Sometimes I feel like a fraud.

This is very difficult for me to write, but I feel I need to.

Even though what I write won’t make sense. It will seem out of character (maybe), and it will be a downer. It will also seem surface (to some) and ridiculous to others (even to me, to a certain extent).

Here goes.

For as much as I am happy – unbelievably so – there is one area of ‘me’ that I can’t accept right now, and it’s affecting me to my core. And I don’t know how to fix it or what to fix, quite frankly.

I have a terrible body image. Worse than just a ‘fat day’ or feeling like I overdid it at a party or something. I feel as though I look worse now than I ever have, that I’ve gained pounds and pounds. That my muscle has diminished and my abs are looking worse, not better, from Core Fusion. I feel like I am not good at anything, just ‘meh’ at a lot of things…endurance, running, weights, Core Fusion. I don’t feel like I am good at any of that right now, I just feel spread thin physically and without my much-needed workout routine that I am used to.

And it is painful because I know part of my problem is me. It’s mental. It’s not accurate. It’s almost body dismorphic. I’m not perfect, but I know I am not fat, either. I know I have muscle, and can get back into the running shape I want to, in order to run that half marathon I keep talking about. Writing this, I have a lump in my throat (I’ve already cried today once), because I am ashamed of how I feel, of how I am lacking confidence when I know I should have plenty. Because M tells me, because my sisters tell me, because my friends tell me…that I look good, that I don’t need to feel this way.

But truth is, I need to believe it.

And I don’t know why I don’t. I don’t know how to get past it. And the more I write this, the more ridiculous I feel for even feeling this way. For how I am coming across, for how surface-level I must appear at this very moment. But this is my blog and my haven for sorting through what I am feeling.

I feel fraudulent.

Because I talk the talk, but I can’t walk the walk. Because I read this post from Tina and I nod my head, and I see how I am doing the polar opposite of this…and need to just stop. And see the perspective I know I have, buried deep in my brain. How do I make it come out? How do I stop tearing myself down needlessly?

I had a drag out yelling and crying match with my sister about it on the way home from a killer Core Fusion class (see the ironic nature of having this conversation after a drenching class like that, alone?!). She doesn’t get it. She struggles with trying to help me through it. She worries that I am my own worst enemy. But she’s trying to help, and I need her to be my ‘checks and balances’ right now, since I clearly can’t be my own. So, thank you sis, I need that right now. And I know you are just trying to help.

I am my own worst enemy.

Yet, I can’t get past it.

And I don’t know why.

It’s completely, 100% me. And it’s an innacurate perception of who I am. Because I know I am capable of fixing whatever problem areas I am obsessing over, it’s not the end of the world, it’s not as though I am truly overweight. And even if I was? So what? I could work on fixing that.

So why can’t I shake it? Why do I feel like I am not good enough, physically? Why do I think about what my body looks like naked, feeling self conscious? And worrying about what it will look like in Jamaica, in a bathing suit, or in a dress, or a skirt, or shorts?

I don’t know the answers. And honestly, I am afraid of your responses because I completely see how terribly this probably comes across to some of you. Please be easy on me…I don’t know how to fix it, other than to just take a step back, breathe, and start fresh tomorrow. Realize that I got this, that I am motivated, that I need to love me as much as those around me do. Stop being my own worst enemy and see all the good in me, not the minutae of the bad.

Sometimes I feel like a fraud. Today is one of those days.


51 thoughts on “Sometimes I feel like a fraud.

  1. Can I please just give you a hug??!!! Thank you for your raw honesty. I know this had to have been very difficult to write. I hope it helps in so way though. And, just so you know, you’re not alone. I go through this too. Yes, I do. It sucks and then I get pissed at myself for even thinking this way. So I really don’t have any words of advice. Just know that you are loved, that you are incredible, beautiful, and deserve to treat yourself better 😉

    1. Thanks Heather, I’ll take the hug 🙂 Thanks for your words and your emails back and forth today. Made me smile and take comfort that I’m not alone. I know I have to believe in myself, more than anyone telling me I am beautiful, I need to believe it. One day at a time.

