Post # 1
Bees, I am trying to deal with some serious body image issues that I know are all entirely my fault but I just don’t know how to deal with it.
A year ago DH and I moved to FL away from all friends and family to a new job for DH. Soon after we moved a girl who started on the same day as him offered us to hang out with her and her long-term BF since she found out we didn’t know anyone locally (let’s call them Kate and Sam). We quickly became friends with them and some of her other friends, and since I work from home pretty much are our only friends locally. Over the past year unfortunately I myself have gained over 20 lbs working at home (never realized how dangerous it would be to work 20 feet from my home kitchen, and even though I work out the weight just kept piling on due to my lack of self control on the food). In the same time period Kate broke up with Sam which actually somewhat contributed to us hanging out with Kate a lot more.
Kate is 5’10, athletic and has what I would say is an amaizing body, with long lean legs for days, perfect toned abs, great perky boobs…basically everything I could wish for. The friends she hangs out with are all very similar to her body type, with not a single one being bigger than a size 4, while I slowly slipped from a 10 to a 12 to a 14 and nearing a 16.
Whenever we are out they are all wearing very cute sexy dresses that my short stubby legs could only dream of pulling off even in the very fittest times of my life. We almost always hang out with my husband there as well. While I can handle being the “ugly one” when she and the girl are getting looks or are flirting with guys I am starting to feel really inadequate around my husband. He never ever says anything to make me feel this way but as any man would I do catch him looking over the girls and I know I just cannot compete. Before me DHs relationships have always been with very lean girls (in fact I think nearly all were a size 0-2).
We have a pool in our house and as the weather and the water got warmer Kate has been asking to come over to hang out by the pool with DH and I which in itself is perfectly fine. The issue is entirely me. She doesn’t flirt with my husband but is a very outspoken girl who loves to tell us all about her adventures in single life, which is perfectly fine for a grown adult, the problem is this is still further contributing to my insecurity. Add to that that I am pregnant with our first child and cannot do much in the way of “working on getting a great body” and my sex drive is shot…I just feel awful(and the weight gain I talked about all happened even before we got pregnant).
Today as Kate was launging by the pool in her bikini telling us about her latest adventures and “sexcapades” including giving and getting oral sex while there I am laying in my “extra ass=cooverage” one-piece feeling like a walrus covered in cellulite. After she got up to use the bathroom and I caught DH looking up and down her as she walked away (I am sure he didn’t know I could see him), I just wanted to go inside and cry.
The truth is no one is doing anything to “make” me feel this way. Kate and her friends obviously have every right to look gorgeous and they don’t do anything explicitly to make me feel worse. My husband is just a male who frankly hasn’t been getting a lot of action lately so I cannot blame him for looking at what is in front of him (god knows I have looked over the girls myself) who has not made any comments to either make me feel bad about myself, and I don’t want to get to the point where my insecirity actually pushes away friends. I guess I am just asking if anyone has been in this situation and how they dealt with the deamons in their head.
Thanks in adance bees and please don’t attack me. I really know that this is all my own doing so I just want to learn to deal with it in a healthy way.
Post # 2
None of this is your own doing! I think what you’re feeling is totally normal. The only advice I have is that the grass is always greener… Kate may feel the impulse to talk about her single adventures because she feels a bit jealous herself of the stability you have with your husband. He married you because he loves you and thinks you’re beautiful – it’s normal to compare yourself to other women but he’s not married to them and it doesn’t sound like you have anything to worry about when it comes to trust.
Have you tried talking to him about feeling like you’re in a bit of rut? I’m sure if he knew you were feeling this way, he’d make a bigger effort to make you feel beautiful and loved. We all get a bit complacent sometimes but I would bet your husband would speak up a bit more if you knew how much a compliment here and there would mean to you! And maybe you can find active, outdoorsy things to do with your husband – it would help you feel a bit closer to him and being more active will do wonders for how you’re feeling about your body, sex drive etc. When the baby is here, you can focus on toning up and dropping pounds but until then, focus on feeling great and having one on one time with your husband.
That’s all I have in the way of helpful advice except to say: I feel you, I’ve been there. I’m an inch taller than my husband and so when I gain a few pounds in the winter, I feel like an oversized monster. We all have insecurities, but talking to your partner about them can make a world of difference!
Post # 3
I just want to give you a big hug. I have been there in the past and know those feelings.
In the past the only thing that has helped is taking steps to nurture myself and my body. Now that you are pregnant it is not the time for intense weight loss or exercise, but eating well and nourishing your body and getting in movement that makes you feel good is key.
Comparison is a dangerous thing. Remember he chose you, and you chose him.
