So, this week I met with a surgeon. I went to see him about having my excess skin on my abdomen removed.
The whole time I was losing weight (over 5 years for the idiots who suggested I had liposuction or couldn’t possibly have done it in 18 months) I held on to this idea of the body I wanted at the ‘end’. And of course, like most people who lose huge amounts of weight, you just don’t get that, you get some scary, saggy, popped balloon body that messes with your head even more than the fat body you started with.
You then start to think, in order to be the woman I envisaged, you have to be surgically fixed because suddenly the weight loss, the number on the scale, just ins’t enough. Now, not only are you constantly thinking about what you’re eating, constantly counting calories, stepping on the scales every morning hoping you’ll see a slightly lower number thanking God you didn’t eat that chocolate you so desperately wanted before you went to bed .. no, now you’re wondering what you’d look like with the skin gone, or the boobs higher, you start standing in the mirror pulling at your self, lifting flaps of skin and letting go, whispering words of destruction right to your core. Wishing, wishing so hard, I just want it gone, I just want to be normal.
Seeing the surgeon was just the next step. Only this time, I had someone else pulling at my skin. Lifting flaps of skin and letting go, observing my body like a piece of meat and talking about it like I had been for all that time, ‘Oh dear, yes, this is a mess, goodness, awful, we can defiantly help you, make this look much prettier, I mean you’ll have scaring, but it’ll be a huge improvement on this’.
I bought into it. I carried on letting an image given to me as a child, but compounded every moment of my life, guide how MY body should look.
Very quickly after the appointment, I sobbed to my self about how dreadful HE thought I looked. But as I started to think more about what had been said, I felt angry. This is MY body! Cutting huge slices of me away and throwing them in the bin, could that really be the answer to any of my problems? I started to realise that the idea of a happy body image starts with removing the image I’ve been given by the media and replacing it with an image of the body I have.
If I start ‘creating’ a body I’m ‘happy’, rather than learning to be happy with the body I have, I just don’t know where it’ll stop. Because I can assure you it wouldn’t end with the skin on my abdomen. I remember saying to my wife ‘if I have my tummy done, I’m going to need to have my breast done or I’m just going to look stupid’ .. and then would it have been my legs? (also, cheers to the guy who said they looked like his testicals on a hot summers day, I actually spat my tea out I laughed so hard at that one! hahahaha) .. maybe a bum lift? I just don’t know where that would have ended, what I do know is it wouldn’t have ended in any kind of happiness.
Learning to be body positive, it doesn’t guarantee happiness, but if this last week is anything to go by, it’s going to be a fuck ton happier than the alternative.