1 week away from a lifelong dream!! 35 yrs, mother...
1 week away from a lifelong dream!! 35 yrs, mother of 2. After battling obesity/overweight issues since middle school, and after 2 pregnancies, I finally won the battle-losing the weight through healthy diet & exercise! (my heaviest being a size 16-18). However, my problematic lower body & tummy (mostly thighs/butt) still plagued me, even after getting to a size 4/weight 135-140 & maintaining that size/weight for 2 yrs! The excess loose skin/cellulite did not want to budge, even after vigorous exercise & very healthy/clean eating, so I'm resorting to this procedure to get the results I've only dreamed of...Smooth thighs/butt & a flat stomach. It's sad to have worked this hard consistently and not be able to wear shorter shorts such as running shorts, or a bathing suit without feeling so gross/embarrassed. Not to mention needing the "perfect lighting" to enjoy my new body! It looks fabulous in clothes but when they come off....It's like another person! :( Hoping those days are over!!! I'm so nervous but mostly excited! Anyone else around here who has gone through a similar experience, or who has a body lift scheduled...I would love to hear from you!
My current pics consist of the good, the bad and the ugly. I consider these the ugly! Never knew how good I was at covering up my problem areas until I took these close ups in bright lighting. What a reality check!
The good is that I do look good in clothes and can pull off a swimsuit if the bottoms cover enough and if the lighting is just right :( I need a lower body that matches my upper body! Soooo looking forward to the new me!!
1 More Day!!
Wow I can't believe the day has finally arrived...less than 24 hrs and it's go time! My emotions are all over the place, but I'm trying my best to remain positive and calm. I will try to detail my experience as best I can, in order to pay it forward, because I have learned SO MUCH reading other reviews on this site.
Pre-Op Appt: This took place 10 days Pre-Op, and I was able to meet with the PS again, and ask more questions that I didn't ask during my initial consultation. We talked about my current meds (only my BC pill). A thorough health history and other tests were performed. The nurse went over other things I should know, gave me paperwork with more pre-op instructions/reminders, and gave me a wash to use starting 4 days prior to surgery, and the morning of. I was assured my health is excellent, and should do great with this surgery. On this day I resolved to pay extra attention to my diet (I eat really healthy in general but do splurge a little on weekends) and told myself I would eat 100% clean on this day forward, up until surgery, and of course a few weeks after as well. I really believe that a consistent clean, healthy diet does wonders for general health and healing, so I'm giving it my all. No alcohol, processed foods, starches, sugar, and low sodium. Lots of whole foods: fruits, veggies, protein and healthy carbs/fats. I'm also starting to freeze mini meals as I cook my food, so that I can have a variety of healthy meals readily available. I will also try to keep my workouts consistent, because I know I will surely miss them! PS also recommended a multivitamin. Reality of the surgery is starting to set in now that it's official!!
Last weekend before surgery: I cleaned house like a mad woman! Did all laundry and got my "bed" ready on the sofa downstairs...lots of pillows! I also got some clothes, bath items & other essentials that I'll need for the first few days downstairs (our bedroom is upstairs). I was going to rent a lift recliner but will try to do without. I do have a walker, toilet lift & shower seat that a relative was going to discard-all in great condition! I also ordered something called Go Girl: "a female urination device that allows women to pee while standing up." This was recommended on another body lift blog, and was only 12.99 online. I gave it a practice run and it worked out great! I also ordered Arnica Montana for post-surgery, silicone strips, and a compression garment from makemeheal online. I will review my compression garments that I purchased at a later time, since I'm not sure which one I'll end up using. I also bought Assurance Wipes & another package of warming bath cloths to use for sponge baths from Wal-Mart. The nurse said I won't be able get in shower until drains are out. By Sunday I was pooped but completely "ready" as to the house, laundry, & all the last minute items I needed. I also got my extended wax 7 days pre-op, as I don't want to be shaven. And last, I got a pedicure :)
4 days pre-op: Started washing surgery areas with the surgical soap provided. I will do this once a day until the day of surgery. I had a freak-out episode today, from reading a couple of bodylift reviews in which complications arose (wound openings), and all of a sudden I found myself so consumed in being scared and worried! But thanks to my wonderful PS office staff, my wonderful hubbie, an awesome friend, and a wonderful lady I found on here who also had a bodylift, my fears were calmed! I just need to continue to have faith in my PS, think positive, and know I'm going to do fine!
