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16 Months Post Op ---- Final Results are finally in.....

I've had a belly my entire life that has only...

I've had a belly my entire life that has only gotten bigger over time. For 15 years I have had a regular exercise routine. I currently go to the gym 5 days a week - do cardio, Zumba, weight training, etc. and the belly never goes away.

Today I had my consultation. I talked to the...

Today I had my consultation. I talked to the doctor and then his nurse, and both said I was a good candidate for Smart Lipo. I have great skin, no stretch marks, and very good muscle tone. The nurse showed me her belly, which she had done 5 years ago and I have to say she looked awesome! Since I have had issues with anesthesia not working well in the past, it was suggested I have a CRNA to be sure I don't have any pain. That's fine with me since I have anxiety issues as well, so this will help me relax! Friday I go for blood work, and we will schedule my procedure from there. I am nervous and excited at the thought that the belly rolls I've had almost my entire life will soon be gone!! I really hope this works. I forgot to add I'm 39, 5'3", and 130 lbs.

Posting some before pictures...

Posting some before pictures...

Finally I have my procedure date! I had a hard...

Finally I have my procedure date! I had a hard time getting my bloodwork results - it took almost 2 weeks! My appointment is still a ways away -- July 23. July 2 was also open, but we always have a huge 4th of July party, so I obviously can't be out of commission if we're having 50 guests that soon!! I'm excited and nervous. Hurry up July!

The lipo nurse called me yesterday. My procedure...

The lipo nurse called me yesterday. My procedure is being pushed back a day because the CRNA isn't available on the 23rd. Not a big deal since it is only one day!! So now I'm scheduled for July 24th. My pre-op is this coming Monday, July 9. I'm getting anxious and nervous!! I hope I don't get cold feet. I just hope to have good results like I see on here! The nurse also told me by paying cash it's a bit cheaper because the quoted price was through care credit. Yay! I'll update again after my pre-op.

Tomorrow I will be 2 weeks away from my procedure....

Tomorrow I will be 2 weeks away from my procedure. I had my pre-op appointment this morning because the nurse will be on vacation next week. The nurse went over the consent forms and gave me pre and post-op instructions. She also gave me antibiotics to start the day before and Loritab for afterwards. My doctor says I have great skin and will do really well so I'm hoping he is right! I have always had a belly so I am wondering what it will look like with the fat gone? The CRNA will call me a day or two before to go over his part. I should pretty much sleep through out the entire thing, which is fine with me. I'm probably going to be in panic mode as the 24th gets closer, but I am excited also!!

It's getting close! I'm only a few days away from...

It's getting close! I'm only a few days away from my procedure, and I am getting really nervous. I am going to be a freaking out mess when Tuesday gets here! I'm more worried about the after part - the pain, leaking, and swelling. I'm ready though and ready to get it done!

Today I took some more 'before' pictures and I will probably do another set. I bought some Arnica since everyone here says it helps with the swelling and bruising. I've really been slacking at the gym this past month. My plan was to work hard all summer and lift weights to get in better shape and build more muscle before Smart Lipo. It didn't happen... With my oldest daughter breaking her arm and doctor's appointments, then all the summer activities that came up, we were just busy all the time. And the sad thing is only one person noticed I haven't been at the gym every day!! LOL!!

I've only told a few close friends about having lipo. I'm trying to avoid telling too many people, not that it's a big secret, but I just don't want my personal business known to everyone!!

Tomorrow's the big day!! My anxiety is hitting...

Tomorrow's the big day!! My anxiety is hitting hard. I'm trying not to panic but it's there. I'm drinking lots of water today and getting my house in order. I started my antibiotics, too. My kids are going to a friend's house in the morning and my husband took the week off of work to help out. Wish me luck!!! I will update again as soon as I can.

Whew, it's over!! Forgive any typos and spelling...

Whew, it's over!! Forgive any typos and spelling errors...or if it's a bit scattered.... I am pretty woozy.

