It All Starts Here - Newmarket, ON

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Well….I hummed and hawwed over writing about my...

Well….I hummed and hawwed over writing about my journey but after hours of research and not being able to find the exact answers I was looking for in other people’s journey’s I thought I’d start my own and see if mine turns out differently. I am precisely three weeks tomorrow from my surgery date. To say I am having trouble sleeping, that I am having second thoughts…well that is the understatement of the year!

Where to begin? I once weighed 250 pounds and over the course of 10 years I have dropped 90lbs (landing me at my high school weight and within the lower end of my BMI). How the heck did I do this you ask? Well, 10 years is a long time – it was a variety of changes to my diet until it has been honed down to a couple rice cakes, protein and raw veggies – kidding!. Really it was a gradual weight loss so I can’t really pin-point it to one single thing but really it took years of years of changing bad eating habits, getting more active and really wanting to lose weight. The last 40 came off 3 years ago and I have maintained the exact same weight (well, within a few pounds after a great weekend!) for that length of time.

I’ve literally worked my butt (and belly) off these past three years trying to get flat abs, a flat stomach…anything flat will do (ehem, well, except the “girls” who seemed to be the first to say sayonara in the weight loss process- sigh). After enlisting nutritionists, naturopaths and elite personal trainers in hopes they could help with my goal in a roll free mid-section it turns out you just can’t exercise loose skin away (seems no amount of cross fit, zumba, weight training, running or anything else would blast this skin away). I did it to myself through gorging, over drinking, over eating and I guess loose, saggy skin is my punishment (and perhaps the pain to rectify this situation will be my ultimate punishment).

So I booked an appointment with a surgeon to get the real deal. Is this saggy, loose yucki-ness skin or fat? I had high hopes that he’d say “get your ass back on the treadmill girl” and all I’d have to do was workout harder, eat less and ta-da my six pack would appear but sadly he revealed that no amount of crunches, cycling or sprinting would help. I mean, I was a bit proud that I had done absolutely everything I could have to rid my body of fat but also the sadness set in that all my hard work was hidden under a droopy layer of stretch marked, stretched out skin that would always be “hanging” over me (enjoy the pun) unless I went under the knife….if you know me you know that once I get an idea into my head it’s a bit hard to shake…so ready, set go…tummy tuck was booked. Four weeks to go….so many unanswered questions….Do I tell my kids? Do I tell my friends? Will they judge me? Think I am lazy? Think I am crazy? Why do I care what they think? Will I regret it? Will I hate the scar?….as you can see it’s all a bit over-whelming….But this is my story and I hope it will help others in choosing their story. Until next time…I look forward to any encouragement or tips anyone can give…

Getting ready for the big day

Last week I met with my personal trainer to determine if and what I can do prior to surgery to best prepare my body for this traumatic experience. While there is nothing I can do to prevent the pain from the incision he did say there are a number of things I can do in the next few weeks to increase my lean muscle mass. I have worked so hard to get in shape that I am a bit scared I’ll go all flabby and jiggly again (and I’m not talking saggy skin here!) in the six to eight weeks I won’t be pumpin iron, shaking it at Zumba or hitting the pavement.

His tips were to hit the gym and hit the weights hard and heavy for the next four weeks. Get in at lease 6 sessions before my surgery and lift hard. Lift heavy. He said I should be sore and my goal is to increase my lean body mass. So hold me to it! I am going to hit weights hard twice a week and then run (I’m doing a 10k on May 11 – happy Mom’s day to me!) and Zumba for a total of 5-6 days a week for the next four weeks. I also spoke to a nutritionist about foods to heal and a naturopath about remedies to help with swelling which I’ll talk more about later. Until then….

Almost 2 weeks out

Well, I have been a bit delinquent in updating but still being 2 weeks out not much has changed. I know in my last post I said I was going to do weights hard 2 times a week and then run, zumba, cardio the other 3 days but I injured my knee on Sunday so that plan is out. I have a 10k tomorrow which I am hoping by taking the entire week off I can still run. I now only have 2 weeks left to get my exercise fix in before I am on my forced six week recovery hiatus.

I have finally told two of my closest friends about the surgery. For some reason I was most worried to tell them and to my pleasure they both reacted amazing. I don’t know why I seem to be able to tell complete strangers about the surgery but then I was worried to tell my closest friends. I am blessed to have such a wonderful network who is so proud of me for shedding so many pounds and they all agree this is the last step in my weight loss progress. I’ve been trying to stay completely positive about the surgery and trying to stay focussed on the results and not how I’ll feel right after. I have also asked my husband to take my scale away for at least eight weeks after surgery as I don’t want to get discouraged by water, fluid, etc retention.

I also have a huge work fashion event exactly three weeks post surgery so I have purchased a few outfits I think might be fancy enough but still comfortable and will hide the binder. I’ll for sure post photos of what I am wearing post surgery as I found that is what is missing in most posts. It’s great to see the before and afters but I had wanted to see what people were wearing for their first days back at work, to go grocery shopping PO but I couldn’t really find shots like that to give me an idea of what I can wear. I don’t mind being in sweats and my hubby’s t-shirts for a week but it would be great to know other options for when I am feeling a wee bit better.

I am also going to post before pictures soon. I guess like everyone I am also putting that off! Until next time any support and tips you have I welcome them.

Just over a week away

Well, I have less than 1 week to go. It's pretty much all I think about, all I google and all that is on my mind...I am literally stalking people who have had it done and their results, feelings, thoughts, etc. I'm scared to call my doctor anymore as they already think I am high maintenance and all they keep saying is that if I do exactly what they say and don't over do it I'll be fine. Ehem, not that any of the staff there has had it done!

I am completely prepared to do NOTHING for six weeks (might even be nice to take a break from my manic gym-going schedule!). My husband is also prepared...he's off the first six days (four of which my mom will also be here). He then works 2 days and is off again for six more...I have pre-made food, pre-arranged drop off and pick up for the kids...and mentally prepared myself...but of course the waiting is killing me. It is only over a week out and I haven't even taken photos yet. I'd take them but will have to have my hubby take them (to get good shots) and AS IF he doesn't know what I look like but I still dread it.

I am manically googling anti-inflammatory foods as so many people talk about the swelling. I do work with one client who is a natural health client who has told me about a few anti-swelling drops (that you mix with water, topical cream you put around - no on - the incision) and I also work with a nutritionist who is recommending some healing foods. I am going to ask her again for a few anti-inflammatory shake recipes so I'll try and post the recipes if they work.

I have two other concerns I am trying to manage:

1. I have a big client/fashion event exactly three weeks post op (I had booked my surgery around this huge event and then the client changed the date!!!). Will I be ok? what will I wear? Will anyone be able to tell I am wearing the binder?...I've asked the event staff to have a bar height table set up for me with a high stool where I will meet and greet people. My hope is that I can rest when sitting and also by having a table in front of me I can avoid anyone hugging me!

2. I have a trip planned for end of September (4 months post op) to hike down the Grand Canyon, staying down there 3 nights and doing day hikes. I've been told by many this is perfectly fine but then I see posts from other who could not fathom this....

Oh so much to think about...will the day just come! Ok, off to bake, prepare, clean....I feel like I am nesting!

Before Photos - YIKES

Ok, so it's good I took these photos and have to look at them as it reassures me as to why I am having this surgery done...

More photos....I'd say enjoy but....

Will I sleep again?

Ok, well, here are some photos. Took all my guts not to beautycam and photo shop them as well as "suck" in as they were taken. So...the good thing about the photos is they reassure me of why I am getting this done (you should see the other two that I did not post - simply disgusting!)...I promise to post them soon though...gotta work up the nerve.

