Body Image and Issues after Weight Loss - Lost 120lbs, can anyone relate?




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omglol
07-03-2013, 09:39 PM
hi, this is my story :)


22, 5'4 128lbs. lost 120 lbs. 2 years +


I have battled depression and anxiety for many years. Finally crawled out of it and have managed to get healthy both physically and mentally. I also have been diagnosed with pcos recently. something I probably have had for a while.


I have found a few doctors online that I would like to consult with at some point and compare different opinions. Even though I have no money and no savings I still like to know what I am up against. Is there hope for me? will I ever look half normal? How much would it roughly cost. 20K? 30?

my research tells me I need: body lift, thigh lift. even calves have some excess skin. tummy tuck. breast lift, reduction, arms and neck.

I want to smile when I see myself in the mirror not wince. I'd like to learn how it feels like to love my body and call it attractive. I have never felt like that before. I'd like to think someday I will be blessed to experience falling in love and being loved by a woman, emotionally, mentally and physically. I know, it has to start with me feeling O.K about myself and have confidence which I've never had. I don't remember a time where my breasts were not saggy. not to this current state tho but an average symmetrical, I have no memory of it. I want to scream when I look at these pictures. It is manageable but on top of all this I have social anxiety so you can only imagine how hard it is to wear short sleeves outside but I do it. Exposure, exposure, exposure. Is what my therapist always tells me.



I'm scared, my current body is causing me so much stress. I constantly make sure my shirt is sitting at my hip over my pants in fear of ever exposing the wrinkles of skin, stretch marks. In my head my vertical stretch marks are cool, I think to myself maybe if/when/ I have the surgery I could show them off and make other women see its not that bad. you're even more awesome with stretch marks eh After all we have earned them over many years. but right now…. I have no words to describe it. :/




All of that negativity aside I am so proud of how far I've come. Sometimes I give myself a pat on the shoulder, My life has never been easy but It could have been worse. To those people who are scared of excess skin after weight loss, all I can tell you is that I would personally do it again. I feel liberated and in a lot of ways happier. Holy crap this took guts! Ty so much for reading!



can anyone relate to my current state of mind and body? what were the steps you took? any Advice, suggestions, questions, comments, anything i'll take it.


SuperHeroTeacher
07-03-2013, 09:48 PM
I'm sorry, I don't have any advice for you, as I'm still pretty early on in my weight loss journey (40 pounds down, 70 or so to go...).

I just wanted to tell you this helped me a lot:


To those people who are scared of excess skin after weight loss, all I can tell you is that I would personally do it again.


Worrying about excess skin keeps me up at night! I'm glad to hear you say it's worth it and you'd do it again.

sontaikle
07-03-2013, 10:58 PM
Congrats on the amazing weight loss!

My skin looks similar. I know the stress and annoyance that comes with it, but I totally agree that I would much rather be here.

I don't really know how I've moved past it. It's acceptance I guess? For years I wanted to just be slim, prance around in a bikini, etc...but I'm so focused on what I can DO--lift heavy, run, be agile--that worrying about loose skin seems so trivial.

Of course some days are better than others, but the stretch marks and loose skin remind me of what I went through to get here. If someone doesn't like that then as far as I'm concerned they can go f themselves! :lol:


FiftyFive
07-04-2013, 12:20 AM
First of all I want to congratulate you! Wow losing that amount of weight sure is a big big big accomplishment! You must be so proud of yourself!
Regarding the excess skin I have heard/read that the skin tightens a bit with time. Also I’ve heard exercise helps immensely, specially weight training cause you build muscle. I’ve seen pictures of people who lost a lot of weight, had a lot of excess skin and after some time of weight training they look much better. I’m not sure if I saw the pics here or somewhere else, but you can surely look it up!!!!!

CanadianCutie
07-04-2013, 01:40 AM
I see you're listed as being in Canada. If your doctor gives the ok, it is possible to have cosmetic surgery covered, if you can prove that is is negatively affecting your self esteem. Not all of it will likely be covered by provincial health care, but some of it is for sure. It may take a psychiatrist's evaluation to say it is causing depression/self image issues.

jessicado22
07-04-2013, 02:43 AM
Wow, first of all -- your loss is amazing, you have lost 1/2 your weight!!!

So far on my journey, I've lost 115 pounds. I want to lost at least 25 more. I have two kids and I'm currently breastfeeding my 7 month old, which is not helping issues for my ladybits. I completely understand where you are coming from. I HATE seeing the wrinkly skin. Wrinkly skin is for OLD people! When did I get old? My face looks nice, and if I cover up with the right clothes, I look good. But I am so depressed when I take off the layers and look in the mirror. The hubby tells me I look great, but all I can see is the loose saggy skin.

