Next Phase of my Journey

For as long as I remember, I’ve been unhappy with my body. As an adolescent, I considered myself too chubby to look cute in the clothes my friends wore, too out of shape keep up with the other kids in gym class, and too unattractive for boys to be interested in me. As I got older, being overweight transitioned into being obese. My already low self esteem got even worse and caused my weight and health to spiral out of control. I could never shop at the same stores as my friends, took what I could get as far as romantic interests were concerned and always sold myself short because I was scared of putting myself out there.

Fast forward to the present, and I’ve completely transformed my life. Besides having lost almost 90 pounds, I’ve found confidence and learned to recognize that I have no reason to underestimate myself and what I can accomplish. I’ve made bold career moves, learned the importance of putting myself first and being an active player in my own life, and have made great strides toward finding balance in my life.

I am extremely proud of myself for how far I’ve come and how much I’ve changed myself, both inside and out. However, there’s still one big thing that is holding me back which is strictly physical, but affects me very much mentally — the extra skin and fat around my abdomen from losing almost 90 pounds.

With clothes on, I look like an average-sized person who is healthy and normal. Without them, you would have a very different impression of my lifestyle. I feel like I’ve worked way too hard to get where I am and still be so uncomfortable in my own skin.

I am self-conscious to the point that thinking about changing in a room full of my girlfriends literally makes me cringe. I am constantly pulling my shirt down for fear of someone getting a glimpse of my stomach. I wear a larger pant size than I’d like to and I shy far away from anything that clings to my body. And, I’m still wearing the same size underwear that I always did, even at 250 pounds.

These issues are things that I’ve been thinking about for a LONG time – pretty much since I hit my goal weight almost 2 years ago. I’ve stayed within the same 10-15 pounds of my goal for the whole time and even when at my goal, my stomach is still very unsightly and a source of extreme anxiety for me.

After hundreds of hours of research and poring over YouTube videos, online forums, blog posts, before and after pictures, and plastic surgeon websites, I’ve decided to move forward with getting plastic surgery on my abdomen to remove the excess skin and fat.

While still in the beginning stages, I’ve had two consultations with plastic surgeons, and have a third set up for next week. The first doctor I saw I loved, but the second one I hated. We’ll see how it goes with the third. This is a major surgery so it will involve a large investment of time, money, and courage. But, in the end, I am confident it will all be worth it.



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89 Comments on Next Phase of my Journey

  1. Liz @ The Shrinking Owl
    May 1, 2013 at 8:59 am (2 years ago)

    This is something I worry about once (not if, WHEN) I hit my goal weight. Thank you for having the courage to post about it and I look forward to reading more about it! I know that it was probably not an easy decision to make, taking into account the money and the fact that you’ll be having SURGERY, but if it’s what you think is best for you, then MORE POWER TO YOU!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm (2 years ago)

      Hey Liz! I definitely think the skin is worth it in terms of the health benefits you get from losing the weight, but it definitely affects me a lot and makes me more self conscious now than I was when I was obese. Ironic!

      Reply
      • Jodi @ Jodi Fat or Not
        May 20, 2013 at 10:15 am (1 year ago)

        I always say that I’m more self conscious of my body now than before I lost 90 pounds….I’m glad to hear it’s not just me!

        Reply
  2. jennifer
    May 1, 2013 at 9:09 am (2 years ago)

    Good for you!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:09 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Jennifer!

      Reply
  3. Melissa
    May 1, 2013 at 9:15 am (2 years ago)

    Good for you for both doing this and being honest about it. I absolutely want to do this when I lose about 20 more pounds (out of a total of about 65). I would love it if you blogged the process. Thank you for your honesty!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Melissa! I am planning to document the entire process pretty closely, so stay tuned! :)

      Reply
  4. Gwen
    May 1, 2013 at 9:40 am (2 years ago)

    Good for you, Beth! You’ve accomplished so much, you deserve to feel your very, very best. Best wishes! xo

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:13 pm (2 years ago)

      Aww thanks Gwen! It means a lot!

      Reply
  5. Jen, a priorfatgirl
    May 1, 2013 at 10:19 am (2 years ago)

    You will NOT regret this, ever. I promise. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made during my healthiness journey.

