As if my life hasn’t presented me with enough decisions and in some way options, I have been grappling with something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I tend to tuck away my emotions most of the time and handle things on my own so this decision has been dwelling in my brain for quite some time. To tuck or not to tuck that is the decision.
I have grown a great deal in the area of self-love and self-acceptance. Much of that came from my extinguished D/s relationship. My fear was when Daddy left me that he would take the confidence he had given me while we were together. I don’t love my body. I love my breast, surgically perfect after a much-needed reduction. My reduction was covered by my insurance in total, cost me only $250. I was pretty happy with that, to be honest. There was the recovery which was not comfortable but endurable for sure.
After the breakup I was determined to continue to better myself, both inside and out. Not because of him (Daddy) but in spite of him. In some ways, I have done well at this – in others not so much. I want to be healthy above all else. I have a wonderful Mother that needs me and an amazing daughter that, while she doesn’t always tell me, needs me more than ever now. Having said that, I try to eat well and exercise. I stretch, do yoga, weights, and I row. Not every day but when I can. And of course, I always feel better after having done so.
I recently met with a personal trainer to get me through a plateau and work on some hip issues I’m having, hopeful so dedicated stretching will solve the issue. Nothing serious needed like a hip replacement but walking is hard sometimes. I sit for my job and I realized I needed to focus on stretching and such. She is wonderful and supportive and has given me new ideas I hadn’t thought of.
The problem is there was this one thing she mentioned. My stomach, the part of my body I hate the worst will probably never go away. Not what I wanted to hear but the truth is the truth. Age is a thing in this equation, much as I hate to admit it. We could also blame a little of this on pre-menopause although I fight this concept with every fiber of my being.
Truth be told, my stomach (or pouch as it is often disgustingly referred to) can not be blamed on baby weight. My baby is 24 years old. It can be blamed on fluctuating weight loss, cans icing and a spoon and two liters of soda for dinner when times were really tough. An eating disorder could be thrown in there for sympathy points as well, but bottom line, my stomach is what it is.
It bothers me because it hangs down, making wearing underwear, cute of granny, very uncomfortable. I have always thought about getting a tummy tuck. It seemed an easy solution but it also scared the fuck out of me. I talked about liposuction and tummy tucks with friends and they all said they would never do it. I researched tucks and body contouring online and checked out cold sculpting as well. I still wasn’t sure.
Last week, I called the surgeon who did my breast reduction and she suggested I come and chat with her. Trusting your surgeon is primary when making these decisions and I trusted her with my reduction and was definitely not disappointed. So I made the appointment.
Talking tummy tucks with her felt weird. The reduction was somewhat a medical issue. This tummy tuck things felt very vain and materialistic. I wanted her opinion on my options and did she agree it would never go away no matter how many crunches and sit-ups I did. She did agree with that assessment but also provided information I didn’t know and hadn’t thought of.
My weight has fluctuated my whole life. Multiple fad diets and starving myself had taken its toll. I have been as heavy as 290 and as light as 125. Neither end of the spectrum was healthy and I rarely held the in-between long enough to realize that was where I. needed to be. My surgeon (is it cool I have my “own” plastic surgeon?) told me that my stomach was not only fat, but it was also skin. Hanging skin that developed from the teeter-totter of weight loss and gain. Not only would it not go away, but it was a bit dangerous to my health.
As she drew circles on my skin to show me what was fat and what was skin, she pointed out the parts that would or could go away with exercise and eating right (and never touching sugar for the rest of my life) and what would be with me forever unless it was removed. She gave me pamphlets to read on the issues with having this hanging abdominal skin. I won’t go into that here but it was surprising that there are health issues to this and not just aesthetic issues.
The tummy tuck option seemed to be the best as contouring would not remove the skin. It would only remove the fat. The hanging skin would also remain with liposuction, and she was concerned that liposuction could cause more hanging skin. She showed me a video of the procedure (thankfully animated) and answered my questions from the stupid (they were pretty stupid) to the intricate. Very patient with me, and very understanding of my concerns.
More than the health concerns there always are when having this type of procedure, there is my family. I am the sole provider. I take care of my Mom and while she is very independent she can not drive so I am her taxi. A role reversal of time that I do not mind. We go on excursions, food shopping, and I just go and sit with her. I help her do things in her apartment, move things and I help her read things her eyes can’t focus on. My original thought was to have this procedure and not tell her because she worries so much about everything. Realizing I couldn’t do this I told her last weekend what I was considering. When I mentioned the tummy tuck she became quiet and thoughtful. That is her way. I knew there would be more conversation on the topic after she had time to process it.
My daughter is also a concern. While she is doing pretty well, she is starting a new job and she has a hard time focusing on the responsibilities of the home. Her fault for not being more organized and my fault for not inforcing a more stringent requirement. I know that if I give her dates and times she will come through but I still worry about her and being able to lean on her for additional things.
Money is also an issue and while I think I can swing it, it will be a strain and am I really ready for that kind of strain at this point. On one side, it is a good time work-wise to get this done (considering between Thanksgiving and Christmas) as the holidays are an extremely slow time for my work and I won’t miss much time at the full-time job. The part-time job is in my home and I can limp downstairs to sit in a chair just as well as sit in my bed and still get paid.
So there it is. My latest decision, my most recent brain torment, brought on by no one but myself. I use to think it was just a vain thing to do but knowing the medical side of things for now and for my future makes a little easier to think about. I have the fact that I am vain. If I were being honest and had a million dollars, I would hand myself over to the surgeon for procedures everywhere from a jaw lift to having the flappy skin under my arms removed. But those are vanity things.
I also know that this is something I have thought about forever and I know if I don’t do it I will regret it. As far as self-acceptance, I hear you guys. I should embrace my curves, love my body, and accept myself for how I am. I should. For the most part, I do. I’ll never have a jaw lift and I’ll never by my arms done. I won’t mess with my face and I have learned to like the lines around my eyes because it shows me there have been times in my life when I laughed and smiled. My stomach is something I know for a fact I will never love or embrace.
The next week will be working the finances and reading and researching more. I know I will never have the body of an 18-year-old girl. When I was 18 I was 200 pounds. I am in my fifties and pretty sure that playboy photoshoot opportunity is long gone. But to have that skin gone would make me feel better about myself, and not just because I’d actually be able to see the belly piercing when I sit down.