I'm 35 and a mother of 2 - Done - Chicago, IL

Ever want to just push a "do over"...

Ever want to just push a "do over" button? Well, I surely have... I'm 35 and a mother of 2 (ages 3 & 4). I'm 5'8 and tired of the mid section hangover. After my first child, my stomach went down some but 6 months later I became pregnant with my second child. Stomach go down? Ha ha ha ha..... not a chance.

I had a c-section in 2008. I dropped 60 lbs with exercise but that muffin top refuse to go anywhere. I started thinking about lipo, then a tummy tuck, then figured... I need both. I later discovered on this website, Mommy Makeover. Yup, that's exactly what I need! So, I'm scheduled for lipo, tt, and a breast lift. Time is flying. I'm excited as well as anxious. I'll load pictures of "the flab" as soon as I can.

Time is flying. Less than 2 weeks before I go...

Time is flying. Less than 2 weeks before I go "under the influence".

Less than 2 weeks away from the big event. I did...

Less than 2 weeks away from the big event. I did my pre- surgery blood work on 8/13/11. They wanted it within 2 weeks of the surgery date. That's done. I've been reading about a lot of ladies getting vitamedica vitamins on this website. It suppose to help with bruising and swelling after surgery. I bought some online. Hopefully, they really do help. The only thing my ps suggested was lots and lots of vitamin c and a multivitamin. I plan to get some cough drops before the big event as well.

I'm feeling pretty excited. Wondering about the pain afterwards. I only have 2 weeks off work. I'm counting on bouncing back. Thankfully my job doesn't involve physical activities. It's an office setting. The heaviest thing I pick up is my purse at the end of the day.

Here's a before picture.... showing off my fat rolls.

Time to add more pictures before I go "under the...

Time to add more pictures before I go "under the influence".

I found out the results of my blood work. My iron...

I found out the results of my blood work. My iron levels are down a little so now I have to take iron supplements:( AND..... Redo the blood work 2 days before the surgery to see if the levels went up. Grrrrrrrr!!!!! If my levels don't go up then my surgery may be post poned! That is just not acceptable (as if I have a choice).

Less than 2 weeks to go until the big day. I have...

Less than 2 weeks to go until the big day. I have been on this website constantly. It's seriously turning into an addiction. It's sooooo helpful to me. My nerves are so-so. I just want to do it already! It's like watching the clock and it's taking 9 hours for 1 minute to pass. Ok, maybe my nerves are a little shakey. ha ha ha. I'm so grateful for this website:)

Tomorrow is the day I get my labs re-done. I'm...

Tomorrow is the day I get my labs re-done. I'm nervous about the outcome. I've been taking the iron supplements and eating spinach (here and there). I won't get my results until Wednesday. So, that means I'm going to be on pins and needles about my iron levels until then. I don't want this surgery to be rescheduled again. I'm ready to do this now! Plus, I just bought another groupon purchase of 30 exercise classes for $20. I love those deals! I'm ready to get back into workout mode. I stopped because my umbilical hernia was really acting up and those stomach spasms were killing me. That hernia must know that it will be meeting the knife soon.

Today I get my labs done (again). I'm gonna be on...

Today I get my labs done (again). I'm gonna be on pins and needles until I get my results. I don't want to hear.... "Do not pass go, do not collect $200 dollars." I want to hear.... "Cleared!"

Today is the day. My surgery was moved up so now...

Today is the day. My surgery was moved up so now I'm gonna be the first one. I'm nervous and anxious at the same time. I've been preparing mentally for this rollercoaster for awhile. The only thing left is to move forward & do the damn thing!!!! Woohoo! I'll update you all as much as I can as I continue my journey. I'm really missing my Zumba class & other exercise classes. It'll be soooo nice when the umbilical hernia is not causing me anymore trouble. Anyway, talk to ya later. Time to get ready & push that reset button on this belly!!!

It has been 24 hours since I was at the surgical...

