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Fat Girl's Journey to the Flat Side (Part 1) - Regina, SK

I ate too much. Sure, I could blame my current...

I ate too much. Sure, I could blame my current belly situation on my son (he was 8'10, but really, people didn't even know I was pregnant til about 8 months...who am I kidding - it was the food.

I ate my way all the way up to 310 pounds, and I thought I was fine. Then I got a nasty flu that attacked my joints, and in trying to do physio/rehab, I realized I wasn't.

So I did something about it. I have lost 115 pounds all on my own. Along the way, I became a fitness instructor (teach five classes a week), but I also dislocated my hip, and so had to return to physio. This time though, I was lighter and stronger, and as she has put me through my paces for rehab, my body has transformed...my arms, my legs, my back, my shoulders (oooohhh I love my shoulders!!)...however, my belly got down to this state and hasn't budged in about a year...so surgery is my only option to get rid of what's left.

I am 5"6 and currently 195 pounds....thanks to all the physio/activity, I have more lean mass than usual (I have had my body composition done and have 140 pounds of lean mass) so my goal is to get to about 25% body fat (currently 29%) and about 180 pounds.

When I have the surgery, I will update this review from a recovery experience, but right now, leading up to the surgery, I was hoping I could take advantage of the experience of this board and get some more information from those who might be a bit bigger....although comments and feedback from everyone is appreciated!!!

So....one thing I am wondering about is how much gets taken off....(can't really find good info about that!!)...so for those with hanging aprons who ended up flat, how much was taken off? And what kinds of impacts has it had in your life....how did post op weight settle in comparison to pre op weight (after accounting for swelling of course!!), and how did clothes fit? And I guess most importantly, how did you feel? I mean, I go workout or teach, and I feel lean and strong and like I can do anything, and then I look at it and I go ugh......after the apron is gone, does the outside body match the inside body better?
You and I are very much alike. I am very muscular too. We are similar in shape as well. I am schedualed for May 23 I will post updates. Read my story and tell me what you think. Good luck to you. I know i cant wait!
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Yes, we are very similar....I have PCOS too, but was able to lose the biggest part...I am thinking though, that I will get stuck at about 180....that's why it's my goal weight and not lower....if my bodyfat % is healthy and my size is good and I feel lean and strong...I am not going to waste my life trying to get to some unattainable arbitrary number on the scale. I am glad you are a month before me.....can't wait to see pics after!!!!!
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Yeah I totally understand that and really don't care what the scale says as long as I can get a flat tummy. I tell people all the time what I weigh, I just don't care, they usually don't believe me anyway. But yeah 175-80 is where my body likes to be. I never had a unrealistic goal I was just trying to get to 155. But after almost 4 years? and God knows how much money I am done, I am going to spend it on something I know will actually work AND will get rid of my obsession and the cause of my body issues. Not that the last years have not been good for me. I am very strong for a 45 year old and I eat really healthy 95% of the time. I will keep you posted!
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I actually have two questions that have been...

I actually have two questions that have been bouncing around in my head and since I am T minus 45 days, I thought I would throw them out there....

First, because of the state of my belly, I have only EVER worn granny panties....how would I go about trying on other styles in order to determine what he should mark me in? I would think that those teeny tiny panties won't fit me in my current state, so how is a girl to know what to choose?

Second, I am divorced and I share custody of my son with my ex...my son will be with my ex for his regular parenting time for the first few days of my recovery, and then my son comes home for my parenting time and a little vacation time (since my parents will be here). If anyone has an ex, what, if anything have you told them about what you are having done????Personally, I don't really want to tell him anything, but he is my son's father, and I think he needs to know "something' in case my son asks him questions....

Any and all experience would be appreciated!
You're gonna be so happy after your TT. I had pretty much the same looking tummy and although I am swollen I am glad I traded flab for scars. We are gonna be 2 hawt Canadian Girls :)
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If you feel that you have to tell him something, tell him you are having hernia repair. He doesn't need to know anything more then that and it would sort of be the same recovery. I've heard that is what a lot of women have told others. As far as the panties, I was able to wear somewhat lower panties before hand, they would just roll down on me! Not now though! I think your surgeon will want to get you as low as possible. I didn't wear anything when my surgeon marked me. And my incision is VERY low! If you are planning on wearing a low cut bikini, then let him know. I can't wait to hear your after story, this is such a great surgery to have as far as helping with body image. I haven't "lost" any weight, but feel great and am more confident now then I ever have been! Never had a moment of regret!
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Your before pics are very much like mine!! I didn't wear little panties to be marked up I'm, I couldn't for the same reasons as you, I just held my tummy up tight as possible when being marked and asked him to do it as low as possible. As for what to say, I told people I wasn't going to tell the truth that I had a hernia repair which required muscle tightening afterwards. Hope that helps. Take care. :)
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I have spent this week having really irrational...