First of all, let me say I have always had a very, very low pain tolerance!

I had to meet my doctor at his #2 office at 9:30am to get marked on with a sharpie. Then I went to his #1 office for 10:30 to get prepped by the nurse and CRNA. They called me back right at 10:30 and let my husband come back with me for a little while. Once the CRNA was ready to get started, they got my husband's cell number and sent him on his way. The nurse took pics, then the CRNA put in the IV, then the nurse rubbed me down with betadine. I laid down on my belly and they gave me something to relax and then I was out. I woke up on my back, and the nurse had just finished numbing the areas. I remember talking to the CRNA about our families but I was pretty out of it!! They said I told them I was dreaming about my kids when I rolled over and I don't remember that at all!! Then they gave me more sleepy medicine and I was out. I didn't feel anything nor do I remember anything about the procedure.

Next thing I knew, I woke up - OMG!! I was in horrible pain!!!! I have a low pain tolerance and I am resistant to anesthesia. I was moaning and crying saying it hurts over and over and over. I didn't expect to wake up hurting so much!! They gave me a little more lidocaine and with in seconds the pain was gone. I had a snack and some gatorade, and the nurse cleaned me up a bit. She put on the garment, which actually isn't as bad as I anticipated. I don't remember coming home but I went straight to bed. The leaking was pretty bad during the first few hours. We had to change out the towels several times. It seems to have stopped as of now.

Today I'm SUPER SORE!!!!! Can't hardly move it hurts so bad. If I'm very still it isn't a problem, but when I try to get out of bed OH MY!! Getting out of bed is the worst. I took a shower this morning and my husband helped me change my bandages. Getting the tape off was awful! From what I can see I have NO belly rolls - just a bit of bruising and swelling. It seems to be perfectly flat!! And my waist is tiny tiny compared to before. They took out 2-1/2 liters of fat.

I feel really dizzy almost drunk feeling if I get up and move around too much. A little weak too. I had to quit in the middle of getting dressed after my shower because the dizziness hit me so hard. I think it's an anesthesia or demerol hangover. I had bad experiences with demerol before... I'm still trying to get up and walk around the house for a few minutes here and there. I feel fine laying down. Right now I feel 'ok' - just a little light headed, so I hope it is passing. I talked to the nurse earlier today and she said to be sure to eat a good meal before taking the antibiotic and loratab, and if they are making me dizzy that will help.

If I feel better tomorrow I may attempt some after pictures.

Day 3 post op: Today is a lot better pain wise....

Day 3 post op:
Today is a lot better pain wise. The first few days I felt like I had been hit by a truck! I'm still sore and it hurts to move in certain ways, but it is bearable. This garment is the worst though!! The two zippers in the front do not lay flat. They buckle up and dig into my stomach, which already is sore. It's impossible to sit in it because it digs so much. The tightness isn't so bad. It's just the zippers and hooks that hurt! I even tried to put it on backwards so the zippers would be in the back but it didn't work. So mostly I'm laying in bed or standing since sitting in it is too painful. Swelling hasn't been too bad but the bruising is pretty awful. I'm full of black/blue/purple spots - even down my thighs.

Today is one week since my procedure. It seems I...

Today is one week since my procedure. It seems I wake up every morning feeling pretty good, but as the day goes on I feel worse and swell more. Maybe I over did it, but I felt horrible this afternoon and had to lie down most of the day. Also I am hurting a good bit today, especially my sides/ flanks. The heat index has been over 100 degrees, and well... being in this GARMENT does not help. Even in the a/c I am hot. (yes I am still complaining about the garment! lol) I'm anxious to go back to the gym, but I am going to rest for at least another week. Tomorrow is my post-op appointment, so we will see what they say about my progress.

I'm 14 days post op now and I feel pretty good...