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 10:21 am (2 years ago)

      I’ve read every blog entry you wrote on the topic 5+ times…. =) Thanks for the encouragement!!

      Reply
  6. Lisa Grimaldi
    May 1, 2013 at 10:21 am (2 years ago)

    It must have taken a lot for you to even write this post on your blog. Your honesty and candor are impressive. You have come so far and deserve to feel the very best you can. Go for it! I have no doubt it will change your life even more than you have changed it already. Keep us posted… maybe even an after picture :)

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 10:23 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Lisa! It was tough to write but it honestly feels great putting it out there. Freeing, in a way. I am planning to document much of the process, and will definitely be including after pictures, and maybe even befores. But saying that now makes me want to throw up a little… =)

      Reply
      • Lisa Grimaldi
        May 1, 2013 at 11:00 am (2 years ago)

        LOL…You are very brave. Keep us posted. Who knows, can you say bikini?

        Reply
        • Beth
          May 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm (2 years ago)

          I’ll never be able to say bikini because of stretch marks, but I am totally fine with that. I’m not looking for perfection – just for normal-ish!

          Reply
  7. Jennifer
    May 1, 2013 at 10:38 am (2 years ago)

    Good for you Beth!! Thanks for sharing and the best of luck to you!!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:14 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Jennifer!

      Reply
  8. Liz
    May 1, 2013 at 11:01 am (2 years ago)

    Good for you! I hope you keep blogging about this part of your journey, it’s something I’ve been thinking about a lot once I get to goal. Your whole journey has been inspiring, I’ll be interested to read about this next step.

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:16 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Liz – I’m definitely planning to blog about the process and keep everyone informed. It’s been so helpful for me to read first hand accounts of others who have gone through this, and I’ll tell you – there’s not THAT much out there!

      Reply
  9. Kristie Simpson
    May 1, 2013 at 11:35 am (2 years ago)

    Yay, Beth! Good for you!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Kristie!

      Reply
  10. Rachel
    May 1, 2013 at 12:02 pm (2 years ago)

    That’s fantastic news! Good for you. I’ve been looking forward to this exciting blog news all week – well-deserved!!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:17 pm (2 years ago)

      Aww thanks Rachel! I’m very scared, but also VERY excited!

      Reply
  11. Allie
    May 1, 2013 at 12:08 pm (2 years ago)

    I think that’s great. I worked in a plastic surgery office for about three years, and I saw so many people who had worked so hard to lose the weight, and still struggled with this aspect. Just remember that you worked your butt off to get to where you are, and this is something that no amount of diet or exercise can help. I actually got implants a few years ago because I had lost so much volume in them from losing 90 pounds as well, so they looked totally deflated. It’s for you, and it will help you to feel on the inside as great as you look on the outside.

    Thanks for your blog – I love reading it :)

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm (2 years ago)

      Aww thanks Allie! I do remind myself of that often. And honestly, I don’t WANT to be skinny. One of the reasons I hated the second doctor was because he made me feel awful about my body and told me that I still had weight to lose. I am happy with my size and being a 10/12 at 5’8″ – I love food and don’t want to give it up just to be a stick! If I weighed what I weighed now my whole life, I would not be having this issue, so I remind myself of that as much as I can. :)

      Reply
  12. Lisa
    May 1, 2013 at 1:04 pm (2 years ago)

    I can relate. After losing 110 pounds I have the same issue around my stomach. Looks ok in clothes but naked I hate the loose skin on my stomach. I plan on doing the same eventually. Decided to wait until I have kids.

    Looking forward to reading about this.

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:20 pm (2 years ago)

      Hey Lisa! Wanting to have kids was one of the major things holding me back from seriously looking into this procedure sooner, but after speaking with several doctors they agree that it is fine for me to do it beforehand. It’s hard to say what the outcome will be when (if) I get pregnant, but I don’t mind if it’s not PERFECT – I just want to feel ok about it.

      Reply
      • Lisa
        May 1, 2013 at 1:31 pm (2 years ago)

        I get that. Good to know you can do it beforehand. My boyfriend and I definitely want kids (probably 2). So it just makes sense to wait for me.

