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Thursday
Oct182007

Thighs & Lows

So, having lots of extra thigh skin, I jiggle in the area around my yoni. Pants fit stupidly, so I wear skirts most of the time or huge, elephant-legged pants that Nordstrom sells each year. (Sadly, I didn’t get any new ones this year.) When I am thinner, the skin drapes. It folds like Broadway curtains opened for that night’s show. Fatter, it isn’t as draping, but there are still amazing wrinkles and gobs of rolls that remind me I used to weigh over 100 pounds more than I do right now.

Before the gastric bypass (6.5 years ago), I used to get horrid yeasties on my thighs, under my belly and under my breasts. My thighs rubbed raw even walking to the end of the driveway to get the paper. Pain from skin friction was a fact of my life.

When I was in junior high, it was de rigeur to wear panty hose and my mom, also a chunky woman, wore support hose, so I took hers and wore those. Because of my thighs, it wasn’t half a day before I rubbed a hole through the hose and had a nylon burn on my inner thighs. Walking through the rest of the day – and then marching on the field in band as I played my flute after school in the Orlando heat – was ever so much fun, even if I took the pantyhose off; I still was in agony.

Creatively, I came up with a variety of solutions – putting a hankie (too small) and then a bandana inside the pantyhose, one half down one side covering one thigh, the other half covering the other thigh – and that worked well until the bandana wriggled loose because the hose’s crotch fell down (because they were too tight) and I had to re-position it over and over, or it wouldn’t stay put at all. Then, all bets were off.

I tried Vaseline once. I might have gone home within an hour after getting to school after that experiment. (Same time period that I put Vaseline on my lips at the beach to keep my lips from burning. I ended up with the hugest blisters ever – Vaseline being GREASE, attracting the sun like my lips were the frying pan.)

I used corn starch like crazy (“What the hell is all this all over the bathroom floor?!?”) after realizing baby powder didn’t work at all. I took corn starch to school with me in baggies closed with the rubber bands from the newspaper. This was in the day before Ziploc bags and before newspapers all came in plastic bags in Florida. I spilled cornstarch all over my books and notebooks more times than I can count.

I loved when elephant bells came into style and I could wear pants while not showing or burning my thighs. Whenever I wore pants before that, my thighs rubbed together so much, I made holes in them and we just didn’t have the money to get new ones, so I wore skirts most of the time. Oh, and of course, to make it even worse, corduroys were what everyone wore and those pants made some NOISE when one walked, not to mention when a fat girl walked. Blech.

Some time after high school, I was at a weight loss seminar and someone told me about knickers. My head spun with the thought of my entire childhood re-lived without burned/chafed/scabbed thighs and the woman continued telling me about medieval festivals and how many of the women there are fat and they have knickers there – I should go!

Right after that meeting and the epiphany that there was a cure to painful thighs came the invention of bike shorts for fat women. Some of you might have been hollering at the screen this whole time, “Bike shorts! Go get some bike shorts!” but there was no such thing for the first half of my life. Not for big girls.

I remember the first time I put on a pair of bike shorts as if it was the first time I kissed a delightful lover. I am sure I got tears in my eyes as I felt the reality of never having to cope with nylon burned thighs again.

While I did have to contend with yeasties for many, many more years (I didn’t know it was yeast) and didn’t figure out to use Monistat for farrrrrrr too long (I tried that cornstarch again, diaper rash cream, Vaseline (again), putting bandanas under my pannus (the dangling belly) and using a hair dryer to keep it dry, at least my thighs were safe.

Until the gastric bypass. While I don’t get rub burn anymore. There is a new danger.

Toilet seats.

I pull my skirt up, throw it over my shoulder, pull my choni’s down, and sit on the toilet like the rest of y’all. However, somehow, my thigh skin gets caught under the toilet seat and as I sit down, I pinch my thigh skin with all the weight of my body and scream as I jump up, nearly peeing on myself and ending up with a 2-6 inch long, teeny-thin purple bruise that lasts for days that I feel every time my right foot passes by my left foot.

How does this happen? It isn’t frequent, but it’s enough to be extremely annoying (and distressing!). I sit really slowly, pull my thigh skin forward so it doesn’t go near the seat most of the time, but sometimes I forget, still sit slowly – sometimes it happens, the great majority of the time, it doesn’t. Very weird.

It never happened when I had lots of fat on my thigh. Only now with skin flaps. (I don’t want to trade, thanks.)

Anyway, I just thought I’d write about this because last night, I was having a pleasant evening with my apprentice Donna at Chili’s and went potty right before leaving and smashed my thigh skin but good. Today, I am sporting a loverly mark left over and it’s annoying. Reminds me of the rub rash days. Which were humiliating.

It’s funny (as an aside). I was so, so fat as a kid. Yet, by today’s standards, I wouldn’t have been fat at all. I would have been on the slimmer side of chunky. I wonder what my childhood would have been like – what I would be like – if I hadn’t have had all that heart pain from being fat.

No going back, though. It’s what it was.

It’s what it was.