  2. oh, hon, do i ever know this feeling. it’s so, so hard not to beat yourself up, so hard to shake the feeling that you’re just covering over what a colossal failure you are. that fear that everyone will someday see through the facade and find out how weak you really are.

    my way around it, inasmuch as i can get around it, is the mantra the man gave me: “i have all the faith in the world in you. now you just need to have faith in yourself.” some nights, i find myself saying this out loud, over and over, just to calm down enough to go to sleep. it’s by no means a solution, just a band-aid.

    bad days come. just like the good days, own them, embrace them and walk through them. you’re not alone in this.

    hope this helps. [hugs]

    1. Thank you so much…I do take comfort in knowing that I’m not the only one that struggles with this. I know in some way, we all do. Maybe it’s part of our being…being women, and all the pressure to look a certain way. It’s hard to break free of that and just see me for me, not for my flaws. XO, thank you.

  3. You fake it till you make it!! Sounds like you have all the right positive doors open. Continue to work your fanny off..stand in the mirror and be kind to yourself that you are giving it your all and let the imperfections pave the way to the you that you’re working towards. Most of all, let go of the need for perfection…it destroys the soul.

    1. THANK YOU so much…I love what you say here” let go of the need for perfection, it destroys the soul.” Couldn’t be more true. Maybe I need to sear that in my brain forever.

  4. Sorry to hear you’re feeling sad about your body. Wish you were here and we could have a proper chat. Hugs to you. I can totally identify with with you’re feeling about yourself. You’re very brave for writing it down and I think you’re a special and wonderful person inside and out and you also have a beautiful heart.

    I did go through similar issues myself and I can only say what worked for me was taking a break from all things fitness and doing nice positive things for my body and mind like getting good sleep, reading fiction books or any type of books you like, lazy days out with friends, eating good food without thinking about if the food is good for me or not, calories etc. I did this for a month and wow I glowed after it.

    I read Lesley Garner’s book “All I’ve ever done that’s worked” and The Game of Life ( I really recommend this one). I now believe and feel I’m looking well and hot for me.

    You have to believe for yourself that you are wonderful, strong and look great and your body is powerful. Everyone can tell you this but it’s you who has to feel it. It might help too to identify a favourite part of your body each day and say to yourself – my eyes, my hair, my arms, legs or whatever part you like is hot and then after a few days when you’re feeling more confident, add another part of the body etc.

    Hope some of this helps, mail me if you like or better still jump on a plane here. Thinking of you and sending positive vibes and energy your way.

    1. I wish we could sit and chat too! How fun…and soon enough, we will 🙂 I agree that I need to take one part a day and compliment it…maybe that will help, slowly, build my confidence, and soon enough I will believe in myself. Thank you1

  5. I admire you for putting this down on “paper” – including our fight today 😦 But I also hate to read this because I just want to protect you, and to fix it for you, to take it away for you, all that pain and negativity you put upon yourself. I want to fix. It’s what I do. Or try to do. I fix. And in this case, I can’t fix it. I see that now. All I can do is be (as best as I can be, as best as you’ll let me) your “check and balance” and I promise you I’ll try to be patient. But I can’t make any promises…overprotective sister comes out sometimes. You’ll have to deal with her here and there, ok? PS. Believe in yourself sis, that’s my one piece advice. Always believe. Be your best friend, not your enemy…xoxo

    1. Thank you sis. I need that right now, and I think you are the only one, quite frankly, that can help me through it. I am excited for our Core Fusion journey as it continues and tomorrow, meeting Fred DeVito! WIll be a great way to focus on the positive, meeting another fitness ‘idol’ and knowing that we work hard and hopefully that too, will help me feel better about myself. XO.

  6. Friend, I am going through the same thing right now! Ugh, I know how you are feeling. Because I haven’t been able to run for almost 7 weeks (or do much in the way of aerobic exercise) because of my injury, I see the difference in my body and I don’t like it. I compare my abs and my legs to how they were when, 8 weeks ago, I was in the best shape of my life. It’s discouraging. I know I am not “out of shape” or chunky but I liked how I was. I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL. BUT, this morning I did a new Yoga DVD that I just got and felt centered, refocused and re-energized to slowly get back to my exercise routine and the body that I coveted only weeks ago. As I was really concentrating on my breath during this yoga session, I realized that my fitness level will NEVER be static-there will always be bumps in the road of life (i.e. my injury) that push us off the fitness path a little. And, that’s ok. It HAS to be ok because it is what it is. I guess that realization made me feel a little better. Can’t believe how much we are on the same wavelength lately! We’d be such Debbie Downers if we were body-lamenting together in person! Probably the only time when it’s not good that we live so far away from one another! Oye!