It has been 24 hours since I was at the surgical center. I'm flying high on pain meds. I see my ps Monday morning. I'm wrapped up so I haven't seen the incisions yet. I have 1 drain. I slept on my chaise with plenty of pillows. I was told by the nursing staff yesterday to sleep somewhat sitting up... in other words do not lay down. It wasn't bad. I really feel it walking to the washroom. Of course I'm walking bent over. The more I'm on my feet, the more I feel pain. It's not torture but uncomfortable. I can get up and sit down on my own. I'll try to keep you all posted as much as possible.

3 days post op.....I had my first bowel movement!...

3 days post op.....I had my first bowel movement! Yea!!!! I'm moving around a little faster and still walking bent over. I'm a little straighter. I've been eating peanut butter, hawthorne fruit chews (chinese healing chew that tastes like a prune), and stool softeners. I loosened the binder from the surgical center because it felt like it was rubbing on my incisions. I wasn't suppose to touch it until I see my ps tomorrow (Monday). I had enough of that binder on my incision. Anyway, hubby helped me make it tight again and this time I put a folded towel around the incision to keep that mean ole binder from rubbing on incisions. So far it has helped a great deal. I should be getting the real binder tomorrow after the drain is removed. I wonder how that will feel. I took a peek at the work and it looks like the doc did a good job. I wasn't able to style and profile in the mirror due to fear about loosening the thing up in the first place. I know I will have plenty of time to pose in the mirror after I have been unwrapped.

4 days Post-op!!!! I had my first follow up...

4 days Post-op!!!! I had my first follow up appointment today. The drain is still in:( I was told that it should be ready to come out when I see him again on Thursday. I was cleared to take showers. Yea!!!!! My ps told me to do it sitting down so that I don't fall. When hubby gets home, he'll help me. Today is my first day on my own. Hubby had to go back to work. I drove myself to the ps office. I felt every bump and groove in the road:( I took 2 pain pills when I got home and have been relaxing since. I'm feeling much better. I was taking 1 pain pill but the pain and burning sensation on each side was pretty bad. The doc said things are looking good. I'm very swelling but that's to be expected. It looks pretty good to me even with all the bruising and swelling. It's so nice to look down and not see that huge fat roll looking back at me saying, "how youuuu doing"

4 day post op pic posted

4 day post op pic posted

5 days post-op!!! Last night I attempted to shower...

5 days post-op!!! Last night I attempted to shower. I have always been hardheaded. I didn't put the chair in the shower like my ps told me to. I did wait until hubby got home just in case I needed him to help him. It felt so weird not having any support and not being wrapped up. I was so weak standing in there. Hubby had to come in and help me... even then it felt like I was gonna hit the floor. I was like, "I need to sit and sit NOW! I'm gonna go down!" Thankfully, I didn't go down. He got me outta there real quick.

So, I need to tell you all about the binder. I hate that thing! I've always been a person to wear garments that help me look the best when going out. I had to hide those fat rolls y'all. ha ha ha Anyway, I have plenty of them. The white garment that I got from the surgical center sucks. It jacks my skin up and rubs on my incision. I don't need any more bruising. It appears as though arnica montana & bromelain with quercetin is helping me. Anyway.... back to the binder. I have a few squeem garments. I put on a long tank top then put on one of my squeem vest garments. That seems to give me the support that I need without jacking up my skin. I then take the white wrap around garment (from the surgical center) and put it around the lower waist area to cover it totally and it partly cover my butt area too. My tank tops are very long (bought them in tall) and have really come in hand. So far that has been working for me. I will be using a chair for the shower tonight! lmbo.

7 days post-op!!!! I've been off the pain meds for...

7 days post-op!!!! I've been off the pain meds for 2 days now. Yea!!!! It's not that I don't feel any pain... it's more of a ting here and there and that only happens when I've been on my feet too much. So, I've decided to listen to my body and rest when it tells me too. Today was my 2nd follow up with the ps. He was thrilled at my healing thus far. The drain came out. Yea!!!! I was soooo tired of that thing. It felt like a bandaide being pulled off. I go back on 9/28/11 for another follow up and get my stage 2 binder. By the way, I've been using the shower chair but last night I felt as though I didn't need it anymore. I used it just because it was still in there. Tonight, I'll be chair free. I'm still gonna wait until hubby get home. I haven't needed him to help with anything but it's still comforting knowing someone can help me just in case.

