1 Year Post Skin Removal Surgery

Brachioplasty, arm lift, thigh lift, extended bra line, corset abdominoplasty, breast reduction, breast lift, vertical gastric sleeve, skin removal after weight loss

1 year ago today I went in for skin removal surgery.

Brachioplasty, arm lift, thigh lift, extended bra line, corset abdominoplasty, breast reduction, breast lift, vertical gastric sleeve, skin removal after weight loss1  

Over 14kg of skin removed.
2 surgeries.
About 17 hours in total.
21 days in hospital.
2 blood transfusions.
3 months laid low.

I’m still me.
Exactly the same person, yet there would be people in my life that wouldn’t be there had I not changed the external. There would be gigs I didn’t get.
Whispers around me. Shouted cruelties. Judgement all around.
I’m still me.

Gastric sleeve surgery saved me from a road ahead of health issues.
Plastic surgery saved me from discomfort.
I saved me from me.

Recently a journalist (who shall remain nameless) stated “they already hate themselves enough” when talking about obese people.
F that.
I never hated myself.
I didn’t love myself.
Big difference.

At my heaviest I was about 140kgs, at my lightest in my adult life 84kgs (this year). That number no longer controls my life. It’s about being fit & healthy. I’m really enjoying getting fitter, and working on my % of body fat. I run, do weights, yoga and yep, I’ve even given skipping a go now my boobs don’t give me black eyes.

That number on the scales would control if I had a good or a bad day. If I was great or pathetic. If I was a success or a failure. Never again. When you go up and down (more up) as I did for decades there are pieces of you that no amount of exercise in the world will change (hello Side Show Boob), surgery is the only answer.

It’s ironic that the smaller I get the bigger me I am.

My weight never stopped me from living a full life, but it would have eventually. I thought I still looked good (mostly), I still got gigs, had great friends and amazing sex but those internal nagging voices were never silent.

It’s taken 48 years to really love & honour myself. 48 years to really know why I exist and that I belong. I can’t wait for the next 48!

There was a team that helped me get to where I am: Elodie, my close friends & family for amazing support. Dr David Martin for my vsg surgery. Dr Pouria Moradi for his incredible plastics skills. Nurse Josie for looking after me post surgery. Dr Nina Wines for working on my scars.

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Darling Samantha

Darling Samantha - Samantha Leith

Darling Samantha,

You belong.
I promise.

You will spend nearly 47 years of your life trying to prove this is true.

To be the person that people need.
To be what is missing in people’s lives so that you feel welcome.
To fix everyone’s problems so you don’t have to admit to your own.
To feel that you matter.
That you are loved.
That your every move is approved of.
That your talents, passions and strengths are needed and wanted in this world.

The day you wake up no longer needing this is the day you will be set free.
You will realize it was what you were always searching for yet couldn’t admit.
You will cry.
You will hurt.
You will feel a fire burning out of your chest.
You will sit and scream tears into the trees.
You will be OK.

After all that is your catch-cry.
‘I’ll be OK, I always am’

You suffered.
You survived.

This moment is the beginning of your true transformation.
Truly being alive.
Being like the Dragonflies you always see.
Symbolizing your change, transformation, adaptability, and self-realization.

You will fall in love again before this awakening.
The yin to your yang.
The right man.
The wrong time.
Or maybe the right time.
It will be intoxicatingly beautiful.
It will be excruciatingly painful.
He will unlock parts of you.
Deeply hidden.
He will hold a mirror up.
He will help you see you for all you really are.
Maybe that is his part in your life for this moment.
What happens next with him is unknown.

You will learn to be OK with the unknown.

From the moment you were born you felt you didn’t belong.
They weren’t the words that were used.
However, it was the core belief that grew in you.
Nobody meant you harm when they said you should never have been born or that you ruined their teenage years, or that you spoiled their travel plans.
Even being ignored in your own home by certain people wasn’t about you.

There will always be people in your life in pain.
Sometimes that pain will be directed at you.
You will learn to not take on the pain of others.

You will make mistakes.
Others will make mistakes.
You will always come from a place of forgiveness.

You will be toxically co-dependent.
You will strive for fierce independence.
You will learn that your happy place is interdependence

You will have an unconventional childhood.
Where you learnt to mimic behaviors and follow the lead.
That you had to look after yourself to prove your strength.
That you had to acquiesce in order to keep the peace.
That you had to love even when it was harmful.
That you had to people please in order to be loved.
That you had to put on a show to be accepted.

You will try and control what you can, to give yourself a sense of purpose and place.
When you realize that all you can control is inside of you, you will breathe deeply, perhaps for the first time.

