as in I have a hard time believing them) but… it is what it is.

    I feel like my ‘I just woke up’ photo is the best I’ve had so far. I have eight weeks until I take a vacation to San Diego. I know either way I’m gonna be hella self-conscious, but I’d like to take my shirt off in confidence but I feel that won’t happen. Odd how I can show myself on here, huh?

    Have any of you ever felt the way I do? How did you get over it? Now before you say I should go seek professional help for this, I just have to say I don’t trust them. I tried seeking help way back when I was having an ‘identity’ issue (gay/bi/whatever) and they tried throwing some medication at me. I’ve seen what meds do to people and I’d rather not lose the last remainder of my soul that’s left.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 27, 2012 1:52 PM GMT
    You're young. You'll get over it. icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 27, 2012 1:55 PM GMT
    Dude, I glanced at the topic, understood "isn't happy with his body"... but never in a million years would have thought it was because you think you have too much fat.

    If it makes you feel better (though I know it won't: as a former fat kid, I know all the mental blocks and tricks) I really wish I were as lean as you icon_wink.gif
  • xebec75

    Posts: 243

    Mar 27, 2012 1:57 PM GMT
    You're gonna get a lot of replies on this thread. They're gonna tell you that you're beautiful just the way you are; that you should eat less (or more); or that you should get over yourself and not be such a pussy.

    None of it matters because you aren't listening. There is one thing that you need. It is the only thing that you need. It will solve your problem and in 6 months to year you will feel better.

    Find yourself a gay friendly licensed cognitive behavioral therapist. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the only (only!!!) proven method for making changes to your mental health. Everything else can be explained through the placebo effect. You are listening to the 'you' in your head but the 'you' in your head needs help. CBT will help revise the self-talk that is going on in your head and once that happens...your world will change.

    I promise.
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    Mar 27, 2012 1:59 PM GMT
    Dude, you're hot and cute. I don't see why you're unhappy. Maybe you need to get away from the jerks and frienemies in your life, and find a boyfriend. I'm sure there is a guy near you would love to get affectionate with the skin you're in. I would icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 27, 2012 2:19 PM GMT
    Your body is the only thing you can work with and everyone has the same constraints. The goal could be to look your best, rather than to look like someone else.
    It doesn't help when in your head there's so many reminders of what you aren't but keep in mind you're dedicated to a healthy exercise routine and have a much better body than you had before. Maybe looking back from where you were is more helpful than looking forwards to something you speculate if that makes sense.
    Let your body take its course and steer its direction, don't try to force it in a direction it doesn't/ can't go.

    If you wanna cut corners and not eat, deliberately get sick or whatever, well, you know what a sickly body looks like.

    Not all medical professionals are the same mate, you don't have to use the ones you don't trust. Use the first appointment to 'interview' them and get to know them.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 27, 2012 2:19 PM GMT
    Don't be such a shallow cunt.

    Go volunteer at a needle exchange or a homeless shelter.

    Meet people with real problems and maybe your insipid whining will come to an end.

    Peace and blessings to you.
  • Flamesoul

    Posts: 120

    Mar 27, 2012 2:38 PM GMT
    Uh... Fat ? You're trying to say that YOU... are fat ?

    If you want my opinion, really, you're wrong, and it's in your head. Because you look great! You're looking MUCH better than 90% of the guys I see every day.

    You seriously look amazing! I wish I could be at least one tenth as good looking as you are!

    My self-esteem is VERY low and I know a lot about self-depreciation. I'm gonna see a therapist to try and change the way I view myself and the others around me. I know what you're going through to some extent... The thing is, I actually AM fat. I got ''man-boobs'', loose skin a fat belly...well, you get the picture.

    I can't believe you'd feel ashamed about taking of your shirt.

    When I do, for example, when I play some sports in summer, I'm always worried about my ''chest'' bouncing around whenever I run or jump! You, my friend, are ripped. You really can't see it on those pictures of you ? Your pictures might as well be part of ''those'' types of pictures that show guys with perfect bodies on them. Hell, if I had your body... Well I'd be fucking proud of myself!