Nutrition: I will talk about this a lot, because I'm curious to see how it all plays out (eating healthy for so long, and stepping it up a notch by keeping it stellar, pre-surgery & post surgery). One thing I'll mention that I haven't seen mentioned on here, is bone broth. I've researched this a lot and started making my own, but hadn't make it in a while until about 10 days pre-surgery. I've been drinking some everyday, and will continue to after surgery. It has many benefits, including healing benefits. It actually helped shake off a little cold/cough/congestion episode that was coming on around 10 days pre-surgery. Started drinking this & I never got completely sick! Instead, I got completely better. Also, I'm incorporating other healing foods I've read about: pinneapple, blueberries, leafy greens, protein, green tea, and kambucha (probiotics). I also try to make each meal well balance: protein such as chicken, tuna, beef; healthy fats such as coconut or olive oil, avocado, and healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes or fruits. All natural foods...no junk whatsoever! I also ordered some protein bars, since I may not be able to tolerate whole foods the first few days after surgery. Other convenient foods I bought to have on hand: Lara bars, applesauce, boiled eggs, almond butter, fruits, veggies, and coconut flakes. I still need to get some dandylion root tea, as recommended by my bodylift buddy, for swelling.
Well that's all I can think of for now. Hope this helps!!
25 Jul 2013
Day of treatment
I'm resting at home now, the surgery went well. I was told 4 lbs were removed! I was up by 6 am, took my last long normal shower for a while, shaved my legs, and used the wash they gave me for the surgery areas. I blow dried my hair and got dressed. Hubbie and I arrived at doctors office (in house surgery center) at 7:50, and was taken back by OR staff immediately. I was given my gown to wear and told to urinate in a cup for a pregnancy test. My PS came in and started marking away. I took a bathing suit bottom and he used that to know where my bottoms usually fall. The anesthesiologist then came in and my IV started. He gave me antibiotics and nausea meds thru the IV. Hubbie gave me my hug and kiss and I was wheeled it surgery room. This was around 9 am. I only remember being in that room for 2 minutes and then it was over! I woke up coughing, sore throat, thirsty, cold, and in pain from tummy area. And shivering from feeling cold. The whole thing literally felt like 5 minutes! I stayed in recovery room for a little while, hubbie came in, he was given instructions on my 2 drains and compression machine for my legs, I was put in a wheelchair and wheeled to my car. It all happened so fast. Got home, took my Demerol and Phenegren, ate some banana and a little bit of protein bar, and fell asleep. When I woke up I got up to walk and hubbie took care of my drains. I was immediately nauseous when I got up, and ended up throwing up :( hubbie gave me my suppository and helped me get back situated on couch. By the 3 hour mark I was feeling pain again, but I waited until 4 hrs to take more meds. In comfortable now. Feeling very tight, especially around, but my thighs feel tight too! Can't wait to see what all this looks like! I was able to eat shredded chicken with broth, and sweet potatoes. I don't have an appetite but very thirsty. So far so good for the most part. Getting up, walking, my sore throat, and throwing up have been the hardest for me so far. Have emptied the drains once. My PS's office called to check up on me, which was very nice-and I have an appt tomorrow morning. I do have a pain pump; don't know what I would've done without it. My hubbie and awesome friend have been taking great care of me. I will post some before pics of the bathing suit bottom I took.
Day 1 post op
I had a really rough night. Had quite a bit of blood and leaking. It all went thru my dressings and got me and blanket dirty. And when my dressings came undone a bit, I saw what I thought was a wound opening on my left hip near the drain. I flipped out and called my PS's office, was put thru right away. I was told it was normal to have fluids and blood come out, and she calmed me down and told me I could go in first thing in the morning instead of waiting for my 11 am appt. I went to my appt this morning and was reassured it was not an opening. It was the mixture of the fluids, blood and glue type substance they put on my incision. It even looked different than last night, not like what I saw, instead it looked closed up. I felt a little dumb lol. Their staff have been wonderful, answering my calls and texts right away, even in middle of the night. I'm very sore and hurting a lot, especially when I get up. At my appt, I was cleaned up and they said the scar looked really good and they commented on my tiny waist and smooth legs and butt. It all looks really good!! He also worked with me to stand up straight, and it was good. I'm able to straighten up quite a bit already, which is great. I was told to remove the pain pump myself when it runs out (most likely by Sunday). And they will see me again Monday. I'm taking my pain meds every 4 hrs around the clock. I start feeling like I need them by 3 to 3 1/2 hrs though. It hurts! But my caregivers make sure I Wait the full 4 hrs. Also I was a little concerned that I hadn't urinated all day yesterday, but I finally did around 9pm. I find it very hard to get comfortable. I also don't have an appetite but force myself to eat protein bars and chicken broth with shredded chicken. To take my meds and to get that protein in. I'm also drinking pure pineapple juice. Overall it's gone well, minus the opening scare, the bleeding, and the pain.
Day 2 post op
I had a better night, not as much blood as the night before. And no more imaginary openings lol. Still on pain meds every 4 hrs, and I'm still hurting a lot. It hurts the most to get up once I've been laying down. And I just can't seem to get comfortable. I feel like I'm tugging, pulling and stretching my incision at every angle I've tried. I've been eating good, lots of protein such as chicken and boiled eggs, veggies, fruits, almond butter, tuna salad and chicken broth. I've been taking stool softeners since I still haven't had a BM, so I'm nervous about that. I can't stop touching my legs and looking at them in the mirror. It's almost like I'm in a dream I keep asking, are these really mine?? They're so tight & smooth, it's exciting to see. And of course the icing on the cake is the flat belly to match everything else. I have had some swelling, but am drinking dandelion tea and pineapple juice. I'm also taking arnica Montana. One side of my incision looks much better than the other side. It shows on the pics, where one side J's very bruised and more "raw" looking than the other. But overall, the incision is looking good (still gruesome for me to see) but given all that was done I'd say it looks great and I really love the low placement of the incision.
