Enjoy the Trophies You’ve Earned

Most people might think it a bit odd to raise your excess skin onto a podium and consider it a trophy, but that’s exactly what it is. The excess skin you see developing on your body is common after extreme weight loss and often occurs after bariatric surgery, dieting or pregnancy. Our skin is much like a rubber band inasmuch as it can only stretch a certain amount. Once it reaches the elastic limit, the skin doesn’t snap back like it once did. As time goes on, depending on your age and genetics, the excess skin may be minimized, however, it is likely that there will always be some remaining.

Bariatric patients sometimes find themselves in a situation where, despite what their scale tells them, they do not feel like they have made progress. Similarly, patients who may be having body image issues will see their excess skin as yet another failure. It’s time to change that. The excess skin is one of the most visible and measurable quantifiers of success – and should be celebrated.

That’s not to say that, if appropriate and safe, a bariatric patient can’t correct the excess skin through cosmetic surgery – that is a personal choice to be made with your healthcare professionals. Rather, while it’s there, it should be treated as a tangible sign of progress. In bariatric surgery, as in life, we will always have signs, small or large, that we don’t always recognize as positive. But by simply re-training the way we think, and the way we look at ourselves, we can not only be happier, but more motivated for further success.

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Back From Camp!

For the past five summers I have had the opportunity to be a camp counselor at Camp McCumber Type 1 Diabetes camp.