Post # 4
Oh girl, don’t worry, I’m sure we can all totally relate. :/ My SO has a gorgeous (and I really mean gorgeous) ex, who is also an actress and was once voted “hottest Latina” in his city (not that he told me any of this. I’m just really good at googling people). I’m the complete opposite: fair-skinned, shy, definitely not a body that would win any beauty pagant. But still, we have to remember that the guys chose us! He wouldn’t be with you if he didn’t think you were beautiful. Also, I’m not sure this helps, but there are really gorgeous bathing suits out there that shape your body. Maybe wearing a very pretty one would make you feel better about yourself too (think 50’s style vintage red polka dot, for example).
Post # 5
Omg girlfriend you sound just like me!! I have always been curvier and I’ve found the last year or two I’ve gone from a size 6/8 to more like 10/12. Sometimes even a 14. I totally get what it feels like to “look over” other girls and wish you had their abs, arms, legs, etc.
It doesn’t help that my FI is completely in shape and muscular. He even has a worse diet than me!
I’m very outspoken and I’ve told my FI about how I wish I wasn’t as chubby or wish I didn’t have “my tummy” or whatever. He is encouraging and always says he’ll work out with me or motivate me. But he also says how he loves how he can grab my tummy and I have a bouncy butt. He says things about how he’s not really into skinny girls and will say how cute I am.
Sometimes, I think if we voice our concerns, we’ll find our SO actually feel the opposite. A lot of women feel like after childbirth, they’re no longer beautiful whereas a lot of men see their women as way more beautiful!
I think it’s okay to think “I could stand to lose a few pounds” or be realistic, but it’s not healthy to obsess and compare.
I highly recommend yoga. I had a so-so body image but after regularly doing yoga, I realized how much my body was capable of and made me feel strong
Feel free to Pm me if you want to talk too
Post # 6
bzbride2277 : Girl, I think we have all been there at one stage or another, and I think overall you have taken a pretty healthy approach to the situation.
Firstly, I do not think it’s okay for your husband to be “looking” at the other women up and down, regardless of whether he thinks you can see or not. Not just for your sake, but out of respect for your mutual friends and I’m typically pretty laid back about that sort of stuff. I would definitely be bringing that up to him as it can’t be helping your self esteem.
The second thing I would be doing, is if you are unhappy with the way you look, then start setting goals to change it! Obviously being pregnant, you will need to consult with your doctor first, but I would start off with making little goals and sticking to them. Things such as walking thirty minutes per day, or arranging a healthy eating meal plan for breakfasts and lunches. Remove junk food/uneccessary food from the house so you aren’t eating it during the day. My FSIL lost a bit of weight over her pregnancy, so she started out overweight and was a healthy weight at 8 months pregnant, and that was purely from the healthy eating and excercising changes she made to be healthier for bubs. You can totally do it if you want to.
Post # 7
bzbride2277 : I do think you should talk to your husband. These thoughts are just stewing in your brain, all alone. Maybe he can help you feel a bit better about yourself.
A previous Bee is right: you can start eating well and exercising now, even though you’re pregnant. Get the ball rolling. Losing weight is not easy, but if you change your lifestyle and the habits that are causing the weight gain, you can get there.
I have a story that shows the other side, maybe even your husband’s perspective. I have a friend who is gorgeous, like a 9/10. When she walks in a room, people turn and look. Her husband is like a 4/10. He has some extra lbs, is balding, happy teeth, puffy under eyes etc. Not a great looking man to me, but to her, he is. She loves him and sees his good qualities that an outsider doesn’t notice. She can appreciate a good looking man like we all do, but she wouldn’t trade a model for the man she loves.
Post # 8
I agree with the others. I think almost every single one of us has felt this way before, regardless of what we look like. It’s normal to compare yourself to others, but remember that your husband picked you, he’s with you because he loves you and thinks you’re beautiful. And even though you’re pregnant you can try light workouts like walking or swimming, and you can change your nutrition. When I felt bad about my body in the past, just changing my eating habits already helped to feel better about myself. Also, I agree that you should talk to your husband about this. I’m sure he’ll make you feel better.
Post # 9
I have been fat my whole life, and I had friends who had the conventionally attractive bodies. But one night, one of my incredibly beautiful friends said to me “I’m so jealous you’re the sexy one. You just exude confidence”. My weight has never hindered me from being beautiful and sexy, and your weight isn’t hindering you either, you just need your confidence back. I am going to echo what a PP said about yoga-do it. It’s not that my body is slim and toned (though again, that’s not what makes me beautiful), but doing yoga makes me feel in control, and I have a better relationship with my body.
Post # 10
Of course it’s normal to go through periods feeling like this, however it’s important to keep yourself in check and work on feeling better about yourself or you run the risk of taking this out on your friend or your husband.
