32 and I Want a Silhouette That Makes Sense! - New York

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Proud to be curvy, though I struggled to get there...

Proud to be curvy, though I struggled to get there when I was younger. Even now, however, I can feel great but one glimpse of that lower abdomen pouch, one bad photo, and that's it - day is ruined. Done. I have a relatively small frame, but carry all of my weight in my stomach, breasts, and lovehandles. I feel like someone rolled up a towel, and wrapped it around my front area. It's like someone mashed two bodies together, from the natural waist down..

After going through a number of weight changes in the past four years, I know and understand my body and how it holds weight, what responds to exercise, and what won't, better than I ever have before, and decided now was the time to do something about it. Booked liposuction of my abdomen and flanks for a few weeks from now.

Am feeling a mixture of excitement, lots of anxiety, then shame, guilt, and embarrassment (which I know are normal, but are hard for me to process, especially considering that I had my nose job and proudly tell everyone it was one of the best decisions I ever made!). I know it's the right decision for me, but that doesn't change how complicated it's making me feel.

Love my curves, I just want them in proportion!

Internal Emotions in Conflict with Rational Decisions

Sorting out the complicated feelings that come with this decision has proven to be an interesting thing for me since booking the surgery. Haha. I thought it would be helpful to share, since it is something I feel like a lot of us struggle with but don’t talk about openly.

I mean, I feel confident in this being the right choice for me, and I know intellectually why I made the decision to get liposuction:

- I’ve lost/gained weight enough that I know what on my body will and won’t respond to exercise and good diet
- I’ve struggled with self esteem, and it is mostly centered on this one area
- I’m not looking at this as a miracle weight fix; I’m happy being a curvy lady, I just want a silhouette that is in proportion
- I’m in a place financially where I can afford this, and have thought about it for years, and taken the time to educate myself on the surgery, recovery and risks

However, knowing these things and believing them, doesn’t change the emotions I am feeling, which include:
- guilt
- shame
- laziness/or cheating
- I didn’t ‘try’ hard enough (not eating the healthiest, not working out all the time)
- spoiledness
- doing this for others/worrying what people will think
- frivolous spending
- fear

In order to align what I know and what I am feeling, some helpful things I’ve reminded myself:

- I compare the cost of lipo to the money I’ve spent over the years on trainers/nutritionists/the gym; even if I kept doing spending thousands on those things, eat clean, work my ass off, I know that it won’t produce the results I want; just because I’m spending it all at once, doesn’t mean it isn’t as much as a financial commitment as these other things that somehow feel more ‘honest’ or less culturally shunned (I mean, do you know how expensive Soul Cycle is???!! Yikes!)

- It isn’t any less hard work than committing myself to a hardcore gym routine, just a different kind of work; what I am going to do to my body is a type of sacrifice and a real commitment- it isn’t cheating or waving a magic wand. I’ll be dedicating months of time, pain and finances to recovery, in the same way I committed to the gym in the past, only this time the results I want will hopefully be achievable.

- I worked hard to get myself to here. I did the research, put in time to get myself to a mentally healthy place to be able to make an emotional commitment. It is not decision I have taken lightly.

- I feel guilt at not loving myself for who I am, especially in comparison to others – I see people who look like me and I appreciate their beauty, I know others find me beautiful, and I know other people would like to have a figure like mine. However, it isn’t about them. Do I feel this guilt about my hair color when I dye it? Or can I appreciate an outfit on someone else that I wouldn’t want to wear myself? I can know that how I feel about myself might not be how I want to feel about myself, or how I think I should feel about myself, but I can’t change my feelings. I can change me, and while it does involve a certain level of privilege, if I have this tool to do it, then I shouldn’t feel guilty about it. I can’t control some things, but this is a decision where I am taking control, instead if wallowing in a feeling of unhappiness. I’m not going to let my worry about what others thing of my decision stop me from potentially living a life where I feel less of an internal conflict with my physical body.

- I have a sensory disorder, that I don’t give myself enough of a break for. It makes my energy level low, and certain physical activities will always be difficult for me due to depth perception and balance issues. This is a real disability, even if an invisible intangible one, and I shouldn’t under play that.

- There are a lot of things I do like about myself both as a person and physically. It’s really this one area that I focus on. I take naked selfies for myself because I think I’m sexy, I buy lingerie for myself that I’ll enjoy the way I look in, I dress in fashion I like for myself (that others might find odd), I have lots of bold tattoos, and have dyed my hair all sorts of wacky colors. And I haven’t given a damn what others thought – I did those things for me, not to impress other people. True, other people like me as I am now, but this is a decision that isn’t for others, but for myself – like all of those other things I do that I listed above. While yes, I am single, and not happy with that, I don’t think this is the magic fix that will get people to be interested in me because my body changed. Instead, it might change how others see me and interact with me, because it will change the way I see myself.

