Does plastic surgery mean you hate yourself?

I was always scared to lose weight because of the potential that loose skin would be an issue. I was scared it would look horrible and that I would still be as unhappy as I was when I was overweight. I scrolled through Instagram looking at people who had lost weight, I examined their transformation photos to see if any skin showed. I continuously looked for their secret, what were they doing, and could I do it?

As I have said before I have lost over 100 lbs in a fairly short period of time. As I lost weight, I continued to stare at myself in the mirror and wondered when the skin would change. When would I look the way I wanted? What was wrong with me?

When I did measurements my chest continuously dropped in inches, my boobs got smaller and smaller. To be honest when I bent over, they could only be described as testicle like. There was no fullness left, it was a matter at that point of tucking in skin to ensure nothing hung out. I remember the one day I went out in a bathing suit, I was tempted to tape my breast skin out of the way.

Now my stomach is a whole different story! I previously had a c-section in 2013 and I have gained and lost weight multiple times throughout my life. Imagine a balloon, if you stretch it out over and over again, it eventually does not retract. That skin is actually easier to hide, as long as I don’t ever take my pants off.

Loose skin is something that I dislike, and the reason I can say I don’t hate it is because it is physical evidence of my hard work. Throughout my transformation I have gained confidence and learned to love myself, I have started to enjoy watching videos of myself working out and seeing “action shots”. However, even now, the first thing I look at in pictures is my stomach. I cannot stand watching videos of myself squatting because it just sits there in the way.

It was a few months ago that I decided to look into ways to remedy this issue. I spent a lot of time watching Instagram videos of people’s experiences and watching the actual surgery itself. I figured the first step would be to go see a plastic surgeon, was I wanted even a possibility?

I met with my surgeon who was absolutely shocked when I told him how much weight I had actually lost, apparently people similar to me have more skin. I will never forget the day that I had to take my shirt and bra off in that office and stand in front of a mirror, what a nightmare! The surgeon was excited to see the outcome of my surgery considering the muscle mass I have.

Now I have had people make comments to me that I look great, why go for surgery. The overall answer would be, this surgery is not to make others happy, it is not for anyone else but myself. I didn’t go into the surgeon’s office with a picture of what I want to look like, I am not trying to achieve a certain image.

I want to be able to wear a bathing suit without worry, I’d like to be able to go braless just one day, I would like to jump without my stomach doing its own thing. This skin is not something I can suck in or work off; it literally can only be managed surgically.

Another story I have heard is that people who have plastic surgery must hate themselves, they will forever be looking for that “perfect” body. I am sure there are some cases where people had the financial means to continue with plastic surgery until they achieve a certain look.

However, this is not the case for everyone, and to be honest to say the blanket statement that plastic surgery patients hate themselves is offensive. Thankfully I remind myself that those people are uneducated individuals who are unable or unwilling to empathize with people such as myself. I don’t hate myself; I actually think I am pretty awesome. I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am at today and I am proud of that. The skin is a physical sign of the abuse I put my body through, it is what left of how my body used to be. If I didn’t have any photos, no one would look at me and know I was over 300 lbs, but my skin tells a different story.

I am scared of the pain of surgery and I am frightened to need help, but I am so excited for the final step in my weight loss journey. Now, that does not mean that I am done, now the hard part comes which will be maintenance. I have so many goals for next year and I cannot wait for recovery to be done so I can start my new life.

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