Got me a new body!

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Since I found out my husband is okay with this (I...

Since I found out my husband is okay with this (I never thought he would be), all I can think about is when I can get rid of the tummy skin that has held me back for years. My highest weight was 270 lbs, that was at the end of a pregnancy with a 10 lb, 11 oz baby. He was my third C-section. My skin stretched the most with him. Following his birth, over a few years, I was able to go from a tight size 16 to a size 6. I was 165 lbs as a 6. At that weight I was being called "tiny". I had no boobs and no butt. I was very insecure because I was always curvy before. I had lost the most weight on a diet I will not mention or promote here because I respect you all too much to intrigue you with it. I wouldn't do it again. Anyway, that would be my leanest weight. I had 20% body fat at that weight. I found out then that I have lots of hanging skin. My tummy looked like a nursing mama dog when I was in plank position. I was embarrassed about doing pilates, yoga or Body Pump in classes at the gym because I was thin but had this awful hanging belly. I had met my goal weight but was still miserable about my sagging belly skin. What was the point? So, I went back to the gym and ate well and started bodybuilding. I went up to 175 lbs and a size 8. I had a butt and muscles again. I liked it there. I stayed that size for about 2 years. I still would look in t the mirror during squats and see my belly resting on my thighs. I did lunges and it would hit my thighs. The bar would hit my tummy during deadlifts. I felt like a freak, thin but with an ugly belly. I have also started running and hate the way my underwear falls down under my tummy fold when I run. I am tired of adjusting my panties at the gym. What the heck?

I work out 5 or 6 days per week doing HIIT cardio and weight lifting. I sit at a desk 40 hours per week so I have to stay active at the gym. Anyway, the last year was stressful. I gained weight despite exercising faithfully. I also found out my thyroid medication was in need of adjustment. I have PCOS too and was starving and craving carbs all the time so I decided to go back on metformin to get my weight back down. It helps control blood sugar levels. I'm 188 lbs and in a size 10 or 12 now. I think I would be content in an 8 or 10 forever if I could just ditch this awful hanging belly. My size 8's fit right now if I hold up my belly. I am aiming for a full tummy tuck. I am trying to get back to 175 lbs before surgery because I am very fit at that weight.

First I want a tubal ligation but I am not sure of the cost. I have to wait until August 21 for a consultation. If the price is too high and I can't get it done ASAP, then hubby will have to get snipped. I would like to have 6 weeks in between tubal ligation and tummy tuck surgery. I am not a candidate for Essure. I want my tummy tuck in either October or November this year so I can heal up and get my gym routine going again by next summer. I am not telling anyone about the surgery and the cold months will allow me to wear clothes that will cover me up. I am so anxious to schedule my surgery but I have to consult with 2 docs in Utah first. I am checking out Dr Ralston and Dr Brzowski the last week of August. I wish I could go sooner. The wait is almost too much to handle.

Anyway, I am so happy to have found Real Self. I will connect on the calendar as soon as I schedule a date. I will have to post some pics later when I have time to take them. I am nervous about doing that but I appreciate that so many other people have done it and I know it helps. I will update later. I look forward to journaling my thoughts throughout the process.

The dreaded before pics

So here's the belly. I can kind of dress around it but that lower flap really sucks. Can't wait to fix this up and have that flab be gone.

What should I tell people?

Well, now I am thinking I need to schedule my tummy tuck in the last two weeks of December. I usually have no work to do during the last 2 weeks of December and the first 2 weeks of January so I won't have to worry about my work being covered by someone else. I was trying to avoid holiday times due to my older kids being around but I don't even know if they will be coming to my place. They spend time with their dad sometimes. They are 17 and 18. One lives on her own now and the other with their dad. I think they both would judge me for the surgery even though they praised my weight loss and are proud their mom is a fitness freak who eats healthy now. I was thinking I could say I was having hernia surgery. Are any of you in this same boat? I'm so confused about what to tell them. There is that issue and the idea that I would have to travel in possibly very snowy roads in December or January and I can't get up into my husbands giant truck after surgery. Lots to think about I suppose. That would give me a few months to work out and lose more weight and get as fit as possible before surgery though. The results would be way better than if I had an October tummy tuck. I should really be working right now, not on here. Oops!

