TLC's Skin Tight: Freedom after Weight Loss
- 02 February 2016
“It makes me feel gross and nasty.”
“I’ve come so far yet still I feel like nothing’s changed.”
“I don’t feel like a woman when I look at myself in the mirror.”
These were the comments from Megan; a woman who was recently featured on TLC’s new series, Skin Tight. At her heaviest Megan weighed 430 pounds. Megan suffered from obesity for several years and became familiar with the idea of a shortened life due to her obesity. She is the first to admit that she had to make changes, and gastric bypass surgery was the answer for her. Or was it?
On Skin Tight, we are able to see the experiences of several individuals who brave multiple surgeries to get lasting results.
The comments above from Megan indicate she was feeling depressed and unhappy with her appearance. The irony of this is that she said these things after her gastric bypass surgery. After she lost 225 pounds. Why is she feeling this way after losing all the weight and accomplishing such a big goal? To some, it may seem unreasonable, but to others it is a reality. It is because of the leftover skin that Megan faces self-image issues each day.
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Skin Tight is a series that walks through the journey of excess skin removal with multiple people. Megan is not alone on this journey. She and others on the show say that the large amount of loose, sagging skin is a continual reminder of how big they used to be. It continues to get in the way of their everyday life. It continues to cause issues when it comes to fitting into clothes. Just because the fat tissue has fallen off does not mean that they are now confident individuals with a healthy body image.
It is crazy to think that there are, quite possibly, well-defined abdominal muscles hiding under the heavy skin folds. Skin Tight points out that it not unusual for patients to lose 50 or more pounds during a full body reconstruction. It is no wonder that the heavy exceess skin brings people to tears, disappointment and frustration when they have worked so hard to lose weight.
The surgeons featured on Skin Tight warn patients that this process is no walk in the park. They even go so far to say that “every surgery we do is going to be more painful than the last one”. With the use of thousands of sutures, multiple surgeries, weeks and months of recovery, patients eventually reap the reward. They feel like they have finally achieved their goal of beating obesity.
Gastric bypass is not the only way to lose weight. Sometimes hours in the gym and a healthy diet are enough to shed the extra pounds. One woman states that she “wants to look like the work I put in”.
Recovery from post-bariatric surgery is intense and can be painful. The patients must be determined and steadfast in reaching their ultimate goal. A strong support system is imperative for these bold people. Their caregivers, family and friends must be able to encourage them through each surgery and assist them while they are restricted to bedrest for many weeks.
Even with all of the above, the look on the patient and his or her family and friends faces at the final reveal is surely worth the pain, sacrifice, and dedication they have endured to get to that point. To finally hear and believe the words, “you look great” is like crossing the finish line of the longest race of their lives.