As I was looking back through my old blog posts, I found one about my arms, written one year ago in April. I am amazed at this post, because it is so loving and self-accepting and shared a difficult picture of what I was dealing with in hanging flab on my arms. Take a look: Flabby Arms: Exposed for Renovation.
If you've been reading lately, you know I am having a huge amount of trouble accepting this part of my body right now. Somehow, over the winter I developed an aversion to showing my arms. It's crazy, because I do weigh less than I did a year ago yet I no longer have that free feeling that allowed me to wear anything I wanted without feeling self-conscious. Yesterday I posted about my plan to add strength training to my routine. Crazy thing... I made this same commitment in that year-old post, but never followed through. This time I am doing it. I cannot stand the way my arms make me feel right now. In fact they look *worse* after losing more weight, because the skin is still there, hanging even lower and looser, and the fat now looks kind of chunky and weird instead of just plump and smooth like before. Several folks have commented that my workout routine is not going to fix my arms, but you know what? I have to believe it can get *better.* Not perfect, but for goodness sakes it just has GOT to get better! It is obvious from the pictures I took yesterday that I have a LOT of fat to loose from these arms. A lot! Losing the fat, smoothing things out a bit, shrinking them down and defining the muscle is going to improve the look and feel of my arms, even if I still have hanging skin. If I didn't believe that, I would go drown myself in a batch of milkshakes and cupcakes right now. It is that distressing to me.
So, obviously, I know my arms look horrendous, and I do not usually "talk down" about my body at all, but this is the first time I have truly felt ill whenever I look at a certain part of me in the mirror. I can accept it just fine when it is covered with sleeves or when I am naked alone, but throw a t-shirt on me and try to go out the door and the stress is overwhelming so that I end up putting on long sleeves in 100 degree weather. So, it does take a lot for me to post these pictures. I do not expect anyone to tell me they aren't that bad; they are. But I am working to change this. I am GOING to post update pictures of these arms throughout the summer. I am going to feel better about this part of my body. I cannot live with the amount of crazy anxiety this gives me.
I will post the pictures soon, along with my list of exercises so that anyone who wants to can join in and improve their body. If your arms are a trouble spot for you, take a couple of pictures in the mirror and get ready to work those arms starting next week. All it will take is 15-20 minutes 3x a week and a couple of hand weights. I will probably start with 5 or 8 pounds and work up. I had gotten up to 15 pounds dumbbells for some exercises back when I was lifting before.
We can't control everything, but we can make our best effort and be proud of the improvements we do make.
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