Ready to Tackle my 40s with a New Body!! - Boston, MA

I am 40 years old. 5' 7.5" currently 164lbs....

I am 40 years old. 5' 7.5" currently 164lbs. Starting weight was 235lbs. Goal weight before surgery 160lbs. My goal was always to have a normal BMI and be within my healthy weight range.
I'm a working mom (critical care nurse), devoted wife, care taker of an aging mom, and helper to a recently widowed sister and 2 kids.... So I am busy!!
I've managed to get back to the gym to better manage my life and stress level. It resulted in a 70 lb weight loss. My family has also changed their lifestyle and as a family we have lost over 200lbs!!!
Best part my 6 yr old son never has memory of my husband and I being over weight and unhealthy. He knows how important it is to feed your body proper nutrition and keep your body moving. It's all about balancing eat well and eating "fun" food that tastes great but doesn't help us grow. And it's good to chill out and relax but we also need to move and strengthen our body's daily.
Some days are better then other. The important part is to wake up everyday and just TRY!!
So NOW I've decided to do something for myself and have others take care. I'm scheduled for a Tummy Tuck in October. I may not need my muscles repair. The doctor is going to look at them when he is in there. Minimal lipo as well being done.
I am looking for any advice or suggestion you may have!!!!
Thanks

8 weeks

I just realized I only have 8 weeks left until my surgery October 12! Should I be preparing my stuff now or wait, too soon?

Too early

I'm sure it's never too to get ready for surgery but when should i start? I've been reading and trying to make a list of things people have recommended but I have a small living space and don't want it hanging around too long before surgery.

I have less then a month away until my tummy tuck....

I have less then a month away until my tummy tuck. I have read tons of reviews and postings. I am very curious to see how my recovery goes.

I will have my husband home for the first 4 days but after that i am not sure who will be able to help me around. My Mother n law will help out with my 6 year old and he will be in school during the day. I am sure it will all work itself out. The doctor feels he may not even need to do a muscle repair. He will get a closer look during surgery. If not done that will be a smoother recovery. I am not sure how to cipher through all the recommendations of what to have before surgery. I do not have a lot of space so i really need to just have the essentials. Any thoughts? I would love to connect with anyone having it done around the same time, October 2016. Maybe we can support each other day by day.

Count down started

Friday I officially paid for the surgery so it's now official!!! I got to charge it so at least I will get points????

Snacks

Any good low sodium snacks or meals I can get ready to have around for after surgery?

3 weeks away

I only have 21 days til the flat side....so excited!!

Paperwork

Signed my consent And goT my preop info!

Enjoying one last time in my bathing suit....

Enjoying one last time in my bathing suit at the spa with my mom and sisters! No matter how much I lose (70lbs so far) I still hate my stomach. I can't wait to be proud of my body and all the hard work I have done.

Trying to clean up my diet...

Today I'm trying to clean up my diet!! It has been a tough 2 past months. I'm up 5lbs!! So now I'm 170lbs ????
I normally eat very clean with occasionally allowing a cheat meal and have done that for 2 1/2 years. 70lbs lost!
These past 2 months I have had a few health issues and family issues which has effected my diet.
My exercising routine hasn't been changed. I workout pretty regularly cardio and strength training 5-6X a week!
I'm hoping maybe I've gained some muscle but I'm pretty sure it's just fat!
Anyway.... Today I'm gonna try to just get back to my diet routine!!!

Count down continues

14 more days...
Getting supplies together


Took a pic of me in my new size 10 jeans! I don't think I've been in a size 10 since I was a preteen.

Keeping up my exercising

Getting my workout in...

Uploaded pic

This didn't upload before

10/3 workout

Did interval training on the bike!

Count down continues

8 more days!!!

10/4 workout

Keeping the workouts going.... I am definitely in the best shape of my life going into this!

One more week

Here are some pre op fotos in workout clothes

6 more days!!!

Here are some scary pics of me without my shirt. I wanted to take some pics so I can compare later. This is what my family and friends don't see and why I'm having this surgery.

Last laser hair treatment before surgery

Today was my last laser hair treatment before surgery in my bikini area. I have also been doing my legs.
I remembered someone previously mentioned they had it done before surgery and recommended doing it. It obviously cleans up the area and when the pubic skin area gets pulled up from the surgery the hair line won't be there.
This has been my 6th treatment. I plan to continue after surgery when I can.

Continuing my clean up

Got my hair colored and cut today??
Waxed my eyebrows and armpits too....OUCH!!

Mani and Pedi ??