15 days post- op!!!! I've been doing fairly well....

15 days post- op!!!! I've been doing fairly well. I can lay down in the bed for a couple of hours but I prefer the chaise.... for now anyway. The binder that ps gave me doesn't give me the support I want so I've been using the white binder from the surgical center in addition to the one I suppose to wear 24/7. If I have to go out, instead of the white binder, I would wear my squeem garment on top of the one from my ps. The issue I started having is my squeem was rising up because of the silky type of material from the stage 2 binder. So, that meant that was no good.... to wear on top of that stage 2 garment. In my search for more support, I bought a body magic garment through from a friend. It's pricey but I'm sooooo glad I did. In this stage of my recovery, I wanted something to help keep me standing straight. I go back to work on 10/3/11. This garment also gives me the compression I want for the stomach area and it makes me look like I have a nice booty:) I don't have much a butt without it. ha ha ha. I love it! I sleep in the stage 2 binder but for daytime wear, I wear the body magic. If anyone is interested the website is, www.ardysslife.com/chandra007. Be forewarned, if anyone choose to go the route I chose. The first time putting the body magic garment on is tough. But after you have it on, it's much easier. I've loaded pictures of the garments and my results thus far. Of course the swelling is there but I would do it all over again:)

Ok, I guess I have this love/ hate relationship...

Ok, I guess I have this love/ hate relationship going on with binders. lol. I went back to work today. Yea!!!! But.... yesterday I was out all day with the body magic garment. It gave me the support I wanted BUT.... as the day went on and I felt myself swelling.... not so good. It doesn't give much room to grow. lol. I just wanted to rip the darn thing off! When I got home, I put on the one from the ps and was walking bent over again. So, I must tell you all.... the body magic garment is not a good choice when you are still in the swelling stage unless you can take it off whenever you feel yourself getting too big (it becomes painful). So, I'm back to square one. I refuse to purchase anything else. I have all types of compression stuff and none are treating me right in this stage of my recovery. The good thing is I have started being more mindful of the stuff I eat which of course contributes to the swelling. I'm still satisfied with my results just wanting to push the fast forward button through all the swelling..... and then I can do away with all the garments that I've bought. Can't wait!

Overall, my first day back at work went well. I...

Overall, my first day back at work went well. I won't be wearing that body magic garment again in the swelling stage. I couldn't wait to get out of it when I got home. Today's garment of the day is the panty garment that goes up to right under the breast by Cupid. I think I got it from Target or Kolh's. It's new but old. ha ha ha.... meaning, in my quest to hide the fat rolls that I had I bought a lot of different ones and haven't worn all of them. Yeah, that's when I knew I had to get the surgery. So much money wasted. Anyway, I get some pains in the side of the stomach area. It's not on-going and it doesn't last too long. It seems to occur in the evening hours after I've been up too long. The swell hell is still in full effect. I haven't had any issues with my breast lift. The tape is still around the incisions. They look fuller. I do sometimes think I shouldv'e got some added. I'm on the fence with that one. I like my natural size but wonder if I would have liked slightly bigger better. Oh well, too late now. Today was the first day to be back in skinny jeans. Although I'm swollen, it's so nice not to see "the hangover". Damn, I'm glad I got this done! I find myself looking at the calendar more and planning which exercise class to do first once I'm cleared. I love so many of them. My first thought was kickboxing but I don't want to overdo it. That'll probably be too much too fast. I'll probably start off with walking a few miles the first week and then zumba or spin. I have several weeks to go before I have to decide.

