(Real Talk) Plastic Surgery

I have gotten a lot of emails lately about my loose skin and if I plan on having it removed. There have also been plenty of comments made on different sites featuring my story, that I NEED to have it removed because it’s gross. Oh people are funny! My loose skin is a part of me, not some mutant growth that holds alien eggs (yes, someone said this). Lol.

My loose skin is a result of a massive weight loss, not because I had a weight loss surgery (not that I have anything against that) or because I lost the weight too quickly (took me 4 1/2 years to lose my weight. That’s an average of a little over 1 pound a week. Healthy weight loss is .5lb to 2lbs a week). This is what can happen after losing 172 pounds.

Yes, it can be tightened up with exercise and sure there are the wraps and creams that promise miracles, but at the end of it all, surgery is the answer.

My Thoughts On Plastic Surgery by Brooke: Not On a Diet

Will I have surgery?

Yes.

Now before I get backlash about it, let me explain.

This loose skin isn’t fun. It makes fitting into some clothing difficult, it flaps when working out, and it causes icky rashes.

I won’t be getting skin removal surgery because I hate my body. I will be getting it because doing so will improve my quality of life in the end. Carrying this stuff around sucks, but I MUCH rather have the excess skin than the excess weight I carried around for years. I would be lying if I said I loved it all the time, there are days I get utterly mad that I have it because it makes fitting into a certain dress tough or it tugs and hurts when I work out. The worst though is the rashes I get around my belly button.

Plastic surgery isn’t something that will be happening in the near future. With insurance not covering it for the most part (you have to show medical need for the surgery and then they only will cover a very small portion), it is entirely too expensive for us at the moment. Also, Mr. B and I want to have children and I can’t see tightening everything up only to stretch it out again. I know there are people who do that, but I just don’t know if that’s the best move on my part. Honestly, I’m not sure when the surgery will happen, I just have faith that it will when the time is right. Much like everything in life.

When that time comes I know it will be a big surgery and possibly even multiple ones. I have skin to be removed not only on my stomach/abdomen, but also my arms and thighs. To think of being under for hours on end is terrifying. And then to find a reputable surgeon is a huge task in itself as well. It would be awful to have something go wrong. I’m not going to dwell on all those things right now though because it isn’t my number one priority at the moment.

For now, I’m okay with it, as I said before it’s a part of me. Just like if I had a birthmark or a third nipple, I’d love it just the same.

I will be honest though, I was hesitant to write this post. I’ve declared self-love and loving your body as is a lot lately. So, saying that I want to have the surgery put thoughts of hypocrisy in my head.

Would declaring the fact that I want the surgery conflict everything I’ve said?

Fellow blogger, Courtney talked about this on her blog as well. And I loved what she had to say:

I want to be better because I love myself enough to know I deserve it. I’m not trying to change myself into something else hoping I’ll finally deserve to love myself.

Do I love my body as it is right now?
Of course.

I would be silly not to love it until it was free of loose skin. Much like not loving yourself until you lose weight, it is pointless not to love yourself in your current state. In fact, loving ourselves is part of the reason we decide to do good things for our bodies and souls.

Having the skin removal surgery is something I deserve. I have worked very hard to get the body I have and worked hard mentally to love it as well. Having the surgery again means improving the quality of my life and to me, doing that is one of the greatest forms of self-love.

I feel that any way physically and mentally that improves the quality of life that we are currently living is worth it. You CAN love yourself and still want to improve. I think that’s what life is about, always wanting to live the best version of yourself. And I truly mean YOURSELF, not how society may think you should live.

And if having the plastic surgery means that for me, then I’m doing it.

As always, share your thoughts below!

And remember, keep it kind. I appreciate honesty, but do it with tact. I do reserve the right to delete anything that doesn’t adhere to this.

  • TrishDaDish85

    You do you honey! Whatever you decide to do with YOUR body is only of YOUR concern. Whatever you do, I love you, I’m proud of you and you inspire me!

  • Jasmine Robertson

    I have watched numerous shows about people who have had gastric by-pass and all they talk about is how they can’t wait to get rid of their extra skin. Then there is you – who is proud of it as a statement of how far you have come and what you have conquered. You have changed my way of thinking about loose skin. You are being smart about waiting until after you have children and you are right we should all do the things that make us love us better. I love your post and I love your honesty on this blog!!!

