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Old 04-27-2017, 01:14 PM   #1
Carly
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Body Image

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever have a healthy relationship with my body image. It seems like one of the earliest issues I struggled with- well before the age of 10 years old- and seems like I still haven't reached a place where I see myself for the size I am or am happy with what I see in the mirror.

I kid you not- today I have seen myself and thought "look at my pudgy stomach" only hours later to see my reflection and think "you look old, your arms are scrawny- people probably think you aren't healthy."

I know I have legitimate issues with excess, hanging skin on my stomach, upper arms and upper thighs, but I wonder if I will ever see myself as I am and if I do, will I be happy with it. Will I always want to "fix" things. I wonder if I really had all the excess skin taken off... would I be happy? Would I finally think I looked like I always wanted to?
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JUDDD changed my life. It transformed my health, gave me freedom and restored my confidence.

JUDDD is very simple, very livable and very flexible. JUDDD allows weight loss and life to happen simultaneously.

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Old 04-27-2017, 01:40 PM   #2
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I'm sorry your feeling this way . I know I feel the same way about my stretch marks on my stomach (4 kids). No, matter how much weight I lose or what size I am, I will never like how I look naked . Unfortunatly, I dont think we are alone in these feelings.

You are such an inspiration to so many people for your weight loss success and perseverance at keeping it off in maintenance. Please keep that in mind when your thinking those types of thoughts. Take care with yourself, your a special person.
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:40 PM   #3
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Carly, I generally am a huge supporter of plastic surgery - e.g. the thinking of 'If there's something about yourself you don't like, and you can feel happier/more confident afterwards, go for it!' I have never had plastic surgery and likely never will. But that's the way I have always thought. Most people I know in real life who have had a procedure don't regret it at all and would do it again - it also hasn't led to a slippery-slope where they keep getting stuff done.

But your body image issues do sound like they're deeper, more endemic (like you said, you've been struggling with them for 30+ years). It's not like you're looking in the mirror and thinking "I look great, I just wish I could get my arms done to feel better."

I think we all have that horribly mean and critical voice inside ourselves. It is really hard to stamp out. My mom (who is definitely not perfect, and a huge reason I have struggled with body image myself), did give me great advice once. She said "Talk to yourself, and treat yourself, as if you were your own beloved little sister. Be kind and good to yourself." I really try to.

Have you considered counselling to help you sort through these feelings?
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:49 PM   #4
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Carly,

I'm so sorry to hear you feel that way.

I've been listening to free podcasts from Marc David at The Institute for the Psychology of Eating in an effort to turn around my own body image struggles. I find them helpful (though I'm far from where I would like to be). Someone posted awhile back, I think in the JUDDD forum, about going through his 12 week course, which prompted me to look up his podcasts. It would be interesting to hear whether the person who posted was helped by the work.

In Marc's books, he references some amazing science about how our bodies mount a stress response to our negative views of it, impacting general health, our metabolism (including how energetic we feel), how much nutrition we extract from our food, how we heal, etc. I can't say I've come to terms with my own issues, but his work has provided me with practices to work on.

I hope you find a path that resonates for you.

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Old 04-27-2017, 01:55 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carly View Post
Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever have a healthy relationship with my body image. It seems like one of the earliest issues I struggled with- well before the age of 10 years old- and seems like I still haven't reached a place where I see myself for the size I am or am happy with what I see in the mirror.

I kid you not- today I have seen myself and thought "look at my pudgy stomach" only hours later to see my reflection and think "you look old, your arms are scrawny- people probably think you aren't healthy."

I know I have legitimate issues with excess, hanging skin on my stomach, upper arms and upper thighs, but I wonder if I will ever see myself as I am and if I do, will I be happy with it. Will I always want to "fix" things. I wonder if I really had all the excess skin taken off... would I be happy? Would I finally think I looked like I always wanted to?
I think most of us that have been overweight deal with this. It is so difficult to be happy in the moment with what we have. I just posted a picture of myself back in August of 2014 in the reset thread. I remember being so happy that day. I had gotten a job I liked the month before, was dating, riding motorcycles, people thought I was 15 years younger than I was at the time. I had a tummy tuck in 2008 and had rock hard abs (my surgeons words). I look at the picture now and appreciate what I had then. But in August 2014? I was super self conscious of the looser skin on my thighs and upper arms. What I would give to look like that today. I think we need to proactively do affirmations/actions to accept what we look like in the moment..it takes a lot of work. I'm sad for me and so many women that find it difficult to embrace our bodies 100%.