    1. Aww…wow, I guess you are right, we ARE on the same wavelength in so many ways! I told M this morning how much I want to visit you guys!! I know we’d have a blast and we could talk through – and maybe cry through – these craptastic moments when you just need to feel what you feel and move on. I like what you say too, that our fitness journey will NEVER be static…I LOVE that. It’s so true. It won’t always be perfect. Well put. XO.

      1. First, I am glad you are “better” today. Second, COME ON DOWN! ; ) No, I know you are traveling a lot for work but we’re here when you are ready to visit!

  7. I have so many things to say regarding this post.

    I’ll start with the obvious: I admire your bravery. It takes guts to put this kind of thing out there for “all the world” to see. Whether you realize it or not, your honesty is inspirational to other women.

    I don’t blog about it a lot, but I struggled with negative body image and eating disorders for many, many years. Like from the time I was 12 until I was about 28. And in fact, I still sometimes fall into some of those old traps, even though I consider myself “recovered”.

    There is one thing that recovery has taught me: Crappy body image, obsessive thoughts about appearance and weight, the whole thing…really isn’t about those things. They’re about something else. Only you can figure out what it’s really about.

    One thing that really helped me with my recovery was, when I found myself in that obsessing mode was to stop and ask myself, “If I wasn’t thinking about my appearance, what WOULD I be thinking about?” Think about this. Sit with it. Write it down. Blog about it if you want to. If you can get to the heart of this, then I think you will learn to overcome this obstacle. It has to come from you…because obviously having other people tell you how awesome you look isn’t the answer, is it? The answer is in you.

    Have patience. You are a strong and determined woman. You have come very, very far in your life. The answers to this won’t necessarily come quickly or easily….just work on them and know that each day you’re a little bit further ahead than you were the day before.

    I know you know this, but you can email me ANY time.

    Much love to you, my friend. xo

    1. Wow, Sunshine, I read this and grinned ear to ear…because I know you know exactly what I am feeling and your words mean so so much. I really really really hope we get to meet one day, because I know we’d have so much to talk about and can relate to each other so well. THANK YOU for your words, your compliments, your support and your advice. I may need to journal this, because honestly, I don’t know what I would be thinking about if I wasn’t thinking about how I look. I think about it WAY too much. I don’t know why so much lately. Everything else in my life is so wonderful, why this? Why now? I have a lot to think about. Thank you again. I will email you.

  8. Do you think this is a result of working out so hard? I feel like that might be my problem, like I work out so much that I think I should look perfect, but I don’t. And then when I don’t get to work out as planned, I feel even worse about myself, like I’m not only imperfect, but I’m also lazy. Maybe our expectations for ourselves are too high because we are trying so hard to look good. I don’t know, but I’m sorry you feel this way and I’m sorry I feel this way, we need to learn to accept ourselves, flaws and all.

    1. You know…you have a point. Sometimes I think that could be part of it. It has become such a big part of my life that when I DO taper off a bit, I beat myself up and envision all of the flaws. I have to think about that more, but I think that’s a big part of it. Glad we can go through it together, as awful as that sounds in a way. But it helps to know that I am not the only one out there thinking about this stuff.

  9. I can’t imagine what it’s like to feel like your body is never enough. It must be really really hard. I think some people it just hits them harder than others and its hard for the rest of us to understand.
    I know that being at my weight now, at the heaviest I’ve ever been, and I still don’t think I look “fat” , I just don’t feel comfortable being this heavy for me and what weight I believe I should be.
    It’s good you recognize the problem; now hopefully you’ll find the path to fix it : )

    1. Right. I don’t feel comfortable. I don’t know how much I weigh. Quite frankly ,I don’t care. I just want to feel strong and fit, and right now, I feel just ‘okay.” Could be mental, could be travel, could be a mixture. But I am on my path toward figuring it out. The first step.

  10. This sounds like a good start, laying it out there. I don’t think you are a fraud at all. I wish I had some words of advice with you. Maybe you need to not look at the huge picture but start with baby steps in a better direction for this. It isn’t going to be over night. It does sound like you are your own worst enemy. You need a game plan and to lean on your support system.

    1. Thanks…yea, my game plan is to uh, figure it out, and stay on my workout path and see what it is. IS it that or is it something else? I am not sure. But I am going to get to the bottom of it. I am just tearing myself apart otherwise.

