Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Word on Body Image

Body image is an issue that comes up often in our community. Frankly, it is something I struggle with in a different way than many men and women in our community. I never knew how big I was. I knew I was wearing big clothes and needed big sturdy chairs, but when I would walk down the street and see a person who in retrospect was probably smaller than me I would think, "I'm not THAT big. Am I?" It wasn't until the night before I started my pre-op liquid diet, a week before the lap band that it all came tumbling down like a ton of bricks. I had asked my husband to take before pictures of me. So I put on a tight pair of sweatpants and a tank top so I could really see what was going on and he snapped a full frontal and side profile shot. When I asked him to see the pics, I nearly died. Who was that humongous woman in the camera. There was NO WAY that was me. Not a chance right? It was me.  

This was me at 391 lbs. My heaviest ever. 
While this was the image the camera  was showing me that night...

This was the image I was expecting to see in the camera... size wise anyways.  
Me at 350lbs

So now here I am 273.5 lbs as per my 6 month surgeon checkup today. Skin is starting to hang, I have scars from 3 surgeries and I have an opportunity to be really down in the dumps about myself. I my back fat is starting to hang, my boobs are deflating... Ok... you get the picture. I LOVE MY BODY! Yep, I said it... LOVE! I can stand in front of the mirror frontways, sideways and I will tell you what I see.
  1. My butt looks fabulous!
  2. my body has a shape that is curvy but sexy and I no longer look like a beached whale. 
  3. I look good in clothes. 
  4. My legs are starting to form shape.
  5. My arms have a muscle or two. I am not even bothered by that hanging skin below the line that defines my muscle because three years ago that arm was solid filled out fat! 
Do I see the scars, heck yea! do I see the skin and the imperfections... OF COURSE! I am a woman after all lol but they don't bother me. It is all about perception ladies (and men... guys have this drama too)! When I had my lap band surgery my husband said, "Hunny, you could use wheat germ oil and those scars will go away." To which I replied, "HELL NO! Those scars are my battle wounds! One day I will be able to tell my babies that all these scars and hanging skin were so I could hold them in my arms!" I still feel that way two surgeries later. My inner thighs may look like a sharpei dog one day, but I did it all to have a family. There is no such thing as a perfect body. Everyone has a mark or imperfection they wish they didn't have or something that makes them a little self conscious. We imposed these imperfections on ourselves! Ladies, would you EVER say you wish you didn't have children because now you have stretch marks? My guess is HECK NO! Take a moment today to remember why you had your surgery. Then go get naked and stand in front a mirror and love those battle wounds! Take pride in those imperfections! Maybe you are lucky enough to have the money for plastics, but guess what, that leaves scars. BIG ONES! Everything is a trade off. 

Stand in front of the mirror today and only give yourself positive messages. You may not believe those messages today or tomorrow but one day you will be able to see yourself as beautiful. I see you as beautiful!! 

Love yourself today!
Sleeve Pixie

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