Maybe I need to not rush this

I maintained at about 170-175 for a long time but recently gained some weight and am closer to 190 now. I know my optimal weight is 175 and with my tummy skin fixed up I would love that weight. I am like 15 pounds above that. I talked with Dr Brzowski's staff today. Kelly was very helpful and informative. She really made me want to go with Dr Brzowski in one conversation. He has stellar credentials, almost enough to outshine my desire to get a second opinion and pay more. I know that I want the best possible tummy I can get. I want to reach the 170s before this surgery. I can do it, I just put up so many mental road blocks to progress. One of my stumbling blocks is that I hate my belly so much, I don't feel like being seen at the gym, especially since gaining about 15 pounds in the last year, despite being there 6 days a freaking week! I tell myself if the tummy were gone, I would easily lose more weight due to confidence. I just don't want to have the surgery and then get to 170 ish and want to try because my tummy is no longer tight. I think maybe I need to wait. This is a lot of money to spend if I don't do it the way I need to for an optimal result. I think I can drop 15 pounds by December. I know I can. Why do I have any doubt that I can? I was once 240 pounds after pregnancy, why in the hell would I not be able to lose it? Why would my mind hold me back?

Thanks for being here for me!

I am glad this site is here. I have really been struggling because all I seem to think about is this TT and when and how I am going to get it done. My husband is the only person I can talk to about it besides all of you. I have one close friend here but I don't want to just blah, blah, blah unload on her because she wants a tummy tuck too but has to wait quite a while to get one. I don't want her to get sick of me so I just come on this site and read your stories and admire everyone. I don't know how I would do this without you. Thank you so much for your caring concern, comments and advice! XOXOX

Clothing options following the tummy tuck

I was just shopping for button up shirts to wear after my TT. I have a long torso and tops are always too short and this makes me hunch over to hide my tummy roll. I was groaning in my mind about how none of these stupid shirts will cover my tummy roll because they are too short. That is when I realized that there won't be a tummy roll anymore pretty soon. I can't wait!!!!

Stupid hormones!

So, I'm on the Depo shot for PCOS. I just had a T3 thyroid added to my levothyroxine, and added metformin back in. I have continued with workouts, appetite is down, counting calories and avoiding sweets. I was 4 pounds down. Now I am 2 weeks away from the next Depo shot and have bloating, cramps, and am bitchy and angry. I don't get periods, just PMS symptoms 8 weeks after the shot. I have water weight fluctuations of up to 8 pounds regularly. This really makes it hard to stay motivated with a weight loss plan when I am up and down. I lost most of my weight a few years ago on HCG prescription injections. It was the only satisfying result I had in years. I have kept off 35 pounds of that loss. I will not starve myself and lose all that hair again and weaken myself before surgery and mentally I can't handle the thinking that goes with HCG dieting, so that is not an option now. I can obviously maintain 185 to 190 well. I measure 36 31 40.5. I really want to get to 175 before surgery. Feeling discouraged. Maybe pilates today instead of my usual 2-hour Saturday gym session. I need to calm down and be nice to myself. I got my credit card yesterday, the one I ordered for surgery. Whew. By next Friday, my consults will be over and a date will be scheduled. I'm feeling really vain and self-centered since I started planning surgery. I think I was happier before I started focusing on how much this tummy has to go soon. It was easier to deal with when I thought it would always be there. I'm also working more than I used to to prepare financially for the monthly payment we are about to take on. More work means neglecting my family more. I work from home so it is worse because I get grumpy when I'm interrupted. The long recovery is going to be hard on my family. I take care of everyone and do all the housework and cooking in addition to working. I'm worried I am going to over do it because I can't let the house fall apart. I'm a bit of an anxious control freak. I wish I could stop being afraid of recovery. The swelling and not fitting into my clothes is really something that sticks in my mind. I don't want to buy bigger clothes and don't like wearing dresses and skirts, especially in November and December. I hate wearing gym clothes when not at the gym. Sorry about the rambling worries and complaints. Nobody else understands or wants to know about these things. Tomorrow is my first consultation. It's about to get real! Hope you all have a blessed and lovely weekend!

