2015 - Just wanna get back to MY REAL SELF (w lipo, & then some... BBL) in Colombia

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Short story: ex cheated, I put on weight after...

Short story: ex cheated, I put on weight after medication I had to take ... & now want to remedy it and get back to the old me! :)

Hi all,
Thought I would start posting as this site encouraged me to look into & do something about the areas I always wanted fixed (upper arms, love handles / upper hips & outer thighs) but also areas I have recently been struggling with (mid-section, inner thighs and upper back).

I am a 30 year old fitness instructor and been fit and healthy for most of my life, especially the last 10 years. I had lipo done here in Australia on my stomach when I was 20. I was at my ideal weight but had excess fat on my mid-section. Dr Ashley Granot suggested I do my arms too at the time, but I stupidly didn't at that stage (cost about $7000 for stomach only as I wanted a personal anaesthesiologist being young & scared) .

Anyway, fast forward & I had to take cortisteroids Oct 2013-Jan 2014 for stress related hair fall (alopecia) from my ex cheating on me in 2012. This made me put on 10 kg on my small 45 kg frame. Long story short - hair grew back after 3 months, stopped the roids, was 10kg over & lost half... but I am still 5kg over my ideal weight.

My back, mid section, upper arms, upper thighs and love handles are way bigger than they used to be. Also my metabolism changed, along w other side effects of the cortisteroids, so my body doesn't react to food / exercise or burn fat and food like it used to. So I decided to go for lipo....

I booked with Dr Alex Campbell & Carolina Restrepo who were very informative after I sent photos & had long phone conversations too.

But I wanted a face to face opinion too. Today (6 Jan 2015), I also had a consult here again with Dr Granot but as I wanted too many areas done (quoted at $20000 AUD ie about $15000 USD), he suggested I take a few months to try and lose the weight through diet and exercise then come back. I was a bit disappointed but also grateful to see he cared more about alternatives and my welfare. He suggested by the time I lose weight, I might just want to do 3 areas: my upper hips / love handles, upper thighs and upper arms at $10,000 (about $7500 USD), which I might have 10 years ago also.

So my game plan is to get a bit more strict with my diet and exercise and lose as much as I can of 4-5kg before my surgery on 16 Feb! Maybe I will need less areas done, as the healthier alternative.... To be continued :)

What to eat pre-surgery?

I want to recover as soon as possible, as I have to fly back w 30 hour travel time, from Colombia to Melbourne, Australia and then straight back to work.

Any tips on what to eat to hurry my recovery along as much as I can much appreciated :)

35 days to go & nerves re flying to Colombia

So I travel a fair bit (32 countries so far, majority alone) but a bit nervous about:
1. Travelling to Colombia. Although I have Colombian friends and well familiar with the culture, the Australian government has travel warnings issued re kidnappings! & an Argentinian friend was also talking about the high percentage of foreigner kidnappings in South America during a catch up this week.
I still want to do some sight seeing pre-surgery so thankfully Premium Care put me in touch with a travel agent (that I would trust more so than 1 I picked randomly - none of my friends are not from that part of Colombia)!

2. The wait.
The wait is killing me. 2.30am and I'm awake thinking of and planning my trip / pre-surgery list to fasten recovery.
I am a very spontaneous person. I booked my $2000+ flights overnight lol and put down my deposit. Unfortunately not super rich (all on my credit card haha), just super impatient once I make up my mind :)

Here's to waiting out another 35 days... :)

Wish pics

So I want my back to be small like it used to be, and arms way smaller, & waist and tummy area the smallest :)

3am & I'm up again w 16 days to fly

So I decided I won't get my thighs down anymore. I went to gym today & even though I've put on a few kg (weighed 50kg ie 110lb on Sat 24 Jan & I was 44kg pre steroid weight gain), I still like my legs. I don't want things done I don't really need so....... Apparently the price stays the same. So I emailed just to make sure I am getting:
(My original quote) Liposuction to abdomen, upper back, love handles, arms and thighs Fatgrafting to buttock

Plus bra strap, upper & lower abdomen, obliques and fatty part in between underarm and breast.

Will wait to hear back if removing thighs and adding the above varies the price....

& meanwhile try to sleep! I'm so excited and more grateful and truly appreciate my procedure. I went to visit family last week & put on 2 kg & I didn't even eat that bad! My body and metabolism used to be super at dealing w no exercise / just digesting but not anymore. It all just goes straight to my mid-section. Initially I had a few doubts about sx and thought maybe I could just wait it out and maybe my body would return to its super high metabolism self without requiring too much exercise but not anymore. Really seeing the value in my sx and can't wait! :)

Photos pre & post weight gain

So, a Real Self sister requested photos & I thought why not (except I have a conservative day job & my promo modelling pics are old, still have to find them as on my partner's phone, & have only told 1 person re this), hence my head being chopped off but it gives u an idea.

