Last night was a toughie…one of those moments when I am wondering whether to man up, or just retreat to my blanket fort and hide!
As seems to be the case in recent months, I decided to man up!
My Dad had mentioned a programme that he had seen a trailer for a few days ago. In his words, it was about the loose skin left over after weight loss, and that one mans loose skin looked like a sad face. How could I fail to be intrigued?! He couldn’t remember the name of the show though, so I thought that my chances were scuppered…until I spotted the trailer for myself…’My Baggy Body’.
As a loser, and a big one with a long way yet to get to target, I am never quite sure how I feel about the loose skin issue. I have written about this before and have come to the conclusion that I would prefer not to have it obviously, but for me it isn’t a major issue. I don’t hate my body…I quite like the fact that I am still alive having been to the brink I suppose…and I have my body to thank for that. When I say that it isn’t a major issue, it isn’t for my mind – as I quite like myself…not so much my body…but myself and I guess all that comes with it!
It is going to be a major issue in terms of the physical nature of dealing with the sheer amount of loose skin left after 30st+ of weight loss. Whilst my mind might have come to terms with the fact that I will never look like Lara Croft, my mind also knows that lugging around the weight of excess skin that I will have is going to be hard.
As it stands at the moment, I am starting to sag. I am just over halfway in terms of my weight loss. I have bingo wings to rival any of those seen at your local Gala. If I want to see my lady garden area, it either takes some lifting and shifting, or a mirror and a precarious position. So I am just being realistic when I say that skin removal surgery will be a must. I know that it won’t give me my dream body, but I know that it will make day to day life a lot easier. It won’t make me like myself though…as I am already in love with the wonder that is me!
And no – shapewear, body wraps, creams and all of the exercise in the world will not help prevent the need for this surgery. Seriously – so please, I don’t want suggestions on a postcard on this occasion! I do moisturise, I drink plenty of water, eat good protein, do go to the gym, and I will – when I can fit into it – strap on the shapewear. But the simple truth is that after a good decade of extreme excessive eating, I will absolutely be left with an excessive amount of skin. My fault entirely.
This issue is not a mind one, but a physical one. If I was left with a bit of a jelly belly then I would wear it with pride…a badge of honour which represents my journey. I just don’t want a badge of honour that I have to throw over my shoulder though to stop it dragging on the floor! My life is becoming more and more active, and I want to ride my horses without having my stomach skin resting on their necks, and my stomach swinging in time with the kettlebells!
For fellow losers out there, I am sure that you can imagine my trepidation when it came to watching the show. On the one hand I have faced up to reality, I love ‘me’, and I love the effort that I am putting in to changing my life. However, did I want the reminder of what was to come?
But I watched it regardless! I have a morbid fascination – along with my morbid obesity – when it comes to these programmes. Most shows that I watch do little for the plight of the fatty…they are sensationalist and dredge up a media shit-storm that I don’t want to be part of. You are NOT a bad person just because you are fat. You should NOT be made to feel this way. I know this…and as I have said a couple of times now, I love me…but I just want to keep making changes towards healthy. I am not a ‘big is beautiful’ cheerleader, yet nor am I a ‘how could you let yourself get like that’ fat-basher. So I get a little curious over these shows…will they be fronted by a patronising twat, or will they be dealt with sensitively and show that there is a little bit more to weight loss issues than people letting themselves get like that, or just simply moving more and eating less.
‘My Baggy Body’ featured three people – Gregg, Pauline and Sarah. Gregg had lost 12st via Weight Watchers, and Pauline and Sarah had lost their weight as a result of weight loss surgery – Pauline had lost 21st, and Sarah had lost 9st…all of them were left with saggy skin…more than saggy skin in some cases.
For those of you who didn’t catch the show – it can be watched on 4OD here…I will warn you though, if you aren’t in a good headspace, then it’s probably not one to watch…spend the time getting in a good headspace instead!
For me, Pauline was probably the person I related to the most. Our starting weights were almost identical. She had a tremendous amount of skin…excuse the analogy, but this was mentioned on the show…her stomach hung down below her knees, and looked like a massive pair of testicles. It was such a shame. She talked about how it affected her balance, and would swing like a pendulum…and getting around was a nightmare for her.