1st consultation done!

I had my first consult today. It feels good to be told by a doctor that there is nothing I can do for my tummy but get surgery. He says he will remove all the skin from the belly button to the pubic area. Said at my current size he can give me a great result with a flat tummy. Said I don't need to lose weight. Said I could take or leave the lipo but it would definitely give a better result to sculpt the hip area. The other surgeon includes the lipo in the procedure. This one charges extra. It looks likes they will probably end up about the same price in the end. My gut didn't tell me "this is the one". He is qualified for sure but I can't wait for my other consult on Thurs. I was told my back looks fine, nothing needed. Awesome sauce! Friday I set a date. Now I want October. :)

Booked surgery October 17, 2014

Well, I picked the surgeon. He blew the other one away. I definitely feel safe with this one but he suggested things the other surgeon did not suggest. This makes me wonder if he has a better eye, is more confident in what he can do for me or maybe he just sees what he can offer and in the end I go for more than I had planned on. He is saying he wants to lipo my upper abdomen (other surgeon would not do that until after healed from tummy tuck). He is wanting to remove all the tummy skin up to above my belly button assuring no vertical scar (the other surgeon could not guarantee that I would have enough skin to not leave the old belly button hole, creating a vertical scar). He also says that he believes my flank area/hip area will be slouchy if he does not do an extended tuck. He says I am going to be FLAT and VERY TIGHT if we extend the scar. He also explained a full body lift to me as I have saggy butt and thigh skin too. I can't spend that much, not going to do that. Now, for the regular TT with lipo to hips, mons and upper abs (hey, if he says I won't be thick he does this, ok then, right?), this would be $8300. To do all that and remove my flank skin al the way around to my back side too, creating a longer scar, it will be $9300. Who doesn't want THE BEST RESULT? Right? What to do? I don't even know. I never considered I would be a candidate for an extended scar/extended tuck. Have any of you had one? I thought that was for people who remain obese or who had a big roll going around the back. I have a flat back. My curves look good from the back. No rolls on my back, no lump. He says the extended tuck will completely flatten and tighten my side hip contour. $1000 dollars and a bigger scar. The other guy didn't say I needed this. He didn't have a fancy monitor with a body to draw on either. He didn't give me options or prices. He didn't suggest anything. He just acted like" ok, you want a tummy tuck, I know what to me to schedule one". He was nice but these two surgeons are night and day different. Ok so I am scheduled for 6:30 am on Friday October 17th. I paid the deposit. No looking back now. I just have to figure out whether to go extended or not. Opinions ya'll? Please? Thanks RS sisters! I freaking stoked!!!

42 days to go

I figured I should check in. I'm awful about keeping any kind of journal but this is such an exciting thing I am planning to do soon and I want to look back and remember what the hell I was thinking when I am sore and wondering what I have done. I am amazed that I am so close to having my tummy tuck. Since scheduling the surgery my eating habits have been on target. It is amazing how much willpower I have when I know I only have about 6 weeks to get as lean as possible. I have 9 pounds to go. I have been gradually dropping weight so I know if I just keep at it, I will get there. The sad thing is that my weight loss is always noticeable up top first. From the head down I am looking great. In the lower half, I do see a little bit of deflation in the lap roll so I guess it is coming off all over. I got a compliment from a gym buddy yesterday and my gym tops are getting looser so that's a good thing. I finally am feeling better about telling a few people about the surgery. I told her and our other friend at the gym and they both congratulated me as they looked me up and down to see what exactly I was talking about having cut off. Compression pants are FAB! The in-person support was nice. I am very happy and once I get to stand up straight after the surgery, I am going to hold my head up high and be proud of how much further I have come. I have to say that my love for my husband has increased since he has been so supportive of me doing this. It is a big surgery and an expensive one and through this, I am coming to see that he really would do anything just to see me happy. I love him so much!

