30 Year Old, Athletic Mom of 2, 140 Pounds Lost and Kept off for Ten Years - Hinsdale, IL

Hello realself community!! When I was 15 I weighed...

Hello realself community!!
When I was 15 I weighed over 317lbs. By 20 I had lost 140 pounds. I now stay around 170lbs for the past ten years. I workout very hard and every almost everyday for ten years. I've fallen in love with healthy eating and treating my body with kindness. At 22, I went in for my first consultation. But I ultimately decided to wait until I was finished having children. I hadn't even known if I would at that point, but figured I wouldn't want to re-do it. Flash forward eight years and two kids later, and I am freaking ready!!

I've seen three different Chicago area plastic surgeons. Two of which have many many reviews on here and one that has a couple. I've chosen to work with Dr. Saulis in Hinsdale, right outside of chicago. She is extremely talented. Her work is very impressive. And her bedside manner is exactly what I need. She understands my concerns and really listens. My surgery is scheduled for November 8th. 11 days! Omg. I'm beyond thrilled. My two biggest concerns aren't with the surgery but the time I need to take off from working out and being a mom. I have a sixth month old and a three year old. My mom is coming for two weeks to help me with everything and my wonderful husband is 100% on board. Second. The recovery time and the time off from heavy lifting and hiit workouts scares me a bit. I plan on being a point with my eating and getting the macros I need to heal and stay fit while I recover. And walking and moving as much as I can. And meditation! For real keeping your mind calm and healthy keeps your body calm and healthy.

I will be documenting in full here. I found this site so helpful the last two years. Especially the reviews that were detailed. They really helped me figure things out and make it happen. So I hope to do the same. I also look forward to connecting with an authentic community!!

I am also posting my whole journey over on Instagram, under the name @lucyscrazyhealthylife please join me there for a peak into my lifestyle and workouts!

I'm going to post daily!

Ten days!!!

Hello realself world!!

I'm ten days out from my surgery, I'm so ready. My mom is coming for two weeks solid to help. And family will be around for thanksgiving. I'm trying to prel as much as I can before the big day. I need to get some things for sure. I've made so many list from research on realself, but I am curious if people have a simple list that's straight to the point. It's starting to feel like when you prepare for a baby and get. All. The. Things. But end up using none of it. What is the ultimate prep list of essentials????

I've found myself so nervous for the results. Not the final, will I immediately see them results. But more along the lines of will it be smooth on my sides. Will I have I have dog ears. Why do some turn out pretty rough and some look awesome? This is where my mind is these days. And I am trying to not take it there. But I can't help but wonder...

Ok! Off to clean and get things more prepared.

Later tonight I hope to read through more reviews!

Nervous about the recovery!

Hello realself world!

Dropping into say I am nervous about taking time off after. I literally have workEd out six days a week for ten years. It's my medicine. I'm know a 100% staying healthy in the head and eating right is where I need to be. I was so off all day thinking that in nine days I would be getting my excess skin removed and muscles repair, not because of that, upset about the recovery Time. But! After talking to some realself folks I'm waaaay more hopeful! I'm hoping by two-ish weeks I'll be able to lift gently and go on longer walks. Ahhhhh so happy. And so freaked out. And so stoked!!!

Tomorrow my two year old turns three!! Halloween baby! But the day after that I'm going to tackle the rest of the things on my prep list! Yay! Timing worked out that this is one of the busiest weeks we've had in months, immediately followed by the surgery. My son's bday, my pre-op appointment, nephew's bday, daughter's baptism, Elle king concert, son's friends bday, family in town for baptism and then surgery Tuesday after that weekend! I'm babbling. Mostly because I've worn out my husband's ear and don't want to overwhelm my friends with my neuroses. Everyday is jammed packed. And this is probably a good thing. It will keep my mind off the fact that I am totally crazy excited while also bummed about the down time and recovery. What is wrong with me!? I should be ????% stoked! Ahhh. I am. Breathing. Ok... I'll leave you with few photos of my Extra skin! LOL

Damn! Posted before I added the pictures!

One week!

Hey ya'I'll

Been so busy with life that I haven't had time to check in or prep. Today though I am gonna sit down and finalize some things and get it all going!

