For as long as I can remember, I have hated my arms. My upper arms in particular. I have always felt that they were disproportionate to the rest of my body. Even when I was at my smallest (which still wasn’t small to anyone else but me), my arms were large. I sometimes had to buy shirts a size larger just so my arms would fit in the armholes! How crazy is that?? I pretty much avoided wearing anything sleeveless, even when it was 100 degrees outside with 100% humidity, such was my insecurity. I always felt self-conscious if I was wearing a bathing suit (well, I was self-conscious about that for a NUMBER of reasons) or a bridesmaid dress that was sleeveless. I sometimes couldn’t even enjoy myself because I was thinking about how big and flabby my arms must look. I imagined everyone staring at them and being grossed out by how huge and fat they were. In truth, I probably imagined them to be larger than they actually were, but I do believe that for whatever reason they are abnormally large.
Now that I’ve lost 70+ pounds, you’d think that I’d be comfortable with my arms, right? Nope, not so much. I have several cute, sleeveless tops (one is a size LARGE!) in my closet that I haven’t worn because I am afraid of what people will think. I still feel like my arms are too flabby and unbecoming to force other people to see. I have worn some tank tops while working out because running in the heat is much more bearable that way, but the whole time I’m wearing that sleeveless shirt, I’m wondering what people would think if they saw my flabby arms. Honestly, how vain am I? Does anyone even care what I am wearing, much less what my arms look like? It’s not like I surround myself with shallow, cruel people who would point out my horrible arms even if they did think they looked disgusting. And it’s not like I’d even want to be friends with someone who judges me based on my appearance or clothing attire. Yet I am still hung up on this.
I’ve decided that the best approach would be full immersion. I’m going to pledge to you, all 4 of my dear readers, that I will wear one of those aforementioned sleeveless tops out in public this week and in a situation other than exercising. And I will do my best not to obsess about what everyone else must think of my arms. I realize that this fear of bare arms and the accompanying criticism is irrational and silly and vain, and I need to get over it, so surely the best way to do this is to grin and bare ’em, right? 🙂
What irrational fears do you have? Any body parts you need to learn to love?