Body Dysmorphia

Let’s just get this straight up front – I’m not griping. I’ve lost a ton of weight! But a couple things happened this week that pushed back on my ability to see the loss instead of the disfigurement.

We all have a little body dysmorphia, some are just worse than others. I have never been happy with my body. Scars from many years of surgery and most of my adult life spent obese, it’s a bit hard to see the rewards of major weight loss, but I have been focusing on the weight loss rather than the dysmorphia.

I started at 214 pounds pre-Mexico. Since 2013 I have swung between 185 (lowest weight in 2015 with blood clots) and 225 (highest weight in 2013 before deciding to divorce) and normally stick right around a range of 195-205 pounds. At 5’8″ the higher range is too heavy for me. I don’t look good and I don’t feel good. My eyes get small from too full a face and I can’t bend over or cross my legs. I know how to diet and lose weight but the problem was maintaining a weight loss once I achieved it. Over a period of 4+ years (where I logged weight very consistently) I had a 20-30 pound swing up and down every year. It was uncontrollable and unhealthy.

I’ve always said my weight is like and elevator, always up and down and never stationary for long.

My target for personal weight loss was always to achieve a stable 170 pounds. Never got there for all the years of trying post my mother’s death. For surgical weight loss my target was a firm 150 pounds with a potential for 140 depending how I looked at 150.

One of my closest friends just told me my face was too skinny and I need to put weight back on in my face (can your even do that? Is that a thing?). My sister in law saw my scars and screamed out loud that I need to hide those away as they were scary and she was sorry I was gonna frighten anyone away with those when I start to have sex again. Those were not the only comments, just the worst ones.

At first I wanted to smack them both – after all I’ve been through and they know I’m an emotional wreck, they make negative body comments. I know they mean well. But, really?

Then another thing happened, as I was exercising I looked down the front of my shirt and couldn’t believe the ugliness of the excess skin hanging weirdly from my middle. This prompted me to get undressed and look at myself in the mirror – naked is very, very tough now. But I hadn’t been paying enough attention until right now. My skin hangs everywhere. I even got into some “positions” or angles a man would see my from if we were having sex, and I was horrified. I didn’t realize the way the skin was hanging in my midsection. Then my boobs and ass….they just lost all their luscious, round curves and hang flat. My poor ass has terrible cellulite. Compound some seriously ugly scars to this loose skin and it is, actually, frightening. Then I get upset and wonder who will take me as I am without grimacing?

I look really good in clothes. I feel better with more narrow hips and legs. I sit easily and cross my legs with no problem. I’m no longer out of breath for no reason. I went from an XXL to a Medium in most things. Overall, my confidence is raised because I look very close to the way I want to when I’m dressed. It’s the naked part that just hit me hard over the head.

I always weigh and measure on the 20th of the month, so today was a weigh in day. I weighed 152 today. A total of 62 pounds gone.

This month I dropped 1.5-2 pounds. My weight loss from surgery pretty much slowed in Jan/Feb so, while I was hoping to hit my goal in March, it doesn’t seem like I could drop those last 2 pounds this month. I will be damned I don’t get under 150 and stay there a bit. Not when I’m this close to my adult goal weight.

So I am *so close* to my goal I can taste it. I dropped to 149 pounds for my colonoscopy and it was a little thrill! Now that I’m on liquids again for a week, maybe I will drop it this week. I’m going to get there. BUT, now I’m looking at my wasted body and getting upset. I’m trying not to. I don’t know if the loose skin would bother me quite as much if I didn’t have such massive scars (partially which hold my stomach skin by adhesion to the muscle underneath so it’s a very weird look).

I am trying to remain body positive. Having to reveal myself during sex is going to be tough, much tougher than anticipated. I also realize that I’ve been actively disengaging from the dating scene because I’m getting in a funk over being sick (or even being down and out for a few days the last couple weeks) and not wanting to explain my medical marvel of a history to anyone.

Girl Code 2

As it turns out, I knew a LOT about this man and my friend. They had dated on and off for years. She wanted him to be the one. She’s still not over him. Believe me, when you know a friend for a long time and the primary conversations you share are about dating, it takes a bit of time to start adding up just how much I knew.

I remember how she fell for him. I remember all the great sex and laughter. I remember how she could never understand why he didn’t commit. I remember when she was surprised to find out he had been dating other women (clear denial there on her part). And I remember when he finally said he wanted to give it a try and he exclusive and she took that a step further and started talking about blending families. When a non-committal man finally moves into the first stage of commitment, that’s a big step. But she wanted it ALL from him. He wasn’t ready or invested in taking their relationship that far.

I surmised along the way she was pushing him, like I said I know her M.O. He really is a prize in all seriousness. I can see why he liked this friend as well as why he didn’t commit to this woman.

The bottom line is he owed her nothing, but did I?

I had to think about the girl code. It’s not right to date someone’s ex unless that someone gives you license to do so. If one of my friends dated Tony I would be out of my mind with jealousy – particularly when I’m not over him.

All these thoughts went through my mind once I identified who he definitely was…and I had to pause. Do I rush off phone, do I chat some more, what even seems right at this moment? The brain works super fast and it takes longer to write these thoughts than think them.

We ended up speaking a bit more and I had to excuse myself.

As I stood up, fast, I walloped my head on a low hanging corner of our basement ceiling and I saw stars and tweetie birds and fell right the hell back down on my ass. Holy mother of God that hurt. I actually winced from pain when I touched it. I think I concussed myself as I was not hungry and nauseous the rest of the evening.

I took it as a clear sign – danger Will Robinson! Do NOT proceed.

I didn’t think of him again that evening. I passed out in pain by 9pm. Luckily, no real damage and I had a good nights sleep and woke with a nice fat raspberry on my head. Doh!