2012-2013 me before corticosteroids led to a 10kg / 22lb weight gain. I hate cheating men!

Stuff w no captions = my very part time promotional modelling work (which I no longer do, with a 22lb weight gain).
Other photos = me before the weight gain from meds in Oct 2013-Feb 2014

Face quote + the bf is coming, w 12 days to go before WE fly out!

Got my very own personalised nurse & sightseer ... My boyfriend unfortunately & fortunately fell off his motorbike and can't go to work for a month. Seeing as he has to rest his arm, and stay at home anyway, I'm paying for him to come w me. I feel sooooo relieved (but broke lol) but he really helps me w everything and I feel like this is a Godsend!

Also considering getting my face (chin) lipo'd to get that narrow angular look I used to have in my pre-2013 photos. But conflicted as I'm worried if something goes wrong, it's very obvious :/ Laura (assistant) forgot to attach the quote but will update.


4am and I cannot sleep!
Haven't been updating as had so much to pack in literally before we left. We moved house! We had unclean housemates so it's great and I will be able to recover better in our own place yay PLUS the hospital re-broke my partner's arm as it wasn't healing properly, so had to run him around.

But we made it to Colombia and spent Valentine's Day here & I just love this place! Anyway, had a very jet lagged pre-op meeting after we missed connecting flights due to United's delay but managed to get here ok for the anaesthesiologist appointment & meeting w Dr Campbell. He was very informative and we made the decision on lipo to my face for my steroids but not buccal pad removal as I was too worried about looking gaunt when I age. He said my jaw line is fine anyway so doing that for now.

It's now 4.23am Monday. Been so jet lagged wasn't totally done w my pre-list but the doc was quite casual about it and my partner can go get some if I need (his Spanish is non - existent so he struggles though). Got the meds, 2 x fajas that Angela took me to buy (total $126 USD, one XS and another XXS, neither of which I thought I would fit into but they squeezed me into), and some soup and yoghurt and bananas. The supermarket is 300m away, so should be ok, and the hotel has room service.

I forgot to wash my hair last night as thought it had to be done in the morning. So now I have to wake up even earlier still to wash and dry my hair before Angela gets here to collect us for 8am, then fingers crossed surgery is at 9am! Almost didn't happen though as we have been travelling for so long that w the flight delay and miss in Houston, we had to spend extra hours being tired at the airport and re-route via Panama that night. The next morning we almost missed our flight again as they were doing last call 30 minutes before take off (our Houston to Bogota flight we could still make it with 10 mins spare if the plane had landed 50 minutes late instead of 1 hour).... so I freaked and was running in the airport at 6am w just my singlet and jeggings, and the cold night / morning air got into me and I was coughing away. Usually this results in a chest infection (= no operation) or need for antibiotics (=no operation) but I told my partner no more aircon and I managed to avoid getting sick!

4.30am and I'm signing off. Hopefully will get another 3 hours approx. sleep and wake up nice and easy for the big day!


Mon 16 Feb
My surgery went as scheduled (aside from me not being able to sleep till 12.30am then waking up at 4am & too excited to sleep! :) do I ended up giving up and washing my hair at 6am as I forgot to wash it. And I also wasn't that good w my supplies' list so we went to the 24 hour supermarket and got rockmelon, fruit, an extra towel as I didn't get a plastic tablecloth or anything protective to stop blood getting on the bed, knives for the fruit, yoghurt drinks, and pads.

My lovely Angela (nurse) picked M and I up at 8am. She even emailed to say she was on the way. She even double parked so I didn't have to walk far into the hospital. We checked in and waited in a room talking about everything & M even found out where to get a haircut. It was so relaxed.

Dr Campbell & his wife Dr Carolina chatted with me then Dr Campbell marked me up. All those lines, M joked about my tattoo. We went over areas and how much I wanted in my butt (he initially suggested 300cc as I was thinking conservative and just to accentuate my own curves w my back fat gone). He then marked my face. Unfortunately there was no mirror but I didn't make a big deal as we went through everything Saturday & I trust Dr Campbell understood what I wanted. I did point out I need my steroid hump done on my upper back so he marked that also. Then I was led to the surgery room, w cool sterilising yellow liquid put all over me. It was sooooo cold I was shaking! I was turned around till all parts were covered & told not to touch anything till it dried. I was then on the bed, the anaesthesiologist arrived and the nursed briefed him about me even though we met Saturday. Very thorough. It did freak me that the females left their ear-rings on but guess this is the norm in Latin America, or maybe they left the room once the operation started. I was out pretty much straightaway after telling Dr Campbell where
M and I met. In the meantime, Angela took M to buy my face faja that I forgot to get.... And show him the haircut place! Talk about going above and beyond!