I have spent this week having really irrational thoughts...like that I will get to my pre-op (June 13) and be told that the surgery is not happening.....I think it's cause I am now starting to get into the real planning - my parents have their plane tickets booked, I have booked my medical leave off work, I am starting to gather supplies.....I need the logical side of my brain to take over, but it seems like it's nowhere to be found!!!

Question of the week - clothing for after? Especially pants....I have four pairs of yoga capris that I work out in (wearing one in my before pictures) and they have a comfort band waist...will that be comfy enough, or do I need pants with drawstrings?

I am also debating getting a walker...I will have 24/7 help for three weeks, so there is part of me that thinks I don't need it, but then I think at 2 am, if I need to go to the bathroom, it might be nice to just go by myself and not have to wake anyone else up just to help me.....opinions about the usefulness of the walker?

Thoughts?
I am 5'8" and I was 206 before surgery. I had tt with mr, no lipo. My ps took off just over 6lbs of skin and fat. Everyone is different, as well as if you have lipo done. Immediately after surgery my pants and shirts were a little big. I dont recommend weighing yourself anytime soon after surgery, at po week 2 I was up 6 lbs from surgery at 211. I am now 5 weeks PO and weigh 202. I am also currently down 1 pant size, but clothes in general seem to fit better without the apron of skin. I just started the paleo diet along with going back to the gym because id like to loose some weight but im pretty satisfied with my results and would do it again in a heartbeat! You will love it!
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Thank you for your reply. I was actually following your profile cause we are similar, so I am glad to hear that you are satisfied with your results. My PS indicated that he would do lipo, but that he is conservative in the lipo in order to avoid complications, so I am assuming that most of the tissue will be removed from the apron and not from the lipo.
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I get weird thoughts too but I am trusting God. I was too nervous 2-3 weels back, after that prayed talked to him and I have been feeling lots of peace, just so busy getting ready, printing all my questions, getting my wish pics etc.
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Calling all exercisers!!! Question for you....

Soooo, I have been thinking about this exercise thing.....reight now I work out 6 days most weeks...three cardio, plus three metabolic (nonstop circuit) weight training sessions, plus I teach five fitness classes a week.

As my TT sx date approaches (less than a month now!!), I find myself of two minds...one part of me says to work out like crazy and get myself in the absolute best condition, and the other part of me says that going from gangbusters to absolutely nothing is going to be too hard to handle mentally, and that I should take this month and taper off a bit so that its not "such" a shock when I am stuck in a recliner and the most activity I will be doing is walking back and forth to the bathroom!!! I am thinking that if I get "used" to doing a little less now (or at least not beating myself up for missing a workout), then I won't have as hard a time when I have to do ALOT less...

So those who were fervent exercisers before the sx....exactly how hard was it to not work out? What is it like mentally to tell yourself "I am healing, I am healing..."

All thoughts and experiences appreciated!!
PO day 5 here and your story sounds alt like mine. Congrats on the weight loss and the improved physical fitness. Odds are you will do well when you have your surgery because your body is ready for what your surgeon will throw at you. My doctor removed about five pounds of skin from my abdomen. Some people have more removed...others less...the five pounds completely transformed my lower half...I'm not skinny svelt, but I no longer have the pannus. I'm thinking I'll be in a really good place to pick right up with my fitness journey. I still have work to do on this body. As for your question about not working out...I'm not struggling with being unable to run because physically I cannot and my body knows it. I too worked out 5-6 days a week prior to this surgery. I ran a half marathon a few weeks before and I ride horses regularly. I thought I would be stressing about going from all to nothing but I feel like my body needs to heal so no guilt about not being more active. I do feel empowered with respect to my diet though. I'm a vegan and I'm really watching what I eat. I'm dong his less Asa way to control my weight and more as a way to avoid the dreaded swell hell. I wasn't mentally prepared for how much salt or fatigue could make me swell and how horrible that feeling is. I'm down 3 pounds from my surgery day weight. I weigh myself every morning, just as I did prior to surgery. My doctor cleared me for walking or light cardio two days ago...so at post op day three...and I've gone out and walked my dogs...short easy walks...but it's a start. Try not to over think this and just listen to your body and you will be fine. I'm super excited for you and cannot wait to follow your journey! Hugs!
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Thank you!!! You sound a lot like me...I won't ever be skinny minnie either, but getting rid of the pannus and moving all that upper ab skin down will go a long way to making my outside match how I feel on the inside. Interesting that you bring up the salt though...I just started working on cutting down the salt - not that I eat alot, but there are bits - like soy sauce on rice that I really don't need.
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No need to be skinny minnies! We just aim to be the very best we that we can be. Try Braggs liquid amino acids in place of soy. Better for you, lower in sodium and the taste is great!!!
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Pre-op moved to June 5.....what to expect?

Yesterday my pre-op got moved up to June 5 from June 13, so I am posting this post a bit early...what should I expect at the pre-op? When I had my consult, he went over the risks and all that, so is this just going to be signing the consents and making it all official (and of course, paying the $$$)?

