Anyway, we either do or don’t do certain activities many times due to that activity’s side effects. With weight loss, people tend to believe that health, happiness, and strength are the only side effects to weight loss; but this is an epic LIE! Yes, these are fabulous side effects and are most certainly worth venturing down the journey of weight loss for, but there are also silent side effects to weight loss. These silent side effects come in the lovely form of loose skin (or just loose flub/fat remaining), stretch marks, and mental games that last forever! I have many times discussed the mental games that go along with weight issues, since frankly; they make up most of the problem that we find ourselves coping with. However, there are the physical reminders of loose skin/flub and residual stretch marks that stay with us forever as well…pleasant thought, no?
Now, I believe in 100% transparency in this blog! BUT, showing you my vaguely loose ‘flub’ and stretch marks from a stomach blown up with 110 more L-Bs then where I am today, is neither a sight I care to show, nor is it one you likely want to be blinded by haha. However, I’m one of the lucky ones. I lost my weight slowly, and consistently, so my body has adjusted quite well (...perfectly-hell no), but other people aren’t as lucky. Some suffer with drastic amounts of loose skin or parts of their body where the 'flub' just won't disappear.
With that being said, what inspired me to write about this topic was the picture below. I saw this picture a couple of weeks ago, and ever since then I have wanted to create this post. The picture below has been shared on Facebook by many women who have had children and are showing pride for their stretch marks from having been pregnant. It got me thinking about my own stretch marks—that don't exist from anything prideful like having a baby, but rather exist from the demise of being extraordinarily overweight…
I suppose if you look at the situation candidly, I earned my stripes too-with each pizza I consumed (yes, whole pizza-not just slices here people), each ice cream cone I licked, each hamburger I ate, and every mile I didn’t walk, every hike I didn’t take, and every river I didn’t kayak down. In reflecting on this, it can bring a thought of sadness that I allowed my body to get to that state. A state where my skin had to stretch beyond what it was humanly designed for just to be able to accommodate my extra weight.
I look at the above picture as a way for mothers to take ownership of the physical side effects that remain from a beautiful experience...
...and we weight loss conquerors should do the same!
As much as I want tight arms, fit legs, and a stomach flat enough to bounce a quarter off of as if it were a soldier’s bunk, this may not realistically be in the cards for me (please excuse the toddler-like internal tantrum I’m having at this thought). Behind that loose skin and those tiger stripes used to be fat-and a lot of it. Today, I choose to take pride in my little bit of loose skin because that skin is no longer maxed out like a balloon about to burst from too much helium. Today, I choose to take pride in my tiger stripes! Though they’re certainly not pretty, they are battle wounds from a war that I have been winning for years now (can’t say I have won the war because the battle of the bulge never truly ends).
I am a Tiger (insert seductive, pouncing like-rawwwwwwr here) and though I am ultimately responsible for my stripes, I take ownership of them and am PROUD to take ownership of the healthy tigress I am today! I earned who I am today, and after all, you can't be a fierce tigress without stripes, right?!?
Love yourself, and surround yourself with people that love you exactly the way you are-tiger stripes and all!
What are other unknown side affects you have found to be difficult since losing weight? How do you choose to handle them?
Until next time, keeping the bulge at bay!