Friday, September 23, 2005

The skin I'm in.

Jilly, my dear sweet friend, I love you and appreciate your sound, thoughtful advice so much; thank you. I will, however, without going into the gory, shameful details, just leave you with the knowledge that walking away is simply not an option. It has been tried, along with numerous other completely reasonable reactions to his demanding behavior. Believe me, I didn't get to this point without at least some kicking and screaming! But the depths to which he is willing to go to prove his points and ensure my compliance are simply astounding.

Now, I'm going to move on because I'm realizing how completely selfish it is of me to continually bitch about my situation, remain unwilling to do anything about it, yet expect unconditional support from those who take the time out of their own busy lives to read this blog, and ask them to suppress any negative feelings or opinions they may have about it. Shame on me.

So, I was standing in front of my full length mirror, stripped nekkid before my shower, as I typically do, and checking out my bod, namely my skin. I am struck by it's soft, almost billowy quality, like a plush down comforter. I pick it up, push it aside, hold it taught, all in the hopes of catching some glimpse of what my body might have looked like had I never been fat. But it is impossible, no amount of tucking, pushing, holding, can disguise the deformity. It is just there, lying limp and useless against my thighs, abdomen, chest, and arms. I am drawn to it though, I can't seem to keep my hands off of it. I absentmindedly roll the excess skin under my arms and on my tummy between my fingers as I drive, sit , work, watch TV. I'm even doing it now as I read over what I've written thus far. I pull at it to see how far it will stretch, wrap it around my fingers, and stuff my hands under it like a warm, cozy blanket, it's a part of me. You know, it's hard to imagine that a body can have this much extra skin just hanging off of it like a worn out, deflated balloon, yet I know that it could have been so much worse, and it is for so many. Yes, it served it's purpose well, it held my bulging insides in, and when it seemed it couldn't possibly stretch any more, it always did. It was there for me when I needed it, and did it's job efficiently, so how do I work to repay it? Well, I belittle it and I look at it and pull at it with hate and disgust, that's how. I've heard some people say they proudly wear their excess skin after weight loss as a badge of honor, for a job well done and to remind them of where they've been. I think that's complete bullshit, but that's my opinion. Perhaps that's just their way of coming to terms with what they're left with, I dunno, but I do know I will never be able to look at it in that way. It's only purpose now is to remind me of how much I fucked up my body and health, and to make sure I never fill that skin back up with fat ever again. Maybe that's the real reason it's there, as a constant reminder to stay on top of my health and fitness, because I know all too well what will happen if I don't. I wonder, if I ever did get the opportunity to have it removed, would I think about my body and life differently somehow? Would I become complacent about my commitment to health if I weren't presented with a daily reminder of where my addictions and bad habits can lead? Hmmm, I imagine I may never know. Of course, I'd always assumed that my body and life would be different if I ever got skinny too, and we know how well that one worked out. Life goes on, no matter what size you are.

But, you know what else I saw in front of that mirror? Muscles, real honest to god muscles. I now have some kick-ass Linda Hamilton in Terminator 2 arms, even if I am too chicken to show them in public. Beneath the loose skin on my tummy lies actual symmetrical bulges formed by my abdominal muscles. I swear there's got to be a six-pack under there, which, I'm sure would be visible if the skin were tight. My thighs, calves and even my ass are rock solid under all that skin. So, there is a muscular form under there, I am certain of that. By god there better be with all the freaking exercise I do! And that got me thinking; everything I'm doing is working to prevent me from heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, you name it, and I'm ensuring a long, physically fit life, barring any unforeseen disasters. So whether my improved physical health is apparent beneath the layers of skin or not, is beside the point. I have achieved my true goals, those of health, fitness, and improved quality of life. I did not set out on this journey to look smokin in a string bikini (as if I ever would have worn such a thing anyway, but the thought sure is nice!). No, I did this to make sure I would be around to raise my daughter and meet my grandchildren. I did this so I would never have feel the shame of not fitting into a movie theater, restaurant, or amusement park ride seat again. I did this so I could fall asleep at night without the constant worry of my sheer mass cutting off my airway, and dying in my sleep. I did this so I could have a second chance at life. Hmmm... it seems that I would actually get around to living this second chance at life now that I've been lucky enough to get one, don'tcha think? But like I've said before, I'm still just a work in progress. I will get there... someday.


Anonymous Jilly said...

Okay, okay...I just have to give it the old college try sometimes, you know. By the way, your own personal blog is exactly the place to be selfish and write about whatever the hell you want. Don't let anybody (including me) tell you what you can and cannot write here. Anyway, I don't think you write any of this with expectations of unconditional support, you just happen to get that because we think this "work in progress" Beverly person is very special and we care about her. So bitch all you want ~ we're still going to be here. I'm sure your other readers agree that any negative feelings or opinions we have are not about YOU personally. I vow to make a valiant effort at suppression, but don't make any promises. :p

I laughed out loud at how you simply stated that calling excess skin a badge of honour is utter and complete bullshit! I agree totally. Its a pain in the ass (and stomach and upper arms, etc.) G's youngest daughter is fascinated with mine. As we drive in the car I'll feel her little fingers gently poking my "bat wing" and when I inquire "Excuse me, must you do that?" she innocently says "But I like to play with your flap". Cringe. Its as though we worked hard and made every attempt to be kind to our body and make amends to it for all the damage we did to it, but its still holding a grudge! Ah well, like you say, we'll live happier, healther lives for having done this and we look a helluva lot better (especially when clothed) than we did when that skin was filled to the brim with fat. Good job on the kick-ass muscles though; that's gotta feel good!

1:53 AM  
Blogger Luflic said...

We are ALL still a work in progress. Why sometimes is our progress so slow and sometimes even backwards.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Dawnyal said...

great post and I ditto Jill. I come here to read about YOU no matter what it is. Your life is so much more than weight loss maintenance and taking care of your daughter.

Write about whatever you want to write about. We can never truly know what is going on in your life without being in your shoes so we see things from a different perspective.

If you ever decide you've had enough, you are welcome to move west one state and come stay with us. :)

1:48 PM  

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