Weight Loss

How To Feel Beautiful Again: Life After an Extreme Weight Loss

 

For those of you who may not know my story, I had an extreme weight loss.  My journey began over 11 years ago when I had gastric bypass surgery.  Now, I say my weight loss journey began with surgery but it was only the beginning of my journey.  I’ve spoken before, how I lost the weight, how I gained it back and how I had to re-lose it.  How I currently have to struggle Every. Single. Day. to maintain my current weight.  I am not even at my ideal goal weight but what I can say is, I am genuinely happy with my body.

It is hard to describe what it feels like to be in a 400 pound body.  If I had to pick one word to describe it, it would be trapped.  I recently read a book by a woman who was kidnapped, held prisoner and tortured daily for 11 years.  I related to her, somewhat.  Being an extremely obese person, I felt like prisoner in my own body.  I felt like my life was being wasted.  My weight held me back from almost everything.  The only part I could rely on was my brain, so I used it to get a Master’s degree.  If I could not accomplish anything with my body, at least I could with my brain. This was an escape for awhile but I could never escape from the pain.  I felt tortured daily. Not only did the physical pain of carrying around 400 pounds torture me but the emotional one, as well.  I was completely ashamed of myself.
 
Eleven years later and over 170 pounds lighter, you would think the body shaming would have vanished.  It did not.  You see, even though the weight was falling off and my body was shrinking, the mind takes longer to heal.  I became a “fat girl” in a “slimmer” body.  I was still that girl that had anxiety to get on a plane because I was afraid the seat belt wouldn’t fit.  I was still that girl that would wear dark, baggy clothes to hide my body.  My mind was not the only thing that was scarred.  Even though the fat had fallen off, the stretch marks and hanging skin were a daily reminder of how big I once was.
 
Oh, the hanging skin.
 
With much of the fat now gone, I am left with hanging skin… everywhere.  Seriously, if you were to look at me naked, I look like I am melting.  The fat has fallen off but the scars are still there.
 
You would think it was so freeing to lose the weight.  It totally was, to an extent.  But do you know what my favorite part about losing the weight was?  It wasn’t being able to wear cute clothes again or even walking up a flight of stairs without passing out.  Nope, not even close.  My favorite part about losing the weight was being able to blend in.  Oh God, how freeing is it to walk into a room and not have all the eyes stare at you.  I think this is one of the reasons it’s so hard to feel beautiful again.  Because if I look pretty, someone might look at me.  If I look nice, I might even get a compliment.  I do not want that attention.
 
But I am beautiful and I have embraced my beauty.
 
The turning point for me was last year, my sister in law was selling these body wraps.  She would have “wrap parties”, a wrap applicator was placed on individuals body parts to tighten their problem areas.  I would assist her in wrapping ladies during these parties.  We would take them in a back room, shoot before and after photos and then apply the wraps for 30 minutes.  I would wraps large women, skinny women and even women with loose skin like mine.  It was there, at one of these parties, when I had an epiphany.  What I realized was no matter the shape or size, the majority of women had many flaws themselves and the majority were also self conscious about their bodies.  However despite these flaws, they were still beautiful.  In spite of these flaws, they were still beautiful.  And in spite of mine, I am beautiful.
 
I am beautiful.  I am.  I have flaws, many flaws and I am still beautiful.
 
And so I am embracing my beauty.  Day by day.  Don’t get me wrong, there are days I hate the attention it may bring.  The compliments tend to make me uncomfortable, even cringe at times.  But I will no longer be afraid of my beauty.  I will no longer hide in the shadows.  My weight, my skin, my flaws will no longer define my beauty.  I was beautiful at 400 pounds and I am beautiful now.  And loving myself again has been the most freeing thing of all.
Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.  -Confucius

About the author

mandipie4u

Mom of two yougin's, on a mission to beat the battle of the bulge. Love to travel, cook, eat chocolate, binge watch movies, celebrity scout, ride rollercoasters & annoy my kids. Contact me: guideformoms@yahoo.com

6 Comments

  • I understand. I too weighed close to 400 pounds. I felt trapped. I lost 212, and over the past 2 years I gained 40 back and now I'm on the train to lose weight again. Honestly a place I never thought I'd be again. But life happens. I'm back on track!

    I do remember when I hit my goal weight back in 2011 that I couldn't believe that the girl I saw in the mirror was actually me. I had been morbidly obese most of my adult life, so this new "skinny" person staring back at me was someone I didn't know. And it seems just as I got to know her, she changed again. Always a journey.

  • How beautiful of you to open up and share such a beautiful story with everyone. I have a friend that had to deal with the excess skin and it took a while for her to realize that she was beautiful before her surgery as well as after the weight came off. It is a shame more of us do not realize how truly beautiful we are.

  • Thank you for sharing that amazing story!!! I can understand your struggles in a different light… like you said we all have flaws and most of us are uncomfortable about something with our body. I have had 6 children and I started at a very young age. That first pregnancy gave me stretch marks on a good 50% of my body and with each baby my skin got more and more loose. Even though I got back down to a decent weight…, around 135… I would find myself buying XL black clothes to camouflage my lumps and bumps of my loose skin. I still struggle daily, and knowing that no matter how many sit ups or if I loose 20lb, none of that will make a difference. Every time I hear someone share their story, I find a little more power, that makes me feel stronger.

  • My daughter weighs close to 300 lbs, she's just now realizing how badly she wants to loose the weight she gained! She saw how she looked in pictures at Christmas and didn't like it. She just recently had a baby girl (6 months ago). My daughter is beautiful and I tell her that every chance I get. She needs to see her own beauty just as you have. I can only hope that since she has a friend who is changing how her family eats, she will follow suit and together both of them will loose the weight, feel beautiful and be happier.

  • I’m way late seeing this post, but wanted to comment 🙂 This is very inspirational. You’re beautiful inside and out! A big congrats on losing the weight, I know it couldn’t of been easy.

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