Wow this looks terrible

Just wanted to do a few more before shots so I have something to compare to.

Last workout

I'm not sure I'm gonna have time in morning to squeeze in a workout. so today might be might last workout for weeks!!
I am a little worried about not being able to workout at all. It has been such a great stress reliever for me. I'm hoping I get cleared sooner then later to get back to it.
I'm also sad that I'm probably my fittest and have made such great strides in the gym with strength training and cardio, I hate to lose that.
I know!!!! It's worth it!!

I just need to be patient...!!

Tomorrow

One more day!!

T minus 12 hours til I go to hospital

I ran around today finishing things up. I managed to get a massage for 90 mins!!!! I think I'm done and ready!
My mother n law picked up my 6yr old son for a 2 day sleep over, love her.
My husband is coming with me tomorrow and will work from home for the rest of the week.
My sister will help entertain my son with nieces this weekend.
I can't wait to see or I should say NOT to see my pouch!!

I am not nervous I just can't wait for my "happy juice" to go to sleep and take a nice nap!

I tried to post this yesterday

I took some pics of my set up. Can u tell I am a planner and like to be prepared and organized. Oh I'm also a nurse :-)

Rest of fotos

Forgot to add these

T minus 2 hours 15 mins but whose counting...

I can't sleep I'm so excited!!! I am surprisingly so not nervous about having the surgery. I'm sure being a recovery nurse myself has something to do with it.
I am just thinking about the fact that I hope
My expectations of what I want done are able to be done.

I may post on more time before I go in but if I don't.. see you on the FLAT SIDE!!!

I'm just waiting for my alarm to go off

I thought I would post my before and after pics so you can see how far I've come with my weight loss. Since March I've lost another 5lbs and 3% body fat. Shirts M/L and pants more 10 then 12.

14 minutes to go!

THE FLAT SIDE

I made it!!! I did great. I was in OR for 3 1/2 hours. In recovery for 2 1/2.
They did great with my nausea meds. My motion sickness comings and goes but over manageable.
Pain feels like I did a killer Ab workout. Very sore but again manageable.
Did I mention my husband is amazing!! Well he is. Very supported and attentive.
I'll do pics soon

Postop day 1

Honestly not too bad! The pain is more of a bad ache feeling.
I only have 1 JP drain. Not really draining much. I've been stripping it often To make sure it doesn't clot off.
Not much of an appetite but getting in the water and a few high protein snacks.
Peeing could be better. I feel like I'm not completely emptying but it's getting better and better.
My mother n law stopped the am with my son so he could see me. I miss him.!

Post op day 2

Well it does hurt a little more today. I'm trying to stay on top of my dilaudid and Tylenol. I can't wait to take Motrin!
I just had my husband to put an icy hot pad on my back... thank god it's awesome!!
I don't have much of an appetite. I am making sure I have healthy high protein snacks.
The peeing thing is not back to normal yet. I feel I'm not completely emptying.
I can't wait to take off my binder!!

Relaxing outside

Very nice out here Boston. Trying to get fresh air.

Pics

First postop pics

Shower day!!

Wow taking a shower wasn't too bad. Day 3 is much better. I'm sore but manageable.

2nd shower-- postop day 4

I took a shower all by myself. I just needed some help putting on binder.
Overall I feel good. I'm really sore during the night and when I first get up but it gets better as I move along.
I have only 1 more pain pill left so I'm saving it for when it's really bad.
I've had no BM. I've taken everything so far so hopefully soon. I am passing gas so that's a good sign.
My appetite is still not the best. I am making sure I eat well and high protein. Not sure if tight binder makes me feel full quickly or always slightly nauseous from meds.
I'm actually standing pretty straight. Not sure if I should be or keep leaning forward. My back aches when I do, like I mentioned before icy hot pads help a lot with that

First walk

So I went for my first walk around the block X2. I was definitely sore at the end. Only took Tylenol for pain.
I'm going on 3 days no BM getting worried! I go everyday!

Post op day 5

TMI---- BM ?

Today's much better. I'm all alone today and I'm gonna be just fine.

Just on Tylenol. Can take binder on/off myself. Shower and dress myself. Slowly by the way but still by myself.

Gonna go for a walk soon.

I'm just a little nauseated. I have motion sickness and not sure if related to that.

I'm gonna try to sleep in my bed tonight. I'm tired of recliner.

Luckily it's super nice out and I'm sitting outside for a bit. I am not a tv watcher or reader. Bored of both.
I took some pics today. My stomach is super hard and swollen.
Belly button looks gross.