Funny thing happen today, I keep an Instagram account documenting my journey and someone reached out saying I need do wraps to get rid of the extra skin and basically said this was an extreme procedure and I could do some more work! HahAhaha I laughed out loud when I got the message. Because honestly only you guys know how hard we work and the skin won't. Go. Away. I'm so ready for this!

If you wanna follow along on Instagram my name is @lucyscrazyhealthylife

Pre op today!

Oy! I'm not having much to say right now. It was my son's birthday these last couple days and I haven't had time to think about the surgery.

I have pre-op today and I am pretty sure this will snap me back into surgery and prep mode. I will snap some photos at pre-op...

And update again after!

Made it to the flat side!!

Hey guys!! Well my plan to update a ton went to the sideline this last week with all the stuff that happened. Busy week in a long time.

Went into the hospital this morning and had my surgery! Not going to lie, my muscles are very sore and I'm very nauseous. My surgeon was amazing! She has you spend a night. Which with the pain I'm in can't imagine going home! I saw one time my stomach. Can't believe it. I'll update more tomorrow.

2nd day post op

Hello! Wow what a ride! Happy I'm on the flat side.

I am going to try and recap the last two days, I found the detailed reviews really helpful when I was researching and figuring it all out.

..............................
I went to the hospital at 9:30 on Tuesday morning. I had not eaten since 9 the night before. I had one small glass of water and 4oz of black coffee at 5:30 in the morning. Dr. Saulis said I was allowed to have that small amount. I had family staying with me for the weekend before I had the surgery and unfortunately I wasn't able to go to the bathroom. I hate that that happens to me, but I get very backed up when out of my routine. So by Tuesday morning I still hadn't gone. Argh. Hopefully soon.

On the way to the hospital I took one anxiety pill that dr. Saulis prescribed to me, to help me stay chill. It worked amazing. Any anxiety immediately fell away. I also listened to a 15 minute meditation on general well being by Abraham hicks, I think mediation is a life savor, it gets my mind in the right spot. I checked in at 9:30 and saw my doctors then and dr. Saulis drew on my stomach. I didn't have my phone at this point or I would have taken a quick snap. Around 11 I peed for a pregnancy test. Pretty standard. Then April the nurse came and put in my IV. And fitted me for and put on compression socks! At 11:30 I was wheeled into the operating room and was out immediately.

The surgery lasted until 1:45, but I didn't fully wake up until 5:15. I was in and out in the recovery room. I woke up with compression machine wrapped around each part of my lower leg, shin/calf area pumping air around my leg to prevent clotting. This is the part where I have to say, I think it's CRAZY that some doctors send people home after this part. what in the what. I had a full abdominoplasty and muscle repair and I was so out of it. I can't imagine getting in a car and going straight home. I know this is most surgeons protocol. I'm thankful dr. Saulis includes it in her cost to stay overnight and have around the clock care for another 24 hours. I was able to get three bags of antibiotics and morphine and zofran through an iv. You guys, seriously how are we expected to go straight home?? The first time I went for a walk, I threw up three times. All I am saying is im glad I wasn't expected to do it all with my husband and myself. I'm very grateful for staying over night and being watched.

I had a tough night with the pain. For me it was the nausea, I was throwing up so since I couldn't keep anything down, I was getting morphine through an IV and I still felt a lot of the muscle pain. I was in and out all night mostly up.

When I woke up they had me go for a walk and drink broth and since I kept it down, i finally got norco!!!! Omg night and day difference!!! Around 11:30 dr. Saulis came in and checked on my stomach and pain pump! She told me about the procedure and how it all went. I had a 4cm opening behind the belly button, she closed that and took six pounds of skin and fluid from me! I honestly thought I had way more. My stomach looks amazing! She explained to me that this is as flat as it will look until about three months. I'm going to swell a ton. But said it will go back to this as it heals. She told me to wear my binder 24/7 and to put a tank under the binder so I won't breakout. I can shower fully after the drains are both out. I can rinse or sponge by I can not get the drain site wet at all! I am still chilling at the hospital, I'm leaving at 6ish. I'm a bit nervous but feel way better on the norco.