        Reply
  13. Kristina
    May 1, 2013 at 1:40 pm (2 years ago)

    Good luck, Beth!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 1:41 pm (2 years ago)

      Aww thanks Kristina! :)

      Reply
  14. brenda
    May 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm (2 years ago)

    Congratulations on your decision! I’m excited FOR you! You have NEVER come across like you want to be that ‘picture perfect size 0 model’…and what is that, anyway? I think you’re an amazing person (from what I can tell in your blogs) and I think this is a remarkable thing you are doing for yourself! Good luck!!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 1, 2013 at 3:04 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Brenda – Thank you so much! I am reallly excited too and appreciate you saying what you said, because it’s true. I don’t want to be stick thin, I just want to be comfortable and be able to love my body since I’ve worked so hard to get it whether it is. :)

      Reply
  15. Joe
    May 1, 2013 at 8:03 pm (2 years ago)

    It’s nice that you’re blogging about this. There are a lot of people going through this same thing that can benefit from your experiences.

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Joe!

      Reply
  16. Gabrielle Lynas
    May 1, 2013 at 8:05 pm (2 years ago)

    Good for you, Beth! Thanks for being an inspiration for so many!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Aww thanks Gabrielle!

      Reply
  17. Ginger
    May 1, 2013 at 8:15 pm (2 years ago)

    I think that this is awesome. I have a personal friend that had the same issues. No matter what amount of exercising she did the excess fat and skin in her abdominal area would not budge. She had the surgery and looks and feels great! Would do it again in a heartbeat! Love your Blog!!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm (1 year ago)

      Aww thanks Ginger! Glad to hear you had a friend who went through the same thing and couldn’t be happier!!!

      Reply
  18. Joanna Frezzo
    May 1, 2013 at 9:16 pm (2 years ago)

    Good for you Beth! That takes a whole lot of courage. This is also something I’ve thought about over the years. After losing 55 lbs., I still have unsightly saddle bags that won’t go away. No matter how hard I work out, they just won’t budge. This is very frustrating and I’ve started looking into plastic surgery too. So knowing that you’re that courageous…makes me a little less scared. Let us know who you chose!!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Joanna! I know plastic surgery can be SUCH a taboo topic, but there are some things exercise cannot fix and if it affects us to a point that it causes anxiety and allows us to enjoy life less, I don’t think there’s a problem with it. I’ll definitely keep you informed of everything as I go through the process. I’m excited, but also terrified…

      Reply
  19. Joyce Pallman
    May 1, 2013 at 10:13 pm (2 years ago)

    Go for it, Beth! I’ll be cheering for you. And congratulations on losing the weight and keeping it off for 2 years.

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Joyce!! :)

      Reply
  20. Maria
    May 1, 2013 at 11:06 pm (2 years ago)

    Good for you lady!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Maria. I’m feeling really good about the decision! :)

      Reply
  21. Stephanie Swope
    May 2, 2013 at 1:53 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Beth,

    I had an abdominoplasty, among other procedures, to regain my pre-pregnancy body. I think it is one of the best decisions I have ever made. The group of people who have done this are women who have had babies and those who have lost a lot of weight and have the resultant extra skin. I highly recommend you documenting your journey on realself.com (where you can chat with ladies who are going through the exact same thing at the exact same time) and please feel free to email me at any time when you

    are feelingow or questioning your decision.

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Stephanie – thanks so much for your comment. I’ve actually been looking at realself.com and one other forum and doing a ton of reading but haven’t yet shared my story there. It is so great to have so many people who are going through the same thing. I’m glad to hear it’s one of the best decisions you’ve ever made!

      Reply
  22. Becca
    May 2, 2013 at 8:42 am (2 years ago)

    Good for you Beth! I hope your surgery will give you the rest of the confidence that you’re looking for. You’re such an inspiration!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm (1 year ago)

      Aww thank you Becca! I hope so too. :)

      Reply
  23. Kelly
    May 2, 2013 at 9:19 am (2 years ago)

    Thanks so much for sharing the next phase of your journey! I can completely relate to the sentiment. It’s frustrating to have worked so hard to lose weight, and to feel like even though you’re at (or in my case, close to) a “happy weight,” you’re still self-conscious about your body. Good luck, and I’m looking forward to hearing more about the process!

