Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - Rejection AFTER Success...




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Marisa
01-29-2012, 11:27 PM
I have read the previous posts concerning loose skin...they were all good reads but I'm not sure I found a realistic answer.

Let me shed some light on my situation:

I've been overweight my entire life. If my mom wasn't making fun of me there were others that got the job done...my classmates...neighbors...even my best friends adult uncle. This is a scar I will always carry with me. Luckily I found my assets and decided being the comedian was my best approach. Through childhood and into adulthood this worked very well for me, I made friends and enjoyed life the best I could...but I was never too far away from the fat I carried with me and the fear that my humor couldn't hold up to what people saw me as physically. At any given moment I knew I could be made fun of and that intense fear never gave me the ease of letting down my walls.

Fast forward into my 30's...after several successful weight loss periods from age 8 to 30 I gave in. I thought weight loss surgery was for quitters but that's just it...I'd work myself to death to lose the weight and eventually starvation and exercise ends and gaining weight is inevitable. I woke one day and decided to have weight loss surgery...3 weeks later it was done. 2 years later I'm at a socially acceptable size 12 with TONS of excess skin. My max weight was 300+ so I fear I have ruined my body for good. I still hate my body but I appreciate it's smaller and easier to disguise...with the help of spanx. I know I sound like a cynic, because my life experience has proven there's no other choice. I'm extremely happy that I am now generally accepted by society...even if it's based on a smaller body.

My issue is my walls. The years of rejection that I didn't even invite into my life have scarred me way more than any surgical procedure could. I love clothes and being a girl and people now seem to compliment me like I'm Jennifer Aniston...I'm talking REALLY good looking guys here!!! My dating life is in full swing and I in awe of how many guys want to date me...too bad the "me" they are dating is one hot mess. I am not fake, it's the REAL me...but please keep in mind the real physical me is tucked away under girdles and nice clothes. They don't know that...and I don't know how to broach the subject.

I've read replies before and I agree, "someone will come along", and "people should like me for me" and "others don't deserve you if they can't handle that"...I understand what all of you are saying my issue with that is for the first time in the 30+ years I've been alive people are attracted to me and it's hard to take in. Granted my body has changed but the same girl that used her humor in fear of being rejected still lives in this body...I am still terrified of rejection!!! So when you say "if he rejects you he wasn't worth it" I hear "OMG I've come all this way to be rejected again?!?! Not possible...not happening!!!".

I'm a very honest and up front person and hiding this just makes me sick...but if I were honest about it and then rejected I may just die.

Help!!! Are there drugs for this? Would a psychiatrist help? Am I damaged forever?


cherrypie
01-29-2012, 11:55 PM
I'd look into some therapy if I were you. Life is too short for self hatred. It took me a long time to learn this, but we all have just as much to offer as the next person. There is nothing wrong with just being you.

124chicksinger
01-30-2012, 01:36 AM
Of course the question that begs to be asked is....are you planning on surgery to remove the excess skin? While I do not speak from personal experience, I've known 3 people who had gastric surgery and followed with skin removal. Each said they were happy they did it. Also, I knew someone who dated a fella who at 400 lbs had gastric surgery, and the skin was a terrible issue for him. My friend didn't care about the skin, but he couldn't get over it. For that and other reasons, they broke up - he followed with the skin removal...and later married a plus size girl, and I'm guessing his wife could totally understand his issues.

Are you valid in your concerns? Yes. Why? Because you have already felt rejection for being overweight, and now you fear rejection because you're hiding a little secret under your clothing. But, there is someone for everyone and many people aren't superficial and certainly someone can love you....just for being you. At some point, you are going to have to deal with the issue of letting the secret out--and I hope it doesn't undo you...but then again, until you reach that point, you won't know. The real point, however, is will YOU truly be comfortable with yourself without removing the excess skin. So, were I in your shoes, it wouldn't be a shrink I'd concern myself with. I'd concern myself with the decision to remove or not remove the skin. The scars of skin removal will be easier to deal with than the loose skin and the fear of rejection (and intimacy) it causes.

P.S. By the way, I clicked to see if you made a profile, and I want to add that you are a very beautiful young girl.


Candeka
01-30-2012, 01:44 AM
What you are feeling is completely understandable. You always dreamed of having a different body. The body that all girls want to have. You worked hard, and went through surgery to make it possible, only it turns out that its not the "perfect" body you've always thought of. I have read lots of posts of women saying how they hate the extra skin and some of them even say they felt better being over weight. If you were willing to have surgery to lose the weight, are you willing to go through surgery to lose the skin?

