Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Loving the skin your in...

For the Females....


Loving the skin your in...
It hasn't been that long ago that I had to go to the doctors for my annual check up. I am like most women, I dread going. I shamefully admit that the last time I went was the month after my three year old son was born. Its not that I just openly refused to go back but it was one of those things that I just kept putting off and the next thing I knew, three years had passed. 

Nothing gave me a kick in the butt to get to the doctors like visiting the subject of gynecologist with my good friend Rose. Her mom died of cervical cancer when she was just thirteen years old (a critical time in a young girls life might I add). She told me that her mother had just missed one annual exam. By the time her mother got around to making the next appointment it was basically too late. Hearing of Roses story once again reminded me that no matter how much I dread that appointment, it must be done. 

So I made my appointment and trekked to the big city of Nashville. Once I arrived at the doctors office I was warmly greeted by the staff. It was like seeing a group of old friends. It was nice to sit there and catch up with everyone and of course I showed off pictures of my growing kidos. One of the nurses is a West Virginia girl so we talked about home for quite a while as well. 

Finally it was my turn to go back. I should confess that there has been more than one occasion that I have canceled a doctors appointment just because I didn't want to be weighed. I know, everyone go ahead and scold me at once but don't act like you haven't at least thought about it before!

So I get on the scales and my nurse (who I am friends with) exclaims "Goodness you have lost a ton of weight since your last appointment"... "A yeah, that happens when you give birth", I said sarcastically with a smile.

I made my way back to the exam room where I was greeted by my doctor. I should say that up until this point I have always liked my doctor. I think that its important to have a a friendly relationship with your doctor in order to make the whole thing less awkward. We chatted for a bit as he did the exam. He made a comment about my flat stomach. I said thanks and smiled. I was really proud of myself for loosing all the baby weight. I felt good about my body!

I had felt better about my body than I had in years... that is until my doctor suggest, "a tummy tuck would get rid of those lines", pointing to the light marks on my lower abdomen. He proceeds to tell me he could set me up with a physician who does "Mommy Makeovers". He goes on to do the breast examination and says "the Mommy Makeover  package includes a tummy tuck and breast augmentation". I can not even begin to tell you how bad I felt at that point. I just wanted to crawl into a hole.

When my doctor suggested these things, I did not hear them as suggestions. I heard "you need to lose more weight, you need to work out more, you don't look good". I know that isn't what he said, but that is sadly enough what I heard.

Ok... now let me tell you. I have worked on writing this post for a few months now. Yes, that is how shy I am about discussing stuff like this... so you can just imagine the amount of trust I would have to have for someone to just see me naked!!! Do you see where I am going with this???

I walked into the doctors office feeling good and positive about myself but when I walked out I felt like I was all wrong. I felt like I needed "fixing". 

On my way home I thought long and hard about what my doctor suggested to me and when I say I thought long and hard, I confess, what I was thinking wasn't about whether or not I should have the elective surgery but I was already thinking of how was I going to pay for it! Then some where between Charlotte and Second Avenue I thought..."what the crap!?!?!? I cant afford surgery". I felt so down on myself all the way home. I was broken and even worse...unfix-able. I became angry that I allowed to fool myself into thinking that I had actually done good. 

The weeks following I started to physically self destruct. My new diet was killing me. 

One evening I was laying in my bedroom watching TV with Sissy and Aubs. Sissy laid her head on my stomach and my shirt slightly slid up revealing a few faint lines just above my pelvic bone. She ran her finger across them and said, "This was my side". I smiled at her and said "Yes". 

When I was pregnant with Sissy I carried her on my right side, the lines there were from her and on the left side was from Aubs. The lines on my stomach affectionately reminded her of  all the stories of her birth. She then slowly began to recite each story about her life in the womb, Like when she kicked me in sync to Dean Martins Thats Amore. (one of my favorite prego stories by the way)

It was in that moment that I realized that wanting to change my body was absolutely ridiculous! My daughter affectionately looked at my scars and in them she did not see ugly or broken... She read them as if she was reading a love story. She looked at them as if they were something beautiful and golden. 

I will never look the same as I did before I had children and you know what? I am okay with that. I am a woman now and my body speaks of a love story.

So this post is for all my girls. You are beautiful and never let anyone tell you any different. No man woman or doctor should ever make you feel inadequate. 