Pauline was fairly pragmatic like myself and actually said, “It wasn’t as the result of an accident, it was as result of my own stupidity that got me there in the first place.” I have to admit to having that level of honesty myself…no one other than me chose to eat the food that I did – and whilst there may have been underlying triggers – it was a self-inflicted situation. The result of her life excesses was a lump of hardened fatty fluid in her stomach – nicknamed ‘Fred’ – which weighed 2st 9lb. 2st 9lbs…quite a lot to be carrying around when it is hanging down in front of your legs and swinging around. To see her have her surgery was amazing. She was thrilled with the results and it must have made such a difference to her.
Then there was Gregg – a man after my own heart who decided that healthy food and exercise was the way to go. He said, “If I’d got a gastric band, I wouldn’t have learned anything. It feels like cheating. It took a lot of hard, hard graft [to slim down].” I have to admit that, out of the three, he did seem to be the one who had learnt the most. But this isn’t an argument about WLS vs going it alone – although I bloody well do have an opinion about it!
Now Gregg was a single guy looking for love. His loose skin might not have looked as dramatic as others…but to him, it was really important. It was ruining his confidence and almost making him question whether losing the weight was worth it. Seeing him push himself around a Tough Mudder event made me feel that the answer to that question was so bloody obvious…but I am in a loving relationship and know that Mr WLB is happy to put up with my flaws. Gregg has yet to find his Mr or Mrs!
In his case, he had saved the NHS a huge amount of money and was devastated to be turned down for the skin removal surgery. He organised charity events that I would happily have donated to, but in the end his wonderful parents took out a loan to pay for it. I am sincerely hoping that C4 forked out a decent amount of cash to get these guys on the show…regardless – he had his operation and the smile on his face said it all. I do hope that he is well on his way towards finding the partner of his dreams.
Now Sarah was the toughie for me. A girl in her twenties, desperate to get married and have children with her hubby to be…and yet she just didn’t seem to be in the right ‘place’. She had a daughter, and a lovely partner, but said, ‘I’ve got a gorgeous family, I’ve got Ed, I’ve got my daughter Erin… The only thing that’s not beautiful is me.’ This really saddened me. I see it time and time again with people – the self-hate and the doubt. This is one of the reasons I harp on about learning to love yourself and your life now…not when some kind of miracle happens!
Anyway – Sarah – whilst I did feel for her, a family shopping trip showed all sorts of rubbish food being looked at…which could be that sensationalist TV I mentioned…these shows always need a scapegoat! And a weigh in treat night of a takeaway pizza and what looked like garlic bread was wheeled out too. And then she was gutted to have stayed the same…began talking about how she was within her ‘points’…fish and chips and all sorts of stuff was mentioned. This is one of my bugbears about surgery…the food education element seems lacking for a lot of the people I talk to…even having joined a weight loss group, she still wasn’t ‘getting’ it.
Now I am no bloody angel – and I don’t think anyone should be, it’s bloody boring! – but to see that behaviour on TV, whilst crying about the plight of the NHS asking you to lose more weight before they will carry out the skin surgery…it just didn’t sit comfortably with me I am afraid. As I said, I am no angel – but I wouldn’t stick myself on TV with a fecking pizza and then cry about the injustice of it all!
I just hope that all of them can find some peace with themselves. Their lives have changed, but their minds haven’t caught up and this for me is the key! You can have a wobbly stomach and fecking rock it. You can have a thigh gap and bum cheeks that could crack a walnut…but no self-confidence at all. So the body being great does not equal the mind being great – not that I think thigh gaps are great by the way…always looks like muscle wastage to me, and I feel like dragging the owners of them for a decent feed!
But anyway – I was pleased that I watched as I wasn’t as devastated by it as I thought I might be. It made me realise how much progress my head has made. My body will catch up with my mind eventually…and as I keep getting told, Gok Wan does shapewear!
