There is something everybody wants to ask me. Something people are afraid to offend me over. Something I’ve received emails and comments about more and more lately.
The topic? Loose skin.
So let’s talk about it.
Do I have it? Yes. Do I like it? No. Does it really bother me? Sometimes.
So basically I never figured that I was going to look as tight and taut as a sixteen year old cheerleader when I started this. I figured I would have loose skin at the end and I was okay with that. Loose skin, in my opinion, was better than mounds of fat hanging off of me.
That’s still the way I feel. I had realistic expectations of what I could expect my body to look like after having carried around almost 200 extra pounds of fat and I’ve basically had those expectations come to fruition.
There is extra skin on my arms (commonly referred to as bat wings) that hangs. The stretch marks there are not the most attractive thing either. There is loose skin on my thighs, it jiggles a bit when I walk and I can see it hang forward when I do downward dog in shorts at yoga. My breasts are not really “full” anymore. They’re still big, but the skin is very crepe-ey (I’ve heard mom’s who’ve nursed children get the same thing happen to them). My stomach is the bane of my current existence. Not only because it still seems enormous to me, but because it rather looks like someone melted me. I have a pannus as I mentioned before (the fat below your belly button but above your pubic bone) and it really didn’t look smaller until about ten pounds ago. Now it does, but the skin is looking less than stellar.
Now that I’ve said that – here’s the interesting part:
It doesn’t bother me very often.
I mean, sure, I’d like to have a rock solid body where nothing jiggles, but I don’t. Instead, I have one that is strong and capable. One that will carry me through 90 minutes of hot yoga (which is the most incredible exercise I’ve ever done – true story), one that will run for 3 miles without stopping. I have a body where I can see muscles bunch and flex under that loose skin in the most attractive way.
I’ve lost this weight at the rate of 2.0075 lbs per week. I’ve exercised the entire time (except for the first four weeks). I have never smoked, I don’t tan and I’m still in my 20’s. I’m the best case scenario that doctors look at when they encounter someone who has loose skin. It still may tighten up more over time, but I’m not counting on it. Instead, I’m trying to be positive – some loose, hanging skin is better than fat. I now wear tank tops and bathing suits to swim and I’m ok. They’re just ARMS for God’s sake. It’s not like I have swastikas tattooed on them! How offensive can they be?
That’s not to say that I don’t struggle with accepting my body – I do, just like every other person on this planet. Most of the time I look at myself in the mirror and am at least content with what I see (if not impressed), but I have days where I lament the way my skin looks. I think about how nice it would be to look “perfect” and then I remind myself that no one is perfect and I put clothes on that are cute and tiny (size eight!!) and I move on with my day.
I was thinking about doing an “Exposed” post but I’m still not sure. As comfortable as I am with my body these days, I don’t know if I want to put it all out there for the world to see. It’s something I’m thinking on anyway.
The other thing to think on is plastic surgery. As a Canadian, I have health-care perks that are quite the blessing. One of them is that if you lose 100 lbs and keep it off for a year or longer and have loose skin, the government will pay for skin removal and a tummy tuck. Apparently, it’s a hygiene issue (which I can see – when I was fat my skin used to sometimes get a rash in the summer time from rubbing against itself). I’m going to discuss it with my doctor at my physical in November and see how I feel. Right now, I’m leaning towards doing it, but I don’t know if I want to have surgery that isn’t REQUIRED. We’ll see. I know it’s kind of schizophrenic to talk about how I accept my body in one paragraph and then discuss cutting part of it off in the next. It’s how I roll.
I’m not exactly shy when it comes to talking about myself – if you have any questions regarding this topic (or anything else that you’re too embarrassed to comment publically about), just email me or leave a comment on this post. I will do my best to answer honestly.