So had few panic attacks last night...the WHAT am I doing, elective???? Am I crazy? Then I calm down and think it's going to be fine....then I call my husband to make sure I have life insurance....then I wonder, should I write notes to my loved ones just that would be a cry-fest. I am a very positive person so as soon as I start to think like this I think of puppies and rainbows....ok, maybe flat tummies and bikinis? I'm wondering if I will sleep between now and Tuesday morning? My doctor said they would follow up a week before but I have not heard from them yet...maybe today. Wondering if I can take a sleeping pill the night before surgery....

Getting down to the wire

Well, 4 more sleeps!!! Went for a great work out yesterday and loved every minute of it. It's odd thinking I won't be able to just hit the gym, go for a walk or shimmy to a Zumba class for at lease six weeks but from now until Monday I'll enjoy all my physical activities. Saturday we are doing a 5k charity walk with my son and daughter and then Sunday I'll have to get in a run and maybe even squeeze in one last Zumba class Monday night before the big day. I'll look at these pictures and remember how good it feels to be in shape and remind myself that I worked so hard to get here (90lbs later) and that this is the last step in my fitness journey (well, I certainly won't be stopping my fitness journey so maybe this is just another step!). How is everyone feeling?

2 more sleeps (or non-sleep?)

Ok, so two more sleeps. If I sleep that is. Last night had a great sleep (maybe a few shots of vodka helped???). Had a great weekend with amazing weather and my mom has arrived. Hubby is away on a golf weekend which he so deserves for taking over for six weeks!

I am not sure if others are feeling like this but I'm feeling very alone right now. I can't quite explain it, my kids are here, my mom is here, my friends are being supportive...but still, I fell alone. I guess it is b/c I am going "through" this alone. Think I'll head out for one last run tomorrow then a long evening walk and then away I go Tuesday morning 7:45am.

This time tomorrow - choppity chop

Well, this time tomorrow I will be off to lala land getting what has been pending for so long. I can and can't believe that tomorrow is almost here! Didn't sleep well last night which is to be expected I guess. Then up and wide awake at 5:45am! Going to be a busy day today...finishing up work, laundry, going for a run, long walk tonight, buying supplies...picking an outfit to wear to surgery...yep, that is one of my major concerns (HA!). I'm quite a type A (ummm, could you not tell?) so perhaps this little "vacation" as some of my clients are calling it will be good for me???

Question time

Question...I want to sleep in my bed after my surgery tomorrow....does everyone sleep propped up after? I get home at 5pm, should I head up to bed right away or go to sofa to be with family before going to bed. I know everyone is different but please weigh in

8 hours and counting

Ok, down to the wire now. 8 hours until I am expected to walk through the doors for my surgery. Went for an 8km run today, then a 2 hour walk tonight...tried to get my running and walking out of my system for a is laid out, purse is packed, out of office notice is I wait and hope to sleep tonight.

I have a to-do list a mile long for hubs tomorrow including picking up some remedies for me including Arnica, vitamin C drops, Probiotics and digestive enzymes all which my nutritionist says will help with healing from the inside out. I also plan on 1-2 raw juices a day to help get in more anti inflammatory foods....had one today to start made up of kale, cucumber, orange, parsley and carrots...could all this goodness help with my healing? Only time will tell....

Dow to the wire

Ok, that sleep could count as the worse sleep ever (sleep before surgery sucks!). I know I caught a few shut eyes but feeling groggy and puffy-eyed this morning. Leaving in just over an hour. It is an un-real feeling. Continuous thoughts of "what am I doing" are floating through my head. No backing out now. Will be an interesting day. Will check in later but not sure how groggy or up to using technology I will be!

Surgery day outfit

Yep, if you can believe it I struggles with what to wear! Nice loose shorts, tank top (it's hot here!) and then a long sleeve zip up should do the trick!

I made it...

Surgery done! Home now in bed....must sleep and will update more later when things aren't so foggy

I made it!

Weeeeellllll, I made it! Arrived at the clinic this morning at about 7:55am and both my hubs and I were a bit teary eye'd. Poor nurse asked me twice if I was sure I wanted to go through with it. Doctor was very gentle and reassuring. He told me he does a couple a week and he knows to ME it's a big deal but to HIM it's easy-peasy. Got changed in a side room and was then brought into the surgery area....that was all very quick. I hopped up (my last hop for a while!) onto the table, they put some compression socks on, put the IV in and then before I knew it was waking up in recovery. I didn't even know when they were putting the IV in that THAT was putting me to sleep...maybe b/c I was so upset they did it quick.

Now, waking up was a was I feeling? Hummmm....relieved for a start! Then super duper thirsty! Like I had a desert in my mouth. The nurse was so sweet and kept giving me water (perhaps too much as the first time I got up to pee I got all sweaty, dizzy and nauseated)...she then cut me off of water :(

The nurse told me I hadn't had any pain meds so she gave me a wee bit before trying to go to the bathroom again. I then dozed in and out of consciousness until 4pm when hubs came back to get me.

Ride home was fine as we are only 10 mins or so from clinic. Was so very tired so went straight up to my bed (hubby had a side table all set up with ipad, water, ice chips, eye drops, lip balm, etc)....It was hard to get into the bed and I put pillow up to prop myself up but then wasn't comfortable so took them all away except my regular pillow and just laid down flat. Was VERY comfortable with just one pillow under my head and one under knees. I'll let you know how that goes tonight. I got up about an hour ago and went downstairs to watch my mom cook dinner and to see the kids. I even showed them my drains which I NEVER thought I'd do....they weren't affected really! Now back in bed until nurse comes at 7pm for a check up.

I haven't taken any pain meds yet. My pain is really ok. The most pain I think is from a drain site on my left side (don't know as I am bandaged up so tight) but since I haven't had to take any meds I think it is pretty manageable (for today!). I'll take one after the nurse leaves and then probably go to sleep. I also took some Arneca and Lymphdiral which helps with internal swelling. Tomorrow I'll get on the full roster of natural products (Vitamin C drops, Probiotic and Digestive Enzymes).

Oh and I have not eaten a thing. I am kind of hungry but having been nauseous my mom (who is also a nurse) says to just drink fluids. I am hungry but I don't even know what to eat. I was thinking a raw juice might do the trick but so much work. Might just go to sleep and eat tomorrow.

Oh and I asked how many pounds he lopped off and I think he said 600g which is only 1.3 pounds!!! Bummer!

Ok, now must rest. I'll try and snap a pic tomorrow. Tata

Day 1 Post off and Feeling A-ok

Soooo, surgery day has come and gone. I am SO glad to be 'on the other side"...happy it's done, any even happier to be recovering instead of playing the waiting game.

A wonderful nurse came by last night to check up on me, empty the drains, etc. She said I was doing well and not much in the drains so that was great! This morning I had 20 in one and 30 in the other which is pretty good as well. If they are low on Saturday she said she'd take them out. I expect to have both out by Monday but I'm in no real hurry for that. They don't bother me that much.

Tried to have a piece of toast last night but it them made me feel sick. I got all sweaty and nauseous (perhaps ate too fast?). So me and food are not friends right now.

Slept on my back most of the night with just my regular pillow and then two pillows under my knees. Was quite comfy. Turned on my side for about 2 hours as well. I thought I would be knocked out by the pain meds but was up every 2 hours or so...good though so I could go to the bathroom and stretch a bit.

My doctor had been sent some new pain meds that claim to help with nausea and don't cause constipation. I was happy to be a guinea pig to try them out. I don't really feel I need them that much but I have taken 1 every 4 hours (I can take up to 2). My mom says to just take them for a few days so I don't get pain.