What have other's experiences been at the pre op?

I have more detailed questions to ask him about the recovery period, since we didn't discuss that at the initial consultation...I am asking about prescriptions, scar care/dressing changes, showering, compression garments, exercise, etc..can anyone think of anything else?

Carolyn
Hi there! Which surgeon are you using in Regina? I am scheduled to go in on June the 3rd with Souf
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I am with Dr Ledding. I am actually from Saskatoon, and my family doc went to school with Dr Ledding, so when I asked for the referral, I got referred to him (and I asked for an out of town referral cause I work for the health region, so I don't want the surgery here in my own backyard as it were!))
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Basically pre-op is answering any questions you have, paying the bill, the surgeon letting you know what to expect and giving you prescriptions to fill. Maybe telling you of any blood work that needs to be done. How exciting!!!! Can't wait to hear about how it goes. Sounds like you have everything covered!
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Pre-op done!! This tummy only has 14 days left to live!!!!

Pre-op was yesterday. PS went over the procedure (will do extended TT, lipo flanks and MR) and asked me to go get fitted for my CG beforehand - says it's way better than getting fitted that day...I would think so!!! The only thing I was disappointed in was not getting my prescriptions now...I would assume there must be a reason, but he doesn't issue scripts til the day of....I was hoping to avoid the post surgery run to Walmart....but I can deal with it, I guess.

Now my mind is full of getting things ready...getting my house clean, etc. Ack! Two weeks from right now I will be getting marked up!!!
Wow....less than two weeks!!! You are almost on the flat side!
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I'm now at po day 9! You can see from my before photos that my old belly flap really was terrible. The piece of skin that was removed measured 11" high by 15" wide and weighed only about 3lbs. Even this soon postop, with swelling and the binder.... I don't stress about what shirt I wear because I don't have a pouch bulging out or a butt in the front of my tight pants..... it feels absolutely freaken awesome! ! I can only imagine how happy I'll be in 6 months after I'm more or less healed ! So far this pain has been totally worth it... and not even all that bad. Pain has been easily controlled with meds. Best of luck with your surgery! !
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One week to go!!!

This time next week, I will be in pre-op!!! Yikes!! Although I am not at all nervous, I have started doing all the "last" things before surgery - teaching my last fitness class, last physio appt, weighing in one last time (for my records - I am sure they will weigh me that morning), etc, etc and it's making it very real...so far the surgery has just been "the surgery" - out there at some future point, and now I am down to single digits in the countdown...wow!!!

I will be going this weekend to get the final set of supplies, and the kiddo and the ex are getting told this weekend too....
Hi Carolyn!! I haven't been posting on the site in a while. But, I'm so glad I popped in tonight!! You are just a day away!! I will be 4 mos PO on your surgery day. Had my final PO appt with ps on 6/6. He said he was happy with the way I was healing. I did have another "spitting stitch" that he had to remove from my right hip. It's amazing how long those things hang around! Hopefully, I've seen the last of them though. So, having seen your pics, I can see a lot of similarity in our pre-op tummys. I can tell you that I have no regrets. I am thrilled to be rid of that awful apron. I will say though, that I am not so sure there was any great benefit to having the fleur de lis. I don't think he removed enough skin at the vertical incision. And, the vertical scar above my BB is raised, which I don't like. The scar below my BB and my horizontal scar are flat and healing very nicely. I still don't like my "slit" of a BB either. Not really complaining.....just sayin'. You are having an extended TT and I think that will be just fine. I didn't have lipo on my flanks and I don't know why. Dr said I didn't need it. I let him make the call on that. In retrospect, I'm sorry I didn't insist. I think it would have proved beneficial. Overall, I am pleased though. I am not an exercise enthusiast, though I wish I were. So, I can't offer any advice about that. I can tell you that although you won't see it on the scale for a while, your ps will probably remove 10-12 lbs. The swelling messes with you though. I didn't weigh myself for about 2 mos PO. I didn't want to upset myself by seeing a number that was higher than pre-op. As for clothes, I think your yoga pants will be fine. As for the walker...I had one.....never used it. The toilet seat riser was a great help. And, the recliner was invaluable. I don't know what I would have done without it. I slept in it for the first few weeks. It was the only place I was comfortable. Well, I guess that's it! I hope the next 24 hours are calm for you. Try to get a good nights sleep tomorrow. Wishing you LOTS of luck for a smooth, successful surgery. Can't wait to see you Thursday, on the flat side!! Lori
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Best of luck with everything, and by that, I mean getting everything ready and telling the people who need to know and getting through the next week!! Surgery will be a breeze and you will come out on the flat side! How exciting! I have to tell you, I'm a little jealous! Isn't that weird?? I'm 5 months and am loving it! Best thing I've ever done for myself, well, other then getting healthy!!!! Thinking of you all the time!
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I think U'll have super results! I commend u on sticking with the workouts despite the no budge belly, I get discouraged an eat ice cream... good luck! Can't wait to see u'r results!
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only an hour away......