Take away from the last two days********

-SHIT man! This is a real deal surgery! Major surgery! I knew it was, but I don't *know* it was. Like gotta go through it to get it i guess!

-I am in shock with my shape! Dr. Saulis does great work. I think I have hips now!

-have good habits, understand what that means to you and your body. Have your workout routine down and solid. Be prepared mentally to get back to it. Have good eating habits. I highly recommend doing 'if it fits your macros' and to record what you're eating. Be aware of yourself. Radical self care ya'll, figure out what that means for you and have it down. Because this surgery is not a fix to being skinny. Get fit first. This is the next step not the first.

-I am so happy that I found dr. Saulis! Seriously I went to three other surgeons first. All of them with radically different approaches. I researched the heck out of them. And their work. It takes a lot of time but it's so worth it find the right one.

Ok, phew!! That's it for today, I'll post tomorrow! Gonna get in a nap before discharge!

A roller coaster man!

3rd day post-op

Hello guys!!

Today is my third day, I only ended up sleeping from 3:00-6:30 am. I couldn't get comfortable in the recliner. It turns out the Norco makes me itch like crazy women. I was itching all night. I took a Benadryl, it helped slightly with the itching. I am slowly try to lower my intake of the Norco, I was cleared today to start using ibuprofen along with my my norco. My pain level is still high when I'm not taking any meds. Mostly around the drain spots. A slight burning feeling there.

I went into see Dr. Saulis today. She removed my pain pump, when she pulled it out I could feel it way high up under my boobs even though it's along the incision line. The nerves thing is weird. It's trippy that I could feel it way up there! I got a chance to peak at my stomach. It looks great. I still can't wrap my brain around the fact that all that extra skin is GONE! I still feel like it's there. I've been very emotional today. I have run through all. The. Emotions. Today. Sigh, I am promising myself I'm going to give myself a break and not think about all the things right now. I was swollen when I saw my stomach and I can hear these mean thoughts in my head. And there's just no place for that. So I'm not going to entertain them. It's not fair to me to go there. I know how important it is to stay positive, but knowing that and practicing positivity are two different things. So instead I'm not going to attached to my thoughts. I feel them without judgement, integrate them and then release them. I know that this surgery was so much more then getting skin off and muscles repaired. It's a whole world shift for me. I've had this skin and it's sort of been this protector of me. I always used it as an excuse to not do things. It was a literal shield I had up against the world and now it's gone. I have to give my body and brain some time to catch up to that idea. I don't need this skin or weight to protect me anymore. I protect me. It's all part of doing the emotional work and rewriting new paths in my brain. anyway! I'm going update more tomorrow. I'll leave you with some photos of Dr. Saulis taking out my pain pump and checking my stomach!

Oy vey-is this swell hell?

Hey guys!!

Wowza, I'm really trying to stay positive with all. The. Things. But man it's been a ride. I didn't post the last two days cause I was off feeling all the feelings, but I really wanted to keep up with my review(even if only like three of ya are reading it lol)!

So, hmmmm, where did I leave off??? I think I left off telling you guys I was pretty emotional with everything. I've been processing these emotions and feeling them and then letting them go. Because honestly I've waited a very long time to have this extra skin removed and no matter what the end result is, it's a thousand times better then what used to be there.

I really should go re-read my last reviews cause I was pretty drugged up when I wrote those! I still am I bit! So they took of SIX pounds officially of skin. What in the what! That's a ton. I can feel where they sewed the the muscles back together, it's very tight. However I am slowly standing up pretty straight. I don't feel any pain around the incision, which I thought would be more painful. I do have a lot of pain by the entry point of my right drain. A burning sort of pain that's sorta of alarming because there's a hole in my skin and it's draining fluid (LOL, i love how normal that is to say on realself. In real life people would freak!) and i where they lipoed my hips! Dang that burns. And it's so bruised. Wow. Not going to lie when my husband and I took off my binder it was crazy. Between the bruising, the incision, the drain sites, and the SWELLING (omg) it's pretty much a fright fest. If I hadn't read basically every tt review on realself I'd probably be way more freaked out.

