“So, I feel great 90% of the time. I’m in honeymoon land. The weight comes off, the sizes drop, I’m never hungry, I have increased energy, I don’t hide from the camera, I leave the house, I’m happier, healthier, proud. But, that other 10% of the time is where I stand, wondering what that shape is supposed to be. There is a frame, there is a woman, but there is all of this saggage. Loose skin, wrinkled with scars that were once stretch marks.
So, what happened to the person who didn’t think such things would matter? Where is she? Because right now, at this point, TODAY… I sure could use her confidence.”
This resonated with me because I remember being the 385 pound woman standing in the mirror swearing if I could have bariatric surgery and lose the adipose tissue, I would be happy. I would not need reconstructive surgery because I would be thin and healthy.
Then, after the surgery and weight loss and I had a pani of about 16 pounds…I realized I could not sit still until I had reconstructive surgery. I like to think it was for health reasons, as I was having terrible rashes, and back pain and many other side effects. If I will be honest here though I will admit it was alot about “insecurity”, not vanity, but insecurity.
You see, I still saw less than who I am in the mirror.
Then, when I had the recontructive surgery and I had:
1. Breast implants, arm (brachioplasty) and the flap of skin on my chin removed
3. Lip suction of my thighs
4. thigh lift
5. Breast lift
All I could see was road maps of scars. For a long time, I felt less than, I felt like my body was disfigured. I got consultations from plastic surgeons to see if I could get it redone. Somewhere along the way, I had an epiphany. If I could not learn to love me exactly where I was on this journey, I would never be good enough for myself. That I would keep jumping from one surgery to another until I could jump no more.
Those consults were in the Winter of 2008. I chose not to have more resonstructive surgery but instead to do very detailed self work with an experienced Therapist. She has sat and listened to me as I have peeled away layer by layer the pain, the self hate the low self esteem and the body image distortion. She listened and was there to support me even when I felt a lot of self hate and disrespect.
Today, my life is much different. The scales fluctuate and I no longer panic. I realize that my purpose is to love myself unconditionally no matter what the reflection is in my mirror.
Michelle, thank you for reflecting to me something about myself that was time to re-evaluate. One thing I want to promise you is that with self work, self love and self compassion it will get better everyday.
I look at the photo of you and I up there at the top of the page and I laugh out loud. There was a time I would have hated it and asked you to take it down, because I would have thought it was terrible my boobs are too big for the boob inserts on that shirt. NOW I LAUGH and say what is wrong with designers they never make BOOB holes big enough on shirts 😉
Life is good 😉