How I Stopped Being A Teenage Wall Flower

orelduani on 4 Sep 2013 at 9:00am

Orelduani is a 19-year-old soldier in the Israeli army. After years of feeling insecure about his body, he decided to take control, shed excess pounds, and get a tummy tuck to deal with excess skin. He documented his transformation on RealSelf. This is his journey, in his own words.

At 14, I stopped going to the beach or walking around without a shirt because of my weight. I couldn't even be around my family without a shirt. And I definitely could NOT talk to girls. Finally at age 16 I got tired of being that shy kid in the corner. I decided to make a change and lost my first 20 pounds. It took about a year to lose all of what I needed to lose, and afterwards a lot of excess skin was left in my stomach area.

Even after losing the weight, I still didn’t have the body I dreamed of. Everyone else thought I was doing great because I got thin. But 
I became depressed about the way I looked, because of the hanging skin in my stomach area. So I gained back almost all the weight I lost. Right then, I saw a TV show with Dr. Rey. That’s where I first learned about this surgery. And I knew it would be a perfect solution for me and that it would be my best chance to get the body I wanted.

Luckily, I had my parents’ support. I lost more weight and somehow managed to get a break from my army service. It was tough to get a month off of army duty for the surgery. I was so nervous, and up until even a week and a half before my operation, I wasn’t sure I would go through with it.  But I fought for my army pass and fought through my fears and I am so glad I didn’t give up.

I’m not really the kind of guy who would ask people around me any questions about this procedure. I turned to the Internet, asked the forums, saw results online and on TV shows and felt so jealous of the good results I saw. I was worried about what I knew would be a large scar, and about the risk. Like any major surgery, I knew that it carried some risk. But deep down I also knew the operation would change my life for the better.

To see more photos of orelduani after his surgery, click to read his full review.

I'm now 19 years old, and it's been 5 months since the surgery. Of course, I still have a scar around my navel. But I am now a much happier person and much more self-confident than I was before surgery. I’ve managed to start going outside -- shirtless! And just knowing I was signed up to have this surgery gave me the confidence to practice talking to girls for the first time.

Today I am a very active person. I run at least four times a week and this allows me to eat (mostly) whatever I like, and maintain my new body.

I highly recommend the surgery to people I see whose weight loss left them with excess skin. I like to tell my experience with the surgery. I’m still not fully recovered. My lower abdomen in the center is still not completely healed, and the scar is still pretty dark. But of course I recommend going for it. Every day, I feel more at peace with my body.

-- As told to Jules Bernstein, with gratitude to orelduani for sharing his journey.

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