Your body is golden. Love it, respect it, and take care of it.


  1. Oh my gosh, Leigh. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Again, I felt like I was right there with you. What a great way to put all this obsession and tearing ourselves apart into perspective. Thanks to you and to Sissy for reminding her mom how beautiful she is.

  2. I can't even tell you what I think of that "doctor". I've been a big girl all my life, with a few very short periods of being smaller in between. I love myself. I know I've got food issues that I need to conquer for my health, but I really love myself. Having a husband who is very giving is a big help as well. And yes, I dread going to my yearly this time because I've gained back the 50 lbs I'd lost the last time I was there. You read that right, 50lbs gained in less than a year. Such is the story of my life. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful story and good for you for going to the doctor. No sense dying of something preventable! Hugs to you!

  3. Leigh,
    This was a very good post and answers a few questions I've had recently. I have a niece, in her early 30's who has had that "Mommy Makeover" surgery. I wondered why something like that was necessary. This is a girl who was quite beautiful before she had children (4) and was even more beautiful after becoming a mother. But she was young enough to believe that she NEEDED to look like a teenager, and, I suppose, must have had a doctor that suggested it. The result is a lovely young mother who has to work extra hours to pay for something she really did not need.... I'm really happy your daughter reminded you of how beautiful your body, tattooed naturally by her and her brother, truly is.

    That being said... it will be three years, this year, since I visited the fine doctor for my "special" annual exam.... I really detest those visits, though I like my doctor, and he has NEVER commented on my appearance of my body, negatively, or positively... only on the health of my body.

  4. Leigh, I am so upset right now!! I really want to call that so called doctor of yours and give him a piece of my mind. I find it absolutely preposterous that a DOCTOR would tell that to a beautiful woman of your age. Leigh, you are so young, you don't even realize just how young and beautiful you are. (not meant to be an insult, rather a compliment) Please, do not listen to this idiot. Please get a new doctor. This guy is making money from referring people to the plastic surgeon. I promise you, he has NO business suggesting you go under anesthesia and a knife at your age. OMG. I hope there is someone out there in the medical field, who will see this and back me up. Really, this guy should be reported! I can't believe it!!

  5. Hope you didn't forget that some of us guys would be reading this. I'm glad Sissy helped you get your perspective back. Bless her little pea-pickin' heart!

    Also, I think you should print off a copy of this post and mail it to your doctor. Maybe he was trying to be nice, or maybe he was trying to drum up business for his buddy, but his words were thoughtless and unfortunate. I think he needs to "further his education" just a bit!

  6. Rev.
    You are so sweet! Thank you so much and I am very happy that you read the post. In this world, I understand now why we end up tearing ourselves apart... and I am dearly thankful for my little Sissy for giving me the message loud and clear to share with all of the beautiful women that I know! :)

    The Goodwife,
    You should love your self hun! Because you are one of the most beautiful people I know (inside and out). As far as dreading the appointments because of weight gain... introduce me to a woman that hasn't been in our shoes! ;-)

    Wow, I cant tell you how my heart sank when I read that about your niece. I can only hope that she actually wanted to do the surgery for herself and no one suggested it too her. The idea of any woman having made to feel so small especially after they did something as monumental as bring a life into this world, is heart breaking. Judy, I seriously hate my annual exams too and it is a running joke at the office that I will at least call and cancel two appointments before I actually go but... please please make that appointment. It only takes one missed visit. Best of Luck!!!!

    When I told Lee about what he said, he was LIVID! And after a little prying around, we did find out that he probably gets a kick back off referral fees. One of the girls I went to school with got sucked into this same thing (by the same doctor). She actually had the surgery, and wouldn't you know it that boob jobs don't last forever... seriously she has to get them redone every ten years (thats 10 grand a surgery)! The kicker is all this is legal.
    No worries, I will be looking for a new doctor in 2011. :)

    Funny you mention that, I had actually put off this post for sometime because I knew that there would be a few males to read it but I just felt like the message was more important than embarrassment. Maybe it might help someone else who has been picked at by a "professional", male and female a like... You are right, he gets a kick back off of it (or it is rumored as such anyways). I really appreciate the comment.
    All the Best,

  7. I think that doctor is way out of line and an complete ass. Ridiculous!

    Hat's off for Sis to remind you of your beauty!