Day 3 post op-I feel alive!
Ok after a much better night of sleep, I woke up feeling like super woman...I was able to get up on my own and to the restroom. I did my own drains, drain site cleaning, brushed my teeth, washed my face, etc. I was moving better and standing straighter. Hubbie then helped me with a sponge bath, and I felt so much better. He made me coffee and I ate breakfast. After a while my superwoman powers did run out and the pain came back but not as bad. Also, I took the last of my Demoral last night, and am now on hydrocodone for pain. Oh, I even had my first BM this morning and it was a huge success :) smooth sailing thank goodness. I had been taking colace stool softeners since day 1 post op. along with a healthy diet and my bone broth, I'm sure all that played a factor. Overall it's been a much better day... the human body is amazing! I was able to notice some AB definition this morning when I wasn't swollen, that was exciting. Most of all I'm loving the smooth thighs and butt. I take a look everytime I go to the RR and it's almost like a dream. I still see a little looseness in my inner thighs, which is expected since I didn't do an inner thigh lift, but that area has also improved. I can't wait to see the finished look when the drains and stitches are out and it heals even more. Oh, I also removed my pain pump today. My PS showed me how to remove it when it was out of medication. It was no biggie at all. I got my appetite back today. I have been eating a lot more, but all healthy, no sodium foods of course. I finally found a comfortable position on my couch...pillows behind me, both sides of me and underneath my legs...if I get it just right a portion of each side of my body will be on those side pillows which alleviates pressure on my bottom. Ahhh finally some comfort. And when I get it just right...I have to pee!! Ugh!! Lol. One thing I've noticed as to urinating is controlling it is difficult. Once I feel that I gotta go, I better get up right then because if I wait it will start to come out before I make it to the toilet. Good times.
Day 4 Post Op...And body lift must-haves
I slept really good again last night, and again woke up feeling better and energized. Every morning I'm feeling better than the day before, more mobile and getting up and around is easier. I had another successful morning BM, and continue to eat healthy and drink lots of water. I'm also drinking dandelion tea and pineapple juice. Swelling has been the worst during evenings/nights. I had an appt today with my PS. My incisions and drain sites were cleaned up, and he said everything was looking good. I asked about my left side that's a lot more bruised than the other side, and he said all was good. He said he would possibly take the drains out in two more days, so I go back on Wednesday. I was put into my compression garment and told to wear it 24/7. I told him I hadn't gone upstairs yet, and he said I was fine to go upstairs and get in shower but not to wet my drain sites. He said the more I'm moving around the better. He said I could even drive myself to my next appt if I wanted to, as long as I wasn't taking my pain meds. I am no longer using my walker and walking straight. I also moved to the recliner today and finally find it comfortable...surrounded by pillows of course. I'm still taking hydrocodone every 4 to 5 hrs. I was wiped out and hurting by the time I got home from my appt, and napped after. Overall another successful day.
Body lift must-haves (IMO): I searched for info about this before hand, so I will hopefully help others out by posting this:
1. Walker...really helped in so many ways
2. Lots of pillows and a neck travel pillow...my neck travel pillow has surprisingly been something I've used constantly and find it so comfty
3. Diaper pads. I think that's what they're called, but they are flat thin pads that can be put wherever you lay or sit because you will be leaking or bleeding. Also, hubbie cut these pads in half and they made perfect "dressings" or incision covers that I wear so that any leakage doesn't get on my clothes or underwear.
5. Personal feminine wipes, regular wipes, and assurance wipes. I'm a big fan of wipes and it helps to feel clean everywhere at all times.
6. Facial wipes. Here we go again with wipes...I bought some neutrogena wipes to wash my face, very convenient and feel so good.
7. Face moisturizer, and body lotion/spray.
8. Toilet lift or handles. We have this device that has two handles for assistance and it's been great.
9. Chicken soup/bone broth. So soothing and easy to stomach when you're not really hungry. And so nutritious. Bone broth is great for healing. Google it. I put a whole chicken in crockpot the night before surgery, and the next day my hubbie deboned it and shredded it and put bones back in the broth and let it simmer another 24 hrs. We were left with delicious broth and chicken we could add to the broth.
10. Protein bars, Lara bars, fruit, veggies and lots of healthy snacks. Lots of lean proteins. I pre made mini meals and froze them. Also have boiled eggs on hand.