3 Weeks Post- Op!!!! I saw my ps on 10/5/11 for my...

3 Weeks Post- Op!!!! I saw my ps on 10/5/11 for my 3rd follow up visit. He took the tape off and told me I'm healing very well. I love my tiny belly button. I'm still swollen on the lower part of my belly and of course that part is still numb. The incision is dark but looks good. It's a thin straight line. It's also still scabby. My ps said that'll fall off. I'm not using any scar cream. I doubt that I will. When I had my c-section I didn't use anything and when it healed, it was barely noticable. During consultations I had to point it out to the docs. ha ha ha. They were like.... "where is it" ha ha ha. Anyway, when I had surgery on my leg several years ago I used vitamin e oil and coco butter on my scar and it turned really dark and nasty looking. So, I've decided to just let nature do it's thing in healing. My ps also told me to make sure I'm taking plenty of vitamin c and increase my protein because it really helps in the healing process. I was told I can go back to exercising in a few more weeks. I kinda knew that's what he gonna say but I wanted to be on the sure side. Here's my 3 week post op pics.

5 1/2 weeks post- op!!!!! Things are going well. I...

5 1/2 weeks post- op!!!!! Things are going well. I took more pics but they look the same so I'm not gonna bother to post them. I saw my ps last week. He said everything is healing fine. I can resume all normal activities. No really heavy weights though. I'm not into heavy weights anyway. Below the belly button is still swollen. My ps said that's always the last section to go down. It doesn't bother me. It looks flat to me. I'm just glad that big blob is gone. Everything else is gravy to me. lol. I still have to wear the binder for one more week. I sleep in the one I got from the ps. During the day, I wear other garments. I have plenty so that's not a problem. I go back to Zumba after work today. We'll see how my first workout go. I'll keep you all posted.

2 months post- op..... Well, I'm gonna include...

2 months post- op.....
Well, I'm gonna include pics in this update. A lot has happened since my last update. There were 2 deaths in my family so I wasn't thinking about posting any updates. At night I'm still swollen. Now, that I've started ab work again.... it looks as though I'm always swollen. I called my ps office and asked them how will I know the difference between being swollen and having dog ears. They told me that it really could take up to 6 months for all of the internal swelling to go away. They said if it's still there by March when I see the ps again then it's dog ears and that can easily be taken care of. They said some people just heal that way. My hubby thinks I'm nuts and worrying over nothing. I say we paid good money and I want it as perfect as it can get. You guys will see that on my right side more than my left side looks uneven. Both sides stick out to me. Don't get me wrong.... I still love the flat tummy and I'm glad I got this done. I was already well away of the possibility of dog ears.... was just hoping it didn't happen to me:) During the day 50% of the time I wear a binder and all the time when I'm exercising I wear a binder. I'm using the squeem binder most of the time over all all the others. If I get dressed up, then I wear the body magic binder. What do you all think of the unevenness? I'm gonna definitely get it fixed if it's still there in March.

3 1/2 months post- op.... I'm still working out. I...

3 1/2 months post- op.... I'm still working out. I exercise 4x week. I'm doing zumba, spin and bootcamp. I would like to go back to boxing soon. I can really feel the stomach muscles working when I do core exercises in bootcamp. It's not a pain but more like the tightness. Anyway, the swelling is still there every day. I don't wear that binder any more. I probably should but oh well. I saw my ps a few weeks ago. He told me that I do not have dog ears and my incisions on both sides are nice and smooth. I asked about the unevenness on the right side. He wasn't concerned about it at all. He told me to watch what I eat and try losing a few pounds. Harsh. But... I gotta admit I was really downing the sweets. lol. Since then, I've lost a couple of lbs and don't eat as much sweets as I was a few weeks ago. The right side still looks uneven to me. I know there's still swelling there too. I'm gonna wait til Spring time and see how it's looking. If it's still there.... another round of lipo gotta be considered. My hubby still thinks I'm nuts for saying that. lol. Overall, I would do it all over again.

I'll be 6 months post op in 3 days:) Yea!!!...

