You're scrolling your social media, and you run across this picture. You glance at it. It's just a girl, in an outfit for a night on the town. That's what it appears to be at first glance. But if you really know this girl, it's SO. MUCH. MORE.
For those that don't know, the "girl" (yeah, I'm fluffing my own feathers because we all know that I'm actually a 50, yes FIFTY, year old woman. Ugh!) is ME! Even those that knew the person in the photo was me, may not know what it took for me to put that outfit on and go out in public. Let alone happily pose for all of the photos I had taken last night. This photo represents my own personal growth, and it's HUGE, folks.
I've been away from this blog for quite awhile now, and I'll get more into why, later in this post. Right now though, I want to talk about the emotional gains I've made over the past year and a half. Emotionally, I'm a totally different person. Honestly, even I am shocked at myself.
There are posts on here, that let you all know that I had a full RNY Gastric Bypass September 25, 2018. Wow! I truly can't believe that I'm coming up on my 3 year anniversary of the surgery. I lost well over 100 pounds. At one point, I was at a 133 pound loss. I've gained a little of that back, but I'm still over 100 pounds lost, and still wearing size small clothing. Some of which is too big on me lol.
Most people who are obese think "if I could just lose weight, I'd be so happy"! I was one of those people. Guess what? I lost the weight, and I still wasn't happy. I mean, I was happy I lost the weight, but then other insecurities crept in. I had (have) all of this lose skin. It just hangs. What shows to the world the most, is the lose skin on my upper arms. Those of us on bariatric weight loss boards, call them our "bat wings". Yuck, yuck, YUCK!!
So I used to be ashamed of my fat rolls. Now, I'm embarrassed of my skin rolls lol. To the public, seeing the skin rolls under clothing, they look just like fat rolls. Plastic surgery would take care of all of this. Unfortunately, I'm a 50 year old woman who's been single for just over 10 years now, so just have myself to rely on monetarily. Insurance will cover some things, but not all of it. I've tried finding a plastic surgeon that would be willing to do the work I need done that insurance won't cover, pro-bono in exchange for me allowing them to film my surgeries and for me to list them as a sponsor in my seminars but haven't had any luck. So if anyone knows anyone that may be interested, PLEASE send them my way haha! When you have massive weight loss, you end up trading one insecurity for another. That is the thing no one ever really talks about publicly and for the life of me, I don't understand why not lol. In my opinion, this is something that people should know ahead of time.
Awhile back, I was so blessed. I was chosen to be on a television show that aired just over a year ago on TLC, called Dragnificent. When I say I was blessed, I truly was. I could not have had better or more caring producers and camera men. The four Queens that starred on the show, are the BEST people I've ever known. Just the entire crew was phenomenal!
The head show runner, Mike Kelton from AlkemyX Productions, asked me if I'd mind if we tapped into the repercussions of massive weight loss a little bit. I was scared to death, but I said yes. I agreed that this is something that isn't talked about enough, and that the public should know about. At the same time, the thought of talking about my insecurities for the entire world to know, intimidated me.
Telling my story, of how I felt having all this lose, sagging skin hanging off of me, was really an emotional thing. We also talked about me having fibromyalgia and other chronic pain and fatigue conditions. We talked about the verbal abuse I'd lived with throughout my marriage. The week of filming was beyond a doubt, the most emotional week I've ever had in my entire life. I came out of that week telling everyone I knew, that when my episode aired I just KNEW some shitty tabloid would end up running with a headline entitled "America's Biggest Cry Baby Bitch"!! Thank God, they had bigger and better people to contend with that week and my biggest fear did NOT come true LOL.
There came a time during taping, that Mike asked me if I would mind showing some of my extra skin on film. I immediately welled up with tears, and said "how much of it do you want me to show?" He said "As much as you're comfortable with. You do NOT have to do this if you don't want to, Amy but I think it would really help a lot of people". In true Tell-It-:Like-It-Is-I'm-Not-Your-Typical-Rah-Rah-Always-Positive-Let's-Share-The-Truth-With-Everyone fashion that I've always had on this blog site, I sucked in my breath and nodded my head yes to him, as tears ran over the brim of my eyes. When I walked to the mirror for the part where the queens asked me about it, and I was to show the skin, I was choking back tears as hard as I could. I was literally shaking inside. My upper arms I showed first and I was crying. I then quickly showed a little of my stomach apron. I did it all as quickly as I could, to try and get it over with and couldn't bring myself to really show it all and everywhere on my body.
When choosing a dress for my Butterfly Party, -the party I was having to reveal the new, skinny me to friends and family that hadn't seen me since my weight loss, I made it clear to them that I wouldn't wear anything that didn't cover my arms. I just didn't have it in me. Humiliation over my upper arms showing to the public, absolutely consumed me.
