The gym is not the best place to be left alone with your insecurities. When left to wander through unhappy thoughts, there's far too much damage to be done. You don't have anyone there to kick you in the pants and say, "Cut that the hell out."
I've recognized a few issues that are fueling this jealousy.
- #1. I have issues with my self-esteem. I was a skinny kid for a while, but all of a sudden, as puberty approached, I got chubby. Then I got outright fat. I got down to a healthier weight by the time I started high school (I hit puberty awfully early), but I have never been happy with my body.
- #2 (which is the first cousin of reason #1) I don't feel attractive at all. I'm too heavy. I feel a lot better about myself since I've been working out (and fitting into smaller clothes), but I'm still too heavy. I lost 30 lbs a few years back because I was disgusted by how heavy I was. I've been working out for nearly a month now and I'm still 3 lbs HEAVIER than I was when I was disgusted with myself last time. And yes, I understand muscle weighs more than fat and I know I'm getting leaner because I can see it, but I still weigh far too much.
- #3. I'm not getting much positive feedback. One of the sisters has said positive things and a friend said nice things about pictures from the recent weekend trip (Thanks, Kamrin), but nothing from dh at all and nothing from other friends. Yesterday, I shoved myself into the smallest of the clothes that now fit me. I went to a meeting with folks who haven't seen me since before I started working out. I hoped someone would say something about me looking thinner. No one (other than the sister) said a word. The part of this that bothers me the most is that dh has said nothing at all. I sent him pictures. I write about the gym. He doesn't say anything. I had to come out and ask him about pictures I sent and all he said was, "Yeah, I see a difference." I damn near begged him to say something in an e-mail last week, but I got nothing. I'm left wondering if the silence is because he doesn't find me attractive and he just doesn't want to hurt my feelings. I'm pretty sure that's not the case, but I have to wonder.
- #4. I feel badly that I need that feedback. I'm not sure how much #3 should be an issue. I feel badly because it's a huge problem--probably the reason most responsible for the jealousy. I know I should feel good about myself without having to have my ego stroked by outside sources and I think I would if I got even a tiny bit of it from dh. But I don't get that, so I find myself relying on it even more. I don't like to put the blame on others. I'm all for personal accountability. So I'm really torn on this. Part of me thinks I shouldn't blame my issues on what he does or doesn't do. If I don't feel attractive, that's my problem with which to deal. Another part of me thinks that he's my husband. I have every right to expect him to tell me if he thinks I look good. If I write damn near begging for a compliment, he should give one (unless, of course, he doesn't think one is deserved).
- #5. This one is the sister's observation. I haven't gotten much sleep at all lately. That does not lead to clear thinking. She may be on to something. Maybe that does have something to do with it. I'm so emotional all of a sudden. It almost feels like PMS, but it's not because I'm still cycle-free thanks to nursing (with no signs of an impending visit from Aunt Flo).
And to top this all off, when I came home from the gym today (in tears), I found a message from camp. Girl1 has fifths disease and is covered in spots. Oh and The Boy woke up far too soon from his nap which left me no time to crawl in bed and bawl.
Check, please. I'm done.
Someone pass the alcohol, FAST.