I remember back to when I was fat I thought that if I was skinny, that it would fix all of my problems. Even as I got closer and closer to my goal I still had this fantasy life that would play over and over in my head where I would have a rock hard body, men falling at my feet and fewer problems.
Reality set in around the beginning of this year and slowly I have come to accept the fact that it doesn’t matter if you are fat or skinny, a girl is going to have problems. Some problems are the same ones I have dealt with for years, others have slowly surfaced as other problems faded away as the weight came off.
I am surprised by the fact that I am still incredibly self conscious about my body. Not the size anymore, but the damage that I did to it by being overweight for so many years. When I meet new people, I don’t want them to see loose skin sagging on my arms or my thighs. I don’t want them to know off the bat that I used to be almost twice the size that I am now. I want to establish Skinny Rachel before people find out that I used to be Fattie Rachel.
When I go out with friends, I do not wear sleeveless or short sleeved outfits. I always layer it with at least an elbow length shrug or a sweater or sweatshirt. I use the excuse that I get cold easily (which I do.. I freeze all the time) but it is more because I don’t want people to see the loose, stretch marked upper arm skin that I have hanging. I know that many people would say that my “bat wings” are a badge of honor. That it is proof of my determination and will to lose the weight. I see it as a neon flag announcing to the world my former fatdom.
I look at my body and usually all I see is the sagging skin. I don’t have a pannus (hanging down belly) because even when I was at my heaviest, I carried my weight mainly in my thighs, bum and arms. I will wear things that are above my knees, but only with control top panty hose to keep the jello jiggle down.
I went to a water park in Texas and another one in Michigan. I have a bikini, but instead of wearing the normal bottoms, I wore the meshy work out shorts that went down to my knees along with the bikini top. I looked for a swimsuit with the matching board shorts, but couldn’t find them anywhere. I get frustrated that I am still so uncomfortable in my body that I cover it up just as much if not more than I did before.
And then the coup de tat. What I have not so lovingly dubbed my girls. I now call them goobs. My cute euphemism for grandma boobs. They are truly sad reflections of what they used to be. My friend Ann is pregnant with baby #3 and nursed the first 2. Her girls are perkier than mine ever were and every time I change in front of her, she gives me this sympathetic look and says “We need to find a way to get you plastic surgery”. To give you a decent comparison just look at a large balloon that has been inflated and deflated about 100 times. Couple that with an ass that people have agreed looks like a Sharpei and you can probably understand why I am almost looking forward to winter.
The thought of being physically intimate with someone who hasn’t seen my naked body makes my stomach churn and I imagine them being grossed out but conversely fascinated by the shapes they can make with my loose skin like it’s Play Doh or something. I wonder who would want someone who is saggy and baggy.
I know, I know…. If someone loves me, they should love all of me, loose skin and all. But let’s be real folks. Our society is very much a physically superficial society. For every Camryn Manheim there are 500 Cameron Diaz’s. I am superficial right along with the rest of them. I prefer a guy who is in shape, taller than me, good looking and has good teeth.
There isn’t much that I can do about the loose skin other than have it surgically removed. I looked into all of the procedures that I would have to have (basically a full body lift) and it averages about $40,000. None of it is severe enough that insurance would cover it so that means that I would have to come up with the entire amount myself. Or, I could set up a PayPal donate button and try to convince people to give me their hard earned money to pay a rich doctor to slice my body apart. Hmmmm… maybe not.
I just feel helpless and frustrated about something that I can’t really change without a huge infusion of money in my bank account. Maybe that is why I dwell on it so much. It is just tantalizingly out of reach. The possibility is there, but there is not much of a chance of me actualizing the possibility.