Post op day 5

Pics that I couldn't load up before

I can stand 90% straight already which helps with my back.


I walked outside for awhile too. Going out again soon.

Post op day 6

Pain is fine! I'm trying to stay on Tylenol for overall discomfort. I have a love hate relationship with the binder!! It helps with support which helps with pain control but so tight!!
Last night I took my 3rd shower by myself. Husband at standby just in case.
Hot water on back then icyhot pad still has kept my back pain in check.

BM---- no words!!!! I've done tons of water, miralax, colace, duclolax tabs and only on pain meds for 4 days. I did have first BM yesterday am.
I thought I gave birth this morning to a new baby boy. I know tmi but it's true. I say a baby boy because a girl would of been easier to pass.

Incision looks great and belly button looks gross but both without drainage.

1 JP putting out less then 15cc in 24 hours. Hoping to get out this Friday.

Walked again outside today 24 mins. Felt like a snail but I didn't want to push it.

I slept in my bed last night for the first time!!!!! I do have a bed railing on side to help grip and elevation pillows for head and legs. I still woke up often but was nice to be with husband In my room.

I hope my recovery stays on track!

Post op #7

So overall better.
I just feel like I'm in a fog. Not because of meds, I haven't had narcotics in days. But I think from not working out and sitting all day. I had vertigo in the past and laying down or watching too much tv would aggravate it, i thinks that's what's going on.
Few questions for people ahead of me:
- should i try to wear the binder as tight as possible all the time. I know i need it on for 3 more weeks but should I keep it super tight?
-I can't really stand for too long without it bothering me but foR some reason slow walking is ok. I've been doing .5-.8 in 28 mins for a few days. I then really take it easy for the rest of the day. Should i not be doing that?

Tonight's going to be my 3rd night sleeping in my bed, thank goodness!!!!
I skipped my shower but I've taken one every night since day 3.
Walking up stairs is no problem which has been a blessing.

Post op 9

Going to md appt! Hopefully I get drain out today. Wish me luck????

I'm moving around better. Only taking Tylenol 3x a day for pain.

I'll take pics later!

Postop #9 doctors visit

Okay so my first visit went well. My drain came out. I had less then 15cc for awhile and it was yellowish drainage. It actually didn't hurt at all. He put a bandaids on it. He left my steristrips alone and said let them fall off on own. I'm going back in 2 weeks so he will take off then if still on. He did clean out my belly button with qtip and said I could do that every once and while.
I've been able to shower since post op
Day #3 and showered most nights. Padded areas dry.
He had marked my binder initially after surgery to help me guide how tight it should be. It of course had stretched and he remarked. Wow its tight!!!!
I have a love/hate relationship with the binder. I feel better with it on but hate that tight feeling.
I can walk pretty straight 95% depending how tired I am. He said that is fine as long as I don't feel pulling on incision.
I told him I was walking .5-8 miles and he told me to cut back. He really couldn't stress enough how critical this time was for the skin that was pulled up to have proper time to develop new connective tissue to the muscles. When we over do it we can increase our swelling and fluid build up, a seroma can occur. He said I can do 10 min increments at a time, several times a day.
I moving around in and out of the recliner not problem. I can sit with my legs crossed. I've slept in bed (I have head and feet foam pads) for days now.
It's just hard to stand up in place for a long period of time.
After postop day #4 I've basically been able to take care of myself. My husband had to go back to working in the office and my
Mother n law helped with my sons after school stuff.
Well that's how it's going so far!!!

Post op Day 10

I'm feeling so lazy!! But my mood is fine just lazy. There is so much I wanna do around the house but need to pace myself.
I did this foto to keep me focused on big picture and how far I've come!

Postop day 12

Well I did wayyyy too much this weekend. Not by choice but needed to get things done. My husband has been great but can only do so much.
The swelling is probably the most toughest part so far. I'm not in much pain. I can move around pretty well.
I plan on chilling out a lot today to help make up for all the moving around this weekend.

Post op Day 13

Still good with just Tylenol. It's a little more sore in the evening with the increase with swelling.
I'm moving around just fine in and out of bed. I've been in bed for a while now. The head and leg foam pads ($100) were well worth it.
Showers are no problem. I try to take a shower almost everyday.
I think washing up and getting dressed in "normal" clothes has helped me mentally.
I was able to get my son ready for school like normal and walked him to school (4 houses away). I had already washed up and dressed for the day so after I dropped him off I did my 15 min walk.
I took my time with the walk. I could feel myself leaning forward a tiny bit but was fine. I only do .5-.6 miles. I was ready to be done at the end. Stomach a little sore. Crazy thinking I would run 6 miles all the time no problem but takes me 15 mins for 1/2 mile.
Because I walked already I planned to go back upstairs in bed for awhile and put feel legs up. Watched a movie and paid a few bills.
I still have so much laundry to put away so I plan to do a little after lunch.
I'm trying to balance do alittle but rest for awhile and do a little rest A bit. Hopefully that's okay.
Any advice with activity with people further along?

