Excess Skin, Stretch Marks and Scars–Oh My!

February 12, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

I get this question frequently

And it is one of the topics to pop up

On weight loss surgery message boards

Over and over again

So here we go

My answer to one of the most frequently asked questions

“Do you have excess skin?”

 

And the answer is

YES

YES

YES

 

Do I have stretch marks?

YES

Absolutely!!

You better believe it!

Want to keep going?

Because trust me…that is just the tip of the iceberg

 

I have been exercising since I woke up from surgery

I have spent the entire past 19 months

Working out

I’ve walked and jogged

And done Crossfit

I’ve done sit ups and lifted weights

I’ve done it all

And I imagine that it has helped A LOT

I know it has

But can it come against the 218 pounds I’ve lost so far?

Can it eliminate all the excess skin and stretch marks I have?

NOPE

And it never will

 

But do I care?

Not really

 

Now here is the thing

I DO SYMPATHIZE with the people out there who do care

Because this is actually a really big issue

In the weight loss community

 

I have spoken with people

Who have had to go to counseling over this issue

Because it upsets them so much

I have spoken with people who actually regret

Getting weight loss surgery

Or losing large amounts of weight

Because to them

Their body did not look good before

And now they feel it does not look good after

 

To them—their body does not physically look very attractive

So they feel the weight loss was pointless

Because for them….they wanted their body to look good

And they feel it never will

 

This is depressing for them

And it means what they worked for

Will never happen

All the effort they put in to getting that body they dreamed of

Is just not a reality

 

Now here is why that doesn’t apply to me

 

I never set out to lose weight

So I could look better

That is not why I did it

 

I had weight loss surgery

Because I was killing myself with food

And I was going to die

I was going to leave my children as orphans

I was struggling to walk

I could not breathe very well

I lived in fear daily of my impending death

And every day of my life was a living nightmare

 

I did not set out to lose weight to get a better looking body

It was not even in the top 5 reasons why I did it

To be perfectly honest

I never believed that I would lose even half the weight I needed to

When I set out on this journey

I hoped that I MIGHT lose 50 pounds

100 Pounds as a far away dream

But I NEVER believed

I would lose enough weight to even have the problem

Of excess skin

That is how deep in the pit I was

I hoped I might get enough weight off

To walk and breathe without a struggle

But I truthfully deep down never thought I would lose enough

To even have the problem

Of excess skin

 

And so therefore the fact that 218 pounds later

My body has stretch marks and excess skin

I can tell you that it doesn’t bother me that much

Because it is still EASILY 500 million times better

Then the life I had before

 

But let’s go back in history

To my body before I gained all that weight

When I was in high school and college

I never had the perfect body

NOT EVER

 

I have always struggled with my weight to some degree

I never had a flat stomach

I never had small thighs

I always had a big butt

ALWAYS

 

I have no memories of some perfect body

That I loved

And hoped to get back to

 

If I had at one time

Had some great looking body

Then maybe I would be depressed

At seeing it disappear

 

But that was never me

Not even when I was “thin”

So it’s not an expectation I ever had of myself

 

And let’s not forget

I had FOUR children

FOUR pregnancies

I was pregnant four different times

Between 1996 and 2004

 

The stretch marks on my stomach

Were all there

Long before I got up to 417 pounds

They started with my first pregnancy

And never quit

 

To add to that

I had FOUR C-sections

Four times I had my stomach cut open

And a baby pulled out !

 

Have you ever seen a C-section performed

The way they pull and stretch your stomach out?

That happened 4 times to me

I had so many C-sections

The surgeons joked about installing a zipper

 

C-sections are major abdominal surgery

And they leave scars

Not only that

I have a section of my stomach

That I can’t even feel anymore

 

If you cut through nerves in the same place

4 different times

Eventually some of them just die

And never heal back

There is a life analogy there somewhere

But I’ll save that one for another day 🙂

 

So I have a section of my stomach

That has no feeling at all

That used to bother me a little bit

But I got used to it

A small price to pay

For the 4 greatest  loves of my life

 

But let’s go back further

When I was 18, I had a hernia

That was my first surgery in the lower abdominal area

And my first scar

 

