Friday, August 17, 2012

Big Legs

It seems that no matter what I do, my legs are always huge. I realize that they're getting smaller but some days they're my focal point.  I honestly think it's worse now that I've had liposuction.  I feel like they look horrible compared to before.

Liposuction is supposed to make your legs look better, right? That might be true for someone who has always been on the thin side and just wants to make the thighs look better.  My problem is that I was a super overweight (obese; morbidly obese). I lost weight and still had some fat on my thighs that my surgeon said I just would lose on my own, so.... with my tummy tuck, the first step in correcting my lower body was liposuction.  The lipo that I had done promotes tightening of the skin.  It takes a while for that to happen...Like a year before the final results will be see. Until then, I guess I just go on, continuing to hate my thighs (possibly more than I did before).

 I feel like, as with the rest of my body parts, they looked better when they were filled out with fat.  That seems silly right? Well, if you've ever dealt with excess, sagging, icky skin, you'd understand. When the body is filled out with fat, the body looks smooth (big, but smooth). When you lost a significant amount of weight, there's just no place for that skin to go. No matter what anyone tells you, no amount of creams, lotions, brushing, or toning will prevent you from having excess skin. Some people, usually due to age and skin elasticity, have less than others.  If you lose twenty pounds you probably won't see anything too terrible.  I've lost over 100.... Well over 100.  Those pounds were mostly fat. I hadn't thought of it that way in a while...EWWW!

Anyway... when a large amount of fat leaves the nicely filled out areas, you've got a bit of a skin issues. So now that more fat has been removed from my thighs.... They look worse. You can now see the excess skin. At least before it wasn't AS bad.  Of course, my legs do look smaller, so there's the trade off.

I hate the look of my saggy skin. Some people wear it like a badge of honor. They have a positive attitude and say "look at what I accomplished." I do not have that same mentality. Maybe it's age. Maybe I'm just more into my appearance than other people. I don't know what it is, but for me, it's a big deal. It's frustrating to work so hard and not appear tight.

Honestly? I cannot wait to get my lower body lift. I thought about waiting until a year from this fall because I didn't want to wear a body shaper in the heat again.  Now that I'm out of the shaper and healing well, I think I want to do it sooner rather than later. I COULD have surgery again this winter; only six months of wait time is required between procedures.

Recovery really wasn't THAT bad. I had some light headed episodes and a bit of fainting but I did well. I was tired, which I'm sure happens with most surgeries - that's a bit of trauma and stress on the body! Other than being hot and whining about wearing my compression garments constantly for two months, life was okay. 

As much as I'd love to, I'm not doing this.  First, I did a financial plan that if I pay mine off in a year, there will be no interest. My payment amounts are a lot higher than someone who takes more time. To add an even higher payment to that just isn't realistic. I don't want to ask my parents for even more money to help... I'm sure that they would, but this is something I want to do on my own as much as possible. They're already helping and I don't want to ask for more help right away.  So... I'll be waiting until this is paid off until I do another one, which will be next Spring. I might do it a little earlier than before, like in April, so that I'm out of the garments before it gets TOO hot. Of course if next summer is like this one, it really won't matter.

The other BIG reason I don't want to do it right away is that I am going to be training for a half marathon, starting in October (official training according to the schedule; I'm already working to build up my runs and pace). Two weeks off from any physical activity right in the middle of training is probably NOT a great idea. I deconditioned like crazy after my last surgery and certainly do not want to have that happen while I'm in training.

I also don't have enough time to take two full weeks off of work again...At least not in the next few months. I could use vacation time, but I'm already planning a week off in February for the half marathon (it's at Disney World, so I'm making it a vaca too!). I also don't want to use my vacation time in that way. By Spring I'll have my sick time built up and I can use that.

I am getting anxious to have more surgery and am excited about it. The first one has been worth the pain (which wasn't bad), the annoyance of the garment, the drains....Everything. I feel better about my belly; a huge flap of skin is gone. 

Although... I will have to have a revision of my tummy tuck with the next surgery. There's still a little more skin that needs to come off, but it's not a lot (obviously). This is pretty normal for someone who had as much skin as I did. I'm hoping that it can be done with the lower body lift, and I can still do my arms at the same time. If not, two surgeries will become three (BLAH!).  Of course... If two turn into three, I just might get a breast lift when I have my arms done. My doc will only do two procedures at a time (safety reasons) so the arms will wait if the revision counts as a full procedure.

Until then... I sit and feel disgust in my thighs.  Hey, I'm human. It happens.  We ALL have things we're not fond of. Sometimes you just have to wait for them to be corrected. I'll continue to workout and build my muscle, but no matter what I do, I'll eventually have to have a little help!

My calves are big too.  They're not floppy like my thighs. They're just big. I've always had bigger calves. I don't have a lot of fat on them. My muscle is pretty awesome. There's just not much there to grab onto (fat or skin). I like my big calves.  They make me feel strong and powerful. They've also received compliments.  I work hard for those calves.

Isn't it funny that I can love one part of my big legs but not the other? The difference in appearance is the reason. I'm okay with my body parts looking big if they're tight or toned and without excess anything just flopping around.

Please don't get me wrong... I do not hate my body. My self-esteem is good... Probably better than it's ever been. There are just things that I don't like and want to change. That's why I keep working. I know that I can't do it all without the help of surgery, but I will put in as much work as I need to in order to make my body the best it can be. I don't just mean how it looks... I'm talking about how it feels and how it functions too (more importantly than how it looks).

I love myself. I love what I've done; the gift I've given myself. I've changed so much and become a stronger person inside and outside. I feel better. Yes, I look better but... I want to look my best. Some may call it vanity but I call it pride. I want to show off what I've done. Not for attention. Not for others. I want to do it so that when I look in the mirror I have a constant visual reminder of what I've done for myself.

XOXO

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