Skin

This is me being vulnerable and real about the not so glamorous parts of extreme weight loss. I get asked often if I have loose skin and the answer is YES, I do. In my case it’s not as bad as others I’ve seen but it is defiantly uncomfortable. Some of the skin will tighten with time and exercise, but for the areas that won’t I will have plastic surgery. Possibly at the end of this year or the beginning of 2019 I will have a breast lift with implants, lower body lift with a tummy tuck and a thigh lift. I have been restricted to minimal exercise the last eight months due to the healing process and the fact that I don’t eat enough to sustain a rigorous workout routine. I also experience extreme fatigue from PCOS and that shit is no joke.

The areas of my body that bother me the most are; under my chin, my boobs, tummy and inner thighs. I never thought in a million years that I be posting pictures of the parts of my body that I’m not exactly proud of but I look at it as “This is not my end result, it’s only part of the journey” and there are thousands of other women going through the same thing. It’s not for me to be ashamed of because I have worked my ass off to get to where I am to day. I have had tremendous support from my family and friends but have read stories from other women who were shamed and told that surgery is the easy way out. It’s sad and its complete bullshit. Surgery is a tool, you still have to work hard at losing the weight. You are forcing yourself to radically changing your relationship with food and as a person with eating disorders I can’t tell you enough what a mind fuck that can be. Anyway, enough ranting for now, I just hope by sharing my experiences I’m able to help others through their own journey, that is the point of me posting all of this.

Good Days & Hard Days

Recently I’ve had more Good days than Hard days, more energy and less bad feelings. This morning was the first time in a few weeks that I woke up in a panicked state. I had a nightmare about my son that I won’t go into detail about (it was horrific). I did some deep breathing exercises and after about 25 minutes or so I felt much better. My therapist gave me a book about PTSD and how to ground yourself, I haven’t started reading it yet because I’ve made so much progress over the last few months. It’s something I should probably do though, maybe over Christmas vacation.

I’ve been reflecting on a few different areas of my life this year, the main focus  obviously being my health. So far I’ve lost a 110 lbs from my highest weight of 250 in 2013 and 94 lbs since February 24 of this year. I’m currently siting at 140 lbs and a size 7 pants. I just tried a size 7 on yesterday because I noticed my 9’s fitting looser in the waist. And they fit! The last time I was this small I was six months pregnant with my son. Several people have asked me if I’m happy now, but this journey has never been just about my physical appearance, it’s very mental and this process is not a liner one. In my mind there is no definitive answer to that question because I will always want to improve myself in one way or another. I am, in essence a very flawed person, that is the intrinsic nature of humanity.

I have Good days where I look in the mirror and my brain lets me see how much progress I’ve made. On those days I feel beautiful and proud of my accomplishments. On the Hard days, I’m bombarded with the “fat girl” mentality I had for so long. On those days my brain will yell at me and say things like;

“Your still a pig. Look at that disgusting loose skin. You have so many stretch marks! You’ll never be enough. Your unintelligent and you’ll never be smart, blah, blah, blah…”

To over come those thoughts and feelings I will make a list of all the positves that have come from my hard work and determination and I will also look back through pictures so that I visualize how far I’ve come. Here is a list of the positives I’ve come up with.

  • I went from a size 20 pants to a size 7.
  • I can tie my shoes without struggling.
  • I no longer have high blood pressure.
  • My sleep apnia is gone.
  • I can breath when I run up and down the stairs.
  • I can run up and down the stairs!
  • My husband and I both fit comfortably in the bath and shower together.
  • I can wrap a towel completely around my body.
  • My husband can pick me up and carry me.
  • I don’t snore any longer.
  • I can sleep on my back now.
  • sex is much more intimate and fun ❤

My Journey So Far

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Insomnia

I should be sleeping but my brain has other plans. I have VNG testing tomorrow to see if the dizzy spells I’ve been having are caused by an inner ear issue. If the test comes back negative, i’ll have to have a CAT scan of my brain. The last time I had one done I felt like I peed myself because of the contrast dye they inject. It was embarrassing. Hopefully we figure out what’s going on soon.

Health + Mental Health

Today was decent enough, I only had a little bit of anxiety and I only took one nap. The last three or so months I have been pretty reclusive because I’ve been plagued with extreme fatigue, anxiety, panic attacks and dizziness. It started to get to the point of “I dont know if I can handle this anymore”. It got pretty dark. I started seeing a new therapist and my psychiatrist more regularly, in hopes of some relief. It has helped a bit. I’ve learned some grounding techniques to help me when I disassociate from the anxiety. That is one of the scarier symptoms that my therapist helped me to understand. I have had anxiety and panic attacks since I was 13 but my physical and mental symptoms have changed over time. If you don’t know what disassociation is, look it up. For me, It feels like I’m stuck in a dream state. My surroundings become surreal and I feel very detached from my body. It fucking sucks.

My therapist explanation is that all of my anxiety, OCD, panic attacks and disassociation issues stem from PTSD. I view the world around me as unsafe and threatening constantly  because of traumas that I endured as a child and an adult. I’m in a constant sate of hypervigilance and it causes me to freak out if I don’t feel that I have control over my situation.  I use to tell myself that other people had it way worse than I did. I think because, it allowed me to escape from having to truly face what I went through. For a long time I thought my childhood was “normal” when it was anything but. Someday, maybe soon, I’ll write it all out and share it.

I was recently diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic ovarian syndrome). I went in for a routine PAP and to talk to my Gyno about some pain I was having in my ovaries. She decided to send me for some further testing and boom, I have PCOS. It was quite a shock to me and I’ve had some depression over it. Thankfully I don’t have the traditional symptoms. Health issues associated with PCOS are; being at high risk for certain cancers, type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, infertility, depression, anxiety, sleep disorders and eating disorders. And that’s an incomplete list. PCOS is also a common reason for weight gain so my doctor didn’t seem shocked when I told her that I used to weigh 250 LBS. I started taking birth control (I hate it) to help get my hormones back to normal. At first I refused it and I got yelled at by my doctor. She said” You are putting yourself at great risk for cancer if you don’t take the birth control” and then she proceeded to hand write a list of all the issues it would help me with. So I’m like, fine! I’ll fucking take it but I’m not happy about it. She did warn me that it would make me feel shitty for the first month, due to my hormones being so out of balance. So far, I’ve had nausea and no appetite and that’s no bueno when I already hardly eat.

All of that seems like a whole lot of bad but I do feel like I’m starting to come out of it. I’m hopeful that as the weeks creep closer to the end of the year I’ll start to feel even better. I have big plans for next year that will be revealed in later posts. I’m super tired so I’m done for tonight. Sweet dreams my loves.

-Mandy