Admittedly, I have lost 55 pounds in the past 3 months, so my skin is probably trying to play catchup. I know I need to be patient. I also am only starting to work on strength training which will help. I am trying to have the outlook that Fiftyfive posted -- time will help.

So, not sure if that helps you at all. But you are not alone. And I do think -- would I rather be larger with rolls and stretch marks, cellulite, etc? Or thinner with all of the above but loose skin. I am going to choose thinner...I want to be able to run and not get out of breath. I want to live a long life for my kids and hopefully grandkids someday. I don't want to be the obese person in the nursing home who has to have orderlies help her go to the bathroom. If I even would have made it to the nursing home...more likely I would've died younger of heart failure. So to me personally -- wrinkly skin is worth it. Even if it is REALLY hard to stay in that mindset and not get depressed about it all.

And may I also say, kudos for being brave enough to post your photos online. And your story is touching :)

Underwater
07-04-2013, 04:05 AM
Hi omglol,

I have lost 110 and my body looks similar. I can tell you here in the USA, the cost of plastic surgery varies immensely and I am not sure what it's like in Canada.

I am definitely doing a tummy tuck and have consulted with 3 doctors already here in Northern California, one of the most expensive areas. For the tummy tucks, they have come in at $8K, $12K, and $14K. The $14K one wanted to do circumvential, which I don't really want.

I may also likely do a breast and arm lift in the future. My thighs are pretty bad but I think I'll just try to live with them.

If you have extra money every month, you could do it on credit. I know that's a very popular choice here and you have up to 18 months to pay it off without interest.

sontaikle
07-04-2013, 10:46 AM
Hi omglol,

I have lost 110 and my body looks similar. I can tell you here in the USA, the cost of plastic surgery varies immensely and I am not sure what it's like in Canada.

I am definitely doing a tummy tuck and have consulted with 3 doctors already here in Northern California, one of the most expensive areas. For the tummy tucks, they have come in at $8K, $12K, and $14K. The $14K one wanted to do circumvential, which I don't really want.

I may also likely do a breast and arm lift in the future. My thighs are pretty bad but I think I'll just try to live with them.

If you have extra money every month, you could do it on credit. I know that's a very popular choice here and you have up to 18 months to pay it off without interest.

Can I say thanks for posting this? You really put the idea in my head of considering a tummy tuck—I actually thought the prices would be way more outrageous than that (I'm guessing it's probably about the same in NY, cost wise).

If you don't mind me asking, since you're about my age, did any of the doctors mention anything to you about kids and how that might effect the tummy tuck? I know that's always something that doctors love to mention to ladies in their 20s.

omglol
07-04-2013, 05:35 PM
I just want to say Ty all for your kind and empowering words. it brought a smile to my face. I know im not alone in this but reading ur personal stories made me feel validated. I am also glad to hear my story hit home for some of you and may have also motivated some.


To answer some of ur questions. I can only wear sports bras, regular ones leave me with back pain. So much excess skin on my breasts. they are in the way. I have done X-ray and they didn't find anything so in terms of medically it won't be covered. The laws have changed and they are pretty strict now and the waiting lists are 2 years +. My fam doc advised me to go down the route of self esteem, image issues and let them know how hard it is. Basically tell them my story and history of depression. I will def try but i doubt itll work apparently less docs nowadays go through the trouble of doing the paper work for it.

I just want to do this before I'm 30. God I hope so. I don't work and I'm not in school atm. I've been through **** and back suicide attempts included but now I can see the light. I have an idea of what I want my life looks like 5 years from now. And that's huge coming from someone like me haha. Sry that wasn't totally weight loss related but obesity made me hide even more, more depressed etc.


To 'jessicado22' I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to be a mother, husband , nursing a child and work on ur self to be a more healthy and strong woman. Ur ****ing awesome! :)

Underwater
07-09-2013, 01:27 AM
Can I say thanks for posting this? You really put the idea in my head of considering a tummy tuck—I actually thought the prices would be way more outrageous than that (I'm guessing it's probably about the same in NY, cost wise).

If you don't mind me asking, since you're about my age, did any of the doctors mention anything to you about kids and how that might effect the tummy tuck? I know that's always something that doctors love to mention to ladies in their 20s.

2 of the 3 mentioned it. You have to make the choice for yourself- know that if you do the tummy tuck now, your stomach & skin may not return to the post-tummy tuck look again after kids. I am not sure if I want kids, and if I do have them, it will be 5+ years from now (I'm 29.)

My stomach now is so terrible, that the thought of even a normal post-pregnancy stomach is delightful. I just want to be able to fit in clothes normally! I have the waist and hips of a size 8, and the stomach of a size 12? 14? Who even knows. I tuck the extra skin into size 10 Old Navy jeans, which we all know is a "real world" size 12 or so.

