Sunday, March 22, 2015

March 22nd, 2015 About The Loose Skin Reveal

March 22nd, 2015 About The Loose Skin Reveal

A young man by the name of Matt Diaz recently posted a video of his post-270 pound weight loss body with the loose skin many of us are familiar with on a very personal level. His video has circulated on a viral scale and a GoFundMe account set up for Matt's skin removal surgery exceeded its $20,000 goal in less than 24 hours.

I'm overjoyed for Matt. A friend of mine sent me his story and as I read, I was nodding in agreement, totally relating to the thoughts and feelings he described so well.

When I first started losing weight successfully, I had grand ideas of how my body would look when I hit goal. After losing 275 pounds, the realities of extreme weight loss didn't give me the idealized version I had in my brain at the offset. Loose skin has always been a part of this deal. The stretch marks and extra skin are battle scars from a lifetime of morbid obesity.

I admire Matt's courage and I understand his reason for revealing his body for all the world to see.

When the compliments come fast and furious, if we feel like we're hiding something--like we're hiding the horrible truth of our weight loss ravaged body, then we can feel undeserving of the compliment.

We might say, "Thank you!" But inside we're thinking--yeah, but you haven't seen me with my clothes off.  The feelings of fraudulence come from our disappointment in how we look underneath our clothing.

Matt wasn't a fraud before he revealed his semi-naked body. And I'm not a fraud either. Some of the postings on facebook included things like, "Kudos...for not hiding his true self and showing integrity." 

Matt didn't owe anyone apologies for not revealing his loose skin before. I mean really, should people like Matt and me carry around trading cards of our loose skin pictures and hand them to anyone who compliments our weight loss and how we look? Could you imagine?

"Hey, thank you very much for the compliment. You know, I'm really not as good looking as you think. Hold on, let me explain: In the spirit of full disclosure--or exposure, and to not hide my true self--and show integrity...here's some trading cards of my loose skin. Just so we're clear, I'm hideous--you might want to look away. At least I'm honest."

Do we question someone's integrity who chooses not to reveal the loose skin video or pictures? I promise you, Matt and I can both rock a tuxedo like nobody's business. And we have every right to enjoy it without feeling less than because underneath we're cosmetically flawed. Who cares? 

My point is, the most important acceptance and love is our own. And our level of personal self-love and acceptance can't and shouldn't be determined by our willingness or lack of willingness to share those intimate photos and/or videos. Modesty doesn't equate to hiding and lack of integrity.

The closest I've come to revealing my loose skin publicly was while swimming. I don't believe it's necessary to do an all out reveal in the name of embracing our body. I believe it's important to embrace our body and be okay with it--but I also believe it's okay to choose not to disrobe if you don't want to.

The only opinion and feelings about our loose skin that matters is our own. And if we choose to have surgery to get it removed and tightened up, great! If not, that's great too! It's a very personal decision.

I've been back and forth on this topic for some time. I've finally decided I will get the surgery at some point in the future. Getting the skin removal surgery doesn't mean we're not loving and accepting of our body the way it is, it's something we've worked hard for--and if we choose to do it, awesome. I know--even after getting it someday, the scars will remain to some degree. And that's cool with me.

I'm proud of my scars and the hard work they represent. I would like for my clothes to fit better, though. And surgery, someday, will certainly help in that direction!
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I enjoyed a great day today. I prepared some wonderful meals, including my second attempt at faux mashed potatoes using cauliflower! It turned out better than the first time, although still not the consistency I wanted. The taste was great! I'll get it exactly how I want it next time!

I even prepared fried catfish! I love fried catfish. I typically don't eat too many fried things for obvious reasons. It's hard to calculate the calories accurately. I used gluten free flour mixed with corn meal and an unsweetened cashew milk dip for each piece. I measured the oil and then measured again after cooking. It didn't use that much oil. I believe heating the oil to the proper temperature is key in keeping the food from absorbing too much oil. I also patted with paper towels after cooking.

I tend to over-estimate the calories just to be safe. The amounts and counts I entered into MFP for this catfish preparation seemed reasonable--and perhaps slightly too much. But again, I'd rather be on the side of over-estimating than under.

My workout late this afternoon was fantastic. I can truly feel my strength increasing and that's exciting. I can also see it in the mirror. It makes me want to do more. I increased the amount of weight on two different machines, too!

I hope your weekend was wonderful!

My Tweets Today:


























Thank you for reading and your continued support,
Strength,
Sean

19 comments:

  1. Your body, your money, your choice. It's that simple to me. :)

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  2. I applaud you Sean for opening up and talking about loose skin as your timing seems impeccable. I learned earlier today about the Matt Diaz story and just yesterday with my friend Brian Flemming on team 383. I suggest you to use gpfundme what day in the future that may be. Seems a possibility for Brian now.

    http://www.gofundme.com/brianflemming

    This topic is of great interest to me personally in my process of loosing over 300 pounds. So far so good the first 190 pounds loss but I am prepared mentally whatever loose skin issues I encounter the last 160 plus pounds will bring. I am hoping my eat as much possible and still loose weight consistency approach helps me avoid any major loose skin issues. Perhaps mild struggles causing slow consistent weight loss is a blessing in disguise?