    Reply
  24. CC
    May 2, 2013 at 9:58 am (2 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing with us! I’m so happy for you!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm (1 year ago)

      Aww thanks CC – me too!

      Reply
  25. Mar
    May 2, 2013 at 10:05 am (2 years ago)

    It’s been a lot of fun following your journey over the past couple of years. I’m sure this is going to be just as inspirational as the other events have been. Kudos to you Beth for having the guts to both do it and share it with us!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:50 pm (1 year ago)

      Aw thanks Mar! Glad you’ve stuck around! :)

      Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Dena!

      Reply
  26. Elsa Barbi
    May 2, 2013 at 11:34 am (2 years ago)

    Happy Birthday, Merry Christmas, Happy Valentines, Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Halloween, and even Happy Labor Day…YOU DESERVE IT!!! MUAH!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Elsa! I think I deserve it, too. :)

      Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Ashley! Meeeee too. :)

      Reply
  27. @ShannonAMay
    May 2, 2013 at 12:36 pm (2 years ago)

    Best of luck, Beth! Excited for you and this next phase. :)

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Shannon. Me too!!!

      Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm (1 year ago)

      Me too!

      Reply
  28. cory
    May 2, 2013 at 1:35 pm (1 year ago)

    So proud of you Beth! I’m so happy to hear you’re taking this bold step to make yourself feel even more confident – you deserve it!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Cory! :)

      Reply
  29. Alexis
    May 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm (1 year ago)

    I’m new to your blog, but I’m so proud of you for going forward with this procedure! I am working on losing 170 pounds (56 down!) and know that I will most likely need/want skin removal surgery somewhere down the line. I’ve started saving money to help with the cost because I know it will be expensive. I hope you continue to post about the process and share your experience! Good luck and congratulations on your amazing progress!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:52 pm (1 year ago)

      Hey Alexis – congrats to you on 56 lbs – that is NO small feat! It is definitely expensive – and very smart that you’re starting to save now – but no amount of money can be too much for peace of mind and self confidence. :)

      Reply
  30. Lynette
    May 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm (1 year ago)

    Beth ~ Thank you for sharing this with us. I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to make but I’m so happy for you. I wish you all the best with this new journey you’re taking and hope it all works out great. Keep us posted on your progress! ♥

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 2, 2013 at 4:53 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks Lynette! I’m glad to be sharing. :) I’ll definitely keep you posted!

      Reply
  31. Stephanie
    May 2, 2013 at 6:22 pm (1 year ago)

    Hi again – I realized I had a typo in my post, above – I meant to say to feel free to contact me at any time, if you are feeling low or questioning your decision (after the surgery it can be an emotional roller coaster, which is why it’s nice to join a forum on realself.com, so you can chat with ladies who are the same post op day you are and going through similar things.)
    ~S

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm (1 year ago)

      Thanks for the offer Stephanie! I definitely will. If there’s anything you found out afterwards that you wished you knew going into the surgery, please let me know! I’ve done a ton of research/background on it, so am pretty well versed, but would love any details you can think of that you’d only find out first hand!

      Reply
  32. Stephanie
    May 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm (1 year ago)

    Oops, one more thing – I’ve heard great things about Dr. Adam Tattelbaum in Rockville, MD – you can actually see before and after pics of certain surgeons on realself.com and I was really impressed with his pics. Just an idea – that’s somewhat near you, right?

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 7, 2013 at 4:37 pm (1 year ago)

      I have heard good things about him, and it’s PRETTY close but I’m kind of looking to go to a downtown doctor, since I live in DC and just in case anything happens it will be easy to get back to.

      Reply
  33. Grace
    May 3, 2013 at 7:20 am (1 year ago)

    Hello there, I just started following you, and the more I read, the more I love what I’m reading :) Good for you! I wish you all the luck in the world as you start this next journey! I know it’s scary and exciting all at the same time! I recently had one ps consultation and have another next week! Looking forward to hearing how this journey goes for you!!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm (1 year ago)

      Aww thank you Grace! Sounds like we are going through something similar – feel free to email me if you want to chat all things PS/weight loss! :)

      Reply
  34. robin
    May 3, 2013 at 1:38 pm (1 year ago)

    Good for you. Why on earth wouldnt you do it? Youve come so far, its just the next step. Cant wait for you to have it done and out of the way!!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 7, 2013 at 4:39 pm (1 year ago)

      Aww thanks Robin! I’ve been thinking the saaaaaaame thing!