Counting down. Only 16 days to go.

Well, I am now 16 days away from surgery and preop is Friday. My weight loss stopped. I'm not so happy about that. I am still 8 pounds away from where I want to be. I know how I look at 170 or 175. I am struggling with thinking I am too big to be wasting money on this surgery, a little disappointed I ever gained weight back from the 160's. Part of me is still in denial that I am even having surgery. On the up side, I am more muscular than I was a month ago, due to trying to get as strong as possible before surgery. I've hit the gym hard 6 days a week. Lots of lifting and running. I'm proud of my physical accomplishments. Still, my mind is tripping me out. I'm having a hard time sleeping at night. I have bad dreams about being disappointed with the outcome. I'm trying to focus on the fact that at this size, this surgery will not let me down. My results will be better than what I have now and I won't have a lap-belly anymore. A 10-pound loss after surgery won't make my skin sag, it won't kill my results. The doc asked if I was within 10 pounds of where I want to be and I am so let's do this, right? Now that the tummy is going to go, I have been hating my thighs and wanting new boobs too. It's never enough. I need to work harder on being positive. If I don't practice this now, I think recovery will only be more difficult. Sorry for being Debbie Downer. I just needed somewhere to sort things out. Hoping to get a grip and eat healthier for the next 2 weeks and gain some confidence. It would be easier if I didn't work alone at home and just sit here and think myself to death all day! Speaking of work, I am supposed to be doing that now. Catch up with you lovelies later. Hope you are well.

Let's get this done! Paid for and ready to go!

Hey there tummy tuckers! I am breathing a deep sigh of relief. I had my preop appointment, had the photos in that ugly paper thong, got my prescriptions and paid for surgery. There is no looking back now. I won't be doubting or questioning my judgement any longer. I feel at peace. My body is healthy, can do great things, is muscular and is about to take on the shape it deserves. My heart is filled with joy and I am ready to embrace the new me.

My husband is a loving, sweet man who is right here with me, although he was surprised when I came home and told him how much help I will need. I might need a blood thinner because I am on Depo Provera injections which increase my risk of clotting. If I do need this, it will have to be injected into my shoulder area every night by my husband, the guy who hates needles. I have a medical background and can inject myself but the nurse said I can't. Well, I think I will anyway. I may not need the blood thinners though. We shall wait and see.

I was going to go without a shower sprayer or shower chair but on second thought, I may at least need the sprayer. I was pleased to hear that this surgeon will let me shower the day after surgery but I was told my husband will need to be in the shower with me. Normally he would light up when I mention jumping into the shower with me but he got this worried look on his face when I told him this. I think it is hitting home how disabled I might be. He knows I am tough though. I just hope I tackle this is as well as my past C sections. He really hates seeing me in pain and I think my incision is going to trip him out a bit. I think I will dress it myself if possible.

The nurse told me my scar is going to wrap around my back and come just a few inches from touching. If I had a belt lipectomy, the scar would go all the way around. I am not excited about this longer-than-expected scar, due to the fact that an incision in the back is probably going to make the back pain worse as I can't use a heating pad to relieve lower back pain. I hope I will be able to sleep. On a positive note, with a scar that big and lipo the the upper abs, hips and mons, I seriously doubt I will have any flubber left to me. He is going to get it all and it will be tight, tight. I'm smiling so big right now!