    • Honesty is always the best policy, right? πŸ˜‰

      My thoughts are why should I wait until the loose skin is gone to start loving my body? It’s kinda like waiting for the perfect moment to do anything. It’s pointless. πŸ™‚

  • kim r.

    I love your blog so much. I love that you love yourself as you are and that you are proud of your achievements- it inspires me when I’m having a tough time sticking with it. I also love that something like having the extra skin removed is something that you put so much thought and consideration in to. You are not rushing out there to conform to what everyone thinks you “need” to do- you are taking your own time and making your own decisions. Most of all I really love that you laugh off stupid things other insensitive people say. I firmly believe in judging people by their actions and the way they behave rather than any appearance. I would never think of being so cruel and insensitive as to tell someone that they looked odd or gross-in person or with the anonymity of the internet. Your looks are not what defines you and makes me decide if I want to be your friend or not. This is a fabulous post and I hope you never take a single picture down- because you inspire lots of us to love ourselves by loving yourself.

    • It hasn’t always been easy to deal with people’s mean comments. But I’ve learned that those people are just ignorant and sad in their own lives. πŸ™‚

      Thank you for reading and I’m so glad that you get so much out of it. <3

  • Sarah

    You are the first and only blog I have started to follow and one of the main reasons is because you give me a realistic hope of what I will look like once I lose 172 lbs. We have the same shape with the fold at the belly button (I say I look like a morphed smiley face naked lol). When I lose my weight you best believe I will love every bit of my body, endorse it, show it off and brag on all my hard work. And I will definitely get the skin surgery you speak of, in due time. To work so hard and take care of everything that is in your own control – you only deserve the best when you have given it your best. Do it! Make your journey complete! We are women and change our minds all of the time – so what if it sounds a little hypocritical. As you say, its all about loving yourself! Get em!

  • I think it’s horrible there are people out there who said that to you. What’s wrong with some people…

    • Oh gosh, that’s one of the nicer mean comments I have read. People can be awful, especially when they can hide behind the computer screen.

      I just tell myself they are ignorant, sad people. And I also try my best not to read comments on other sites.

  • Jan

    Brooke, you are a courageous woman who accomplished something that only a minority of people have. Only the ones struggling with the same issue or who have accomplished the same can really understand what a tremendous accomplishment you achieved. Whether one wants surgery or not is a personal decision. Only, the bullies, cruel or uneducated people make ugly remarks about you. Ignore them. You have too many followers who admire you for you and know that you are enough, just the way you are! You are a hero and an inspiration to me and to many!

  • You’ve shown that you are proud of who you are, unashamed, strong in the face of overwhelming social pressure. You deserve any choice you make regarding your body, no hypocrisy.

  • Jess

    I don’t understand why people have to be bullies and think it’s okay to try and put you down, when it’s clear as day that you LOVE your body and that you have come so far. I’m proud of you! I’ve been following your blog since a little bit before you started dating Mr. B. Your journey has been absolutely wonderful. You have been one of my inspirations when it comes to my own weight loss journey. Keep it up! <3

    • <3 Oh Jess, I adore you! I'm so glad you've stuck around so long! You keep up your great work as well!

  • Pam

    Brooke. I think you sharing this post make you even more honest. When I first saw you in your bathing suit, I thought..now there is a strong, powerful and beautiful woman. Realistically, I also said to myself that extra skin must get in the way…like my 36DDD “extra longs”! πŸ˜‰ thank you for sharing your journey openly with us. Inspirational !

  • Shannon Rosche

    if you want to get that skin removed you go ahead girl! You deserve to do what makes you happy! forget what other’s think because you are the one living in your body, not them!

  • Thanks for sharing my post! Loving yourself at every stage is SO important. Doing things to make you the best version of yourself shouldn’t make us feel ashamed or hypocritical. Cheers to you for sharing so openly! PS – And those belly button rashes are THE worst πŸ™

  • Alex Ramos

    “This loose skin isn’t fun. It makes fitting into some clothing difficult, it flaps when working out, and it causes icky rashes.”

