Tell Me What You Don’t Like About Yourself

“Tell me what you don’t like about yourself.”

I watched Nip/Tuck from the beginning of the show. The first season was really good and then it just got weird. It turned from a trashy guilty pleasure into a weird soap opera with Transvestites and Midgets, Gangsters and murders. But one of the phrases that was in every episode was “Tell me what you don’t like about yourself?” And that episode’s character would tell their story of what brought them into the plastic surgeon’s office.

I was never the type of person that even thought about plastic surgery. Even when I was 100 pounds heavier and wishing for a quick fix to lose the weight, stomach stapling, liposuction and a tummy tuck were never things that I even considered. I always thought it was an unnatural thing to do and I knew I could lose the weight by myself without those things. I did. I was successful. I successfully kept it off. The one thing I never thought about: the loose skin that would remain even after toning my body through vigorous exercise and a healthy diet.

Buying a bikini and longing to be able to wear it made me think about whether or not I am happy with my body. I realized that I WAS happy- I was really happy with my muscles in my upper body from weight lifting and swimming. I was happy with my narrow waist from swimming. I was happy with my toned, muscular legs from cycling and running. I was so happy and satisfied with my body that I even wrote a post about how I Am Okay With My Body. And I am–95% of the time. That other 5% is my stomach that will most likely require surgery to fix someday. It’s disappointing that all the ab work and crunches I do haven’t fixed that area.

The first question I always get from people when they found out I lost over 100 pounds is “How did you lose the weight?” The second most popular question is “Do you have a lot of loose skin?”

The answer: not really. I have a little bit of loose skin in a certain area.

I think losing weight the slow way — through healthy eating and exercise not fad diets — kept me from getting that issue. I think starting to lose weight in my mid-20’s made a difference, too. The biggest factor though is probably the fact that my weight loss was slow. Sometimes painfully slow (especially those damn plateaus) but I kept at it. Losing 1 pound a week was okay by me as long as I was still losing. It took me almost two years to lose 110 pounds.

That does not mean that I don’t have the usual battle scars of someone who lost half their weight.

  • Stretchmarks. Oh boy do I have them. I once had a boyfriend who commented that it looked like Freddy Kreuger had scratched my stomach. He didn’t remain a boyfriend much longer after that.
  • Loose skin. A little bit. It’s not like the loose skin you see on those tabloid shows where it drapes over my pants. It’s different than that.
  • Cellulite. Yep. Mostly on my stomach. Not so much anywhere else on my body.
  • Sagginess. SIGH. Biggest bummer. Yes, I know I’m in my 30’s and I can’t expect to have perky boobs like I did when I was 20. But still. It’s frustrating–but to be expected. You can’t go from a 42FF bra to a 32DD and not expect some sag.
  • Flab. Pretty much the only place I’m flabby is my under arm area. Basically, Lunch Lady Arms. Swimming toned up my arms nicely but didn’t do the trick. I started weight lifting and finally saw some changes! I think a continued weight lifting program will tone my arms nicely.

I never thought about plastic surgery before. As a 250+ pound 20-something I never considered liposuction to lose the weight. Just hard work and dedication (which worked for me). Now, after maintaining my weight loss for over three years I have started thinking about plastic surgery.

It’s a strange thing to think about. Do I want to pay that much money for vanity? And will it even matter in the grand scheme of things? I weigh about 145 pounds and wear a size 4 jeans–do I even need to consider this?

I was talking to Michael about it, explaining the two sides of this issue. His stance is that if I want to do that, I have to do it for myself–to make myself feel better about my body. I already feel pretty good about my body so it’s not something that’s big in my brain right now.

The other issue is kids. Someday I want to have kids and won’t consider plastic surgery before I have kids. Seems like a waste of money right?

While I am not really in a place to think about plastic surgery right now for the loose skin, I will admit it’s something I am curious about. I’ve been thinking about seeing a doctor for a consultation just to satisfy my curiosity. Time will tell.

QUESTION: Have you ever had plastic surgery? What was your experience with it?

25 Responses

  1. I had a breast reduction a little over a year ago and at the end of the month I;m having a revision {there are little bits that stick out on the sides they are fixing.} I never thought I was a person who would have plastic surgery, but it was supposed to help my back and then I could work out easier and all great things would happen.