I'll be 6 months post op in 3 days:) Yea!!! Everything is going well with my recovery. I still swell at times depending on what I eat but it's not soooo bad. I'm also in the 2nd month of the Insanity Program. I'm exercising 6 days a week and sometimes I do a workout after work (about 2x week). Why so much? There's been a lot of stress going on in my life. Back to back deaths in the family and I'm getting laid off next month. Exercise helps with my stress level. Anyway, I'm still working on eating better. I'm still a junk food junkie. I would like to keep my size but lower the amount of fat in my body. I'm at 35% body fat. So far since stating Inanity I'm down 2.5% body fat. And believe me.... I worked my a$$ off for that. lol. The other workouts that I'm doing is Zumba and Bootcamp. My groupon will be expiring soon; therefore, so will my bootcamp classes. I've got plenty of stuff at home to keep me occupied with exercise. I'm loading the 6 month post op pics. Sometime this week, I'll call to schedule my 6 month follow up appt with my ps. Overall, I think my recovery is going well. No major problems. I still think I look "uneven" on my right side. It's minor. I'm going to wait til I lose more body fat to see if it looks better.
Orland Park Plastic Surgeon

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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Comments (131)

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WOW! You look amazing. Gosh, I didn't think finding a doctor would be so difficult. Can you give me your opinion of your doctor, the aftercare, how he listened to your concerns, and follow up?
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Thanks. I really liked my ps. The aftercare was included in the cost. There were several follow up appointments. I have no complaints at all. If I ever want something else done, I will go back to the same ps. The entire office staff made me feel very comfortable. They never rushed me and answered all of my questions.
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I dont know if you still post on this site, but I am just about 1 month post-op and was getting extremely frustrated with not being to work out yet. I tried some cardio last week and completely overdid it! I laid off this week because I just don't have it in me to do it. I found your blog to be a bit comforting as you had a wait a while before you started exercising again. I was also really into weight training and boot camp, so mentally, this is killing me. I guess I just need to be patient and let this thing ride out so that in the long run, everything will be healed well and I will feel good.
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Hi, yeah... waiting for the ok to workout again is tough. After you get the ok to go back to exercise, make sure you listen to your body. Things will get better. I exercised with a squeem garment when I started back. There's many garments that offer support but I enjoyed the squeem the best. Without the support of the garment during exercise, I felt horrible after. After I worked out and showered etc. I put on the garment that the ps gave me to sleep in. During the day for work, I wore other garments. (I had so many garments before my sugery to hid the problem area). Happy healing:)
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Hi Lady Taz, hope you are doing well! I FINALLY have my date set for 12/28. SO EXCITED. I wanted to ask you what you think I might need for must haves after surgery. The only thing I can think of is a shower chair. Anything else you could not live without during recovery? Thanks so much!
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Hi Ready for Reset, I'm glad you have a date set. Which ps did you choose? Hmmm, must haves.... have your medication close to you. I had a small table by the chaise that I was propped up on (lol). I had my phones, laptop, medications, water, arnica montana by vita medica, and remote on that lil table. At the suggestion of my ps, I took vitamin c. I do think it helped with my healing. I was also taking the post surgery multi vitamins from Vita Medica. Expensive! I liked the vitamins because they didn't make me sick. Many multi vitamins were too strong for me. The first 3 days were the hardest so I wore a housecoat. I wore the zippered one more. I bought those from Walmart. That was just about it. The first day my hubby assisted with helping me up to go to the washroom. After that I was alone, I took my time getting up and made sure I wasn't waiting til the last minute in an attempt to make a mad dash to the washroom.... I knew I wouldn't make it. And of course as you already know, the shower chair was awesome.
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hey ready for reset, i hope you dont mind me budding in. get halls for your throat they help alot and trust me you dont want to cough right after surgery. gatorade, water, coconut water, yogurts and jello were perfect for eating with an antibiotic or other meds in the middle of the night. neosporin, gauze, maxi pads to put over the incision to protect it from the cg rubbing on it, baby wipes and of course everything ladytaz wrote. hope this helps im 27days po.
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your the best, thanks for the reply. Same PS as you, Dr. Manolis :-)
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I certainly do not mind :-) thanks so much for the tips! I can not wait until I'm 28 po. Hope your healing well!!!
