Why are we so scared too….

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fat-guy-on-the-beachI tell the truth here.  I am afraid to take my shirt off in public whether I am around guys or girls or kids or adults.  It does not matter where it is or what I am doing.  I avoiding swimming for years and hot tubs with my wife too, just because I was scared to take off my shirt and let the world see my round globe of a belly.  I honestly don't know what it is such a big deal to me. In fact, I hate the fact that it bothers me because why should I even care what other people think and they probably aren't even thinking about anythin most of the time.

I have lost my weight and it does not make a difference on this subject.  Now I don't want people seeing the loose skin and dang stretch marks.  I bet even if I got a tummy tuck I would feel the same way.  What is that?  What do you guys think?  Do you have a problem with public awarness of your body.  Bikini, bathing suit, tank tops, etc.  You know what I mean.  I want to hear from all of you whay your take is on this?

45 Responses to “Why are we so scared too….”

  1. March 19, 2009 at 4:32 am

    Yep, I can relate. I think most of us struggle with body image issues. We see the models with the perfect bodies, and know we can’t measure up. But, does anyone really expect us to? No. But, we espect it of ourselves for some insane reason.

    I have no answers for this. I know I feel comfortable at times no matter how little clothing I am wearing (running in the summer, for example). And other times, I just don’t (at the beach in a bathing suit).

    I know I don’t judge other people by their size and shape. Why do I judge myself?

    • 2 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 4:36 am

      It’s weird isn’t it Linda. I could care less how someone looks at the pool in the bathing suit, but if I am there I almost can’t stop wondering what I look like or what others “think” I look like.

  2. March 19, 2009 at 5:04 am

    No you are not alone… no matter what I am doing I feel the same way. I wont ever wear a bikini as my stomach reminds me of the heads of the aliens from that old show Alien Nation! When I was pregnant my stomach only needed some eyes.. Yikes!
    However, even when exercising, out running or whatever, my shorts have to be a certain length. I have lose skin and flab on them and I would rather be hot than expose them. It is hard to find fitness shorts that are longer, but alas I will not buy anything that isn’t longer.
    I dont think that any amount of surgery will fix that feeling, I still haven’t gotten ‘out of the fat girl’ so to speak.
    One thing I wont do is let it stop me from trying things… I have my list and one by one, I am checking off all the things I couldn’t do then that I can know, the things all have dates of when I accomplished them… The first was being able to cross my legs. How funny, we can take advantage of such small things, I feel so grateful that I can appreciate those small things.

    • 4 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 5:30 am

      Carrie, although I am a guy and probably cross me legs differently than you do, I still found it great to be able to do it.. Great comment

  3. 5 Kim
    March 19, 2009 at 5:19 am

    hmmmm…as I think about this I am realizing that I used to be super self conscious aALL the time. But now, in the last couple of years as I have learned to accept myself more and really come to fully accept the unconditional love of my friends, I am only self conscious if I am around new people or in a crowded place, like a beach. I could hang out at my friends pool (all men live there) and not think twice about it because I know they don’t think anything of my size. But take me to a beach and I freeze up!

    • 6 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 5:31 am

      Kim, I am almost the opposite. i have a harder time doing it in front of family and my wifes family. Strangers I don’t care about as much if that makes any sense

  4. 7 RobFitness
    March 19, 2009 at 5:35 am

    For some reason when I go to the gym in my thong and sports bra it doesn’t matter. I don’t think it matters to others either because when I get there for some reason I guess people have to go to work because the place clears out and I have the whole gym to myself. I really don’t think it’s me and my outfit. 🙂 Just kidding there thought I’d try to add some humor to the start of my day. Because me in a thong and a sports bra, is not a pretty picture.
    For some reason when I am at the gym pool or locker room it’s doesn’t bother me when I run around shirtless cause for me we are all in the same boat there, trying to get fit and healthy. Now if I am out in public or around friends and family for some reason it’s then that it matters to me cause I won’t allow others to see me. I guess it’s because I feel that they’ll judge me for some reason. Even though I have never judged them. My father is the hardest on me and always making comments about how much you weigh now and all the other interrogations that he subjects me too. So I don’t add fuel to the fire by going shirtless.