I don't know how I got from the operating table to other room - no recollection at all. I was meant to be done by 3pm-ish but I remember it was 4pm on the clock when I came to. Oh, M just told me Angela called him to say I was done at 2.30pm. I was just out for so long haha

I was still in my gown in another area - the waiting area for people to come to I guess. Between my broken Spanish, I even had some conversations w the nurses. They were wondering if I was bleeding so much because of menstruation. No, it was my BBL! This was the hospital which I guess Premium hire out so they weren't as informed I guess w so many people coming through for plastic surgery.

I kept calling for Michael and drifting back to sleep. I was so cold they called my nurse from Premium, Angela. They covered me up and when I woke, Michael and Angela were fetched and asked how I was. Wet was my reply gaha soaked in blood in bed. They had to wait for me as I guess this is a sterile area although I wish Angela was there to get my faja on. One of the hospital nurses was pulling or pushing against my stitches. I made appropriate noises and it stopped. The other nurse was older and just lovely and intuitive. She complimented me on my boobs later asking if they were real, as the Colombian lady next door had a boob job. There was also a loud annoyed man calling for the nurses every 2 minutes giving them no peace and they kept telling him to calm down. I felt sorry for the nurses but they knew how to handle him, but seriously, the whole time I was there & remember being awake from 4pm-6pm, this continued! My hospital nurses got me into my faja w gloves on which I understand but the gloves kept breaking so bits of rubber in my faja (we got out). Then I got dressed, into a wheelchair and into another waiting room while she got M & A.... wheeled right across from loud Middle Aged blue shirt 'tranquillo' / be calm man. I digress.... I thanked the nurse as she got my people. She told Angela I was very brave as I didn't cry once and usually all the girls cry if they get lipo on many places, let alone BBL and chin lipo. I couldn't cry haha I brought this on myself and I'm just so happy to be on the road to how I was only a year & 4 months ago before the steroids!

Angela went to buy me adult nappies after I suggested I was bleeding a lot and didn't want to soil her car. The hospital nurses just gave me 1 pad which didn't help much - I was flooding lol and dripping all over the floor. I suspect from my BBL which requires dripping at times as you only retain 60-70%. My angel Angela returned w adult nappies and I asked for plastic for her car seat so that too. She even stopped by Premium to get me plastic for my own room. She set up my side of the bed completely with plastic, even helped me pee and made sure I ate something and was just so nice and lovely and I felt so comfortable. She told me when to take my meds and got us to order food.

FLOWERS from doc
At this point lovely Dr Campbell arrived to check up on me unexpectedly. Lovely surprise. Even nicer, he brought flowers and a card! M gets me flowers on special occasions but getting flowers post surgery in a foreign country unexpectedly really touched me! Angela waited while M went and got himself food. He's been so nice and looks after me first so I forced him to grab some. Angela and I had lovely chats and she ensured I are my chicken soup and confirmed my lymph appointments for 10am tmrw and that she would come and bathe me!


Wow, I am just so touched and impressed. They even listen to me babble on sometimes (jetlagged, friendly, excited person haha). I just love the care & expertise I am getting - definitely premium and exceeding expectations. Part of the reason I went with Premium was it touched my own philanthropist side (look up Operation Smiles!) but they extend this caring nature to all their patients and not just little disfigured kids in impoverished countries. Love love love. God bless.

I love everything except my BBL ATM (own fault & might be temporary emotion as only Day 4!)

So my doc gave us a book about how you're on a roller coaster post surgery & I guess this is a little dip:

I wish I had stuck to 'conservative' as per my PS's suggestion for BBL. I am all of 5'1 or 5'2 max and not used to this moderate butt. I was totally flat before. I got a bit keen and said moderate last minute instead of conservative the day of surgery. But let's see, apparently you lose 30-40% so should be ok. And maybe I will get used to it as I remember doing so many squats trying to get a bigger butt. It's just I am so curvy but have to remember it's very early days (Day 4) and I have to give my body a chance to heal.

BBL photos - not sure yet

My photos didn't attach. Apparently, they are too big ;)

Back home & love it all! Love Premium Care in Cartagena

Cannot recommend Premium Care enough - from the pre-surgery to bedside manner lol they actually visited me and doc dropped me off flowers the next day & nurse Angela was just always there for me! And the masseuse was amazing! Double sessions every day and so helpful and kind!

Back home and nothing but praise for Premium. They are truly premium, in their care and all interactions. I cannot believe a doctor would be so accessible and put up w my analytical a$$ (pardon the pun ;) to this degree.

He even pre-empted that the airport might have a problem w letting me fly so long so soon (7 days) after surgery & on his own accord, gave me an all clear medical note & told me to downplay my surgery. My brain was all muddled so I'm so glad my doc had my back, literally!!