When sitting or laying down I feel the tightness but not really any pain. Only some sharp pains when I get up from laying flat. Not much pain getting up from sitting though which is nice.

This morning my nurse came again, checked the drains and checked on my tummy. Looks pretty flat to me and the scar is quite low. Saturday we'll take a standing up photo. For now I am happy with it! The nurse from the clinic said my skin was ideal and I was a perfect candidate for this surgery (she said she was calling me all kinds of nasty names b/c she is jealous!).

After my home nurse visit I came downstairs where I am now installed on the sofa (sitting up) with computer in lap checking e-mails and blogging. I've had a cup of coffee and six soda crackers (don't want to over do it now on food). Might make a raw juice later when hubs gets up.

I think that is all for now. Bring on the questions if you have any.

Another day down

Soooo, where did I leave off yesterday....camping on the sofa...I sat there most of the day. Sitting for about half of the day and then the other half in a laying down position. Didn't eat a lot yesterday again as I was scared to get nauseous (had some soda crackers, a protein bar and some oatmeal).

I was feeling quite well most of the day until about 5pm when the pain got a little more sharp. I had only been taking 1 pain med every four hours but now since 5pm last night I have taken 2 every 4 hours. I am finding the two make me a bit dizzy and light headed but that could also be low blood pressure.

Funny enough I did not sleep a wink yesterday during the day. I really thought pain meds would knock me out but apparently not. When I switched over to the 2 pain meds at 5pm I finally had a two hour nap.

Yesterday I started on all my natural healing remedies as well: Arnica, Lymphdiral, Vitamin C, Probiotics and Digestive Enzimes. All recommended by my nutritionist. I was going to do at least 1 raw juice per day but didn't get around to that yesterday. I'll have one today (made with all healing ingredients) and post how it tastes.

Slept fairly well from 11pm - 9am this morning. Up every 4 hours to this the loo and take more pain meds. I also dropped one of the pillows that was under my knees so only had one under my head and one under my knees for most of the night. I also switched to my side for half the night and it was bearable enough for me to sleep.

Kids don't seem to be bothered one bit by my drains and the fact that I had surgery. When they came home from school they did play doctor a bit with me though which they quite enjoyed.

I was a wee bit hunched coming home from surgery and then yesterday as well but today I can feel myself straightening out even more.

My mom is here which is so nice as she has been taking care of the kids, cooking, baking and also sleeping with me at night so I am not alone (my hubs was working the night shift). She leaves tomorrow however so that will be a bummer!

I think that is all for now. I don't plan on doing much today but dozing in and out of sleep and recovering...

A few more belly shots from Day 1 PO

Just a few more that were taken wit my better camera. Also a few from today to show my hunch...not so bad really

Day three here we come

Ok, another day started. My mom leaves today but my hubs is off until Monday. I am feeling extremely well. Maybe too well? I keep wondering when I'm going to feel bad. I am not that hunched over and am sleeping on my sides at night. Had cut back to 1 pain pill in the middle of the night last night but by my 5am pain pill time I had to take 2. It wasn't "that" bad but just a bit sharper than normal and I felt 2 would help me get more rest.

It's now 10:30am and I haven't had pain meds since 5am. Feeling very alert and getting up from laying down and even sitting is less painful. Sitting here right now typing I don't feel any pain at all. Knock on wood that I am a good healer or perhaps I just have an extremely high pain tolerance? Both my drains have been less than 40 for 2 consecutive days. The doctor said if they are under 40 in a 24 hour period then they will come out. I would be overjoyed to get them both out tomorrow when my nurse comes to visit!!

I then go in to the doctor's office on Monday and I am excited to hear what he has to say and if I can start walking even just a tiny bit outside. Maybe even just 1 km? Don't worry all, even if I am feeling pretty good I am going to keep to my promise of doing nothing for six weeks so I can do everything in six weeks. Let's see if this positive journey will continue. Day by day right?

Yahooo! Both drains out on day 4!!

I feel like a brand new woman. Both drains are out as of this morning! They had been draining for two days at just around 20 each and as long as they were under 40 each my doctor said they could come out! My home care nurse came this morning and whipped them out. Didn't hurt but did feel like a snake sneaking through my body (they were about three feet long each!!). Feel so much better with them out. I think the only issue now is the binder. It's a bit big for me (goes up a bit over my breasts and comes down past my pelvis!). The nurse said it's a new version the doctor has started using and the old ones he had you could cut to measure so maybe on Monday I'll see if he has an old on I might be able to use. But hey, if that is my only complaint I am a-ok with that.

Got up and washed my hair in the sink and tomorrow at the 24 hours after drains have been out mark I can shower. I feel this has been a good process for me so far.

Last night finally took 1 pain pill at 5pm (hadn't had one since 5am) and then 2 before bed just to help get me through the night. I slept on my side most of the night and had a great sleep. 9pm - 7:00am. I got up a bit early this morning so I could be ready for when the nurse came. I am a bit swollen but I don't think it's any bigger than I was pre-surgery. Instead of being rolly in the tummy I am flat swollen if that makes any sense.

I am still off all things salty so I am hoping that helps with the swelling and still taking all my natural remedies to help bring swelling down. The actually swelling doesn't hurt however so that's good news. I will keep everyone posted and hope my journey continues down this path. I am prepared for some set backs but if they don't come I'l be all the more happy for it.

Photos day 4 PO

Day 4 Afternoon Update

Nice Saturday here. Beautiful weather. Kids are running through the sprinkler and going in and out of the hot tub. I got up, hair washed and then watched the entire crew clean the garage and the two cars..must have tuckered me out to much as then from Noon - 2pm I conked out for a nap in bed! Still tired now so am resting on the sofa again. It's ok though as it's a lazy Saturday afternoon anyway. No pain meds yet and don't really need them. Ever so glad the drains are out. That's all for now. Will update tomorrow :)

Day 4 PO Evening Update

Well, turned into a great day. Rested, napped and then good friends came for dinner. I forwent the pain meds today so I could have a glass of wine. That should dull any pain although I am not feeling much today anyway. Day 4 and getting in and out of bed is now simple with little sharp pains, same as going from sitting to standing but I do it slowly just incase. I let my hubs cook and serve the dinner - everyone had salty corn on the cob and burger but he made me a salt free meal of chicken breast and zucchini. I hope the wine isn't bloating me. Tomorrow I will have to have lots of de-bloating shakes and absolutely no sodium foods. I feel very good and am laying in bed now with orders from the hubs not to get up and to rest now. Bring on day 5 people! Hope everyone is doing well.

Day 5 - here we come

Another gorgeous day, could I ever go for a run or a looooong walk! Alas, not in store for me! Slept well again last night. First night without the drains and I think it was certainly the drains causing so much side pain! I am quite sort on the bottom and my back is aching but that must be from so much darn sitting and laying down! I am dying for a massage! I've e-mailed my massage therapist to see if she'll do a home visit on Tuesday. Fingers crossed. Even if she can't get to my back she could work on my ever so sore calves (I think they are over compensating thus aching quite a bit!) and my neck?

Another lazy day around here. Checking e-mail, facebook and blogging. I'll be glad when the work week comes as I can start easing back into work. Luckily I work for myself so can just work from the comfort of home and nap/rest when needed. Will be great to at least occupy my mind.

See my doc tomorrow so excited to hear what he says and see if he can get me another binder or if I can find one myself that fits me a bit better (if not this one might get a little snip, snip so it fits better. I should take a photo to show everyone really).

Other than that feeling good. OOHHHHH other than I think I a getting a cold or some allergies (never had allergies before so why oh why would they start now???). Was outside earlier and almost sneezed - yowsa!!! Even an almost sneeze hurt!!!! Pray to all the gods a cold doesn't come on!

