Tuesday, May 18, 2010

It Ain't All Pretty

Yesterday I posted a picture of my waist. I do like my waist. It's really fabulous for all it's been through. In fact I have several parts that I like and will probably post pictures of over time: nice shoulders, my neck is doing pretty well, my back is decent without any rolls, and I don't have cankles anymore. But let me be clear: the abuse done to my body over the past ten years is *not* without consequence. While it is very important to look for good parts and love our bodies and stay positive, it is also essential to be realistic. And honest. And let people know that no, you will *not* get away from morbid obesity and binge eating without some bodily scars of sorts.

You've seen my upper arms... it ain't pretty. In fact they are so flabby that sometimes they get caught or pinched somewhere because I forget how much they hang. My thighs are another area that has always been disproportionately large; in fact, they are as big around as some people's waists. As I've lost weight, the skin on my thighs is getting that crepe paper look and there is some sag, especially around the knees. Now, mind you, it is not ALL bad. The fat IS leaving, slowly, and just this week I was lying in bed on my side when I suddenly noticed that MY KNEE BONES WERE TOUCHING! Ouch, it kinda hurt! But wow, I am so used to the big cushion of fat in that area that it was a real shock when I felt that bone-on-bone sensation at the knees. However, when I am standing there is no touching of bones going on. Too much flesh. My hips, too, are not looking so hot. The waist is good, but just below the waist, things are much bigger and droopier. I don't have a huge hanging apron (so far) like some folks do, but I do have more fat than I'd like. From the side I look kinda pregnant. You can look at my 70 Pounds Gone pictures and see the lower belly area I am talking about. It is definitely smaller than it used to be, by far, but my hip measurement at the widest point is still almost 4 feet around. Now do you see where that 208 pounds is hiding?

If I took a bikini picture of me from just below my belly button to just below my knees and posted it on this blog, you would not believe it was me. You'd say, "no way!! That woman is HUGE! You look SO MUCH THINNER than that in clothes/in pictures/from the waist up!" You'd probably guess it to be a picture of a 260 pound woman. That's the dichotomy of this formerly-morbidly-obese body. Parts of me look 260 pounds. Parts of me look 160 pounds. And none of me really looks 208 pounds.

My face looks great. I think I am beautiful (in my own way) and I love my upper body (except the bat wings). But no, I did not miraculously escape the consequences of being almost 300 pounds for so long. You cannot take a piece of skin and stretch it to three times its natural capacity and then expect it to all snap right back to normal. You cannot think you can continue to eat unnatural, immense amounts of food and then just go on a diet and be back to the way you were before. It doesn't work like that. I made a LOT of extra fat cells for myself. And if I could possibly go back and do it over I would have never, ever let myself gain all this weight. I wish I had recognised the beginnings of an eating disorder. I wish I had noticed when I began using food as a protection, comfort, coping mechanism, escape. We all have regrets about that kind of thing. But the bigger tragedy would be for us to be wishing we had lost the weight ten years ago... ten years from now.

I won't let another decade go by like that. Yes, I have some body parts that need work. Some will probably never be the same as they used to be. But I am not the same as I used to be, so that's ok. What I will do is do the best I can. I'll lose the weight as best I can. I'll work to build muscle, take good care of my skin, and hope for the best. And whatever I am left with at 150 pounds, I'll be proud of. I love seeing the changes in my body and while I will not be sharing any thigh pictures *now*, I do have high hopes that I will share them someday as "before" and "afters" of the vast improvement I've made. As long as I am working on it, there's hope for improvement. And I'll take whatever body I get when I reach goal. I am so happy to finally be losing this weight that I just can't waste time worrying about how I *might* look when I get to goal. Just knowing I *will* get to goal is enough to keep me going!

It feels great. You can do it! Stick with your plan and DO NOT give up, no matter what. It is SO worth it!

18 comments:

Julie said...

You are absolutely right, being obese there are going to be areas with saggy skin. I wish my belly and waist looked as good as yours, but I think I'm mostly OK with my lower legs...it's a start! Thanks for the inspiring words!

Laryssa said...

Excellent post, as usual. :) You are so right. I don't want to sit here 10 years from now wishing I had lost the weight 10 years before.

Lily Fluffbottom said...

This is very inspirational to me. I have never been skinny, and I don't know whats going to happen to my body once I lose the weight. I think it may be one of the things I fear the most, because I can't "plan" how I'm going to feel about it when that day comes. Its never come. But I'm glad you are here, sharing your story and preparing people like me, who have finally committed to this journey on whats coming up next.

Rebekah said...

Great post. Sometimes I want to sit and write out all the things my body parts do for me so I don't take it for granted!
I have considered stopping MF but one thing or another keeps me going, I know it the end it will be worth it!

Anonymous said...

I love your blog. You have accomplished so much. You may be interested in T-tapp and skin brushing. Chris

Georgia said...

