A Seriously Dreaded and Often Avoided Topic
Every now and then it happens. I try to avoid it, I try to pretend it doesn't exist. If I ignore it maybe it will go away. But then somebody ask the question: So how's your skin holding up? Should I pretend that I didn't get this e-mail? Maybe it went straight to my junk filter! Yeah, yeah...for some reason all e-mails that contain the words “loose skin” are automatically filtered to junk! I'm kidding. Really, it depends on who's asking. If it's somebody who's never been morbidly obese, then it's just their curiosity running wild, and I have no responsibility to satisfy their curiosity. But when it's someone who is or was morbidly obese, and it's a completely sincere concern that they're dealing with, then I give a completely sincere answer. So...how's the skin holding up?
My “problem” areas after losing the first 230 pounds are all over. Stomach, of course! Inner thighs, you betcha! My rear? Yeah, a little. My arms, some. I'm really not worried about the arms or rear end---it's nothing weight training can't fix, but the stomach and inner thighs, well---let's call them “battle scars.” We could call them “signs of abuse,” because that's exactly what I did to my body my entire life. I abused myself to over 500 pounds, challenging my body to produce as much skin as I needed and then stretching that skin thin as I grew. Now that I'm taking away the stuffing that filled my shell, well---this skin situation is to be expected. But it's OK. You know why?
Because I'm healthier now than I've ever been. I'm free to live again, I've survived somehow and I have the battle scars to prove my ordeal with morbid obesity. It might seem unfair really. I wouldn't dare take my shirt off at 505 for fear of embarrassment because of all my fat and now I wouldn't dare take it off for fear of embarrassment over my loose skin. Will I ever be happy with me? Yes. Because the trade off is worth the loose skin “problem.” Notice I put the word problem in quotations. I did because it's not really a problem. If someone came to me when I weighed 505 and said they could instantly and magically make me 230 pounds---but I would have to have loose skin as a trade-off...I would've jumped at the chance. Well, someone did make me that offer, it was me. And here we are dealing with loose skin. I've talked before how I plan on getting surgery to remove the skin, that's what I hope to do, but that stuff is extremely expensive---we'll just see how that works out. I haven't made any progress finding out about donating the skin to a burn center in exchange for the surgery, but I will very soon!
Besides, I can look decent in clothes now and in the future. It's not like a bunch of people are going to see me without clothes anyway. I've joked about wanting an “underwear model” body, but seriously---I'm just happy being healthy and not 505 pounds. Loose skin is a small price to pay for the way I feel now. One reader e-mailed: it's just that - well, you know...we worked so hard and this is it. It doesn't seem fair. If I had never been fat I would have an awesome, rock solid body. That reader has lost well over 100 pounds and is now a size 2 to 4. She also runs, like seriously runs fast, yeah! She agreed that dealing with the skin issues in exchange for being that small and so healthy, well---it's all worth the trade.
Today was a good Monday. Calorie budget was good, rock solid really. I did enjoy a half a cookie today. It was 80 calories I could have lived without, but that's alright. A co-worker brought a couple dozen cookies and a big brownie as a way to express her holiday cheer. She then apologized to me saying “I'm not trying to ruin your diet.” First of all---no apologies are necessary, and secondly---nobody but me and my choices can “ruin” anything! So we're good! I assured her that I was fine and that I may have one or not, regardless---I appreciated her Christmas cheer. And it wasn't long before I took a half a cookie and indulged a little. I guarantee that “old Sean” would have polished off 1,000 calories in cookies in about fifteen minutes---and still said aloud “what are we having for lunch?” I'm a very different person now. It's a wonderful thing indeed.
Amber and KL are planning to workout with me in the fitness center during their holiday break stay. We planned on doing it together tonight, but we all got tired really fast. I opted to hit the pillow early and get up way early for a workout and blog writing. I got up at 3:30am after going to bed shortly after 10pm. Still not enough sleep, but not too bad given my history. I worked out long enough to feel the burn and sweat, then I rushed up stairs and started writing. This topic of loose skin was just too complicated to express and I couldn't get it done before the thrust of my pre-show activities (shower-dress-drive), so once again I'm posting the day before---the next day. I hope you don't mind.
Thanks for reading. I leave you with pictures from my friends New Orleans weekend of indulgence. He just texted me that his pants are actually feeling tighter today. Yep...he knew that would happen! He's going to be so ready to workout when he gets back tonight. Goodnight and...
Strawberries with double cream and a glass of Sazerac---just part of breakfast
Bananas Foster more breakfast fare
Chocolate Pecan Pie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream ---desert after breakfast. Wait a second...desert at breakfast?? Must be a New Orleans thing!
Classic Po Boy
Roast Beef Po Boy
Now that's a bowl of Red Beans and Rice!