Shapes and Sizes

I am writing you from the land of humidity and heat indexes. WOW! I had no idea what a true Midwestern/Southern summer could feel like. This past week we had many days over the 100 mark and the swell hell was real. I had a day where I couldn’t even get my compression garment over my knees. That sent me into a tailspin of emotions…for a few minutes, anyway.

This week I started a half day work schedule. In the mornings, I go to the office and in the afternoon I work from home. I thought it would be a breeze. I’ve amped up my walking, took my vitamins and additional B12 but I was surprised at how horrible my body was feeling. Y’all, being amongst the living again is no joke! The constant arm movements, the up and downs to go to meetings, the mental stress and physical stress did me in. We can make the best plans and have the best of intentions but we can never really know how our bodies are going to react during our recoveries.

Along with getting prepared to go back into the office was the process of identifying clothes that would be comfortable and look somewhat professional. Before my skin removal surgery I felt pretty confident in my ability to mask my size and loose skin. I thought for sure that my clothes would fit even better post surgery. Imagine my surprise when I tried on my pants to discover I couldn’t pull them beyond my hips??? Wait, when did I get hips!?!?! The shock was enough to cause concern, I ran through a million reasons why my pants didn’t fit: I have fluid built up, I am swollen, the swelling will go down, I’ll be thinner once I’m cleared to exercise, etc. None of this is true. I am approaching three months post op, so I’ll go a little easy on myself, but my body shape has changed.

I was proud of my straight hips and thighs as it helped me to assimilate with my athletic body that I haven’t seen in 10+ years. I felt good about my lower body but once the loose skin was removed all of a sudden I had a waist, which led to the discovery of hips and “woman curves” that were enough to make me want ALL the ice cream. Can ya tell I’m being a bit dramatic? Yes, I wanted to look feminine, but THIS was not on my radar. I hadn’t even thought about talking “shape” post surgery with my surgeon. Maybe that is a conversation you’d like to consider. Actually, I’d suggest it!

I’m learning to embrace this shape. I’ve started to shop for clothes I might not have worn before, such as high waisted jeans, I might even tuck in my shirt. This is the first year, EVER, that I purchased a two piece swimsuit, not a tankini. It’s about acceptance and loving who you are, where you are. Heck, I know once these high temperatures leave us for fall, I could be a totally different shape and size. Just remember, you are in this for you and being you is better than being anyone else’s definition of you.

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