  11. Oh sweetie, I am so sorry. I think that everybody struggles with body image issues, whether they admit to it or not. And I think that everyone is “allowed” to have body image issues, whether you’re overweight or not. Your other commenters have already given you some great ideas and insight, so I’ll just add my two cents…
    What has helped me in the past is to think about how other people (S and my best friends) see me, and not how I see myself or the individual parts of my body that I focus in on and criticize. If S thinks I’m beautiful, then I am…it doesn’t matter if I have love handles or thighs that touch or whatever.
    We love you too much to lie to you, so if we say you are beautiful and fit, then you are. Sure you may have things you need to work on – who doesn’t? – but those things do not define you.
    Life is too short to worry about things that you can’t change, and at some point, you have to accept that you are doing the best you can and let the rest go. And that’s not just in reference to exercise…
    Okay, I’ll stop rambling now and just say LOVE YOU! Sending you big hugs. XOXO

    1. Thank you so much dear, your words made me smile and brought a little tear to my eye too. Love you and my circle of friends so, and I know you wouldn’t lie to me. I guess it still goes back to I HAVE TO BELIEVE IT, and I don’t. And that’s a problem. But I am working towards fixing it, and that’s the first step, right? Thank you. XOXO.

  12. Oh my goodness … what girl doesn’t go through this? I think it gets worse with age too. I remember people saying to me, “Enjoy your 20 year old metabolism now because it won’t be there in your 30s” and boy were they right. I’m struggling with this right now because I don’t look the way I want to look – but I’m also not 21 anymore. I wish I could tell that 21 year old girl how hot she actually was and to stop being so conscious that her legs touched slightly at the top of her thighs. How completely ridiculous. I think our perceptions of ourselves have to change with age … we know now that we have to work harder but we also can’t set un-achievable body images for ourselves. I dunno. It’s hard for sure … just take comfort in that you are your own worst critic and you have love in your life regardless. Sorry for the novel.

    1. Yes. Age definitely has a lot to do with it too, in most cases, however, I still (ironically) think I look better than I did in my 20s. So, I guess I contradict myself left and right, huh? I am my own worst critic, that definitely does not help at all.

  13. Hmmm… I think we all relate to this in some way, jobo. I think we all have these “fraudulent” days, especially. Generally, it comes down to a feeling of self-worth. Generally, we feel like we have to prove something. At least, that’s how I feel on those days.

    Regarding body image… I didn’t begin to struggle with it until my ex-husband, when we dated, told me I was “getting fat”. I’d always been thin but after eating out all the time and I was never an athlete or fitness buff, I was getting a little thicker. I became obsessed over it after that. When I looked back later, after gaining nearly 50 lbs due to yo-yo dieting and hating my body, I remember thinking, “Why didn’t I just appreciate when I was thin?”

    Now that I’m thin again, I no longer take it for granted.

    I agree with Sunshine regarding the journalling. I wonder what you’d come up with? Maybe start with the fear. Start with… what would happen if you weren’t able to exercise for whatever reason? I know it sounds like a terrible thought but if you take that fear and keep tracing it back, perhaps you’ll find a core belief that you’re holding on to for some reason.

    Start with that fear and then say, “Ok, and if that happened then what?” Then tackle that fear and ask that question again… “then what?” and keep doing that until you discover something.

    Good luck, sweetie.

    1. Thanks T, I do take comfort in knowing I am not alone in this, even though it’s a horrible feeling for any of us to go through! As for the exercise in journaliing and in the “then what?” I think that’s a good idea. I don’t even know where my mind will wander too, because I honestly have no idea why I am harping on this so. I do think it has something to do with control, and this being the one and only thing In my life right now that I have control over, so I feel like I need to change and be better and do more, because the rest of my life is new and different and all over the place. But that still doesn’t feel like the full reason. Yet I don’t know what that is.

  14. Don’t beat yourself up so much. I see you do that all the time. (Yeah, I know…pot meet kettle.) You are such a perfectionist, and I think that distorts your perceptions sometimes. I think that makes it difficult for you to see yourself for the amazing person you are and the incredible shape you are in. Also…stop comparing yourself to anyone else. You are amazing and perfect…just the way you are.

    1. Thanks Nicki. I know, I do beat myself up far too much. That’s a huge issue I’ve always dealt with. It’s a really tough habit to break though, but I am learning. Or I will learn, since clearly I haven’t yet. Thank you for your support, always!