- I got my nose done when I was younger, and interestingly, I don’t feel the same level of shame or guilt about it. I actually am very open about it, telling people that it is the best decision I ever made. I find it interesting I do not feel the same way about liposuction ,and think this has to do with feelings of laziness. But I know this surgery isn’t because I am lazy. I eat well, and workout 4-5 hours a week. HOWEVER, even if I was doing this because I was being ‘lazy’ and didn’t want to spend all that time at the gym, THAT WOULD BE AN OKAY DECISION. I think this was an important realization for me. It is acceptable to prioritize my quality of life over the feeling that I ‘should’ be working harder at my physical appearance. Meaning, maybe I’d rather be able to see friends after work, instead of going to the gym 3-4 times a week in pursuit of flat abs that aren’t coming. Maybe I’d like to be able to eat chocolate cake now and then without feeling overwhelming guilt that I’m throwing my hard work away. I’m not saying liposuction is an excuse to not take care of myself, but I am saying that no matter why I am making the decision, if I’m making it because I feel like it will improve the daily quality of my life, then that is okay. I’d rather do this instead of trying to blindly commit myself to the pursuit of a goal that might be unattainable, and sacrifice so many other things, experiences, and positive feelings while doing so.

Long winded, I know, but perhaps it resonates with some of you as well. <3 I’m sure my thoughts will unfold throughout this process, but yes, it is sometimes hard to get what you believe and what you feel to agree and I think that is important to acknowledge!


I just want my curves to be curvy! Gimme that true hour glass - I don't need no washboard abs, I like being rounded, soft and feminine. Just want to be able to wear high waisted jeans, without the tummy pouch.

Bloodwork- done!

Just did my presurgery blood work... Now am starting to low grade panic at the list of things I need to get done this week before Thursday. Nothing I can't do, but I need to buckle down and make sure to stay focused.

Funny thought of the day: for the past few morning my roommate's cat has been extra snuggly. My roomie is tiny, so he loves to purr and knead on my belly - now I am feeling guilty that I am going to deprive him of his favorite snuggly spot! Haha. I'll have to stick a pillow under my shirt so he won't be able to tell ;-)

It Isn't Just the Doctor's Bill: Recovery Supplies and Costs

Did my first drugstore run yesterday. Wanted to put together a list of how much some of the recovery supplies cost, so people know what to budget, because it can be a bit pricey.

Admittedly, some of these things are just things I thought I’d like to have on hand, and I probably forgot a few things. But I think it’s important to remember that the financial investment lipo requires doesn’t just begin and end with the doctor’s bill!

Prescription Meds - $?? I assume a lot. Does anyone know if insurance covers the prescriptions, even if it doesn’t cover the surgery?

Extra Strength Tylenol $15.00
Multivitamins $10
Vitamin C $12
Arnica Gel $5.39 a tube (I got 2)
Arnica Tablets $5.50 a box (I got 3)
Anti itch $7.00
Antibacterial soap $10
Hand Sanitizer $7.00
Scar ointment $18.00 (yeeesh)
Baby powder $3.00
Body wipes $3.99
Baby/bathroom wipes and travel pack $10 (thought the travel pack was a good idea to keep me feeling fresh, when out and about)
Gauze $4
Chuck pads $14
Febreeze $9 (I thought this was a good idea; while I will have two garments, I’ll probably only be able to wash them every few days)
Body Massager $10-15 (vs. Lymphatic massages, $75 a pop)
Abdominal Board $15-30
Additional compression garment $50-80
Stage 2 garments/spanx, etc…. $50-100

And while I know my list has stuff on it that isn’t required or you might have around the house already, it’s still around another $200.00.


Then there’s the specialty food shopping… which I still have to do, early next week.

Also on the To DO list:
Clean room
Laundry, esp. sheets, towels and comfy clothes for recovery but also put together comfy easy work outfits so I don’t have to think about it later
Get a Pedicure ;-)


Nerves nerves nerves nerves neeeeeeerrrrrvesss....



"It is never too late to be what you might have been." - George Eliot

So it's the night before. I changed my mind and arranged to stay at a friend's for a few night, so I had to pack and figure out what I needed or might need. I'd rather be at home, but it was easier to ask the favor without putting her out of her way too much.

I was a mess of anxiety and nerves earlier this week, but was relatively calm today. Probably this was because I had so much to do, it kept my mind off the surgery tomorrow. I can't say I am excited - more... peaceful? Meditative?

