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Dismorphia raised it's ugly face



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I have been at goal for nearly 2 years and am quite accustomed to my size/shape these days. I had the most trouble with face dismorphia - feeling like I look so old and weird post weight loss but I thought I had really gotten past it. I do feel like I could benefit from some injections, but hey, who wouldn't at age 50?!?

So, Saturday night I went on an ugly sweater pub crawl with 2 girlfriends who are just a few years younger than me. We booked a hotel in town so we didn't have to drive and really had fun, dancing, talking to people - enjoying the ugly sweaters and holiday festitivites.

Anyway, at the end of the evening, a gentleman who I guess to be in his 50s (but who knows) bought a round for all 3 of us. He didn't ask, just delivered the drinks to where we huddled near the dance floor trying to plan out next move- it was last call, the music had stopped etc.

So, the guy was actually pretty funny but was complimenting us all (of course). Started with D who is a tiny little thing and had an epicly ugly sweater that essentially made her look elfish or like a pixie. He said something about how she was just so tiny and adorable with her cute little round face (true!). Then he complimented S and said how she was the thin tall blonde and oh so beautiful (also true!). Then, he said that i had the smoking hot bod and looked great especially after the sweater came off. I do believe he specifically mentioned my breasts and certainly NOT my face. Okay, all in good fun, no big deal.

I realized today - days later - that I have been seeing my face as very ugly even before this incident. I don't care what some guy in a bar thinks, and it's not like he insulted me even, but it made me aware of that underlying feeling and it has been hanging with me and I don't like it. I thought I had gotten to a point where my looks were becoming way less important to me.

I am not fishing for compliments, I have people tell me I am pretty, young looking etc. but I simply don't feel that way.

I absolutely refuse to let this get me down or make me think less of myself but it bothers me that this has come up in my mind again.

I think I am going through a little holiday sadness so even though that ugly sweater event was an absolute hoot, I am not super excited about the holidays.

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@@CowgirlJane,

I've read your post twice.

And I truly don't understand how what he said or didn't said should have upset you.

I think that in this instance, it's (as the saying goes) ... not him, it's you.

Jane, you are a beautiful woman. You are one of those women who can be beautiful at any age.

Like you, I don't look my age. But you and I have to make peace with the immutable fact that, at 50, we are not 30. And at 60, we are not 40. And (in my case) at nearly 70 I am not 50.

And if some random 50-something guy is drawn to young chicks, then he's not going to be drawn to you and certainly not to me.

At this point, I really don't know if I'm preaching to you or to myself. ;)

I am going to posit that this is more about being OK about growing older and less about dysmorphia.

Or not.

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I understand. He didn't say it but you heard it. Because ultimately we hear what we already believe in. I think there maybe something more to this holiday season then what you are conscious of. You'll have to dig deeper to find the source. I may very well be a place you don't want to visit. However, I have seen your photo and you do look amazing. So, it's all in your head girlfriend.

It's hard to love who we are specially because we did not for so long. A great goal for 2015 is for us to learn to love who we are, battle wounds, scars inside and out because we are like these magnificent trees with textured bark, wise and alive in the full sense of the word!

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That's what dysmorphia does to us. It's good you recognize it.Just take it one day at a time. The holiday's will be over soon enough.

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I think you're beautiful- and that includes your face. :) I felt like when I was heavier everyone always said "oh you have such a pretty face" so hey too bad you're fat. Even right after surgery one of the people I saw while walking through the hallway with my IV pole goes...ohhh, you have such a pretty face when that weight comes off you'll just be gorgeous". I guess I relied on my face to help round out the fact that the rest of me wasn't so great. Now that I'm thin though, I feel like I need a face lift. My eyes have wrinkles, my cheeks are a little saggy, and I'm mostly happy with the rest of me, so I find fault in my face.

I think the guy in the bar was just too busy checking out your figure, that he didn't think to comment on your face. On that note though, when I am self-conscious about some part of me, I notice far more readily when a tiny little thing seems to affirm my beliefs. Right now my face and my hair are points I'm insecure about, as well as my butt, lol, so I'm sure I notice comments about those areas more than other places.

