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Excess Skin

You Are Not Alone


I’m not changing the title of this blog because this is what I started today with. I’m usually not one to feel sorry for myself, but let’s be honest here, as far as the “Family” and “Friends” department goes, I’ve been let down a lot lately.

I don’t talk much about Family drama, it’s something that has been a part of my life since I was a little girl, but lately I have decided that my family are the people I choose to surround myself with and that I choose to love. It’s been a long journey for me coming to that realization, but I’ve gotten there.

I am a firm believe that when you put good and positive energy into your life good and positive energy come out of it. It just seems like the moment I committed to what I wanted to do and what I was going to do right now, things just started happening and moving so fast and I am so excited.

So let me tell you a little about my Day. It wasn’t that I hadn’t heard of the OAC Convention up until yesterday or anything, I just really didn’t think that me going was in the cards. Just the hotel room, flight and registration are costing nearly $1200. But as usual, things just sort of fall into place for me sometimes and Tom decided to help me fund part of the trip and I’m currently talking to SWMC to see if they will consider Sponsoring part of the cost of me going, so we’ll see what happens. I have a month to figure the rest out. LOL!

What I do know is that after my friend Ashli was through speaking with Stephanie at the OAC she was completely convinced that I needed to attend this Convention, so we’re moving things around to make it happen.

Next thing I know I’ve got hotel reservations, a plane reservation and my OAC registration is complete and I’m going to be gone for an entire MONTH between going to Dallas and going to Oakland… WHAT?!? It’s all good though, I’m totally excited about this and I feel like it’s a door opening for me in a direction that I want to go.

One of the things I have found myself passionate about this year during the Presidential Election is how my vote is going to affect Health Care and how whoever I put in office is going to decide to treat obesity in health care. This is a pretty big deal to me as a voter this year. So part of the OAC conference is going to be an advocacy program where they teach you how to advocate for obesity issues with your state legislature and such, and that coupled with a bunch of AMAZING lectures on topic so close to home for me, I’m just  so ready for this.

I’m so excited to meet other WLS people and I just sort of feel in a way like this is a little bit of my coming out party. I am so close to my Goal weight, this convention is literally a week after my 2 year anniversary of my Gastric Bypass on 10-19-2010.

I think I need to head over to the TT Forums and peak my head in and see if anyone else there is going. Might be an opportunity for me to make new friends!  Today was one of those days where I was having to remind myself that I’m not alone and that I am surrounded by alot of people that love and care about me, it just sucks sometimes that they are so far away. Ashli being in Kansas City and Debby being in San Jose just sucks, my two best friends in the entire world and I don’t see them nearly enough. But today just when I was struggling with that feeling, here comes this great news about this great opportunity to meet  bunch of new people! I am sooOOOO excited about this Convention!

Exercise: I left the house today intending to take a nice long walk and spend some time with my Father. It just seemed like there has been a lot I hadn’t got to share with him yet since I hadn’t been outdoors exercising yet since my last skin removal surgery on 8-2-12. I got about a mile and half out and I just couldn’t take it anymore, I had to run a bit. So I let myself run the Loop in the center of town here which is about 1.5 miles doing interval runs where I ran for one song and walked for another. My total for the day was 5.39 miles with an average pace of 15:30 min/mi and a max pace for 4:59min/mi during my run times. For those interested in distance that’s an average pace of 3.87mi/hr and a max pace of 12.03 mi/hr when I’m actually running. This is a far cry from my 5 hour miles I was getting pre skin removal Op #2 but I’ll get back there. Likely just in time to have surgery #3 but that’s okay, it’s in the plan. I will say that running post skin removal is amazing and I really just can’t wait to see what my body feels like after I get this skin of my thighs now.


  • Breakfast: Coffee & Protein Bar
  • Lunch: Multigrain Lean Pocket
  • Dinner: Red Lobster!
  • Snack: Popchips & Humus
Please remember this probably would not be a good food selection at all if you are a post bariatric surgery patient who avoids carbs and breads. I added some whole and multigrains back into my diet per the suggestion of my Nutritionist based on how much I exercise.

Red Lobster Dinning Tip! When I eat at Red Lobster I never order a meal! I always pick a protein that I can add on to someone else’s meal, like tonight I chose the $8.99 Snow Crab Leg addition to Jason’s Steak and Shrimp.  I ordered a Garden Salad with their lowcal raspberry vinaigrette dressing along with some blue cheese dressing on the side. I mix about ½ Tablespoon of both together and use that on my salad along with some ground pepper. I stole a bite or two of Jason’s steak, passed on his way too buttery looking shrimp, and snagged a couple of the bacon wrapped scallops off the appetizer he ordered. Oh, I also brought home the leftovers, about 2 crab legs, and the other to scallops that were left on the appetizer plate. Lunch tomorrow sounds like a crab and scallop taco! Gotta use those leftovers post WLS!