It is always strange to be on the brink of an irreversible decision to your body, whether surgery or tattoos... it is when you feel the risk the most, like standing on the edge of a cliff, fighting the urge to flee to 'safety'.

It is officially midnight- no more food for me! Though my surgery isn't until 1:30, so I'm gonna be starving when all is said and done.. hah. Or so I think!

I added some more official 'before' pictures - they are making me cringe a bit, though I think I'm just ultra sensitive at the moment to all things body.

Before Photos!

Weight - 185
Bra Size - 36E
Natural Waist - 35 inches
Widest party of belly - 44
Hips - 43

"You’re always with yourself, so you might as well enjoy the company.” – Diane Von Furstenberg

Waiting for my ride to the doctor - annnnd I would probably be nervous, except I'm STARVING. hahahaha.

Thanks for the well wishes, will update when I'm mobile again. :)


Annnd 5 liters later, I'm on the other side. About to go down the painkiller rabbit hole, but wanted to let you all know that I came through okay.

First Day

Awh, man. Wrote a nice long review earlier, then I lost it.

So rewriting it now....

Woke up from the surgery alright, but I think it took me slightly longer than expected, cause we went over scheduled time. I went in at 2, and didn't leave until 7. The doctor did warn me that I was going to hate him 'tomorrow, but really on day 3.' Cause he beat me up and was aggressive - he took out 5 liters, so he must have been!

The evening was fairly easy - I was able to eat fine, wasn't nauseous, didn't have issues going to the bathroom (side note: I do have my period, and it was more awkward figuring out how to use a pad after 15 years, than anything else...). I used the pain meds pretty liberally, and didn't have too much trouble sleeping - I just woke up every few hours like clock work when they wore off.

Sleeping in the compression garment wasn't a huge issue, but sleeping on my back was tough. Interestingly, they ordered me a garment which had a built in bra and my friend and I looked at it and both said 'that's not gonna fit me.' And they were like 'oh, no, the cups stretch...' weeeeelll.... they seem to have underestimated my boobs, so they're ordering me a new one for Monday. Until then, I'm rocking more of a 'Baywatch' look than I anticipated.

Today is more of an interesting game of figuring out how to move about - it isn't so much that I'm in pain, but rather I don't quite know what I can and can't do. What my muscles are strong enough to do. The areas where I imagine are my incisions are painful, so sitting up hurts cause it puts pressure on them. The rest is just sore. No nausea but did get dizzy a few times when standing up too quickly when reclined.

Showering for the first time later and taking the garment off for the first time... that should be interesting.

Hardest part so far

Well the scariest part for me... By far... out of everything was taking off the compression garment to shower earlier. I think it was the combo of not knowing what I'd find in terms of bruising and knowing I wasn't going to like my initial results. I also waited to take it off until after I started to swell, so I definitely didn't get the full sneak peak at my final results that some do. (You can see from the photo from earlier in the day in my garment that I was much smaller). It wasn't so bad, and I tried not to freak out. There's one major area of unevenness I'm concerned with and I don't love the shape of my belly button but it is only day two so there's no reason to worry yet. There is a mental impact of going through this physical trauma and knowing you chose to do it to yourself that got me a bit weepy. Luckily I took the garment off slow with friends here so I didn't get light headed. After the shower I was able to heavy duty arnica gel it up.... That along with making an effort to walk up and down has definitely helped second day swell.

Getting the garment back on was a team effort, and luckily I had three of my lady friends here to help. Definitely not the best part of my day....time your pain meds well for that chore!

Today I mostly just felt like a sore sloth, very unpleasant but not a horror show. My doctor's office also called earlier to check on me, which was nice. And though I only told a small handful of friends, the ones I did have been diligent in checking in.


So today was definitely the sleep all day day. And watch Star Trek.

But yeah, everytime I was sitting for more than a half hour I dozed off. Feeling better but still not great.

Baaaack to Life; Baaack to Reality....

Overdue update – sorry about that. ‘Rentry’ into society means I have a lot of catching up to do with rest of life things! But I don’t like blogs that get to the surgery date, one or two updates about pain, then disappear forever…

I definitely felt like I turned a corner on Sunday night/Monday, which was about Day 4. I had the surgery late on Thursday, Friday still had a lot of anesthesia in my system, Saturday was very uncomfortable, and I slept a lot. I never felt in a lot of overwhelming pain (but my tolerance is high), or had moments of ‘why did I do this to myself ‘despair, but rather a lot of sore awkwardness of trying to figure out what my body could and couldn’t handle and how to make it work to do the things I needed it to do. The big question for me beforehand was about drainage, and how bad that would be, so I made a whole bunch of preparations to deal with it and ended up having my wounds closed with a stitch, so it wasn’t really an issue at all.