11. Arnica Montana. Not sure how effective this is but I've heard great things about it so I took it.
12. Grabber. We already had one of these and it's been great since I can't bend down to get anything.
13. Lots of help around the clock, especially for first 2 days
That's all I can think of right now, but I will update if I think of more.
Day 6 PO-Drain free!
Day 5 was a lot like day 4 but a little better. And day 6 has been just as good. I had an appt today and my 2 drains were removed. Wow what a weird sensation! It did not hurt at all but felt so creepy! The nurse pulled them out really fast though, so it was over quickly. She also removed the few stitches I had on my belly button. My PS examined my incision and said all was great and that it is healing really well. They told me to take it easy the next 3 days since the drains were just removed, as doing too much will cause fluid buildup. I was also told I can take a full, normal shower tomorrow morning. Yay!! They will see me again Friday to check for fluid. I actually drove myself to my appointment and it felt good to feel somewhat normal again. I'm going to try really hard to not do much the next few days as instructed. The past 2 mornings I've been up super early and felt so good that I've been making breakfast for the kids and hubby before they leave for the day. I've been able to do some cooking, dicing, etc and find myself up and around a lot more. But I plan on easing up on all that to ensure proper healing. My pain level has been much better and I find it easier to get up and back down, and I've been walking straight as well. I'm still eating very healthy and have not had any junk food or anything that's not "clean", and my sodium intake has been way low. Drinking tons of water, dandelion tea and green tea...which means I'm constantly on the toilet-all I can say is thank goodness for crotchless compression garments! Another item I should list on my must-haves. I also drink kambucha with chia seeds (probiotic) to help my tummy with the damage from the narcotics. I eat lots of protein (eggs, chicken, turkey, tuna, ground beef, almond butter, almonds), veggies (baby kale/spinach, broccoli, carrots, different types of squash, celery), fruits (frozen strawberries & blueberries have been great!, pineapple, apples, coconut), I also eat sweet potatoes and eat olive oil, coconut oil, coconut milk and avocados for my healthy fats, and drink bone broth daily. I'm trying my best to do all I can to heal well from the inside out. I will start using hydrocortisone cream around my incision areas because they've been itching a lot. I think that's about it for now. I will be taking some drain free pics tomorrow morning.
1 week already! Loving my new body!
It's amazing what the body is capable of. It's ability to heal after such a traumatic event is awesome to see. Just a week ago I was in so much pain/discomfort, so tight I could pop lol, couldn't get comfortable, needed help for my every move, and never could've imagined recovery would come so quick and I'd feel this much better a week later. Last week at this time I was a hot mess, still struggling to cough up post surgery phlegm lol. Each day I'm able to move a little better and today it felt amazing to take my first full shower! My biggest struggle is making myself take it easy. I've never ever had so much down time or have been constrained to this type of thing. Even during pregnancy and childbirth I worked until I was 40 weeks, was out of the hospital and up and going right away. All this rest is foreign to me and I'm trying my best to embrace it but I get bored lol. I was able to take pics today and I'm so amazed at my new body. No it's not perfect...I still have laxity in my inner thighs and a little on back of thighs. But the improvements everywhere else are a amazing! My butt has never looked so good lol...yes I feel it's "flatter" but nothing a lot of squatting can't improve! I'm I'm disbelief how smooth it is. My stomach looks so flat and it's hard to believe it will still get better. Swelling hasn't been too bad..yet. Hope I didn't just jinx myself :) My PS did such an awesome job with my incision placement...so low and can be concealed perfectly! I just want to cry as I see all the pics...finally I have a body that shows all the hard work I put in! All the discipline in my healthy diet/lifestyle, all the sweat, sore muscles...it all has finally come together had paid off! I'm so happy I did this!!
Day 8 post op appt-All is good! Problem: can't stop looking at myself in the mirror! :)
My PS wanted to see me real quick today to check that I wasn't retaining any fluid after the drains were removed 2 days ago. He examined me and said everything looked great. He said my swelling had in fact gotten better since the last time he saw me, and I was cleared to begin resuming activity! He said I could start exercising as well (starting off very slow of course and keeping it low impact until 6 weeks post op). He won't see me again for another 3 weeks. I went to Starbucks afterwards to reward myself with some iced tea, unsweetened of course :) I then did some light shopping and met some friends at Cracker Barrel for lunch. It felt great to be out again, but I did get tired and sore. I went home to rest. Then this evening I went to dinner with the family and to target, and that tired me out as well. I was walking a lot slower and was exhausted by the time we got back, so I put myself back in my recliner to rest again. I will continue to take it easy and listen to my body and not try to do too much too soon. I do find myself looking at myself in the mirror every chance I get...every store mirror, every restroom mirror, I just can't get enough lol. I'm just amazed at the difference in my body and my new booty is really exciting. I wore a dress today that i felt uncomfortable in before, because I feel it exposed my booty cellulite (light colored cotton sun dress) and I just realized today I won't have that problem anymore! I tried it on before putting on my CG and wow all smooth! No worries about any lumps or bumps showing through my clothes! I also bought a sundress today in size XS and it fit perfect! It's a light yellow cute comfty sundress and again...now I can wear light colors, white even, without fearing all my junk in the trunk peeking through! :)
Which reminds me of an important must have I left out...comfortable casual dresses to wear post surgery. That's all I've been wearing and do not feel comfortable in anything with a waistband, because of the incision. Even comfty nightgown dresses instead of PJ bottoms have been what I prefer to wear at home. And going out...well mostly to my appts....sundresses have been the best!