    Seriously. When I saw your pictures, I wondered if this was a joke topic.

    I know self-esteem is a bitch, because even though you might look like a total model, if you don't have self-esteem, you, in your head, look ugly. It's the same way for me. Like I said, though, your body probably makes many men jealous without you noticing it.

    You might need help from a therapist or something to realise that. But.. really, you need to like yourself as you are.

    You're making me feel as if I won't ever like myself even if I someday get to the point where I look like you !
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    Mar 27, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    I agree with the armchair diagnosis of body dysmorphic disorder.

    It sounds scary but really all it means is that your brain can't see your body for what it is and focuses all your anxieties on it.

    You look fine, but you can't see it. You've got challenges in other parts of your life, but you attribute them all to your looks/fat percentage/weight.

    A skilled counselor really can help. You might also consider group therapy. When you hear your own story coming out of someone else's mouth, it might just be the jolt you need.

    Best of luck, hon.
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    Mar 27, 2012 3:02 PM GMT
    xebec75 said...None of it matters because you aren't listening. There is one thing that you need. It is the only thing that you need. It will solve your problem and in 6 months to year you will feel better.

    Find yourself a gay friendly licensed cognitive behavioral therapist. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the only (only!!!) proven method for making changes to your mental health. Everything else can be explained through the placebo effect. You are listening to the 'you' in your head but the 'you' in your head needs help. CBT will help revise the self-talk that is going on in your head and once that happens...your world will change.

    I promise.


    I'm sorry (because I suspect this is not what you're going to want to hear), but this is the best advice, I totally agree. If you go to a therapist and they DO try to prescribe you anything--find another. Tell him/her you are not scared of the work but want to do it drug-free and s/he should respect that.
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    Mar 27, 2012 3:05 PM GMT
    I think everyone else has covered it nicely, but you really need to change your mindset.

    If you can change something about yourself, then change it.
    If you can't change it, then don't worry about it.
  • WhoDey

    Posts: 561

    Mar 27, 2012 3:10 PM GMT
    Someone is just searching for compliments

    8b1e6f1754b85f3d_inspector-gadget.jpg
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    Mar 27, 2012 3:12 PM GMT
    Hey you're not alone on this one. But there's work ahead for you if you want to shake it. I'm with the post that suggests getting help to work on those internal voices. The voice you give power to is created in great part by media. Just take a look back through the past decades of male models and see how much the morph of beauty has changed, and will continue to change. My hunch is that what you can experience is embodiment. Get to know your body as your own, not someone else. Try yoga, swimming, pilates, running, massage, dance, hiking, circus arts, whatever catches your curiosity. By building a relationship to your body in motion, in power, in simply breathing, you can go a long way to bridging the connection with the voice of your ego and your unique corporeal self. Be gentle and playful with your whole self. Exalt at the way your fingers move. Challenge the range of motion that your pelvis can attain. You have a singular opportunity to be the only person you can be: you -- and THAT is attractive to others. And go volunteer with folks who found ways to live past the limitations they experienced -- physical, mental, emotional, whatever -- compassion and inspiration can lift us out of most anything. You can do it.



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    Mar 27, 2012 3:18 PM GMT
    I do think sites like this can be potentially harmful if you don't have a strong sense of self/confidence.

    I just remind myself that the majority of the guys on here are in the minority and are not representative of your average gay man. I also don't compare myself to other people. I ain't in competition with anyone looks wise and certainly not any men on a gay fitness website LOL !

    It's also very comforting to know that people like Larkin still have body issues even after achieving so much. We are often our harshest critics.

    Besides it's just the physical.......at the end of the day it really doesn't mean that much long term. You ain't gonna be remembered for the size of your muscles that's for fucking sure.
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    Mar 27, 2012 3:27 PM GMT
    kuroshiro saidSick of the Skin I’m In
    Wanna trade? icon_wink.gif

    BTW, the "fat kid mentality" is completely normal for us ex-fatasses. Look for a coping method that allows you to continue for a while longer and you'll eventually learn to recognize and tackle these feeling when they flair up.
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    Mar 27, 2012 3:33 PM GMT
    WhoDey saidSomeone is just searching for compliments

    8b1e6f1754b85f3d_inspector-gadget.jpg
    He should also give us something for making him feel better, like post some hot private pics icon_twisted.gif
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    Mar 27, 2012 3:46 PM GMT
    Listen to the peeps here, they're all on target.

