Specifically, I Am "body Shy"I'm certainly more of an introvert that extrovert, but I have no problem speaking to people at gatherings and such. But there was no story topic called "I am body shy", so this was as close as I could come. Though I'm now 53 and could lose a few pounds, I don't think I'm morbidly obese, and while I won't win a "Tom Selleck" or "Brad Pitt" look-alike contest, I don't scare small children and pets away when I meet them. Yet, even when I was a teen and physically fit, I was painfully shy about my body. I didn't take showers in PE with other kids. One of my first sexual encounters with a girl, I was 17 and she was 16. We were in a large walk-in closet with a mattress and plenty of room for other accrutrements, like a small refrigerator, candles, a "boom box"---this was the large closet in my room, the scene of many parties, and it was nicknamed "the nookie nest", but that's another story. This girl and I were in the closet and kissing, and I was fumbling about trying to unbutton her jeans. She said she had to lie down to get them zipped up! But at the same time she said "if mine are, then yours are coming down too!" Well, this WAS the goal of course, but the problem was the light bulb! The closet was lit with one bare bulb, and it was quite bright. The string had broken, close to the socket, so I couldn't get hold of the string to turn off the light, so I pretended to "accidentally" break the bulb with a scented candle. I was quite at ease to be undressed by my gf in the dark, but not in the bright light. Now that was at age 17.
This week, I went to my exercise class. I joined three weeks ago,and am beginning to feel better about myself. So much so that I did something I haven't done since I was 26: I wore shorts in public. It wasn't the best decision I ever made, not that there were any dramatic events that came of it. No one said anything, or likely even noticed, but during the run/jog/walk back to the gym (after we finished the various squats and step exercises out in the park area), I lagged behind. Not having walked much in a long time, and unable to run or jog because of knee replacement surgery, I kept seeing the group get farther and farther ahead of me. Finally, I was the last one to stagger into the gym. I burst through the door and collapsed on a sofa. The others and the leader of the group were very considerate and attentive. The told me not to push myself too much, drink lots of water, etc., but they had no way of knowing that, except for the trip back to the gym, I'd been able to keep up with all the exercises--the supersets--and felt great about that. AND, that I was actually wearing shorts for the first time in 27 years. I haven't cried since I was an infant, and this was hardly a reason to do so, but.....well, I'd prefer not to talk about that.