No longer needing the phone call.
An affirmation of your worth.
No longer waiting for thank you.
An acknowledgement of your worth.
No longer craving applause.
An argument of your worth.

You strive to always see the positive.
Embrace the dark times.
It makes the bright so much brighter.

You will always be a carer for others.

Supporting those in need.
You will stand strong by this value.
Without needing to be needed.

You will fall into the comparison trap.
In awe of those that came before you.
You will stop comparing.
Creating your own unique path.

Some goals achieved.
Some goals unrealized.
They weren’t the right goals.
You prove to yourself time and time again, that when it’s right, you make it happen.
100% commitment to what’s important is the only way.

Great decisions.
Crap decisions.
You keep trying.

Wrong relationships.
Wrong jobs.
Wrong businesses.
You were never wrong.

You will lose your parents too early.
Some days you will feel abandoned.
An orphan even with your extended family.
Desperate.
To fit in.
To belong.

You will be alone and lonely.
You will feel joy and excitement.
You will feel anger and frustration.
You will feel everything, always.
Feelings are safe and you will grow to understand that.

You will know in your heart that you can do hard things.

You will survive heartbreak, success, fear and anything that is thrown at you.

Sometimes you will be the life of the party.
Other days you won’t want to leave the couch.
Both are OK.

You will try suicide.
You will fail.

These will be the only 2 failures of your life.
Everything else is a lesson.

You will search for the answers externally.
They are inside you.
They will simply take time to evolve.

Be patient.
You have a long life.
A life meant to be shared with the world.
A life of meaning.
A life where your existence helps others to believe in themselves.
You will always believe in the possibility of others.
One day you will believe it of yourself.

You will find so much joy in motherhood.
You know that it’s not your job to make her life perfect.
It’s your job to give her the tools to create her own magic.
Your commitment to growth will provide these tools for both of you.

Have faith.
In yourself.
In others.
In the universe.

Know that it’s OK to cry.
It’s not weak to ask for help.
You don’t need to be scared to share all of you.
Your true friends will stand by you.
If you let them in.

Be willing to be vulnerable.
It will change everything.

When you take to the stage.
When you help a client.
You feel real.
You feel at home.

You will love.
You will laugh.
You will give and receive so much good.

The frustration you will feel knowing you are meant for more but feeling handcuffed will pass.
I promise.

The despair you feel when you believe you are unlovable is worth it.
I promise.

There is nothing wrong with you.
I promise.

Friends will say they love you.
Clients will say thank you.
One day you will hear those words.
Without the ‘but’ in your mind.
I promise.

You will say yes to thousands of things you want to say no to.
Everything from sex to Crème Brûlée.
Each yes, will help to build your no muscle.
That muscle will show itself one day.
I promise.

You will take drugs and drink too much at times.
You will always stop yourself before addiction.
You won’t follow your father’s path.
I promise.

You will know your worth.
I promise.

You will be in debt for a long time.
You won’t know if it was to impress yourself or others.
It doesn’t matter.
It simply is.
You will get out of it.
You will be financially abundant for the rest of your days.
I promise.

To the outside world you will look like you have it all.
That you have it all together.
Some days your inside world will feel it too.
I promise.

You will learn that the only opinion that matters is yours.
I promise.

You want to Entertain, Educate and Empower thousands of people worldwide every day.
You will do this.
I promise.

You will struggle with your weight for decades.

Eating to ease the pain.
Getting larger in order to be smaller.
It will be one of your greatest teachers.
Once you learn what you need, you will be healthy.
Forever.
I promise.

You will feel like you sacrificed your dreams.
In what you call ‘the numb years.’
You didn’t.
They were growing.
I promise.

You will learn to trust, let go and see what happens.
I promise

You will cry when reading compliments about yourself.
One day you will see what others see.
I promise.

You will exude confidence and charisma.
You will appear courageous, with a sense of clarity.
You don’t fake this.
You are this.
It will simply take you time to believe it for yourself.
I promise.

You will understand your values and learn that boundaries are freeing.
I promise.

Every single moment is worth it.
I promise.

Don’t give up.

The day you die there will be many in the world who mourn.
You will be toasted with champagne by those closest to you.
Black tie compulsory.

You will leave a legacy for generations to come.
I can’t promise what that is, but I know it to be true.

Remember these words in the dark times.

You are loved.
You are enough.
You are worthy.
You are passionate.
You are healthy.
You are smart.
You are loyal.
You are open-minded.
You are generous.
You are hardworking.
You are beautiful.
You are tenacious.
You are unique.
You are talented.
You are kind.
You are optimistic.
You are abundant.
You are powerful.
You are extraordinary.
You are limitless.

You are this and so much more.

One day the penny will drop.

You have always belonged here.

All my love,

Samantha
xxx

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