The Cruelty of Success

I keep saying it.  The last four years now have been a blessing.  I have been lifted out of darkness and life is so beautiful now.  For a friend, I’m going to say this.  Life is *A*MAZING!

SO many people have said–Wow you look great.  You still are big. But, you look great.  What does that mean exactly? In my eyes I am so much smaller than what I once was.  I’m not 589 pounds anymore.  I’m NOT.. So how can I still be big?? I’ve lost well over 300 pounds.  How can I still be BIG? My inches are going down. The weight is going down.  The clothes sizes are going down.  I still wear big shirts to cover up.  Cover up what you ask? The cruelty of success-Loose skin.  SO let me warn you–It isn’t pretty!

I am so frustrated by it.  I work out, feel strong. My arms are solid.  I look at the body builders in the gym and look at their arms.  I smile knowing some of the ladies have NOTHING on me……. But, yet they are in their tank tops showing off what they have worked so hard for.  Yes I can show what I worked hard for via my shrinking self.  Can I show off my arms? I am so proud of how defined they are.  I am so proud of the muscle definition.  I’m so proud there is not an ounce of fat left in them.  Yet my friends–The skin. The loose skin is over whelming.  When I take off my shirt I see my well defined arms, yet I also see what looks to me like a coat.  We all have our worries with our bodies.  But what do you do when your bodies just don’t fit you anymore?

It is so frustrating.  I still am hiding every inch of me.  I want to feel good about all my work.  *I* DO!!!!! But, I want to *FEEL* good about it.  Now, I have been talking to so many people who have started their weight loss path and they are worried about loose skin.  I didn’t worry about it at first.  It hasn’t been until the last year that it bothers me so much.  I hate what I see when I see my body.  It is a constant reminder of the darkness I lived in.  It is a constant reminder of how much I hated myself.  Someone asked me last week if the weight loss is worth it? Strangely I asked myself that on Tuesday.  I am going to yell this (as loud as you can in a blog) IT IS WORTH EVERY OUNCE OF SWEAT.  My life is so much better now.  I can walk in the mountains.  I can hike (I will get stronger at it).  I am not trapped in my house waiting for night to come so I can go shopping without getting gawked at.  Okay I still get looked at to some degree, but I am so much stronger and more confident that I can go shopping whenever I want.

Everyone has body image issues. Loose skin for someone that was morbidly obese and is nearing normal is a brutal reality.  It is something people don’t talk about, because it isn’t pretty.  There is hope.  I know in my future I will find a way to have plastic surgery.  I know that I can show off my hard work then.  I will have scars.  To me they will be beautiful reminders of the light that was brought back into my life.  I love myself now, I love the people around me who confronted me in the first place, and I know they love me too.  Most importantly I know that God has loved me in the darkness and out of the darkness.  I see the light and the direction for my life .

Tonight–I see the strength in my arms.  I felt them too (OUCH, thanks Matt Ellison). I see the beauty of well defined arms.  Yet, I also see the loose skin.  It is apart of me. I am working out and changing daily. I am thankful for my journey, as it has taught me so much.  I see the beauty of the muscle, and I imagine the outline of what my arms will look like.  For now, I am stuck with a reminder of my past.  Again I want to make this clear, *I* DO NOT REGRET a moment of every day I have spent in the gym, every ounce of sweat that I have left on the floor, or out route at the 3Day, and every step I have taken to get stronger physically and mentally.

Tonight I celebrate the loose skin as a blessing NOT A CURSE.  It is something that will be removed.  It is temporary.  Tonight I celebrate the hard work. Thanks to my trainer Matt Ellison–When I met you my upper body was broken down, and I could barely lift much of anything. Now I see my strength, inside and out.  Thank you for your counsel.  So tonight I am going to show off my arms, and the reminder of where I was. This is the cruelty of success truly.  But also the vision of hope of how wonderful It WILL be soon enough.  If you are losing weight and wondering if the loose skin will be an issue?? WHO cares.  FINISH–GET STRONGER–LOVE YOURSELF–TRUST IN GOD–Believe that all things are possible.  When you finish, worry then.  But only then.

15 thoughts on “The Cruelty of Success

  1. Great blog … thanks for posting.
    Kati, a young woman at our church, had gastric bypass and lost 150+ pounds.
    She had what she refers to as ‘bat wings’.
    Her gift to herself was the plastic surgery … and the scars are not even noticeable (nothing like Padma’s on Top Chef)
    You go girl!

    • Thank you very much. I take pride in my sweat equity and know the strength that it has taken to stay on track. I wish I knew who Padma is?! I will have to google.. I met a gal who had the plastic surgery, you are right. The scars aren’t so bad. 🙂 I sort of look at myself as a paper doll right now. The arms are only apart of the problem. I will address the other problems when I get a little braver.


      • What an honest “picture”, Shannon – I wish I had “guns” like yours – based on your incredible accomplishments there is no doubt in my mind that the future will continue to look bright for you!


      • Thanks David! In my life… I never thought I’d feel like a paper doll, just waiting to be cut out. But, I am. I need to lose a bit more in the stomach, and I will be ready for surgery. Thank you for being an incredible professor. I’ve learned so much from the program. Strangely I have such a great pathway now and it is so clearly defined.

  2. Love, love, love it! As long as you feel good about your self nothing else matters. Like you said it’s something to be taken care of down the line. Be proud of what you see, its amazing to see how your body is changing and all that progress, Geez that progress! “A”WESOME! Need I say more. Keep it up! Because I get so pumped knowing that I can succeed and knowing you is a privilege 🙂

  3. You are so amazing Shannon! I love reading and hearing about your journey….it’s so inspiring and REAL. And that is so very good.

    I may have mentioned this before, but my friend, Roni Noone, is a great fitness blogger, and on one of her websites she has chronicled her tummy tuck surgery that she had when she addressed her extra skin issues. If you are interested, you can find the pictures and her thoughts here:

    But either way, I can totally tell you have GUNS, girl! Be proud – I’m so very proud of you too!

    • I will check it out!! Thank you very much. My stomach and legs will be in a future address.. I need to get a little braver. It is hard, because it REALLY looks unreal. Like a suit… And yep.. *I* AM proud of my Guns!! No pea shooters here. Love ya’ sister!

    • Thank you so much for that!
      This was a hard one to write. But it will only get harder. I will need surgery, and I’m hopeful that my doctor will do it sooner rather than later. It is hard knowing how much you have changed, yet….. NO one else can see it. Except in your face… It is hard. I know.. *I* know.. Patience Shannon.. Only about 40ish to go. 🙂

  4. Thank you Shannon for your honesty and showing us our future. I will be putting a change jar up for my surgery when I finish my travels that way I will have the money to fix the skin. You are such an inspiration and I thank god that you are here to help me on my journey.

    • Larrissa,
      I have always been so proud of you, and all that you do. You are truly the inspiration. I know my journey has been long, and up and down.. Yet you have been constant in your cheering. Thank you SOOO much for being a voice of encouragement. My Tampa friends that I have found through Dusty will forever be apart of my life. I can never thank you enough. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s