On a weight loss journey, you see good things and you see bad things. Good things are like your waist and weight shrinking, bad things are a lousy attitude (Guilty), self pity (guilty again), and reworking emotions so that you don't kill your family (not yet....). A dear friend at The Homeschool Lounge, was concerned about loose skin, which parlayed into self doubt. Here is my reponse to her:
Loose skin is it's own monster. Remember, that your skin is the largest organ of our body, it does the most amazing things. The fact that it can stretch so far, gives rise to God's plan making us so fearfully and wonderfully. No matter how much weight we gain, our skin will stretch, the down side is that skin can get stretched out (like a sweater), leaving us thin, but sagging.
Some skin will tighten on it own, since I carry all my weight in my belly, as I lose weight, my leg skin stays tight, but my belly is a big ol' wrinkly mess! My arms, breasts, and probably my back will suffer from saggy skin. It may not be pretty, but think about it as a war wound, because we have been to battle, and if our skin is sagging, then we won!!!!
After we lose the weight, and keep it off for a year, then it's time to start thinking about what to do with it. I say wait a year, to make sure we are maintaining our weight loss. I worry about this because I am so heavy, if I back slide, I may find myself at 350 in a matter of weeks! It never fails, the more you lose, the faster you gain it back, with interest!
So, if you find you are maintaining your loss, then it time to consider your options. For the most part, the only option to get rid of excess skin is surgery. This is elective (it's considered cosmetic), and expensive. I have heard of people using depression as an excuse to try and get their insurance to cover the costs. Personally, I don't think Christ will go that route, so neither will I. So, my next option is girdles. With the Internet, and loads of people losing weight, but being unable to afford a "tummy tuck", so there are companies out there that make girdles just for the purpose of holding in extra skin.
Maybe, that year of weight maintenance is a time to save up for a "tummy tuck", then an arm tuck, back tuck, butt lift, or the whole enchilada, if you can save that much!
Don't feel bad about saggy skin, like I said before, that's a battle scar from a defeated enemy. Focus on what you will be able to do because your not fat anymore. Unless your goal is to sport a bikini, saggy skin isn't going to stop you from anything that you might want to do.
Emotions are just that, emotions. They have their place, but they can also be a hindrance to living sometimes! We need our emotions to love, to show compassion, what we don't need is to become slaves to our emotions. It's our emotions that keep us fat. It's our emotions that "allow" us to become crazy yelling women at our families. God created us with emotions so that we could love Him, love others, fear Him, and fear dangerous situations. We have anger to fight against injustice, to stand for what is right, without sinning. We cry to show that we are hurt physically, that we hurt for others (compassion), we feel sadness, so that we can be empathetic to others pains and hurts. When we internalize these emotions to use them for ourselves, we become focused only on ourselves, forgetting there are others out there who suffer far more than we do.
I am the queen of the "pity party". I struggle with just smiling, which I try to do the first thing every morning. Usually, when I am talking to God, I make it a point to smile for Him, which is also for me. Smiling actually makes you feel better.
Everything is a matter of perspective. When we look back, how many times do we realize that we could have switched our attitude around, with just a kind word, a kind action, a loving thought? I feel ashamed of myself for my lousy attitude, and, I believe, that shame comes from not trusting the Lord enough. If we have trust in the Lord, then these little set backs, and feelings of failure can be justified and released. I am so greedy, so many things that I should leave on the Cross, I will remove and keep for myself. I am still trying to learn that God will put these things at the bottom of the ocean and leave them there. As far as the east is from the west. Yet, I cling to the emotions that will make me feel like a martyr! Do I really need that? No, but I still can't stop doing it. It's a one thing at a time attitude. The first thing is to turn to the Lord, which should be so easy, but isn't, like you said before, Anna, when things are going well, it is easy to praise God. That's why I have been reading Paul's writings, here's a dude who had terrible things happen to him, yet, he praised the Lord, and the salvation he attained through Christ. I am hoping to glean understanding of how to live, love, and see the work of the cross, and then how to apply it to my life.
I too, have my progress to check, on Wednesday (I am so glad I use a calendar, or I would never know what's going on in my universe), so I am hoping to wake up tomorrow at 150! It could happen! OK, so it can't, but every small progress is a big progress in the making. We didn't gain weight overnight, we won't lose it overnight either. It's these small truths that lead to the big goals.
Anna, know always that you are loved, by your kids, by your family, by us, and best of all by God. You are a special lady, if you don't believe it for yourself, believe it because I said so! If you have to borrow my view of you, borrow it, tell yourself every morning that you are loved! Fake it if you have to, but do it! Don't let yourself get drawn into a funk pit, claw your way out, which is good advice, 'cause I am going to take it too! Time for us to get a shovel and fill in that pit, we can't fall into a hole that's not there, can we?
Smile, I am smiling too! See ---->
In love and total understanding, Rusty