One Happy Mommy - Pittsburgh, PA

I am a (gulp) 50 year old mother of 2 – a...

I am a (gulp) 50 year old mother of 2 – a daughter 26 and a son 24. I have been married to my high school sweetie for 28 years. We own an automobile repair and performance shop and are with each other every day – all day. Life is good even with the occasional ups and downs.
My journey began January 8, 2012 when I realized that I was breathing heavy walking upstairs to go to bed twice in the last 2 weeks. For some strange reason it was my wake-up call to get healthy and get my tushie back to where I was 11 years prior. I decided to change my life since diets never seemed to work for me. So after dropping our son off at the airport to return to law school, I returned home with garbage bags in hand and loaded them up with all the crap and junk food from the holidays. I told the rest of the family that we were changing our lifestyles and if they wanted anything “un-healthy” they could use their own money to buy it and eat it out of the house. After a month of eating healthy, I joined a gym. My first day there I swore I was going to walk a mile no matter how long it took. It took me 45 minutes – but I did it. Over the next 2 weeks, I was able to finally walk a mile in 12 minutes – which was a really big tadoo for me! After many miles on the treadmill, you do a LOT of thinking and ask yourself questions about how you got this way. It finally hit me! You see, 10 years ago my father died suddenly 5 days after he turned 59. It was quite a shock to all of us. I’m the oldest of 5 girls and I remember my mother telling me at the funeral home not to lose it in front of my sisters because they would follow my lead. So I didn’t cry – heck to this day I still haven’t had that knock down drag out cry. I turned to food to mourn my dad’s death. So I ate . . . and ate . . . and ate. When he passed, I floated between a size 3 and 5 – I couldn’t even tell you what size I was when I started this journey only that my jeans were XL with an elastic waist. Our son came home for spring break in the beginning of March and went to the gym with me. He’s played football and other sports since he was 5 and has always worked out – so he put me on a workout program. Some of the exercises he wanted me to do – well, heck I thought he was crazy and reminded him that I could still ground him. He wanted me to do the captain’s chair instead of the ab rocking thing. I could barely do 1 let alone 3 sets of 15 but when he went back to college, I eventually built myself up to where he wanted me to be before he came home for the summer. I started drinking more and more water and phased diet pepsi out of my diet. The weight was really coming off and I felt great!! We went to pick up our son from school mid-May and when he saw me, he was shocked and told me how different I looked in just a few months. I started working out 4 to 5 days a week and watched what I put in my mouth. I was eating a lot of salads, fruits and I cut out all red meat. There were things I chose not to cut out –like peanut butter. I LOVE peanut butter so I chose to change the way I get it in me – I now have my peanut butter on celery. I still have salad dressing and cheese on my salads because I don’t look at what I’ve done as a diet – it is a lifestyle change. I think the reason diets failed for me in the past was that I made myself fit the diet instead of making the diet fit me. I noticed in July that certain body parts were not conforming to my new lifestyle and paid a visit to Dr. Karen Roche – the plastic surgeon who fixed my scar from a botched hysterectomy 14 years ago. It seemed that because my tummy was getting smaller, my “whoha” was getting puffier and 1 of the twins appeared to be quite happy as a D-cup where the other was down to a B. So during my consult, she took before pictures and told me to schedule when I was ready but she wanted me to be within 10 pounds of my goal. I discussed it with hubby and we started putting money away in hopes of having it done in January when I could still wear my “fat” sweaters to hide my healing process. In November, I noticed that there weretons of extra skin just hanging on my mid-section so I called Dr. Roche for another consult. Yep – I now needed a full tummy tuck! She really wasn’t sure about 100% about the MR until she was “in there” but felt I shouldn’t need it. So now more money needed to be saved. I told hubby that I wanted no presents for Christmas – just cash for the surgery. Of course men don’t listen! He still got me a load of presents and he went to the PS’s office on his own and paid for the surgery in full. I was scheduled for January 16 and was really looking forward to having everything done – but I didn’t tell our son because he would worry since he was away at school and would feel the need to come home. I wouldn’t have him lose time from his studies at law school for something like this. So the morning of surgery I was weighed as I walked in. The scale was metric so I had no idea what it said and I asked the nurse. She said it was 138. Yahoooooooooooooie! That meant that I was down 85 pounds in a year. I kind of knew where I was but I only weigh myself once a month and I’m sure my scale isn’t as precise as theirs. The staff was GREAT and really kept my daughter up to date with the progress. I had a full TT and BR and lift. This is probably the best thing I have ever done for myself. As a mom, we forget to do things for ourselves because we are so focused on the kids and taking care of the famiily. It is true what they say . . . when mommy is happy, everybody is happy! This is most definitely one happy mommy!

June 18, 2013 Proof of Puffer Monster

Well Ladies - here is proof that the puffer is quite visible in the afternoons. Morning pictures were taken about 9:30 am after being up about 2 hours. Afternoon pictures were taken about 5:30 pm - after the puffer had put in an 8 hour work day. I guess I should have taken pictures after my hour long Zumba class, too - but it was 3 hours later and I obviously wasn't in the same outfit :)
When I compared them side by side yesterday, I was floored and sick to my stomach to see the difference a few hours makes and I wasn't going to post mine until Wildberry posted her's but I figured I'm not the only one in swell hell so might as well just go for it!

6 months post-op today

Well today is my 6 month anniversary and I'm not really sure how I feel. In the mornings when I look at myself in the mirror, I am happy with the way I look and I know I am so much better than I was this time last year and even 6 months ago. I avoid mirrors in the afternoons and evenings since I'm still getting visits from the puffer monster. Occasionally the "fat girl" shows up but not as often. I wish she would take the puffer and just leave!! I am still spitting stitches - which you should be able to see in the belly button picture. There is definitely a difference and I am down 2 sizes and 21 pounds over the last 6 months. I put on a pair of size 6 white jeans last week and they were actually too big (yay yay) so I forced myself to buy a 4 - which fit perfectly. My biggest problem right now is that I cannot quit shopping - I am indulging in retail therapy WAY too much but I do need clothes!! I'm hoping that others are having this problem too :)
Pittsburgh Plastic Surgeon

She's very quick and to the point - no nonsense. I always get right in for my appointments with very little wait time. She is a perfectionist and her work shows it.

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
4 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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