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“Did you have surgery to remove excess skin???”

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I get questions all the time – from the “Ask Marilyn” button on the website, at speaking engagements during the Q&A, sometimes at the grocery store – when people learn that I’ve lost a lot of weight. Though I’m not shy, I admit it caught me off-guard at first. But truthfully, I think it’s really important to answer these questions. People are just naturally curious, and I’ve got nothing to hide. It’s human nature to be curious about the nitty gritty details; I get that.

I always answer the person who asked, but I’m gonna share some of those questions today in this more public forum. My goal is to be as transparent as possible about everything having to do with my weight loss and my current lifestyle because I don’t want there to be any illusions – good or bad – about what I do or have done in my pursuit of better health and my body’s transformation.

So here goes!

Q: Did you have surgery to remove excess skin?

A: Yes! Four years, 100+ pounds, and countless hours in the gym after I had my Lap-Band surgery, I had surgery to remove the excess skin on my mid-section. By 2011, I had lost most of my weight, kept it off for several years, run two marathons and still had lots of skin around my tummy that was just not going anywhere. I found a plastic surgeon I liked and had the surgery. The recovery took a month and was very painful. Still, I’m really happy I did it. After four kids and all that weight loss, there was just no way my midsection was gonna look the way I wanted it to. I consider it an important part of the process of reclaiming my body, and my reward for all my hard work.

Fat woman trying to get rid of excess fat and completeness.
Q: What does your husband think of your weight loss?

A: More than any other question I get, that one strikes me as especially funny. Well, based on empirical evidence (he is a lawyer, after all) I’d say he’s really happy about it! No seriously, he’s very proud of me for turning my life around and is so supportive of everything I do now to maintain my healthy lifestyle. He’s a very fit guy himself (ran his first marathon in 2013 and does P90X in our bonus room every morning at 5am), so we’re definitely on the same page about making healthy choices.

Q: Do you do “cheat meals”?

A: I don’t. I eat food I love every day, so I don’t need to “cheat” on that. Having said that, everybody’s different; if allowing yourself one cheat meal per week, or doing a 90/10 thing (eating well 90% of the time and “cheating” 10% of the time) works for you, by all means, go for it!

Q: Did you have any … other … surgeries as a result of your weight loss?

A: Bahahahahaha! Oh geez, that one does come up sometimes too. Well yes, I did actually. I refuse to be embarrassed about answering this because, even though it’s very personal, like I said, I believe in transparency. So yes, I had breast implants in 2011. Turns out, breast tissue is primarily fat, and since I didn’t have much of that anymore, I didn’t have much … um, buoyancy … anymore. That surgery was a breeze and the recovery was only about a week.

Weight loss is hard enough without the smoke and mirrors we usually get. This is a no-holds-barred, shame-free zone. I won’t ever Photoshop an image of myself, and I won’t mince words about anything I’ve encountered along the way.

Anything else you wanna know? Bring it! Just click on the “Ask Marilyn” button on the website, send me an email or ask in the comments below. Whether it’s about what I eat, a workout I’ve tried, or whether my kids eat quinoa or not (some do, some don’t), I’m happy to answer!

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