I will be at the surgi center in an hour......so hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!! Although I suppose after surgery, food will be the last thing I want!!! Will update from the flat side....
Hey carol my surgery date was moved up to Tuesday the 18th and I'm feeling lots better today. Started thinking about you going on the 20th. How's it going for you?
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Hope your sx went well. Can't wait to see your FLAT pics.
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Thinking of you!!!! Looking forward to your update!
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surgery day details......

Got to the surgi center at 10.....they were waiting for me cause I was ushered right in. Got marked up, talked to the anesthesiologist, walked into the operating room. Had the best little fan blowing warm air on my feet...it was divine. I got my iv in, and he said something to me that I don't recall, cause I was off to sleep. Woke up....clock said it was 230, was told to breathe deeply. After about 10 mins, the nurse got me out of bed and walking across the room to a recliner chair. Stayed there for about an hour, then got dressed and was discharged.....I think I was out of there by 430. I had told the doc I wanted to know how much was taken off, and the nurse said he removed 4.5 pounds and 650 additional cc in lipo (pics to follow when I get back to my desktop). Started the journey home and got hit with a storm and a hour detour....made it home at 9 pm.

post op day one.....

Pain meds rock, but they kill your stomach. Spent most of the day in the recliner, got up to the bathroom a couple of times. Didn't eat much....not much of an appetite.

post op day two.....

What a difference a day makes....no pain at all today, even got up and had my hair washed and a sponge bath and took two walks up and down the hallway of my building. Not draining much fluid, left drain is less than 30 in 24 hours, right one draining a bit more. follow up appt on Monday.
Congrats! Take it easy and pamper yourself! Happy healing, girl!
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Glad you're doing well!
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Carol your doing great! We had surgery on the same day. Your going to look amazing. Isn't it something how one day makes such a difference? In pain and everything? What did you end up telling ur ex? I just told peeps I was having surgery and if they pressed I said girl things and really didn't want to say. It seemed it curb the questions. It's really non off their business. What did you decide for clothes I am still commando and wearing short sundresses. So easy to go potty and I just ask peeps to turn around when I get into bed cause I'll moon them. I lift it to sit then nothing gets twisted. Just easier. No pulling on or off pants either. Free! Keep posting. I love reading this site very helpful and therapeutic.
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first post op done.....

Left drain gone...gone..gone.....yay!!!!!! It was barely draining anything though. Post op day three and four were pretty much like day two...no pain whatsoever, so decided to stop the pain meds......then I coughed....then I sneezed.....then I screamed in agony......holy crap coughing and sneezing hurt!!!!!!!! But after about 10 mins (and some really deep breaths), I was back to my pain free self. Had to travel six hours for post op today (three there and three back), but travel was no pain either......just made my butt numb from sitting that long!!!!!! Hopefully will get on my desktop tomorrow to post pics.....
Oh sneezing is shocking. First two ever caught me off guard i never let it happen again lol i sneeze now cautiously. Glad to hear all is well.
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\o/ for drain removal. Happy healing. Can't wait to see po pics
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Post op pics finally!!!!

Post op day 7 - this time last week I was in surgery!!!! Couldn't figure out how to upload from my tablet, so I finally made it to my desktop to post a post op pic. I have seen some people post on here two pics in one image....what programs are used to do that? I would like to be able to do that.

I am having a love hate relationship with my drain...it's still nasty and inconvenient, but after the left one was pulled, I feel strangely comforted that there is at least something still taking the stuff out of me....the day after the left was pulled, the right one drained more, but now it's dropped down again, so I doubt it will be in much longer.

For me, renting the recliner was totally worth it, as was the shower stool, but I am glad that I didn't bother with the toilet seat riser...if I had been by myself, maybe, but since I had help, it would have been a waste of money since I only needed help the first day.
Looking good! For the photos its pic collage apps you download. Glad to hear all is well. I remember being 7 days PO feels awesome!
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Looking good Carolyn. I agree about lift recliner. I also rented a hospital bed and love it too. Would highly recommend either or both. Glad you are doing well.
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In new compression garment......feels weird

Yesterday the second drain was pulled.....didn't hurt, barely felt anything actually. So since the drain was gone, today I put on my full body garment....it feels so weird to not have the binder around my middle....the body garment is somewhat tight all over, but its not cinching me in like the binder....hopefully this weirdness feeling will pass soon.....
you look great! i can't wait to have all of the hanging sagging skin GONE!!!
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Two week post op pics!!!

I am actually posting two week and three week post op on the same day cause I haven't been on the computer very much the past week. Week two was pretty un eventful - once the second drain was pulled it was more about getting outside to walk and standing up straighter - still not 100%, but getting there.

Three week post op pics!!!

Lots of changes during week three - resumed driving, went back to the gym to do my walks on the treadmill (it got to almost 40 here, I wasn't heading outside in that!!!!), and went back to work.