Oh and I bought arnica Montana gel at my health foods store today. I was checking out and there was a display of it in the line I was in...perfect! I've heard many great things about it and still have some bruising, so I figured I would give it a try.
I'm getting a lot of sensation back around my incision. Most of the numbness is now in my tummy area, which still feels very weird. I also get weird twinge sensations in my belly sometimes...almost feels like a baby fluttering inside...crazy. I do still have a lot of soreness/tightness around all my incision and tummy, and it hurts where my bruises are (those areas used to be numb but not anymore). I still take hydrocodone occasionally for pain but will start taking Tylenol and Motrin because I'm almost out. My incision is crusting a lot, which is a mixture of drying out scabs and the glue substance that was used to seal the incision (no outer stitches or sutures). It's looking great and hardly discharges anymore. It does itch a lot, and I'm using a hydrocortisone cream for that.
One more thing, I can't remember if I've mentioned this, but I seem to not have as much control of my bladder! And what I mean is I can't hold it as long as I could before...when I gotta go I better go quick or I will be peeing myself or it'll start coming out before I make it into my full squat & I'll wet the toilet seat :( lol! Sorry so TMI but I'm trying to cover everything here...good, bad, and just plain weird haha.
Still keeping my clean low sodium diet, even when eating out.. I'm convinced its what has helped me heal so wonderfully and has kept swelling at a minimum. Feeling fabulous!!
Day 11 PO~Back in my bed..How to get comfty & Compression Garments Review
Day 11 and all is great! I do experience more pain around my incision now that I'm not on pain meds, but mostly at night/early morning after I've been in the same position for a long time. I've been back in my bed for the past 2 nights...I took my entire pillow setup from the couch to the bed though...the first night went well but last night was a bit rough. I was uncomfortable and hurting around my incision. At 5 am I realized the reason why...I wasn't on top on my memory foam pillow I had been using from day 1 for my bottom. It made a huge difference once I put it back in place and re-did my cubby hole sea of pillows as I call it. I will have to post a pic of the pillows it takes to sleep comfortably. Basically it's the memory foam pillow first to lay on, and then a stack of pillows for my head, a stack of pillows for my feet, and one pillow on each side of my hips/upper back. It's difficult because I used to love to cuddle with hubby, we would take turns using eachother as body pillows to hug throughout the night, sleeping on our sides. And now I'm stuck on my back mostly, and he seems so far away with all the darned pillows in the way. But at least we are back in bed and not in the living room (bless his heart for camping out with me downstairs for a week).
I was able to do more activities this past weekend...at my own pace and taking many breaks of course. We did some back to school shopping, and I was able to do the laundry (with help with the bending, loading, unloading), but I did most everything else. We had a family BBQ here at home and I drank some wine. I feared swelling but thank goodness it hasn't been much of a problem (yet). I did make sure to season my BBQ meat and grilled veggies with no salt. Mrs. Dash lemon pepper and fiesta lime are great!!
Overall I'm getting around a little better each day and not walking so much like I "have something up my butt and waddling" like hubbie teased me about lol. I've taken Tylenol and Motrin a few times for pain, because my incision area does still hurt and feels sore, mostly when in one position for a long period of time.
Compression garments: this has been one of the most confusing things for me, because my PS does things differently than most I've read about on here. For example, no binder. And no compression garment until a few days post op (he'd rather give the incision a few days to dry up a bit). Also, he doesn't require any type of "medical" garment. His office simply suggests to buy a girdle one size smaller than preop size. Having read about CGs though, I decided to buy a stage 2 Sculptures brand size M above the knees full CG from makemeheal. It is crotchless & has straps and supports the back fully...fits like a tank top, girdle and exercise biker shorts all in one), This has been the most comfortable CG for me, except it's also the hottest since its like a full garment that goes to the knees (not something I prefer wearing in south tx August heat) but I know it's a good one, and comfty, so I wear this one the most. I also bought a dr. Rey CG from sears, size M, and this one is the tightest one I have and is also crotchless but he shorts are mid thigh length & it has a high waistband so it sits right under my bra. It's a good one surprisingly. I wear this around the house as well, when washing the other. Both of those are black. Finally, I bought a beige Brief length CG from kohl's (size M, brand Maidenform, snap crotch opening), and this has been the most comfty for going out (wearing under my summer dresses so that no shorts are peeking underneath my dresses). Note I'm a huge fan of easy access cortch garments! If you're drinking tons of water like you should be, you will be peeing often! I would be miserable pulling these tight things up & down constantly, especially early on when the incision is still tender. These 3 have been the perfect combination for me, and I always have a clean one available at all times. Just thought I'd share specifics on this subject, since this was one of the hardest trial & error things for me, figuring out which types would be best. I realize all doctors are different though, and some may recommend specifics, or a stage 1 or 2, while others don't. But if this info can help anyone be less confused about what to buy, then I'm glad to have helped!
