It's no secret that I have huge upper arms. I have gone from 278 pounds to 219 and my upper arms are the only part of me that has not shrunk. Almost 17" around each, they are quite a feat of bodily engineering: as I got fatter, my body stealthily added layer upon layer to my arms instead of my waist, giving me the illusion of relative thinness because of my hourglass figure. But my arms did suffer, and they have not been as prone to shrinkage even as I lost over 60 pounds.
I see a lot of women who blog about their hatred of their flabby arms. Maybe they've lost a lot of weight and are left with swinging, sagging loose skin hanging as they raise their arms to wave. Mostly I see women who won't wear short sleeves because they are too embarrassed of their arms.
In the summertime, I proudly wear my short sleeves and tank tops and if people notice my big arms, so be it. It's just part of me. Sure, I'd change it if I could, but I don't *hate* my arms. They're good arms, even with flab. The only time I feel embarrassed is if I happen to raise them to right angles in a tank top and the flab hangs down. It is unsightly, and I feel like I want to hide it.
Inspired by the Exposed movement of last year and my fire rekindled by Mizfit and her mention today of yet another blogger who exposed himself on his blog, I decided it was time to expose something I thought I never would. No, I am *not*... I repeat *not* brave and confident enough to post a whole body exposed shot. But I am going to step way out of my comfort zone here, in the hopes of inspiring others. This photo may be surprising, may be embarrassing, but I want it to register that you are NOT the only one with flabby arms. Your arms are NOT the worst thing in the world. It is OKAY to have the body you have. It is okay to let go of the shame and embarrassment and just let it be.
I love my arms, because they hugged my parents when they were still alive.
I love my arms, because they held each of five tiny newborn babies that came from my body, and rocked them and cared for them as they grew.
I love my arms for the work they have done to sustain my family in so many ways: washing dishes, cooking meals, vacuuming, and working 8 to 6 to keep a roof over my children's heads.
I love my arms for all they have done, and I accept them as they are now, flab and all.
*However,* acceptance does not mean that I will not try to improve things. I want my arms to be healthy and feel good and be strong to accomplish all the tasks ahead in life. With that in mind, I am creating a challenge for myself: to make these arms the best they can be. I have neglected them for long enough.
I am going to pick the dumbbells back up, and start doing arm, shoulder, and back exercises to tone my upper body. I am going to be more diligent about my skin care routine to do what I can to help loose skin tighten up. And in 3 months I will post new pictures and measurements to see my progress.
I do hope I can shrink these arms a bit. They are heavy and unwieldy. But if I am left with muscular arms and a lot of hanging loose skin, so be it. I'll deal with that when I get there.
How about you? What's your "trouble spot?" And are you willing to expose it on your blog?
San Diego Part II – Independence Day!
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