    You, like me and Paul, have former fattie syndrome but rather than being constructively dissatisfied you're taking your dissatisfaction with yourself to an even greater extreme. Moderate it.

    As many have suggested, therapy is a must. There's a deeper cause for your issues than mom's calendars or the mainstream media.

    You need to get out of your head, you are way too self absorbed for your own good. As suggested before, volunteer - it will get you out of the house and away from your parents, and give you the perspective of interacting with and helping, perhaps, people with problems which are more immediately pressing, like homelessness and being orphaned.

    You are fishing for compliments. Keep fishing - just own up to it. There's nothing wrong with that since we can all use a little validation. Plus attention-whoring on RJ is a time-tested rite of passage.
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    Mar 27, 2012 3:49 PM GMT
    eagermuscle saidListen to the peeps here, they're all on target.

    You, like me and Paul, have former fattie syndrome but rather than being constructively dissatisfied you're taking your dissatisfaction with yourself to an even greater extreme. Moderate it.

    As many have suggested, cognitive talk/behavioral therapy is a must.
    And here's another form of therapy I posted last year. It seemed to help out a bit then, and will hopefully help the OP (and others) today. icon_biggrin.gif

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1615794
  • Tritimium

    Posts: 261

    Mar 27, 2012 3:49 PM GMT
    xebec75 saidYou're gonna get a lot of replies on this thread. They're gonna tell you that you're beautiful just the way you are; that you should eat less (or more); or that you should get over yourself and not be such a pussy.

    None of it matters because you aren't listening. There is one thing that you need. It is the only thing that you need. It will solve your problem and in 6 months to year you will feel better.

    Find yourself a gay friendly licensed cognitive behavioral therapist. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the only (only!!!) proven method for making changes to your mental health. Everything else can be explained through the placebo effect. You are listening to the 'you' in your head but the 'you' in your head needs help. CBT will help revise the self-talk that is going on in your head and once that happens...your world will change.

    I promise.


    This, and also Google: "Recoveries Anonymous". Use both.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 27, 2012 3:53 PM GMT
    paulflexes said
    eagermuscle saidListen to the peeps here, they're all on target.

    You, like me and Paul, have former fattie syndrome but rather than being constructively dissatisfied you're taking your dissatisfaction with yourself to an even greater extreme. Moderate it.

    As many have suggested, cognitive talk/behavioral therapy is a must.
    And here's another form of therapy I posted last year. It seemed to help out a bit then, and will hopefully help the OP (and others) today. icon_biggrin.gif

    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/1615794


    How did I miss that thread of yours, Paul? Awesome!

    OP should read it but understand that everyone has a different somatype and response to training. I am not Paul or Alphatrigger, the four of us are not Spiritweaver. If we were all the same, what a dull world this would be.
  • xKorix

    Posts: 607

    Mar 27, 2012 3:56 PM GMT
    xebec75 said
    Find yourself a gay friendly licensed cognitive behavioral therapist. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the only (only!!!) proven method for making changes to your mental health. Everything else can be explained through the placebo effect. You are listening to the 'you' in your head but the 'you' in your head needs help. CBT will help revise the self-talk that is going on in your head and once that happens...your world will change.

    I promise.


    Don't mean to derail the thread but CBT isn't the only proven method for making changes. It totally glosses over the emotional aspect of well-being and neglects suppressed, unprocessed emotions and unprocessed trauma, basically everything that's not mental or thoughts. That seems avoidant and neglectful. As well if you think you fix everything by just look at one part of yourself while ignoring the other, I think that's a bit misinformed. It's success rates are also over-inflated. Do you know it's damn near useless with people suffering from abandonment issues? Body or Self-image issues? Basically anything emotional involving intense moods, it fails.