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Old 04-27-2017, 02:07 PM   #6
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The not looking "good enough" voice doesn't come from inside. Body-shaming is endemic in the USA, especially aimed at women. It's the go-to weapon for put-downs by abusers and bullies. It always works, because it plays on the fear it creates. And no one can ever look "good enough."

Mirrors lie. I'm sure you've all heard the stories about anorexia sufferers who look at themselves and see fat. The secret is, all of us see what they fear to see.

As you get older you realize what a waste of time it is to worry about how other people see you, and that people who care about such things are not your friends. Fortunately, most people don't care.

Moral of the story: Enjoy presenting the face and body you want to the world for yourself, as an expression of who you are. Knock yourself out: hair-dye, make-up, surgery, whatever. But recognize that feeling bad about who you are because you don't meet impossible criteria is actually a well-known unhealthy thought that isn't cured by changing your looks but rather by personal growth and understanding.
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Old 04-27-2017, 02:13 PM   #7
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Old 04-28-2017, 05:46 AM   #8
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Aw ladies... thanks! You are all the best. I think sometimes it weighs on my mind more then at other times. I do think that a big part of what really bothers me is the loose skin, but I think there may always be a part of me that just has trouble seeing myself accurately.

I think it's better now than it was in the past, but I think I still have work to do. I don't doubt the effect the media has on me/ us, when you only or almost only see women on TV who have what appear to be perfect bodies.
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JUDDD changed my life. It transformed my health, gave me freedom and restored my confidence.

JUDDD is very simple, very livable and very flexible. JUDDD allows weight loss and life to happen simultaneously.

See my before and after pictures
http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/we...ore-after.html
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Old 04-28-2017, 01:18 PM   #9
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Carly,
I think we all at some point have felt that way.
You must look at self deep inside and see and know how far you have come.
You are doing great, and I bet soon in the furture you will see the you.
I have always loved me.and I like me too.
But i must say it was the weight I did nt like like or felt. But I still loved me. Still look in mirrior and say>Dam Janet u look great and aging so good.Ha.
Start your day off girls>No matter what the mirror saids u tell it u look great and will make your goals and to lose weight for health. That is the most importion part health. U can be what u want. Might not be as tight and toned but better then we were when un healthy.I will not see or be what i was young but I still feel like me.and looking good.ha{So Janet saids.
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Old 04-29-2017, 06:29 AM   #10
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Thanks Janet
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JUDDD changed my life. It transformed my health, gave me freedom and restored my confidence.

JUDDD is very simple, very livable and very flexible. JUDDD allows weight loss and life to happen simultaneously.

See my before and after pictures
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Old 05-01-2017, 06:47 AM   #11
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Struggling with this myself lately. I had thought that I'd accepted the the damage that being overweight has caused my body. I knew nothing but surgery could fix it and since I was never going to want/ afford to have surgery I was ok with it......so imagine my surprise when I've been feeling low or depressed on how bad my thighs look with the cellulite and excess skin! I even started trying to fascia blast( with a knock off blaster) to see if that would help the appearance at all. And although I do want to be strong....my main reason for beginning to lift heavy weights was in hopes that it would help my thighs look better. idk even if I do ever lose all the weight if I'll ever be completely happy with myself and when you think about how hard you've worked to get where you are that's disappointing.
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlo1125 View Post
Struggling with this myself lately. I had thought that I'd accepted the the damage that being overweight has caused my body. I knew nothing but surgery could fix it and since I was never going to want/ afford to have surgery I was ok with it......so imagine my surprise when I've been feeling low or depressed on how bad my thighs look with the cellulite and excess skin! I even started trying to fascia blast( with a knock off blaster) to see if that would help the appearance at all. And although I do want to be strong....my main reason for beginning to lift heavy weights was in hopes that it would help my thighs look better. idk even if I do ever lose all the weight if I'll ever be completely happy with myself and when you think about how hard you've worked to get where you are that's disappointing.
It is disappointing, but I feel like I should be a lot more accepting of it than I am. There is no doubt that I'm healthier and look million times better (in clothes), but I'd love to where sleeveless tops or shorts and feel comfortable, but I'm not sure it will ever happen. I don't even own a single pair of shorts
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JUDDD changed my life. It transformed my health, gave me freedom and restored my confidence.

