I used to carry around 7 stone of excess fat. I pried myself off the sofa, got off my excessively fat arse and lost the excess fat through healthy diet and exercise. There were no gastric band or bypass, no faddy diets, no diet pills, simply a matter of calories in vs calories out. The years of carrying around the excess fat has left me with excess skin on every part of my body except for calves and forearms. This is a fact that I am not ashamed of, the benifits of losing the excess fat far outweigh the negative. However the excess skin does affect me physically and mentally every single day. Why am I telling you this? Well today I am really peed off and need to vent.
I want to draw a line under seeing myself as fat and unfit but I can’t. The excess skin is a constant reminded of the person that I used to be. In bad moments I see it or feel it underneath my clothes and think “If I am going to have excess skin I may as well fill it with fat”. Some days I see it and think that I am still morbidly obese and unfit, but a month ago I ran a half marathon in 2 hours 7 minutes. When I run I can feel it uncomfortable jiggling, when I am on my bike it slaps the top of my thigh every single pedal stroke. The thought has crossed my mind to give up cycling because the constant feeling of the excess skin it gets me down but cycling is something that I love doing and makes me feel alive.
I am pretty open about the whole thing. Some people say “but you can’t tell by looking at you” or “I have seen you in lycra and it doesn’t look too bad”. This makes me feel like I am making the whole thing up, that I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but I am not. There are moments when people say this and all I want to strip down to my bra and pants and ask them “this doesn’t look too bad”, but that isn’t really my style.
Why I am I particularly pissed, angry, annoyed and frustrated today? I went to see my GP (who is really supportive) to follow-up about a funding application to the NHS to get the excess skin on my stomach removed. The application has been rejected due to “no exceptionality”. In order to get the funding you have to be like everyone else in your circumstances, but be exception. I have already been to see an NHS plastic surgeon who said that I was an “ideal candidate” but the funding for the surgery has been rejected. This type of surgery is deemed “cosmetic” and “elective” which makes it sound like I want it done just for kicks. I have given myself a healthy future hopefully free of the obesity related diseases but need help.
I don’t know what more I can do. I have kept the bulk of the weight off for the last 3 years, at my lowest weight I was 12st 0.5lb but this was unsustainable weight for me and am currently around 14st and training to cycle from London to Paris in July 2012. For those of you wondering how far that is it is 300 miles in 3 days. In the time since losing the weight I have attended the funeral of 2 family members and 1 close friend, seperated one shoulder, broken collarbone on the other, gone through painful physio and bought a flat, these haven’t been stress free years and I haven’t gone back to my really bad habits. Right now I am peed, tearful and upset (but not eating comfort food).