So if I don't have kids, I get the rest of my life with normal nice-looking stomach. Even if I do, I get years of nice stomach and maybe some loose skin after, but only enough to bother you in a bikini really. It's not worth it to wait and see if I want to have kids because I feel like these new few years are the best bikini years I have left!

sontaikle, make an appointment with a plastic surgeon and just see what they have to say. It's worth an hour or so of your day to check out your options.

Underwater
07-10-2013, 03:07 AM
I feel your pain 'omglol'. I too lost a good amount of weight and have excess skin. From what I'm slowly learning, what you see is a lot worse than what others see. Because for me, I thought my body looks terrible, but the more people that see it when I'm not wearing a shirt, the better I feel because others say it doesn't look bad. People may just be being nice to me, but I'd like to think that they would tell me the truth.

About two months ago I went to a plastic surgeon to see if I could get it removed, and with a tummy tuck, breast lift, and thigh lift, the doc wanted $25,000...and of course insurance won't cover it. So basically I just have to accept it and I am slowly doing just that.

You know one thing I did to help me accept my body was take a video of myself when I was working out to see how I actually look vs how I feel and think I look. I was actually pleasantly surprised and I can kind of see how people say I don't look so bad. Perhaps you could do the same. If you are interested in how my skin looks, I'll put a before/after link.

--Before http://s18.postimg.org/59aim4i09/image.jpg

--After http://www.youtube.com/user/genesiser?feature=watch

Anyway, my suggestion to you would be to focus on your entire body instead of taking a close up shot of your problem area. People see us as a whole and rarely focus on one spot like we tend to do. It's hard to do, but if you can accept it, you won't feel so self conscious and you'll feel better as a whole.

I agree that $25K is excessive, but what about just tackling the worst area first? I am starting with my tummy and may get my breasts and arms done eventually.

omglol
07-10-2013, 04:19 AM
Ty genesiser, Congrats to ur massive weight loss. It is amazing isn't it?

Yea I also think its going to be around 20,30k. :( Unfortunately so much excess skin is hard to deal with. My breasts are really in the way. I don't think I can accept my body as in ill grow old like this. I also have crazy vertical stretch marks too going from rib cage down to my thighs. Everywhere. Wrinkly stomach thighs etc.

I posted full a side view and the close up. But it was removed. I'm guessing because of the saggy breasts or something . (Newbie here). But I do hope they also remove pics of men with saggy breasts as well, otherwise that would be just sad and sexist.


Anyway I'd like to go meet with a few of these doctors, I think I'm just scared to hear the $ for real, knowing it won't happen for a long time.

586
07-10-2013, 09:36 AM
Congratulations on your self-improvement, firstly. This ain't easy, as you well know. :)

I can relate to how you are feeling. I lost just over 120 during the course of a year (when I was trying) and have maintained for a year with a little extra loss as I continued pushing my exercise a little further. I have a saggy tummy that hangs just barely over my waistband nd it pronounced when I bend over - full on droop. It wiggles during sex, it slides a bit to the side when I'm laying down. There's stretch marks and so on. It's a little hard ot handle it on a bad day in my world.

My upper arms have some sway (and marks) to them still, but they have improved just like my calves with a little weight training. My thighs are slowly decreasing in inches but they are loose skin and fat that jiggles a good amount during my runs. Some of it appears to be unshrinkable save for surgery.

This all said, I have a boyfriend (who is more athletic than I am) who doesn't see my 'flaws'. When I point out my tummy, he says "You realize you have a fantastic waist, right?" and when I say "Yeah, but my thighs..." he says "Women would kill for the willpower you had to reshape those thighs"... it helps sometimes when you can't bring yourself up to accepting your new body to have someone bolster you a bit. Be it a friend, a forum neighbor, someone new in a store... sometimes we need that outside perspective to realize we see worse than what others see.

If you feel surgery is right for you to bring you a peace of mind or fit better into clothing, or whatever it may be - target the area you most get down on. If it's your tummy, look into options for that. Begin saving for it. Ask everyone who has had it done where they got theirs done. Call around to doctors and see if they offer any discounts for cash only or reduced costs or payment plans for uninsured.

In the meantime, keep working with your therapist with the image issues, anxiety and depression. Keep reaching out to others who have been there and form social networks with those positive influences. Keep pushing yourself to wear the short sleeves, wear closer fitting shirts, wear clothing that you had to shy away from when you were heavier. It will bring you confidence. :) Think of it as your armor. It will take time, been there & still doing that. :)

AwShucks
07-24-2013, 12:11 AM
Keep pushing yourself to wear the short sleeves, wear closer fitting shirts, wear clothing that you had to shy away from when you were heavier. It will bring you confidence. :) Think of it as your armor. It will take time, been there & still doing that. :)

I like the armor analogy. I needed to hear that today as I wrestle with wearing a sleeveless top to a work outing tomorrow. Thanks!