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All bodies are beautiful, but I need to do this for: Why I am undergoing skin removal surgery

Updated: Mar 24, 2023


This is where I started: 262 pounds, a few months before giving birth in May 2015.


My lowest weight: 131 pounds, after my radical nephrectomy in 2020.


This is where I am today: 165 pounds, packed with muscle in 2023.


Not accounting for weight fluctuations, I’ve lost 130 pounds over a 5-year span. And what comes with that? Pounds and pounds of loose skin—on my stomach, on my thighs, on my arms. A cascade of fabric that gathers around my hips, that I have to shove into my pants and attempt to smooth out so I can feel comfortable. Made worse by a cancer treatment I never wanted and never asked for.


Every time I get dressed, it’s like I’m molding Play-Doh.


Before my cancer treatment, my loose skin wasn't as much of an issue. It was there, and I didn't like it. I had an unforgivable pouch around my pelvic region, and sagging skin around my abdomen that had been evenly distributed around my body. But because I was inflated during surgery, and stitched up while inflated, all the skin gathered to the middle of my stomach. Which meant I was left with this puckered, hanging flesh that I loathed to look at. I tried to be comfortable with it. I tried to love it. I tried to frame it as a part of my cancer survivor journey that I should be proud of.


It didn't work.


So, here’s the news: this week, I had skin removal surgery. An extended abdominoplasty, from hip to hip. I also had a breast lift and reduction, both of which I've wanted since I was a teenager. Extreme asymmetry and ptosis. Although asymmetry and ptosis are common for people with breats, in my case, it was quite abnormal, and has caused issues in my life like:

  • difficulty finding bras that would fit well enough to accommodate one breast that is much, much larger than the other

  • not being able to breastfeed using the left breast because its small size and inability to produce milk

  • having to constantly shift and fix the right breast, even in inappropriate situations, because it was still too big for whatever bra I choose and halfway pop out

  • the asymmetry being so noticeable that people have pointed it out in public and laughed at me.

  • uneven back pain from the weight of the right breast.


I needed to fix whatever happened during puberty for my own lmental health.


What this means: I will stay away from the gym for up to 8 weeks because I like to lift heavy things, and I will not be able to lift heavy things. Obviously, I won’t stay still for the entire time; I plan to create a post-surgery workout program to ease me back into my routine.


Because past trauma has forced me to distrust myself, I continue to question whether I see my body for what it is or if I am making excuses for the lack of leanness. The thing is, though, as my plastic surgeon confirmed, there is minimal fat around my abdomen; you can pull my skin a good 3 to 4 inches away from my body. Yet, I've internalized so many messages about what my body should look like, and what it should look like compared to other bodybuilders, that I can't help but doubt what I know to be true.


Insecurities are super fun.


At the end of the day, the choices we make for our bodies should be based solely on our relationship with our bodies—not how or what other people feel or think. Not their opinions or their judgments.

This is the right decision for me; it doesn’t have to be for you. But if you’re thinking about it, talk to me. I’m here for you. 🧡

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