It is very important to stay on top of your pain meds! Can’t say that enough. It’s not like when taking Tylenol when you have a cold – you feel it slowly wear off, and you know you should probably take some more soon since your nose is getting stuffier and your fever is slowly coming back. No no… Pain meds are different, because the doses are so close together (4 hrs) it’s like a switch – ‘lalalala I’m fine!” then BOOM. ‘OH NO I AM NOT WHYYYY.’ Take them on a set schedule – set an alarm! I’d also take them in preparation for having to do something hard, like 20 min before I got out of bed in the AM, or before showering or car rides.

I left my friend’s where I was recuperating on Sunday, got home to my space, which was nice. I was excited since my replacement compression garment was coming on Monday. Since the one they got me didn’t fit my boobs, it was a bit uncomfortable! I find it so strange the Design Veronique doesn’t let you order by bust size, as well??? Unfortunately, the new one was ordered in the wrong size! I can wear it, but it is not ideal – so now I’m waiting on a new new one and have to pick between smooshy boobs or smooshy torso in the meantime.

My bruises are in a final, incredibly impressive stage, like they are showing off like some type of demented peacock… Real issue I am combatting now is swelling. Monday night I had to give a lecture and was good all day, but the long commute to and from definitely irritated my flank area, so it got hard to even carry my bag cause it was bumping against them. They are definitely the ‘ouch’ area still, but I had been warned they would be. They’re giving me a BBL look, when I definitely didn’t have one. Haha.

I had my ‘one week’ appointment yesterday, and the doctor seemed pleased. He said ‘it’s been many months since I took this much out of a person!’ and seemed surprised I was feeling so okay. Confirmed I am definitely swollen, and especially the flanks. Said he had my tummy flat when I was on the table, and thinks it will be again, but honestly I’m happy with the results I am seeing and am in no rush. A few things I was concerned with from earlier in the week (major uneven bump, crooked belly button) have already changed, so there is no point in freaking out about anything now until the swelling is gone in 3-4 months. I noticed that my tan line on my back was distorted now – neat weird things you notice and no one mentions cause they’re important.

I did chat with the office manger for a bit – as much as I really love my doctor and the whole office staff, neither she nor I were pleased with the dynamics of things surrounding my procedure post-surgery. Too many cooks in the kitchen, and no one was tuning quite into what I needed post surgery, until she stepped in. I thanked her for that and for her letting me know she was unhappy with what she was seeing too. Since it was done in their office, was a relatively easy surgery, and I am an easy fun, light hearted patient, I think it easy for the personnel to get a bit too casual and I needed more of a formal recovery space. Small things and major things, like they let my friend out back before they probably should have and she was asking to take photos of me with my doc, and took photos of me looking out of it on the recovery table and of my discarded fat (glad she did take that one, but still), and they gave her recovery instructions they never gave me that she didn’t record since she assumed they had, the nurses weren’t listening to my pain levels so the office manager had to get them to give me some meds, the anesthesiologist had me sign a check for overage fees while I was still on the table and groggy. People were checking in on me, but since there was many of them, no one was paying long enough focused attention and I think because I presented as being relatively ‘with it’ they assumed I was – easy mistake, and overall it was a good experience, but just something I was uncomfortable with in general – so I was VERY happy she brought it up.

Back to work in the office this week, so commuting etc., will be an adjustment and probably make the swelling worse. Still taking Bromlein to try to help with that, but at this point it’s a waiting game until I get a massage at the two week mark.

I'm in Swell :(

Abandon hope, all ye who leave their compression garment off for too long.

Yesterday I got cocky and left it off for more than hour - probably close to two, and getting it back on was not an experience I'd like to ever repeat.

I am having a really hard time with the swelling - more so than I anticipated. It's funny, I think I prepared myself for the mental fall out from the post-surgery swelling but not the physical fall out of the swelling.

I knew I wouldn't be happy with how I looked, since I now look the same as before and that it would take while to see results, but I didn't realize how UNCOMFORTABLE it would be and how sore! It's very unpleasant and hard to ignore. I know I've had an active week and that's contributing to it, but by the end of the day I feel like I have an inner tube around my hips. It feels so awkward to sit in a chair - I finally figured out the perfect way to describe it: since I'm still partially numb, it feels almost like there's a pillow wedged behind my back, that is making me sit at an uncomfortable angle, so I try to shift about to get more comfortable, but then I realize - oh wait, that's just your swollen self in your own way! :(

The hilarious part? I've been the 'stay on top of your pain meds' cheerleader for everyone post-surgery, but I sort of thought that since I was out of the 'immediate recovery' woods, that I could easy off on the Tylenol since I wasn't in active 'omg my insides were just open' pain... forgetting that part of it was to help with anti inflammatory pain, though I'm considering taking some Advil now. I am only officially one week out - I need to be gentler with myself!!

