Ever since getting weight-loss surgery, I’ve been asked a lot of questions. By my family, I’m being constantly asked if I feel okay after eating a meal, by my friends I’m being asked what foods I can or cannot eat, and everyone in the mix tends to ask this one specific question, to which I have to say the same thing over and over again.
Hi, my name is Liz, and I will not be getting cosmetic surgery to remove my excess skin.
It’s funny to even think that many people, both that are in the WLS program and not, are always considered about the excess skin that comes with losing a lot of weight at once. It’s not unusual for WLS goers to have excess skin after getting the surgery, and I guess it depends on personal preference on how people deal with the appearance after losing the weight.
I haven’t personally known a lot of successful WLS goers, but for those that were able to keep off the weight haven’t had cosmetic surgery to remove the excess skin. In fact, many of them are into exercise! I feel like when the weather gets cooler and the more I get comfortable working out in front of complete strangers, I will probably be more than open to work out at a gym as well! I can only imagine that further down the process, people who lose weight feel better toning their body because they are able to handle it when they aren’t as heavy. I know for me, I would probably feel better once I feel like I can be more active without getting too tired too quickly.
Although I’m still so early in my weight-loss journey, it’s still something I get asked a lot and, like, I know many people don’t mean any harm in it, but sometimes I feel like it pressures me to consider it. It also puts this ideology in my mind that weight loss isn’t enough to “look good”, but cosmetic surgery will be the solution to make the weight loss surgery worth it.
I still remember going to my support group meetings and hearing the questions of older candidates for WLS, and many of them were about cosmetic surgery. How much will it cost or if it’s common for WLS goers to get it once they reached their goal weight, and to some sort of degree the meetings began to feel a bit pointless.
While everyone’s reasoning for weight loss surgery is different, I just hope that for many people, it’s a change for them to be and feel better, not to just look better. It’s so easy to get sucked into the number on the scale and determining your worth or “success” by how many pounds you lose, but…
As a person that lost 25 pounds in 5 weeks, I can say that just having 25 pounds off has made me feel so much better physically. I feel better in the clothes I wear, I can take longer walks without feeling like my lungs are gonna fall out of my chest, and I just all around feel better in my body. Like, if I feel so good already at this starting point in my journey, imagine in another month. Three months. Six months from now! My point is is that it’s more than just “looking good”. If anything, you start feeling good before you start to “look good”. Hell, you don’t look like society’s version of “good” until at least a year into your journey.
But of course, I don’t judge people who want to do this for their reasons. If they feel like their life will be better after losing their weight and getting slimmer, than that’s their reasoning for getting the surgery. There’s no “right” reason to get surgery, but I do wish that many people who consider surgery know that surgery isn’t a quick fix, and it’s so easy to get sick and gain back the weight if your head is in the wrong space.
And of course, I’m not judging every person who’s asked me if I’m considering cosmetic surgery in the future; it’s a very common curiosity question anyone looking into a WLS candidate/patient’s new lifestyle would have.
But, be nice to those who tell you that they aren’t considering it by not following up with, “then what are you gonna do with all that extra skin you’ll have?” It’s just not appropriate and you should respect the wishes from that specific person.
Other than that, we would be more than willing to answer your questions about the process! I love educating those around me about it because this is more than just a surgery that happened for me, it’ a surgery that happened and that lead me to live this new lifestyle. There’s nothing you should be cared about asking, just be considerate when asking certain questions that may appear insensitive.
Like, don’t ask me how I’m going to hide my extra skin when I get “skinny.”
Let me get through this week first before I think about something 9-12 months down the line.