Might take a short walk later to the park with the kids (hubs will bring me a camping chair) and at least get out a bit (it's not far but would be great to have a change of scenery).

Day 5 Evening Update

So, didn't get for a walk but did get to the grocery store. My hubs was adamant I should get out of the house today! He loaded up the kids (I even put on a dress for the occasion). Shoot should have taken a picture. I might wear it again so I'll take a photo and show how it hides my gigantic binder.

Lazed around most of the day other than our outing. Had an early dinner and put the kids to bed early as hubs has gone to play hockey. I even had a SHOWER!! You heard it here first folks....was great but back is so sore! I had hubs rub some muscle cream in it and my calves so hopefully that helps. I don't feel I am hunched but then when I see the photos I can see how I am a bit rounded still.

So I keep thinking this had better be worthwhile! Took photos before the shower to compare and contrast...thoughts? My hubs says he notices a huge difference but perhaps I am still seeing all the swelling, feeling not much feeling, etc and that is keeping me from noticing the real results? I KNOW it's only day 5 as well. Not getting down just anxious to make 100% sure worth it???

First PO Doctor's Appointment

So....waited all day to update as I wanted some news to share. I was nervous to see my doctor and see what he had to say. I went in at 2:30 and the place was very busy so he didn't have much time for me but did answer all of my questions and then the nurse spend some additional time with me.

I am day six PO today. He looked at my incision, said I was healing very well and didn't have much swelling (ehem, THIS is not a lot of swelling - news to me!). I thought they would let my strips over the incision just fall off but they decided to take them off. So now I am just in my binder!! So here were my questions and concerns:

Binder - so tight, so high up it's smothering me. Can I have a different one?...suppressed eye roll from doctor and a firm no. Said to just lower it down onto my hips a bit more so it's not up into my "girls" and it's only two more weeks (queue suppressed sigh). Hummmm....I asked him if HE had ever tried one on - ya know, even for a 10 hour test run (they should try to wear one and feel what it's like!). Alas, he really didn't see the humour in that. I asked if I could cut it up or only wear spanx or and no....ok GOT IT! I guess now I know how women way back when felt when they were corseted!

How long in Binder - three weeks. Not a day longer. I was like "really"??? I hear some women wear them for much much longer. He was firm that three weeks was all I needed and that if I 'wanted" I could wear a spanx or something after three weeks but that it is not necessary and that is up to me (hummm, interesting difference in opinions on what different doctors recommend)

Swelling - now for me this one was a shocker. I can expect to swell for UP TO A YEAR!!! What!! I wonder why they leave this out in your consult. No wait, I no longer wonder why...that is a crazy! So I might be flat as a board in the morning and then by evening after a run four months from now I might look like a sausage. That is awesome

Numbness and tingling - another shocker. I figured six weeks maybe? Noppers. four to six months and up to year of tingling, numbness and no feeling in the belly. Now that is going to be something I'll have to get used to!

Walking - asked if I could even go for a walk around the block (about 1km). No go baby. He said to stick to walking around the house. Ei, Ei Captain. This chick knows how to take orders so one more week in the house it is. I see him next Tuesday so will ask again!

Swimming - this elicited another suppressed eye roll....what was the answer. I'm sure it was no...I'll ask that question again maybe in six weeks. NOT that I really like swimming but cottage season is coming.

Scar therapy - not yet. Have to wait until the wound is healed a bit more.

Showering and binder cleaning - ewwww, my drain site oozed some delicious looking gunk onto my binder (which I wear 24/7). He said I should wash it and let it air dry. I was like "but what will I wear???" he said it's fine to go a couple hours with out it when it's washing and drying....holy cow, won't I swell up so much that I might not be able to get into it when it dries? Maybe I'll tackle that tomorrow

So the nurse was so impressed with how I am healing. She said I am literally at the 4-5 week mark compared to other patients in the clinic. I said "really??? what are these other women doing???"...she said others start exercising right away, do too much, don't eat well....all things that set them back. She told me that whatever I was doing to just keep doing it...So, without further ado here is what I have been doing incase anyone is interested (my nurse wasn't but that's ok!).

---no walking outside the house (ok, went grocery shopping but it was a small store)

---sitting and laying down as much as possible

---no lifting...I made pasta for the kids last night and even had my hubs fill the pot and bring it to the stove as I was scared it was too heavy (my friend also carried my purse today to the appointment)

---NO sodium. Now some foods have it naturally and even yogurt has some but I am reading all labels and being very, very careful (what I wouldn't do for chips and salsa and a marguerita!)

---Supplement. I am taking quite a few daily
Arinca - 3 pellets, 3x a day
Liquid Vitamin C - 1 TBSP with water 1x day
Digestive Enzime - 3, 3x a day
Probiotic - 1/day
Lymphdiral - 20 drops, 3x day
Fish oil - 1 tsp/day
Water - so much that I think I am in the bathroom more than any other room in the entire house

So, that's my update. I hope it provides some good tips and insights into how things are going for me.

Photos from surgery PO visit

1 Week Down!

Ok, bring on week 2 people! I am following doc's orders to continue doing nothing this week...sigh, hard but I guess I will learn how it feels to be a lazy kept woman!

I actually had a horrible sleep last night. Went to bed with a headache (perhaps snacking instead of a proper dinner is not advised?) and didn't take anything for it. I was tossing and turning (well, as much as I can) all night. Woke up exhausted and after getting kids off to school I went back to bed until 10am. That helped. Then had a good breakfast to make sure I am eating...Of course being bandaged up so tightly and being so sedentary my appetite is pretty non-existent. Already took stuff out for dinner to prevent a replay of last night.

I had my massage therapist in today who did a light drainage massage. I am not sure how it will help but I am good to try just about anything that might help with drainage and swelling. She also applied KT Tape that is also suppose to help reduce swelling and help with drainage. I'll keep you posted if anything improves.

While she was here I decided to wash my binder. I was out of for about 2 hours and it was "ok". Back in it now though!

Pretty lazy day in all just worked from the sofa until now (kids are home so it's now movie time!). I think they actually like mommy "like this" as I have slowed down and I actually do more with them. Perhaps this experience will end up teaching me a lesson in slowing down and enjoying the moment?

I'm adding a photo of my tummy. I had been out of the binder for 2 hours, no tape any more. Still some dark dried blood and even marker marks from surgery. I am not sure I am loving this photo but wanted to share

What to wear over the bulky binder

Well, one of the things I continuously tried to look up and find photos of was what people were wearing over these dang binders to hide them! I found loads of tummy photos, people in bathing suits, people in the buck, scar photos...but I could not for the life of me find that many clothing over binder photos! So...I am going to try and provide some so people can get a sense of what you can wear over the binder to hide the thing!

Day 8 Update

Well, another day is coming to a close. I'd love to show a shot from today as I am WAY less swollen but hubs is at work and I am NO good at selfies! So...wondering, is the swelling down due to the lymphatic massage yesterday? The KT tape? Curious to know if those are just coincidences? I have asked my therapist for a price on three more Lymphatic massages. I mean if they are helping bring it on!

Today was a busy one. I had decided this week to start to working again slowly (I work from home so it's possible). So slowly for me pretty much keeps me busy all day! I also decided to get a bit crafty and started to paint some furniture (has been on my to-dos for months!). It's not strenuous at all so now I am trying to think of more things that need to be painted (things I can do from a seated position!).

I feel pretty darn good today. This binder is my only real complaint. I probably adjusted it over 10 times today. The velcro keeps mis-aligning and scraping against my skin and then I sit down and it rides up or it's too tight and digging into my hips. I am really no longer sore and only a bit tight. I also just did a "test' cough and felt pretty normal.