He had text last night and again early this morning. He wanted to meet me. We flirted a bit more.

I had an appt today and we had snow so I was relatively haphazard with my replies and not especially engaged. He sent photos of all his BDSM toys. He told me my friend never knew that side of him and we had covered more ground in our first conversations that they had in years. We made an agreement at that point never to discuss this with the friend. Ever.

First lie.

It was starting to feel all wrong. Not just because of my friend (mostly, though) but because he wasn’t right for me. This friend is not a top 10 friend, which is why I pause at all. We have a commonality and have known each other through our x husbands (the x husbands are best friends, so I’ve known her 24 years or so). I didn’t like her until we were both post divorce and found our own friendship in the last 2 years or so. She’s a good going out friend.

In other words, do I like her enough to care what she thinks of this guy turned out to be “the” guy for me?

There’s no way of knowing so soon. He definitely has me on a hook. I’m interested.

And when I thought about how I would feel if the tables are turned, I realized I probably couldn’t do it. I’ve done enough crap to generate bad karma lately and I don’t need to make more bad karma come my way.

I can’t decide if I tell him on the phone or in text, but I didn’t get to it yet. Either way, no matter how interesting and exciting I find him, he needs to be out in the rear view.

I better get to it before I give in to meeting him. Every step forward is a step in the wrong direction. The problem here is that the people I’ve told know I don’t truly “care” about this friend. She’s a fun social friend. So everyone is on the fence to say “why not?”

Hopefully today brings me the right energy to just text and say thanks but no thanks. I don’t know this man and it doesn’t matter. I’m making a whole story in my head over thing and it’s a skill I’ve refined that needs to stop.

Girl Code

So my dating hiatus was up, I turned back on the apps and met someone cool pretty quickly.

We hit it off on the app, moved to text and the banter was flying. We agreed to a chat the next day.

He called me on the phone and we were off to the races. The conversation never slowed and my heart was racing….but this was primarily because he was SO high energy. Honestly, I started to think after the first hour of conversation I wouldn’t be able to keep up with him!

First of all, he was just about perfect on paper…but as he described himself and his life I can easily see how women would swoon over him.

He was a Dom in a previous period in his life. Before he even told me that, I knew. All the cues and signals were there. If you’re looking to be a sub, you would be thrilled with this guy. In my opinion, he knew his stuff. Thanks to the WordPress Community, I have read and learned enough about D/s relationships to understand what he was saying on a deeper level. He was clearly aware this type of history could scare a woman away so was careful in his wording, but I saw it for what it was.

A sort of strange thing happened – I felt myself disengaging from the conversation – I had been very interested in him, but knew I no longer sought a D/s relationship (had my experiences with that, took what I needed and moved on!). I didn’t feel he was trying to convince me, or even think that’s what he was looking for, but I need to be clear I wasn’t interested in the whole dynamic (he was explaining himself too much) so I interjected “I’m not the sub for you” with a short explanation….thinking , ok that’s the end of this guy….and actually got back a laugh!

That caught me off guard. But what caught me even more was his subsequent description of what I was really looking for in a dominant man. He hit my own description of myself on the head. I really wondered if he read my blog?! He totally gets what I needed from a relationship based on motherhood/work/previous relationships and I was floored. That was a first. Even Tony never understood what I meant by “dominant” even though he acted that way in relationship. “Take charge” could be more apropos but I have always used dominant because, somewhere in there, I like some of the kink that comes with D/s sexual play.

Once I said that the conversation took off (totally unexpected, thought I killed it for sure). At this point I looked at my phone because my ear pods died and realized we had been on the phone 1.5 hours. These long phone conversations are an investment on my part – I’ve done a few of them now and I love learning about people and it makes me eager for the date – but none have come to fruition. The thought occurred to me I may need to change this.

He kept talking. He’s a VERY high-powered and well-known executive. He’s super wealthy. Highly intelligent. Does the TED talks circuit. I was truly impressed with this man. Like, I want to meet you just to listen to you because I can probably learn soooo much from you.

But could I date you?

Interspersed with my thinking I’m not good enough to keep up with this guy, the jokes and laughter kept coming, interesting topics kept arising and we continued to speak. I did want to meet him but felt like I was never going to get over “I’m not good enough” coupled with “I can’t keep up”. He didn’t seem to think that – he kept telling me he liked our conversation and couldn’t believe how quickly time passed and how engaged he was. I felt, honestly, graced by the comment. “You like me? You really, really like me?”

Wow. Talk about inner turmoil.

And then, a funny thing happened on the way to planning the date, I mentioned a local friend. I described her as living close, similar age, two kids and divorced and owns her own business. He asked if it was a specific business in a specific town. Then he asked if I knew my friend by name.

Oh shit.

You’re THAT GUY.

You’re the guy this friend of mine has been desperately in love with for years. NOW I KNOW WHY. knowing this friend as I do, knowing her M.O. and personality, OMG, no wonder she’s held out for YOU – you were the cherry on top of her life and there was no way she was letting you slip away (for some of all the wrong reasons).

I felt the dawn of realization start in my brain like a physical sensation as all those thoughts raced through in millisecond succession. Then it went down my throat and landed in my stomach like a bad burritos needing to work its way back up and out.

But I liked you so much.

The phone had gone silent for what seemed like a minute as all this processed.

I blurted out loud “YOU’RE THAT GUY” (Actually his name, but not adding that in this post)

He didn’t even know what to say and that’s something considering the rapid pace at which he had been speaking.

We went through a couple of “wows” and talked about it a bit. He explained from his end, and his explanation matched what she told me, albeit through a different filter, and a filter that made much more sense to me knowing how she responds to situations. I’m not sure if ever perceived himself at being her “prize” but he wasn’t ready to build a life with her which is what she so desperately wanted from him.

To be continued….