I feel really self-conscious posting this as well. I had originally written something to go along with writing about my rotator cuff but I deleted it before publishing it.
I have kind of a hate-hate relationship with my body. My build falls so far outside the realm of standard that it's almost comical. I'm short, 5'7", but hell, I'm Asian. For my race/nationality I'm above average height. What makes things weird is that I am built big.
My ribcage is huge. I am "barrel chested." I also carry an absurd amount of muscle mass. During my athletic prime (age 15-16) my playing weights ranged from 225-250 lbs depending upon the sport, and yes, it was muscle. I am strong. I am built for burst power. I am quick with fast reflexes. I was fast and could jump high before my leg joints exploded. I am coordinated and have excellent balance and body control. I am awkwardly large in appearance.
There were eras when muscles and being built like a He-Man figure was considered good. I was a teen in the 90's when they wanted you to look like Kurt Cobain or Eddie Vedder... skinny, unathletic... where a girl and guy could share jeans if they wanted to. Muscles were bleh.
The nature of my size makes things even more odd. Clothes fit terribly. They don't make clothes for people with muscles. Big and tall clothing = Big, tall, and probably fat. There is no "Big, short, and muscular" clothing. From age 15-17 my chest was 56-60" around. My waist was 30-33" around. A "sport cut" suit jacket has an 8" difference between the chest and waist while standard cut is 6". Nothing exists designed for 20"+. I had an 18.5" neck. For clothes to fit my chest and neck, they made me look fat. My calves and biceps were also over 20" around, ensuring struggles with pant legs and shirt sleeves for my entire life.
I'm not young anymore but my proportions aren't that far off from what they were then. At some point I traded a 6-pack for a keg, but hey, I'm workin on it. No matter how I eat or what type of exercise I do, everything still consistently reaches points that ensure that I look like shit unless I were to have every piece of clothing I own tailored and adjusted by drastic amounts.
It's kind of disappointing.
The process of reaching those measurements was rooted in the "need" for me to be excellent at sports. I was built to crush. Built to kill. Built to destroy. I was the guy that would hit someone cleanly and knock them out of the game, towering over them as they lay motionless, snot and spit dripping from the inside of their facemask. It was what was expected of me.
I was a slow developer. I didn't really hit puberty until I was almost 15. My legs had always been strong but when the growth spurt set in, my upper body exploded and my strength went off the charts for my age. I was 15 years old when I first cleared 10 reps of 300 lbs. on the bench press. I could do 60 pull-ups and squat 800 lbs. I still looked like shit.
After my injuries it became a struggle to stay in shape. The muscle mass stayed but it became much harder to burn all the fat off. It made things even worse.
This has remained a complex of mine for my entire life. I feel horribly unattractive. I'm too short. I'm too big. No one wants this. Any time I go to a gym, sporting goods store, or exercise equipment shop there's always some personal trainer that comes up and wishes he had my _____ (insert muscles). I'd fucking trade him in a heart beat.
If there's any upside is that I can be in shape or out of shape and not really look too different unless I'm naked. The downside is that it always makes me feel ugly.
I've known guys who felt too skinny or ones that were pear-shaped. I've never known anyone who struggled with having too much muscle the way that I do. It is part of what has contributed to my negative self-image over the years. It lingers with me to this day. I've never once had anyone approach me thinking that I was physically attractive.
Something I never thought I'd do but I'm actually posting a picture of (part of) me. I grey-scaled it since the scratched mosquito bites and cat bite scars are an eyesore, and no, I don't shave my legs, my body is pretty much hairless. These are my calves, and most pant legs will not fit over them without significant work.
I better hit publish before I chicken out. I feel odd for even posting this.