I was a pretty chubby kid growing up. Around the age of seven, I started to pack on the pounds with each passing year. By the time I started high school in the ninth grade, I was at my heaviest weight ever – about 225 pounds. And at five-foot-seven inches tall, I didn’t have a particularly long, lanky frame in which to spread that weight over. Fed up with my burgeoning waistline and all of the fat jokes, I vowed to take drastic action in order to shed weight and improve my appearance. During the summer break between ninth and tenth grades, I started an aggressive exercise program; I took up cycling and weight lifting, and I eliminated many of the fried, fatty foods that I routinely craved. By the start of my sophomore year in high school, I tipped the scales at about 189 pounds; a tremendous achievement for a guy who had led a very sedentary lifestyle up to that point. Over the next few years, my weight would fluctuate between 180 and 185 pounds or so, and I continued my active lifestyle. But one problem area on my body remained no matter what number appeared on my bathroom scale: my love handles!
The dreaded love handles. Those dastardly pockets of excess fat accumulation on the sides of the torso are a bane to many men. Why these evil creatures are bestowed with a loving name is beyond me. The only thing that I love in relation to love handles is that I love to hate them. The rest of my body seems to be in fairly good proportion; my legs have never been overly fat, and my arms and chest seem to carry a proportionate amount of fat on them. But my mid-section, most notably the side area, has always been soft and flabby. When I was in my early 20’s, I decided to take my exercise and nutritional habits to a new level; I vowed to get my weight down as low as I could in order to see if my love handles would finally be banished once and for all. I started working out like a madman, doing hours and hours of intense cardiovascular exercise every week, in addition to heavy, intense weight-lifting. I reduced my daily caloric intake as low as I could while at the same time maintaining an adequate supply of energy to fuel my workouts. At the height of this herculean training program, my weight dipped to 164 pounds, and at a height of 5’9″, a weight that was well-within the healthy range.
The day that I weighed in at 164 pounds, I took a good look at myself in the mirror; no clothes on at all, just a full-view of my bare self to critique. And what my eyes saw that day was a layer of flab hanging from my sides that looked an awful lot like the layer of flab I had in that exact same spot when my weight was twenty or so pounds higher! Plans upset! I couldn’t believe it. I had trained like a racehorse and ate like a rabbit for months and still those dreaded love handles remained hanging so stubbornly to my sides. I was cursed I thought; I must have been dealt a bad hand genetically! It was at that point in time that I came to the realization that maybe my desire to rid my body of its love handle surplus was an unattainable goal. Never again did I subject myself to such a harsh workout and dietary regimen. I have always remained active, and I enjoy striving to improve my body, but it’s done with the realization that the one area on my body that is not likely to improve much is my love handle area, and that is rather depressing considering the amount of effort that I have put into targeting that area. The only saving grace for me is the realization that there are other options available for people like me who have certain pockets of fat that seem to be diet and exercise resistant; that saving grace is called liposuction!
While I admit that liposuction, the surgical removal of fat cells by way of a small canulated device attached to a suction machine, is a rather extreme solution to a seemingly minor cosmetic problem, it’s a drastic step that I am willing to take at some point. What many people fail to realize is the mental aspect of having an area on your body that has always been a trouble spot despite the best efforts to improve it. Prior to my years spent exercising and torturing myself with a rigid exercise program and diet, the prospect of ever having liposuction performed on my body seemed remote at best. I was always of the belief that with hard work and determination, a person could basically achieve a reasonably svelte and lean body; If I was willing to sacrifice and struggle, I would be able to rid my body of all excess fat. However, the reality was much different. And after putting forth so much effort and not seeing the results where it counted the most, I was left thoroughly deflated. I know there is no such thing as a perfect body; and anybody that tries to attain a perfect body is never going to be happy. However, I’m not after perfection, I just want to be for once rid of these unsightly handles on my sides. And that’s where liposuction comes in. Liposuction is designed for people who are at a relatively normal body weight but have areas of disproportionate fat accumulation. And that’s me! I will have liposuction performed at some point; more than likely it won’t be for a few years at the earliest. But when the day comes for me to have it, I will be all-too eager to finally be rid of these not-so lovable love handles that have plagued me since adolescence.