The blues

I'm sure this is normal but wanted to vent:

I am starting to get the "blues". I feel very isolated. I'm 2 1/2 weeks postop. Everyone is busy doing stuff and I'm just here doing nothing. Funny I don't feel like doing anything but wish I could see the outside more. I'm starting to adventure out these past few days since I started driving. I miss working out and seeing my friends. .
My husband was very attentive when I needed him the first 5 days. But since then it's been just me at home, which I can take care of myself no problem its just isolating. I'm use to be very social At work or gym daily. But with my husband being very busy with work and my son having things after school these last 2 weeks, I'm not really around anyone much. I talk on the phone tons but not the same.
I just got my period too so extra bloated and extra sore back which doesn't help me much!

Light exercise

For those of you cleared for light exercises. What would that include??
Walking I'm sure but how much? What's too much?

Post op day 18

Happy Halloween

My mood is a little better. I think my period is not helping me.

The swelling is still there right at and below incision line. I have my binder on all the time. I hope it's swelling and not a permanent bulge.

I have noticed my skin above my belly button isn't as tight as I'd would of liked. That's a little disappointing!
My sleeping as been terrible that last few nights. I'm so tired of sleeping on my back.
I've been moving more. I don't overdue it. I try to rest often.
I have noticed a twitch start today in my lower left side. That's annoying!!! I'm gonna try rest a little tomorrow after a few errands in am. I've read it's normal but any advice?
I'll try to take pics tomorrow

Post op day 20

I'm gonna start off by saying I haven't been eating as cleanly as I should. Besides my period weight I'm up a few lbs and swollen still from surgery.
Even before surgery I could stand to lose another 10lbs. I had lost 70lbs total.

I'm saying all this cause I'm not sure I'm liking the results so far. I know I know we need to wait for 6 months but I have a lot of extra skin still above my belly button. I'm not sure if I'm gonna need a revision later ( more money and time off).
I'm mean the PS can't perform miracles there are limitations to how much they can do but I'm a little disappointed for all the money I spent.

Added a foto

I did a before and after comparison so I can remind myself I do see a difference.

I think not working out is KILLING MEEEE! It is what I do to mentally and physically feel good. I'm keeps me balance and on the right plan of healthy living.
I think without it I'm off and using food to feel better. I'm not going insane with it but at same time having a hard time with leaving comfort food alone.
I know even if i gain 5 lbs from recovering I will lose it again but it's just frustrating right now.
Blah I feel like a whining bitch! My poor husband!

3 weeks and 3 days post op

Sorry no pics today!

I went for my follow up. He said I'm doing great. The incision is healing well. Only a few scabbed over areas that need to heal. He told me apply this scar tape at 6 weeks. I'll take a pic of it soon and post it.
My swelling is normal. All localized at incision site which is typical. He said to be patient with it. He did say he used a technique of anchoring my skin flap down to muscle In several areas to help prevent seromas.
I can use spanx during the day to help with swelling and binder if needed.
I bought a few different types. Will take pics and let u know how i like them.
I do have several binders. My original one is so stretched out. I ended up cutting some of it so that it fit better.
Activity wise I can walk more. He said to do no more then 2 miles for a couple of weeks. I've been sneaking in a few walks this week already and I'm only up to 1.5 miles in 33 mins. I use to jog 10 min miles all the time preop. CRAZY!
I can only do 10 lbs dumbbell for now.
4 weeks I can do bike at low intensity. 6 weeks increase activity if I feel good. 8 weeks I can do more lifting and again resume activity. No abd work until then.
I will go back for next follow up at 3 months.
I have 2 1/2 more weeks off from work. At 6 weeks i go back. I have a very physical job and very long shift. I can't imagine doing a shift right now.
I've been moving around and doing a lot the last 2 days. Besides the swelling I'm doing good. Just on Tylenol and Motrin a couple of times a day.
Moving around more and getting some walks in has helped me get my eating back in check. I feel more in control and overall better.
Oh I slept for 7 straight hours last night and woke up in the same position I fell asleep in. That's a first and it felt great.

Happy healing everyone and thanks for all the support!!!

