Overexposed: A Self-Love Project.

Overexposed: Saying Goodbye To This Body.

As the days come closer, I am anxious, stressed, and going through a whirlwind of emotions.

It is December 5th, 2020. I am sitting here, writing this post with the thought in mind that in a month, I will most likely have more information about my next chapter than I do now. I might be in a place where I’m already in the beginning of changing my life around, just weeks away from making possibly the biggest change in my life thus far. I will be entering my 27th year, thinking about the year ahead and how different that will look for me further along 2021.

Hi, my name is Liz, and I’m in the process of closing this chapter of my life.

Last November, I went to my primary care doctor and asked me something I was scared of asking for a really long time: “are you interested in weight-loss surgery?” I told her I was, and I started my journey of this weight-loss program in January. Before the pandemic, I would’ve been scheduled to have this surgery back in July/August. It baffles me that my life would’ve been so different if the pandemic wasn’t a thing. Would I have met the people that I know now? Would I had been in a mentally good place? Honestly, where would I’ve been?

Fast forward to the end of 2020 and I’m nervous more than ever about this process.

This month, I start the month-long pre-op diet; for the next month prior to surgery I have to follow a strict diet in order to prepare my body for the upcoming surgery. It’s been difficult for me to grasp this feeling that my body is going to change and that the way I eat and live my life will be different. It’s been hard for me to even get ready for this diet and it’s definitely been causing me an immense amount of stress and anxiety just… thinking about my reasoning and beliefs in doing something like this.

I’m afraid of my body changing so much, my social situations even change. I’m so worried that once I get this surgery and follow through with it and start to visually look different, I will gain attention from people. I will “look good” and I will “get compliments on how great I look” and I don’t know… that leaves an awful taste in my mouth.

Do people not think I “look good” now? In this body? Weight and everything? Fat?

It used to not bother me as much in the past, but I guess as the time gets closer and the responses I’ve been getting from people around me, it has me wondering just how much I was “in love” with my body. Last year, I started this series to talk about my journey of self-acceptance and loving myself in this body. I started the Overexposed series to remind myself that I should be okay in the body that I have and that if anything, I should love the skin that I’m in, despite how much of it is there. What changed?

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just the energies around me. Maybe it’s my new expectations for myself. Maybe it’s the fact that I told myself I was so happy with my body but mistaken it for settling for it instead of improving for my own self-esteem reasons and confidence. Maybe the fact that this surgery is just around the corner has got me really in my bag about this.

Maybe it’s the fact that it’s becoming more real as the days pass. I will be saying goodbye to this body in a couple of months, watching her change and look different than it ever has before. I mean, it’s technically still my body. It’s still my skin. Are we really saying goodbye to my body? Maybe just the way it is in its current state, but it’s still me. I still come with the way I am and the things that I like and don’t like and at the end of the day, nothing is changing besides the way my body is built.

But still, it feels like I am saying goodbye to the Liz in the photos that are on my social media platforms, my Polaroid pictures, and the pictures that live inside my camera roll on my phone.

So, I guess this is a goodbye then. Goodbye to the Liz that had to find her self-worth later in life due to society’s outlook on overweight, short girls. Goodbye to the Liz that at times holds a lot of self-image issues because of old photos of her youth. Goodbye to the Liz that I’ve known in this body for the last 26 years.

But man, hello to the Liz that I’m excited to become.

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