Why I'd never have a tummy tuck

Posted Thursday 19th September 2013   By Ericka Waller

Even now, two years after my last baby, I have to tuck this bad boy into my large knickers…

For a while I thought my figure was something to be ashamed off. I ran 40k a week to try and sweat it off. I racked up the husband’s credit cards buying ‘wonder’ creams. I bought discount laser treatments off Groupon. I even went to see a cosmetic surgeon.

He sold me all the benefits of having a tummy tuck. How flat my tummy would be again, how great I’d look in a bikini. Yes I’d have a very long scar and be in hospital for two weeks with four tubes draining my tummy, and yes there was a high risk of infection, and it would cost a cool eight thousand pounds, but wasn’t that a small price to pay?

He explained that they would slice me from hip to hip, pull all my loose skin down and trim it off, then move my belly button back up again.

I looked at the skin he was tugging with his hands, as though it was nothing more than a jumper tied round my waist. I imagined being on his operating table as he trimmed my loose skin off, like royal icing round a cake. I imagined it dropping to the floor, being swept up like excess hair by a cleaner.

My skin. The skin that stretched to protect my babies.

Discarded.

I realised that cutting it off was not the answer. If I can not be happy with myself as I am, I will never be happy with myself no matter what.

If I had a tummy tuck, I would hate the scar it left and the fact I gave in and had one in the first place.  There is no end to self-loathing or body dismorphia.

I had to learn to accept myself. To be the kind of mum and role model I want to be, the kind who can laugh at her shortcomings and imperfections, I had to learn to accept myself.

Motherhood is a stain you can’t wash out. And I don’t want to.

Yes I am loser, and leakier and bits of me that once bounced now flop. So what? My daughters pull my puckered skin as we wedge in our bath (note to husband, buy us a bigger bath please) and we marvel at how it once housed them all.

I don’t want my daughters to ever feel about their bodies the way that I once felt about mine.And I am a sissy about having my belly button touched.

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