Personally, if I had enough extra skin that it had to be tucked away, I would have surgery. I have seen pictures of women you have lost weight, had all the extra skin, and than got surgery. It does make all the difference in the world. If this is an issue really bothering you, there are only 2 things you can do. You can come to accept it, or you can have the surgery to change it.

If it makes you feel any better, I have been over weight my whole life, and I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and seeing the body I have ALWAYS wanted. The problem now is that I will soon be at the stage in my life where having kids is a real possibility, but I think I am vein enough to NOT have children just in fear of gaining weight and ruining that body that I will have dreamed of for SOOO long and would have just recently got

sontaikle
01-30-2012, 09:48 AM
I was overweight my whole life too. I know how difficult it is to be fat and suddenly have that smaller body. You don't know who you are any more, you're not sure how to be the person you wanted to be all of those years and it can be a little overwhelming.

I have extra skin too. I have stretch marks. It's annoying and frustrating after working so hard to get here, but I'm sure you would agree that the extra skin and stretch marks are much better than what was there before.

The guys that don't care? They're out there. I mean I guess I'm lucky since my fiance has been with me when I was heavier and now is still with me when I'm a lot lighter. He saw me when I was fat so of course he doesn't care about extra skin. When I brought it up he told me I was silly and I looked fine. He wants me to wear a bikini this summer (actually he's BEGGING me to wear one and said he will buy me one!) and while I'm not sure if I'm ready to do that, it does give me something to work towards fitness-wise.

I peeked at your profile and I can see why good looking guys are after you. You are a striking woman! But I know how it is to be passed over and then suddenly have men after you. It's...strange. I can't describe it. I remember when I had men after me, the first time I had really gone out since losing most of my weight. I freaked out and hid. I couldn't deal with it.

I think you need to talk to someone. Time has helped me, but I also have a supportive significant other to help me through the process. It sounds like you have much to work though, but please don't give up hope :) You are not "broken," you just need help learning how to be this new person that you are.

Is your extra skin causing you a lot of issues? You may be able to get it removed, but I think you may have to maintain your weight for a period of time (and in that time you may find the extra skin to shrink).

bargoo
01-30-2012, 10:15 AM
Many people, men and women both who have lost a lot of weight find it necessary to have the extra skin renoved surgically. I don't consider it to be cosmetic surgery but a necessary one. All that extra skin causes problems of its own, perspiration problems and rashes not to mention the cumbersomeness of it. I have plenty of loose skin, caused by gaining and losing and gaining again, pregnancy and I once had a large ovarian tumor, these all had a bearing on the loose skin I now have. I am not going to have the surgery because of other health issues but I would if it were not for that.

Marisa
01-30-2012, 12:30 PM
Thank you all for your support...it helps so much. The surgery to remove the skin sounds promising and hopefully one day I can have that but I don't think a size 12 is small enough to have it removed...I still have ways to go. There seems to be a lot of fat caught in the excess skin still. I read my post again and I almost sound conceited lol...I'm obviously not. What I meant to say is people compliment me like I'm someone gorgeous and if they seen the real me I don't believe I would have received such compliments...I feel like a liar and I have never been a dishonest person yet if you have the opportunity to look presentable it seems ridiculous not to.

Thanks Again!

Riddy
01-30-2012, 08:31 PM
Hey Marisa,

Let me start off with :hug: I still have a lot to lose, so I'm not dealing with the skin issue so much, but I am trying to figure out the whole newfound attention from guys. On one hand, I'm thrilled, on the other, I'm thinking "where were you guys 70 pounds ago?" Maybe it's not just the weight that's different, maybe I'm giving off a more confident vibe now. Either way, I'm struggling, and I don't think I'm at a point where I want to get naked with someone new.

Give your mind time to catch up with your body. Give your skin time to snap back a little. And here's another :hug: for good measure.

Munchy
01-31-2012, 12:14 PM
When I got pregnant, I gained 70lbs...no joke. I'm a shorty and almost doubled my weight!

Not only did I feel terrible about myself, it took me a full year after my daughter was born to return back to my previous weight. I was separated about six months after that. Although I knew I didn't want to be in the relationship I was in, I was suddenly faced with dating again with my new stretch marks and I complained to my brother about how I was unworthy and wouldn't find someone because of them.

He told me that any person would be lucky to spend time with me because of my personality, and that NOBODY cares about stretchmarks.

He was right.