One suggestion I would make to people is that when you reach the 'swell hell' stage - take a photo of yourself every day when you first wake up, and are at your slimmest for the day. You'll want it later, not for official results, but for your own daily reminder. There is a real depression that sets in when you get home at night and strip down, and your body has swollen up. It feels very defeating because you just spent all this money, put yourself through trauma, and look almost identical to before. Even though you KNOW it will go down and you will look awesome, in those moments, it is hard not to feel defeated (you can't control your feelings), especially cause you are sore. I kept feeling crappy, but then glancing at the before/after photo I had put up the other day and thinking, 'wait, no.. I looked awesome this morning and will look awesome tomorrow morning too. Or at least that's what my Real Self friends said ( ;-) )' Having a daily AM snapshot would probably help me during these evenings.

I am hoping (praying) that I turn another 'corner' around day 10-12, re. the swelling.... ...tell me it's true ladies, tell me it's true!!!

Or are you just happy to see me...

My butt is either extremely happy to see you or trying to be a Williamsburg mustachioed hipster. ????

Swelling was much better today but no long commute. I also added an additional compression layer, with a soft stress shaper pulled on top of compression garment. Might have helped.

Entering the lumpy bumpy stoney boney stage... .. yay?!

New Stage: Two Weeks

Tomorrow will be two weeks (will post update photos) and I definitely feel like I am in a new stage. I had a pretty active weekend, and didn't feel the major effects of swelling like I had previously. Definitely still am swelling, but not in the super painful tender type of way, except in my flanks, which feel like they are a tight water balloon. I also was able to move my body more easily in general, and taking a long car ride was not painful. Still don't have a full range of motion, and at the end of the day, if I over do it, I'm sore in the abdominals and tired, but that could also be because I haven't been working out (I worked out 3-5 x a week before). I feel like I could resume going to the gym, but I will probably wait until I officially hit the three week mark. Also started wearing a Spandex waist cincher over the compression garment (see photo) and it definitely helps with swelling and size; thinking I might move down a size in compression garments by next week.

Very very minor bruising left - I forgot to mention before that the bruising was never painful, just looked awkward, in case people pre-op are wondering.

I am very lumpy, pitted and hard. I know that this is a stage that will last for awhile. It's a frustrating one, because before, while I might have been smooshy, I was smooth. Now it's like a changing landscape of hills and valleys and rocky outcrops every day. And as my body retracts my skin is not catching up as quickly, so I am noticing the folds more (am using creams with skin tightening properties, so I do think this is only temporary). I started wearing an abdominal board, and will see if that helps with tightening and flattening.

I am using Design Veronique compression garments, and it's been a love/hate relationship - I have two that go under the bust in L and XL. Right now I wear the XL one, and it fits fine, but if I am in it too long, it gives me a hard ridge in the middle of my back, and irritates me from rubbing sometimes painfully. I also swell at the leg openings after a long day, so it cuts into my thighs, even though I didn't get anything done to them. So at night I switch over to my compression garment that includes a bra (but if you remember, doesn't fit my stupid giant natural boobies), and that smooths out the back and is actually more comfortable, especially once I zipper down the top to let the 'girls' breath a bit. I have to say, I much prefer the front zipper to the side zipper, easier to get on and more comfortable. Switching at night seems to be helping, but it isn't the best situation overall. I only have to be in it officially for another week (tho will probably wear it for a full month before switching to Spanx or something similar), so it isn't worth investigating other options.

I also feel like I've hit a plateau in terms of results, which I know takes time. But it is frustrating and a bit emotionally defeating in some ways- I know I am smaller, and that makes me happy, but I still have a lower tummy pouch and my results at the moment are something that I feel like I could have achieved with exercise on my own (and have in the past). So it feels a bit like my results are confirming my fears from before - that this was just something I did cause I was lazy (not true, I know, but you feel how you feel, even when you know differently). I keep reminding myself that even if the results I end up with were ones I could have achieved with exercise, that the difference is that it will be much easier to maintain and the fat won't be as inclined to come back to those areas and that is a real difference in terms of lifestyle, how I will be able to spend my free time, and quality of life. I guess it isn't helping that I just got news I'm going to be laid off at the end of this month (due to a lack of projects- my company loves me and is very sad). It is making me question whether or not it was wise to spend this money. On the other hand, I probably definitely wouldn't have if I didn't have my current job, which paid well, so I shouldn't feel bad about taking the opportunity to do something for myself when I had the chance.