Hit the nail on the head! No more wasting time! Our lives are works in progress and we should think of our bodies that way too...who wants to be bemoaning the fact they DIDN'T do something in 10, 5, 2 years from now?
Excellent, Excellent post! Lyn, you are doing an awesome job at LIVING, ACCEPTING, MOVING FORWARD and INSPIRING people to do the same!

Missa said...

Ya know.. I think about this for about a second and say, well, if I was so worried about what my body was going to look like after the weight loss, imagine how much time I wasted mourning my body as it was FAT.

Cheers,
Missa
LosingEthel

Tabby said...

My arms are bat wings, and though I'm not happy about it I'm going to be so glad when the weight is off. I was told yesterday that my blood sugar test was 119. I'm scared. Never tested high before. It makes me angry at myself because I did this. I had 18 lbs fly off of me, after starting in April and now nothing this week. no loss. This is scary to me, and all I can do is come here and read your blog to help me stay sane through this.

TC said...

You inspired me to take pics and post them! Thanks Lyn. :)

I, too, have areas that look GREAT and areas that look horrid. The backs of my thighs are so riddled with cellulite, it's depressing. I have the paper bag saggy skin on my lower belly, but not TERRIBLY. I've lost nearly 100 lbs total, so it's not surprising- and I know my body will never be *perfect*, but I love the changes, too!

http://tammys-tale.blogspot.com/2010/05/pictures-bathing-suit-and-various-body.html

Tammy said...

Crepe Paper!!! YES!!!! That's exactly the right word for my inner thighs at the top...I have been thinking and thinking of how to describe them....the term never came to me like bat wings did. That is EXACTLY it!!!! Now that I've got the right word to describe them, I can go back to being disgusted, lol.

Summer said...

How true! Great post. :)

Momma Hunt said...

I couldn't agree more. A few years ago for my wedding I lost a lot of weight at looked amazing. I am on the weight loss journey again after having two kids, the most recent seven weeks ago. I just brought my wedding dress to be made into a baptism dress for my daughter and the dress maker asked it i was ok with the fact that she was going to be cutting it up and that I wouldn't be able to wear it again. I smiled and said that is ok, I will never fit into that dress again because my body will never be that kind of small again and that is ok this is the body that gave birth to the best things in my life so who cares if my boobs or hips will never be that small again, as long as I am healthy for them!

Leslie said...

Really good stuff again Lyn. I have to add that I think you've been blessed with some good genes in the area of fat storage and such. Even on your upper arm picture, the skin isn't droopy and wrinkly and crepe-y - (not creepy either!). Some of that comes with age, but hell, good genes are good genes.

You'r progress is really so wonderful to witness. The physical and the emotional!

NewMe said...

Just a little bit of counterpoint: The other day, I was at a meeting at my synagogue and I was looking at the woman leading the discussion. She is a yoga/pilates teacher and, as far as I know, just a naturally thin person. She's probably in her early to mid-50s. Newsflash: she has bat wings too. It's just part of ageing.

debbie said...

I was only ever 15-20 pounds overweight - and I lost 35 pounds. I do a lot of strength training - and STILL have flabby skin under my arms. It can happen to anyone, no matter how much weight you let yourself gain. I wish someone had told me that sooner!

Sarah said...

Yup! I am newly affirming to not only get to the goal but to enjoy the ride. Any improvement is worth feeling happy about and ultimately I want to remember a happy journey when I do get there. The alternative to moving forward is not an alternative for me.

Jennifer said...

I too struggle with sagging skin after my 53 lb loss(so far). I am going to make the effort to tone up. It sounds like you are already doing that based on the exercise you are doing! Congrats. I keep telling myself that with time the jiggle will be less. I have some some spots that I dont think there is a prayer in the world that can help. My stomach, unlike yours, is so stretched after two kids(I gained the traditional 30lbs but stretched immensely) and a few surgeries. However, it is improving and I am curious to see just how "good" I can get it. Time will tell :) I look forward to following your success.

Jennifer
http://wecanlosethepounds.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

You are doing great, girl! I am so happy for you. You're right, you will be happy with whatever your body looks like at goal. What an achievement! You have been inspireing me for months now & I have been trying to start a journey of my own but just haven't been able to get going. Your words push me a little every day, though and the most recent picture you posted were amazing & made me feel empowered to just do it! Finally yesterday I took the plunge for the upteeth time & I actually got through the whole day. I don't feel like I accomplished much but it was so hard to get through an entire day without junk, I can't imagine everyday being this hard..but I remember you said "3 days" so I'm going to fight through today like yesterday & hopefully make it. I don't want to jump the gun but I really felt wonderful when I got up this morning knowing that I had one whole day under my belt. Even though I look exactly the same as I did yesterday, it felt like alot.
Thank you for your awesome blog, oh & I love your recipes, too.

Stacey