  15. I recommend hanging out with some pregnant women! 🙂 I’ve been remarking to all of my friends how THIN they all look (I’m 29 weeks pregnant now). I have definitely felt the way you’re feeling, even when I was actually quite skinny. I don’t have any answers other than to say that for me, it was usually about something else–not REALLY about my body. But you probably already know that. Anyway, you are certainly not alone in this experience!

    1. Thanks Emma…I’m sure in your case, everyone looks uber skinny, even if they may not be 😉 I think there is definitely something else ‘there, there” but the trick for me will be figuring out what that is.

  16. You are not ridiculous for feeling this way. I’m not sure a woman exists who hasn’t felt this way at some point. The fact that you fear the responses has me incredibly angry. I will take names and kick butt. This is a promise.

    I’ve written about my struggles with weight and body image before, so you know I’ve been here. For me, I realized that I was forcing myself to do work outs I no longer enjoyed. Then, because I dreaded them, I would skip and feel horrible guilt. Finding things I like made the difference for me. I also realized that just because I’m not happy with my breakfast decision, doesn’t mean the day is shot. I have the opportunity to make changes with each meal, each snack and each work out. Choosing poorly once will not make or break me (or you!). I also had to realize what it would actually take to get the body I really want. I spent years longing for the stomach I had at 18, but that stomach came complete with disordered eating. That’s not something I should strive for. And that certainly isn’t something you should strive for.

    I’ve also found that if I purposely avoid finding the flaws in others, then it makes me less likely to pick on myself. Before I may have thought “So and so shouldn’t wear that!”, now I try to think “I really admire her confidence, I would never have the guts to wear that!”

    I know it doesn’t matter what I think as you need to think it too, but you are absolutely stunning! I look at your pictures on facebook and wish I had your dedication… Actual thought: “I’d look like that if I just worked out as hard as she does.” An old friend used to tell me that there is always someone who looks worse in their bathing suit than you do. She was right, but I think you can put a more positive spin on that. You may feel self-conscious and imperfect, but you are my motivation.

    1. NYSoonerGirl…your comment was beyond words…so speechless. Thank you, I can’t say it enough. I am glad you can totally relate to this too (as I thought you might) and know all about that guilty feeling. And you bring up a really good point about forcing workouts you don’t like. I struggle with that sometimes too, and what I think will be “best” for me, may not be, because if I don’t like it, I won’t work as hard or even want to do it, so why bother? I also am bad at pointing out flaws in others, just as in myself, too. It’s a bad habit that I need to stop too. A mindset change. As for you calling me stunning, well, my friend, I don’t even know what to say to that besides blush and say that I’m still jealous of your height and long gorgeous hair 😉 Blog-mance my friend! Haha. As for dedication, yes, I do have it, but I think at times, to my detriment, because if I can dig myself into a hole like this, mentally, it’s just not worth it. You are amazing for your words and support. XOXO.

  17. i feel like these words were straight out of my head and into your blog. i seriously wanted to call you to chat about this because i feel like it would turn into an hours long conversation. when you figure out the answer, can you share it with me?

    1. wow…scary how some of our thoughts collide, isn’t it? I would love to chat soon too, and hopefully we can meet up asap!! XO!

  18. I don’t think I can say much about this. Because I don’t want to sound fake. Everyone else had some amazing things to say, and I hope they helped you. But I do want you to know that I admire your honesty and guts. I know you’re going to get there. Everything will fall into place someday. Just keep your smile. *Hugs* to you my friend.

    1. Sound fake? I don’t think I have ever heard you sound fake! But thank you for admiring the honesty and guts…it was hard, and therapeutic and something I needed to do. *hugs* back atcha!

  19. I’m just getting caught up on my blog reading (something I am terrible at on the road even with a blackberry, iPhone and Nook Color) but….I want to tell you that I think this is normal. I think we are our own harshest critics. And it doesn’t matter how many people tell you that you are beautiful, that you are fabulous or fit, somesdays it flat doesn’t matter. The fact that you recognize that you are your own worst enemy is a great thing. The fact that this isn’t a daily occurance is a great thing. Be mindful of it. If this image starts to spiral out of control then find a professional to help you work through it so that things do not become detrimental. But this is your space to be honest and I am glad you shared.

    1. Thank you – you clearly ‘get’ what I mean, and I am glad that’s how it came across, because it was exactly what I was feeling. I don’t feel that way today, and that’s a good thing. I am relieved for that.

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