You know, I am generally a live-and-let-live person. Seriously, who's to say what is right or wrong (aside from the usual baddies - murder, abuse, etc.). But recently I had a conversation with a woman - someone I know from a program that we are both in - not a friend per se, but still in all, someone whom I would like to see happy. She was telling me, in an ashamed/confessional way, that she is scheduled for "mommy makeover" - aka a tummy tuck - at the end of this month.
Now, she has gained quite a bit of weight over the last year and is probably 40-50 pounds overweight. But she is hyper-focusing on her lower abdomen and that lovely flap of extra skin and flab that a lot of us ended up with after having children...and gaining weight. Here's the thing: her upper stomach is big, as is her face and arms - I mean, that's what you look like when you are overweight! But she has fallen for the pitch of a local plastic surgeon who markets his "mommy makeovers" to these insecure mothers of young children. I am just sickened by her trust in this doctor - she honestly believes he has her best interest at heart! Come on - she can't just get a tummy tuck and look good - she will still be fat in other areas of her body! And the capper? When I asked her why she doesn't just try oh, I don't know, say dieting and exercise, her response was that she wants to look good NOW. Well, don't.we.all. When I pointed out that without changing her eating habits, she will regain the fat that the surgeon has removed, she said that she would change the way she eats after the surgery. Riiight. Sorry, but knowing how hard it is to make those changes, I don't buy that.
I'm just so frustrated by this - the woman, who is going for the "quick fix" and not bothering to look at the issues INSIDE that obviously need addressing, and the doctor, who runs the ads in our local newspaper and on TV, preying on the vulnerabilities of women, making them feel less than perfect because their bodies are not the same as before they had children.
Body acceptance is a tricky thing. I mean, if we fully accepted our bodies as they were, probably most of us wouldn't have bothered to try and lose weight - we would have been happy with ourselves, fat and all. So being dissatisfied with our overweight selves and doing something about it is a good thing. As long as what you choose to do is reasonable and healthy. Now, this is coming from someone who, after losing more than 85 pounds, still has saggy baggy upper arms, jiggly thighs and a stomach that is far from flat. I have somewhere in the area of 35 pounds left to lose - and at this point I don't know if losing the rest of the weight will make a difference in my "trouble areas" - but am I willing to go under the knife to "fix" them? NO. You see, I have two shining examples of healthy women who are my inspiration - both Lynn and Lori have lost over 100 pounds, eat healthy, exercise regularly and look fan-freaking-tastic. The acceptance and love that these women have for their bodies is something that I aspire to - after all, it's the only one I have, and it's done all right by me for 46 years now.
I just wish that I could get this across to that woman.