Yesterday started like most days: alarm, coffee, getting the kids off to school and a little work. And then a bunch of buck ass naked pictures were taken of me by a professional.
Ok, so maybe that last part was not part of my normal Tuesday routine. But it got your attention.
I've been thinking long and hard about whether I wanted to disclose this information. It's not that I'm ashamed of it or embarrassed about sharing. And I certainly am not shy about talking about my body. I'm actually afraid of being called a hypocrite and I'm terrified that it will negate what I've been trying to do here in your eyes. But you know what? I told you I was going to be honest and vulnerable and authentic. And the most honest truth is this: whether or not you think I'm a hypocrite I am not changing my mind.
In just under two weeks I am having cosmetic surgery. Abdominoplasty to be exact. In layman's terms I am having a tummy tuck. I've made no secret that this has been my desire since I first lost weight. I have waited for this for over four years, always wondering when would be the right time, the perfect weight, or the best financial situation to get it done. I'm no longer waiting for the perfect weight, I can afford to do it and now that I am not working at the gym the right time is now.
Here's a not so secret secret about losing a drastic amount of weight. You are a hot mess after. You all know this already. It's why the contestants on The Biggest Loser start out with baring their shameful fat on t.v. only to have it suddenly covered up half way through the show. That's because it's ok for the show to shame these contestants this way. It's not ok for the reality of drastic and quick weight loss to shame the television show. Cover that shit up ASAP and don't tell anyone that they won't look perfect when all is said and done.
As big as I was I was always pretty solid. I still am. It wasn't even until I got pregnant at nearly my highest weight that I ever got stretch marks (and I did it again less than a year after the first was born, at exactly the same starting weight). My stomach had no where to go any more. It had given what it could and it was all out of give. When I lost the weight I was left with a flap of skin hanging over at my bikini line. A pretty hefty flap indeed. There is no amount of exercise and perfect diet that can remedy this. I was actually pretty lucky - it could have been much worse. The skin has an amazing ability to shrink back if it's not terribly damaged and it did shrink back for me, otherwise I'd have a FUPA hanging down to my knees. But I don't. I have just enough that I can tuck that shit into my pants and be on my merry way.
The medical term for this is called a panniculus. (Don't Google the images. Yeah, I'll wait............I told you so.) It sounds like a cross between a creamy Italian custard and a sexually deviant Roman emperor. I can tell you it resembles the custard more closely, but it certainly makes me feel deviant.
They say when you lose weight that you should throw out all your old clothes. I was diligent throughout my entire weight loss and I donated my clothes to friends or organizations as soon as they were too big. To keep them would be just setting myself up for future failure. We're not going to talk about the shame involved in having to buy some of those sizes again, right? Yeah, I didn't think so. Another day.
Every morning or every time I change or after every shower I see one of these old oversize outfits, except I'm wearing it. I'm wearing a skin suit of my former 300 lb self that I just can't take off and donate. It reminds me of my past, but not in a good way and it feels like it's just sitting there, waiting for me to fill it back up. I'm not doing that. I've already stopped that process and I won't go back to that size where I was at the unhappiest I've ever been in my life. I have one choice to take it off and that's surgery.
I was actually afraid my surgeon was going to tell me that I was too fat to have the surgery - that I would need to lose a ton of weight first. As she knelt before me back in December, grabbing my flap of a stomach and shaking it up and down she seemed giddy as a school girl. "Oh, this is going to be so much fun! This is so exciting. You are going to love this!" I asked if she thought I needed to lose more before the surgery she said, "Oh, I don't think so. I don't know if you realize this but you carry all your weight from the waist down." *snort* No, I hadn't noticed. She said the chances of further weight loss coming right from that area I wanted to fix was slim to none. She also said I had some "really good stuff" from the waist up. She should know. She made some of it.
You see, this is not my first surgery. I may as well tell you all of it. I did have one surgery four years ago after the weight loss. I had a breast lift. I like to joke about the fact that I went from a 44FFF bra size to a 34 Long. Seriously, tube socks with tennis balls. Cocker Spaniel ears. I was fed up with needing some kind of search and rescue mission to my armpits every time I laid on my back. "No, honey. They're back there!" I was the same size after the surgery as I was before. I just didn't have to roll them up into my bra anymore. They are not completely store bought (not that there is anything wrong with that - to each their own) but they are refurbs.
I trust my surgeon, Dr. Jennifer Harrington. She is amazingly talented and one of the best in the state. She's just arrogant enough because she knows she's that good. I promise you - humility is not a quality you want in a surgeon. But I wanted the best and I know she's the one. This is my last procedure. I will not go crazy with the cosmetic surgery. Case in point:
So there you have it. I was nervous to tell you about it because I thought you would call bullshit on all my body gratitude shenanigans. Say I was full of it when I said we should love our bodies first. But I want you to know that I am not removing this piece of skin because I'm full of hatred for it. I've actually been living with it for quite a long time and it's normal to me. I'm just ready to let that part of me go. It's like scar tissue but I'm ready to move on and heal now. It's time. That and I just really want to be able to rock some smokin' hot drawers. And take a break from Spanx. And not have my shit jump out of my pants every time I round house like a mutha. There has never been and there probably never will be a burpee and kickboxing friendly pair of drawers out there when you have a panniculus. Especially a custardy one at that.
I'm going to be recovering for a minimum of six weeks. Two to three of that I probably won't even leave the house except for doctor appointments. I know I'll go stir crazy and I would have probably blown my cover anyway on Facebook if I hadn't told you about this. Never Facebook and Percocet. Remind me of that in a couple of weeks when I'm sliced from hip to hip and on house arrest.
So back to my naked pics. I had forgotten that they take pictures before the surgery for the surgeon's reference and for "before" shots. God, I would have groomed or something if I had known. This poor young woman whose only job at this office seems to be taking naked people to a closet had to kneel down in front of me and take pictures of my stomach as a raised my hands above my head. Front. 45 degrees. Side. Other 45 degrees. Other side. With no soft lighting or cocktails on either of our parts I'm sure it had to be the scariest mugshot since Nick Nolte's and at least he had clothes on. I will make this promise to you here and now - the next time I have naked pictures taken of me my shit is going to look good. And hopefully one or all of us will be a little drunk. And candles? Is that too much to ask?