Pounds of extra skin still covers my body. I AM finally (man-oh-man do I have stories of why it's taken this long to get this surgery for you all but that's a whole 'nother blog post my friends lol) having surgery on my breasts, August 18th. OH-MY-GOSH! That is only 4 weeks from Wednesday! That time is going to fly by lol. I'm blessed that my insurance is covering a reduction and a lift for me and that I was able to get the money to cover the axillary liposuction on the sides, to tie it all together. I can't tell you how much this surgery means to me. It isn't all for superficial reasons, either. Red, deep grooves plague my shoulders every night when I take my bra off. It hurts. My upper back, kills me all of the time from the weight of these hanging, sagging, monsters. The pulling and tugging on my back, has caused a spot of neuropathy. Just to the left of my spine will either have a super deep itch that literally drives me MAD, or else the spot will tingle for hours on end. Yep, permanent nerve damage. My GP is convinced that my upper back pain is caused from my breasts, then fibro exacerbates the pain and symptoms.
My insurance will cover to have my stomach apron removed, but will not cover the tummy tuck portion of the surgery. I absolutely cannot cover it myself, so although I'd absolutely DIE to have the whole she-bang done, I'll only be having the apron removed. My plastic surgeon told me that I could have my stomach done, roughly 3 months after my breast surgery. Insurance may then cover to have the extra skin removed from my inner thighs. I'm praying that they cover it because I cannot do it myself. Now, we have the upper arms. The bat wings. Chances of insurance covering that, is slim to none. So I've had to wrap my head around that fact. I've really been working on myself mentally, that the bat wings are probably just going to be a part of the new me, for the rest of my entire life.
Coming to terms that I'm going to have bat wings for life, was a super hard thing for me to do. I decided though, that I couldn't go the rest of my life, not showing my upper arms. Is never again wearing anything that doesn't cover and hide my upper arms feasible? Yes, it is. But did I really WANT to go the rest of my life never wearing anything that didn't cover and hide my upper arms, was the question. And the answer to that question, was no. Therefore, I had to get over the idea that my arms were ugly. That they made ME ugly. That people would laugh at me, and make fun of me, if they saw them. Every time I would even think about the idea that someone may see them, I would automatically burst into tears. I had to get over that for sure. Guess what, people?! I got over it!!
I'll be totally honest, before I started filming my television episode I didn't have any clue in the world, who the four queens were that were the stars of the show and that I'd be working with. I didn't have a clue what Ru Paul's Drag Race was. I didn't know how extremely famous and well-known these girls were. One day when we broke for lunch, I rode with the finance guy. -I doubt that's his actual title, but it's what I called him. He kept tabs on the budget as we went along lol. As we were sitting there eating our Chipotle, he was telling me about a time that Times Square in NYC had been roped off for these girls to make an appearance, and that people were trying to bust through the barriers and police, to get to them screaming and shouting their undying love for them. -Well, I can totally see why everyone would love them, after being with them lol ...but anyway .....THAT is when it hit me. Talking with them, I saw that they too had insecurities about themselves at some point in their lives. One of the girls, Alexis Michelle to be exact, teared up during one of my stories that once again I was half blubbering while telling the story, about 2 construction guys cracking fat jokes at my expense while I was in a national chain hardware store. When I finished my story, she told me while she was crying, that she could relate to every word I had said, and that she herself had experienced stuff like that throughout her life as well. It hit me like a ton of bricks. I couldn't believe it. This beautiful woman, that was SO FAMOUS struggled with the SAME. EXACT. self esteem issues that little ole me had faced. If she could feel like I do, and still push forward to be as beautiful and famous as she is, than I could do the exact same thing!!
I'd never watched the show Keeping Up With The Kardashian's. I never used to watch hardly any TV at all. I started watching tv in the past year, and recently found the show. I binged all 20 seasons, people lol. Just like I was mind blown that Alexis Michelle had insecurities, it again blew my mind to see that Kim Kardashian and Khloe Kardashian both had insecurities about their bodies too. Two more extremely beautiful and famous women that had to deal with the same thoughts and fears that little ole me faces. I used to hide. Not any more. I've been shown that I don't have to hide. I can still reach for my dreams, imperfection's and all. People like Alexis Michelle, and the Kardashian girls, really help and touch more people than they even realize, by opening up for the world to see. That is why I have always been truthful on this site. Most of the other chronic pain sites were always all "Oh we'll be fine. We're warriors" and stuff like that. I'd read that shit, and it would make me feel like I was a weak biotch that just needed to suck it up. No. Living with neuro-immune and auto-immune, chronic pain and fatigue illnesses is HARD, people. Let's be realistic. Like I've always said, if people doesn't realize what our TRUE daily life is like, they aren't going to understand the desperate need to find cures, therefore won't be as inclined to donate to, or advocate for, more research. So that's why I started TFF. For those of us that want to encourage each other, to get the REAL word out about what living like this is like, and to let others know that it's OKAY to be pissed off or have a day that you feel discouraged about your illness. I can tell you first hand now, how much MORE I believe this is necessary. Because it's recently been proven in my own life, by Alexis Michelle, the Kardashian's, and others being real about their own struggles. It gave me the push I needed, to become the woman that I am today. I only hope and pray that my blog has, and in the future will again, give someone the inner push they need to help them overcome a feeling in their life, like has been done for me.