Sitting at work for even four hours was agony...by the end I felt about three times my size. I tried it again Wednesday, but tomorrow I will be working from home where I can alternate sitting up with laying flat....luckily I have the most understanding boss in the world!!!!

The glue has started to wear down and wear off, and it takes those ugly big black scabs with it....a little freaky when it first starts cause I was used to clean bandages at dressing changes and then all of a sudden they are all black and smeared.....very freaky. So then I have to calm myself down and remind myself that it's part of the process - that it's not infected or anything, just normal wear from being up and active and three weeks post...it's not like it was going to stay forever!!!!

The good news though is that the scar underneath, at least the parts I can see so far, is very thin and white and fine.....so that makes me very happy!!!

In terms of exercise, before the surgery I had been worried about the impact of going from exercising so much to exercising so much less.....I did 30 mins on the treadmill this morning at 3 mph and I needed a 2 hour nap this afternoon to recover!!! It is crazy how tired the body gets from the recovery process!!!

I also took off my whole body garment for a day to wash and dry it and got to put my other binder back on....I never thought I would say that I liked that thing, but I actually do like the binder better than the girdle.....maybe I like it better cause the junk in my trunk is gone and it doesn't roll anymore, but I do like it better. I think I am going to alternate between wearing it a little more and this one a little less.

Four Weeks Post Op

Week four started off with part of my scar opening up....not really a big part, only about 2cm in a 48 cm scar, but still...was advised not to shower or exercise (blah!!!) until it closed (which it's still in the process of doing). Upside, strangely enough, was that I put the binder back on - loving the binder over that whole body garment!!!

I am surprised at how much of an impact this surgery has - I mean, I sit up for two hours and I am toast the rest of the day. I thought that at four weeks I would be back to more of my regular routine, but my mom thinks that I overdid it the first couple of weeks and now I just have to slow down some. (insert crying faced baby here - I don't wanna slow down!!!!! wah!!!!)

The parts of the scar that are glue free and totally closed are beyond awesome!!!! Nice thin line, very faint....my surgeon is a magician!!!

Now I definitely want to change my status to WORTH IT, but I can't figure out how??? Can anyone help?

5 weeks post op - another part opened up....

Finally I am glue and scab free and can see what my scar will look like - which isn't bad, except for the two parts that are still open....they aren't deep though (at least that is what the home care nurse says) so I am assuming they will close soon.....the no showering thing is getting pretty tiring!!!!!

I am also more than ready for the swelling to be going away....it really isn't bad - it's not like my whole body (feet or fingers) swell, but when I do too much, boy oh boy does that belly get tight.....but that first glance in the morning is oh so sweet !! (and flat, so, so, so flat!!!!)
Hi Carolyn! I am so glad to see you arrived safe & sound to the flat side! I so rarely am on the site, but, I check in every now & again. Anyway, you are looking GREAT!! And, I know that awesome feeling of that first morning glance. I'm still elated by it!! Have you any plans for your arms?
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Hi Lori!!! I still have plans for the arms, but not sure exactly yet what that plan is!! When my mom was here, we discovered that her arms are actually bigger than mine - hers are just big all around, whereas mine have the skinn/firm upper part and the hanging droopy lower part....so once she saw that her arms were actually bigger than mine, she started telling me that they really aren't that bad, and that maybe I don't need them done....I beg to differ of course, but by the end of her visit, she told me that I should wait for them to be covered and get them done for free....which I could see, but then I also have to wait according to the public schedule, and I prefer having a choice to my surgery date, rather than being dictated to.....so up in the air for now. They will eventually be done though....just gotta finish recovering from this first. I suppose if I had had them done together I would have managed, but right now, I am actually glad I didn't have the two procedures at once...never thought I would say that!!!!
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You remind me of myself with the openings and covering up with gauze, I did it for weeks and cured myself twice a day a while. Just keep it clean and covered and put neosporin on. Is that the reason why you are not showering? Do you use a CG to help with that swelling? You are looking so good!!!
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Scar almost closed!!! Yay!!!

Interesting week this week - as I have gotten more back into my activities, my abdomen would swell above my belly button, but then it would go away when I rested. However, last Saturday, it swelled, but never went away....and not on Sunday, or Monday either. So I had it checked out by a family doc at my clinic, and he suspected it could be a hernia....I was ready to cry!!! So he sent me for an ultrasound, which I went for on Tuesday, and the radiologist thinks that it's....of all things...a fat deposit!!!

Yikes!!!!

It's still actually swollen up there, but not as bad as last weekend, and I have been losing weight, so I am thinking fluid, not fat, but I will see what the PS says when I see him next week. Wouldn't that just be a kick in the pants? (or in the gut, as this case may be!!!!)