JUDDD is very simple, very livable and very flexible. JUDDD allows weight loss and life to happen simultaneously.

See my before and after pictures
http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/we...ore-after.html
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:59 AM   #13
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I have this thing where I seem to get amnesia and forget how my legs look in shorts or short dresses. I have some and I'll put them on thinking, this is cute, I'll wear it today. Then I go to the mirror, I like my reflection from the front, turn around , see the backs of my legs, and nope! Not doing it, comes straight off however when I first moved to NJ and knew no one I found myself leaving the house in shorts normally reserved for pj's because they were too short. I just didn't care as much because I knew I wouldn't be running into anyone I knew! Now that I've been here a year and a half and know more people I don't think I'll be making the same choices Carly, you wouldn't wear shorts or tank tops on vacation? If I do wear shorts it's almost always Bermuda length to the knee, even though I hate my calves ( they even have loose skin and they jiggle when I wAlk ) I'm willing to show them so I'm not completely overheated.

Sigh it would be nice to get to a place of complete self acceptance but I'm not sure it's possible for me either.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:51 AM   #14
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Quote:
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I have this thing where I seem to get amnesia and forget how my legs look in shorts or short dresses. I have some and I'll put them on thinking, this is cute, I'll wear it today. Then I go to the mirror, I like my reflection from the front, turn around , see the backs of my legs, and nope! Not doing it, comes straight off however when I first moved to NJ and knew no one I found myself leaving the house in shorts normally reserved for pj's because they were too short. I just didn't care as much because I knew I wouldn't be running into anyone I knew! Now that I've been here a year and a half and know more people I don't think I'll be making the same choices Carly, you wouldn't wear shorts or tank tops on vacation? If I do wear shorts it's almost always Bermuda length to the knee, even though I hate my calves ( they even have loose skin and they jiggle when I wAlk ) I'm willing to show them so I'm not completely overheated.

Sigh it would be nice to get to a place of complete self acceptance but I'm not sure it's possible for me either.
If I'm sweltering on a vacation, I might take my shrug off and wear sleeveless, but I don't own a single pair of shorts, so nope.

When I wear a bathing suit I wear skirts or cover-ups that come mid thigh, but that's just for the beach.
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JUDDD changed my life. It transformed my health, gave me freedom and restored my confidence.

JUDDD is very simple, very livable and very flexible. JUDDD allows weight loss and life to happen simultaneously.

See my before and after pictures
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Old 05-01-2017, 07:49 PM   #15
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If you truly hate something about your present body condition, ie. hanging skin
from arms (nothing will help except surgery) sagging breasts, hanging skin from
shrinking double chin. Stomach flap that's hanging down (exercise won't help),
skin excess on eyelids etc. Work on getting these things fixed.

I regret that I did not do the breast surgery when I was in my fifties.
By the time I knew I had made a mistake, it was too late, I was not a good
candidate for surgery.

You can diet and exercise, have your eating under control, but if you cannot
fix it, then get it done.
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbo View Post
If you truly hate something about your present body condition, ie. hanging skin
from arms (nothing will help except surgery) sagging breasts, hanging skin from
shrinking double chin. Stomach flap that's hanging down (exercise won't help),
skin excess on eyelids etc. Work on getting these things fixed.

I regret that I did not do the breast surgery when I was in my fifties.
By the time I knew I had made a mistake, it was too late, I was not a good
candidate for surgery.

You can diet and exercise, have your eating under control, but if you cannot
fix it, then get it done.
Thanks Barbo. I'm more sure every day that I will have my arms done. I'm going to look around and get some consults when time allows.
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JUDDD changed my life. It transformed my health, gave me freedom and restored my confidence.