    Same here girl! I lost around the same amount as you within 4 years (so slowly) and workout more than anyone I know. But it’s reality that my body won’t look normal ever. Unless…I get surgery. People ask me all the time, “why are aren’t you toning?” blah blah. I’m like yes I tone but I carried most of the weight in my stomach and I will never have a normal stomach just by toning. People don’t understand and it’s frustrating! I REALLY want o have a tummy tuck now (I’m 25) but people said I should wait till I have children. I’m on the fence because I know in my heart of hearts that I won’t feel comfortable with my body (for myself) until I have the excess skin from my stomach removed. It’s hard! But I know your struggle:)

    • Girl, your stomach is totally normal right now! It’s your version of normal! πŸ™‚

      Love you for you and all the things your body can do now that it couldn’t do before! You’re gorgeous! xo

  • When I read your story here on your blog about turning down shape, I was so proud and happy for you. I wish that I’d have had the same body confidence that you did.

    Unfortunately, I didn’t and I went through with skin removal surgery on my stomach and breasts after a lot of deliberation. I’m now two months post op, still recovering but I’m stoked with the results.

    I’ve got the same thoughts as you about, I got the surgery because I deserved it after losing 123 lbs and wanted to improve my quality of life.

    Keep on kicking a$$!

    • Good for you! The choice to have surgery isn’t an easy one. But, we do deserve to improve the quality of our lives!

  • Kerry

    Brooke, I started following you because I read that you were doing weight watchers and you loved cupcakes and beer- SOLD!
    As I continue to follow you, I get more and more inspired each and ever post. I recently saw a discussion about your Shape Magazine feud on The View and was so proud when the ladies and the audience were on your side. I am happy to see people like you in the media making waves.
    Continue to make us proud as you continue to do what makes you happy and no need to please anyone else.

  • Bella S

    You are an amazing and strong woman. It is a personal choice to have surgery or to not have surgery. It is really no one else’s business except for yours. I feel that those that say those mean things are nothing but bullies and it is their issue not yours. Mostly they are jealous because you lost all that weight and are comfortable showing that weight loss to the world. You are an inspiration to everyone!!

  • Angela B.

    I love your thoughts on this; mine are exactly the same. I have lost 115 pounds and have the excess skin as well. Yes, it is a badge of honor and a reminder of how far I have come and I am proud of it, but it is burdensome too. Running causes a lot of bouncing, jumping jacks are nearly impossible. One day, I hope to have surgery to remove it as well. You are an inspiration to me!

  • Makes total sense. I wouldn’t bother before children either. I have to say, I am jealous of your loose skin. It means that you have got to where you were meant to be.

  • Autummwind Reno

    You go girl! You’ve done the best thing you can for your health and if you choose to have surgery you are – again – doing what is right for you. No worries. You are an inspiration and I applaud all that you share with us!

  • LeeQuanda Annette

    You’re doing what is best for you, so no backlash here!

  • Ava

    You are such an amazing inspiration. Thank you for your honesty and the motivation you endlessly provide. Your decision is yours, and is nobody’s business- although I hope to be making the same choice when I am to my goal weight. Thank you for showing positive body image- what a nice change.

  • Rupa

    Great post Brooke! I don’t think you should feel guilty or bad about doing the surgery – especially if it makes sense for YOU. And I agree with you – you love your body now, you worked your butt off to get it, so love it any which way that you need to. If that means getting surgery at some point – then go for it! You are a true inspiration!

  • Laura

    I really don’t think you should have to explain yourself to anyone! What you choose to do and when you choose to do it is your business; but I like that you put it out there because I’m sure there are dozens of people who are in the same place and will like to see that they are not alone. Roni Noone of the blog ronisweigh.com had skin removed before the birth of her second child; Beth of bethsjourney.com actually shared her skin removal surgery from start to finish – just mentioning two bloggers that have been thru it that may be helpful.

    • That’s exactly why I put it all out there, because I know that somewhere there is someone who needs to read what I’m writing. πŸ™‚

      I actually know Roni and Beth. πŸ™‚ Us bloggers stick together! They are both amazing and I have read about their skin removal surgeries. Thank you!