The incision is ALMOST closed.....it's totally dried up and is almost back together - one more week and I think I will FINALLY be closed and scab free.....
Hey girl! Checking in on you. How are you feeling?
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Doing well!! I am (FINALLY!!!!) really starting to be able to get back at stuff. My PS had me on exercise restrictions til I see him next week (absolutely nothing but walking), so now that the scar is just about closed, I am itching to be able to resume running and weight training - my ass is getting jiggly from lack of power squats!!!! And the buying of new clothes has begun - with the swelling finally starting to go down, everything is now wayyyyyy too big, so out I go for new clothes, and that ALWAYS feels great!!!
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I'm sooooo happy to hear this!!! Girl, don't worry about having to take a week off...in the big scheme of things your healing completely is the most important thing!!! I bet you are all smiles about those clothes being too big! Isn't it a great feeling? And look... It gets better! At 12 weeks I'm still shrinking!!!!! Enjoy the journey!
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Post op appointment update!

Had my second post op with PS....very pleased with how the scar is coming along - wants me to start scar treatment.

He examined the swelling that I was concerned about and said it's just swelling - it's not a hernia and it's not fat. I was so happy to hear that!!!

And speaking of swelling, this past week it really starting changing - not so much in terms of measurements, but it's not as uncomfortable, and I can move more naturally. PS told me I can start weaning off my CG!!!!! YAY!!! And he told me to start massaging the abdomen to get the swelling down.....boyfriend liked that instruction!!!!

And better yet, I can s..l..o..w..l..y resume all my activities....he kind of gve me a look when I told him I have a half marathon booked in Feb, but it's 6 months away, not six days, and I am only looking to complete it, and if I have to complete the majority of it walking, well, I guess I will do that, but since I do a run/walk internval anyway, I really can't see myself not being able to run it in six months. Any runners able to provide feedback about when you were able to resume running/training? Any complications arise when you resumed running?
Just read your most recent update! You look great and I love your belly button (never in a million years did I think I would be saying that lol)! I think it's great about the marathon, good luck with the training. I can't wait to get back to martial arts! 2 weeks out and I'm itching to go back, I know I have a long time to wait still.
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Thank you! Never in a million years did I think I would end up with a belly button that would be worth complimenting - I am really, really, really happy with my BB!!!
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We had our surgeries only one day apart. You look great. I too am doing a race but mine is in Sept 7th and I usually do the interval thing of run/walk 2/1 or 2/2 I am planning on just walking fast. It is an eight mile race. Training has been tough because the more exersize you do the more you swell up. You look great and keep it up. Happy healing!
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9 weeks post op

Wow...running after TT is SOOOOOO not the same as running before TT....I started with 30 simple seconds, and nope....my abdomen felt like a lead weight, which then I started hunching over to guard, and running with my knees rather than my hips....so allover bad form...nope, not ready for running yet.

And, man, oh man, I paid for it too - in terms of being swollen and sore - I tried running on Tuesday and all day Wednesday I was puffed out.

Which I have to admit has me a little down.....I am still really swollen in the abdomen - and the rest of me feels so good so then I try something new and my stomach says no, not quite yet....that is very frustrating for me.

I tried running at 8 weeks 5 days post op, and wasn't ready, so now I will wait til Labour Day weekend (so I have the weekend to recover if I swell again, cause being that swollen at work was all kinds of fun...NOT!!!) at which point, I will be 10 weeks 2 days. And if I am still guarding, well, then I will wait til 12 weeks.

I am registered for the Disney Princess Half marathon in Feb in Orlando (anyone else?) so I need to be running by the beginning of Nov in order to train to even complete the half (I could come in dead last for all I care, I just want to complete it!).

I do have to admit though, that the swelling is really the only thing left - I am LOVING my shape (in and out of clothes) and the scar is great, so once this swelling goes, I will be totally set!!!
you look great! I want in on the prize for the hanging skin post massive weight loss! oh wait. we just got the prize!!!!! our new bellies!
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Yes, even if it feels like a lead weight cause it's so swollen sometimes, it's still wayyyyyyyy better than what was there before!
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Week 10 post op

The big news this week is that I can run again!!! I tried at 8.5 weeks and it was a no go (abdomen was like I lead weight), but I tried again at 10 weeks 3 days, and success!!! No hunching over, no guarding my abs, no lead weight!!! It was great! Of course, I swelled up like a balloon for a day, but it's worth it to be able to start running again!!!!

Right now I am paper taping the scar...have to order the kelocote gel and use it for 90 days....anyone else use that?
awesome!!!
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Thanks!!!!!
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Wow... Amazing!!! So happy for you, that hunching over stuff is for the birds...lol
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11 weeks post op

11 weeks ago right now I was in surgery!! Hard to believe. Almost back to everything normal in my life...back to work, went back to teaching aquafit last night - went well, but couldn't demonstrate any ab moves - son is back in school, everything is back to normal except for this crazy swelling!

It's different, I can move alot more easily now, but it's still there!! ARGH!!!! And I still can't sleep on my side because of it (and I am so, so, so, so, so done with sleeping on my back already!!) and my shoulders are really starting to kick up a stink.....but I have read that lots of people have their swelling really start to subside between 10-12 weeks, so I am hoping that after next week when I am back to my full slate of teaching, and everything else is back to normal, that my body will finally catch up and release this crazy swelling....