I've dated a lot since my divorce and I haven't met anyone who even gives them a second glance. They are what they are, and they don't subtract from who I am.

geoblewis
01-31-2012, 12:25 PM
I've been overweight all my adult life, but was made to feel fat when I was young. I was so unsure of myself for so long! I'm recently divorced (from a real peach of a guy...NOT!) and the thought of dating freaks me out. But here I am, just about 51 years old, feeling the best I've ever felt about myself and still being very overweight. No dates yet, because I seem to attract only chubby-chasers. I want to be loved for who I am and even at this size, I don't have faith that it's going to happen.

What did happen was I didn't know who I was at the front end of this adult experience and ended up with the wrong person, the first person that showed any sort of interest in me. And I now really don't want to end up with the second person who showed any sort of interest in me either. I'm a deep and complex woman with a great wit, just like you Marisa. I deserve someone who wants to take time to get to know me. I will not end up with the first post-divorce lay I fall into. And the pain of the end of the last relationship was so demoralizing that I really don't care to give up my integrity and identity to anyone, ever!

My choice is to flesh out who I am in my own mind, get really strong in my identity, for myself. That authenticity will stay with me no matter who wants me and who rejects me. They say men are looking for confident women. Really? Which curve on my body, which bit of cleavage or revealed skin tells them that? I think most modern men are looking for a women who will do all the work in a relationship. I don't want to have that job any more! I'm looking for a man who is a whole person. Because I'm already a completed woman!

124chicksinger
01-31-2012, 11:10 PM
Marisa, you didn't sound conceited at all. I think a lot of us "get" you. Good luck in your continued weight loss and your life journey. I think you'll figure it all out and be okay. :)

Lunula
02-29-2012, 11:07 AM
A great therapist really can help you with self-esteem issues. I'd stay away from drugs, I've been on them and though I firmly believe they can help in extreme situations, I do not believe they are a long-term solution AND as far as anti-depressants go, no one can explain "why" they work and therefore, I'd like to keep them out of my body. You are not going to get self-esteem from a bottle.

Things will come in time - as you have more positive experiences you will gain self-confidence, but a great therapist can definitely help you work through some of your emotional scars. I went to a cognitive-behavioral therapist and it helped me immensely. Just make sure you find "the right one" and DO NOT settle for anyone you feel the least bit uncomfortable with, for any reason.

Congrats on your weight loss!

Jozzie
03-05-2012, 01:52 PM
I dated a really nice and very attractive guy at the weight I am now. I have to say he was more preoccupied with his own scars (emotional and physical) to even give an opinion about me and mine. In the end it was his scars and issues that drove us apart. He would get down about himself and ask what I was doing with a guy like him. Have to say, sometimes the most unattractive thing about a person is the lack in confidence in themselves. I knew he was a great guy. He didn't see it in himself even being a healthy weight. Just goes to show that no matter what your size it's really how you handle yourself that matters.

kaplods
03-05-2012, 03:06 PM
Excess skin can actually make you a size or two bigger than you "really" are so you might want to get a consult from a plastic surgeon (who will tell you whether or not you're "ready" for surgery and also whether insurance might now or in the future cover the procedure.

As to fear of rejection, it may help to remember that when it comes to dating, rejection is a good thing. Men and women need to be willing to be picky or they would (and will) end up with someone just because that person didn't say "no."

The best way to reduce the risk of rejection is to date extremely desperate people, but do you really want to do that? Do you want to date people who won't reject you, because they're so desperate and have so little self-esteem that they don't care whether they have anything at all in common with you?

And do you think anyone worth dating would want to date someone whose only qualification in a partner is "not being rejected?"

To find the person who is right for you, you have to be willing to reject the people who are not right for you, and you need to be ok with your date doing the same thing. If you're willing to date just anyone who is willing to date you, you're not going to find the right person. And you don't want to date anyone who is willing to date anyone who doesn't reject them. You want to date someone who is choosy and who wants you to be choosy too. (Would you really want to date someone who is just happy that you are willing to date them, or do you want someone who chooses you because of who you are)?

If you reject everyone (so they can't reject you) or if you will date anyone who asks, you reduce the chance of finding a person who is right for you. To find the right person, you have to date as if you're inteviewing someone for a position in your life (and they need to be doing the same).

You need to realize that rejection isn't personal. As in job interviewing, just because you're not the right person for someone doesn't mean you're not the right person for someone else And you need to remember that it's your job as much as your date's to determine whether you're right for each other. And the more comfortable BOTH of you are with rejection the sooner you learn whether or not you're right for each other.

