This is the time of the year when I do an edit of what we have covered before and what we should cover in the coming months on the website. It also gives me a chance to see what features have been popular and which ones bring the biggest comment, query or postbag haul. Undeniably top of the list for this last year, and for the last two, has been excess skin. Most pre-ops ask if it really is such a problem post-op, whilst many post-ops ask what they can do about it. Increasingly more are frustrated that they can get little or no help from their GP’s, insurers and the NHS to fix the problem. Many claim it makes them feel like ‘unfinished business’ – some going so far as to say that they preferred their bodies pre-op to post-op
and have huge issues with self-esteem.
I understand this and, whilst I haven’t had any corrective surgery or body contouring myself, if I were younger I probably would explore the options. Clearly mine isn’t problematic enough for me to pursue this you might say, but it does impinge on my life and I do make daily decisions when exercising, swimming, dressing (and undressing!) with it in mind. For now Spanx is one of my best friends.
Our guest feature below homes in on this dilemma and I think you will find it is interesting reading. A TV show has been the trigger for this lady to find out more and accept that she needs to move on with this decision or accept her body, perhaps it might be yours too.
Excess Skin: And the Emotional, Thick Skinned Woman
Be honest: How does your extra skin make you feel?
I have always wanted to eventually get my skin removed, someday. I’ve been at or near goal for about 4 years now, or something like that. I’ve never really counted. But I also never acknowledged the fact that I may be more fit, healthier, smaller.. whatever, but I am not a finished product. I still have one more step to go and with watching that Television program I was slapped in the face with it. I need to have my excess skin removed.
To this day I’ve never ever shared photos of my excess skin, and I probably won’t until it’s gone. Kind of the Before and After effect. I can’t stand it. The gal who was on there, we look exactly alike naked. And when she said, “Sometimes I wonder if it’s just better to be fat and filled out rather than be left with this saggy skin…” I felt that a little too much! I almost cried. Honesty came to the forefront and it made me realize that until I get it through my thick skin… (pun intended?) that I will never feel complete. Later during her consultation, the surgeon pulled her excess arm skin to the back, revealing a slender beautifully fit arm. I couldn’t stop the tears from flowing at that point. All I could do was reach next to my bed and grab a tissue and wipe away the shame of what I had done to my body. I could see in my imagination the many times I’d done that in front of my mirror when I’m all alone in the room. Wondering what it must be like.. going out in public without worry someone is looking at my saggy arms, or what they must be thinking. I want to feel that general confidence that come with that.
I have always said that yes, I wanted to have my excess skin removed, but not with as much certainty as I was at that moment.
So why am I sharing this here? Why am I not sharing this in the skin removal category? Because, this is something that majority and I mean 90ish percent of us will think about at some point. With WLS comes a lot of fat loss, and with a lot of fat loss comes a lot of extra skin. Of course there will be some lucky people out there without the extra skin, and God Blessed them. But me? No, I have it. I hate it. I want it gone. I also hope that through this channel of communication I can bring others some comfort. That you are not alone, you are not crying alone. You are not wishing and hating your skin alone.
I have gone through more than my share of surgeries since my Lap Band in 2008, so the thought of more surgeries has me turned off. That said, when I see my friends who have had the skin removed… my heart aches for that feeling that I know nothing about. What it must be like to look tight, and finally feel like a normal person (whatever that means!). I want to say however that I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey. I am glad that I made the choice to have Weight Loss Surgery. I am glad that I kept fighting when things didn’t seem to go my way. I am glad that I stayed positive and kept moving forward when it felt like I wasn’t losing. I am glad I stayed strong mentally and kept working toward a new day.
I am mostly thankful to myself that I kept that part of me in the background when I really needed to focus on other health issues I was having. I most likely would have gone crazy otherwise… but I’ve gotten all of the other health issues resolved. So now, this issue is ready for me to fix.
Thanks to the new TLC show, I have finally made my choice.
Loving myself doesn’t have to be accepting myself the way I am. It can also mean loving myself enough to be everything I imagine in my head. There can always be room for improvement.