I can't tell you why that motivated me, but it sure did. It made me start working harder on myself. It helped me to keep my head up, face forward, and push ahead. It made me realize that everyone has their own insecurities. No matter how big or how little. No matter how rich, or how poor. No matter how famous. Every single person out there has insecurities about themselves. I never danced. I absolutely cannot dance and never could. Even the thought of dancing, made my body stiffen up and embarrassed me. The thought of people watching me or seeing me. Bebe Zahara Benet and Thorgy Thor forced me to overcome THAT fear. They told me they were putting me in drag (yes, females can dress in drag as females too. We are called AFAB's ...or the term I prefer for myself, is a Diva Queen) and throwing me on stage to do a drag show in front of a live audience. People, I have to hand it to my youngest daughter Courtney's boyfriend, Damien, He's the one who picked me up from filming that night, and I literally sobbed and rambled the entire way home! The poor guy looked like a deer caught in headlights but that guy did his best to calm me down and soothe me haha. To say I was petrified, is an understatement. Bebe taught me a little shimmy, and had me put it to the words "shaky shaky paw paw paw", and Thorgy taught me how when I'm in drag I can let all of my inhibitions go and just have fun! I still was so scared the night of filming the live performance though, that I WAS still really stiff and have found some nasty comments online making fun of how stiff I looked. -But that's ok. At least a tabloid didn't run with the headline of "America's Biggest Cry Baby Bitch" like I thought they might haha!! My sassy, sexy, sweet Jujubee took this lady that couldn't even put on eyeliner, and taught me how to transform my face! She taught me that I CAN put on makeup. That I CAN do anything I want to do.
This my friends, is the smile (a TRUE, HAPPY smile) of a woman that went out on the town for the night, in a new (sleeveless) outfit, proudly showing off her batwings!! So the very first photo in the blog post. The one that might show up on your social media somewhere that you may glance at and think "it's just a girl", is NOT just a girl, in an outfit for a night out on the town. This is a girl, who has worked really hard on her inner confidence and is finally happy enough with herself, that she CAN be in that outfit for a night on the town. This is a girl that with the love and support of many people in her life, has overcome the demons in her head, that used to make her cry her eyes out or at the very least blink back the tears that stung her eyes, at the very thought of anyone seeing her bare, naked, upper arms.
Do I still have insecurities and do I still want things fixed and changed on my body? I sure the hell do. I'm human. But I'm no longer allowing those insecurities to control my life, what I wear, and my overall happiness. I really wish I was more tech-savvy because at the end of the night, I was out on that dance floor dancing with my bebe Colin David (Colin Brandeberry) and I was NOT a stiff robot at all. My friend Rhonda taped it as an IG live on my account, and I would save that video to my computer to upload here for you all to see. Yep, I would willingly share a video of myself dancing, for anyone in the world to see. -And I would HOPE that those mean girls that made fun of me saying in public comments that I was as stiff as a robot would see it, and see how far I've come and then eat their own damn words! lol
I'd just leave the link to it here, but IG notified me they blocked the video because of the music playing in the background. They still allow ME to watch it, I just don't know how to get it saved to my computer. I tried playing around but can't figure out how or if it's even possible. If it IS possible and anyone knows how to do it, please leave me a comment and I'll edit this post, adding the video! :)
I dressed as Miss Peggy LasFrites last night. Miss Peggy LasFrites is the stage name the Queens gave me, for my drag show performance. On the occasions I've been asked to make an appearance or be in a show, I've always stuck to that. Miss Peggy LasFrites will ALWAYS be my stage name forever now lol. Miss Peggy has way less cares than Amy does ....but Amy and Miss Peggy are almost one these days! :)
Stay tuned for more posts on The Fibro Frog. I had just lost my creative zest for blogging. I had been getting some hate mail. I had a creep try to lure me to FL to do a seminar. After googling him, he definitely was trying to lure me there with bad intentions, He had a really scary wrap sheet involving kidnapping, rape, and torture. -I'm afraid I would have been in a real life Criminal Minds show had I not dove deep into this guy before running to FL lol. I had some crazy lady messaging me over and over calling me by some name that wasn't mine, saying she knew I was really this other person, hiding behind the name Amy ....just super bizarre stuff. It all just piled on until I just absolutely couldn't bring myself to sit down and create new content. I'm back though, and I hope all of you are back with me! There are still over 17,000 froggies over on The Fibro Frog's fb page, so if you're new to TFF and stumbled upon this post, please feel free to join us over there too! -And if you haven't seen my episode yet, it's S:01 E:03 of Dragnificent, on TLC. The episode is title "Fly, Butterfly, Fly". You really should watch EVERY episode of it, but make sure you have a box or two of Kleenex near by, because every single episode will touch your heart!
#massiveweightloss #bariatricsurgery #excessiveskin #skinremoval #plasticsurgery #MikeKelton #AlkemyX #TLC #Dragnificent #AlexisMichelle #Jujubee #ThorgyThor #BebeZaharaBenet #KimKardashian #KhloeKardashian #KeepingUpWithTheKardashians #chronicpain #selfesteem #selflove #selfcare #skinapron #batwings #PeggyLasFrites #bodylift "mommymakeover