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You are all beautiful, don't you know - we ALL have flaws, and if we look for them we WILL see them. We have been through a lot to get here. More than most could handle. But we did and do. Daily. If you could see the beautiful person that God, who made you, sees, you would be amazed! Love yourselves as He loves you, you won't be disappointed! Merry Christmas!

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One thing I appreciate about this forum is that whatever insecurities we are dealing with, we are not alone. There are so many people who have gone before us, who are riding with us, and who are coming after us, and we just have to pay it forward with encouragement.

My mean ol' rotten ex-husband once told me that every time I lose weight I get jowls. I have not seen him for 8 1/2 years, but when I look in the mirror now, I don't see myself 14 pounds from goal. I see jowls. That sucks, and I know how you feel. Sometimes people just need to shut up and keep their negative remarks to themselves.

Those of us who are post-op are hotter than we have been in years, and we can't let people have power over us like this. We do need to toughen up and focus on the people who love us for who we are. It sounds like you have a great group of friends who support you. Have fun and enjoy their company. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, CowgirlJane.

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Losing weight is a double edged sword, you look and feel great because you have lost weight, but you feel saggy and baggy because you lost weight. At least that is me I have jowls now and a turkey wattle neck and wrinkles on my forehead. The jowls are shrinking,but wattle and wrinkles are here to stay. I think it's something that we have to be prepared for and live with. If people can't see the inner beauty in us that's their problem.

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One of the mixed blessings of this technological self absorbed age is the camera phone selfie.

I have an iPhone now and I take selfies every time I set my hair and put makeup on. Several times a week. I don't do anything with them except look at them. Once in awhile I'll update my Facebook profile picture, but since I'm 53 and not 19, I can't do that in good conscience more than once every couple of months.

Point is, seeing myself in a picture regularly helps me objectively see that no, I am not ugly and wrinkly and unattractive. Well, most days. The odd thing is that two pictures taken the same week can be radically different.

I have vitiligo as well as all of my other crappy problems, and it's been hard for me not to see only my blotchy skin this year. But I learned to stay out of the sun, and it helps minimize the contrast.

Here's the bottom line. I look better than I have in decades, even with this vitiligo that I developed just a few years ago. But I often can't see my beauty. My feelings of how I think I look can dictate what that mirror tells me. So hard reality photos are a way for me to see what others see.

My nineteen year old daughter has been telling me for years that I look best without makeup. Yeah kid, ok. Well guess what. This fall I developed a skin reaction to eye makeup. Bad news. I can't tolerate nail polish or eye shadow. My eyelids flake and become flaming red and raw. Nice, huh? Just when I'm losing weight and starting to feel pretty.

Well here's what I did. I stopped using most face makeup. I use only mascara, a touch of eyeliner, face powder and red lipstick.

I look better than ever. Sure the hundred pounds gone helps (LOL), but I used to put so much foundation on that I didn't even recognize my own complexion before.

This change was very scary for me. But since the vitiligo diagnosis, I started to take better care of my skin. I moisturize and use SPF every day, every season. My skin coloration has evened out a little from staying out of the sun, and since I hydrate so much as a WLS patient, my skin is clearer and brighter.

@@CowgirlJane you are one of the most beautiful women on these pages. Truly stunning. And such an inspiration to me and so many of us. Thanks for keeping it real, because we aren't always in perfect head space. But we work through it. Together here we give each other the support and the knowledge that we're not the first or the last to feel these sometimes explainable, sometimes irrational feelings.

All of you are beautiful. As am I. I have pictures to prove it. Tee hee.

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@@JustWatchMe - Is it wrong that at 51 I still like to post selfies? Especially when I do a nice hair style or really make my face up nice. However I can understand how you feel about your skin with the vitiligo. I have scarring & discoloration on my face, including a split down my nose from a rather nasty bout of facial shingles. I was really bummed because I was always proud of my smooth skin and I'm a makeup gal. What brand of shadow do you use? Because I now need better coverage I went shopping around. I discovered Coverfx. It's really gentle and even though fuller coverage. You might try using their primers and/or concelors and applying your shadow on top of that.

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Most everyone understood this....but to clarify....guy in bar was complimentary and for a drunk guy both elequant and funny. He clearly found us all appealing. ..this isn't about him.

This is about realizing what I thought i had worked through (dismorphia) is alive and well

The more mentally healthy I get, the more I realize. ...

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