Hum...that all seemed to happen over night. I am still doing virtually nothing. Not leaving the house, not walking (except in house) and not doing anything strenuous. This could certainly be helping my recovery.

All in all. I am happy with today.

PO Day 9 Photos

Day 9 PO

Well days seems to be passing more quickly now. Two weeks will be here before I know it. Feelings....mentally feeling great and physically I am noticing huge difference daily. I can get in and out of bed pretty much the way I used to pre-op. Well, except for those days when I would literally dive into bed with exhaustion of course. The binder is again my major complaint not the swelling, not the pain (no pain), not the lack of exercise...I have probably adjusted this binder over 15 times today. Too tight, too high, too low, the velcro has misaligned and is scraping my skin...there is some hard piping on either side of my binder (like a corset I'd think - anyone else have this?). Anyway, I bent down yesterday and crack, one popped in half so now I have two pieces of hard plastic piping digging into my side. I tell you, it's gonna be a great bonfire the day I am out of this binder!

I just posted pre-op vs day 9 and to be honest...not loving where I am at. I think I liked day 4 better! I think it's mostly the gnarly scar that I do not like. The dried blood is probably making it look way worse that it really is but I am scared to pick at it or scrub at it. I FEEL so much less swollen both today and yesterday but looking at the photos I can't really tell. Day 4 you can see I am much more smooth and kind of glossy (swelling) so I can tell that way and also a bit in the upper ribs but I though it would look much better with the swelling down so much...the ridges, tape marks, etc certainly aren't adding to the ambiance of my photoshoots!

I think it's a matter of time until I really like the results. Once the scar "calms" down a bit, the ridges and tape marks are gone...those should all make a huge difference.

Overall I am feeling pretty great though. Physically I think I am healing very well. I am not overdoing it at all (I didn't even go out side today), I am not walking, lifting or exerting to much in anyway so I really really think that is key. I have booked another three Lymph massages which I also think are helping. So, another day down ladies! Hope you are all feeling well!

Day 9 Scar Disection

Here you go ladies, I think the other photos were too small. Let me dissect my incision....

Seems quite thin
A bit gnarly on the sides but could be mostly scabbing and dried blood which I am scared to scrub off
I like my belly button (better once scabs come off I am sure)
I still have bruising and little burn marks from the tape
I have stretch marks but after losing 90lb what is to be expected
Once lines and indentations from dang binder are gone should also provide an improvement

Thoughts - honestly is welcome. I have a thick skin, you will not hurt my feelings

Binder Hiding

Day 10 and 11 Update

Well, seems life is getting back a bit to normal as I am not having as much down time to update my posts! Things to think about at day 10:

I feel no pain (ever) - except when I drink too much wine and my head hurts!
Getting up from sitting or laying is no issue
Been sleeping on my side since day one but now I do so for the entire night
Rolling over in bed is much easier
My right drain site is still leaking a bit (I just keep it gauzed)
I can wear almost anything to disguise the binder
I still hate my binder with a vengeance
No walking yet except for around the house
Showers are fine on my own
I think my hunch is almost gone
My butt and back no longer ache (probably b/c I don't sit or lay down for long periods any more)
I broke my rule and got on the scale! Down 1.8 pounds since morning of
I have not driven yet (Tuesday will be my first day to my doc appointment)
I have not had a negative day yet

So, there you have it. Things seems to be going better than I expected. Each day I feel more and more "normal". I can tell that at week 4 I am going to feel really good and am probably going to have to MAKE sure I do not overdo it. I think that is the key. Feeling better mentally and physically but deep down we are not repaired yet and probably start over doing things too soon. I am going to be very careful not to do this. My mantra is still do nothing for six so I can do everything in six. Let's see if this works!

Yesterday was a very busy (but non strenuous day). Kids were home from school, I had another Lymph drainage massage and then since I have only been out of the house once in 10 days we took a trip downtown to do a few errands (pick up some paint, a light at another store and then we hit Ikea). I thought Ikea was too far to walk so my hubs pushed me in a wheelchair which we both thought was pretty hilarious. I KNOW I could have walked it but am trying to be a "good girl" and not walk as per doc's orders.

We then had an impromptu dinner date with friends (upon which too much wine was consumed so while I have no tummy pain my paint today resides in my noggin!).

We hadn't planned anything for the month of June as we didn't know how I'd be feeling so it's kind of nice to have all this free time and actually be able to do impromptu things with friends as I am feeling so great. I mean, I just sit on a sofa or patio and drink wine so that is not strenuous right?

Day 11

Busy Saturday here with 2 b-day parties for kids, yard sales in the morning (we bought a cottage we need to fill), manicure/pedicure and then had two couples and their kids over for dinner. I did not do much to prepare - again thanks to the hubs! BUT I did eat tooooo much! I hate the over-stuffed feeling and not being able to go for a long run tomorrow to burn it off is going to kill me! Going to have to go lean tomorrow and Monday for sure! Although wearing this binder I do find I wake up at night drenched b/c I am overheating so perhaps I'll sweat off some more pounds??? Was a great day really though and nice to just sit around and catch up with friends.

Another day down - boom!

Day 12 PO

Well, another weekend day coming to an end...weekends are much busier with family and activities while week days are busy with work and clients to keep me busy. Today was kind of a normal day (when I say normal I mean like before surgery)...lazed around the house, when shopping (even tried on bathing suits!!!), worked a bit around the house...nothing spectacular and if I could exercise it would be just like before.

Absolutely no pain anywhere. I think I am completely upright now. Oh and big news...I chopped up the binder today!! Not completely but it was like a three tiered system and went from just below my breasts to below my hips. When I sat down it was dig in, go above my bra, then dig into my hips..I made the executive decision that is I have to wear this for another week it had to be modified. It fits so much better now. Still covers 1/2 my ribs and then goes right down to pubic bone so is still doing its job! I still loath it but maybe just the tinniest bit less than before. I tried on some compression camisoles today and seriously compared to this they feel like the softest most comfortable silks in the universe....

Other than that it was a pretty uneventful day. I think going forward day by day (or I hope) that healing will continue along this road. Tomorrow begins my week three (and final week in binder) so I will be counting down the days!!!

Photo time

Hiding Binder Outfit and a picture sans binder with work out top that made me make the decision to have the surgery. This is the very top I wore while doing a push up where my tum-tum hit the floor before I did...should have taken a pic of that but sigh...I did not...Looks like girl's has got to do a few squats soon or not wear tight pants like this!! Baby's got back! And incase you couldn't tell I did NOT get a boob job...ha, ha...kidding of course you can tell. I am totally ok with a small chest ;)

Day 13 almost complete

Well, tomorrow is my two week post Tummy Tuck anniversary!! I finally feel almost normal (well, felt a bit normal last week as well frankly). The things I notice at week 2 are:

Hummm, my appetite is back. I have to keep that beast under control since I am not exercising

I am still careful and slow to get in and out of my low car! I look preggo when I do (I don't mean preggo belly just the moves)

Still struggling to roll over at night normally

My right drain is still leaking (so much that I have washed my CG 4 times in a week (better out than in I guess!)

I am completely upright

I have no pain

My back no longer hurts at all

My belly is still super duper tight - like I am having an ongoing contraction that does not hurt (just that tight feeling)

Feeling is starting to come back above belly button and maybe, just maybe a bit below too?

Incision is healing nicely although still a bit scabby

I am still iffy about the procedure, especially the skin above belly button still feel loose a bit and when I bend over it's a bit saggy. Will this go away? I will ask my surgeon tomorrow although I'm sure it will be met with a s'eye roll (that stand for a sigh and an eye roll simultaneously)

I am for sure happy about my belly button - at least I have one now as before I only had a flap of skin that hung over what was suppose to represent my BB

I finally found a compression tank top today. After hitting 6 stores. I could not find Spanx and I bet it's tighter than this number but I think this one will do. I cheated on my binder today and took it off and wore this one to my son's soccer game and it felt so nice!

