Continuing with my 30 Days of Gratitude, I am thankful for my body, with all of its flaws.
Day #15 – Accept Your Body is Part of Learning to Love Yourself
I will address my weight loss later in this series, but as many articles have noted (here, here and here just for a few) – losing a ton of weight is unlikely to end up with you looking like … well, frankly like the person you imagined was underneath all of that fat and skin. And frankly the skin is part of the problem. A while ago I shared a picture of me crossing the bridge in Corning about a half-mile before the marathon finish. Everyone loves the pic – but all *I* see is the loose skin on my thighs.
This week at HuffPo there was a post about a guy who lost 160 pounds, and how he is feeling and dealing with all of the loose skin. It is a pretty amazing video because it shows him at his largest and also just how much loose and stretchy skin he has all over. Check out the post and the video at the bottom.
My ‘skin situation’ isn’t nearly as extreme as his, but it is something I deal with. I will never have the same body that I would have, had I never had to lose 200lbs in 1989 … and also lose 110lbs in 2012. Having that skin that will never quite fit right constantly has you asking yourself if you are getting fat again or if it is just the skin.
This time around, I have ‘gone the distance’ in terms of my fitness and health. I can look confidently and know I am in the best shape of my life, and that my body is really in great shape, and it ‘is what it is’. Starting from there, I had to accept that THIS is how I am and how I will be. And slowly I have accepted that, and learned to be happy with just how I am.
How do you work to be happy with ‘the skin you’re in’?
Here is the video:
I think that its all about recognizing and accepting that true “health” is about much more than appearance. We all see our own flaws, but whats more important is that our bodies are healthy and we are treating them well. And it sounds like you have been able to recognize and come to terms with that which is awesome!
Thanks Lisa … I think like most things it is a work in progress. I always say that eating disorders are never something you ‘get over’ … same for body image issues from severe weight change. We just do the best we can – and try to remain healthy!
Very nice post. No matter what we do, we will never be fully satisfied with ourselves. You have accomplished so much and changed your life. That is very impressive. Focus on the positive – which it seems like you usually do!
Thanks 🙂 I think it is always easier to focus on the positive when things are good … easier to squish those nagging doubts.
I distinctly remember an adult revelation when a dear friend who is so beautiful, thin, fit, fast, and strong was complaining about her body. It was this realization that even some people who I’d consider to have perfect bodies see their own imperfections, and it’s a matter of taking the best possible care of whatever you have and loving yourself at whatever stage of the journey you’re on.
Thanks – and it is very true. It was also something I was pretty clueless about for a long time – probably because the realm of weight loss I lived in was so huge (yeah, bad pun I know) that many people didn’t feel comfortable talking to me about it either when I was thin or once they learned how much I had lost.
Thank you so much for sharing “My Biggest Insecurity-loose skin”
What a powerful message, graphic and honest.
For women, we ofter worry about the loss of the “baby weight” post delivery. Well, you/we can lose the baby weight, but the loose skin doesn’t always tighten back up, especially after the second pregnancy.
I bounced back right into my “pre-baby shape and weight” post first child.
Second time around, I lost all and more of the baby-weight, but the stretched skin didn’t tighten back up. It was s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d o-u-t.
Hmm………So, what were the options?
–a tummy tuck? not, if we might want a another child.
–serious workouts? they helped but the loose skin was still there.
–spanx? they weren’t around yet.
–acceptance of the stretched skin as the result of changes in my body from carrying two large babies? yep, because THAT’s the honest truth.
The loose skin is still there, and it doesn’t matter how much weight I lose or how much I work out, its still stretched, but Its mine! and that’s a just a fact I’ve learned to love about me!
Thanks Clare 🙂 It is a great lesson … I don’t think I would ever have surgery to alter my skin, even though it doesn’t have any potential impact like for someone … well, who is a woman 🙂 There are many things that can happen that result in our bodies not being exactly how we want, or planned, or how they used to be. And ultimately even if we do things like surgery to alter them, I think that learning to love ourselves is fundamental to all of it.
All I see is my flaws in pictures too. But then, often when I look at the same picture years later, I wonder, “Wow, I look so pretty there. Why didn’t I realize?” Then I get depressed at how poorly I compare to my younger self, lol.
I love this … and so true! Lisa does this occasionally with her hair (since I have had essentially 3 haircuts my whole life, not a big deal for me!). But I now look at pictures and see all kinds of good and bad things … particularly that I was never as thin or muscular as I am now 🙂
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