  • Tammy Jarrard

    I personally have had a tummy tuck after having twins and my third child. If I could go back I would say NO WAY! My recovery was miserable and still 10 years later I cannot do nearly as many crunches or leg lifts prior to surgery. When I do I feel like my abdomen, the part I can feel because I’m completely numb to all touching sensations there, feels like it’s ripping apart. Would this be the same for you? Who knows? What I do know and have personally witnessed is there are products that work and are so much more cost effective… The other downside.. I wish if never spent the money I did. However, I was determined and no one showed me another way. So all this is to say that I have seen personally what the it works skinny wrap can do and believe while heartedly that it could work for you. Please just read about it google research… I disclose that I am a distributor but foremost I am not an advocate for surgery as my own experience was very disappointing.
    My website is Tammyrardin.myitworks.com I only hope to share my experience so that you are more informed. Good luck with meeting your goals!

  • asha

    I will never get to say I lost triple digit weight, but I know when I am done my weight loss story,I will have loose skin. It is a terrible fear of mine that I have to accept. Reading your Shape adventure made me feel bad that I wasn’t as proud as you are of your body. Reading this gave me a deep inhale, and although I still need to exhale breathing feels great to know that I am proud – it’s the reason I began to be healthy and make better long term choices. I look forward to watching you continue to transform and grow.

  • Well, I feel special! πŸ™‚ Thanks for sticking around!

  • Oh gosh, aren’t they? They hurt and are GROSS!

    And kudos to you for being open and honest as well! I love that!

  • I entice them with Weight Watchers, then keep them for the beer and cupcakes! πŸ˜‰

    And I was on The View? I totally missed that! Glad to hear they were on my side! πŸ™‚

  • Congrats to you on your weight loss!

    Do you wear compression garments at all? I have some capris that I got from Old Navy that I love. They really help with the bouncing around. Jumping jacks are brutal though!

    • Angela B.

      I love the Old Navy ones. As long as I can keep them up, they do a great job keeping the joggle under control.

    • L’Anne

      Burpees slay my skin. The jump up makes my torso skin flap like a flag in a hurricane.

      Also jacks in plank position. THOSE truly make my skin produce this horrifying swack-ing sound.

      Thank goodness I work out at home. I think people would be afraid of some kind imminent machine disaster at the gym, what with the slapping and flopping sounds I emit.

  • You should definitely do whatever you want to. I’ve never really understood why some people thinking that surgery like you are talking about means you don’t love yourself. I color my hair because I like the new color better than my natural color. That doesn’t mean I don’t love myself…..

  • lauramich

    Here’s a bit of silver lining for you: I lost ~140 pounds and, after maintaining for over two years, got pregnant in 2012. Thanks to all the loose skin, I didn’t get a single new stretch mark during pregnancy!

    (Also, thanks to being in good shape prior to getting pregnant, I was able to keep working out right up to the day before my little guy was born! And now that he’s 19 months old, I’m fit enough to chase him and lug him around!)

    Not only can we not afford or justify the expense of the skin-removal surgery right now, I understand that I would be laid up for some time and on a lifting restriction, so even if I could afford the surgery, I simply couldn’t bear to not be able to pick up my son for that long. That said, I’ve contemplated seeking out a surgeon for an estimate, out of curiosityβ€”both of the expense and how much skin would be removed!

    Thanks, again, for being honest about the loose skin. As much as I might sometimes grimace in the mirror over my “bag a belly used to live in” (what my husband called it one time), I’ll take it any day over where I used to be!

  • Kieara

    I underwent plastic surgery in December and had a breast reduction – in one day, I lost almost 5lbs. I had many people disagree with my decision, but it was something that I had wanted for about 10 years. My frame is not very big, however, I was carrying around 34H boobs! I remember the surgeon telling me at my consult that I was petite – I’ve never been called petite… I’m over 6ft tall, but she was talking about my bone structure. I couldn’t run or jog, there were no bras to strap those boobs down, ultimately, it was hard to do any sort of exercise. I went through the motions and after over a year of working on it, I was able to get insurance to pay for it at 100% with all the proper documentation.

