Weight loss left me with 20 pounds of excess skin – I’d rather be heavier
April 8, 2023 | 12:55 p.m.
Claudette Hawk has lost nearly half her weight through weight loss surgery, but says she now struggles with 20 pounds of excess skin that makes it difficult to have sex and even to live your life.
Kennedy News and Media
By losing weight, she lost herself.
Claudette Hawk has lost nearly half her weight thanks to bariatric surgerybut she says she is now struggling with 20 pounds of excess skin that makes it difficult to have sex and even live her life.
The 59-year-old mum who once weighed over 300 poundshad gastric sleeve surgery, but due to the excess skin – which she has to “roll up” to “look like breasts” – she admitted she was happiest when she was heavier.
“When I looked in the mirror when I was heavy, I (could look at myself),” Hawk, from Newburgh, NY, says SWNS. “Now I don’t like looking at myself in the mirror anymore, except my face. I don’t like my body at all. It’s horrible.
“I’m more aware of my body now than I was when I was older,” she added.
The weight started piling up after Hawk gave birth to her first child at 19, but things really got out of hand when her thyroid was removed following a diagnosis of thyroid cancer in 2006.
After the gastric sleeve procedure in 2019 – prompted by her inability to play with her granddaughter and climb stairs – she is now a size 10, but laments her sagging skin that accompanied the severe weight loss.
“I used to have a nice pair of boobs, now I look like I have cow udders. I try not to look at my body,” said Hawk, who works as a flower delivery driver. “I don’t have breasts, they are flat and hang down. I roll them up and put them in the bra so it looks like I have boobs, but I don’t. They are nothing you would want to watch.
Now she is so embarrassed that she refuses to let her 40-year-old husband Thomas, 65, see her naked. The couple’s sex life has gone non-existent since she weightlossshe says.
“It affects intimacy. I don’t let my husband see me without clothes on. I did when I was older,” she shared. “It’s hard because we had a sex life quite active when I was heavier, which I’m still trying to figure out.”
She added, “I feel like I’m not attractive to him now with my body the way it is, that’s why we don’t.”
Now she’s raising money for a procedure to remove the dreaded excess skin that’s causing rashes and pain and even emits an “awesome smell.” Although she hopes the operation could change her lifestyle, “there are no guarantees,” she said.
“The operation is quite expensive. I think I would be able to look at myself and (be) emotionally happier because even when I’m taking a shower, I’m in and out,” Hawk explained. “It would save me time because I wouldn’t have to use all the compressions. I have to secure my body, so it takes me a while to get dressed.
Not only would the surgery remove the skin, but it would also provide breast augmentation and tighten her stomach muscles.
On his GoFundMe page, she admitted she had felt ’embarrassed, unlovable and fat’ all her life, saying doctors never raised concerns about her weight. Telling her devastating story and her ordeal of weight gain and excess skin, she urged donors to help her feel like herself again.
Since Saturday, she has raised just $200 of the $15,000 she needs to go under the knife and get her life back.
Hawk said she had a ‘horrific experience’ with her gastric sleeve – her body was in shock after the procedure and she was unable to exercise, which could have contributed to the excess skin drooping. But she “never regretted having it” because the weight went down and she had more mobility.
“I knew there would be excess skin because I had been overweight for so long, and I was told that as long as after the operation I exercised, it wouldn’t be so badly, but I couldn’t exercise because I was in bad shape.” she says.
Now the extra skin brings her agony.
“It’s exhausting me,” she sighs.
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