    • 8 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 5:43 am

      My dad always talked about me losing weight and being healthy too. I hated it and it made me feel really bad. I knew he was right of course, I knew I should lose weight but I just didn’t need to be reminded of it. It was already really obvious to me. I figure nobody has to remind over weight people that they are over weight. We all know it for we look at it with disgust everyday for the most part. I am the same way at the gym. I am pretty comfortable in the locker room. Don’t like to show off the junk or anything but I am generally comfortable there. I am similar to you in this respect.

  5. March 19, 2009 at 5:36 am

    Part of it is weight. Another part of it is intimacy. For me, I see nakedness even seminakedness as a part of intimacy. I don’t like the idea of showing a lot of skin to people who are not my husband. And I’m not married at this time, so it’s not even a matter of being discrete for my husband’s sake. For me at least.

    I hope this makes sense? It’s still early and my thoughts are foggy this morning.


    • 10 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 5:44 am

      It does make very good sense Amy and I agree with you whole heartedly. I am big on modesty in the area you are talking about and I think it is a great way to go. Save it all for your husband. Way to go

  6. 11 Cheryl
    March 19, 2009 at 5:45 am

    I hear you Jason. Even after I had my tummy tuck, there was no way I would go out in just a bathing suit top or jog bra. I still had a little loose skin on my arms but I was most afraid of people seeing my stretch marks. Even though they are well faded, there are a lot of them. I definetly wore tighter shirts though. I would not wear a bathing suit because of the loose skin on my legs. It’s funny what the mind will do to a person. Be proud of your acomplishments! We are always our own worst critic.

    • 12 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 5:48 am

      Cheryl- Ooooooh the dang stretch marks. I hate those things. I think I might be more uncomfortable with those than I am with my loose skin. It is like the are the stigma that means I am fat or something.

  7. March 19, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Doesn’t everyone…even trainer types…have stretch marks, flabby skin and cellulite? I think so. Of course we’re likely to have more than they do because of how badly our bodies were abused.

    Several years ago, I fell down a mountain while hiking. I had to have multiple surgeries on my ankle. Prior to that, I fell during basketball practice and had to have a couple of surgeries to fix my foot. (and people wonder why I have an aversion to anything athletic!!LOL) I have so many ugly visible scars from those injuries and was embarrassed by them for a long time. I wouldn’t wear shorts, capris, dresses, sandles, flipflops, etc… Until a friend told me “Scars show you’ve been hurt, but they also show you’ve been healed”. It’s the same way with our stretch marks and flabby skin. It shows we’ve been hurt, but it also shows that we’ve been healed. We should take more pride knowing that we did the healing ourselves…not some fancy surgeon. (though I do have to thank my Dr’s for helping me to continue to walk)

    • 14 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 6:28 am

      Wow Amy. Sounds like some rough instances there. Glad you are up and running though. That is good. You have been healed. 🙂

  8. 15 RobFitness
    March 19, 2009 at 7:17 am

    I guess I am a bit lucky as far as stretch marks. OH, I have them but I also have a little bit of belly hair that hides the majority of them so there not as visible. Also which I don’t understand is that mine are fading away a bit as well, especially in my upper arms. I guess my major concern is and will be to come is the loose skin. I think I’ll have more trouble dealing with that. I love it that we have this forum were we can be so open and honest about what our insecurities are and what we fear as well. Thanks a bunch my friend.

    • 16 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 7:20 am

      I am not a hairy guy at all. Guess it runs in my family because my dad and bro aren’t as well. i also love the fact that we can all share this crazy and embarrasing stuff too.

  9. 17 RobFitness
    March 19, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Well I am not as hairy as a grizzly bear (HA HA HE HE) but enough to hide the little imperfections. You are so blessed dude.

    • 18 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 8:26 am

      I have always liked the fact that I don’t have much hair. Although my facial hairseems to grow like crazy now.

  10. 19 maggieapril
    March 19, 2009 at 8:23 am

    I am all for keeping covered up. Some people are a little too anxious to show skin, if you know what I mean! (Shorts are good. Speedos are not necessary if you’re not in a competition.)