I'm going to pause here and say WHAT THE ACTUAL F*** with this swelling!!! I thought that came a bit later. But shit, man. It was so beautiful in the hospital. So flat, so feminine. Now it's like I put on a pair of skinny jeans and have a huge muffin top. Or I swallowed a keg. Somehow I've lost the curve of my back and the flatness under my breast. And my poor little mons. The weird part is how hard it is. When I push in on my side it's so hard. I will say my dr warned me 100% that this was going to happen. Pretty much said exactly this 'lucy, look now, see how pretty it is, cause for the next three months it won't look like this.' And I was in la la land and didn't truly pay attention. NOW I see what she meant! I digress...

Anywho! I've taken two sponge bathes since
I've gotten home. Each time my binder comes off I want to pass out. My surgeon said I could switch to spanx and I think I will after my drains are out. Does anyone have any the recommend??

Sorry I stopped abruptly, I'm still taking some pain meds and I've been very tired. I'm not sleeping the best! I will be back to update tomorrow!!

Tummy tuck surprises

I'm used to hard work. I worked very hard to loose 140 pounds and keep it off. I work very hard to learn new workouts and research nutrition. I work very hard to be a good artist. And have my work published. I work very hard to be a good mom and wife. BUT! Omg this recovery is kicking my ass! Top three things that have surprised me this week.
1. I'm a horrible patient! Apparently I don't like to sit still or have people wait on me. Which is blowing my mind???? cause I'm pretty sure I've been looking forward for months to having 'time off' and being waited on. Instead of going with the flow, I'm trying to micromanage everything and everyone. I need to chill the eff out and rest. And let people help me. Easier said then done.
2. It hurts to have surgery. MIND BLOWN right. LOL. For some reason despite reading all. The. Things. I really thought that with modern medicine and willing the pain away that I would have a very small amount of pain. Not so much. Yes, there's pain pills. Yes it's manageable. But those first days man, whoa, it hurts. It's very strange to feel the pain in your muscles. I am surprised by how tight and awkward it is. I digress...
3. Time moves so slow! I really thought I'd appreciate all the time to watch *my* shows and read and draw and chill and it turns out that I only had approximately four hours of 'me time' things to do. And I've done all the things and I'm ready to be healed and back to normal life. Hahahah. What in the what. This is all mostly joking. But for real, I'm not sure what I expected. But I'm a bit stir crazy. BRING ON THE HEALING ????????????????????

One week!

Abdominoplasty ain't no joke, man! It's all been going pretty smooth. I've had some muscle pain. And crazy itching from the meds. I will say that the muscle repair is the most painful part. It is very tight. I can stand up fully but not without a big, tight, pulling feeling where they fixed it all. Getting in and out of the car is one of the harder things, lifting my legs is painful! I went to see my surgeon today and found out I am wearing the binder too loose, yikes! I was surprised because I basically felt like it was tight enough that I wanted to pass out. Now it's nice and unbearable, lol. For real though, she tightened it way farther then I had it and then marked it with a marker so I'd keep it there. Because of my loose binder I still had a lot of fluid and therefore must keep in both drains awhile longer! I'm antsy to workout, I'm walking as much as I can, while also trying to 'rest'. Speaking of rest, Hahahah, I'm going a bit stir crazy! I'm focusing now on choosing happy thoughts. Meditating when I feel anxious. And remembering that this is temporary. And this has changed my life. And all is well. Choose your thoughts people! Thoughts become things!! ????????????????????????

One week!

One week post oP
What a week! It's been one week since my abdominoplasty and muscle repair. They took off six. SIX. pounds of skin. That's amazing to me. For years I worked very hard to loose 140 pounds. Learning new habits. Learning radical self care. Healing my brain and my body. I lost all the weight by 20 and finally had the excess skin removed at 30! I was so ready to be free! This week has been a very long week! The first three days I was in a lot of pain. I was heavily drugged. And basically adjusting to the fact that I had a very new body! I slowly have started to stand a lot straighter. I'm still hunched slightly. Especially in the mornings. I am trying to take it easy, which is hard to do when you are an active person. I've been walking a lot and taking long walks very slowly around the track. I want to do more. My legs and arms want to workout but I know I can't push it. My drains are still producing a high amount of fluid so I know I gotta keep it cool, haha. I'm going crazy with this Recovery. Which is funny, cause I was so excited to be able to chill. My moms been an awesome help, she's taking care of the kids and sort of took over my house duties while I rest. She's amazing. I sort of feel like I'm in a waiting game for my body to heal. And I'm also trying to really soak up the fact that my body is healed and I no longer have all that extra skin. It's no longer a thing in my life. And I am so excited to drop it away from my story. And start a new chapter!