JUDDD is very simple, very livable and very flexible. JUDDD allows weight loss and life to happen simultaneously.

See my before and after pictures
http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/we...ore-after.html
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:55 AM   #17
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I feel the same way about my body, I have a lot of loose saggy skin My husband says I look fine which I'm very thankful for and surgery isn't an option so I will just try not to worry about it and somehow try to love my body as it is, I know better said than done right? I'm going to try to think of it like this, would I rather be 200 pounds and uncomfortable or 130 pounds with loose skin? We are healthy and that's the most important thing and Carly you look just fine!!!
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:01 AM   #18
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Thanks Brenda. I do know that obviously being healthier is much more important than vanity, but I'll admit- there are days it bothers me more than others...
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JUDDD changed my life. It transformed my health, gave me freedom and restored my confidence.

JUDDD is very simple, very livable and very flexible. JUDDD allows weight loss and life to happen simultaneously.

See my before and after pictures
http://www.lowcarbfriends.com/bbs/we...ore-after.html
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:09 AM   #19
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Thanks Brenda. I do know that obviously being healthier is much more important than vanity, but I'll admit- there are days it bothers me more than others...
Me too and I think for me anyway it's because I've been overweight for so long that Im very self conscious and I always wonder what people think when they look at me
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:41 AM   #20
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The only time I'm without at least a T-shirt on is in the shower. I take it off right when I get in and put another clean one on when I get out. It's been a long time since I've felt comfortable seeing myself shirtless. My excess weight all goes to one place. My mid section. So overall I'm pretty lean except for the love handles and belly fat. That's not a pretty picture. It would probably look better if it was evenly distributed.

I felt OK about my beach bod back when I was young and weighed in the 180's and was working out regularly. I don't know what I would have to weigh now to feel that way. Realistically a 70 year old dude probably shouldn't be going around shirtless no matter how good of shape he's in.

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Old 05-05-2017, 01:45 PM   #21
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I find the topic of body image in general fascinating, not so much because of either the personal or societal desire for individuals to look a certain way, but because of the well-documented fact that mirrors freaking lie freaking all the time.

I was reading up on this last week for the following reason: I continue to be repeatedly SURPRISED at how relatively slim I look in the mirror, I think because I still expect to see last year's p0rtia. But one day I looked in the mirror and saw all sorts of fat, and I had one of those flashes of irrational thought along the lines of "OMG, what if that biscuit I ate on Saturday morning made me gain 20 lb of fat?" (For the record, this is not a recurring problem; just a funny moment.)

So what was different? Nothing at all. Maybe slimmer p0rtia is now what I expect to see, and by comparison she's a lot bigger than imaginary, still-to-be-achieved, slimmest p0rtia. It's like a telephoto lens has made me bigger. Y'know, the way a piece of clothing that we thought was tiny and impossible to ever fit into at one weight suddenly becomes HUGE when we have a significant weight loss and can suddenly wear it. Now that's having your eyes play tricks on you!" Proof that what we see is relative, right?

Except that psychologically it's hard to take that into account. I discovered in my reading that people (all people) looking in the mirror tend not to see and judge the image in the whole, but rather zoom in on one small part that we perceive as a defect. This is what is happening when people with anorexia; they don't really see a fat person (as we've been told); they see that one small area that is supposed to be perfect and isn't -- they don't see their whole excessively thin selves (and sometimes when they do, they are shocked).

Likewise we look in the mirror and zoom in on the bits of ourselves that are bigger than we like--even though we've down a gazillion lbs. and look just fine as a whole (or relative to what we once looked like).

This explains something I've often wondered about, which is why reflections in supermarket windows are so fantastic for anyone slimming down. It's that you pretty much only get a silhouette, right? You don't see the little details that you would normally focus on--you get _only_ the whole picture.

I reckon the mirror pretty much reflects not our bodies but our minds, y'know? Talk about window in to the soul.
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:07 AM   #22
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p0rtia - in the same way as there's phantom limb pain, my DH proposes the existence of phantom body fat to explain the phenomenon of people feeling and even seeing a size that they no longer are.