Also another outfit to hide the binder. Only 6 more days to post those kind of photos!

Two weeks PO

Okie dokie, well had my much anticipated two week follow up today. I was very nervous for some reason and did not sleep well last night in anticipation of today.

I had made an entire list of questions for my doc as last time I thought he was a bit brief with me and thought my questions were pedantic (as it turns out I found out he had a family issue that had upset and distracted him - of course now I feel bad as we are all only human!!!).

So here were my questions and his comments:

Can I start scar therapy - YES. Bring on the scar cream today people!

Can I star walking (please, pretty please?) - Yes!!! All systems go!!! Already walked 1km around the block on way to get kids and will go out again after dinner. I'll test walking km per km and see if I swell and how I feel and then just take it from there.

What should I NOT be doing - nothing strenuous...I needed a bit more info on what "strenuous" entails as I don't find much strenuous (walking is ok, gardening ok, vacuuming ok (darn!), painting ok) what I need to avoid is anything that gets my heart rate up too too much

What are common symptoms of overdoing it? Like fainting, vomiting? No, No...swelling, feeling tired, etc...Ok, think I can handle that!

What can I do at 4 weeks (asked this as I am not seeing him until six weeks - stationary bike, walking, hiking, upper body weight (nothing too heavy - again I need guidance on what is too heavy - ok'd 20lbs per arm)

Can I take Ibuprofen again - yes (I just wasn't sure how long to stay off that and I find it helps way more with headaches)

Binder - we didn't talk too much about this but it's a new one the office is using so I showed them where the plastic piping is cracking and breaking and thus digging into me. I am glad I said something as they are going to speak with the manufacturer about this

I also brought up some issues I am having with my scar and my tummy.

Here is what he said:

If he had to rate his happiness with my results I would be a 9/10

He is very happy with my scar and how it turned out

I told him I didn't think it look symmetrical (photo to come later) but he disagreed. He thinks it looks great

I have some loose skin above my belly button when I bend over or get on all fours. He said there is absolutely nothing he or anyone else can do about this. The main issue is that I lost 100lbs and the skin there has stretch marks and has lost it's elasticity. He simply could not stretch my skin any further than he did during surgery to fix it (I kind of agree b/c after surgery I was soooo tight - you certainly could NO pinch an inch on me that first week). Now that the swelling is coming down I can see a little bit of looseness (again, photos later). I didn't really want him to do anything about this I Just needed an explanation. He said there is a slight possibility that I could get laser to help tighten a tiny bit but it's not for sure.

I also asked if there was anything I could do to help my results (like do I need to go get myself a six pack of abs to help the loose skin) and he said that would not really help (phew, that sounded like a lot of work anyway). So I think the bottom line is that he and I both did all we could do to fix my poor ol' tum-tum.

Again, it all comes back to me and it really is my fault for gaining the 100lb. No one forced it on me!

Pre-Op Vs Week 2

Ok, I have enlarged my pre-op pics on my 27 inch Mac and here is what I am noting:

I have a belly button. I like it. I like the height and shape (do I need one of those BB plugs all are talking about?)

Scar is clearly higher on the right than the left (I KNOW this will get better with time)

Stretch marks still there but I had so many there was nothing that could be done there

Dang! Don't my nails look good???...I digress

My hip bones are huge but there is not really much fat around them so I guess I have to live with that!

Post Opt 2 weeks

Here is the scar photo for all you crazies who wanted to see it close up. You can still see a bit where the tape burnt me and gave me a rash!!!

More Photos --- it was hard for me to post these one!!!

Belly Button Chronicles - Up Close and Personal

Here is my BB...such an improvement from my non-existing one before. Gals who have been talking about BB plugs, I need one?

PS; I did have muscle repair!!!!

Soooo...I think I have mentioned several times that perhaps my recovery is different than other b/c I did not have muscle at my 2 week PO I asked about that and he said NO I did have some muscle repair! So WHO KNEW!!!

Day 16

Well, not much to update really! Things are pretty much the same. Now that I have been cleared for waking I have gone for a coupe but not nearly as many as I would have liked! I'll tackle that this weekend! Only 5 more days for me in my binder (brining me to only 3 weeks in it total). Again, he says to wear nothing after "unless I want"...he does not recommend anything after the three weeks. I am still confused by this and my feelings are torn as I want to be out of it...I do have a compression camisole I can wear for some support I suppose. I am hoping my body will just adjust to wearing nothing and adapt to the swelling and no swelling. Only time will tell!

I do also feel that being so sedentary sucks! Went out for dinner/drinks last night and then going out on Saturday and worried all the hard work I have done will be wasted!!! Dying to work out as watching what you eat alone just sucks! More photos to come end of week maybe but for now here is a pic of my first night out "sans" binder....shhhh, don't tell doctor! I cheated on my binder with a cute little compression top under this dress!

I did get back into the binder as soon as I got home as I think the three glasses of winer, cured meats and olives did me in for bloating!! Ok today though it seems :)

Day 17 - not much news

Well, ladies, not much news to update on this front! Still in binder until Tuesday AM and then will be flying solo! Going to also take another "break" from it tomorrow night when we go out to dinner. Haven't gotten to as many walks now that I have been cleared but weekend is tomorrow so I'll get to it! Tummy is still hard and numb and a bit swollen but other than that not much new to report! Here is my binder covering outfit for today!

Day 19

Well it's funny how pre surgery I would follow people and at about two and a half weeks to three weeks they would just STOP posting for long periods of time..NOW I know why, I just don't have that much to update you on! So I guess that is a good thing as days just start to get back to normal...Only one more day for me in my binder! Tuesday morning it will come off and not go back on (my hubs says I should keep just incase and I agree but the goal is to ditch it completely).

We went out for dinner Saturday night and I did not wear from 6pm - 1am and felt just fine.

Yesterday I actually went for a 7.5km walk and today not sure how many kms but walked for 1 hour. Felt great both times and no post exercise swelling. Bought a bathing suit today and not sure if I'll wear it except in front of my family but found one that hides my scar which I am super pleased with. I have NEVER worn a bikini in my life!!!!

Also a few shots of the scar. I remember someone posting about the bruising after a couple weeks and low and behold I am having the same thing happen! Not sure why!

Day 23 ---ooops missed my 3 week update!

Oh my, missed my three week update I guess that is a good thing as I am so busy and not sitting as much to do updates!

So I ended up ditching my good friend Mr. Binder on Monday morning at 5am. A wee bit shy of three weeks but I just could not take it anymore. So here are a few photos from day 1 without my binder. Decent, not too much swelling. I wore a little compression tank top all day (super soft, comfy and just loved the freedom).

Then on Tuesday if you recall me previously fretting it was the huge fashion event I had been talking about. I was up and on my feet and "on' for the entire time. I tried to sit down when I could but it was just so busy! I didn't wear my binder or even a compression tank top (the dress just would not allow). I got home and whipped my binder back on for a couple hours as I was quite swollen.

People like to ask how I feel and the only way to describe it is "skinny pregnant"...ya know, like a small hard tummy that feels like it's as tight as at 10 months preggo? Quite hard to explain really.

So three weeks down and things are pretty much back to normal. Here are a few thoughts:

Sleeping on my side (since day one actually) but now for long durations.