I had my gall bladder removed laparascopically

When Savannah was about 2 years old

They poked about 4 small holes in me

Those scars reminded me

Of vampire bites

 

When I had my weight loss surgery

They did it in a similar way

So  just add those scars

To my growing collection

 

Scars and stretch marks

Form a map all over my stomach

Retracing the roads I have walked down

The paths I have crossed

The things I have survived

 

When I look at my stomach

I recall the hernia, the gallbladder, the babies

The weight loss surgery

I’ve had 7 surgeries in my abdominal area

And I’ve survived every one

But my stomach is just one area of my body

 

Let’s move to  the boobs!!

 

Try being saddled with a pair this size

And see if those things won’t collapse under their weight

You can’t have boobs that have outgrown every bra size that exists

And not expect them

To fall

 

I can barely remember a time

When my boobs actually lived where they belonged

I often joke that they live in an entirely new zipcode

From where they started

 

My boobs are so low on my body

I could probably tuck them into my pants

And people would think I’m an A cup

Because they would not realize

My boobs now belong to the stomach

 

If my boobs would stay where they belonged

I could fit into a lot of clothes

So much easier

But as it stands

I have to wear about 3 different bras

To shove them where they should go

And even THEN they don’t want to stay

 

This is what it’s like

Have you ever seen a commercial

Of someone trying to haul a piano up a side of a building

With a rope and a pulley?

That’s how it feels

Every day I have to haul those babies up the side of my body

Jam them into 3 different bras

And then yell

“STAY!”

Like a dog I am trying to train to behave

 

I can break a bra quicker than anyone

Before long the bra that was firm

Is nothing more than a stretched out rubber band

That has lost its elasticity

My boobs laugh at the bra

And say

“You are no match for us!!”

 

I used to actually fantasize

That I could have a built in shelf

That I would carry with me

Where I could just sit them on that

And get a break from carrying them around all day

I have a curvature in my neck now

Permanently

From them weighing me down

 

Do they have stretch marks too?

But of course darling!!

Was there ever any hope for that?

Try carrying around two giant bowling balls

All of your life

And see if your skin doesn’t collapse

From the pressure?

 

But do I care what someone else thinks about them?

Not really

Because let’s face it…

Who is looking???

 

I am single

And I’ve been single for close to 7 years

So for now

I have no reason for that to matter

 

Might it bother me

If there was someone out there

That wanted use of them?

Well….maybe

 

But by the time anyone out there

Gets a look at THIS situation

Up close and personal

It’s going to be someone I trust

Someone God hand picked just for me

Who will clearly have a special calling on his life

For stretch marks, excess skin and bowling balls

Someone who would not care

And if THAT someone does not exist

Then it won’t matter anyway

 

Because I would never EVER associate myself

Or involve myself

With a man who thought my body was a problem

I lived that life already

I lived it for 11 years

And I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt

That being SINGLE and ALONE

Is FAR BETTER

Than living with someone

Who despises your body

 

I would rather stay single for the rest of my life

Than ever be in a relationship with someone

Who has issues with my body

And I have every intention

Of loving myself

And loving my body

AS IS

And if someone can’t handle that

Then they can’t handle me

 

You know what does bother me though?

My chin

That bugs me a little

Because I used to have not a double chin

But a triple chin

And THAT skin is starting to deflate

And now it’s kind of there

And you can see it

THAT bothers me

 

 

 

Troatlines 001

photo-275

 

 

Because everything else can be covered up

And you can look pretty good

With clothes on

 

But THAT is on my face That I can’t hide

 

I don’t think it’s too noticeable at the moment

Except when I’m pointing it out

Like the above picture

I can’t see it here

Although I do see lines around my eyes

From wearing my glasses 🙂

photo-276

 

So there is some part of me

That does care on some level

But only because

As an obese person

Your face is often

All you have left

 

When you are very obese

You only use face shots

That is the last part of you

That doesn’t seem to have disappeared

 

For years all I ever put up

On Facebook or anywhere

Was a shot of my face

If you move your face in just the right way

If you position yourself in just the right way

You can take a picture of your face

Where you don’t feel that overweight

And for a moment you can see yourself

As you want to

 

As I gained large amounts of weight

I felt as if I was disappearing

Literally being swallowed

By my own body

 

My face was all I had left

It was the only part of me

That still represented

The person I remembered

From long ago

 

So the fact that my face/neck has been affected by this

Bothers me FAR MORE than my stomach or thighs

Those things were always a mess!!