    RobFitness, LOL, you had me scared there for a minute!!

  11. March 19, 2009 at 9:00 am

    I think I’m more self-conscious about this now than I was at my heaviest, oddly enough. I can cover up the torso, but oh my goodness, my poor inner thighs! Loose skin city. But whatever my size, I was never much of a lounge-by-the-pool person. I’d much rather be swimming. (Oh, and with kids who love to swim, I’ve got to be in the water.)

  12. 23 RobFitness
    March 19, 2009 at 9:08 am

    Hope my change of title is not confusing you 🙂 Trying to see what will fit on my line on the home page. The original title is one my trainer decide on and since this blog is about me and is mine , I thought a new name would be better to reflect me, not him. If you have any ideas I am open to them. At the end of today I am going to create a poll of my favorites and let the people decide.
    I am feeling a bit better and you are so lucky not to have allergies. You know I didn’t have any allergies until I moved to Las Vegas.

    • 24 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 9:11 am

      It’s funny Rob. I really liked the one that was up when I went there but for the life of me I cannot recall what the heck it said. It was a great on though. Powerful, real, and inspirational.

  13. 25 RobFitness
    March 19, 2009 at 9:16 am

    I’ll e-mail you list I have started and let me know what you think. If that’s Ok.
    by the way the picture on this post.. How did you get that picture of me. I thought I had erased all pictures of my previous life 🙂

  14. March 19, 2009 at 9:55 am

    I am almost halfway through my WL but still pushing 300lbs. I have to go to an indoor waterpark in a few weeks. with the kidlets. I am terrified of taking off my shirt. I haven’t in public, or very much in private for that matter, in years. I agree that it isn’t just a matter of WL but self acceptance. Wish me luck

    • 28 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 10:13 am

      Good luck Carlos. Oh man do I remember a couple of waterpark and lake experiences. I love waterparks but have never really enjoyed myself due to the simple fact that my shirt was either off and I was embarrased or I was embarrased because I left it on and nobody else did.

    • 29 Steve
      July 29, 2009 at 10:14 am

      I know this is a late post, but I might as well chime in. I’ve always been big and although going from 310 or so down to just about 200, I’m back to just under 250. I’ve never been comfortable w/o my shirt on and I don’t even think I did so much when at my lowest. Recently I went to a waterpark and decided to tough it out and go shirtless. The best thing you can do, though, is spot someone who’s bigger than you without a shirt and you can tell yourself, hey, I’m not the biggest one here. Chances are you’ll find someone!

      This is a great blog site, by the way, and you’re very inspiring. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to achieve what you have. I love to run, but have backed away while bigger. This week I’ve been back in the gym and once my foot’s better for an injury last week, I’ll be back on the trail!

    • 30 run4change
      July 29, 2009 at 11:13 am

      I feel ya Steve. Thanks for the comment.

  15. 31 teresa
    March 19, 2009 at 10:16 am

    I’m a lot less hung up about this than I used to be. I didn’t even own a swim suit for a decade. However, since I’ve been actively trying to lose weight and swimming has been a part of my training, I’m pretty comfortable with going to a public pool to train — or even just to play. I’ve found that my comfort level and confidence seems to set the tone (or maybe it just improves my attitude). I think the biggest hurdle that got me from being so extremely overly concerned to the point where I am now is that I participated in Weight loss challenges at my gym (starting the 5th one in a few weeks–so excited!) and as part of that we do before and after photos in workout clothes (posted on the competition internet site) and in swim suits (just for the competition administrators so they can tell that we aren’t wearing any weighted clothing to start the challenge). After having to do that once, I decided it just didn’t matter.

    • 32 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 10:19 am

      Teresa, that is kind of like how I had to overcome the fear of speaking in public. they just threw me up in front of 5000 people and what can you do. HAHAHAHA I guess that is like what you went through, just thrown into your swim suit and bam, cameras, people, etc.

  16. 33 teresa
    March 19, 2009 at 1:44 pm

    🙂 Yes! That’s it. Now, if I could just overcome my fear of speaking in public. Every time I have to talk in church I get sick! Do you speak in public a lot?