Don't get me wrong, the overall result is still utterly fabulous and I am beyond thrilled, just annoyed with this little hanging on issue....
You look amazing thank you for answering questions I might have too. You offer just the right kind of encouragement and support a person needs
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You are most welcome.....I think it is always good to share experiences, even just having someone who has been through the process is a good thing...I will help as much as I can after too, just ask away!!!!!
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Loving your transformation!!! Amazing results!!
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12 weeks post op

Swelling, swelling, swelling - it's really not bad, and its definitely different in that I can move more free and fluidly, but man, I would really, really, really like to not be 3 inches bigger at the end of the day!!!

But I did try one day this week to go without my compression garment during the day...it was good in that I wasn't uncomfortable, but I still prefer to have it on - the swelling below my belly button is very heavy feeling, so the garment provides support to that feeling, even if it doesn't really stop the swelling from occuring.

I am waiting for my scar therapy gel (kelocote) to arrive...this paper tape is for the birds!!!
You look amazing. I know everyone's body is different but your before pics are the most similar to mine body now. I love your results. I have been wrestling with doing this or not. I have a couple questions for you, if you don't mind. How painful was surgery? How painful was recovery? How soon before you could comfortably return to work? Do you have any regrets and would you do it again?
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I sent you a private message Christie!
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I had the paper tape for awhile too, but it really helped my scar! So, don't knock it! You are looking fantastic! I'm so happy for you! Unfortunately, the swelling is going to be around for a bit! I started Turmeric later in the process, but it really seemed to help and it's all natural. Just a thought!
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13 weeks post op / 3 months

I can't hardly believe it - 13 weeks ago right now, I was on the table! Wow - time flies...according to the calendar, it's three months tomorrow (20th), but ahhh, who's counting!?! lol

I started the kelocote scar therapy - holy crap is that stuff expensive!!! But I found that using a q-tip makes it easy to put on in a layer that is light enough that it dries quickly - I don't want to waste a drop of it by putting on too much and having to wipe it off!!!

Since you have to put the kelocote on twice a day, I am not using the paper tape anymore (adhesive would destroy my skin going on and off that much), and so it is a little odd to see my scar in the open as it were, and not covered by something..hopefully I will get used to seeing it fairly soon.

I am back to teaching full time, and have started a half marathon training program with a new physiotherapist....wow does actvity ever make me swell!!! But then as it goes away, I feel so good!

I still can't feel most of my belly and can't demonstrate any ab moves in my classes, which has me a little bummed, but the fact that I can't show anything only goes to show how strong I was before the surgery, and if I was there once, I will get there again....I am going back to my previous physiotherapist (one for running, one for weights - my poor insurance!!!) tomorrow to re-start my strength training, so I think that should help move matters along!

This will be my last weekly post - I am going to drop down to monthly posts from here to a year out.
You look Fabulous!! Your belly button looks awesome!! Glad to hear your swelling goes away after working out. I try to lay down for 20-30 minutes after I run/jog to minimize the swelling, not sure it works...lol!!! You are doing great... Looking forward to your monthly posts :)
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Very awesome, you really look great!
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Way more back to normal now...but still swollen.....

Completely back to all my activities, but I am still swollen about 2 inches more at the end of the day than at the start, so I am still (STILL!!!!) in my compression garment during the day, but am slowly weaning myself off of it in the evenings and on weekends (except for exercise, cause that still makes me swell like crazy!).

Scar therapy is okay - it's annoying to have to put it on every morning, but my scar is very flat, and there are parts of it that are very white, but there are still parts of it that are very red, so I will keep up with the scar therapy for awhile yet!

I had to replace pretty much my whole wardrobe of bottoms, cause none of my pants fit, and I actually now wear a size 12....which down from a size 30/32 at my highest weight is pretty spectacular to me!!! Some fits and cuts are still better at 14, and I had to buy the odd size 16, but being able to shop in regular stores is SUCH a great feeling!!!

I have started back doing some core work, but as I still can't feel most of my abdomen, I can't do crunches yet (no cues), but I love looking at the flatness in the mirror when I do squats or lunges.

Next week I have a consultation appointment for my arms, cause now that I have had the tummy done, these arms have to go!!!
You look great! No feeling still at 4 months wow! I was wondering about that! Is your tummy soft now tho? Congrats on going down in size!
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It is getting softer...it the morning it is very tight and hard, and then as the day goes on it gets softer, but I still have a hard spot around my belly button, and even though it's soft to the touch of my fingers, from the belly perspective, I can't feel my fingers touching it in some places. I am still swollen everyday though, so I think that is contributing to the lack of sensation. My physical therapist has me on a program to wake the muscles back up, and that is definitely working, but we are going from the inside (transverse abs) out (rectus abs) so I still can't do crunches, but I can do other stuff where I do feel it.
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Looking good:)
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Five months/22 weeks today!

