Where can I start? I guess waaaay back at the beginning. In the middle of 2012, I found myself at 280 pounds, living a mediocre life in which I was completely unhappy with who I was, what I had let myself become, and where I was going. I remember realizing that if I didn’t change my habits and make the necessary changes to my life, I would inevitably end up 400 pounds (or more)… and this was coming sooner rather than later. I didn’t want to settle for mediocre. I wanted to enjoy life, I wanted to LOVE my life, but the thought of what it would take to get there was completely overwhelming.
With the help of a personal trainer and a COMPLETE lifestyle change, I lost 130 pounds, 55.3 inches and 46.4% body fat in exactly one year. I then found myself at another “fork” in the road. I had incorporated lifestyle changes that left me so optimistic for what my future would hold, but there was still a problem…..
At the end of my journey I was wearing a size 4, a size XS or S in tops… and I looked fine with clothes on. But when my clothes came off, it was a totally different story. I was left with a lot of excess skin in my stomach area, as well as on my upper back and arms, and I was in much need of a breast lift. I was so proud of all that I had achieved, but I was still stuck in who I USED to be. When I looked in the mirror I saw the reflection of the girl that weighed close to 300 pounds, because I knew what was under my clothes. It was like an extra layer that I just couldn’t get off.
I was speaking to another regular at my gym about potentially having surgery to remove the excess skin, and she referred me to Dr. Brad Hubbard. She spoke SO highly of him and his abilities! I decided to set up a consultation with him, along with a few other surgeons in my area.
I still remember when I met Dr. Hubbard. From the second we began speaking, I instantly felt more comfortable. Dr. Hubbard listened to my story, asked questions about how I had gotten to where I was, and truly wanted to understand my thought process behind wanting surgery. I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and understanding as I was talking to him. It was obvious to me that he does what he does because he truly wants to help people. I feel like he wants to give people the life that they dream of (something that had at one point seemed so unattainable to me!), and he comes from SUCH a genuine place!! To this day, there are NO words to explain what a good impression he left on me that day. I knew that he was the one to help me finish out this last portion of this “chapter” in my life. I had my surgery booked before leaving my first consultation. After leaving the office, I called the other surgeons that I had scheduled consultations with, and cancelled every single one. I didn’t need to look elsewhere, I had found my Dr.!!
Dr. Hubbard and his amazing office coordinator, Julie, were SO great throughout the entire planning process. I had a LOT of questions, and Julie was always available to answer each and every one, whether it was by email, phone, or in person. After I told my parents about my plans, they also had numerous questions. Both Dr. Hubbard and Julie spent extensive time addressing those as well, and even met with me and my parents again for an additional consultation. My mom and dad were both so impressed, and left with the same reaction to Dr. Hubbard that I had after meeting him, they knew he was an amazing surgeon and was the one capable of helping me achieve my desired results! The plan was to do a circumferential TT, breast lift with augmentation, and arm lift. He would also address the “back fat” area by combining the lift and brachioplasty incisions.
It seemed to take forever to get to surgery day… I was just SO excited and ready to go!! When the day finally arrived, to my surprise I had no nerves! I’d read multiple Real Self stories about pre-surgery jitters, but I had NONE whatsoever. I was completely at peace with the decision, and I had COMPLETE faith in Dr. Hubbard. I honestly believe that he is the reason I didn’t have any fears going in, because he had been SO thorough in answering any questions I had and explaining anything and everything!! Even Julie called me that morning to wish me good luck, and it was just another sign of what a dedicated and caring staff they all are.
I went back to get marked up for surgery and Dr. Hubbard took his time to make sure that everything was perfectly even. He measured, and re-measured multiple times… each time assuring me that he just wanted to make sure everything was PERFECT!! I was so grateful!! In my opinion, I was fine with him taking as long as he needed to…. because who doesn’t want perfect results?! Dr. Hubbard stayed in until I was ready to be wheeled down the hallway; I was so ready to wake up in the body that I had worked so hard to achieve!!!!!!!!!
Coming out of everything, the pain was not nearly as bad as I’d expected. Again, I’d read several Real Self stories regarding the post-op pain, and can honestly say that I felt great!! I was SO excited when I saw and was able to talk to Dr. Hubbard. He showed me some pictures that he had taken right after he had finished, and I was AMAZED!! Everything looked so perfect, literally like a masterpiece!! All of the lines were so even and it was evident that he had taken his time to truly give me the BEST results!! Dr. Hubbard said that he took EIGHT POUNDS of just skin from my stomach, and an additional ONE POUND from each arm… CRAZY!!! I couldn’t believe it, TEN pounds of just skin…. so incredible! He was as comforting as he had been every time I’d seen him previously, and again… I was left without the words to thank him for what he had just done for me. I mean just the thought…..… no more hiding in multiple layers of clothing, no more being insecure in my own skin, no more tucking myself in and no more magician-like tricks to hide the skin that once held an excess of 130 pounds. I was finally in the FIT body that I had literally worked my a$$ off for!!
I am now sitting at about four weeks post-op… and the biggest annoyance has been the swelling. I expected it and know it will subside with time so I try not to focus on it. For the most part I am only swollen at the end of the day now… no longer in the mornings. But every day I see remarkable changes! Every single day something changes or looks even better than the day before. I have the most perfect incision lines!! His placement of each incision is flawless!! I cannot wait to see how everything continues to heal, and I am so excited to embark on the next chapter of my life with this new perspective and in this new body. I am beyond grateful for Dr. Hubbard and everything he has done for me, and would recommend him to others over and over again. He and his staff continue to impress me at every post-op visit, and I am just so thankful. So incredibly thankful :)
I’ll try to get pictures posted tonight or this weekend, and hope this review will be beneficial to others’ that may be contemplating the same type of surgery. Hands down, best decision I ever made!