When I committed to keeping a blog about my weightloss, I committed to recording the entire process: the good, the bad, and the ugly. It was a testament to my commitment, the confidence I had in my drive. Honestly, though? It seemed more straightforward than it has been, to honestly and openly share the whole process. When I looked at Katie, from Runs for Cookies, as she documented her Weight Loss project and the resulting skin removal surgery, I wondered what the big deal was? Why was she so embarrassed to share pictures? I wondered why she didn’t want to let people know what her skin looked like. I was curious, because I wanted all of that saggy skin! I wanted to see what I should expect. To me, from the outside, it never seemed like it should be a big deal to show her skin to other people. To have that saggy skin that doesn’t have the fat inside of it anymore seemed like a badge of pride, not something to be ashamed of. A scar, for sure, but nothing embarrassing.
It turns out that the whole skin issue is one that is more difficult to contend with than I had realized. I honestly think I wouldn’t mind it so much, but it actually hurts! It actually makes clothes fit weird! It actually causes me open wounds! It stinks! Well, not like ‘phew! Who cut the cheese?’ stink, but, like as the colloquial kind of stinks/sucks/bites. Though, as with any skin, if I didn’t wash, it would stink. Fact of life, peeps. Anyhow…
I was expecting smaller tatas. Really I was. You can’t expect to lose over 100 pounds and not see some breast density shifts. Through the gift of genetics and some generous eating habits, my rack topped out at a 44DDD. After giving birth, I didn’t call my 44L nursing bra ‘my bra,’ I called it ‘the apparatus’. I was happy when I was done using it. My point being that I could out-boob a lot of gals. I had plenty to share, more than we ever even needed at my house. You get the idea. So, I squeezed into bras for years, bursting out, practically, of ones that, these days, my once grandiose chesticles pool in the bottom of like rain in a barrel. I decided to measure up, bite the bullet and find out my new size. Clearly, after 130 pounds I need a new bra, yes? Deserve one! Need one for back to school! I found out that I’m a 38C. I’m almost sad to see the parade of D’s gone.
Here’s where the problem with this comes in. I have lots of skin area and little volume to keep it full, if you catch my drift. The skin pulls from the top ‘corners,’ under my arms, around my side to under my shoulder blades, connecting to all the tendons there that previously were supported in many areas by my flesh, not just the top side edges… If breasts have edges? Corners??? Imagine, if you will, a zip lock bag with a c-cup size of water in the bottom and you can imagine how it pulls. It hurts my back, my underarms and, quite often, makes me feel like I have paper tearing under my skin. It occurs daily and now I’m kind of freaking out that I might have to have surgery on them, too, or wear a bra 24/7 forever. Shiver.
Clothes fit weird. Things that fit my waist have to fit all of this extra skin in there too. It is just like a slightly inflated tire that hangs around my middle, just under my belly button. When I’m trying on clothes, I actually have to stuff it in my pants. Sooooo sexy. This is why I wear compression clothes all the time; it keeps everything in place! On top of that, things that fit my trunk (where the bulk of my excess skin is) don’t fit my legs and arms, and my torso is extended because of the skin that gathers under my belly button. Yes, there is still fat in there. Hopefully when I lose more it will get even easier.
My belly button can’t breathe. If you take the jump at the end of this article, you can see how my tummy has completely folded over, and it’s just like that all the time. It used to be, that as long as I wore my compression tanks, bathed daily and kept it clean that nothing would happen. A little extra maintenance, but nothing worse than shaving my legs, but lately it’s just constantly sore. And, to me, kinda gross. I’m just not hip to open, weepy, weird wounds. Maybe that’s just me…? Don’t think so. The wound may help me to qualify for my insurance to cover some of the skin removal surgery cost, but we will see.
I do find the skin a little embarrassing. I understand Katie now- as great as it is to be deflated, I want the evidence gone. While I think it has a kind of neat texture, I also think I feel like an old, flaccid lady sometimes too. I don’t always like the scar, I don’t always want to wear the information that I’ve lost a lot of weight on my body, sometimes I just want to be me and not be celebrating my so-far-so-good weightloss project. So there you have it. Guts and all, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Mostly though, and I need to make this clear, I’m really happy with everything. Daily, I’m grateful that I decided to take myself on and lose the weight. I’m proud of how far I’ve come and I’m determined not to let it go. Living with any of these ‘problems’ or embarrassments is a pleasure to endure, compared with what I lived with before.