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#53308 - 03/13/03 02:10 PM Self Image & Respect
Mike Church Offline
Moderator Emeritus
Registered: 01/23/03
Posts: 3439
Loc: Toronto, Canada
I thought I would share something with everyone. It happened last night at the Fitness Club I joined on January 3 last.

I remeber telling everyone that the only thing that was truly my creation when I was a teenager was the body that I had created and that I was very proud of it. I think that it played a prominant part in my abuse and subsequent life on the street. I was not particularly handsome but I had the body that the kind of clients I serviced wanted to control.

All my life since that period I have fluctuated between being overweight or skinny; suffered continuously from binge eating and puking. Joined AA when I was 36 and so on and so on.

Well I screwed up my courage and joined this club. Terrified of being in the Showers after a workout. Clothes off amongst men meant only one thing. But nothing happened and I relaxed about it.

Anyway last night I was really being pushed by the trainer and we were working on my upper body. There was one machine that I wasd using that totally amazed him at the weight I was moving. After that particluar session was over he told me to strip off my tee shirt and look in the mirrow. I was scared to death but snapped into the hotwired situation of being forced to undress. Then he said; "Look at yourself in the Mirror". I guess that I have never really looked hard at myself or if I did I manufactured what I saw. Jonathon (the trainer) said "What you have accomplished in 2 1/2 months is truly amazing. Another guy came over and asked me how old I was. I told him and he was totally surprised.

The I really looked at the image and I could acutally see that young hard body of so long ago starting to reappear. A more mature one but one that I can start to feel good about again. It is now my mission in to get this body of mine in as defined a shape as is possible for a 62year old

What I am trying to say is that my intitial hot wired response of taking off my shirt as a prelude to something else that I dreaded became a revelation to me at something that I had accomplished.

What a profound effect it has had on me. I am actually proud of something I am doing that is totally for me. Wow.Wow.Wow.

When I got home Nicole (my wife) noticed that I was on a high so I told her what had happened. Shh said that I had good reason to be proud becuase she herself had noticed the change in my body but had not mentioned it for fear of triggering something in me. I grabbed her and hugged her.

I think the key to many of us is to find something that is truly unique to each of us and go at it in a purely selfish way. That is to say. I am doing this for me and me alone. I dont care what it is. It should be something creative that you have a bent towards.

I have read some beautiful poetry here and some profound writings. And I can tell they come from the heart. Every one of us is creative in some manner and we should pursue it together with healing.

Every time I get in a downward spiral I just work all the harder at the club. I did not know what I was doing. But I think I do now.

Subconsciously I was saying to myself. Screw it I am gonna get this done and it is for me. I have read somewhere that about 90% of what we do and how we react comes from the subconscious. I gotta believe it because of all the triggers and flashbacks and depressions I get into. And it has paid off for me.

I believe that from now on, no matter what has happened to me in the past, I will be able to suceed because I am suceeding in recreating the one thing that was totally mine. ME.ME.ME. and I am going to let ME feel good about myself.



#53309 - 03/13/03 02:41 PM Re: Self Image & Respect
michael Joseph Offline

Registered: 03/11/01
Posts: 2719
Loc: Virginia
Mike my body image has always been poor, I always felt fat a a child even though I really wasn't. I ended up anorexic at 20 and went down to 130 lbs and wanted to keep going. I think what you are doing will inspire others here too, at 40 I have gained weight not too much, but I want to feel better about myself at any weight.

Thank you for your post

Michael Joweph

Standing together is so much better than hiding in the dark.
***I am a three time WoR Retreat Alumni***
The Round Table, Men's CSA Group, Monday 7:30pm CST, MaleSurvivor Chat

#53310 - 03/13/03 02:55 PM Re: Self Image & Respect
woz Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/02/03
Posts: 23
Loc: Australia
why i may not remember that which makes me truly happy, yet, i applaud you for haveing found yours, and i thankyou for sharing it mike keep it up , you'll show those young'ens


as in all things we are all connected.
Ho, Mitakaye Oyasin

#53311 - 03/13/03 03:21 PM Re: Self Image & Respect
guy43 Offline

Registered: 11/17/02
Posts: 450
Loc: Minnesota
Wow indeed!!! Thanks for sharing that Mike. It's a beautiful statement of healing and growing. It's bringing tears to my eyes to see another man facing and dealing with inner fears and self-image problems.

Maybe I can too someday.


#53312 - 03/13/03 03:56 PM Re: Self Image & Respect
andrew-almost52 Offline

Registered: 10/31/02
Posts: 243
Loc: canada
Mike, I have to thank you. Some where, a few weeks ago, you posted about the way you were afraid to allow yourself to look too attractive, that you had therefore neglected your body, but were going to start working out again. This hit a very familiar note for me. I recognized that I had done a very similar thing. In these past 12 years of marriage, I had deliberately allowed myself to balloon up to 232 lbs. I am proud to say that I am now at 206 after 5 weeks of eating more carefully, and I am starting to feel much, much better about my physical self. My goal is 185. Thanks for inspiring me. Peace, Andrew

#53313 - 03/13/03 04:00 PM Re: Self Image & Respect
Sleepy Offline

Registered: 10/08/02
Posts: 288
Loc: Arizona, USA
That was a really great story. I think it is so hard to overcome self-image problems. I have a scar on my right shoulder from when I was a kid. To most people they don't even notice it. But to me it is a manifestation of how I feel inside. It drives me crazy and I hate it.
Thanks for the story.

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end."
--Ursula K. Le Guin

"Mental health is a commitment to reality at all times."
--M. Scott Peck

#53314 - 03/13/03 04:34 PM Re: Self Image & Respect
ScottyTodd Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 02/12/03
Posts: 1561
Loc: Pennsylvania
Mikechurch - Thanks for sharing such a great experience!!! I can feel the exhileration in your ttelling of that experience!!! It reminds me of how we lost control over our bodies and some of us blamed our bodies for the abuse. It sounds like you and your body are building a friendship - a relationship that's positive. AND that y-o-u are in control of your own body!! Keep going MIKE!!!
\:\) \:\) \:\)

If you think you can or you can't - you're right!.......anon
It's never too late to have a happy childhood!.....anon
You're very normal for the abnormal situation you've been through..............S. Todd

#53315 - 03/13/03 07:16 PM Re: Self Image & Respect
Cement Offline

Registered: 06/05/02
Posts: 740
Loc: Southern California
another great post Mike...

Thanks for the good feelings.


And let the darkness fear our light.

#53316 - 03/13/03 09:05 PM Re: Self Image & Respect
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
you're feeling proud becuase you're doing it for YOU- AND NOBODY ELSE !

Great stuff \:D


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

#53317 - 03/13/03 11:50 PM Re: Self Image & Respect
Wuamei Offline

Registered: 08/19/02
Posts: 2700
Loc: The left turn I should have ta...
Mikechurch, WTG & thanks for the inspiration!


"I can't stand pain. It hurts me."
--Daffy Duck

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