I have to admit to getting a bit emosh though – but only because there are some bloody lovely people out there! Jo started a bit of a ‘movement’ on Facebook last night and offered a quid towards my surgery when my time comes! It is just lovely to have the support of you guys…amazing – thank you! One of the reasons for me remaining anonymous is the public perception and you have boosted my confidence so much – so thank you once again! x
Today has been fun. It was weigh in day…3lbs off and Slimmer of the Week – a pretty good result I thought. Our bodies are wonderful and weird – three weeks on plan over the festive period and just the 2lbs off…a week on plan with bloody decent food and 3lbs off! Both my consultant and myself were pretty pleased, as I was back at the gym this week and wondering what effect this might have.
Group was good – a good look at food diaries and the importance of them – preaching to the converted on that one…I cannot go without tracking my food!
I got a bit pissed off with Pizza Lady and told her to “Zip it!” – at which point my Mum nudged me for being rude! She kept talking with her cronies when other people were having conversations with the consultant though – nothing irritates me more than this…it’s hard talking about weight issues and people have paid their money and so deserve their moment…it’s also just manners and politeness I think! It’s great to get input from other group members, but if you can’t hear what someone is saying because some fecking woman who never sticks to the plan is yabbering away…argh – it makes me mad! Plus, some people don’t like speaking in public, so why make it harder for them? In actual fact, I think it was a lady who was just there to support a friend who was doing most of the talking…I’ll have her instead next week if she carries on! Off that soapbox now!
I also had a lovely chat with a lady who I love to bits. She is fabulous. She has been going to Slimming World for years, has quite poor mobility, and I would love to see her lose weight. She told me that she felt silly for sitting there and watching me lose over 18st but not bothering herself. She knows what to do, and admitted that she gets great results when she sticks to the plan…I have everything crossed that she makes a good go of it this year.
Then it was time for the vet to come an give annual injections. My Welsh lad went first and was a nice polite horse…just far too nosey about what the vet was trying to do. My Mum then tried with her mare…who decided that the vet was the scariest person in the world and that dragging my Mum around on the end of the lead rope was a better option. So Mum headed off to get some apples to keep her occupied…I ended up holding my Welsh lad and her to keep them away from the vet for very different reasons. My youngest lad just stood loose for his injection – he’s such a sweetie. I then took hold of the mare and got her injected. It was then the turn of our little man…all 35″ of him decided that he didn’t want his injection! So I kind of held him in place and gave him a big scratch – which he loves – whilst holding his long mane out of the way…the vet and I headbutted each other at this point…but we got there in the end. So another fabulous day in terms of horsey progress for me…being able to handle this stuff is really important to me!
I then got called in as an emergency babysitter by my sister. Her hubby had been up all night throwing up and my niece had decided that he should stay in bed, away from her, as she didn’t want to get ill! So I headed over for the nighttime duties…we had lots of cuddles, which turned into them jumping on my head…we had a little dancing…a little demonstration of my aerobics class – which they found highly amusing…and then a burping competition which I managed to end rather quickly before their Dad heard us all and told us off! It was then teeth brushed, PJs on, and bedtime stories…with more cuddles and kisses!
Breakfast: Bananas.Lunch: Butternut squash, carrot and chilli soup with cheese, onion and spinach toasties and tomatoes (HEA and 2 x HEB).Dinner: Prawn, aubergine and chilli spaghetti.Snacks: Velvet Crunch (24 syns).A lovely food day. Just the usual bananas to take to group with me for after my weigh in. Lunch was yesterday’s leftover soup, with toasted wholemeal rolls stuffed with spinach, red onion and my HEA of cheese. Dinner was lush – chopped red onion, aubergine, cherry tomatoes and spinach, fried off with tomato purée, garlic, chilli, smoked chipotle chilli and a little water, with prawns and wholemeal pasta…it was lovely! And yes, the crisps have made another appearance. What I have noticed is that I no longer wolf them down…I reckon I might give them up soon, but I am kind of determined to keep an old part of me going!
Exercise: Not a lot at all today…just a little jaunt to the field with the vet.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx