Today’s entry into my Beautiful Me Journal, concerns the consideration of time lost worrying about the things that make me feel ugly – specifically, the author of the book I’m following mentions “Consider the thing that you most obsess over with regard to your appearance…” and suggesting adding up the time we’ve spent worrying over it.
Honestly? I can’t narrow it down to just one thing, so I’ll mention a few things – and some are very sensitive.
- My weight and body shape has been a major one. Long before I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I thought I was a little bit chunky as a younger kid. Though, most of the time I was within weight standards. Granted, before I was diagnosed with diabetes, I had lost significant weight – it’s a major indication of diabetes. But, most of my teen years and younger adult years, I was in great shape. I had even built some muscle mass trying to appear more masculine and studly. But the past 20 years has seen my weight balloon out of control. So, the time I spent worrying about it? In the past 20 years, I have spent an average of 4 or 5 hours per day obsessing over it. So, that would be on the order of 1500 hours per year or around 30,000 hours. That’s scary huge…
- As I get older, my receding hairline and bald spot on my head gets bigger. I’m not sure if I obsess over it nearly as much as realizing there is nothing I can do about it. It makes me feel less attractive and I don’t want to spend much time on it either. Total time spent? Maybe 1,000 hours.
- My height. I’m 5’6″. This is relatively short for a man. I have, literally, had women turn me down for dates because I was too short. Growing up, when most of my friends were approaching 6 feet, I did not. Sometimes I was teased. I don’t think I obsessed too much over it, but it has bothered me on occasion. I would say that the time I spent on it might be about 1,000 hours over my lifetime.
- Feelings of femininity or masculinity are conflicting issues with me at different times in my life. Although, I have finally accepted that God(-dess) has made me exactly the way S/He wants me, I still have gone through some periods of time when I wondered if I were a “woman trapped in a man’s body” and being bisexual and wondering why I could be sexually attracted to men has played into this. So, often, I feel like I should be feminine with men and masculine with women. And, I have mentioned before that I have cross-dressed and although a few times I tried it, I felt pretty and feminine, I don’t look it in the least. Granted, I haven’t cross-dressed very much, so my obsession hasn’t been extreme. But, if I had to ball-park a number of hours, I would say maybe 1,000 hours over my lifetime.
- Body hair. I’ve always hated it. Truthfully, it’s one of the things that have led me to believe I can never feel/look feminine (this topic can be discussed in detail another time). Even when I have dated women, a lot of them seem a little turned off by how much body hair I have. I’ve easily obsessed over this for about half as much as I did my weight, but it has extended to my adolescence. Though, there were times, that I was “okay” with it, because I was feeling particularly masculine. But I have probably obsessed around the same number of hours as my weight – 30,000
- Okay, so I don’t think I have ever mentioned it here on this blog, but I am not well endowed for a man. Let me rephrase that slightly. I have a shorter penis than what is considered average (yes, I have done the research…both hands on and reading). As you can imagine, during anything sexual, this has been an issue with me. Although most of my sexual partners have been happy with my penis, there have been a few that took issue with my smaller penis. I’ve struggled with this too from the standpoint that I had an unhealthy infatuation with penis size, anyways, having been sexually assaulted by a man when I was a very young boy, so I have an expectation of penis sizes that aren’t always realistic (and yes, I tend to be a bit of a size queen myself). Although, no one has ever complained about how thick my penis is, a few have indicated that I’m on the shorter end. This has played into how I view myself as a man, as a lover, as some sort of prowess. It has even made me feel less manly (maybe more womanly) as a result. I can’t actually put a number on the amount of hours I’ve spent obsessed with it, but since it’s out of the bag, so-to-speak, I will enter it into my blog series on S.A.R.D. as it comes up. But my estimate on this obsession would be about 15,000 hours.
There are other things, I think, not nearly as worrying to me, but just looking at the approximately 78,000 hours (This isn’t cumulative, because some of the obsessions were mutual) I’ve spent on these areas of my body image is pretty disgusting. Granted, it’s not easy revisiting some of these matters, but I truly believe I am on to a better life and a better outlook of myself. So, I am encouraged that I will have a better appreciation of my own beauty!