Weight is a sensitive subject that a lot of people don’t like to talk about. While some people might monitor their weight gain and loss on a daily basis, others may choose to ignore the scale entirely. This can be such a delicate subject that most people will hide their weight loss and gain journeys from their friends and family, choosing to keep to themselves as much as possible.
So what happens when someone works towards a goal and loses over 100 pounds? Most people will congratulate them and ask how they did it. They will talk about exercise and diet and routines, but they won’t talk about their bodies. The reason is shocking, and Elna Baker has decided to share her story with the world. And it is inspiring.
She released these photographs of the shape her body took after massive weight loss. The biggest thing that she didn’t expect was the excess skin. Yes, she was proud that she had accomplished her goal to lose the weight, but now she had a constant reminder that seemed to never leave her side. All of the lotions, workouts, and ointments couldn’t help the skin that now hung loosely around her body. It was something that she never expected.
I’d imagined that losing the weight would be like that scene in The Little Mermaid where Ariel holds her new legs above her head, staring at them in disbelief.
That was not the case, and so she decided on plastic surgery to remove the excess skin. She had pictures taken to document her journey. They are nearly ten years old now, but looking at them brings back all of those feelings of insecurity and helplessness.
She had four procedures to help her body become the body she felt that she deserved after all of her hard work. She got breast implants to match the size that they were before the weight loss, a body lift, skin removal from her torso and skin removal from her thighs. The scars will always be there as a reminder of the brave journey she decided to take, and the extra skin will never be completely gone, but the healing process has made her stronger.
The “after” picture that she used in this article was after her surgeries, but still nearly 10 years ago. She declined to take newer pictures when she decided to tell the world about her story. Striving to love your body, and striving to improve your body are two different things. You can do both at once, but it takes more strength to look in the mirror and love yourself for who you are.
The truth is, I genuinely think everyone should accept themselves — everyone, except for me. This is the disease I am still trying to overcome.
This is a powerful message that I think everyone should hear. Working towards being happy with yourself, your body, and who you are as a person is a long and difficult journey, and she has displayed hers in a very relatable way. Look in the mirror. Love yourself. Appreciate the journey.
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