    At age 49 I am very positive I will have noticeable loose skin. For me I think it's going to be just the opposite, I love to swim & will jump in that pool. I will be less ashamed at 240 vs the times swimming in public over 500 pound. Understanding the progress I have made opening up and talking about my weight loss to others at this point in my transformation, swimming over two dozen times in public these past 3 months on vacation comfortably at my 360 weight range. Including going into hot tubs and striking up a conservation with total strangers. I know it will be a breeze at 240. I may be the guy who grabs his loose skin and shouts. "Hey look, I lost 300 pounds! with a big smile on my face as I jump into the pool or hot tub. LOL I think being in my 50's more thankful for the health benefits than looks plays a major role into my mindset as I transform to that weight level.

    Your absolutely right, we should be proud of our scars showing the battles we faced and how hard we worked.

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    1. Excellent perspective, Jon. Thank you. You said it well, "I think being in my 50's more thankful for the health benefits than looks plays a major role into my mindset as I transform to that weight level." Our overall health is truly the most important thing.

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  3. First of all, you're hilarious. The whole trading card paragraph cracked me up.

    My experience is that most people look quite different without clothes. Gravity, child birth, weight loss- there are lots of reasons took be unhappy unclothed. And they're all BS. Easier said than done, but rock what ya got. Surgery or not, you're a hottie!!

    Thanks for a great read :)

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    1. Valerie, thank you! You're so correct, I'm hilarious.
      I'm kidding!! You're so correct--most people don't care for something--some part of their body--and being able to "rock what you got," may not be the easiest thing to do--but worth practicing in hopes of improving on the perspective over time. Thank you for the compliment(s). :)

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  4. I , too am on the fence about this subject. I work with a lovely women who had the band done and after losing the weight she had the skin removal done. And sadly now she is gaining at a rapid speed and the poor thing looks so uncomfortable. She is hitting herself in the head because she "thought" she had this under control. Sadly I don't think we are ever in that much control. This is just one example. I think we as humans are so hard on ourselves. We don't like ourselves fat and then when we lose the weight we question that. I still look in the mirror and have major anxiety over my damn body. Would getting my skin removed, tightened help me? I'm not sure. And I do see for medical reasons also.... oh the flip flopping goes on and on my friend! What is that saying? "you say potato~I say Patato?"... To each his own!
    Like Gwen said... your body, your choice... amen! :) Rosie

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    1. Oh no, Rosie-- This is the danger in getting the surgery too soon. Janis gives a good idea below--maintain for five years--then do it. Excellent advice!
      I've been on the fence, too, Rosie. And you're right--there are valid medical reasons to get excess skin removed...it's not 100% cosmetic.
      But just as your poor friend/coworker is discovering--best make sure you're in a good place with recovery and maintaining before removing it. I can't even imagine. Thank you, Rosie!

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  5. We need to work on accepting a compliment graciously - that's what I hear you saying Sean - not pass out trading cards making sure we negate anything nice that is said to us.
    N~

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    1. Absolutely, Nancy! Accepting a compliment graciously is very important. A learned thing for most of us. My natural inclination is to return a list of reasons why their compliment is invalid. A "thank you, but..." type deal. And it's wrong--and very impolite. I do my best to simply say "thank you," and leave it at that. Tough sometimes. Takes loads of practice.

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  6. Before reading your post I thought with time and exercise to tone the belly muscles, all the skin would just not be an issue... I'm really surprise! thank you Sean to open honestly on this issue.

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    1. Richard, the truth is, you can't tone skin like you can muscles. It really depends on several different factors whether or not someone will have a major issue with loose skin post-dramatic weight loss. Body type, age and how big--and how long did they stay that big? These factors and more play a huge role...
      For me, near, at or above 500 for almost 20 years straight--it was going to be an issue regardless of how much weight training or core work I could possibly do...

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  7. skin removal is not for everyone. If one has not made the commitment of a lifestyle change, rather than a diet, this can be a dreadful move. I know three people who've had this procedure. One is doing just fine. The other two returned to their old eating habits. One gained so quickly that she actually split her skin! How tragic.

    So, readers of Sean's blog, make sure you are ready to continue eating in a healthy manner before considering this life altering move.

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    1. I agree with you 100% Gerri!! OUCH... split skin is painful. It is a life altering move. When I get it done, I'll make sure to have years of maintaining in recovery behind me first. Critical!

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  8. 1) Maintain for five years, and then get surgery. Seriously. You need to dot all your i's and cross all your t's on something like this.

    2) It makes total sense to me. I've been in the position of always living in skin that was me-sized. Wanting to do so seems like the most natural thing in the world to me.

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    1. Great advice Janis. I never even considered the part about all those who lost a great deal of weight had skin removal then gained it all back. I could not imagine, being so uncomfortable in your own skin that it beaks open, what that would be like.

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    2. Janis-- You are spot on. That's what I'm committing to do. I'll get at least five years of active recovery and maintaining before I even think about the consultation again. Thank you so much, Janis.
      Very natural, indeed.

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  9. Gwen's right...do what you want, but you ABSOLUTELY don't have to show anyone the pics.

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