  8. When you got to the part where the doctor was telling you about surgery, I wanted to reach right through the computer screen and strangle that arrogant SOB! Plastic surgery is still surgery and those Mommy Makeovers are not "no big deal". They are a HUGE deal. It's someone cutting into your flesh to change stuff about it, and it's a very big deal that can turn into something really awful. To have a doctor with such a cavalier attitude about it ... well, I just .... I think I'd've jumped right off that table and given him a piece of my mind, naked or not ... and I wouldn't have paid for it, either. Freakin' bass-tahd!

    I'm very glad to note that you will be finding a new doctor, and that you (although it took a bit) had the wherewithal to realize that the doctor was full of it, and there's nothing "wrong" with you. From the pictures you post, I see a beautiful, healthy, and vibrant woman, and surgery won't make that more so ;).

  9. leigh-from a male perspective-Your doctor is way out of line and i agree with gorges entirely. Sounds like kickback time- you did not go there for a body shop evaluation by someone who really shouldn't be making it anyway, but for a health exam. Besides who is he to tell you what you or should not look like.
    I think you need another Dr.-Your children have the right outlook. They are love marks- Tell your Dr. he doesn't look like Robert Redford and you know of this Dr. that does head transplants.

  10. This is a comment for Sissy: Sissy, You are a beautiful little girl...inside and out. Please never forget that. And thanks for reminding your Mommy that she is a beautiful woman. You are both important to us all in the world and we think you are just perfect the way you are!

  11. Very proud of you sweetie for writing this post!!! I can understand how it must have been hard! ( not that I find anything not beautifull about you) But we all have those feelings!!

    Sissy did teach you and many of us woman a good lesson!! The scars we carry are not ugly at all!! They are who we are. They are a part of our life and should be worn with pride!!!

    I can be outraged at people like your docter!! trying to stick surgeory on us!! trying to make money while in the meantime they make us feel ugly!!! The only ugly thing in that scenario is the man who is thinking about money and a world of barbiedolls!!!

    Honey like everybody else here!! I believe you are veeery beautifull on the inside and out!!! Very happy aswel that you wrote this post honey!!!

    Us women have been put down for way to long( thousands of years) We have great jobs now and can be indipendent hahaha lol yeah right!!! we are not happy and disform ourselves even more so that OTHERS think us beautifull!!

    I bless the woman who are themselves!!!!
    We are strong and beautifull!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Everybody here is 100% right.

    Your doctor is just "doing business," which I guess is fine in theory (like any other referral), but it kind of ignores "appropriateness" and bedside manner. He picked a vulnerable time and venue for his referral that was pretty unfair to you.

    Sorry :( I wouldn't sweat it - to that doctor it was just business.

  13. You are beautiful. Any woman's body who has given birth is beautiful, just as it is. Things aren't necessarily all in the same places, or the same size or shape, but really? Who cares?! Wish you'd shared this with us sooner; we could have all saved you a bunch of sleepless hours!

  14. Our scars and other various physical imperfections are what make us . . . well us. It is shameful that society tries to force us all through a a cookie cutter where we are all expected to be the same. None of us are the same! We all need to feel we are beautiful and perfect just the way we are.

    Having a doctor tell you those things is unforgivable and as bad as a teacher calling a kid stupid or a priest calling you a sinner . . . oh wait that happens to me all the time. Anyway chin up Leigh, your perfect the way you are.

  15. Thanks for the post. Isn't it great the way our kids can get to the real value of things!

    I don't know how women go to male doctors. My wife has friends who never go and I wonder if lives could be saved by having more women in the profession.

    Find a new doctor.

    Grace and peace.

  16. To have a doctor is great at times.

    To lose one, too.;-)And perfectly appropriate.

    I can relate to your feelings-even if I´m a male- for I have felt not okay most of my life.

    But there simply is a point where it just makes "tilt" and you either screw up or love the skin you´re in. It´s your only one.

    I have always felt I don´t want to live in a cyborg "cookie cutter perfection" world. I feel this life´s too short to believe the hype of beauty our society always throws up. For beauty will not last, as does life.

    GOTO 10;-)

    Thanks for sharing your inner feelings, they are thoroughly appreciated!;-)