I'm 14 days post op now and I feel pretty good over all. Punctures are healing nicely. The bruising is fading and the soreness has subsided a lot. I'm still sore when I move a certain way and my stomach/flanks are sensitive to touch. Still numb in some areas also. The swelling has been crazy though!! It almost looks like I had nothing at all done and I'm the same size. The belly roll is gone though and my overall shape is different, but the swelling makes my stomach look big and uneven. I've been drinking lots of water and staying bound up in my garment, but it doesn't seem to help. I know it's normal to swell but I'll be glad when it passes. My stomach is also hard and my skin feels really tight. I'm so ready to ditch the garment and switch to spanx but I wonder how much I will swell with out it?! Itching is setting in -- crazy itching on my sides. I'm hoping to make it back to the gym this week or next so I can ease back into my routine.

16 days post op: Yesterday was the first day with...

16 days post op: Yesterday was the first day with out the 'straight jacket' aka garment!! I wore my Spanx all day.... I even went to the gym and walked on the treadmill for a little while. One of my friends said she could really see a difference in my shape already. By the end of the day -- holy moly swelling!! I'm still swollen this morning. It's crazy how much swelling there is. I might have to look for something a little more supportive than Spanx. I think the feeling is finally coming back because my skin is super sensitive and I'm sore again. I know it's all part of healing and will take time, but like everyone I'm impatient and wish for instant results! My next follow up appointment is Monday.

3 weeks post op: I added new pictures. Swelling...

3 weeks post op: I added new pictures. Swelling and pain varies from day to day. The soreness is gone, but it's like my skin is extra sensitive and hurts. My stomach feels super tight too. Most of the bruising has faded and all my punctures are healing nicely. I do have a good bit of lumpiness, and one bigger bump near my belly button. I had a follow up with my doctor today, and he says it's all normal. Pain and swelling means I still have lots of fluid - but it's just normal edema and nothing out of the ordinary for just being 3 weeks out. Most of the lumps should resolve on their own, and if they don't, I can always get a touch up in a few months. Overall, I feel pretty good but I do tire easily and I'm not quite back to my normal activity level just yet. I can't wait to feel like myself again!

Also, as much as I hated the garment I do find I...

Also, as much as I hated the garment I do find I don't hurt or swell as much when I wear some type of compression. Spanx didn't seem to be enough, so I bought a waist cincher and I have a vedette bodysuit. I don't wear them all the time, but they seem to help when I do.

Tomorrow will be one month since I had Smartlipo....

Tomorrow will be one month since I had Smartlipo. I am still very numb in places, still swelling, and still lumpy. And still VERY sensitive to clothing and touch. Even the water hitting my skin in the shower hurts. Mostly I am wearing loose dresses with spanx underneath. I don't feel bad, but I'm not quite myself yet. I have one lumpy spot I am concerned about, which I am thinking will need a revision. It is exactly where the garment dug into me, so I am wondering if it perhaps caused it? In the mornings, I look fairly small but as the day goes on I swell and the lumps are more noticeable. I do think my back and flanks look amazing - I have a waist and curves!! The swelling and lumps are mainly in the front around my belly button, where a normal tummy pooch would be. I started back at the gym this week, although I am only doing part of my routine. Next week I'm going to try Zumba - I miss my class so much!! I'm hoping that the sweating and movement will get some of this fluid moving and the swelling will decrease. I also have started massaging my stomach every day. So I'm still playing the waiting game... and trying to be patient!!

I'm 2 months post op now. I'm back to the gym 5...

I'm 2 months post op now. I'm back to the gym 5 days a week doing cardio and weights. I'm still on the fence if it was worth it or not. The swelling is still quite bad at times. If I spend time outside in the heat the swelling is miserable!! Pretty much at the end of every day I am very, very swollen and I feel as big as I did pre-surgery. I still have some numbness and my skin/flanks are super sensitive. Just my shirt touching my sides is uncomfortable. I am thinking I will need a revision on one spot, possibly two. I have a lump just above my belly button on the right and another smaller one on the opposite left side. In the morning they are both are not that noticeable, but not long after I get up they become bigger. At my 8 wk check up, my dr. said I still had a lot of swelling and he used to worry at 3 months when he saw lumps like mine, but now he doesn't because in most cases it resolves on it's own. And since the size does change, it is likely just swelling and it will go away.... so I'm frustrated but trying to be a patient patient! In the mean time I am massaging often in hopes it will help speed things along. I do like my new shape but it will be so much better if the lumps go away. On a happy note, I did go clothes shopping and was able to fit into a size 6 shorts!! I was in an 8-10 before, and while a 6 fits, there is still a bit of room at the waist. No complaints about that for sure!!