I have all my baggy clothes. I have never been the type to hang out in sweats or yoga pants all day but now I think I will be happy having an excuse to do it. The nurse suggested wearing tight compression underwear after the surgery since I will just have a binder on. She said the lipo areas will benefit from the compression. Maybe I will buy some compression shorts. I am going to lose about 3 inches in the lower ab area, at least. I wonder what size underwear I will actually need for compression. She also advised that I purchase Jobst compression stockings 10-20 mmHg. This gradient is next to impossible to find. Have any of you purchased compression stockings? If so what brand and what gradient did you buy?

So, this weekend I am starting to nest. I want to dust the things that will drive me nuts while I am stuck at home recovering. I'm going to dust all the blinds, the ceiling fan, clean the window sills, wipe down the baseboards,etc. I would like to have the carpets cleaned but don't want to spend the money on it right now. It's funny. I don't usually accept help but in case I do, I actually am going to clean up my laundry room, organise the pantry, get my kitchen drawers in order, clean the fridge, straighten the linen closet. If anyone sees the state of things the way they are now, I think I might be a tiny bit embarrassed. I was also looking at the bathtubs and wondering when I would be able to handle cleaning them again following surgery. Everything is going to get scrubbed. All of my clothes and supplies will be in reach. I am going to put some Lysol wipes on each counter top so I can keep things clean like I like to. I think I can at least do that after surgery.

Just 13 days until I turn into a hot mama as triguena said in my comments below. :) I can't believe how much better it feels since preop is behind me. Happy healing to those of you already on the flat side. Take care and be well to the rest of you counting your days! Ta for now!

Avoiding certain meds and herbs

Well, I am really anxious. I like to take valerian root for that but am not allowed to. I love caffeine. I drink Rockstars or an energy drink mix for my water every day in addition to lots of water. I read the can and the box. They have guarana, ginko biloba and panax ginseng in them so I guess no more of those until after surgery. I don't do coffee anymore but sure am tempted to drink it for the next 2 weeks, I mean 11 DAYS!!! Aaaahhh! I'm so excited.

Running out of time

Hi everyone, I'm turning 39 on Monday so I changed my Profile title. I am having my tummy tuck this coming Friday and I am so short on time. I have no meals put together for the freezer. I need to grocery shop. I need to do more cleaning. I have to work 3 long days this week to take Thursday off. I actually live in Idaho, not Utah, and will be travelling for 2 hours to get there. We are staying in a hotel Thursday night. I have to be at the surgery center at 6:30 am Friday. We have to stay in the hotel Friday night too. I love my dear husband for hanging out in a boring hotel and caring for me after surgery Friday. Our 12-year anniversary is today. I ate way too much cheesecake to celebrate. I think I am getting in my last hoorah with the indulgent foods. He is asking lots of questions and it sounds like he understands how much help I will need. He is being so supportive.

My son told his teacher I have cancer. All this talk about surgery had him anxious and he was confused. I explained everything and now I think more than anything else, he knows he is not going to get a younger brother or sister out of me. He knows all 3 of my babies were surgically removed from a cut in my belly. I explained that the doctor is going to fix my muscles in my tummy and make my belly look new. He was confused about me being cut open with no baby coming out, especially with all of the "Sure would be nice to be a big brother" hints he has been dropping. I told him I feel to old to have another baby and we just need to be happy he has older siblings. I showed him my walker and how I have to hunch around the house with it for a while. He enjoyed pushing it around for about an hour. He saw the shower chair and asked who was going to give me the shampoo and soap and help me if the soap gets in my eyes. I told him dad would help me. "Is he going to see you naked then?" he asked. I just love the questions that come out of 7-year-olds. He has no idea his dad ever sees me without clothes on.

I am going to head over to Pinterest now and see if I can pull up some easy recipes. I will post some more before pics soon. I think I may wait a few days on the afters. I don't want you all to see my "balls". I really don't want to see my tummy for a few days after either. I am scared of being disappointed by the result. If I still feel fat after all this, I am getting some counseling, after I have paid down the balance on the credit card for this surgery, so I can afford counseling.