So it is tough right now when I think about my surgery, current situation and results, but I actually am not as focused on it during the day to day anymore. For the past two weeks RECOVERY was usually #1 thing on my mind, and in the past two days it's faded to more of an afterthought.

And then sometimes you're feeling glum and like nothing is changing, you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and think -well, daaaamn. Lookit that tiny little waist!!! :) And you feel excited about the journey again.

And following all of you on your journeys has definitely been uplifting and helpful. (I wish Real Self had a better alert system- I have trouble sorting through which comments I've looked at and not, so if I ever miss a response, much apologies!)

The Lumpy-Bumpies (with some photos)

2 Week Measurements:
Weight; 180lbs (before 187 lbs)
Natural Waist: 32 inches (before 35 inches)
Widest part of belly: 39.5 inches (before 44 inches)
Hips: 43 inches (same)

Been dragging my feet, but wanted to make sure to post some pictures. I think that even though right now I am feeling discouraged it is good to keep posting photos, especially for others. I have been using the ab board with the XL garment, or the L garment with a cincher on top. I sometimes end up with red lines from the garment by the end of the day from swelling, but I’ve also always had sensitive skin, so some of it is just regular irritation, not tightness. I also fully admit to not paying a ton of attention to my sodium intake, which is on me. I haven’t had clearance for massages yet (coming after my 3 week appointment this week), and I think I will feel mentally better when I start exercising again (probably after the three week mark, as well).

It’s easy to get the wrong idea about yourself vs. others, especially when a lot of people post their results directly post op (pre-swelling/lumpy bumpy stage), and to get down cause you feel like your results aren’t awesome. I think a lot of us shy away from posting photos when we feel like this, since one of our main fears going into surgery is that this won’t be worth it, so we are worried that our results won’t be as good as others, or we somehow got screwed over, when other people are looking amazing. It creates this false sense of the process – since everyone is naturally feeling down and avoiding posting photos, then we don’t realize that everyone is going through the same thing. Really we’re all in a normal phase – but we’re just skipping posting the photos/talking about it as much, until we feel ‘good’ about the results again.

So I wanted to throw some photos up there and say:
1. I am only slightly over two weeks out. TWO WEEKs. I need to remind myself that that is almost no time at all, especially for major surgery recovery
2. I definitely see a difference from before
3. I am definitely wishing I saw a more drastic difference to feel like this was worth it
4. I am definitely feeling discouraged by the lumps, bumps and unevenness
5. I know that I am still extremely swollen, and have 10 more weeks to go before I even get a hint at my real results
6. I know the lumpy bumpies are a stage, and will slowly break up over time
7. I know these are all individual journeys so comparing my results to others is silly, cause we all have different bodies that can and will handle things differently and how it is appropriate for them
8. This was still the right decision for me, and I made it for the right reasons and I should feel good about that, even if I’m not feeling good about my current results (and just because I am saying I don’t feel good, it doesn’t mean I feel bad- I am just eager for the next stage).
9. The things that are bothering me right now are things that no one else in the world would notice or know about, unless I pointed them out directly I was beautiful before and I am beautiful now, every part of me
10. Patience patience patience! Faith faith faith!

Sorry these photos aren’t the best – I was in a mood and just trying to get some done. It’s funny, I had 2 days of feeling glum, then two days of feeling awesome with almost no active swelling, then the temperature shot back up to the upper 90s here in NYC, and with that the swelling returned and I was once again glum. Everyone says it is a roller coaster, so I’m reminding myself that even if you have good days, you need to stay strapped in!!

A different type of pain...

Prepare yourself for the mental anguish of when your favorite clothes don't quite fit anymore... starting to encounter that, and it's very disconcerting to reach for your favorite outfit and realize it doesn't work anymore. Not downplaying the fact that other things that I never thought I'd pull off look great now, but even still, it's just a bit difficult to realize some of your favorite things might have to go. When I lost a lot of weight previously it didn't seem so final, so I just packed them up,but in this case, my body has been altered, so there's not really going to be 'backsliding' per say. Even weirder, there were some things I got that I didn't even have a chance to wear, and already it's like 'Nope!' Missed out on that!