I will try to take some new pictures next week.

I added new pictures. 9 weeks post op.... what do...

I added new pictures. 9 weeks post op.... what do y'all think???

I don't know if it's something I did or ate or...

I don't know if it's something I did or ate or what... but the swelling has been very uncomfortable the past few days. The weather has cooled off considerably, so I thought with the absence of summer heat my swelling would lessen. I had been feeling pretty good and mostly happy with my over all results so far. I'm back to wearing my vedette bodysuit because the swelling is just soooo uncomfortable and the compression seems to help. I couldn't wait to get home from Zumba this morning and put it on.... and as much as I hated wearing any garment, just that I wanted to put it back on after all this time says a lot!! Hopefully this is just a bump in the road and will not last long.

3-1/2 months post op now... Nov 22 will be 4...

3-1/2 months post op now... Nov 22 will be 4 months! The swelling has almost -almost- gone away. I still feel sensitive on the sides at times. My bump near my belly button is still there, and at times I *think* it may look smaller, but then again on second thought I am not so sure. The bump is the only issue I have and although it's small, it's very noticeable to me. I am losing hope that it will resolve on it's own after all of this time. I've been massaging and wearing my 2nd stage garment most nights in hopes it will help. I really, really would prefer to avoid a touch up if possible. But if it is necessary, I will do it. My next follow up appointment isn't until Dec. 10. I will try to take new pictures this week also.

I am adding new pictures. In exactly 7 days I...

I am adding new pictures. In exactly 7 days I will be 4 months post op!!

And I have to share some stories...
One of my husband's friends passed by our house and I happened to be outside getting the mail in my fitted gym tank and leggings. The friend called my husband and told him he saw a 'fine woman' in our neighborhood and went on and on, saying how his wife had 2 kids and looked nothing at all like THAT!! And finally he broke the news "I'm talking about your WIFE!" As in ME. lol

Just yesterday at the gym, I had one of the regular guys track me down in the ladies weight room. I just know him in passing, as in just saying hi or good morning. He opened the ladies weight room door and scanned the room... pointed straight at me.. and said "YOU... I just wanted to come tell you that you are looking really good!!" Which of course made me feel really good too!! He went out of his way to find me to tell me that! And that same day our Zumba instructor said "look how good you are looking!!"

So just maybe, maybe all of this will be worth it in the end!!

I had my almost 5 month post op visit today. Good...

I had my almost 5 month post op visit today. Good news is my lumps do seem smaller!! I can even tell a difference. I STILL have minor swelling from time to time. Because of that, my doctor thinks it's best to wait a while longer before considering a touch up -- March. He is hesitant to fix it too early and possibly leave indentations once I'm fully healed. SO - I wait some more!!!! It's all good though. Until next time....

Here I am at the much awaited six month mark!!! I...

Here I am at the much awaited six month mark!!! I have changed my review from undecided to worth it. It really does take a lot of patience, and the wait can be uncomfortable and frustrating. I am happy I did it though.

Even at 6 months, I still feel a little discomfort at times. I can't think of anything else it could be other than swelling. It is definitely worse and more noticeable later in the day. I am hoping it goes away completely soon.