I've known a lot of people who are dating each other because they don't want to be alone, not because they like or respect each other or have anything in common. It's sad, because those couples are rarely happy. They've not been rejected, but they're not being loved, supported, cared for, or mentally challenged.

Pets will give you unconditional love, but with a relationship you actuallly want conditional love. You want someone who shares your interests and passions, and someone who likes and respects you for who you are, not just because you're there.

When you realize that your first job of dating IS rejection (being choosy and determining who is NOT someone you want to date for a great number of possible reasons) you realize there are a lot of great guys you don't want to date because they aren't great for you. This makes it easier to realize that guys may reject you even if they think you're great. If they're athletic and you're not (or if you're athletic and they're not), if you have little in common... there are all sorts of reasons for rejection besides "you suck."

And if none of that helps, there are medications and psychotherapy that can help make the process easier, so consider seeing counselor. Ideally someone who focuses on relationship counseling (only psychiatrists and some psychologists can prescribe medication).

Kay7jay
04-20-2012, 10:41 PM
I get it.

The other ladies are giving great advice (as always) so I won't make this long but I will say this.. I get it.

A song lyric always pops into my head "You've gotta love yourself if you can ever love me"
You absolutely HAVE to love yourself, or you really won't meet someone. Magically getting over insecurities doesn't happen, and it will destroy relationships you do get in.
I'm still trying to figure out how myself.... Therapy? Self help? Do something that makes you feel good about yourself? Accomplish something? Please don't resort to drugs, they are a short term "fix" and in the long run don't help you get over depression or insecurities.

I just wanted to give you a hug and let you know you're not alone :hug:

threenorns
04-21-2012, 12:48 AM
hon, i'm big (but not as big as i was). the one time i tried an online dating service, i described myself as "short, fat, greying, forty, with a scarred face, two tattoos, and a missing tooth") - which is all 100% correct.

o. m. g. i got HAMMERED with responses!

which was really wierd so i deleted my account real fast.

i have massive stretch marks - MASSIVE: i'm talking the width of my thumb; so wide i can smooth the skin and look through to the blood vessels beneath. the skin on them is so delicate and fragile that i have to be careful what clothing i wear - the elastic on cheap undies will saw right through the skin and then i've got to deal with bleeding in the hip crease. and of course there's the lovely cysts that keep forming in the stretch marks that have hair follicles caught up in them.

i have never EVER lacked volunteers for dating. when i'm small, i can't even do my flipping laundry or groceries without some guy giving me the lothario grin. i can't handle that crap so i like to stay big and in the basement.


now, on the flip side, my sister's bff is tiny - she's 4'10", weighs 87lbs. she looks like a little china doll. she has had tens of thousands of dollars worth of surgery: she's had her eyes opened up. she's had her nose reduced. she's had cheek implants, boob job, and a lower-body lift (that's where they cut a strip out around your waist and pull up the skin on your lower body like a pair of slack pantyhose. she's had underarm and thigh tightening and liposuction.

she can't get a date to save her life. she is so obsessed with monitoring her appearance and ppl's reactions to it that you can't hold a conversation with her - she's a conversation magnet: it always swings around to her.

"oh, penny, my grandmother just died..."

"oh, i'm sorry to hear that - she was really old, wasn't she? she had nice skin - how did she keep her skin so nice? does it look like i'm getting wrinkles?"

THE best thing you can wear is a suit of confidence. project that any guy who gets into your bed better realize how exceptionally lucky he is - that will automatically run off those with inferiority complexes and self-esteem issues. play the waiting game and play it hard - that gives you two a chance to get to know each other and relax and it also means guys who just want an escape button ("just hit it and quit") will get bored and move on.

by the time it gets to doing the mattress mambo, he'll already know about your weight loss, will be amazed at your achievement, and feeling mighty privileged that you are sharing the results of your effort with him.

Laifierr
04-22-2012, 08:36 PM
My aunt who is in her mid 70s went from 400+ pounds down to 120. She had loose skin all over and none of it was going to snap back for her. She let it ALL hang out and men -- YOUNG men -- were hitting on her.

SAY WHAT?!?

It was hard to believe... but I was there when it happened.

If you walk with confidence, you'll be noticed no matter what you look like -- loose skin or no. And you are GORGEOUS!

