Why skin surgery?

As many of you reading this may know, I am going in this Friday (1/12/18) to have skin removal surgery done after my weight loss of 250lbs. They will be reducing the extra skin on my arms, chest, abdomen, and then the beltline (which pulls some of the buttock). It's not an easy surgery to go through and recover from. Recovery itself seems to lay you out from normal life activity for a week to two, and you are not back to pre-procedure levels for six or more weeks. The scars themselves are  pretty gnarly (though much less visible than your extra skin), and the cost is often prohibitive for most (or at the very least puts you into medical debt for a few years as insurance will often cover just a portion or none of the surgery). So the question really comes to mind as I count down the days and then hours to this surgery.


I'll start with the more upfront and simple reason, medical issues. It's a little gross to talk about, but skin irritation and rashes are a real and serious issue. When you have the extra skin many people get from a large weight loss or even pregnancy, the areas of skin that rub together that don't normally can develop rashes and other skin irritation conditions. There is a real chance of infection alone, notwithstanding the quality of life decrease that comes with daily pain. The "good" news though is that areas that do develop these issues can sometimes be covered by insurance and you might get some help in your costs.

Next comes your own mental health, which is often overlooked and unfortunately often deemed less important. You go through your years of hard work, shedding pound after pound to get to where you now sit. You now even wear the clothing of the "Normals" tribe and can shop in their stores. On the outside you probably pass as one to 99% of the people with your carefully chosen clothing that hides your body shape. Inside though you have this mental chasm, on one side is your skinny self and the other your fat. With the clothes off you see yourself not as a skinny, but as a deflated fat person still. The shape of your old self is still there, almost mocking you in a way. Everyone is different and some people are able to wear this skin as a battlescar - a suit of armor - that they take pride in. I myself fell between the two schools of thoughts, both feeling shame and pride in my body.

The last reason I'll write about closely relates to the last, how you look to others. It's as much a mental game on your own to have that confidence in yourself to carry your body with pride. As you should. Call it vanity and debate it's healthfulness to think about, but a significant part of why I started my weight loss was to hopefully look a bit more attractive. Looks are not everything and no one should take shame in their body, but the results of what I had really weighed on me personally. If at the very least I want to wear a tighter fitting shirt without my chest profiling or showcasing my epic muffin top.

Reasons for going through with this step in a weight loss process will vary for each individual person. There is often no right or wrong way of thinking, what matters is what matters to you. One person might have trouble accepting themselves, where another has not much an issue with it. Over the past year I've been through a lot mentally and physically. I've seen a few therapists and spoke with a few doctors. The treatment and maintenance plan I've set forth is something that I have built with professional help. I do want to stress though as a final thought. YOU lost your weight and YOU DESERVE to feel damn proud about your success.

Question to answer down below: What reasons do you have for your goals of weight loss and/or fitness?


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