But my face??

My neck??

COME ON!!

That was all I had!

 

So what will I do?

Well it won’t bother me too much

Because I’ve learned to deal with these things

You have to

 

When you weigh over 400 pounds

Every day of your life is an assault

On your self esteem

Not just from YOURSELF

But from society

From the people who leave notes on your car

Or better yet

Just tell you outright to your face

That they find you disgusting

 

Live in a body that size long enough

And you’ll realize

Every day is war

War with the world

With the people who want you out of their sight

And that is when you learn

To be strong

 

Stretch marks and excess skin

Are little more than spit balls

Compared to the grenades

Society throws at you

Or the missiles fired at me

Within my marriage and subsequent divorce

Regarding my weight

 

I had to turn to God

For my self-esteem

YEARS AGO

I had to let Him be the one

To fill my heart

WIth the words that I needed to hear

That made me feel secure and loved and accepted

And He did!!

He really did!

 

It’s amazing how God will protect your heart

If you run to Him

How he will show you

What the TRUTH is

That your beauty and worth does not come from the scale

Or how you look in a mirror

 

You just can’t mentally survive

Living in a 400 pound body

You just can’t emotionally tolerate

Being trapped in a physical prison like that

Without help from God to withstand it

At least that is how I survived

 

I was forced to rely on God’s opinion of my body

For so many years

That I now have a foundation to fall back on

When things like this bother me

 

But let’s face it

If you’ve been 417 pounds

And struggled to walk

Struggled to breathe

And thought you would die

Then waking up in a 198 pound body

With no breathing issues

WIth no walking issues

Fitting into clothing you can buy off a rack

But seeing some loose skin hanging below your chin

Will NOT end your day

 

After being assaulted every day of my life

With missiles

This is like a nerf gun to me

Nothing more than a gnat that I swat away

Briefly annoying

And then quickly forgotten

 

So that is my answer

To the excess skin

And the stretch marks

I choose to see the lines on my body

As roads I have walked down

The scars on my body

As proof that I went through war

And survived

 

Many who have lost large amounts of weight

Often have cosmetic/reconstructive surgery to help with these issues

You may be surprised to hear me say

That I might even do this myself

But I haven’t decided

 

Does the idea of my boobs being air lifted back to where they belong

Make me smile?

YES

Does the idea that I could have excess skin removed from my stomach

So that I wouldn’t have to cram it into clothes

Make me happy?

YOU BET!

I am quite sure I would be an entire size smaller right now

If not for the “apron” of extra skin

On my stomach

 

So when I am done with losing weight

Will I consider it

YES

But will I do it

I don’t know

 

Time will tell!

 

In the mean time

I  will view my body

As a battleground

Full of scars

That prove I’m a survivor

 

When I don’t feel beautiful

I’ll turn to the One

Who reminds me

That He has scars of His own

Nail scarred hands

A body that was willing to take a beating

To prove His love

 

My body has scars

That prove I am willing to sacrifice too

For those I love

The C-Section scars

Prove I’ll do what it takes

4 Times over

To have my children in my life

 

The weight loss surgery scars

Prove I was willing to risk death

To try one last time

To live for my kids

And to beat this thing

 

The other lines and scars and stretch marks

Remind me that there was a time

Food owned me

And the excess skin

Proves I am in the fight

AND WINNING

 

Scars and marks on our body

Just show we have fought a battle

And come out survivors

That’s how I choose to see it

 

If I had some of them erased with cosmetic surgery

They would still be here in my heart

Because I’ll never forget

How hard I’ve had to fight

 

Some pay to tattoo their body

To commemorate a special event

To remind themselves of where they’ve been

Those of us who have been down this road

Don’t have to pay for those marks

We came by them naturally

 

And while you may frown in the mirror

And only see a body that will never be perfect

I remind myself

That this body is temporary

It was never meant to house me forever

 

Some people may not find my body attractive

Even after I lose all the weight

Stretch marks and scars that make my body

Less than “beautiful”

Even I am at risk

Of feeling this way about myself

After all

I’m the one that gets to see me every day

Raw and unedited

 

After all the hard work we put in

These are the very things that the enemy will use

To steal our joy

Don’t fear them!!!