Post # 11
I think PP offered some great tips, but I will add as someone who still has major body insecurities that being pregnant was SO hard for me. I was so hard on myself, and the way I looked, and I killed a lot of the joy around that time for myself by feeling that way. I wouldn’t let anyone even take pictures of me at my baby shower for crying out loud. The sad part is I know that I did that, but if I got pregnant again I also know I would probably do the same thing all over again.
I will say that one thing I did during pregnancy that DID help me feel a bit better (even temporarily) was prenatal yoga. Normally I am not into yoga, and normally I find it pretty hokey….but the particular class I took focused a lot on meditation and mantras, and they helped me to feel really conncected to my body, and actually PROUD of what it was doing: YOU ARE MAKING A PERSON. That is fucking AMAZING! Your body is AMAZING! Try to remember that it can do something amazing even with “stubby legs”, or “cellulite”.
Post # 12
It’s easy to be hot when you’re single. You only gotta do you. You’re beautiful and perfect just the way you are. You’re making a human! I know is easy to compare one body to another, but remember that youth and beauty are fleeting and you’re gorgeous too.
Post # 13
bzbride2277 : Ooooh girl, I feel like I could have written this post myself. I struggle with my weight. I have PCOS and hypothyroidism, but let’s be real–I have never met a family sized pizza I didn’t not want to eat by myself, ya know? I am busting my ass to get back in shape, but there are days I seriously feel like a beached whale. The past couple of weeks in particular, I have just felt…large. Gross. Like I want to lay in the water of our pool like the walrus I am. DH, like many guys, has a gander from time to time at women. I have *always* been pretty chill about it, because I could rationalize it. I see people I think are attractive and I’ve been guilty of eyeing someone up I thought was pretty cute and nothing ever comes of it.
However, there are times when I just feel disgusting and it doesn’t help that most of my friends are gorgeous. What I keep reminding myself is this: DH married *me.* Not because he had to, not because he felt bad, but because he loves me. And he married me AFTER the weight gain. After our PCOS diagnosis. After we were told we may not be able to have our own biological children. After I gained nearly sixty pounds. He married me anyways, because he loves me. I mean, sure, our goal is to get me down to a healthy weight again. Not for looks, but just to make sure I am at my healthiest if we do conceive.
Now, I’d go ahead and wager that your husband is the same way. That he would have married you with those extra twenty pounds or not. And you know what, I’m not going to say, “Girl, do NOT feel inferior or less than or blah blah blah” because when you’re feeling down in the dumps, it’s so hard to rationalize things and pull yourself out. What I would suggest is talking to your husband about how you’ve been feeling lately. Place no blame anywhere, just tell him that you’ve been feeling self-conscious. I’m sure he’d be happy to tell you otherwise.
Post # 14
I just want to say that I am a “thinner” girl who usually wears a size 4, but I have HUGE insecurities about my body and the way I look. I won’t even wear a swim suit in public.
But to me, one of the MOST attractive women that I know is probably about a size 20+. She is absolutely beautiful to me because she is so confident in herself and who she is. She dresses well for her body and doesn’t give a damn what people think.
My point is… size doesn’t matter. Your husband married you because he loves you and thinks you are beautiful just the way you are.
Everyone has insecurities about SOMETHING. You just have to remember that you are your own worst critic and people are not judging you the way you judge yourself. My biggest insecurity is that I have bigger legs compared to the rest of my body. I never voiced that to my FI, but one day I was wearing a skirt and he told me I had sexy legs! I couldn’t believe it!
Post # 15
I’m slim, but if I were in your shoes I’d feel the exact same way. I really think this has less to do with you and your body image issues (tho of course that’s an added factor) and more to do with you and your husband hanging out with single women who hang out at your house in bikinis and talk about sex while your husband looks them up and down — who WOULDN’T feel uncomfortable in that situation? I would not love to be in that situation if I were you, and while I’m comfortable talking about sex with my girlfriends, it’s hard for me to imagine thinking that was appropriate to talk about in front of any of their husbands. It does make me wonder whether she’s enjoying some male attention from him (however innocent) while she’s single. While I wouldn’t stop hanging out with Kate if she’s been a good friend to you both, I do wonder if you could set some boundaries. It’s not cool for your husband to be looking anyone up and down, and it’s also, IMO, inappropriate for a single woman to be describing her sexlife in detail to a married man.
In addition to the advice you’ve already received about beginning to build healthy eating and exercise habits while you’re pregnant, I also think it might be time to expand your (and your husband’s) social circle. Can you join some Meetup groups, or sign up for pregnancy classes or something? This would be a good time to start meeting other prospective moms, too. Also: just because your sex drive is lower now doesn’t mean you have to neglect your husband — try to make effort to have sex or do sexy activities together more regularly. You might be pleasantly surprised that even though you don’t crave it you get into it quickly, and it could help you feel more attractive and wanted.