Only 17 pounds to go. I’m closing in on my weight loss goal. I’m stoked. I hit a plateau around March which incidentally coincided with separating from #3 and dealing with that craziness. It continued during the waffling back and forth of actually breaking ties with him. I even put on about 5 pounds at one point. Living in a hotel for a month after my house burning down didn’t help much either. It’s hard to eat healthy when every meal is eaten in a restaurant. Now the crisis seems to be over and things are getting on track. I’ve been in the gym on a regular basis and I have been able to maintain a reasonable diet since I have a kitchen now. So here I am, almost to the weight loss finish line.
I’ve talked some about preparing for gastric sleeve surgery. It was a very educational experience. I told you how I went through classes, psychological evaluations, dietary instruction and even physical education instruction. I don’t think I’ve ever shared the talk about plastic surgery with you. Basically a highly trained plastic surgeon came to the support group and went over common procedures that people may have done after a major weight loss. Information overload. I remember thinking to myself, “I don’t care about that right now. Just let me get healthy.” Well, now I’m healthy and getting close to my goal. It’s like they use to ask at the grocery store, “Paper or plastic?”, except now it’s “Holly or plastic?”
Growing up my parents always told me I was beautiful, but come on it was their job to build me up and I often told them this. You can ask my mom. She’ll tell you, I always called her out on it. I was a pretty cute kid, blonde hair and grayish blue eyes and I was sweet most of the time. It took me far with teachers at school and I was reasonably popular and not insecure. All that changed though when I hit high school. You know how you read about girls whose self esteem tanks in the formative years. Well, I was one of them. To my thinking I was fat. My thighs were too heavy. My legs were bowed and my ankles were too thick. My butt was too big. I didn’t like my nose. It would have looked better on a man. I had no breast. I use to joke that my people came from the ‘high plains’ and that God gave me brains instead of boobs. I had stretch marks from growing six inches in one summer. I really hated the red “road maps” on my hips. I mean it wasn’t as if I sat around thinking about how awful I looked all the time. I think I was pretty normal. I did as my mom told me to, standing up straight and not slouching. After all didn’t everyone want to be tall? According to Mom they did. I never acknowledge the insecurities I felt. My mom would have killed me if she knew what was going on with my psyche. She raised me to be proud of who I was and I tried not to let her down.
You want to complicate your self image? Throw a man into the mix. Dating and being married, at times was hard on my over all physical self esteem. I remember when I was in my early 20’s how one word from my boyfriend could make me feel like total crap about my appearance for days. Soon after marrying, I discovered husband #1 was really good at hitting below the belt with insults. Some of that was my fault though. I gave him the ammunition by letting him know my body insecurities early on in our relationship. (To be fair he did lift me up at times too.) We as humans tend to focus on the bad stuff. It’s certainly easier to remember. The funniest thing about these memories and insecurities: When I look back on those years now, I really didn’t look that bad. My weight was healthy. I was healthy. Then I got big.
You can call it what you want. There’s curvy, big-boned, voluptuous, heavier than I’d like and then there is obese. I was obese and my health was suffering. A strange thing happened to me though through gaining the extra pounds. I began to practice self acceptance. I realized if I didn’t love myself then how could I ask anyone else to love me? You can ask anyone who knows me. I may have gotten big but I didn’t let myself go. I still got up every morning and fixed my hair, put on my face and dressed as cute as I could. I took pride in my appearance. I even stood up for myself and even argued back when #2 would play the fat card. I had finally gotten over myself and I even got boobs in the process of gaining weight. Bonus! Some of the self acceptance came from the Lord. I knew he made me and he loves me just as I am, as I was. That was a huge comfort. My kids didn’t care about my size either. They loved me for me. Finally I realized those closest to me…my family accepted me no matter my size. Husband #3 actually did a lot to foster myself esteem. He was always lifting me up regardless of what the scales said. He was right there with me helping me make the decision to have the weight loss surgery, not for looks but for my longevity.
So here I sit 16 months post op and 75 pounds lighter and almost to my goal. This is where vanity kicks in. I’m happy with my health, very much so. I’m stronger that I’ve been in years. I’m wearing regular sized clothing. I’m no longer as I use to joke a plus size Barbie. I don’t have to have surgery to remove excess skin. My breasts are pretty much where God originally put them. The stretch marks are silver these days. Yeah I have a pouchy belly. I’d love to have gorgeous dimple free thighs and Linda Hamilton, ala Terminator 2, arms. Working out has helped so much with the shape my body has taken post surgery but plastic surgery would likely get me there.
So this is what I’ve come up with from our talk here. If I can practice self acceptance when I’m at my biggest then I think I can practice it now. I’m not about to knock anyone for having plastic surgery. It’s an option and a valid one. Also, i firmly reserve the right to change my mind on this matter if I so choose. It took me from about the age of 16 to age 39 to be ok with my appearance and to accept myself. I may never have Playboy Bunny boobs, Heidi Klum’s legs or the thigh gap of a Victoria’s Secret model but I’m healthy. My kids and my parents think I’m beautiful on the inside and out and God loves me no matter my thigh status. I think I’ll just be happy go with that for now.
Daisies, Coffee and Chocolates,