Good night! Hope you all are enjoying the weekend.

Tomorrow it's my turn

Hi everyone. I am overwhelmed with so many emotions today. I'm sad, afraid, excited, happy, worried, everything! I have had a horrible headache since yesterday. I had it all day and all night. I went for a chiropractic adjustment this morning to see if it would help. Either way, it was a good idea to get aligned before the big hunch which starts tomorrow.

I'm trying to clean my house and get it in order but I feel lonely and overwhelmed. I'm listening to Jeremy Camp radio on Pandora trying to lift my spirits and remind me of the love of my Savior. I keep crying and trying to pray about everything I feel and I can't focus enough to pray. I have been having uncomfortable feelings about my church recently and having doubts about it, not the gospel but the history of my church. I haven't gone in about 6 weeks.

I am really reflecting on my life and my place in this world today. Thinking about the depression and anxiety I have battled for so long and wondering if I am putting a Bandaid on it by having this surgery. I'm wondering if the surgery is something I have been using to distract myself from myself. I'm wondering if I even care about this tummy as much as I think. My head is everywhere so I came here to vent. These tears feel good. I am not one to cry but I keep crying today, especially now. I wish I could identify what in the world is happening to me right now.

Why does this house seem dirtier today than it ever has before? I feel like I am never going to have a chance to clean it ever again. I keep thinking about how much my family needs me and my heart is aching that I won't be able to care for them much in the next week. My son has been really tearful and clingy with me lately. I know he is scared. i try not to talk so much about the surgery but I can't help it. He had a total meltdown screaming at me and crying over a Halloween costume we were trying to pick out online. My head was hurting severely and I yelled back at him. What if I die and his last week of memories of me are of me being self-centered and mean to him? God, please don't let me die. Please let me care for my family again after all this. If I do make it, I hope to God I don't still think I am fat after all this. I wonder if I am going in there wanting a miracle this doctor can't deliver. I gained back the weight to the weight I was when I began this review. I'm so fricking pissed off at myself for not trying harder and for medicating my anxiety with food. Such a bunch of crap.

This isn't the typical day before surgery review is it? I'm sorry. I have nobody to talk to. I should really be getting my house ready right now. I wish my headache would stop. I wish I had an appetite. Wow, I have spent so much money on this surgery and supplies!

I have the best husband in the world. I still don't get it why he is totally supporting me in doing this with the health risks. I really hope I can be strong and not let him down. I want to be a good wife to him today, not self-absorbed. We are going to the hotel in Utah tonight. Maybe I will bring a swimsuit and swim with him and my son and try to unwind tonight. I think this surgery is more overwhelming to me than my C sections, except with surgery I can recover and rest instead of putting a baby first and waking up every 2 hours at night.

The drains....oh those drains. Can't even get over the idea of having those hanging out of me. I hope they aren't hanging out of me for long. I hope I can sleep. I hope the meds don't make me sick. I hope my wardrobe works. I hope the guys can get to stuff in the freezer because it is PACKED!

I think I need to change the Pandora station to my workout tunes and lighten up and clean this place and pack. Well, thank you for letting me vent and cry and sort this all out in writing. I will keep you all posted. Tomorrow morning at 6:30 am, out comes the magic marker and then off we go! See you on the flat side! Much love. Thank you for following my story.

New pics. I did it!

Hello, I had my full TT Friday. My meds have me pretty oit of it but I wanted to share pics. I will write more when I can see clearly and think clearly. I love the results! If it gets better than this, I am going to be thrilled. I dont lnow how to rotate the pics. They seemed upside down. Sorry!

Brain fog and swelling but I made it!

Hey ladies,

This is really blurry as I type it. I'm on Demerol and Phenergan presently. Surgery went very well. I checked into the surgical facility on Friday at 6:30 am. Surgery was around 4.5 hours if I heard correctly. I was sent to the hotel at 2:45. I don't recall going to sleep for surgery. I got up onto the bed. The anesthesiologist told me he put relaxing medication in my IV and that is it. I was out.