  17. 35 teresa
    March 19, 2009 at 1:45 pm

    HAHAHAH. I just had a thought — next time I have to speak in public I should do it in my swim suit. I’d be too worried about the clothing to worry about the speaking, Then when I have to do it after that, it won’t seem all that bad in just regular clothes.

  18. March 19, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    I feel the same way you do. There have been many times this past winter I have passed on a hot tub with my husband or family because I didn’t want to be in a swimsuit. It makes me sad. A lot of it has to do with how I’ve been eating, how I’m feeling about myself…if I’ve been working out hard and eating well, I’ll of course feel more comfortable. If I haven’t, well, even if I don’t LOOK different, I still shy away from doing it. So I guess it’s more about how comfortable I am feeling with myself.

    I would absolutely love to have the confidence to be able to workout or go for a run in a sports bra and shorts on hot summer days. Don’t know if I will ever make it to that point or not, but I’m so envious of the people that are able to do that with ease!

    • 38 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 2:40 pm

      Yeah, I have always thought running without a shirt on would be kinda cool and manly but don’t have the never or the body for it. I too have had fears of going hot tubbing with family and friends and always said noway. I love to hot tub too.

  19. 39 ChrisDude
    March 19, 2009 at 4:30 pm

    I just started reading your awesome blog and this post forced me out of lurking!! I have always (and still do) have trouble taking my shirt off in public. I just joined the local Y (my school gym isn’t that great) and I want to use the pool in the morning to do laps. Of course this requires me to be shirtless and I haven’t made the plunge yet. I keep telling myself that no one really cares what I look like, but in the end the shirt stays on. I have a very loving girlfriend who doesn’t care how I look, but wants me to be around for a long time. So I don’t quite understand my preoccupation with everyone else!? We went on vacation with my family this summer and at the beach I had a hard time just walking around shirtless. I guess I was embarrassed of myself and for my girlfriend, yet she could have cared less. I’ve lost 20 lbs so far on WW (250lbs currently) and continue to work hard at it. (I’m 23 by the way) I’m slowly getting out of the body hating mind set, but it is one of the most challenging things in my life. It was great to reader other responses and it made me feel better not to be alone! Keep up the great work!

    • 40 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 5:42 pm

      Chrisdude- What a totally awesome comment. i hope you stay out of lurking mode because your comment is so relatable to all of us. Thanks for coming out so to speak. I so get what you are saying. As I read the comment about walking shirtless on the beach I could actually like feel the feeling that I would have if I had to walk the beach like that. Great job on your weight loss on WW. Keep it going dude and come on back and get into the conversation with us. You rock

  20. 41 donna
    March 19, 2009 at 5:55 pm

    Jason,you are just like most of us in this life who are losing or have already lost what we need to lose,your brain is telling you that you are still that overweight guy you use to be,but of course youre not,but you will probably always think you are.I say get your tummy tuck and be proud and run up and down the road without your shirt and believe that you have made it to the final finish line.

    • 42 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 6:00 pm

      Think I am going to do it Donna. Maybe this October after the Portland Marathon. And of course there will be full pictorials of it too

  21. 43 Shannon
    March 19, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    Ok so I have read this post twice now and have to put in my comment! ha ha What a timely post for me as I had to go buy a new swimsuit! I have to date lost 86 pounds and met my goal, however I think I would like to lose 15 more…we will see! I know how you all feel about the loose skin issue!! I too, buy the longer shorts for the inner thigh, and never wear a jog bra only. I can blame most of the stretch marks on child birth…but carring around the extra pounds did add too it! It goes back to that “fat mind” in a thinner body! We will all get through this with the help of each other. It does help to have a place (thank you Jason!) to share our thoughts! I too, say Jason go for the tummy tuck! I think I am going to in a year or so. I can’t wait to see your results!! By the way, I think I am signing up for the Portland Marathon….

    • 44 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 7:50 pm

      Sweet Shannon. Let me know for sure. I can tell you all about the logistics and stuff. It will make you more comfortable with the whole thing. We can possibly meet in the throngs of people too. 🙂

    • 45 run4change
      March 19, 2009 at 7:51 pm

      Oh, yeah. Shannon, Beth I think is going to do it too.

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