The old skin has to be shed before the new one can come.

~ Joseph Campbell

Interesting – I have cleaned out closets and drawers. I have gotten rid of more clothes than I even knew I had in my house! Ok, I have replaced a few items of clothing. I mean I can’t be going out naked, after all! But still.

I feel amazing right now! I truly do!  I have shed a lot of me along this one year journey.

Yep – it’s been one year!

We’re heading into a new summer. I was looking forward to summer.  I mean I’m 95 pounds less a person than I was before! Exciting, right?

Well, it is until you see all the extra skin on my body. It’s a horrid reminder of who I use to be. Of where I came from. Of all the hard work I have done so far. A reminder of being less than from the time you were mocked for being more than.

You’d think I would wear my extra skin as a badge of honor. Except that it is very … embarrassing. I am working so hard to shed my negative body thoughts, my negative body image, embrace who I am wholeheartedly. With the extra skin.

I remember the days when I would go to the pool as a large woman. Or go on a float trip. Or play in the river. Or wear short. Or a shorter dress. This is me! Sure my legs would jiggle. I had a ton of fat around my legs. I was 100 pounds heavier then. Of course, this was a few years ago, and the fat around me was at least filled in.

One day back then I was walking out of the pool. A young boy stared at my legs.  His eyes were so big, taking all the hugeness of me in. He was in disbelief and suddenly came to. He yelled at his mom close by, “Mom, look at how fat her legs are! They are like elephant legs!” Out of the mouths of babes…I was mortified. That was the last time I put on a swimsuit in a public pool.

I am smaller now. My legs are too, really. I can wear a swimsuit from Old Navy for goodness sake. I never wore a “regular-sized” anything before. But now the skin on my legs, my stomach, under my arms is so loose that it hangs. Just hangs. Rolls and rolls of loose, sagging, wrinkled skin. I look like a deflated balloon. Or a shar-pei puppy with all its wrinkles. Except my wrinkles aren’t cute. Not even close.

Now it’s summer…Sundresses. Swimsuits. Sleeveless tops. Shorts.  Will I ever have the freedom of wearing such clothing? Will I ever FEEL the freedom of wearing such clothing?

The more I lose, the more skin hangs. I could very well be one or two sizes smaller and 20 – 25 pounds lighter if I could get rid of all this skin.

And yet, I continue to shed. Shedding the old thoughts. Shedding the old image. Shedding my expectations of what I believe I’m supposed to look like.

But I will also do something for me. I will talk to a plastic surgeon to see what can be done. This, while I continue to do strength training – a strength of muscles and strength of mind.

I must continue to shed my past – over and over.

Carmen Garcia writes about stuff… life as a single mother, dating, weight loss, performing, and other random experiences. Sometimes it makes sense. Other times, not so much. You decide.

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