    Now that I’m a nice C, I look back and wonder why it took me so long to do something that has made me feel so good about myself. I haven’t had a pressure migraine since I had surgery, I’m now jogging and doing Jillian Michaels. I’m able to wear shirts TWO SIZES smaller, people tell me I look thinner. I feel a million times better!
    I’m a true believer of doing things for YOU. You’ve come so far Brooke! No matter your decision, it’s yours and you’ll know what the right decision for yourself! πŸ™‚

  • disqus_y2d6gbN9nC

    I can’t even explain to you how happy I am to find a blog like yours. I have been slightly overweight my entire life and have recently gotten down to a size that I am completely happy with (10/12), but still feel pressured to be thinner and thinner. I am in the best physical shape of my life, I am healthy, and I have gotten so sick of the world telling me that wearing pants in the double digits is shameful. I admire your strength and confidence standing up to the media who want you to conform to their perception of perfection. It is so refreshing to read the thoughts that I’ve been feeling for the last several months. I plan to continue my quest for good health and hope to speak up someday to women and help them embrace their unique body types, and realize that a size zero is just another number, not a universal goal.

    • πŸ™‚ Thank you for your kind words, Kelly! You keep doing YOU and forget what the world says! <3

  • Andrea I’mperfect Life

    Oh my gosh! I totally get this! After posting my “ugly body” blog people have been coming out of the woodworks with miracle fixes. They’ve also put me on some weird pedestal and think I want to KEEP my lose crap as a badge of honor or something…um, no. There are only two reasons I haven’t had it removed: 1) because it’s costs a shit ton of money 2) because I don’t want to take the time to recover right now.

    Let’s run off to Mexico in November (when it’s cold and race season is over) and get some plastics! πŸ˜€

  • Little Edie

    “Just like if I had a birthmark or a third nipple, I’d love it just the same.”

    This made me LOL. This is perfect.

  • Shannon

    Thanks for sharing all this. I’m researching the surgery as well. Honestly, I didn’t want to lose a lot of weight because of the extra skin, but I figured I’d rather live with it than die of illnesses related to obesity. Your positivity reminds me to love myself at every stage.

    • Life is far better and easier to live with the loose skin than with the extra weight. Good for you for realizing that!

      Keep loving you!

  • Strange Angel

    I just came across the article about Shape Magazine, and followed it here to find this just so I could say..
    I am SO happy for you. For the weight loss, for the surgery – under YOUR decision and YOUR time, for all of the happiness you deserve. πŸ™‚
    I have been on a long, slow slog towards my own “After”. I know it will take time, and I haven’t always loved myself; in fact, not loving myself is part of how I ended up a “Before”. lol But I go through each day knowing the peace and love I didn’t have in my childhood, teens, or twenties. At thirty-eight, I am blessed. So blessed.

    THANK you for sharing your story. THANK you for sharing your picture. THANK you for sharing your decision and the reasons. I hope all of these entries help others to find *their* balance, peace, and love. With more discussion, with more OPEN and honest communication about what we actually look like as human beings instead of the airbrushed & photoshopped non-people many print models are turned into, we can find our own heart-truths.

  • Douglas Buzby

    You are so clear in your views on this issue, which society, and myself too, have blown all out of proportion. I would like to lose some weight myself. I am only now learning to love myself. (at 56 years old) I have never had some big hatred for me, I was simply wrong in what I thought about ‘self-love’. Thank you for making all this available to me, and the rest of the world. You rock! ____ Douglas

    • Thank you, Douglas!

      I hope that you achieve the goals you want and love yourself throughout!

      • Douglas Buzby

        πŸ˜€ That is the path I am on.

  • such its real talks about plastic surgery … nice information posted ..

  • Plastic surgery is a big deal. I lost 95lbs and had excess skin removal surgery in 2010. I’ve had mostly positive feedback from friends & loved ones… but I also had some negative ones. In the end, it was my decision and I’m thankful every. single. day. that I proceeded with it. I loved my body with the excess skin because it was a visual representation of my weight loss success. Now, I really love my flat stomach! People who’ve never struggled with their weight can’t understand it sometimes: I’ve never NOT had 2 flabby stomachs. To now have a pretty, flat one with a cute belly ring is so profound to me. As crazy as it sounds, I especially love the 24 inch scar around my abdomen! I show it off with pride. It’s all part of my story… When you’re ready for it, you’ll know and I have a sneaking suspicion you’ll be crazy happy you did it. In the meantime, keep loving ALL the “side effects” from your weight loss and try and tune out the negativity.

    • Oh, I know I’ll be happy when I get it done. As you know, having the excess skin is uncomfortable. I dream of the flat stomach and not having to tuck things into clothing.

      Congrats on your journey and kudos on loving the skin you’re in! πŸ™‚