Help! My Body Looked Better When I Was Fat!

Cheryl G.
on 10/3/11 5:04 am - Davenport, IA
Hello and Blessings,

I have a major issue that I've pretty much kept to myself for a good while now. It concerns my sabataging my own weight-loss efforts due to my appearance - having loose skin and stretchmarks! I'm proud of getting healthier thru having had wls, and by following my doctor's diet and exercising program. However, I'm embarrassed by how my body looks on the outside! If my body looks the way it does now after a 150 lbs weight loss, how is it going to look minus the remaining extra 75 lbs! Exercise has done all it's going to do for my skin! I've been using a whole host of creams, lotions, and potions to fade the stretchmarks. Unfortunately there hasn't been much improvement! I tell myself that looks really don't matter but now that I'm at a more socially acceptable weight and look pretty good in my clothes, men notice me and at times even approach me for my number! I'm so insecure about my body that I run in the opposite direction! Sometimes even literally!

So lately I've been journaling and I had a real "Come to Jesus Meeting" with myself! I've been subconsciously sabotaging my efforts to lose the remaining 75 lbs that I need to lose but blaming my inability to reach my goal on everything else! I hope this doesn't sound too vain! I never thought I'd care so much about something like this but my "fat" body actually "looked" better then my smaller body is turning out to look like! Unfortunately I don't have the luxury of having plastic surgery at this point! Any supportive words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated? I just need to gain some perspective!

Cheryl G.

on 10/3/11 5:36 am
It might help to focus more on the health benefits of losing weight. I know my skin looks crappy but my health is much improved, and I am very grateful for that.

Also, any man who is worth it is going to like you for who you are, not what you look like.

Therapy can help you work with self image issues. And, no, you are not being too vain. See what you like about yourself, and put that first!

"What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls the butterfly." Richard Bach

"Support fosters your growth. If you are getting enough of the right support, you will experience a major transformation in yourself. You will discover a sense of empowerment and peace you have never before experienced. You will come to believe you can overcome your challenges and find some joy in this world." Katie Jay

on 10/3/11 5:40 am - FL
RNY on 03/26/12
Hey Cheryl, I wish I had some words of wisdom but I don't. I haven't had my surgery yet and dont even have a date. But I can tell you that I am 42 years old and have been married to my wonderful husband for 22 years and I am very worried about the loose skin and how my body will look. I am afraid that I will have loose skin and  I already feel like I can't let my husband see it. So I kinda understand how you feel when I am afraid of what I will look like getting undressed in front of someone I love and who loves me and who has been by my side through thick and thin. So I feel for you and wish you the best and the only thing I can say is that I know my husband will still love me and want me and you just have to find someone who will love the whole you, all of you.
MyLady Heidi
on 10/3/11 6:37 am
Where there is a will there is a way, plastics is not out, you just have to get super creative to get the money, I had mine done at a teaching hospital using their residency program.  I totally understand how you feel and the embarassment factor, and I also understand that some people will never get how you feel and try to make you think you are healthier so you should be happy about the trainwreck that is your body.  Personally I tell those people to go **** themselves, they don't have to live in my skin, I do, and those saggy gross stretch mark covered tracks were literally making me miserable.  Maybe the answer is an older car, or a loan or whatever but its an investment in you and your sanity.  I hope you find a way.  If you wanna see my plastics before and afters add me as a friend.

Good Luck

on 10/3/11 6:38 am
i will take batwings and flabby skin over sore ankles, diabetes, high blood pressure and a size 28-32 any day! yes i wish i could have plastic surgery too but i am learning to deal with this new size and new me also, check your insurance because if you have that much extra skin and its causing issues it may be covered by your insurance! as far as relationships if the person knows me already, its not much of an issue if you know what i meanwhen it comes down to the nitty gritty! but it gets to be an issue when you meet someone new, i would like to think that the right person would not make it a big issue, i sure there is alot of frogs out there,  (i know there are alot of frogs out there) but you wont know till you get out there! dont let fear keep you in the house, we all have hidden behind the fat for long enough as it is. I bought some four inch heels for the first time and i can actually walk in them, i am practicing keeping them on for long periods of time, since it been while since i have had on heels and kept them on without taking them off. time for you to put on some skinny jeans or some spanx and keep it movin!
(deactivated member)
on 10/3/11 7:03 am - Santa Cruz, CA
I know EXACTLY what you mean.  I look OK in clothes, but underneath it's "Katie bar the door"

I've come to the conclusion that at my age, I'm not going to look like a 22 y.o., with 22 y.o. skin.

Anyone else who gets close enough to notice has to know in advance that we all get saggy 
with age, and I'm no different.

We have to learn to love ourselves.

on 10/3/11 11:32 pm
Ditto what Lynn says! I, too have sags & bags - heck I think if the MIchelin Man saw me it'd be love at first site!! (Or maybe a sharpei???) You have to learn to love yourself as you are first and foremost (IMO) and then go from there.  Plastic surgery is a huge step in itself.  Take time to get to know your saggy self first and then concentrate on looking better and feeling better too.  You've come a long way from where you were.   I wish you the best of luck.  Loose skin can be a hard thing to deal with but it is only skin and not diabetes, hypertension, cellulitis, heart disease, etc.  Take care.  Blessings, Mary
on 10/3/11 8:43 am
 You don't sound "vain"....and Heidi and Lynn have said everything I would have said to you.  The more important issue that I see is the self-sabotage that you've wisely noticed.  It is really a tough thing to "accept", but there really is no way of getting around the excess skin issue unless plastics are in your future. You have gone through drastic measures to lose your excess weight, and you have come so far. No doubt, your health has been vastly improved.  Gaining any of that lost weight back isn't going to make everything better...think of how unhappy you felt about your body 150 lbs ago! Self-acceptance is a very tough goal (or very near it) for 8 yrs has not made that any easier, nor has plastics.  I still pick apart my body, seeing each and every flaw magnified X 100.  I think you should have another "come to Jesus" session and ask for strength to change the things you can, and accept those which you cannot.  Once you are at goal and have maintained that weight for a while (most plastic surgeons will not touch you until you have had 18 mos steady weight) you can investigate your options....many surgeons will provide options for financing, in addition to the options Heidi brought up.  Good luck, and I hope you can find some pride and some peace in where you are right now. 
Lori P.
on 10/3/11 12:54 pm, edited 10/3/11 12:54 pm - Kenosha, WI
OK....I have to say this....

At the risk of sounding like a voyeur....I am a nurse and I can't help but notice, d/t the nature of my work....It is the RARE woman that looks great sans clothing after age 35. age 25 we are already starting to show the effects of gravity!  Even very fit women...have cellulite, stretch marks and skin issues.    We are too hard on ourselves....myself included.


     SW 212 / Goal 130 / Current 130



on 10/3/11 9:11 pm
Dearest Lori, I REALLY APPRECIATE your remarks re our bodies WL or just normal weight.
Your viewpoint is REAL.  I have also come a long way and still have approx 50 lbs to go and at times, have the same thoughts as our original poster.  Yet, I know that I would never go back to my previous weight and illness because of that weight. Dealt with ALL the comorbities required for this life saving surgery.  The second layer of skin that plagues me everyday is a burden but not as heavey as
my dim future prospects were prior to surgery.  I feel better, look better and am 100 % healthier and thank God for the opportunity to live a longer, healthier and yes, happier life.

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