It's still amazing how long it is taking me to get back into some things, but lots of stuff is finally returning to normal - I can get in the car the right way (one leg at a time, rather than having to sit bum first then swing both legs around) and I can get in and out of bed or up and down off the couch without thinking about my core...I am getting back to being able to hop up and do things.

In terms of results, through taking my measurements, I have lost another half inch off my waist - in a year, that's 22 pounds, 6 inches off the waist and 4 off the hips...so that's not too shabby!

I am ramping up the running - it took awhile to be able to do it post op, but once I could do it, it came back very quickly. I have also been doing a core rebuilding program that my phsyio designed, but am amazed that I still can't do crunches (the lack of feeling in my abs means I have no cues), but I try to do one or two every workout, and am slowly able to feel more and more. I am about to add weights back in to my workout as well, especially upper body.

I am very slowly breaking up with my compression garment. I can be out of it when I am around the house, and out and about (like on the weekend), but until this week, I was still wearing it to work everyday because of the swelling, and I am still wearing it for running and teaching, but on easy workout days where I only do a walk and my core, I don't wear it, and it's been okay - still swell, but not to a point where it's uncomfortable. My plan is to be out of it completely for work by the end of Nov, then tackle not wearing it for teaching in Dec, and then while I am off on Christmas holidays and able to be home and rest for two weeks, I am going to tackle having it off while running....will update next month on how that goes!

I had a consult to have my arms done, so prepping for that will be my next adventure!!!
You look great!!
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You look wonderful. .. Thank you for all your support. ..I really appreciate it. Great hearing about the exercise. ..and running. .I was wondering about the crunches. .I still have that complete numb feeling in front. ..I was prepared for that. . And our has happened. .I see my ps on thursday next week and will ask him about seroma and whether the spot that I'm concerned about will reabsorb into my body or what? Its on the left side of my bb. Did you have sore sides? I do and I still get tired really easy some days and feel like I have been run over by a truck...lol
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My sides aren't sore, but by the end of the day, they are tender to the touch because due to the muscle repair, they are now in a new position (or I guess you could say they were out of position before and are now back where they belong, since everything got pulled in) and so they are getting used to the new dynamic. I used to have that run over by a truck feeling, but then my physio explained to me the purpose of recovery days, and since I have been taking true recovery days (where I do nothing), that feeling has gone away...it's really hard mentally to wrap your brain around the need to rest, but it's so essential to healing. I still have hard spots around my bb, but as I am able to do more, I am starting to think that that too is a result of muscles being moved back into place - our abs were not where they belong (and they were covered by all that excess skin) but then when you put them back in the middle and take away some of the skin and fat (lipo), and the swelling starts to go down, then all of a sudden, it appears that these hard lumps have appeared where they weren't before...but in fact, they are actually supposed to be there.....if you look at a pic of someone with a defined six pack of abs, they are six lumps.....if the lump you are worried about is hard, I would think localized tissue swelling, or actual muscle tissue and will not resorb, but if it's a fluid type lump, then likely it will resorb into the body.....I am finding it takes a whole lotta time though!!!!
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6 months post op - first six months healing - next six months refining

Operation getting rid of the garment is in full swing - I don't need it for work or just being around the house or out and about (like on weekends), for walking workouts, for weight workouts, and just last night, I was able to finally ditch it for teaching my fitness classes - now I just have to ditch it for running (cause I still swell sooooo bad when I run - evidence in picture three - the side evening shot), but since I have the next two weeks off for Christmas holidays - ditching it during running is my goal!!!

The scale is showing a bit of a gain - not as high as pre surgery weight, but still higher than I would like, so I am also taking my two weeks off to reset my eating habits - just got a bit too lax with the increase in activity - need to get back in control again.

The feeling is starting to come back across my abdomen - that same feeling when you have a cavity filled and they freeze your mouth - just across my whole abdomen - very weird, but kinda cool!

Scar therapy sucks - no other way to put it - it's working beautifully, as the scar is really whitening up, but holy crap is it inconvenient to put that stuff on every morning!!!

Now that I am mostly healed, my plan for the next six months is to drop my body fat a bit more, gain some muscle, complete a half marathon, and actually be able to do ab work - still can't really do ab work cause I can't feel what I am doing - very odd sensation...will update periodically.
I can relate to your review thank you for posting. I have gained some weight back but have been exersizing more. I have noticed the weight comes back in different places now, like thighs, arms, back. lol I also have a hard time doing ab work and don't most of the time it just hurts to much. I can't wait for the upper ab swelling to be over with. Keep updating and Merry Christmas.
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Thanks for the update! I have a half goal this year too! With the holidays I think we all gain a little, Ive gained a bit too, near pre tt weight. Ab work out are weird when you cant feel anything. I leaned against a counter yesterday and I'm like " where's my belly"? You look great! Best of luck on your goals, looking forward to your updates!
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Wow! You look great! What a transformation. It must feel soooo good not to have that in your way anymore.
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