Still got questioned as I decided to use the surgery card upon check in to get seats together (I booked my partner's flights later than mine on an overbooked flight & there were no seats together!). That alerted the girl at check in obviously and I had to be taken to the airport doctor. I downplayed how much surgery I had & told him I felt great & did so much sightseeing and how much I love Colombia... and he was more interested in telling me to come back to Colombia and how he thought I was so pretty haha the people in Colombia are so nice! To be honest, my faja was making me sore where it squeezed my skin but shhh :)

So, seats together and off we went! But then mainly my legs swelled up on the plane and my faja was cutting into my upper thighs where the pee hole is. Like my swollen flesh was trying to escape the XXS faja! Elevated my legs as much as I could as nurse Angela told me, & my bf told me to put tissues near my groin and inner thigh to wedge the faja and it was just manageable. Doc also told me to get up and walk every 3 hours, which helped.

I had a 1 hr + 6 hr + 16 hr = 23 hours of flying and about 12 of waiting around = 35 hour journey! And I did it!

***About my previous comment about my ass - silly me working for nothing , I just had to wait for it to shrink! The doc kindly provided me with a chart that shows the emotions u go through and questioning etc u do post surgery, and it hit the nail on the head. Anyway, swelling is down so much and when I sent him an email after that ass review about those concerns, he met me in office after my massage and showed me detailed pictures of the process of swelling and healing... And I was even more reassured. I just could never imagine a doc here taking the time out to do that. And I was very fortunate to find an American doctor in Colombia as he knew exactly what I wanted (conservative ass) even though he does do those big round ones popular in Colombia.

Look at me now ;) 5 days post. Cannot recommend Premium highly enough!!!

A picture speaks a 1000 words.
Me on Sunday (surgery was Monday = only 5 DAYS POST)! Amazing!

Just got home & couldn't wait to shout praise ;) Thank you so much Dr Alex Campbell & staff for absolutely everything, Pre, During & Post. There is nothing I could have asked for more. I was not left to my own at any stage after surgery and after I paid. He even wanted to know we got home safe and emailed right back when I emailed just now and even enquired about my plane swelling! Seriously, which doc does that?! I am so moved!

I have never ever ever experienced so much care, time and efficiency and forethought, professionalism, safety-paramount attitude (& I can go on and on) from any medical professional anywhere else!

1 week out & I already have great results on lipo on my face, arms, teeny tiny stomach and waist, between my boobs and underarms, inner thighs and my cutesy butt!

Now my bf & I might make the 36 hour journey next year to get his small tummy bulge removed as we are just so impressed! Sure, there are qualified PS' here and our flights alone cost $5000 together (& we are not super-rich, that is a lot of money) but if we are going to put our lives & bodies in someone's hands, it's definitely Dr Campbell's! He is very affordable, fair and ethical (even told me not to do my boobs if I felt I didn't really need it!)!

Any questions, feel free to msg me!

Look at me now pic didn't attach. Here it is!

Nothing short of amazing, in everything (& I am not usually easily 100% impressed)!! They deliver above and beyond and I am so lucky to have found Dr Campbell and his team! PRE: Extremely informative staff (w no language barrier) and doctor (American, so knew the look I wanted combined w a Latin touch ;) although does do the big Colombian a$$ as well) who initially took time out (2 hour phone calls from Colombia to Australia suiting my time zone!) to talk to (very analytical) me. So many others didn't even email answers to all my questions or took too long, or sent me answers I couldn't understand half in Spanish. He explained in simple effective terms. DURING: always kept me informed & always addressed my concerns even when I wanted to add another area (free!) day of surgery! POST: There for me everyday. Doc visited w flowers to my room day of surgery after I had it. I almost started crying lol now back in Oz & doc still in touch & requesting follow ups! Truly AMAZING and an out of this world team, from reception, nurse Angela, admin., masseuse Virgina to Dr Alex & his wife Dra Carolina! So truly impressed, bf & I are going to save up another $5000 for flights & go back next year so he can have his small tummy bulge treated he wasn't initially even thinking of! If we are putting our lives & bodies in anyone's hands, it is the extremely capable and efficient Dr Campbell's with his professional, approachable team. Did I mention they are so ethical, he advised me against anything to my boobs when I was asking what else I could do? Clearly not $$ minded. AND they are part of Operation Smile, who operate on underprivileged children world over who have cleft lips (India, Philippines, Colombia etc). They tick all my boxes and I cannot recommend highly enough! I used to model and to get me back to an even better body = amazing! Thank you, thank you, thank you! If anyone has any questions, they will get back to you straightaway pretty much, or please feel free to contact me. At the risk of spamming, I am just so impressed and I hope all my RS sisters can experience this when it comes to surgery!

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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