    I ended up not working out for a long time after – I moved to Scotland for grad school, and just stopped caring {depression + my mum’s death} and gained a lot of weight on top of being already overweight.

    So plastic surgery didn’t change my life. I was losing weight before the surgery and was looking ok, and now I look horrible, and I’m in a place where I can’t actively do much about it due to my life situation, so I’m hoping my circumstances will change so I can take better care of myself.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your loss and your struggle. I can relate to grief and weight gain. I thought about getting a breast reduction because my back hurt. But then I lost the weight and my boobs shrank.

  2. When I was in high school I totally wanted a boob job. I can wear bras from the children’s department. In a sports bra you’d think puberty never hit.
    But I got an awesome butt as a trade off, and realized so long as I had one good asset (and trust me, I had a friend who literally called it an *asssssss*-et) maybe I didn’t so much need recreational surgery.
    Plus unless you can actually see nipples nothing looks that trashy when you’re an A cup. So that part is rad.

    I dated a guy who got some plastic done. He was a hipster who was always worried about what people thought about him-he wasn’t doing it for himself, but for the person he thought he had to be. I wasn’t a fan of that. (And he did it when he was trying to get me to date him again. Hm, you’re getting plastic cause you want girls to like your body and date you. So now you have no money to take me on a date. How you going to date then?)

    I think plastic is fine. But it won’t cure everything (see: ex who thought it would get him a girlfriend)
    Kalin recently posted..Thrifty

    1. I get what you mean. I never wanted to get plastic surgery to get a date or something. I just hate the loose skin and flab.

      I can’t say I can relate to wanting a boob job because I was always way too big in that department!!!!!

  3. First off, that question is kind of brutal. I’ve seen plastic surgery shows like that and it’s always such a standard question. Never even really paid attention to that until seeing it as the title of your post. Interesting.

    And I’m not opposed to plastic surgery for reasons like what you’re discussing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with tummy tucks or breast lifts or nose jobs or other cosmetic procedures…if it’s done for YOU like what your husband mentioned. but I also think it is important to be confident in yourself despite the one area you may want touched up with surgery. Otherwise I think it could be a slippery slope for some people.
    Tina @ Faith Fitness Fun recently posted..Lasers, Haircuts, & Pumpkin Pie In A Cup

  4. I am actually getting a lower body lift next month, due to a large weight loss. While I was never on a “tabloid show”, my saggy skin is bad enough that it’s a medical necessity to remove it. I believe that saggy skin is caused from a large number of things, rather than just the amount of time it takes to lose the weight–for example, how long one has been overweight; how large the person was to start with; genetics; where the person carries the weight; whether the person has had children; etc. I, too, lost weight in my mid-20’s through healthy diet and exercise, but my loose skin is very prominent. I don’t feel shameful about the decision to have plastic surgery at all.
    SlimKatie @ Runs for Cookies recently posted..Big House Big Heart 10-K Race Report

    1. I’d be interested to hear about your experience after the lower body lift, if you care to share. I have a friend who considered doing that. I think saggy skin after weight loss is very different than “cosmetic surgery” like a nose job, etc.

  5. I have two very close friends who each got boob jobs. One was honest about it; the other one tried to keep it a secret. I really don’t know why either one of them had work done. They’re both lovely women, inside and out. It seemed like a waste of money (and a pretty scary operation) to me. Neither one seems to have experienced any improvements in life that are attributable to their bigger boobs. To each their own, I guess.

    I haven’t had work done. I probably would for medical reasons or as reconstructive surgery, but I can’t really picture myself doing it for appearance reasons.

    1. Appearance reasons wouldn’t be the reason behind it if I did consider it. Loose skin is different. That never really goes away with exercise and healthy eating. πŸ™ Unfortunately.