A Wow Moment in the Gym


When I first started this blog my intention was to be brutally honest with people out there about some of the parts of the weight loss journey that people don’t talk about.

As I started getting deeper and deeper into the journey myself I started to realize why people don’t talk about some of these things honestly and openly; because they are embarrassing. Because they are things that we don’t particularly like to admit are issues. Honestly before my most recent surgery, I would not even consider showing before and after pictures of my surgeries to my Family and Friends. But once I had this last surgery and I could see the difference I was a lot more open to sharing that with those close to me so that they could see too. Even now though, I can’t imagine sharing those photos with the whole world.

Excess skin is something I don’t think gets talked about nearly enough and it is one of the toughest mental challenges I faced during my weight loss journey, worryingly about how I was going to get the skin removed from my body so that I could move forward with my life was a big issue for me.

So far to date I have had two of three, possibly four reconstructive plastic surgeries to fix my body due to excess skin after massive rapid weight loss. I can tell you that today I feel a lot better about my body, but a year ago, I was feeling like I was 35 going on 85 with what I was seeing in the mirror. The only thing worse than looking in the mirror and see that “fat girl” looking back at me… was looking in the mirror and seeing the remnants of her looking back and me and realizing just how much I resented what I had done to myself. Seeing that reflection in the mirror was honestly more deflating to my ego than what I saw when I weighted 420lbs. At 420lbs I could say, I had a horrible childhood and I survived it, and who are you to judge me if I turn to food to make me feel better, I am damn well entitled to after what I had to go through.” At 195lbs with (so far to date) 13lbs+ of JUST skin hanging off me, my internal monologue was much different. It went more like… “No matter what I do, what I accomplish or how hard I try, there is always some part of how much some people damaged me left behind.” It was the moment that I first heard those thoughts in my head that I decided that I would do whatever it took get that skin cut off me.

So in the gym on Monday I am on the Elliptical, and I realize that I’m moving along quite nicely and getting a good workout and suddenly I think to myself, “I wonder if I can let go and just balance on this thing.” I have no clue what possessed me to try, I have no idea what made me think that it would be easier after my surgery, but I let go of those bars and there I was, running in place on an Elliptical.  For a moment, just the fact that I was doing that was a huge adrenalin rush. But suddenly something else occurred to me. Here I was, running in place on and Elliptical, arms swinging freely beside me and… what.. the… gosh! My stomach wasn’t jiggling. My belly wasn’t shaking. My boobs were not bouncing all over the place and my arms were not swinging around like I was a bat. Suddenly I just wanted to go faster and faster. Next thing I knew my 33 minute “Weight Loss Workout” program on the Elliptical was over. But I wasn’t done yet, the rush and the high I was on was a little too amazing to stop. So I reset the workout to do a second time. Not that that is at all unusual for me mind you. I usually do two Elliptical Workout Programs and one 30 Minutes Interval Running on a Treadmill or vice-a-versa on a normal day for my Cardio workout but so far last week was my first week back in the gym post op skin removal surgery #2, so bumping it up to an hour on Monday was a pretty big deal to me. I was quite sore Monday night and Tuesday morning, we’ll see how I feel in the gym today though. I plan on doing a 33 minute Elliptical workout program with interval resistance and then another 33 minutes on a Treadmill for a nice paced walk. Then I’ll head home to get the boys and take them to the dog park, and by boys, I mean those two furry four legged boys of mine.

So between this WOW Moment in the Gym and my WOW Moment yesterday when Chris Powell responded to my Letter, Getting the first Sponsor on our Fundraiser, it is all so exciting I just can’t take it.  Oh! On a funny note, I had Chinese food last night and once again retained my fortune while giving away my cookie.  “You need a new environment. Go on Vacation.” I guess it is a really good thing we have that San Fran / Oakland Trip coming up. I’m going to get to see some very special people in my life for the first time since I lost all my weight, I can’t wait to take Alex and his stroller on a jog with me! I can’t wait to drag all of the Hatcher Family out on walks. I can’t wait to sneak away for a few days at meet Heather’s friend Rachel, and I can’t wait to find a couple of days to go Visit Tom and I’m totally jazzed about Introducing Heather to California San Fran / Oakland / San Louis Obispo Style. So far on my to list is a day in San Louis Obispo, and definitely we want to sign up for the Alcatraz Tour because I just can’t be in San Francisco again and NOT go to Alcatraz. But that’s a story for another day, right now I need a few hours of sleep before I get up and head to the gym… oh the hours I keep and how the will change when I have a job that doesn’t allow me to be nocturnal anymore.


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Author: Pandora Williams

Author of Desperately Seeking Slender

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