Confidence During Summer Months as a Bariatric Patient
Summertime is here, which means it is hot hot hot! As someone who has lived morbidly obese for most of my life, I can tell you I have spent most of my life dreading these months. The thought of wearing shorts has always given me anxiety. I have always been so self-conscious about the way I look, no matter how big or small I am. After bariatric surgery, it is hard to turn that mindset off. You might have dropped over 100 pounds, but there is a chance you will still tell yourself that you should not wear shorts or a bikini. When we spend our entire lives believing a certain way, it is hard to break that cycle.
Bariatric surgery might boost your confidence, but for some people they still struggle with it. Even though you might not be as overweight, there might be other body insecurities you develop. For example, after I lost 160 pounds, I had significant loose skin, especially in my arms. I was extremely insecure about wearing tank tops for a while. It was really hard for me to enjoy my new body because I was so obsessed with my loose skin. You would think that after losing as much weight as I did, I would be rocking some short shorts, but that just was not the case for me.
I absolutely hate how long I lived with that mindset. I always told myself I did not look good enough, whether it was the cellulite on my legs or the loose skin on my arms. I would literally wear long sleeves and pants in 90-degree weather. I was miserable. I could not just be comfortable in my own skin when I went out and it made it to where I did not enjoy spending time with family and friends during the hot months. I preferred winter time where I could still cover my body and all my insecurities. This is just not a way to live.
It took me years to finally accept my body. Perhaps it just happened as I matured and realized life was too short to live with so many insecurities, but I finally got to the point where I could not handle the way my brain looked at life. It takes a while after bariatric surgery to get comfortable in your own skin. I encourage you to truly embrace your body at every stage of this journey. Do not wait until you hit your “perfect weight” before you put on that bikini. You are beautiful no matter your size and you do not need to feel like you need to cover up. After all, we think people care so much more than they actually do. Chances are people at the pool or the beach are focused on other things. They do not care what you are wearing. It is so important that you are comfortable and that you enjoy your life. Confidence is such a beautiful thing and people naturally are attracted to it. You do not have to look a certain way or be a certain size to wear a bikini or shorts.
As a bariatric patient, I encourage you to focus on the mental side of this journey and work on your body image and confidence. Stop telling yourself that you are not worthy because you do not look like someone else. Do not be like me and wait years to embrace your body. You do not want to be miserable sitting by the pool in the heat. Enjoy this time of the year and get outside. Embrace your curves and own your stretch marks, scars and loose skin. They are your battle wounds and they make you who you are. So, get out there and rock those short shorts, gorgeous!
- Kimberly H.