Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Not all the changes are good...

Sometimes I think the fact that I have been fat all of my life (well, since 4th grade of elementary school) has one tiny blessing when it comes to weight loss. That is the fact that I have never had an attractive body. For as long as I remember, I have had fat legs, a belly apron, and a large behind. I've always had lumpy cellulite and breasts which were not beautifully shaped.

The reason this may be a blessing is that I am not freaked out by all of the changes brought on by weight loss. I don't expect there not to be stretch marks all over me or bat wings on my upper arms. I don't expect a flat stomach or firm thighs and a nice behind. I can't expect these things because they have never existed on my body. When I lose weight and things start to sag and droop, it's pretty much just a variation on what my body has always been.

I think a lot of people when they lose weight, and the ridiculously idealized bodies people choose for their avatars on weight loss forums would seem to support this notion, want to end up firm, toned and "hot". Such an expectation would never be on my radar so I face no disappointment at the end of the road. My body is not going to look "good" naked when I have reached my goal and I'm okay with that because my body is like an old, well-worn, stretched-out sweater that can't get back its shape and I'd have to be delusional or have a ton of cosmetic surgery to have it end up otherwise.

The benefit of this is that there isn't disappointment waiting for me at the end of the line when I inevitably fail to meet some absurd ideal form based on the images we see of people in the media. Such people are Photoshopped, plastic-surgeried-into-perfection or have nothing better to do than to work on their bodies for several hours a day and do not represent our potential so much as our distorted expectations of what is achievable. That being said, even someone with my low expectations can find some disappointment in the results of weight loss.

As I have mentioned before, for my weight, my face has never been particularly fat. Of course, it has been "fat", but I haven't had much of a double chin for someone who was closing in on 400 lbs. and my cheeks haven't been too plump. While this was "good" when I was fatter, as I lose weight, I'm starting to find that the skin on my face is getting thinner. This makes parts of my face look younger as it's a bit like a face lift as the fat droopy areas start to thin out.

However, weight loss is causing the skin around my eyes to get very, very thin and bringing out all of the wrinkling one might expect with my age of 45. The wrinkles are shocking and not something I expected at all, but there is also the fact that my pale skin reveals bluish darkness around my eyes because of the coloration beneath. I first looked younger due to weight loss, now, I'm starting to look older.

Some people who are losing weight say that others remark that they are looking "sick" and are perhaps losing weight too quickly or losing too much. The person who is losing weight gets upset at this, but my experience is enlightening me about why others may have such a perception. My face, and my eyes in particular, are starting to look drawn (from the wrinkles) and tired (from the darker coloration showing through). I can easily see how someone who has seen my plumper, less-wrinkled, and pinker face at a higher weight for years would view me as looking "sick" as a result of this change. It's a reasonable conclusion, though one that they only reach because of their point of comparison and not because I'm actually ill or my weight loss is "bad". If anyone ever tells me I'm looking bad because of my weight loss, I'm not going to get mad; I'm going to understand where they are coming from.


Anonymous said...

I've already decided I will have excess skin removed with surgery, at least my *apron* because I know from past experience that it gets in the way of physical activity. Don't want anything to impede my movements. Also don't want any doctor messing with my breasts. (Moving nipples? Too creepy for me.)

I have no intention of becoming thin. I've been thin and did not like the experience. I just want to be in the *overweight* category. Mostly, I want to have the strength and stamina I need to pursue my career.

I lost 40 lbs and have kept that off for 8 years, and during the past six months I lost another 35 or so. I'm not sure how much more I will lose.


screaming fatgirl said...

Plastic surgery is not an option for me, financially or physically. I had my gall bladder removed and I know how painful having your body cut into and having things cut out of it is (and this was Laparoscopic surgery so no big cuts). It's very traumatic, and I'm no sissy when it comes to pain. I've endured a lot for decades without any sort of medication to help me cope.

I don't know where my weight will settle. I have no desire to be skinny really, but if my face looks noticeably more wrinkled now (in the 260's), I'll have to brace myself for worse as time goes by.

KyokoCake said...

I am a total sissy when it comes to pain. And I'm terrified of surgery...otherwise I'd be tempted to stop all this healthy eating and exercise! ;)

ps...check out my blog today :) I gave you an award http://kyokocake.blogspot.com/2010/06/yet-another-reason-i-totally-love.html