Elna Baker’s Body Is A Lesson For All Of Us.
- IWB Post
- July 17, 2015
Elna Baker’s website is so interesting that it will take you to your childhood full of caricatures.
She is a writer sharing her numerous stories of weight, sexuality, faith, and family since years. One of her blogs, however, shares that one embarrassing-yet-learning moment she had to go through. She illustrates it like this – ‘there was a frozen moment I can now hold up and show to the world that says, I was here, and I was beautiful. For two seconds.’
To begin with, she tells a little about herself in the blog, “I used to be obese. At my heaviest, I weighed 265 lbs. In my early 20s, I went on a diet and lost, in total, 110 lbs. I’d accomplished something I’d always considered impossible. But…”
She continues, “The Before and After pictures you see on billboards — they’re a lie. After dropping the weight, I had so much extra skin that I could lay on my side and pull it a half-foot in either direction.”
Some of us might find is unattractive, but it’s the truth of this woman’s life. And it’s natural!
So here’s what she did about this hanging skin: “For a long time, I tried to get the skin to go away with lotions and exercise. Eventually, I resorted to plastic surgery. I didn’t do it to alter the way I look naturally; I just wanted a chance at the body I could’ve maybe had if I’d never put on weight.”
“I’ve had four procedures in total. I got implants the size of my old breasts and a body lift. Two years later, I went back in for a circumferential body lift. They made an incision around my entire waist, cut out a 6-inch belt of skin, and then sewed me back together, removing over 10 pounds of my skin in total. I also got a thigh lift: They cut up my legs from knees to groin and took out as much skin as they could. To heal, I had to sit in bed for a month with my legs spread open. Now, I have a scar that runs completely around my waist, as if a magician cut me in half. I have two scars running up my legs like inseams. But even surgery couldn’t remove the extra skin entirely. When I hold my arms and legs out, I still look like a flying squirrel. I have stretch marks running down the tops of my shoulders, and there’s extra skin hanging off my arms and inner thighs. If I bend over, my boobs droop like empty pouches.”
Ouch! Reality is, people do take extreme actions like opting for a plastic surgery under the ‘pressure’ of society or spouse. Sad.
Describing her feelings, Elna writes, “How insecure I used to be about it. And how I thought for sure everything would be better if I could just make the skin go away.”
In the blog, Elna is narrating an incidence where she had to go semi-naked for a spa. Courageously, she acknowledged her natural body and came out in public with that ‘supposedly shameful’ body. And see how beautifully she is describing the ‘moment’ we were talking about in the beginning of this article
“My whole body was covered except for a circle of white — my stomach, bobbing out of the water. I looked at it and decided it was not a part of me. I called it an island. Then, I took a mini shampoo and conditioner and pretended they were a boy and a girl meeting on the island and falling in love. I played in the bathtub like a toddler. It’s not a sad memory. But, it does remind me of what it felt like to be a big girl — like I was an island.”
She says, “I’ve done to my body: hating it, hiding it, starving it. Cutting it open. Hurting. Healing. Promising myself that every time I looked at that scar, I’d feel grateful for my body — and then forgetting that promise.”
“I think there is this idea out there that you either love and accept your body, or you’re trying to fix it. I am in neither camp. Or, maybe I’m in both simultaneously. I try to accept myself, but I struggle. I want to be in better shape (but, I don’t want to go to the gym). And, my weight fluctuates, so that doesn’t help.”
“I genuinely think everyone should accept themselves — everyone, except for me. This is the disease I am still trying to overcome.”
Aren’t you feeling happy about your body now? We certainly are. xoxo