Women are still trapped under a hyper-critical microscope. Our year-long election slug fest has taught us that, internet trolls demonstrate it daily, and the mail I get from readers sorrowfully reminds me that there is still work to be done. It’s an inside-job, ladies. Surgery, weight loss, and botox won’t set you free. Only a loud and unapologetic declaration that you’re okay with yourself will shove the microscope out of society’s intrusive hand. Yes, even if you’re not flawless, you’re calling the game over. You’ve always been OK and now the world knows it. That became my mantra at 300 pounds and it’s my mantra today. In part because the No. 1 concern I get from clients and readers of my books is from women fearing their happiness will be impaired by loose skin after a weight loss.
So, what do you do if you’ve dropped a lot of weight and have some loose skin? Off the top of my head, this comes to mind: GET OUT THERE AND LIVE YOUR FREAKIN’ LIFE! I mean, come on, life is a gift to begin with. And if you have a new lease on it because of releasing a substantial amount of weight, do you really think your primary focus will be on any residual imperfections? For me it wasn’t even a distant concern. When you walk through life at 300 pounds + for 20 years, being free of that physical and emotional burden tends to elevate one into a state of joy and gratitude. Trust me.
I do understand the concern of loose skin. No one wants it…actively seeks it out. But to be a slave to fearing or loathing it is buying into our society’s manic focus on looking flawless. It has become a toxic fetish. All you have to do is Google ‘plastic surgery disasters’ to see how easily the quest for ‘looking good enough’ can spiral out of control. OK, love handles are “lippoed.” I guess I look better…but what can I work on next? Ah! a brow lift…followed by cheek implants and lip injections. Yeah, that’s the ticket! Then I’ll be happy.
Please let me save you the thousands of dollars you may be poised to spend (or borrow). If you’re not in possession of some baseline satisfaction with who you are…including how you look, surgery won’t magically wave that malady away. Surgery does nothing to quiet or console the inner critic. That’s your job.
Interesting point: All the loose-skin concerns I get from readers are from women at the start of their journey. They’d actually love to get rid of the weight, but are wondering if loose skin is too high a price to pay. Really? If that’s going to stop your roll before you even start, it’s likely you’re not ready. I’m not judging. Change can be unnerving; to you and those around you. I’ve lived it; I know. Just consider being honest about what might really be holding you back. Never has anyone who has dropped 100 pounds or more groused to me they don’t like their skin. Why? They’re simply too elated with their new life, which includes lots of freedom and energy. It’s far more exhilarating than a perfection that doesn’t exist. Trust me.
Stacey Morris is a Loudonville-based DDPYOGA instructor, health coach, and cookbook author. Her website is www.staceymorris.com.