Don’t let them take from you

A proud moment you have earned!

 

We are told NOT to fear

Anything that can hurt our body

Hurt it physically

Like a disease

Or hurt the way we feel about our body

Due to the scars it may hold

 

“Do not be afraid of those that can kill the body but CANNOT kill the soul” (Matthew 10:28–NIV)

Here is another version of this same verse

“Don’t be bluffed into silence by the threats of bullies. There’s nothing they can do to your soul, your core being” (Matthew 10:28–The Message)

 

 

Comments someone may make

Thoughts we may have about ourselves

About our bodies

Those are the bullying thoughts

That threaten to steal our joy

Even after we have worked so hard

To get here

 

There will come a day

When I get a new body (1 Corinthians 15:53-55)

That’s the one I am waiting for

This one….

It’s nothing more than transportation

For this world

 

Now I’m going to treat it the best way I can

This body of mine

Because just like my car

It needs to get me where I need to go

But perfection?

NEVER

 

I have so many lines running down my body

From stretch marks and excess skin

That if my kids got out their markers

And colored them all in

I’d look like a piece of that rainbow colored zebra gum

My kids always beg me to buy when standing in line

At the grocery store

 

I may have lost 218 pounds of fat

But the chains that will wear you down

From self hatred and shame and regret

Weigh far more than that

If I were to look at my thighs

When I’m standing up

I’d see lines traveling down them from the way

That the extra skin falls

Despite the toning exercises I do

 

I could get trapped in a whirlwind of “what if’s”

What if I had not gained the weight?

What if I had lost it sooner?

I could get weighed down in a sea of “I’ll never’s”

I’ll never look like I used to

I’ll never get rid of these lines

I’ll never undo the damage of weighing 300 extra pounds

 

Every day despite my progress

I would look in the mirror and see this

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image18038245

 

What good would that do?

Because here is the reality

I DID do damage to my body when I gained 300 pounds

Sometimes in life we do things

And there ARE consequences

Even after we turn the other direction

And head down another path

 

I wear reminders every day that my stomach was stretched out

But shall I be consumed with that?

Or should I focus instead on the fact

That I was a prisoner in my body

Who has now been redeemed

Who has now been freed

And the One who threw open the doors to my prison cell

Is not done with me yet

 

I won’t lose 300 pounds

Just to be weighed down by regret from my past

And self-defeating shame that I can never be who I used to be

Or I will never look as I used to look

Before my body was stretched out and distorted by the weight

When I was younger and body parts lived in the proper zip code

 

When he redeems you from a life of captivity

He means to do it all the way

From the inside out

Releasing you not just from the physical weight

But the emotional baggage that binds you

And threatens to steal your joy

He wants you to look in the mirror

And regardless of stretch marks and imperfections

See THIS

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image18038267

 

Perfection was never my goal

Because He is perfect

So I don’t have to be

And because of that

In spite of what I see in the mirror

I am Redeemed

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

Anele @ Success Along the Weigh February 12, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I remember when I was about 480 lbs (not even my highest), I saw an Oprah where some dude lost like 200 lbs and had all of this loose skin and I thought “I can never lose weight because I don’t want to look like that!!” Then the Mr’s health scare happened and I no longer cared about what skin would be left. I needed to remember he had WLS and lost 300 lbs in like 18 months. Skin can’t recover from that much loss that fast. At times I really curse how slow this is (I didn’t have WLS) but 217 lbs later in 5 years with more to go, I look at the loose skin and think it’s nowhere near what I thought it would be. I know the worst of it is to come and psychologically it’s going to be difficult but I’ll tuck and squeeze into shapers to hide my “secret” as best I can.

I have no desire to have the skin removal surgery. I was never skinny so like you, I don’t know what it’s like to have a flat stomach, thin thighs and such so I don’t miss that stuff. I have witnessed so many horror stories from skin removal surgery, multiple surgeries needing to be performed on the boobs and several people I know have died and that it’s enough to deter me. My Mr has the same skin issues and we love each other regardless. I’ll admit, there are times I wonder if my boobs will end up just being 2 nipples flapping in the wind but I need to remember I was never an A cup to begin with and be patient. I also know as long as I still have a decent amount of fat, THAT is what the skin will cling to. I get really irritated with these weight loss shows that approve skin surgeries for people who clearly have at least another 40-60 lbs to lose.

I thank you so much for sharing this. Oh yeah and for that neck thingy, dry brush/exfoliate the area every other day and use shea butter every night. It’s done wonders to help mine. Stupid wanna be “waddle!” LOL
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Anele @ Success Along the Weigh February 12, 2013 at 1:48 pm

* It was 300 lbs the guy lost in 18 months, since I can’t go back and edit. 🙂 I didn’t want to look like a spaz saying 200 then 300 lbs. HA! (Too late)
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Pam February 12, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Anele, You are amazing! You find all the products that I should have been using. I fear it’s too late for this 62-year old face however, my waddle is here to stay, at least unless I win the lottery and can afford some surgery.
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Nili March 2, 2013 at 5:27 am

Actually Pam it might not be too late for you. Take a look at Facercise. With those exercises you can make some significant changes. And you won’t have to win the lottery to get the book or even the DVD. 🙂 Perhaps you’d like to give it a try.

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Andrea February 12, 2013 at 2:00 pm

YES! I feel the same way! Though my skin/loose fat is starting me a little, I am far more concerned about my well-being and quality of life. I MIGHT have some reconstructive surgery…someday, but for now, I am focused on LIVING! WLS/losing weight was not about vanity for me, it was about living the life I longed to live. I think that regardless of what method you use to lose weight you have to have real-life goals as your motivation. Beauty fades no matter what weight we are but life is about living! We should all embrace it and be proud!

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Linda Kuil February 12, 2013 at 2:13 pm

I love your boobs comment! I’ve heard a comedian refer to her boobs as 36 LONG! Mine are the same way, along with the sagging skin on my belly. I wish I looked better naked for my husband, but he loved me at 239 pounds and he loves me now at 160. He was the only one who saw past my exterior and loved me for me. He is a rare treasure, but I’m sure you’ll find that someone too, Holly.
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Kelly @ Curvy Fit Girl February 12, 2013 at 2:19 pm

Holly – you are such a trooper and you have a personal strength that I don’t have. I soooo wish I didn’t care about the excess skin that I have around my stomach and inner thighs, but I do. It literally has brought me to tears several times recently. How do you do it? Yes, I know in my head that you are right – that it’s so much better to have the 20 lbs or whatever of excess skin than 100 pounds of extra fat on your body. But the rest of me is not there yet.
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Angela February 12, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Once again, you nailed it. I’ve lost 118 pounds since 2.29.12 and along with the constant questions of, “did you have surgery”, “how have you lost the weight”, “how much have you lost”, I also hear, “do you have loose skin”, “are you going to have to have extra skin removed”? OK, really? I get these questions, often, from people I DON’T KNOW! I work in a building with a couple thousand other people so they’ve obviously seen me out walking (I walk 4 to 5 miles a day and do Insanity 5 days a week), but they’ve never talked to me, they don’t know my name and yet they feel it’s OK to ask these questions! Pffft.

I am hoping to have excess skin removed. I have about 30 pounds left to lose and I have consulted a plastic surgeon. Is going under the knife scary? Yes. However, I don’t want to have to jam a few pounds of excess skin into my clothes for the rest of my life. And, the problems have started, with the rashes, etc., so in the end I may not have any choice but to have the surgery.

Oh well. I HAVE a good life. I HAD a good life before. Excess skin or not I’m going to live my life to the fullest as I know you will!

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Pam February 12, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Hi Holly–I’m living in the body you describe too. I’ve got it all: Boobs that could be tucked into my pants, but refuse to stay in my bra, excess skin on my upper legs, even my lower legs, my upper arms, my stomach….but like you the one that bothers me the most is the one I can’t cover up–and mine is no “want to be”– oh no, is is a real live WADDLE. I got so used to seeing it, it became one of those flaws you don’t notice so much when you look in the mirror. I started substitute teaching in the last year, thinking, “NOW…I look normal. I can stand up in front of a group of kids without fear of the ‘fat’ taunts.” But I found out that those kids notice everything! Right away when I meet a new classroom of kids, their first comments are, “What is that thing on your neck?” It crushed my self-esteem, that self-esteem I thought was mine now forever, that self-esteem that I had worked so hard to get back. Our faces and our double chins and waddles are the ONE thing we can’t cover up, and probably would be the first place I’d consider some surgery on, when my ship comes in that is. The second place would be those bat-wing upper arms, so I could wear short sleeves, or even…..SLEEVELESS (?) clothes. But I can cover up most of the flaws, and I was never skinny, so this body I’ve got now is as good as I’ve ever had, excess skin, saggy boobs, waddle and ALL! And THAT stuff never killed anybody like FAT has. So I’m okay….and it sounds like you are too! Believe me, your little (unnoticeable-to me) double chin is NOTHING compared to that waddle I’ve got. Of course I’ve got over 20 years on you, and age is not all that kind to any of us.
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Staci February 12, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Did you put your bra on before or after doing this post? LOL I nearly spit out my water at the way you stated about getting those puppies up the side of your body. Haha I think if I gained 500 pounds, I’d STILL be an A cup. I tell everyone I’m 33 and still waiting for my boobs to come in. LOL I know for sure you’d be a size down without the skin. I started to say that once a while back when you were talking about your current size but thought it might sound rude. I think you know me well enough by now to know that’s not how I mean things. I’m just silly and say whatever comes to mind. 🙂 You are beautiful, and whether you decide to have skin removal or not you’ll still be beautiful.
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Amy February 12, 2013 at 3:17 pm

This is just a beautiful post. Thank you for the courage to share your story. I am 30 years old and down to 266lbs from 431lbs just 2 years ago. I have not had bariatric surgery. I have learned to have a healthy relationship with food and learned to enjoy physical activity. I am starting to see loose skin and deal with the emotions that come along with this reality. This post put a lot of things into perspective for me. Thank you!!

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Pam February 12, 2013 at 5:29 pm

Amy, you have had quite a journey. I would love to read your blog. Do you have one?
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Amy February 13, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Hi Pam,
I wish I had a blog, but don’t at this time … I have thought about it, as I have SO MANY things to say about this journey, but I just don’t really have the time to “share” like I would like to. I am doing some intermitten writing about my “feelings” and obsticals, but nothing which I’ve shared yet. Today I conquered the 1/2 way mark … that is, I have gotten rid of more weight than I have left to reach my goal. I am on CLOUD 9!! 🙂

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Steelers6 February 12, 2013 at 3:35 pm

It sounds like your head is in a good
place. (Funny expression.)

I’m sure the initial WL surgery was
scary/intimidating, & to me cosmetic
surgery feels that way too.

I can’t see much of a problemo in the
neck photo, but the fact that it bothers
you is your reality. You look great, btw.
I want to make sure that you are using a
quality face moisturizer on your NECK
(Not just your face)
every morning and every night before
you go to bed. And I say extend it down
to your chest area too–the area that shows in a
V neck, or scoop neck top. Every. single.
day. That & removing makeup, etc., every
day gets old, but I know it will be so worth
it. And boy do I go through moisturizer! Oh and
same with sunscreen. Protect that beautiful,
young looking skin!

And while the talk is all personal, do you
really rig & wear 3 bras at a time? Wow.
I hope that can change for you soon,
maybe there is a specific brand out there
someone else has discovered or something.

Happy week, dearie!
Chrissy

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Dawn February 12, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Awesome, honest post. You’re gorgeous, inside and out!
Dawn
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Tasha Cantrell February 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm

“I’ll turn to the One

Who reminds me

That He has scars of His own”

^ This ^

Holly, you are amazing! Thank you for your words…yes, words on our physical body but more importantly, words on our Spiritual body!

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Lisa February 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Thank you for this TODAY! I have been down for the last week or so!I My WL Surgery date was Nov 26, 2012 at 419 pounds. I am down to 330 pounds has of yesterday! I check your blog daily! You have helped me more that you can ever know!
Your courage to put down in words what I am feeling is an inspiration to me!!

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Lee Ann February 12, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Yeah I have excess skin too. It does shrink back a bit over time depending on how your elasticity is… And I found something that says something like…Do I have stretchmarks? Yes! I am a Tiger who has earned her stripes!

I have saggy boobs. I use the example of pillowcases with no pillows in them. I stuff them all back into my bra as well.

Will I have surgery? Dunno. Right now I am just working on weight training to shrink the skin and fill the pillowcases of loose skin. LOL

Great examples and a great post.
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LHA February 12, 2013 at 5:04 pm

You are beautiful, inside and out.

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Tess February 12, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I literally lol’d when you said “Might it bother me If there was someone out there That wanted use of them?” 😀 hehehe!! I love your confidence, truly I do! You’ve earned your tiger stripes! On a side note, I have an Enell bra for exercise (I call it my “corset from hell”) and wonder if that would work for you and your “girls” for daily use? I don’t know, but maybe take a look? I found mine at our local running store. Thanks for the laugh and honesty today, Holly!!

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Lori February 12, 2013 at 5:26 pm

My chin bothers me too. I think the saggy skin there makes me look old.

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sandie February 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm

You don’t worry about a thing – you hold your beautiful head high! You are awesome.

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Lilian February 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm

Stretch marks are like a roadmap of history – kisses of time. 🙂 It shows how strong we can be.

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Lilian February 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm

I also have a lot of stretch marks. EVERYWHERE. Even on my face. It amazes me because the stretching of the skin shows how much transformation we are capable of going through – pregnancies, weight losses…etc. I don’t find them ugly or unattractive, but a symbol of strength. 🙂
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Tina February 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Love me some Big Daddy Weave! Thank you for your encouragement on my blog this week! I want you to know it helped me.
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Sheila February 12, 2013 at 6:38 pm

Awesome post Holly, and you are so right about everything. I’m still undecided about PS. Partly because that scares me MORE than the VSG surgery, and partly because I never hit “goal”. I think they say staying at goal for a year plus is a good idea before plastics. Also partly because I’m okay owning what and who I am. Granted, yes I’m married to the most amazing man who has always loved me no matter WHAT I weighed or which direction the boobs go, but beside that much like you I’m proud of the scars (also had GB surg 13 years ago) and the stretch marks given to me by my beautiful children.

And this is sooooo true what you wrote:
“I have no memories of some perfect body”

Ha! That is me. I’m currently within 20lbs of what I weighed in HS, so it’s not like I spent a lifetime at 110 lbs and suddenly weighed almost 300. I think I would look scary at a low weight because THAT IS JUST NOT ME. I’m fine with those who do have plastics and yes maybe someday I will too. But for now, I’m happy being who I am. All of me.
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Donna February 12, 2013 at 8:00 pm

What a helpful, insightful, encouraging truthful post. You are wonderful. I sincerely hope Holly you are considering writing a book, maybe compiling your post, something on that line. God bless you and your family.

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Jane February 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Holly you are an amazing woman! What strength you have. I so love reading your posts b/c you say what I feel. Knowing that there is someone out there who feels like I do makes me feel that less alone. I think of the sagging skin I have after my weightloss the one that bothers me the most are the “flags”. Oh how I would love to wear a sleeveless top! Have a wonderful blessed week .

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Paule February 12, 2013 at 8:58 pm

you r beautiful!
those scars is nothing!

i have 4 kids, stretch marks, etc… my body has changed,
also it has somehow metabolically changed, i can keep my weight down only by eating low-carb, but this is not an issue – lots of ppl in low-carb and paleo diet communities in the internet.

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Nicola February 12, 2013 at 9:50 pm

You are beautiful, you are loved and you are an inspiration. Btw I have to do the daily upward boob haulage too, when are they going to make a teeny tiny crane to help with that?!

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Natalie February 12, 2013 at 10:58 pm

You have a really healthy attitude to this. And I don’t think you have a wattle at all (it is wattle, like on a turkey neck, not waddle. Made me think of Sean Anderson who often writes “walla” on his blog and it took me ages to realise he meant the French word “voila”! Sorry … I’m an editor, I can’t help it). Everyone gets a bit looser as they age.

You might find that you want a skin tuck just for comfort reasons, I hear excess flaps can chafe a bit.
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Angela February 13, 2013 at 1:10 am

Thank you! I am one of those struggling self esteem issues due to the excess skin and the sagging boob issues. Reading this today really put things into perspective. Thank you for writing this and sharing. Thank you for bringing out points that I wouldn’t consider when I’m having me self pity party. Most importantly, thank you for giving me a new perspective on my perfection.

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IWJC February 13, 2013 at 2:36 am

Such a beautifully sweet, strong, vulnerable, lovely post!

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Trish @I_am_Succeeding February 13, 2013 at 3:31 am

Brilliantly put!!
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Joy February 13, 2013 at 7:56 am

What a great post! I would first like to say you look beautiful in your picture :). I haven’t lost all the weight I need to and I do get super scared of my stomach and thighs having lose skin and honestly I think that is why I haven’t lost anymore weight in a long time. It is like I am fighting to keep the 50 pounds I lost instead of losing another 50 I need to. Thanks for putting a positive spin on the loose skin deal 🙂

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JC February 13, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Awesome post!

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Christy February 13, 2013 at 6:33 pm

Truly inspiring…

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Cathy February 13, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Holly, God looks at the heart and he smiles when he looks at yours!

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Pj geek February 14, 2013 at 3:26 am

I call my breast ‘liquid boob” and basically pour them in to bras . I wear two to the gym. I have an enell and they are great. My wattle bothers me, but my batwing arms are the hardest thing to deal with. When I’m doing warrior in Yoga it’s like I have melted arms. I found a lot of hope and support with this post and will be asking God for a little more support. he he…literally.. he can handle it.
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Tracy February 14, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Great post! My favorite part is about the scars that Christ has, that he got redeeming us. What a wonderful reminder of salvation!
Anyways, I wanted to encourage you to keep up the awesome work, AND let you know that there’s a store here in Austin (not too far from you in SA) that specializes in bra fitting. My husband’s grandparents opened the store in the 60’s and it is amazing! The staff is so wonderful and nice, and they have an incredible range of sizes. Up to a 56N! It’s a beautiful and classy store, not trashy at all. If you can’t make it up to the store to be fitted, you can also order online! check it out! http://petticoatfair.com/

Again, keep up the awesome and inspiring work!

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Leah February 15, 2013 at 7:10 pm

I have to finish reading your post but first had to tell you about a new show on lifetime channel called Double Divas. Two hilarious women in Georgia with an awesome bra shop. They can do ANY size. You can watch the shows online too. Maybe they can help you. http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/double-divas
Their website is http://www.liviraelingerie.com/index.php
They are two awesome women! I love their show.

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Kraig Price March 31, 2013 at 7:50 pm

Hi! I really enjoyed reading about your success story! That is great! I actually carry products that eliminate excess skin and stretch-marks! I can also provide them at wholesale prices. Check out my store http://www.wrapsale.com

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Grace a February 27, 2014 at 6:55 pm

I have lost A LOT of weight over the past year by seriously improving my eating habits, working out three times a week, and oh yeah…pushing a 9 pound baby out my body! I lost 60 pounds which was great but my stretch marks actually got worse!

I have tried a few different products and found the Somatique Stretch Mark Cream to be one of the most effective for the price. Its from Lady Somas website. I also found that by massaging their stretch mark cream into my tummy it makes my skin feel so much softer and smooth. I would totaly recommend this too along with the somatique moisturizer. Just these two things has simply been the best thing I’ve done for lessening the appearance of any stretch marks. I noticed results within the first month, skin is much more smooth and firm.

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