From personal experience, I would suggest seeing a therapist. Someone who you can talk to freely. I did for almost two years and it helped me a lot. People on message boards can give insight from their personal experiences, but being able to talk one on one with someone real will benefit you immensely. Someone who won't mind you gushing your insides out and snotting all over (my therapist was lovely lol).

beginme
04-23-2012, 05:28 AM
A great therapist really can help you with self-esteem issues. I'd stay away from drugs, I've been on them and though I firmly believe they can help in extreme situations, I do not believe they are a long-term solution AND as far as anti-depressants go, no one can explain "why" they work and therefore, I'd like to keep them out of my body. You are not going to get self-esteem from a bottle.
Nobody can explain why Aspirin works either. The mysteries of pharmacology are many and if we decided not to take all the medications that weren't fully understood, we wouldn't be taking ANY medications.

While all meds carry risks, the right anti-depressant can be life changing. No, you won't get self-esteem from a bottle, but without the bottle, you might not get it either. The meds don't cure without therapy and, for some, therapy doesn't cure without the meds.

Marisa, I do suggest that you seek counseling. Perhaps meds are needed, perhaps not. The only thing I know for sure is that nobody on the internet can diagnose you or assess your needs. That's what the professionals are for.

Congratulations on all the weight loss and I KNOW that you will be just fine....and that all your dreams are possible!

freelancemomma
04-23-2012, 06:45 AM
You have to put rejection into perspective. Everyone faces rejection. When I was young, thin and attractive, I had my share of rejection from guys. In my current life as a freelance writer, I routinely have magazine editors reject my pitches (and still manage to make a good living). You need to prepare for the possibility that someone will reject you and NOT let it bring you down. Therapy might help you reach this mindset.

F.

msrubi46
05-07-2012, 01:04 PM
Thank you all for your support...it helps so much. The surgery to remove the skin sounds promising and hopefully one day I can have that but I don't think a size 12 is small enough to have it removed...I still have ways to go. There seems to be a lot of fat caught in the excess skin still. I read my post again and I almost sound conceited lol...I'm obviously not. What I meant to say is people compliment me like I'm someone gorgeous and if they seen the real me I don't believe I would have received such compliments...I feel like a liar and I have never been a dishonest person yet if you have the opportunity to look presentable it seems ridiculous not to.

Thanks Again!

Congrats on your weight loss success! Own it and appreciate all you have accomplished and how strong you are, everyday. I lost 97 lbs and consulted several PS. I found one by accident and his web site blew me away. Over 300 TTs and all his work. I consulted with him and knew this is the man who will perform my surgery, <when I have saved the $10K >. That said, I was 180 lbs and a size 12 when I consulted him and he assured me that the surgery could be performed at that point and still be successful. I am 142 now but my BF is still 22.5. Normal, but I have met with some figure and bikini pros (yes, they are extreme so I don't make comparisons or srtive to be them) and all have said that the flab, inclduing the loose skin aroung my belly, can still tighten up more but the fat that is still there needs to go as the skin won't tighten. So my focus is more on reducing the BF more, not the lbs. Still lots of strength training (real weight, not 5 lb DBs) and more HIIT cardio, to see what happens. Lots of ab work, like hanging leg raises, weighted crunches, cable crunches, to build that muscle. I have also increased my calories so no extreme dieting-I've been at a caloric deficit for so long that I need to recomp my body and that might mean some initial gains (it actually did at first but it slowly came back down). I have worked hard to gain the muscle I have and I have no intention of sacrificing it. Not like I'm having the surgery tomorrow so I have the time to invest and it won't hurt in the end.
As to the possibility of rejection, I just posted a reply to someone else re: Male attention. I can remember being rejected when I was 140 lbs in my 20's-not fat or overweight, and being considered too fat by some. Did it matter? No, my life went on just fine, self esteem a little bruised but intact. Did it stay with me? You bet it did! So I am even more retiscent now, after having gained almost 100 lbs and carried that around for a decade, and then losing it and looking in the mirror and thinking "would I be attracted to that?" Distorted thinking, I know and we are definitely are own worse enemies, hypercritcial, but we can't help it sometimes. I then look up and see how amazing my upper body looks and what I have been able to accomplish there-full, cut biceps, sculpted shoulders and a great back. And my a*s?! I went on a mission to sculpt the best booty I could, even if it was larger, it will be round and firm. And it's working! So it's accepting the good with the bad and eventually taking that leap-head first (so to speak) clothes off, lights on. Easier said and hopefully that first one post-weight loss won't be a total a**hole as so many have reported having encountered. Good luck-would love to hear how things progress for you.