Also, it's this strange waiting game of 'Don't want to buy new things, because still changing, but also don't want to walk around in unintentional hammer pants... '

Either way my wallet will eventually be unhappy - don't forget to factor that into costs when you're making a surgery budget. You will likely have to buy some new things. Yay for thrift stores. :)

3 Weeks! Photo heavy

So I had my three week appointment today. They said everything is looking great, but my flanks are still very swollen and I can expect even more changes there (wow). We took pictures, and they said they'll give me a copy at the end of three months of all of them. They were a bit impressed by my progress, and said I am even a bit farther along than they expected, which seems accurate to me since I didn't seem to have a lot of the issues other people had. I asked my Dr about why I didn't drain so much, and he said "because I sucked every last bit of it out of you!" I like his sense of humor, though I know he was serious. I asked about the lose skin I started noticing this week now that the swelling has gone down; we knew it was a risk factor, but as it is now, it isn't so bad. He thinks it will retract but like I was expecting said it's hard to know and it will take months before we can say for certain. For now I keep using the St. Ives and Jergens when I have my compression garment off. I don't have to wear it full time anymore, but I probably will for another week then switch to something more Spanx like. I am going to try to be good about taking some photos of the skin retraction process - it is one of those things everyone asks about, but no one thinks to document before/after, at least from what I have seen.

I definitely felt the difference this week, along with seeing the difference. Meaning, people are starting to treat me differently (closer to how they treated me when I was thinner). It's subtle things, like getting approached by sales people in stores without having to ask, but I noticed them. Also a few of my male acquaintances are suddenly, inexplicably interested, including a dude I've been eyeing for months. All of this creates mixed emotions. On one hand - yaaaaay! I feel better, and I'm sure that is reflected in the way I am approaching the world. On the other hand... effff yooou guuuys... I'm still the same human I was before, and if a bit of a belly made you not see how rad she was, then you're a jerk. I know the issue is more complicated than that, but still.

Posting some photos - comparison shots from before and now in clothing. I hope this proves why everyone should take some clothed shots before you get surgery as well as the good ol' nudies. I think these REALLY helped me see a major difference. The thing is, when you're staring at the same naked body every day, it gets harder to see the differences, because it all blends together. So having a few different outfits to compare directly illustrates things in a way that is very clear. Unfortunately, I wasn't great at taking good shots beforehand (dusty mirror, bad lighting) and was a bit lazy this time (ignore my messy bedroom please!), but they still illustrate the point!!! This are labor intensive to shoot, though, even when doing it half arsed, so I probably won't do it again until the 2-3 month mark.

3 Week Measurements:
Natural Waist: 32 inches (before 35 inches)
Widest part of belly: 39 inches (before 44 inches)
Hips: 42 inches (before 43)

"You look really good..." :-\

So I started getting comments on my changing appearance from people who I see once every few weeks. Yesterday a sweet male friend, who was trying to say something nice, said "You look really good... what have you been doing? Watching what you eat?" And it kind of killed me a bit on the inside.

I dealt with this feeling when I had a drastic period of weightloss last year, and I really struggled with the way people spoke to me when trying to pay me a compliment. Like, yes, there is a difference. Yes, I wanted the difference, I like the difference, I am happier with how I am looking, but the idea that I look 'good' now or 'great lately' means that before I looked 'bad.' Whether that's their intentional or unintentional, that's the implication most people give off and it really bothers me. In some ways, I did this for myself, so the fact that my body changed and people feel they have the right to publicly give me their judgement on it really irks me; on the other, compliments feel good (even if backhanded, sometimes), I did do a lot of work to get here, and having that acknowledged is something I appreciate - I also understand in most cases people are trying to say something nice. I also know my sensitivity to the terminology or words used has a lot to do with my own self consciousness and self love, which will always need work.

For me, the way I prefer to have someone talk about weightloss/body changes in my experience from the few people who have commented and made me not feel slighted, usually was when someone side something like "Hey, I've noticed that your looking a bit different recently. Is everything ok, healthy, are you feeling well? (yes) Do you feel good about it? Well - congratulations on your hardwork. I know it isn't easy to make changes, so that's great. "

In terms of recovery, I went in a hot tub/immersed myself in water for the first time since the surgery last night - no real immediate effects. Probably some swelling, but it was the end of a long active day, so I wouldn't have noticed anyway. A little soreness today, but that seems to be in line with what I've been feeling lately. Before the flank swelling made it feel sort of like I had a sweatshirt constantly tied around my waist (seriously, though, it was disconcerting how much it felt like that; sometimes I'd even go to 'untie' it). I've reached this interesting phase - not of electric shocks or tingles - but more like.. pulling and pinching. It's weird - almost like my skin is reattaching, the getting stuck, and I'm puling it lose when I move. Sorry, graphic, but that's what it feels like. Weird tightness, that's getting stuck. Could also be that I'm regaining feeling in my flanks, where it is still numb but not as much as before. My lower abdomen is still hard - sometimes I just pretend that's just typical when your stomach isn't covered in fat and tell myself I'm not used to it, so I don't get too upset while waiting for the lumpy bumpies to pass. Hahaha.

