Skin, again … and self acceptance

Warning: weight loss, plastic surgery, half dressed photos (you’ve been warned…)

 

I seem destined to be honest about skin post weight loss surgery. I had the conversation again yesterday with someone who has been very successful post WLS, had some work done, and is considering more. I think she looks sporty normal, but her reality is different to mine. My question was “when will you be ok with who you are?” –  “when will it be enough” or words to that effect. We had a good talk and it helped both of us. I’m so grateful for her honesty.

I wrote about my skin at the beginning of last year here, and my opinion is essentially the same now. I posted a photo on a private WLS FaceBook page this morning and commented that “My thighs are less droppy than they were, but very loose skin. Same with arms. Neck is turkey-ish & boobs are basically empty socks with a rock in the bottom. My stomach is the bad bit. Because of past botched surgery it’s very uneven – the apron is heavy and low. It’s encased in strong undies in this photo. (and of course my poor damaged knees mean bandy legs!) But it’s ok enough for me. My body works despite the shit I handed it over decades. Sure I use a walking stick a lot of the time, but I do 4000-6000 steps most days, work fulltime and have a good life. Fully dressed I look normal. Anyway who seems me not fully dressed is aware what lurks beneath and doesn’t mind (well, my sister has never said she minds lol)”

I’m heavier than last year, so less floppy skin, and my middle is fatter. I think overall I’m better off for it. I’d like to lose 5kg again, but it’s not a ditch I need to die in.

I think the message is – be ok with who you are. We are so often kinder to others than we are to ourselves.

As with last year’s post I have been hesitating to hit the publish button – but then I think of bikinis, Walmart shoppers, and the fact some people need to know this. If you don’t like seeing the photos, stop reading…

 

 

Ok enough in my own skin

I’ve been chatting with a friend about the spare skin that comes with significant weight loss. Deciding or surgery, or not, is a big deal and impacts on your physical and mental health.

In my case, surgery isn’t an option because of the risk of ending up on life support again due to my dodgy airway. I doubt I would do it anyway. I’m ok enough in my own skin most of the time.

I also support those who feel the need to get it fixed so they can move on; I think there’s balance needed though. When you’ve abused your body so much you need weight loss surgery, your body is never going to be perfect and that needs to be ok for your mental wellbeing. (I may be wrong on that of course – maybe perfection is possible?)

Small Dylusions journal. Paints: Chopped pesto, Lemon zest, Periwinkle blue. Stencils: Teardrops, Diamonds in the rough, Shutters. Stamps: Dyan’s alphabet. Other: Tim Holtz tall text stamps, Distress Ink, Archival ink, white gel pen, Pitt Big Brush pen, Distress collage medium. 

spare skin 20190708.jpg

There’s weight loss, & then there’s skin!

I’ve been debating this blog post for a while now. I’ve been very honest about the whole process but blogging about my excess skin makes me hesitate. But if I don’t, how do others know what could be in store if they go the gastic bypass route? In the end, I’m not going to pretend it’s all pretty – cos honey it ain’t!

To recap – I started at 139.9kg, goal weight 75kg, current weight 63.1kg. I’ve lost 76.8kg. A friend who has about the same as me (started heavier but not as light now) just had surgery to remove excess skin and they removed 11kg worth – so I’ve possibly got 5kg or more of skin hanging round. And I do mean hanging round…

People tell me the excess skin isn’t obvious and, fully dressed, that’s fairly accurate. My arms are the most obvious bit. People say most women have flappy arms at our age. Yeah, maybe, but not so loose you accidentally lean on the excess and it hurts 😉

The reality is the excess skin *can* be uncomfortable. Aside from leaning on spare arm skin, I sometimes find I’m sitting awkwardly on a fold of spare bum and it’s unpleasant – try adjusting that in public!

I used to wear a 26DD bra, now I wear a 14D but I sort of fold my boobs into it. Last time I got fitted the lovely lady at Farmers said “I’ll let you do the origami, you know how they go!”. Karma got me on that one, because I used to laugh as I folded Mum’s boobs into her bra..

I had a botched open surgery hysterectomy in my late 20s and that scarring, combined with the weight loss, is pretty ugly to be honest. One side of my tummy is longer than the other, and the whole things hangs low … if I get up to the loo in the night it audibly flaps. Not cool, or sexy!

Would I consider surgery to tidy things up? No! For a few reasons. With all the complications I’ve had I think elective surgery would be unwise. I had the weight loss surgery for my health, not appearances, and the skin isn’t a health issue for me (but it is for some). And, as I’ve said to a few people, Tony is 18 yeas older than me – he never expected to gain a slim wife in his 70s so a few wrinkles don’t matter!

If you are thinking of weight loss surgery, great! It’s life changing and life saving. If you think you’ll have the body of a 20 year old, think again…

Footnote – I’m really struggling to hit publish. My head tells me people in a bikini show a lot more flesh than this, but I feel so exposed and so, what’s the word, faulty maybe?