The irrational flash and zooming in on one part? Humans - we're so irrational. Also, a documented phenomenon in the pain research field - where one area (that may spread) becomes horrendously the focus of sensitisation and awareness that translate to pain (CRPS). Pain and this phenomenon seem to have a lot of overlap with in various areas which is interesting as they're both so integrally involved with emotion.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:07 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by SlowSure View Post
p0rtia - in the same way as there's phantom limb pain, my DH proposes the existence of phantom body fat to explain the phenomenon of people feeling and even seeing a size that they no longer are.

The irrational flash and zooming in on one part? Humans - we're so irrational. Also, a documented phenomenon in the pain research field - where one area (that may spread) becomes horrendously the focus of sensitisation and awareness that translate to pain (CRPS). Pain and this phenomenon seem to have a lot of overlap with in various areas which is interesting as they're both so integrally involved with emotion.
Tip of the hat to your DH -- I'm going to steal "phantom body fat"!

Thanks for the info on the issue of sensitisation. That resonates with what I've read about chronic pain as well as (moving to another area) emotional pain such as depression and anxiety. Off to do some research! Thanks as always!

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Last edited by p0rtia; 05-09-2017 at 11:07 AM.. Reason: typos.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:38 AM   #24
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Thank you for bringing this topic up, Carly. You are not alone!!!

I really believe that this is (as others have said) about the inner voice / emotional work, rather than physical change. Working out etc are all valuable, but it's that inner voice I've had to work on, and keep working on. It's like being aware of what I'm eating - the inner voice needs to be attended to every day. I don't think I'll ever get to a point where I effortlessly, continually, think, "I'm fabulous!" I have to work at it, whether it's challenging my abusive thoughts (because the way we denigrate ourselves is abusive), or doing something else constructive (a few extra push-ups, or a salad, whatever).

I'm not getting rid of the sagginess under my arms without surgery or a million push-ups (neither of which I'm willing to do!), but what I can do is get some perspective on how important it is. I've worked hard to lose weight and maintain it, as have you. Let's celebrate ourselves, accept the things we can't change, and change the things we can, including building ourselves up, so we have the energy and self-belief to offer the best of ourselves to life. When I die, I don't think anyone's going to remember how toned my arms were
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:04 AM   #25
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I started my last weight loss journey October 1 2012. I've lost 80 plus pounds in the past 4 or 5 times (lost track). I said to myself before making the commitment to start, "What I'm I going to do to make this a true lifestyle ?" I decided this time my focus had to be overall health and body acceptance along with no quick fixes like egg fasts etc. I eat like I want to eat for the rest of my life. The weight came off slower. I gave up/added things one at a time over the years. Body acceptance came gradually but it did come. This is just my journey.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:06 PM   #26
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I recently saw some photos on line of a gal that lost a lot of weight and how her body looked after the loss. I never knew what it looked like.

If you are going to have surgery do it at a younger age as the young bounce back faster and heal faster.

I would save every dime if I needed this done, I would not go on any vacation, would not buy many clothes ( carly - that means shoes, I am a shoe person also ) I would save big time and get it done! NOW!!

When i saw your lovely photo the other day in the cute dress, I first noticed your top - you have so much on the top, I do not!!! I must have been in the wrong line when they were handing out boobs!

Love you Carly!
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:03 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leonak View Post
I recently saw some photos on line of a gal that lost a lot of weight and how her body looked after the loss. I never knew what it looked like.

If you are going to have surgery do it at a younger age as the young bounce back faster and heal faster.

I would save every dime if I needed this done, I would not go on any vacation, would not buy many clothes ( carly - that means shoes, I am a shoe person also ) I would save big time and get it done! NOW!!

When i saw your lovely photo the other day in the cute dress, I first noticed your top - you have so much on the top, I do not!!! I must have been in the wrong line when they were handing out boobs!

Love you Carly!
Leona- you crack me up. I was definitely on line the day G_d was doling out the girls

They were huge before I lost all the weight, now... well they are somewhat deflated
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