Also, swelling. Can't wait for my sides to be smooth. Le sigh...

Hey!

Hello! I can't wait until when I can get back washing my hair on the regular ???????????? I Kid, I kid! I'll jump back on that hair washing train as soon as I'm allowed to shower! It's been real fun wiping my body down and being a real sleaze ball but I can't wait to join the real world again. Day ten! In my abdominoplasty and muscle repair journey. I am stoked with the results. Even with all the swelling and this isn't even the real 'swellhell' I've heard of. Im very surprised with how much of a turn for the better I've had the last three days. Night and day difference. I have been walking a lot. And Im allowed to lift five pounds weights (I know! Not much, but hey, I'll take it), this has helped me to feel semi in a routine. Focusing real hard on keeping my thoughts positive and manifesting life and goals! Choose your thoughts! I swear this alone will Change your life. Just because something comes into your head doesn't mean you have to follow it down the rabbit hole. Consider letting it go instantly! For real, practice that single step... and see how it goes. ???????????????????????????????? happy Friday ya'll! I'll leave you with a photo of my husband doing a handstand. And say, I can't freakin wait until I can get my yoga practice back and run run run!! Wa-hoooo!

Omg it's past two weeks!

Soooooo, wow I sort of dropped off the planet the last five days! I had so many wonderful intentions of stopping in for an update. But I was busy with the holidays and babies and work and family!!


So let's go back to Monday, 14 days post op.

On Monday I got my second, and final drained removed!! I'm not sure if I talked about it before, with my first drain. But it really was not as big of deal as I thought it was going to be. A slight pinch and done! I thought I'd feel way more pain? Weirdness?? I don't know what I thought. Haha. But it wasn't a think.

So since I'm trying to be as honest as possible. I'll share that I've been walking at the indoor track at the gym since one week post op. I know so many people have so many experiences. And I've literally read probably every review on here. (Almost!!) and I have seen the experiences vary wildly. And I can't sat I haven't had pain. I had a ton pain the first five days. But then it sort of became less of thing and my days got a little more normal. And by one week my doctor said I could walk and lift light weights on my arms. So I did different pulse with 5 pounds weights and walked a couple miles on the indoor track. I would say it'd take an hour to get two miles. And no one should compare to others. But I know I do. So I will also say before the surgery I was running/walking at an incline everyday. And lifting heavy four days a week. Boxing. And doing yoga daily. For almost ten years. I mean I was and am in good shape. I'm saying this because I searching and searching for people that were highly active and had this done. And I want to share what my experience has been incase someone is searching like I was. And I will say that if I could give any advice I would say to be in peak shape. Don't smoke. And be on top of your nutrition and healthy habits. I'm no where near back to where I was ---yet. But my doctor says at three weeks I can do a bit more cardio and by four I can possibly jog. I really just want to move. So I'll take it. We can't compare ourselves to each other but we can share our journey, and I hope that people can see it can be a smooth recovery.

Ok moving on!!

I got that second and final drain out Monday and left straight away for thanksgiving out of state to my moms. I was cleared to travel and needed to be back by Friday. My pain level is pretty manageable. I'm in spanx full time and it's so doable. Way easier then the binder. I am doing normal things like cleaning and laundry and cooking. Not lifting my kids out of their beds but holding them on my lap. I'm not running errands yet alone, mostly cause I haven't had to but that all changes next week! Cause I'm on my own lol. But that's ok! I guess I'm trying to say that you can have this surgery and it can change your life. But it's sooooo doable. It's so worth it!! I'll check back in the next day or two when I don't have all the help.
Hinsdale Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Saulis is extremely intelligent and kind. She knows what she's doing and has the pictures and body of work to show it.

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