My transformation before my body lift transformation
One more thing I forgot on CGs, as many have suggested, wearing a thin tank top underneath is great tip! (My old navy strappy layering tanks have been perfect)... So that your body doesn't get so indented, and it serves as a shield between this tight garment and your delicate incision. My PS only used a dressing the first 24 hrs & after that I cut diaper pads to wrap around my incision to not get my tank, underwear or CG bloody. After a week I stopped using the diaper pads and only use the tank under my CG.
Now, about my transformation, I wanted to share, as part of my journey, it took lots of hard work and dedication/discipline to get to the size I am now (right before surgery size 4-6). Looking fit or being thin never came easy to me, as I struggled with weight issues since middle school! These pics...they're not even at my heaviest but they're significant to me cause they were taken about 3 yrs ago when I FINALLY decided I would lose the weight once & for all, stop the yoyo'ing that had damaged my body, and commit to a healthy lifestyle. Well, I did it! It took a year to get to my ideal weight, and another year to tone up, and this final year I have maintained but those darned stubborn areas frustrated me!! All this hard work I put in, changing my lifestyle and being successful at changing my body yet my thighs/butt/lower belly did not show the fruits of my labor! I ate the healthiest I had ever eaten, I did workouts I never thought I could do, ran races I never in my wildest dreams thought I could complete, and saw muscle tone in my upper body I never realized I had! Yet I still hated my naked body, could not wear short shorts, much less a bathing suit that exposed my lower body! :( Which is why I opted for the surgery, because I knew deep down I had done my part and gave it my all! I didn't want to lose anymore weight. Yet I wasn't entirely happy with my body. After all, it had endured many years of extreme weight loss/gain.
I'm putting this out there because I hope my story can inspire someone! Some women don't have good genes and some have not been thin their entire lives. Some have to work their butts off to finally look "normal" and even then it may not be enough. At my heaviest I was nearly 200 lbs! size 16-18, and sadly this was at a very young age. At my lowest I was 132 but mostly I've maintained 140, size 4-6, yet I still had all these "issues". There's nothing wrong with getting some help from an awesome PS to help you reach your goals! :))
Day 14-Back to Work! Bikini Confidence, & a little about size, weight & swelling post surgery
Back to work and feeling good for the most part (office job-mostly sitting). I am still a little sore, especially if sitting for a long period of time. I still move around slower than usual. I had one area of concern on my incision right above my pubic area...I still have a little drainage in that area and the scabs came off and exposed a white tissue-like substance that freaked me out a bit. I took pics and send them to my PS and asked if it looked normal or if I should be seen. They said it looked okay and normal (no redness around), to keep it clean & dry and it should continue to heal. I keep a small piece of gauze in that area so that I don't get my clothes or CG dirty, and I will keep a close eye on it.
Other than that all is well. I had my first bikini outing yesterday (took kids to a small water park). I did not get in the water of course; I sat and relaxed in the shade most of the time. But to have the confidence to actually sit and walk around in my bathing suit was such an awesome feeling! I felt like a normal person for once in my life (other than getting around slowly).
Today is the first day I wear pants. My work pants surprisingly fit just right around the waist but VERY loose around my butt/back upper thigh area. My backside actually looks quite flat, so it will be interesting to see what size I end up at. I will say this though...I am swollen today!! I finally deviated from my squeaky clean diet & ate non-healthy foods from ast food & mexican restaurants 2 nights in a row and the result was swelling!! (and a 4 pound gain on the scale!). I had done so well with swelling before, so I am back to my clean eating! I know I shouldn't be weighing myself this soon after surgery, but I just can't resist...My starting weight day of surgery was 138. Ironically enough (ironic because I was told 4 pounds was removed), I've consistently weighed 134 pounds since PO Day 5, until my diet got a little crazy and BAM... immediately back up to 138! I don't care too much about the number on the scale (although I do find it very interesting), but I do feel the swelling in my tummy and it does not feel pleasant! Goes to show the benefits of a good diet!
Day 15 PO~Jean Friday!