My lumps are still there and I have pretty much come to terms with the fact I am going to be told I need a touch up at my next appointment in March. And that is OK... even if for some reason I decide not to do the revision, that will be OK too. I still do have a small belly roll, but it is so minor that I can't complain. By fixing the lumps, I think it will get even smaller. My shape and size have improved so much!! This procedure has done more than any diet or exercise has ever done for me in all of my life. I would have never obtained these results on my own. My weight has stayed about the same and clothing size hasn't changed all that much, but the fact that people have noticed and commented on how small I am has made all the difference to me. At 40, I actually have the curves that I have always wanted..

Measurements:
lower abs before: 37.5
lower abs now 35

belly button before 36"
belly button now 33"

upper abs before 34"
upper abs now 29"

So that is a total of 10.5" gone!!

I am posting a picture in a dress I bought a few weeks ago. I would have never worn something so stretchy and fitted in the waist before... not with the fat rolls showing.

My next follow up appointment is in mid-March to see about a revision.

I saw my doc on Monday and we agreed a touch up is...

I saw my doc on Monday and we agreed a touch up is necessary for my two problem spots. There has been no change in a few months. He said it would take about 45 minutes.

BUT instead, I am going to try something else. In about a month, he is going to begin offering cool sculpting - at least I think that is what it is. He said the results with it have been really great, it's non-surgical, and my two small spots should be fairly simple. I know a revision would be much less involved, but honestly I was really not looking forward to having more incisions, leaking, etc.... the first time was not fun at all!! Of course, I am happy to give this a try instead!!

9 months post op now! I am still waiting for...

9 months post op now!

I am still waiting for my revision procedure to be scheduled. It was only supposed to be about a month's wait.... it has been almost 2 months. I was wrong in my previous post -- it is Exilis they are offering for me to do instead of a smart lipo revision. The nurse said it would be once a week for 4-6 weeks in a row. I guess it is worth a shot and if it fails, then I can go for the regular smart lipo revision. They aren't scheduling Exilis yet, but she said she would call as soon as they are.... I hope it's soon.

Sometimes I still feel like I am swelling. Sometimes I feel like I have gained back some of my weight already. My lumps seem worse than ever some days. I find they are very noticeable at times. I have thyroid disease so weight is always a struggle. I still go to the gym 4-5 days a week, cardo + weights nearly every day... but I have put on a few pounds. Sometimes I look in the mirror and think I don't look too bad!!

Over all I am still glad that I did it. I just can't wait to have the lumps resolved.

10 Months Post Op -- Starting Exilis on 6/13 to resolve the lumps

I FINALLY got the call. I'm scheduled to begin Exilis on 6/13 to see if it helps the two bumps. They said it would take about 30 minutes, and I'll need about 4-6 treatments. The reviews seem mixed, so it apparently doesn't work for everyone. I can only hope that I'll be one with positive results. It's no charge since it's a follow up procedure to my Smart Lipo, so it's worth a shot.

11 months out..... will I still need a revision?

I had my first round of Exilis today. The tech said I will probably need 4 treatments and that after the 2nd I should see some results. I wouldn't say that it hurt -- it was very HOT and somewhat uncomfortable. It's been a few hours and I feel slightly sore but it's not very noticeable. I am skeptical that it will resolve my lumps, but it doesn't hurt to try.

16 Months later!! UPDATE!!

I had my final follow up today. I'm done!! I had 4 Exilis treatments this past summer in an attempt to smooth out the bumps, and today was my 4 month post visit. I do still have a bit of unevenness BUT it isn't nearly as bad as it was. Some days it seems to look better than others for some reason. My dr. said he thinks this is about as good as it gets for me and he's happy with the results. The spots I have are small and that fixing them would likely cause more problems and possibly indentations. He said he's had patients who insisted on fixing small areas like this and then had to do even more revisions to fix the revisions!! SO... with that being said .... I do wish my stomach was perfect but, I don't think it's worth the risk of causing more trouble to fix. AND it is so much better than it was before. I don't think it looks too bad considering I have 2 kids and I'm now 41 years old!!! I am glad that I did Smart Lipo and it was well worth the pain and the time it took to get to this point!!! I am posting my latest before and after side by side pics!!
Houma Dermatologist