Well, that was a bit longer away than expected...

I did what I said I hated - disappeared completely with no warning! In some ways that is the odd nature of this site- you become an intense supportive community you absolutely rely on... and then suddenly, life moves on. I kept meaning to log in and check up, but there was stuff to get done and it kept getting bumped from the list.

In some ways my recovery has been frustratingly similar... I haven't been able to devote as much to long term recovery as I was short term. Like, I thought I would be working out again by now, but travel/job hunting/illness etc. has made that difficult. My attention to taking arnica and using firming lotions has lessened a bit and I stopped wearing my garment about ten days ago. I haven't been able to buy the proper ointment to treat my scars.

I had a follow up appointment last week - doctor and I are both pleased with where I am at. He said I am probably seeing about 75% of my results at this point. There are a few things we are keeping an eye on - some unevenness in the stomach, one particular lump, and a dimple from a scar... but those are all things to be dealt with at the 3-4 month period, if still major concerns. The skin looseness is a bit more prominent, but I am hoping working out and being better with my cream will help that. I also wonder if wearing the garment/ab board while sleeping might assist - anyone at this later stage think it helps with skin retraction??

Size wise I definitely noticed another significant change last week - had to buy new jeans! And clothing that hadn't fit me in a few years is back in rotation so that feels good. Since I had my flanks done, they are still a bit strange feeling, but as the swelling in them go down, I'm experiencing really having a 'booty' for the first time - and it's a fun feeling to actually have a real butt, not just a wide flat panel for a lower back!

I was sick for the past few days, but as I was stretching, I noticed now you could really see my curves, so I grabbed a few selfies that show them off. Even I was a bit like - whoa! That's me??

I promise I'll be back soon with more formal progress pictures, and eventually with some clothing shots. Hope everyone is doing well and hanging in there! Thanks to everyone who kept checking in on me!!

2 month- Giant photo dump!

Hi everyone!

Massive photo upload! These were all taken on October 26, so about two months after surgery. Doctor says I'm at about 75% for results. He's happy, I'm happy. Some lumps and slight unevenness etc that I'm keeping an eye on, but nothing that truly bothers me. Some slight numbness/tightness in the flank area, but that's normal.

So truth be told, I don't have as much time to hang around here anymore, with the job hunting (still on going) etc. But I wanted to keep to my commitment to post semi-regular updates throughout this process. When making my decision/preparing I always appreciated the journals that chronicled 2,3,6 months even a year later.. it helped with the confidence I had in making the decision.

Additionally, I wanted to keep track of some things and photograph some things in the healing process that people don't often photograph or mention, namely scar healing and lose skin. In these photos, you'll see how my lose skin is retracting. It isn't happening as quick as I'd like, but honestly, even if it stayed like this forever, I'd still be super happy with the way my body looks. It is incredibly different - just fitting in clothes, moving about, everything. I don't feel super altered in terms of my body type (still curvy) but I just feel like everything makes sense now.

Unexpected (well, not really, but still surprising and new nonetheless) - OH MY GOD I HAVE A BOOTY. A real life booty. Like.. that's a butt.. not just a flat wide space where my spin ends. I can't believe it. I've never ever had a butt... it's so strange and awesome. But I definitely recommend doing your flanks. it really is where all the visual difference came from.

Also - my boobs definitely have gotten bigger, since 36F wasn't enough.. hahaha. Not quite up a full cup size, but getting close. Admittedly, I knew this might happen. I haven't begun working out again (bad), so I know that will help both with keeping the boobies under control and the skin retraction (also was smoking for a bit again, which is a skin healing no-no, so that's on me).

The scars are becoming much more noticeable on front, which I'm concerned about. I just started treating them with silicone strips, and it does seem to help, so I'll probably stick with that long term. The ones on the back aren't as bad or obvious.

I definitely thought I was done shrinking, bought new jeans, and blew through that size in like two weeks, so now I'm down to a 29 in jeans. Pretty soon I'm gonna be so top heavy, I'll topple over. Weeee.

That's it for me for now - will try to do a clothing update soon!

2 month, before/after - side by sides!

And some comparison shots, for good measure.
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