      Reply
  35. Mia
    May 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm (1 year ago)

    I had this done 5 years ago. I was overweight in my late teens and early 20′s. (50+ pounds more than what I weigh now.) Got stretch marks on my stomach. Then, at age 32, I had twins! 7 pounds each. My stomach was just awful even after loosing weight (getting down into the 140′s on my 5’8″ frame) and working out regularly.

    I saved my money for several years and had it done with WONDERFUL results!! They did have to fix my actual abdominal muscles which was hard to recover from. I slept in a lazy boy chair for weeks because it hurt to lay flat.

    Now I have a stomach I could wear a bikini with (if not for these thighs!!). I had a little work done on my chest too since I was under. LOVE IT! Worth it!!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 7, 2013 at 4:41 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Mia! Thanks for your note – glad to hear you got this done with amazing results! I have a lot of stretch marks, so will never be bikini ready, but I just want to be comfortable and not have all this extra stuff hanging around!

      I was able to find a place that takes Care Credit, which is 0% APR if paid off in full in 12 months. Between that and savings, I think that’s the route I’m going to go, but will definitely keep you posted once everything is set!

      Reply
  36. Laura
    May 3, 2013 at 8:47 pm (1 year ago)

    If my insurance would pay for it, I’d have it done. Unfortunately, it’s considered elective surgery – so can’t.

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 7, 2013 at 4:42 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Laura – Yeaaaa it’s really hard to get insurance to pay for it. You have to have lost over 100 lbs, have documentation of skin rashes/irritation, and have maintained the loss for over 6 months. Even with all those things, most won’t cover it. I know it’s a big investment of money that i don’t necessarily have to spend, but the peace of mind is worth it to me!

      Reply
  37. Lorri
    May 4, 2013 at 3:48 pm (1 year ago)

    So I feel like this is a little weird… but I’m going to tell you anyway! I’m a nurse and when I was in nursing school one of the surgeries I got to watch was of a lady that had lost a ton of weight and was having extra skin removed. The part they removed weighed almost 30 lbs! Obviously I have no idea how recovery was or anything about this woman, but I was just so excited for her! Good luck, it sounds so exciting!

    Thanks for your inspiration, I love getting encouragement from your blog. I love Weight Watchers and how it has helped me change my eating habits even when I’m not trying to lose weight!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Lorri! 30 lbs of extra skin!? Holy crap!! I don’t think I’ll have quite that much, but I can’t even imagine how freeing it’s going to feel to have what amount I do have gone. I cannot WAIT! And thanks so much for your kind words – glad you are enjoying the blog!

      Reply
  38. Ang
    May 7, 2013 at 4:14 pm (1 year ago)

    My cousin had surgery to remove excess skin from her arms, legs, and stomach after losing 150 lbs. She has no regrets and looks great! :) Best of luck to you!

    Reply
    • Beth
      May 7, 2013 at 4:43 pm (1 year ago)

      Wowza – 150 lbs is no joke! Glad to hear she looks and feels fabulous and is happy with her decision – I’m hoping for the same result!!

      Reply
  39. Jennifer
    May 24, 2013 at 2:34 pm (1 year ago)

    Thank you for posting about this, Beth! I am still pretty far from my goal weight, but I do wonder sometimes how I’ll feel about that loose skin. Still, as you said, a healthy body with extra skin is better than being big & unhealthy. I look forward to hearing more about this process. Congrats on making such a big decision!

    Reply
  40. Malou
    July 24, 2013 at 3:49 am (1 year ago)

    Hi Beth , Congratulation .Good for you. You’ve accomplished so much, you deserve to feel your very best. Best wishes! Thanks for sharing !!

    Reply

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  1. [...] you SO MUCH for your supportive comments on yesterday’s post announcing my decision to move forward with plastic surgery on my abdomen. It was a little terrifying to write, but also oddly freeing to put it all out there. You guys are [...]

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