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Awesome! I'm glad you chose him. His work is awesome. If I ever get anything else done, I will go back to him:)
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WOW you look amazing after surgery. I was given a compression full body garment as well as Spank. Did you have any experience with Spank at all?
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Thanks jada501. I have wore Spank. It's so so in my opinion. Not something I would buy again. A lot of people love Spank. I really don't see why. I bought a few of them in my attempts to find the "right" garment. Sometimes it rolled.... but it wasn't to the point of cussing the garment. lol
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I had major surgery last two years, can l still use body magic.
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Body magic was very tight. It didn't work so well when I was going through swell hell because the garment didn't stretch much. It was fine for special occasions when I needed to wear it only for a few hours. Personally, I couldn't stand to have the thing on all day.... and I had several different types of garments from various brands. So, if the site where you were cut still bothers you or if you don't have an extremely high tolerance for tight garments then the body magic may not be for you. Even after my body magic garment "loosened" it was still bothersome to me. On the other hand, I know a couple of people that still wear that body magic almost daily and it doesn't bother them (so they say). There's so much on the market that's cheaper and in my opinion better/ more tolerable for all day wear. If you decide to get the body magic, try ebay or amazon and try to find it for a much lower price than the reps sell it for, Good luck.
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Your welcome. No bother, ask anything you want, no problem. I'm happy to help. Good luck to you!
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thanks for the info! I have appointments lined up with Dr. Manolis & Dr. Shah next week.
I'm aiming for end of July or early August. I'm thinking I will end up doing the same things you did. Nervous but exciting. Can't wait. I'm sure I will be back to bother you with more questions as it gets closer.
take care!
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Of all the research I have done, your story & body is the closest to mine. Your PS is the 1st on my list for consultation. I feel like I need to speak with a couple PS. Aside from you AWESOME results, why did you pick him? Were there other candidates?
I'm in the area of and love the idea of having a PS close for all the post op appointments.
thanks so much for posting your story with the results!!!
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Thanks Ready for Reset and your welcome. I went on 3 consults before my surgery. Dr. Manolis was the first consult. I also did a consult with Dr. Shah in Orland Park (anewyou.net) and a doc located in Munster IN. My consult went so well with Dr. Manolis, I compared EVERYTHING to him and his office including all the staff I encountered at the different places. I had appointments for other consults with various doctors that I canceled after my consult with the surgeon in Indiana. By the way, he was the worst and most expensive. Dr. Shah offered the best price but overall he just didn't compare to Dr. Manolis in my opinion at that time. He and his staff were friendly but I didn't feel that personal connection like the first consult. He would have possibly been a second choice. I also liked the location of the surgical center Dr. Manolis does his surgeries at (off I-80 in Tinley Park). I've heard nothing but awesome things about Dr. Roxanne Sylora in Evergreen Park (aestheticachicago.com). She was one of the consults I canceled because her consults aren't free and she prefers to do all her stuff in the hospital (what I was told by her office manager which is on average about 40% higher than a surgical center). I am currently going to her location for laser hair removal. Thumbs up for that:) Anyway, I hope that helped you a little more. Please keep us posted on your journey. Good luck in your search. Feel free to ask any other questions.
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Omg u look so good. i hope my results are just as good!
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Thanks YoungMommy21:)
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Omg u look so good. i hope my results are just as good!
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Oh my gosh whatever you are doing you look incredible so keep it up!! You could be a spokesperson for bootcamp!!
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Thanks mom_me:) I think I have a long way to go before I'm spokeperson material but thanks for the added motivation:)
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wow youre looking great i hope i get the same results to, iam gonna look into that website for the magic body suit
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Thanks island girlsxm, that body magic hurts when you are in "swell hell". After you check out the prices on their website, also check out the prices on ebay and amazon. It tends to be cheaper thru those. Personally, I like the squeem better. It gave me more room to expand during swell hell without all the pain like the body magic. There's also some videos on youtube comparing the two. Good luck and happy healing:)
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