Fitness Professional Having a Mommy Makeover - Newport Beach, CA

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This is my first post here. I'm hoping to use this...

This is my first post here. I'm hoping to use this as a tool to track my feelings & emotions, the struggles & successes, and to, maybe, inspire or encourage someone else.

My name is Kari. I'm 37. I'm a wife & mother two 2 kids: an 11 year old girl and 6 year old boy. I'm an online Health & Fitness Coach and have worked in the fitness industry for over 13 years. I'm currently a group fitness instructor and have been a Personal Trainer in the past.

I feel like this is an important fact to point out, because I'm not doing this procedure to lose weight, or using it as a means of weight loss (although, who DOESN'T hope for that outcome, right???). I work out 5 days a week, eat healthy and clean 85% of the time. And, even with all the work I've done with my body, I'm in need of a Tummy Tuck.

I was born with a herniated belly button. My belly button stuck out, pretty drastically, until I was a little older. However, I have NEVER had an innie belly button. I've always had an "outie". I've learned to like my belly button, but I've never LOVED it. In fact, it wasn't until a few nights ago when I was talking with my friend and her husband about this procedure, and showed them my current belly button, that I remembered how embarrassed I was, as a kid, to have this belly button. I guess I suppressed the feelings and emotions over the years. But, when I showed them my belly, those feelings, and the embarrassment, came flooding back.

When I was growing up, I don't ever really remember my belly button being an issue. There was never any discussion about it during childhood Dr check up's, that I remember. The air of it was that I had an "outie" and that was that. No mention of ever getting it fixed, never thought I ever needed to get it fix. In fact, it wasn't until I started researching TT's did I realize I had a herniated belly button. When I mentioned it to my mom, she was like "duh!" And I'm here thinking this entire time that I just had an "outie", nothing more. LOL!

In addition to my "outie" (aka, herniated belly button) I also have a pretty severe diastasis recti, or separation of the abdominal muscles. I've been told that the two aren't related, but I'm starting to think this isn't true. I've been piecing things together from over the years, and in my unprofessional opinion, I think they're TOTALLY related. Although, no medical Dr would agree with me, and insurance DEFINITELY wouldn't agree with me. But I think so! ;)

My children weren't big babies when they were born. My daughter weighted 7lbs 13oz, and my son weighed 7lbs 12.5oz. I didn't gain a significant amount of weight during my pregnancies either - 50lbs with the first (a little more than suggested, but nothing out of the ordinary) and 30lbs with my second. With both pregnancies I carried low. I remember, with both, picking up my belly and holding it up because it hung so low. Never had the feeling of being kicked in the ribs by my kids, never felt them "drop" (a sign of impending labor) - I always carried them low. I'm wondering now if there's any correlation??

I knew I had diastasis recti after my first, BUT lately I've been thinking back...I think I had diastasis recti before I was ever pregnant. Again, this is my completely uneducated opinion. But, I've always had wide set abdominal muscles. The first surgeon I had a consult with knew immediately that I had diastasis recti by that alone (I didn't choose him, BTW). Also, I've always had "coning" while doing ab workouts. This is where your abdominals make an upside down V when you're doing ab exercises.

As of today, I have a 3, almost 4, finger separation between my abdominal muscles. I can't compare this to prior to pregnancy, because I never thought to look. Also, I look pregnant ALL. THE. TIME. So frustrating working in the fitness industry and having members who take my classes ask if I'm pregnant. Um, no, thanks. It’s happened at least twice - so embarrassing. In addition to the muscle separation, I have stretched out skin that's saggy. Not fun when you're in front of a room of people teaching a class, bend down to pick up a bar bell and your belly flops out, rolling your pants down.

So, saggy belly aside, I also have saggy boobs. YAY for mommy-hood! I'm not interested in bigger breasts, I'd just like them perkier. So I'll be getting a lift with small implant. And, why not some lipo, right? ;)

If you're still here, thanks! More to come…

Before Pictures

UGH, the dreaded before pictures. In my line of work, the before pictures are GOLDEN, so I know the importance of them. Doesn't make taking, or sharing, the pictures any easier.

Here are my before pictures. 1 month left with this belly! I'm mostly looking forward to being comfortable in my own clothes, not tucking my belly into my pants or workout pants. Shopping and bikinis will be the icing on the cake!

Pre-Op & Surgery Center Call

3 days ago I had my pre-op appointment. Signed my life away. Wrote the BIGGEST check I have ever written in my life. And met with the patient care coordinator. Although she is AMAZING, I personally would have preferred to have met with my PS, but all of my questions were answered.

I got my prescriptions and instructions. What I really liked, and appreciated, was that the Patient Care Coordinator has had a Mommy Makeover with my PS, so she was able to give me her perspective on the surgery and recovery. She even showed me her TT scar and new belly button. I was SO impressed with how low and how tiny the scar was - which was great, because it put my mind at ease and answered 2 questions I had.

This morning I received a call from the surgery center and got my arrival time (11:15am, boo!) and instructions on what to wear and bring. I'll be staying overnight with them, which is a relief, especially for my loved ones.

I've been somewhat calm leading up to my surgery, until recently. Within in the last few days I've been feeling anxious and nervous. What's helping is reading other reviews here on Real Self, and thinking about how I will no longer need to think of my belly when clothes shopping, how I'll no longer have confidence issues in my bikini's, how my workout pants won't roll down when I bend down or run on the treadmill. When I'm feeling nervous, I go back to these positive outcomes!

I'm just ready to be on the other side of this surgery. :)

Let’s Talk About Confidence…Or the Lack of Confidence

I used to be pretty outgoing. When Social Media was new, I was all over it. I loved posting pictures of myself: after workouts, with my friends, just because. I wasn’t shy.
I’m not sure what flipped, or when, but over the last few years I’ve noticed a dramatic decline in my confidence. I’ve gotten super shy when it comes to posting any pictures of myself, even if they’re not full body pictures. I feel like I’ve spiraled back into my postpartum depression.
This lack of confidence has affected my relationships: with my husband, my kids and my friends. The lack of confidence has affected my business too. In addition to my online health & fitness business, I am also a Photographer. I’ve been trying to build my Photography business for the last year, but I find myself questioning my abilities and my work more often than not. The lack of confidence is keeping me from putting myself, and my work, out there to solicit future business. I’m at a standstill, with all aspects of my life. And it’s depressing.
Part of my job is sharing my experiences. My lack of confidence is making me feel like my successes with my business are not a good thing, and I’ve been resenting them. I question myself a lot. And, it holds me back.
So, how is this related to my Mommy Makeover? Confidence. I’m not confident with my body or my looks. I’m hoping that I can start to mend my confidence with this Mommy Makeover.
I want to share a recent journal entry I made about this…
“I’m tired of being afraid. To share myself, fully, on social media out of fear of hurting someone else’s feelings. I’m tired of not sharing my successes & achievements because I don’t want to come across as boastful or bragging. I’m tired of being afraid that who I am isn’t enough to inspire someone else. I’m tired of holding back on social media because I’m afraid of being judged; that I don’t “look the part”, that I don’t physically look like someone who is a successful Coach. I’m tired of not feeling adequate. I’m tired of judging myself, of the negative self-talk, of purposely holding myself back. Avoiding public speaking (something I’m good at), avoiding pictures of myself, avoiding filming myself. I’m tired of the fear that is holding me back. Why am I allowing fear to have so much power over my life?”

Today is the day! Hoping all goes well and I get the results I'm hoping for.
Newport Beach Plastic Surgeon

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