Can pop in and out of bed no problem and toss and turn at night with no struggles

I am completely up right

I am able to walk up to about 1 hour (at a good clip) with no issues

I am still not lifting anything heavy (yep, that even counts a laundry basket) and will continue this until 6 weeks

All my clothing from pre surgery fit (swelling is not impeding anything)

I jumped on the scale about a week ago and was down 1.5 pounds from day of surgery. I have not gotten on since however as the swelling I am sure is affecting the scale (ehem, and perhaps the vino and chips that I may consumer once in awhile).

I could continue to list what I can do but really the list is endless so if you have specific questions perhaps pose them.

Am I happy I did the surgery? Ask me in a year. Sure it's "ok" I did it. Not really stopping me from any daily activities (except my running, gym, etc) but the scar is still so huge, and raw and red....I just have to keep looking back at that disgusting before photo in the plank position when my tummy is rolling and hanging to the ground and then I know I did the right thing. Oh and before I did not have a belly button (I mean I "did" but it was covered by a flap of skin) so that is certainly my favourite part.

My husband also keep saying when he sees me "hey skinny girl"...which is a nice added bonus and a nickname I can get used to!

Delinquent Updater!!!!

Hello all real selfers!!! I am so sorry I have been so crappy at updating and responding! In the midst of my TT we also bought and closed on a cottage this past Thursday! The cottage has shady internet connections and I have an inbox full of profiles I want to read and comment on! Bear with me!! More to come from me soon!!!

4 weeks PO - I thought this day would never come!

Well, reading back on my profile I thought that 4 weeks PO would never arrive yet her it is!!! I am SO glad to be four weeks PO. Funny how time heals...both the body and the mind. You wouldn't really guess that only 4 weeks ago I was spliced in half! Let's see if I can come up with a decent list of observations at four weeks:

-- I am not really watching what I do anymore. I mean I am not lifting weights, running, zumba'ing, etc but day to day activities are a breeze. I am still also not lifting anything too heavy but I think I can safely lift a laundry basket now (sniff).

--- we just bought a cottage and took possession a week ago so hence my silence for about a week (cottage internet sucks!) things I have been doing here without a second thought: unpacking all the boxes (not lifting said boxes however), painting for hours and hours at a time, hanging photos, traipsing all along the property to get it ready (no heavy work but working to get the place ready from morning until late night).

---Since we've been up at the cottage I have not been watching my diet (eg: sodium intake) all that much but I don't seem to be having issues with that. I do get a bit more swollen than normal at night but 100% that is my over-activity

---I've pretty much stopped taking all my vitamins and such. Not b/c I don't want to or think they are not working but really b/c I forget! I will resume them next week when we are back and then just finish off the fish oil, vitamin C, digestive enzymes, etc until they are done and then I will not resume

---My TT used to be the only thing I thought about before surgery and then right after surgery. Now I can go hours and hours not even really thinking about it

---I have been out of "the binder" for over a week now. I have been wearing lightly compressioned camisoles that I really like. I am not sure I "have" to wear them so next week when I am back to my regular work routine and not frolicking about so much I'll try and go sans compression top and see how that goes.

---I have not gotten on the scale in weeks and weeks and am frankly a bit scared to do that!! I tell ya, a cottage is not an ideal spot to watch what you eat and drink!! I'll also try and get my good eating back into order for a least a week and then hop on the scale (maybe go on backward, have my husband moo or yay the number before I look?)

---Tossing and turning in bed, getting up, sitting, getting up quickly is all no issue

--- My doc did give me some scar cream and I am not gonna lie to you I forget it almost daily. I know I should be more concerned but I am just not. I guess that may bite me in the ass later on too??

So, here I am four weeks PO. Happy to be here...I'll be happy when more time passes so I can access the results but now that it's summer I am not too keen for time to pass quickly so I'll just be happy with where I am at to-date.

I'll take photos later this week and hopefully what I see I am happy with and the cottage stay has not hefted on too many pounds!!

Day 29 Photos

Here you have it. I don't feel I look as swollen as I do from the side!!! Thoughts?

I made it - 6 weeks PO today

Well, well, lookie who finally made it to six weeks. It is so hard to think of six weeks passing when you are pre-surgery and even in the first few weeks following surgery when you just want things to be back to normal. But then WHOPSH, there is goes, six weeks complete! I am six weeks out and feeling pretty darn good.

Thoughts and feeling at six weeks:

Cleared by doc today to do anything. I said REALLY? So I say to the doc for instance doc, I have to move some furniture this coming weekend, like sofas, tables, etc...that ok? YEP all clear. Core ok - yep, Abs ok- yep, Running, Zumba...yes, yes..ok, got it - everything means everything. So tonight I went back to my regular Tuesday night Zumba. I took it easy and burned 500 cals (my typical is about 700) but it really felt great. No side effects yet. OH and I completely forgot to wear my compression tank top!!! I had all intentions to wear it for more support and then forgot! I think mostly b/c I took it off Friday night and have not worn it in 4 days. I think I may have officially weaned myself from it!

Funny as well I got on the scale this morning and was the exact same weight as the morning of my surgery. I mean to the .8 of a pound even! I'm ok with that as the indulgences in summer BBQ and booze has been a bit ridiculous and having not gained is ok by me! Not to get back to the gym and get that number on the scale to go down.

I stopped wearing my gawd awful binder at 3 weeks on the dot (ok, one day before 3 weeks). For a little over two weeks after that I wore a compression camisole. I took it off on Friday night and shocking forgot to put it back on! Not that I wasn’t a bit swollen here and there but I guess the swelling just didn’t bother me that much! I think my days with it might be over. It was a nice 2 week love affair and they were very comfy but – it’s not you it’s me compression cami.

I have been extremely delinquent at using the scar jell they provided. I just don't think about it and although I don't love the look of the scar I don't think of it often. He did give me some jell strips to try so I'll give that a go.

I really have no pain at all. A little tightness but even that has eased up. I am still numb but I am starting to get sensation back. I know this could take months but honestly it doesn't bother me all that much

I do swell a bit but since it doesn’t hurt or look all that bad or noticeable (when I am in clothing anyway!) I don’t really get too concerned about. Check back with me in six months and I might be a bit cranky if I’m still swelling though!

My favourite bits now about my tummy …I am very happy to actually have a belly button and not a sad droopy piece of skin that creases over where by BB should have been. That has got to be my most favourite part. I also like that I don’t have a huge skin roll above my belly button that use to hang over my jeans and other clothing, forcing me to wear things a wee bit too big for me.

People keep asking and asking if it was worth it (probably my number 1 question). I find this particular question very hard to answer. Do I have a washboard stomach and abs? No..does my stomach hang down to the floor anymore when I do a push up? No...I think my biggest concern and one I did not think about too much prior to surgery was the skin that had stretch marks. I knew not all that skin could be lopped off. I knew I'd be left with some skin with stretch marks as that was really the only skin he had to work with! So what I didn't take into account was the fact that the skin left over would not be like normal skin, it would be skin that does not have a normal skin tone and thus would STILL not be as tight as stretch-mark free skin. So around my belly button I do still find that it feels a bit squishy, a tiny bit jiggly and not as super tight as I'd like it. BUT was I being delusional? Not really, I just think I didn't really think about it much. So with that said I'll leave you with some photos so YOU can help be the judge.

Photos from six weeks

And some swim suit photos

Eight Weeks down

So funny how top of mind and all consuming pre-surgery is and even just post surgery it’s all you can think about. BUT once you hit about a month and things are somewhat back to normal I can go almost all day without a though of my surgery.

I also thought that I’d be gung-ho to get back to the gym at my six week mark but I have been soooo busy that I have not gotten back to my normal routine. This week is the week though baby. Zumba Monday night and I am already going again tonight and planning a gym visit to pump some iron tomorrow.
I am feeling SO jiggly (legs, back, etc). Disgusting, I need to get back into my 5 day a week fitness routine!!

