Author Topic: The Brilliance of Suffering  (Read 2322 times)

Offline whateverworks

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Hey Whats up People?

This is my first post on this site, so I'll give a little introduction. My Gynecomastia developed when I was in middle school. As puberty set on, I got the "pepperoni" or sausage nipples that plague a lot of men. I was a real skinny kid, but throughout middle school and high school I gained weight and got to looking pretty chubby. A blessing came my way when I was around 16 or 17 years old. I hit a growth spurt, and grew out of my prepubescent and flabby body.

I grew to be around 6 feet tall, with a lanky build. Even though I lost a lot of my baby fat, I still had those awful puffy nipples and chest fat. I gained a new confidence from becoming taller, but my posture and clothing choices were always focused on hiding my man boobs. I leaned back and wore a lot of layers or cardigans or hoodies. These choices made me feel more comfortable, but they never actually made me comfortable with myself. I grew on beyond my teenage years into my twenties. I stood around 6'3'' and weighed between 170 to 190 pounds. I didn't live a balanced life, and never took any steps to gain self control or self confidence. I would fluctuate in weight between seasons, fall and winter being my heavier times. My puffy nips and man boobs were always something that I avoided drawing any attention to, even in introspection. They seemed like a curse that I didn't want to dabble my thoughts in, out of fear that I would become more conscious of them and more self-conscious about myself.

I had girlfriends and fleeting physical relationships now and again, but there was always something holding me back from being completely open and close to another person. I had to dive in and confront my deeply rooted anxieties and fears. I had to understand who I was, and more importantly, why I was that way. There came a point when I realized that my current state is the direct result of all of my past actions. Although this occurred to me, I am still in the process of fully understanding it and realizing it in my day to day life. However, this realization prompted me to dig out all the weeds in the garden that is my self, or being.

Overcoming Gynecomastia had always seemed like a hopeless endeavor to me. I had to make the decision to change the way I viewed my own existence in order to overcome that fear. I realized that this is my life, and I could be whoever I wanted to. I cultivated a real desire to rid myself of what I viewed as curse. I drew upon words of wisdom such as what Plato said, "For a man to conquer himself is the first and noblest of all victories". I realized that maintaining a positive mindset was essential to changing and improving any aspect of myself.

Now I am not saying that this will work for everyone, I just wanted to give an account for what has worked for me so far. I did a lot of research into what exactly Gynecomastia is, who has it, who is prone to get it, and the reasons people have/develop it. I identified my own type as being a puberty onset Gynecomastia, and myself having some sort of hormonal irregularity. I read up on what has worked for a lot of people in their battle to overcome Gynecomastia. Now I'm not saying that I will ever fully conquer and remove myself of Gynecomastia. To me, that is a negative approach to this sort of struggle. My mindset in approaching my own Gynecomastia is to diminish the amount of attention and importance I actually give to my own Gynecomastia. Gynecomastia is not the true problem, insecurity and low self worth is. Everyone who is alive deserves the best existence possible. That is going to look different for everyone, but something so silly such as Gynecomastia should not hold anyone back. I thought about my death, and how I would die someday. Would I be satisfied lying on my death bed, if all or most of my major life choices were influenced by the fact that my nipples were bigger than most, and I had a little fat underneath them? No, that seemed to me to be a foolish way to live my life. So in order to "starve" my Gynecomastia, or the fears/insecurities that they produced, I did these things:

I got on a normal sleep cycle. I sleep between 6-8 hours every night, and try to never eat anything 2 hours before I go to bed.
I realized that my diet was a key factor to my weight and Gynecomastia. (It should be noted that I am a vegetarian)

My Diet Now:

  • Breakfast: One bowl of Cheerios or Frosted Mini Wheats with 2% Milk
  • Lunch: PB&J or Rice and Black/Pinto Beans or Vegetable Soup
  • Dinner: Cheese Pizza or Bean and Avocado tacos or Soup or Pasta with Broccoli, Spinach, Etc
  • Those being my main meals, this is what I eat between them: Lemon Yogurt, String Cheese, Almonds, Oranges, Apples, Grapes, Cheddar and Pretzel Goldfish. I am always munching on something, I never hungry, but also never full, do as those who say "Eat until you are 80% full"
  • NOTE: I reduced the amount of alcohol I drink, never more than two drinks (except for those special times), and smoke way less weed.

Now that is just what I eat. I have also taken up exercising at least 4 days a week. I used to be into running and that sort of thing, but it wore down a lot on my knees and got to be too boring. What I do now is SWIM. Sure you have to take off your shirt to go swimming, but come on, it is a great opportunity to confront your fears and insecurities. Everyone who swims is half naked, and bound to feel a little self-conscious. What I had to do was just dive in (no pun intended). I walk into the pool and just know that no one cares as much about my man boobs as I do. Any fear or judgment I sense coming from other people is merely a projection. If someone really does care, or hate me because I have man boobs and puffy nipples, darn EM. They aren't worth my time or energy anyways.

So I swim around 40 laps a session now, which took a considerable amount of time to work up to. I am fortunate because my pool has a hot tub and steam room/sauna to relax in after my workout. Even if you can't have a good sweat after you work out, just go lay in the sun, I promise it will make you feel better.

I have found that this combination of diet and exercise has not only made my boobs and nips smaller in physical size, I notice and care about them much much less.

If this post got preachy, just know I didn't intend for that to happen. I just wanted to write the type of response I spent years searching for on sites just like this. This works for me, now. People just gotta find whatever works for them.



« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 07:51:01 PM by whateverworks »

Offline thestudent

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I know this topic is old, but I need to reply.

I've had pubertal onset gynecomastia, but since I was chunkier as a kid I didn't really think it was unusual. I just thought I was fat.

Like you, though, I had a growth spurt and am now about 6'1 or 6'2. I took measures last year, including eating and exercising right, to reduce the prominence of my gynecomastia.

However, with the stresses of college this past year, I regained some of the weight I lost and my breasts grew larger. On top of that, I had my blood levels measured and my testosterone was absurdly low (under 100 ng/dL..average person my age can have 600-800 or more ng/dL). Through it all I felt cursed, and to a large extent still do. I couldn't kick the man boobs. To top it all off, I was put on testosterone supplementation, which made my breasts grow more. Moreover, I developed a sort of eating disorder to try and "compensate" for my breasts by losing a lot of weight.

I'm still dealing with these issues.

In any case, I found your post after googling "overcoming gynecomastia", and I have to say that it was inspiring. While some of the medical issues you're going through aren't the same as mine, we have an uncanny number of similarities. A small fire inside me comes to life when I read about how you not only physically but mentally conquered your gynecomastia without surgery.

Thank you so much.


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