    Haaretz saidDon't be such a shallow cunt.

    Go volunteer at a needle exchange or a homeless shelter.

    Meet people with real problems and maybe your insipid whining will come to an end.

    Peace and blessings to you.


    Also why are people such dicks on this site? I'm pretty sure being obsessed and consumed by your body everyday as well as being ashamed and depressed by it constantly, which only seems to be getting worse and worse and painful as it goes along, IS A FUCKING REAL PROBLEM. It's affecting quality his of life and he's consistently unhappy, that's real.

    I struggle with this at times too. If I get triggered and start to feel bad about my body. What I do is I just let it happen, I just feel it. The shames there for a reason, I'm not going to avoid or disrespect, it's a part of me. I just feel it when it comes up. The pain/intensity has lessoned. I still do get triggered though but I'm able to recover/regain my balance a bit more and I'm not as consumed about how I look, I even forget about it at times. And yeah I know what it feels like to feel like you'll never get the level of attention some men get just because of their genetics and luck. But it all comes down too, we can't expect people to make us happy, no amount of attention or admiration from someone else will give us that feeling we're looking for even the guys who get all of it, it won't make anything better or make them happy or fix their lives.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 27, 2012 4:20 PM GMT
    ...
    xKorixIS A FUCKING REAL PROBLEM. It's affecting quality his of life and he's consistently unhappy, that's real...


    As a result of having been to war 4 times in ten years, I deal with depression, bipolar disorder, schitzoaffective disorder and chronic insomnia so debilitating that it prevents me from working. Additionally, I lived for months in areas that were exposed to carcinogenic smoke tha left me with a low grade leukemia for I which I am currently in treatment.

    Be aware that I know, exactly what is "A FUCKING REAL PROBLEM."

    My story is the least of them.

    Two weeks ago a friend of mine shot himself in the head over the guilt he suffered from accidentally killing a small child several years ago whilst deployed to Iraq.

    His wife and children came home to find his skull blown open and his brains splattered across their living room.

    Does that measure up to a "FUCKING REAL PROBLEM" in your book?

    So, while your "FUCKING REAL PROBLEMS" may cause you to be shy or cry a little or hate your body, there are people in this world who have seen and faced "FUCKING REAL PROBLEMS" so your whiny ass has the opportunity to be a whiny ass.
  • kuroshiro

    Posts: 786

    Mar 27, 2012 4:24 PM GMT
    I find it funny how people think that by posting a deeply-rooted issues, I'm fishing for compliments.

    Compliments do nothing for me, I do nothing but spit something back at people with a putdown or something. In a sense, with me it is a form of seeking compliments/some bizarre wanton for love, but it isn't, and I can't quite put my finger on it.

    Yes, I've been working out for three years and expected to be much further along than I have come, but all in all I don't complain that much. I can do far more than I ever did and I constantly try to push myself as far as I can (given the limited time and resources I have) but it's something that still doesn't get me to be where I want to.

    While I may be self-deprecating, when I see the guys at the gym that look the way I wish I did, it's a reverse motivator of sorts. I get that extra burst of confidence to max out a set or something.

    Maybe I just need a hot workout buddy to kick my ass or something haha.

    And while I do understand "volunteering" to put my sad perspective on things into a different viewpoint, I have. I understand there are much worse things out there going on than the superficial problem I'm facing. I've worked at soup kitchens, homeless shelters, animal rescues, special needs centers, etc. So it's not like it doesn't change anything, it just provides a temporary escape for a long-term problem.
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    Mar 27, 2012 4:33 PM GMT
    As others have said, your issue is not your physique. You are where many would like to be, but that doesn't matter because of the way you see yourself. If you have a bookstore nearby, take a look at a classic, The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale. There are many other similar books out there. Maybe a different one would appeal to you. Not saying books like these will cure all your issues, but the investment is small and they won't hurt.
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Mar 27, 2012 4:33 PM GMT
    So let's say you actually become as in shape as your physical ideal. What would be any different in your head? Would you still think the same way?