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
4 out of 5 stars Wait tmes
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Comments (76)

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You look great!
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Thank you!!
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Wow! You look great!
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Thank you. It has been a long road... but worth the wait in the end!
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I'm 9 months post op and still have more SWOLLEN days then not. I did the "I can't believe it works!" wrap and my stomach was flat for two days,..swollen again! UGH.
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what would u recommend for the second stage garment? coz the seams on the sides are really annoying.
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I wore spanx off and on. I had a few body suits that were more comfy than anything with hooks or side zippers.
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Thanks for the update makes me look forward to my results. Do your research on Exilis because I seen a few people on this site spend their money on that and was not please.
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Thanks! Exilis will be free of charge since it is in place of a revision. Reviews are mixed, but I figured it can't hurt to try! Good luck to you in your journey!
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Thank you for adding so many pictures to show your progress!
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thank you!
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Bella if you go to my profile and browse my pics, the last set of pics taken by doctor, the side view, ugh!
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You do not look bad at all!! I see a big improvement.... even at 6 months I find I still swell, so it could just be some swelling that needs to go away. Hang in there!
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Bella, I am so disappointed at my results... It's been 17 weeks for me post op and I only see a small change on my body. I wear the cg and a cincher and look great but when I take them off I still have some skin? Fat? Swelling ? I don't know what it is.... It depresses me and don't know what to do!
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Hi everyone, I haven't been on in a while, I had my 'procedure' in July and all I can say is to try to have patience. I have a couple lumps on my tummy, doc says its scar tissue, but my back is smooth. If I take off on jog, or run up stairs my flanks still burn after all these months. Bella's results are like mine...but I never thought my body was going to heal or the swelling go down. Thank you Bella for taking the time to document...it gives hope. There's a new machine that freezes fat and its not invasive. I'm going to a review of it on 12/12 ... I will report back.
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Belle you look awesome! I attended the open house on the new procedure. No incisions, draining, bleeding, same cost, no downtime, permanent. I've seen people first hand who had it done...smooth results. It's called Cool Sculpting' My family doctor said he may be able to help my left over lumps with this device. He also said this device doesn't leave lumps because it is truly none invasive. Anyone considering lipo should consider this first, I wish I had.
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Cool sculpting sounds interesting!! I saw it on a dr. oz show and wondered about it. i live in a small town so it probably isn't available here. i would have to travel to new orleans to see about it. something to think about for next time, if there is one!!
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Bella G thank you so much for sharing your experience! You look fantastic! There's hope for me! I'm seven weeks post op and my only complaint is the swelling. I don't have any lumps and do wear my GC 24/7 along with a binder. It's good to know that we are in the right track and as stated before, patience is all we need. I also loved one of your previous posts in which you said that nobody gets the perfect body overnight, not even with lipo! That's so true!
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Hi and thank you! Healing is a slow process for sure! 7 weeks is still very early, so hang in there. I still have a little swelling and I'm almost 4 months post op now. Good luck to you and I hope the swelling subsides quickly.
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Thanks again Bella! And thank you for posting after a while. i will try to follow you in your journey. Because your journey is my journey as well, and there are others behind me, that are having all the ups and downs feelings that are so common after this type of surgery. Sharing your journey eases our worries.
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Your changes (before to after) are really encouraging. You look awesome!! If my Smart Lipo results are that good, every dollar I spend will be well worth it.
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Thank you!! Results do take time, and I am slowly feeling better about it. Good luck to you and wishing you a speedy recovery.
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Bella...r u happy with where u are at...Im at 7wks now and still waiting on belly to go down...but from where I started to where I am is a HUGE difference...
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It is much better than what I had, but as I say in almost every post I hope the lumps resolve on their own. THEN I will be completely happy!!
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I hear ya...I have lumps and bumps as well...but I hope to be much flatter by 4 months than I am now...doc assures me I will...if not happy he will fix it...this waiting game is horrible...lol...ur looking really good!! Keep up the good work :)
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