  6. I’ve never had cosmetic surgery and I doubt I ever will even though I wanted a nose job when I was younger. I have come to love my nose because it reminds me of my dad. I feel like getting cosmetic surgery is sort of a cop out. We should be embracing our imperfections not changing them to fit a mold that society deems appropriate.
    Leah @ L4L recently posted..Pumpkin Round Up

    1. I think as we grow older we do grow to appreciate our “imperfections”. But loose skin as a result of massive weight loss is a whole lot different than a nose job I think. I wouldn’t be doing it to mold with what society deems appropriate, I would be doing it to feel better about myself and because losing over 100 pounds can only do so much. The loose skin unfortunately won’t go away with ab work and a restrictive diet…

  7. My mom had plastic surgery to remove lose skin after she lost about 150+ pounds. Unfortunately she gained a lot back and has scars… but when she did do it her, her self esteem was REALLY boosted it! At one point during her weight loss she went into a shop in southern LA were the clerk asked her “How far along” she was. That killed her b/c she was feeling so good about herself!
    Eleah recently posted..5 Ways to tell you’ve just run a marathon

  8. I had a tummy tuck about 2 years ago and I wouldn’t say it was the best decision for me. I’ve had 5 kids and am a small framed woman even at 5’6. I can weigh 140 and wear an AE size 4 with some bagginess in the fit. I had only a few stretch marks on my belly and the typical slightly puckering skin from baby belly. Even my plastic surgeon commented on my great genes because I was relatively unscathed despite the 5 pregnancies.
    The surgery was pretty painful and I think if I hadn’t had two previous c-sections which left alot of numbness in my lower abdomen, the pain would have been much worse. I had several complications including a hematoma which required to me to have my stomach aspirated with a HUGE needle for the next 3 months.
    The end result is that I think my belly button is funky, the scar is HUGE and I have some adhesion in the scar which causes the scar to not lay flat. Let’s just suffice it to say I didn’t run out and slap on a bikini.
    Sorry to ramble but in my case I really think I wouldn’t do it again if given the choice. Also you mentioned wanting children. I definitely wouldn’t do any sort of tummy tuck before kids! πŸ™‚

    1. No it’s not rambling. I appreciate the feedback from someone who has been through it. I have also heard that it’s very painful. I don’t know what level of pain to expect…how intense, how long it lasts, etc. I’ve had 2 surgeries in my life and one was absolutely the worst, excruciating pain ever that last almost a year. And yes, all this “supposed” plastic surgery (ie loose skin on stomach) would be AFTER kids! πŸ™‚

  9. I have seriously considered breast reduction surgery. I wear a 38 DDD and have had a large chest since grade 5. But I’m scared. And also my friend had the procedure and now can’t breast feed her 2 girls. So I think I will wait till after kids.

    I say go for it Lisa if that’s what you want. But take your time. See as many Doctors as you can and the answer will come.

    Samantha recently posted..Taste Tuesday- Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

  10. Never had plastic surgery or considered it. Honestly, I’m too young and know there are far less expensive and painful ways to deal with the post-weight loss issues. I saw a family member gate a face lift. The recovery took a while and it was horrifying to see her afterward. I know you really enjoy being active so taking some weeks off to recover could be frustrating.

    On another topic, I was turned off by the use of “tranny” above. I’m not sure if you’re aware, but groups like GLAAD are against it as it’s transphobic and problematic. Just a heads up…
    cindylu recently posted..Long Beach Marathon: the sophomore slump

  11. I had a breast reduction when I was nineteen. I wasn’t terribly big (DD), but I am way short and I just felt like I was head, boobs and feet. I have absolutely never regretted it. Of course, my boob size STILL fluctuates depending on my weight and fitness levels, but I’m so much more comfortable. No more upper back/neck pain. No more crazy bra rubbing into my shoulders.

    Luckily, I had a fabulous doctor (and I was young), so my recovery was super easy. And, I surprisingly breastfed my son for 16 months. I didn’t have any expectations of breastfeeding, but my doctor was able to leave most of my “ductwork” alone. Which was a nice thing.

    I mostly fear elective plastic surgery because of the risks (and not being covered by insurance) if something goes wrong. But, my mom just had a little neck work done (pretty subtle) and she is so unbelievably happy. At 60, she had all of a sudden gotten really saggy and droopy in her jowls (her opinion). Gotta say she looks fabulous and I love how she actually carries herself now. I can tell she feels so much better about herself. So, in her case, I’m really glad she did it.

    Check back with me in 5 years…maybe a little “lift” in my boobs and lipo on my legs? hee hee Probably not, but I don’t rule it out if I have disposable income. :>

    1. Thanks for sharing your experience, and your mom’s experience. It sounds like you had a pretty positive experience with the reduction. I am no where near ready to think seriously about plastic surgery for the loose skin. I love hearing what other people have gone through in this department though. It’s given me a lot to think about!

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