There really isn’t a think I can’t do now. I can flop into bed like I used to (literally I could dive into it most days I am so tired but that is besides the point!). I can toss, turn, leap up, run down the stairs, run up the stairs – run in general really and all seems pretty normal. I don’t swell too too much after exercise just the “normal” end of day swelling but it doesn't really bother me. I show my hubs and he says he doesn't know what I am talking about and that I look skinny. I still feel "skinny pregnant" still a hard little preggo belly at night but I guess he can’t tell so that is a good thing.

My scar is still kind of dividing me. I think mostly it's b/c there is still fat on the top part of the scar and not much below so there is like a little ridge of belly fat there. I tried to capture a photo of it but couldn't really so can't be that bad right? I asked the doctor when that would all flatten out and he explained that it's fat there so it might always be a little ridge but it's something I can work off at least and should not affect stretching if I do work it off. I didn't have lipo but he did tell me he scrapped as much fat as he could without killing the skin. He said if you scrape too much off you risk the skin dying!!!

I am terrible with any sort of scar cream. I lost the tube my PS gave me only days after he handed it to me.
I am wearing scar strips at night when I go to bed and the packaging says wear them six to 24 hours so I guess that should be good? The strips are good but I noticed with all my movement during the day they were rolling up so now I only wear at night and they seem fine.

I "think" I am loving the results. I told my husband now though I need a "back tuck" so the back doesn't overflow when I sit down - he just rolled his eyes. I was kidding but..I guess at least that I can work that off at the gym.

I do like how my BB looks and my tummy is flatter when I sit down. I think one year from now I'll really be able to say if it was worth it or not. PLUS my husband keeps reminding me that if I did not do it all I would talk about and all I would say is "I wonder what...what if...what would I look like if..." at least now having done it I KNOW what the what if's are....

Eight Week Photos

Bathing suit shot

Not much new to update but thought I'd share a bathing suit shot. Legs looking a bit jiggy but have been hitting gym hard the pas two weeks and hoping they will firm up soon..

An overdue update

So since not much has changed status wise I was waiting to post an update. Although not much is new I thought I'd post one anyway as it's been so long! My only REAL update is that I have put on a bit of weight since surgery. Surgery day I was around 164 (four pounds heavier than my happy weight of 160 - remember I am almost 6 feet tall!) and my last weigh in was 170lbs. EEEKKKKSSS, I must admit it's due to a great summer of BBQ, friends, booze...and although I have been working out hard the weight is still packing on. I have been working to get it under control but my weight doesn't seem to be going down. My goal is to get it back to the happy 160 or even happier 150s....Back to school for the kids and less vacation should get me back into a more regular routine. I have also signed up for a 5 day raw food cleanse from September 8-12 and a bootcamp on Monday nights to shake things up from my regular Zumba, weights and running routine. Hope that shakes things up enough to drop some weight. I don't feel like I have gained that much - clothing all feels quite the same but I hate seeing that number on the scale. I'm trying not to focus on the number on the scale too too much and I'm also trying to live life and enjoy it (with some modifications - can't eat treats and drink everyday!)...I don't want to be deprived and think back one day..."why didn't I just have that glass of wine"....I'll keep you posted and any suggestions are welcome! for what I can and can't do...I have no limitations. I feel completely like I did prior to surgery just with less saggy skin. I guess I do get a bit swollen sometimes but it doesn't really bother me and I can't tell all that much. Back to all my normal weight training, running, zumba'ing, etc. Still a little number from the belly button down but I'm sure that will fade. My scar is still quite pronounced in colour but to the touch it's pretty flat against my skin. All in all feeling pretty happy and managing my expectations. I think I thought I'd have the stomach of a slim 16 year old or something!!! The results are what they are! Nothing I can do to change them except keep moving forward, continue to exercise and eat healthy to get my body in the best shape of my life!

3 months PO photos

Seven Months

Ok, It has literally been FOREVER.

I was hoping and hoping and hoping to have better news to share about my happiness but alas I didn't so I did not post.

As you know if you've been following my story I lost in and around 100lbs and then when I finally got down to my ideal weight I kept it there for three years and then decided it was time for the surgery.

I must admit I am up a about 10lbs (Ok 6lbs to be precise) since this summer (blasted cottage!!)...but am working to get it back down to my "ideal" weight...bring on the New Year's resolutions!

I am MOST unhappy with what I call the "fat" ledge that is above my scar. I am not sure if that is the proper name but literally that is what it is. I have been doing boot camp once a week, personal training twice a week and then adding in 2 other works outs each week and that "ledge" is going nowhere fast.

For my five month doctor's appointment I even canceled as I did not want to see my doctor as I was a bit furious I had paid 8K and still had a belly. I finally loathingly went in on December 21 and he asked me how I was doing. He said he had a sense I was not "all that happy" and wondered how I was feeling.

I explained my concern and he said 100% he wanted to look at it. He did the exam and quickly agreed that this was certainly not something he had encountered in the past. The main reason for the ledge is that I have close to no fat and very little skin on my lower hips and pelvis (I mean really! If I had to choose a spot to have little fat I'm pretty sure that wouldn't be the spot)...I digress...he says that most of his patients have the same amount of fat above and below the scar thus leaving it to meet smoothly. In my case I had more fat in the upper region and none in the lower creating the great...I am an anomaly...we sat back down at his desk and he said he wants to ensure I am happy. I for once in my life sat silently listening and waiting to see what he'd say (shocker as I am a bit of a talker :)...He proceeded to say that he'd recommend lipo on that small area below the belly button and up to the scar line to even things out. He explained the procedure saying it would take 1 hour and he'd use a tiny needle and extract the amount of fat that would then leave the low and upper to meet more evenly. I'd be awake at the time and only the area he was working on would be frozen (but to be honest I am still pretty numb there).

I waited for the kicker and it didn't price tag attached...he said he wants me to be happy and if the lipo even takes the fat ledge down by 50% then I'd at least be 50% happier....I was in shock and quite pleased that he'd go to this extent to ensure my happiness (I mean come on though...if you've had this surgery perhaps you are a potential client for future work down the road? It also make good business sense in retaining clients:)...I booked for Tuesday, January 6 and then went home to tell my husband. He said what ever would help make me happy and make me stop talking about it (obsess much?)...He said he thought the surgery would make me happy but really it made me a bit happier but I'm not there yet.

So it's on Tuesday. I have to then take 2 weeks (at least) off my work outs. But frankly I have been working out like a crazy person for months now and the pounds aren't coming off. Perhaps I need a break and a kick starter to get things going..

Any insight ladies?

Has anyone heard of this before? I am also interested to see how much blubber he squeezes out. I was dazed that the skin removed only amounted to .8 of a pound (not to mention a bit disappointed!) that is where I am at. The photos should help to explain what I'm referring to (can't do much about those blasted stretch marks!!!)

A few more larger photos

Update after lipo

Hey Gang, so I went in on Tuesday for the lipo on the ledge (has a nice ring to it doesn't it?). Was very odd....I was awake and could feel the pressure but of course not the pain. The most painful part was the freezing. Took about 1 hour (total time to arrival to departure). I was a bit stiff and sore on Tuesday and very sleepy (I didn't have any drugs but seems it took a lot out of me!) but Wednesday -today I seem pretty ok. A bit sensitive but no pain. I thought it would feel like a really really hard ab work out but it's not quite like that. More on the surface. My docs says it will be 3 months until I see the real results as I am swollen now but here is what I could capture of the afters so far. Had to take the pics on my own so forgive the bad shots!
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