Well I'm not one to skip out on casual jean Friday at work, so this morning I tried on my favorite pair of forever 21 skinny jeans sz 29, and was pleasantly surprised they fit...and quite loose! (Mostly around butt/back thigh area). I then tried on the same jeans but in size 28 that I couldn't wear before because they were way too tight on my lower body especially thigh area and cut into my fat and looked gross. Well those fit just right!! No more fat bulges through the jeans! I opted to wear the loose jeans to work though, to be on the safe side, to be comfortable all day. I noticed the day before my size 4 dressy pants which also fit loose did get tighter as the day progressed, as I did swell after a full day of work. I was so exhausted after my first day back yesterday that I went to bed as soon as I got home! I knocked out from 6:00-8:45 and felt much better after that. Work was a little easier today, and I was able to go out to dinner after work with hubby. However, I could not wait to get home and peel off my jeans and CG!! I then planted myself on my recliner and knocked out again, in my undies, swollen and exhausted from another full day. So glad I went back to work on a Thursday! Now I get to rest again this weekend before going back Monday.
Feeling Blahhhh Today!!! Relaxing and reality
Well, along with the good comes the bad. After such a positive experience thus far, relaxing and reality sets in today. Yesterday as I did a little shopping in my new size 2 shorter shorts than usual, I started noticing not so smooth thighs in harsh lighting. I decided to try on my "goal" workout shorts this morning to see the difference, and I was disappointed that the smoothness in my thighs wasn't what I had expected. I'm almost wondering if I should have went for the inner thigh lift too, as that is definitely a problem area. Also, the back thigh area is still a problem area for me. There is definitely major improvement in my butt, outer thighs, hips and stomach though. And my ps did say that the further away from the incision, the less improvement there would be. Add to that not-so-healthy eating and no exercise, my thighs are not looking great at all! Or maybe I'm just too hard on myself. I don't know, but I wasn't feeling so good about this today. Maybe I just want to feel normal again and be able to workout and move around like before. Maybe that'll make a difference? It may be too early to know, but I do know after a weekend of shopping that I'm more of a size 2 than a size 4 and look really great in some smaller clothes I bought! I also noticed I look better in a bikini bottom than workout short shorts. I think I figured out why...the smoothest improvement from this surgery is the butt/upper outer thigh area, so when I expose that entire area rather than just mid thigh area, it looks better. I will post pics. As of today, I will conclude that this surgery does not improve mid thigh loose skin issues but does wonders for the tummy/hips and butt! A bit disheartening for me, but even so I'll take it! It is a major improvement either way, but ohhh what I would do for completely smooth thighs! :(
3 Week Update! Accepting my flaws & loving my new booty...I mean body! LOL
On my last update, I expressed some disappointment with my thighs, but I've come to the following conclusions on that matter:
1. This surgery did not address inner or mid/back thigh area. The outer (upper) thigh area and butt are definitely smooth, and that in itself is a huge difference and I need to be happy with that change (and I am indeed).
2. The lack of exercise can also play a factor in losing muscle tone in my legs; therefore creating more looseness (nobody said this surgery would make it all perfect and then my job was done!) Nope...A healthy lifestyle is still required, which includes a healthy diet & exercise. I expect to see improvement once I start working out again. I had also slacked off on my healthy eating, which did NOT help anything, but I'm happy to report I'm back in control as of Monday thanks to a new realself buddy who is awesome at this healthy eating stuff-I've met my match with her! :)) We decided to MAXIMIZE our results/new bodies by keeping our diets clean & being accountable to eachother, and she reminding me how intermittent fasting can really help to shed some weight (and fast). However, I am not doing any fasting yet, since I'm still 3 weeks out & a proper diet/protein is very important at this stage for my healing.
3. I'm still early in the healing process, and I cannot expect that what I see now are my final results. And that's definitely the case...my body keeps changing...my booty is settling nicely (not as flat & weird shaped because of incision), and my tummy looks better as time goes by (when I'm not swelling of course). In fact, I'm in love with my new booty & tummy already, and it's a great feeling to wear thong underwear and look at myself in the mirror and actually LOVE what I see, instead of cringing at the very sight before!
Overall, my healing is going great! My scars are looking better everyday, drying up nicely. The front area right at my pubic line that was questionnable is also drying up and healing nicely...It's no longer raw looking nor has any white substance in it. I do still get sore often around my incision area, especially after sitting at work long periods of time or when I get out of bed in the mornings. I also got my first period since surgery yesterday, and it has NOT been pleasant. I had an awful PMS, horrid cramping and bloating yesterday, and a heavier than normal period.
I attempted my first walk (about 20 minutes) 2 days ago, and that didn't go too well. It was during the late evening, I was bloated and uncomfortable, and I made the mistake of taking my dog (he's little but still), he kept tugging me and that tired me out and made me sore around my tummy. Lesson learned. I will try again sometime soon, without the dog. I am really missing my workouts.
