I've thought about it for years, investigated it...
Who am I, you ask? Well, I am a 45 years old, married mother of 4 great kids, and have all the body scares to prove it. Such indicators include C-section scars, stretch marks, ugly flab, sagging bits, and more. Now, I'd like to blame ALL my ugly body flaws on my little darlings but alas, my last pregnancy (which resulted in twin boys) was over 16 years ago. Sooo, realistically blaming them for any residual baby fat...well, not that believable really. I am 5' 6" tall, and currently weigh 188lb which is a personal bone of contention...the weight not the height. See, back in January I weighed in at 209.6lbs and became quite disgusted with my lack of effort to maintain a healthy weight. It was then that I decided to finally DO something about it. To that end, I embarked on lifestyle changes that include better food choices and daily exercise. I'd like to say I'm enjoying it, but that would be stretching the truth a bit. Fact is, while I AM happy to report a loss of 21lbs to date (goal is 160lbs) I'm much less pleased with other notable side effects, namely an increasingly flabby stomach and saggy chest with each pound lost. I mean, when you're fat you at least fit your skin, you know? Suddenly, (OK, it wasn't that 'sudden' really) 'eventually' I've come to look much better IN clothes, but substantially worse out of them. REALLY? Is this a cruel joke? Ya, so... while I'm prepared to work hard to get my body back, and maintain good health, there are clearly area's outside my abilities to fix alone. To that end, and after much research I have now confidently enlisted the skills of one Dr. Richard Zeff, M.D. to help me reach my goals. As of today, I am now scheduled for a "Mommy Makeover" for Tues. June 3rd, 2014...a mere 92 days from now! The procedure will include a full tummy tuck, breast augmentation & liposuction on my hips.
This process has definitely been months in the making...but securing an actual date has suddenly made this all very real. I'm excited and nervous but especially hopeful.
On a different note, it has now come to my attention that the many" before and after" pictures posted by so many... the very ones I have found to be soooo helpful CLEARLY required a fair amount of bravery on the part of the lovely ladies sharing their stories. It wasn't until I found myself standing in the naked, with all my flaws hangin' out that I fully appreciated the vulnerable position of it all. So, to all those before me...THANK YOU, if you can do it...I guess I can.
To Tell...or not to tell...THAT was the question.
Oddly, the concept immediately registered as scary...not just private or personal, but SCARY. I mean, just the idea of potentially being judged by those I care most about left me feeling vulnerable. It was for that reason that I initially made the decision that NO ONE but my husband REALLY needed to know...especially since he was so supportive.
Now, having already undergone a body change of sorts in the last few months (I've lost 31lbs to date) I more or less thought maybe the "mommy makeover" changes might go unnoticed and/or be chalked up to continued results from my diet and exercise regime. Problem solved...easy peasy, right? OK, It SEEMED a perfectly reasonable plan initially...and by 'initially' I mean the first 30 seconds after the words past my lips. It was shortly after that however, when it occurred to me my plan just might have a flaw or three.
Let's face it, this will NOT be a quick recovery. Would my co-workers really not inquire about how I planned to spend 3 week's vacation, with no tropical vacation to blame it on this time? Would my twin teenage boys really not notice mom laying around, bandaged up, slow, and unshowered? Alright...maybe, but they'd definitely take notice when they had to get their own dinner for a few days! Would my best friend really not wonder why I wasn't showing up for our weekly visits to fat class? Was it at all likely that my two adult kids would not drop by as usual and NOT notice me uncharacteristically reclined for days? Would the world really believe that as a side effect to my weight loss, that a new and improved profile of bigger fuller breasts somehow miraculously appeared? Ya, it was about here, when I opted to give this hasty decision some more consideration. Scared or not, it would seem I'd have some explaining to do.
Now, true as it may be, saying to my boss and co-workers "Soooo, ya... I've lost all this weight, but man, do I ever have some serious tummy sag..." IS NOT a natural segway to everyday conversation. Still...it's what I did. If they didn't approve, they were good at hiding it. They complimented me on my many months of effort to fix as much of me as "I" could fix first, and genuinely seemed excited to hear about my continued transformation. Saying to my kids "Remember that song we used to sing "...do your ears hang low, do the wobble to and fro? Well honey, if we were singing about moms chest, and the answer would be a resounding 'YES' " lead to a few laughs, and then much to my surprise... complete and full support. AND, while there is little off limits between me and my best friend of 30 years, I still dreaded any lecture I'd get about the costs associated. I mean, the girl goes to yard sales and still negotiates items down from a dollar! The "costs" associated definitely came up but even she seemed to understand that feeling comfortable in one's own skin again was hard to put a price tag on. I'm sure those I've told have many thoughts on my decision, (outside of what they shared with me) but I'm lucky...they clearly chose to be supportive instead of judgmental. How lucky I am to have such wonderful support system. I truly wish no less for all those going on their own journey.
Healing and Happy
Just adding a couple of pictures to show the improvement. These pics were actually taken at the 2 month post surgery mark. I'm now a mere week out from my 3 month follow-u appt. I feeling really good about my healing and results. I've been using a silicone based strip by Oleeva for my tummy tuck scar healing and am quite pleased with the results thus far. The scar is flat, and the purple is fading fast. The only problem I've had is a small one, in that a couple sutures have made their way to the surface, and poke me a bit. I'll discuss this with my doctor in a week to see if this is expected to go away in time or if the nuisance of it can be remedied.
At the 6 week mark I was anxious to get back to some reasonable exercise, but had to post pone it another week...my stomach just wasn't ready, nor were my flanks when I tried to run (very uncomfortable). The additional week seemed to make all the difference and I've since gone back to my walk/running exercise routine, as well as some PiYo. I'm happy to report having lost an additional 5lbs to date which has only made my results all the better. If I can lose 10 more pounds I'll be happy.
The breast augmentation was a huge success. I'm now a full 38D and loving how incredibly real they both look, and feel. Admittedly, they required a bit of getting used to while running, but it was nothing a good sports bra couldn't fix.
All in all, my only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. Once again, a big thanks the all the lovely ladies on this site that helped educate me on the process and shared their personal stories. You made me journey a much less scary one.
Following my consultation with Dr. Zeff I felt informed, comfortable, and confident in his ability. He answered all my questions, was an equally good listener. To update: I am now just over one month post op. My experience with Dr. Zeff and his staff has been nothing short of ideal. Pre surgical appointments were informative, honest and left me feeling confident in my decision to go forward. The surgery itself was successful, with results clearly demonstrating Dr. Zeff's professional and artistic abilities. Post operative appointments have been timely, and helpful in putting me at ease around my recovery. Over all, I'm happy to report that my results are all I hoped for and in no small part because of Dr. Zeff's professionalism, and experience. If you want clear, concise and honest answers...if you want ability, technique an professionalism, then consider Dr. Zeff and his staff as part of your journey to self improvement.