Sorting out the complicated feelings that come with this decision has proven to be an interesting thing for me since booking the surgery. Haha. I thought it would be helpful to share, since it is something I feel like a lot of us struggle with but don’t talk about openly.
I mean, I feel confident in this being the right choice for me, and I know intellectually why I made the decision to get liposuction:
- I’ve lost/gained weight enough that I know what on my body will and won’t respond to exercise and good diet
- I’ve struggled with self esteem, and it is mostly centered on this one area
- I’m not looking at this as a miracle weight fix; I’m happy being a curvy lady, I just want a silhouette that is in proportion
- I’m in a place financially where I can afford this, and have thought about it for years, and taken the time to educate myself on the surgery, recovery and risks
However, knowing these things and believing them, doesn’t change the emotions I am feeling, which include:
- laziness/or cheating
- I didn’t ‘try’ hard enough (not eating the healthiest, not working out all the time)
- doing this for others/worrying what people will think
- frivolous spending
In order to align what I know and what I am feeling, some helpful things I’ve reminded myself:
- I compare the cost of lipo to the money I’ve spent over the years on trainers/nutritionists/the gym; even if I kept doing spending thousands on those things, eat clean, work my ass off, I know that it won’t produce the results I want; just because I’m spending it all at once, doesn’t mean it isn’t as much as a financial commitment as these other things that somehow feel more ‘honest’ or less culturally shunned (I mean, do you know how expensive Soul Cycle is???!! Yikes!)
- It isn’t any less hard work than committing myself to a hardcore gym routine, just a different kind of work; what I am going to do to my body is a type of sacrifice and a real commitment- it isn’t cheating or waving a magic wand. I’ll be dedicating months of time, pain and finances to recovery, in the same way I committed to the gym in the past, only this time the results I want will hopefully be achievable.
- I worked hard to get myself to here. I did the research, put in time to get myself to a mentally healthy place to be able to make an emotional commitment. It is not decision I have taken lightly.
- I feel guilt at not loving myself for who I am, especially in comparison to others – I see people who look like me and I appreciate their beauty, I know others find me beautiful, and I know other people would like to have a figure like mine. However, it isn’t about them. Do I feel this guilt about my hair color when I dye it? Or can I appreciate an outfit on someone else that I wouldn’t want to wear myself? I can know that how I feel about myself might not be how I want to feel about myself, or how I think I should feel about myself, but I can’t change my feelings. I can change me, and while it does involve a certain level of privilege, if I have this tool to do it, then I shouldn’t feel guilty about it. I can’t control some things, but this is a decision where I am taking control, instead if wallowing in a feeling of unhappiness. I’m not going to let my worry about what others thing of my decision stop me from potentially living a life where I feel less of an internal conflict with my physical body.
- I have a sensory disorder, that I don’t give myself enough of a break for. It makes my energy level low, and certain physical activities will always be difficult for me due to depth perception and balance issues. This is a real disability, even if an invisible intangible one, and I shouldn’t under play that.
- There are a lot of things I do like about myself both as a person and physically. It’s really this one area that I focus on. I take naked selfies for myself because I think I’m sexy, I buy lingerie for myself that I’ll enjoy the way I look in, I dress in fashion I like for myself (that others might find odd), I have lots of bold tattoos, and have dyed my hair all sorts of wacky colors. And I haven’t given a damn what others thought – I did those things for me, not to impress other people. True, other people like me as I am now, but this is a decision that isn’t for others, but for myself – like all of those other things I do that I listed above. While yes, I am single, and not happy with that, I don’t think this is the magic fix that will get people to be interested in me because my body changed. Instead, it might change how others see me and interact with me, because it will change the way I see myself.
- I got my nose done when I was younger, and interestingly, I don’t feel the same level of shame or guilt about it. I actually am very open about it, telling people that it is the best decision I ever made. I find it interesting I do not feel the same way about liposuction ,and think this has to do with feelings of laziness. But I know this surgery isn’t because I am lazy. I eat well, and workout 4-5 hours a week. HOWEVER, even if I was doing this because I was being ‘lazy’ and didn’t want to spend all that time at the gym, THAT WOULD BE AN OKAY DECISION. I think this was an important realization for me. It is acceptable to prioritize my quality of life over the feeling that I ‘should’ be working harder at my physical appearance. Meaning, maybe I’d rather be able to see friends after work, instead of going to the gym 3-4 times a week in pursuit of flat abs that aren’t coming. Maybe I’d like to be able to eat chocolate cake now and then without feeling overwhelming guilt that I’m throwing my hard work away. I’m not saying liposuction is an excuse to not take care of myself, but I am saying that no matter why I am making the decision, if I’m making it because I feel like it will improve the daily quality of my life, then that is okay. I’d rather do this instead of trying to blindly commit myself to the pursuit of a goal that might be unattainable, and sacrifice so many other things, experiences, and positive feelings while doing so.
Long winded, I know, but perhaps it resonates with some of you as well. <3 I’m sure my thoughts will unfold throughout this process, but yes, it is sometimes hard to get what you believe and what you feel to agree and I think that is important to acknowledge!