I did some shopping this past weekend and had to buy a couple of size 2 work pants! That was shocking, but they fit much better. I will conclude this week by saying that a healthy diet is essential to a good recovery & minimal swelling. Was it coincidence I hardly had any swelling PO until I started eating junk? I don't think so. I've been back strict for 4 days now and have lost the 4 pounds I gained and my swelling is still happening towards the end of the day BUT improving everyday that passes that I eat well, and that's because it's that "time" of the month. I only anticipate things to get better as I continue eating healthy. Be good to your bodies and it will be good to you in return! :)
4 Weeks PO
Wow 4 weeks already! Healing is going well, I've been eating healthy & feeling great! My weight is at an all time low...131...and my new size 2's are fitting better and some of my old 4's fit too big (Some not all), and I did have a few size 6's that are definitely too big now. I don't swell very much at all when I keep my diet clean. This week I tried on a new 2 piece, and also tried on my first string bikini bottom EVER, and I was amazed how well it fit and how all my incisions were hidden. I could've never pulled it off with my lower tummy and hip flab that I had before...But now they are gone! In doing side by side comparison pics, I have really come to appreciate the dramatic differences in my body that I may not have noticed otherwise. Advice to anyone having surgery...takes LOTS of Before Pics...every angle, different lighting, etc. I hadn't paid much attention to my B&A belly button, but now I can see there's a huge difference! I LOVE my new BB!! Also, my entire pubic area got a nice makeover as well (something I had read about but didn't quite discuss with my PS)...but he did a fantastic job, as a mole and stretchmarks that I had in that area were completely removed, and the labia area is improved as well! Not sure if this is an optical illusion, but my boobs seem bigger post surgery...at first I thought maybe it had to do with swelling, but I don't think so. Not sure, but I keep calling it my free boob job, because something has happened there (perhaps it's just because of my smaller waist hehe) but I'll take it! No complaints from me or hubby that's for sure!
I still have not started a workout regimen, but hope to start walking very soon. Overall, I'm feeling closer to normal everyday...I sleep more comfortably, I get around completely normal, don't get as tired after a full day of work, and don't feel as sore. Everything around the tummy still feels really tight and a little numb. The incision around my hip areas would be the areas that bother me the most (if my waistband is too tight or I sleep too long on one side)...And one hip seems irritated all of a sudden (a little red/puffy above my incision) & hurts a little...I'm not sure why but I'm keeping a close eye on it... Otherwise all is great!!
6 Weeks PO! Goodbye CG, Hello long lost workouts!!
I went to my 6 Week PO appt and all is well! 6 week pics were taken, and I don't go back until 3 months PO. My PS was very pleased with my incision, and said I'm healing very quickly. The irritation I on one hip that I mentioned at 4 weeks PO was an undesolved suture that surfaced (rejected)...it caused a little pain and irritation, and then I literally saw the sutures when it came out thru the incision. It has since healed (still noticeable but almost closed/dried completely).
I ditched the CG right at 1 month PO....I haven't had any issues with swelling since then (except if I eat junk/unhealthy/high sodium).
I started a regular exercise routine last week (5 weeks PO). I've been fast walking, some jogging (very slowly), playing with my barbells (squats, cleans, deadlifts) (very light weight), and doing a little crossfit (very scaled back, at my own pace)...going to take it slow to build back up to where I was. It feels SO awesome to be working out again! And I'm amazed I can wear just my sports bra to workout, and not jiggle from my tummy!
I also hit up the beach in my 2 piece during Labor Day Weekend, and I must say it was the most confident I've ever been! No my thighs aren't perfectly smooth, but they're way improved, and I'm finally comfortable in my own skin! My abs, however, are perfect in my opinion, and I just love them! I joke that nobody can get me out of my bikini top or sports bra...I wear them every chance I get lol.
Overall, I'm very pleased and happy I went through with this. I look back and think how I almost backed out, and I'm so glad I didn't! I'm loving my new body and plan to maximize my results by continuing a healthy lifestyle...proper diet & now working out too! So happy!!
6 weeks PO. B&A pics. Scars not lightened in these pics
2 months PO update!
25 Sep 2013
2 months post
All is going well! I started using scar fx silicone strips a couple of weeks ago and I've noticed my scars flattening out more and lightening up a lot in certain spots. I've had more swelling than I was used to, and I attribute that to my not so healthy diet on the weekends. I've been splurging a little too much and feel/see the swelling every time! I know I've said it 100 times on here, but a clean, healthy low sodium diet is crucial to minimal swelling! I've lived it first hand and don't know why doctors don't stress this enough. Anyhow, I'm back to regular workouts and jogging. I will be running a 5K this weekend. I've gained a little weight and really love how it's gone mostly to my booty (something I used to dread) but now I'm filling out my pants that were fitting me loose, but in a good way. I'm not sure if the gain is a combination of splurging too often and weight training (lots of squats), but I love the shape my new booty has taken. It's not as weird shaped and flat as it was right after surgery. My thighs are still not as smooth as I would've liked, but they're tons better than before and seem to be improving with my workouts. They look thick yet fit, and I'm able to wear short workout shorts and I'm loving that!! I do my workouts in my garage though (don't know if I'd have the same confidence in public with the really short shorts lol. But hey, it's a start. And a dream come true to even be able to wear stuff like that and not gross out with myself! Overall everything is going great and I feel so fortunate to have gone through all this without any problems or setbacks. I will update again next month after my 3 month post op appt.