3 1/2 weeks postop

I have been very active the last 5 days and feeling overall pretty good. Tylenol and Motrin 2x a day. I'm tired but my endurance is improving. I try to sit in recliner for 1/2 hr increments when I can to rest up muscles and continue on with the day.
Sleeping wise. So much better. I am no longer using foam head/leg pads. I do have several pillows around me and do use one by my legs to adjust through the night. No more benedryl for sleepaide.
I've used the spanx that goes right up to bra line during the day and actually cut binder in half and use it still on lower part of abd where it's still swollen. At night I use my other full length binder on.
I went out for the first time with my husband Saturday night for my bday, we went to dinner and then went to a going away party for a coworker. I wore a full body spanx that night no binder, it felt strange with no binder, but went well. I was definitely tired after. Mentally so needed it!! Great to dress up and see my friends and get tons of hugs and good lucks.
I did wear jeans but they wear my baggy ones because my normal ones don't fit. Too swollen.
So overall doing better. Thank goodness!!

6 1/2 weeks postop update

Hi I've been busy lately. I thought I would write out an update on the last couple of weeks.
Sleep: back to normal. Stopped using foam pillows weeks ago. Highly recommend those. I can actually lay on my stomach too for a little bit now.
Incision: looks great. I have a tiny healing scab at end, when it heals which should be soon I can put silicone strip they had me buy for it. I will let u gals know if I like it. I haven't done anything to my incision. No lotions or massages. I did clean it with dual soap initially.
Food: I finally got back on my clean diet. Not working and working out had thrown me off my routine. Now I'm back to minimizing processed foods. I feel so much better.
Weight: it went up 5 lbs. peaked 4 weeks. Now down 1lb.
Measurements: down 1" waist and hips.
Clothes: finally can wear my jeans again. They were a little tightish before and now tight well. Tops have more room at waist.
Activity: initially couldn't walk fast. Now I'm close to baseline walking. I'm cleared to do any activity just within reason and listen to my body.
Swelling: oh boy at night it can get bad. I wear spanx to help and sometimes my binder still.
Follow ups: I go at my 3 month appt.
Work: I'm a nurse and have a very active job. I just went back this past week and was fine. Boosting patients will be just a little tricky. I could of technically been ok at 4 weeks but glad I took 6.
Worth it: yes!!! However I had lost 70lbs total and my upper abs are still lax. In the future I will need a reverse tummy tuck to lift skin up.
I hope I can just learn to deal with it IF NOT I need to start saving. I feel guilty spending another $10000 on my body. My husband is supportive but I'm sure he has limits.

7 weeks

Feeling good. Did my first full body workout yesterday, a combo of cardio and weights. The only hard thing was trying to figure out what weights I can do and not pushing myself too much.
I haven't been wearing my binder at night. Kinda over it. I did wear my spanx while working out.
My weight is finally coming back down! I was all messed up!!

-When I started my journey I was 165lbs.

-Right before surgery 168 lbs ( stomach issues made it tough to get right foods in)

-after not working out and eating way too many carbs, diet all messed up, I was up to 174lbs. I think period week too.

-after week 4 and I saw 174lbs, and my stomach meds changed, I cleaned up my diet and started seeing weight come off.

-3 weeks of clean eating, off meds for stomach issues, I feel so much better. My weight is 166.5lbs

My goal is 165lbs by New Years!! I can do that easy peasy!!

1/13/16 is my 3 month follow up and my goal is 163, maybe even 160lbs if my exercising goes well.

My stomach issues: I had gastritis which kicked off initial weight loss, issues on and off still for 2 years, stress related. Upper endoscopy this summer found no ulcers ( thank goodness) but I had Hpylori and yeast in stomach. 3 week course of antibiotics and then antifungal. Had to wait til after surgery to retest if gone. Test was negative but still felt "off ". Was taken off Prilosec (stomach med) and cleaned up diet.
Also Had ultrasound of gallbladder ( history of stones) and was found to have big enough stones to possibly need to be surgically removed. Seeing a surgeon in a few weeks. That explains horrible feeling after "cheat meals".
I still have everyday yucky feeling, so I'm getting a 4 hr!! Lactose breathing test, I might have some intolerance that explain other stomach issues.
I also need to get tested for SIBO, small intestine bacterial overgrowth.

I without a doubt feel better eating limited processed foods and simple carbs. It's obviously good for my stomach and weight.


Well that's my long update!! What a long ongoing journey! But worth it!
Dr Bartlett

The office has been great so far. The price is reasonable for this area.

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