Between skin on my tummy and flanks with some lipo, 7 pounds was removed. The doc also found a mole on me and sent it for histology. I had no nausea, woke up smiling and chatting up the nurse. They cut the crotch out of my compression panties and mentioned that I could pee in a Dixie cup or mason jar. The dumbest thing I remember saying is "Welp, we are in Mormon country, should have no problem rounding up a mason jar". You know, Mormons can a lot of foods. I am still a little embarrassed about the comment though. I did just fine walking myself to and from the bathroom and using the toilet like a champ (or chimp?) this hunching has me feeling like a Heffalump!

My appetite has been small. I've had bananas, apples, protein shakes with pineapple, nuts, a PB&J sandwich, soup and a couple of brownies, of course. A friend made us dinner and brought really awesome brownies too.

So, day 3 following surgery, I did some laundry and unloaded the dishwasher. My husband kind of chewed me out about it but i don't even remember unloading the dishwasher. I have been totally loaded the past few days.

Pain is not so bad, unless I do too much. The swelling is ugly! I really need a nap now. Talk to you lovlies soon. Hope the rest of you are healing well or getting excited to have your surgeries!

Much Love!

Had my 1 week post op appointment yesterday

Well, I like this new body. I am pleased to say that I can fit into all my 10's and 12's with no roll in the front and that is amazing since I am in Swell Hell! My PS made me promise before my surgery to wait about 3 months to weigh myself. He said I could weigh 15 to 20 pounds more due to swelling and he doesn't want me freaking out about it. I agreed, no scale. Now I am like...what if I gain weight in 3 months? Now I want to severely cut calories because I have no way to gauge things and don't want a weight gain after all I have been through. He said to just enjoy my tight new tummy and appreciate how my shape changes and enjoy how great my clothes begin to look on me. It all sounds lovely but in my world if I don't weigh, I gain weight. I can't work out so I know less calories are being burned. So, I made a deal with myself that he knows best and he is right and I won't touch the scale. My husband was present during this whole conversation at post op.

This morning I went into the bathroom and looked down to see my husband has removed the scale from the bathroom. He didn't believe I would stay off it. It's kind of funny but I liked it better when I was choosing to not use it and it was still an option.

My husband has proven to be a champ through this recovery. He is a laundry-doing, dishwashing, homework-helping, loving guy. He is doing everything I would do. It is really funny to hear my son ask him to do something and to hear my husband say "Hang on. Just a minute, I have so much to do first". Haha, that is what I always say when juggling the housework after working all day. He gets it now. I am so glad he has had this opportunity to do my responsibilities for a week. He has always covered homework with our son but the housework, this is fabulous! What a man! Love him lots!

Today is 1 week post op for me. Maybe I will post some pics later on. It would sound more appealing if I didn't have drains hanging out of me but oh well, better than a seroma. I put on my sports bra last night and my yoga pants and looked at myself and was like "DAMN GIRL". I can't wait to go shake that in Zumba. LOL! Cutest little belly button! It doesn't frown anymore!

I need to put together my work schedule for next week. Yayness, kind of. Not looking forward to working but at least I get to do it at home in my nice post surgery frumpy clothes.

Ta for now!

Yes, I'm bragging!

1week post op, had to show some more pics. It gets better than this? Holy cow! I can't even believe my tummy does not hang or jiggle. I want to go running just to enjoy not pulling my panties up the whole run!

First day back to work

Well, things are blurry. I am working and proofreading without any narcotics and yet words are blurry and I am catching some serious errors. The muscles above my mons are spasming. It feels like a baby kicking me. Thank God that is not the case! I'm slouching like a fatty beer gut lady to keep my binder from cutting off my breathing as I type. I also noticed that suddenly I am famished today. I haven't eaten much for the last week after one bad bloating incident where my binder would not stay shut. I am thinking I maybe just get stressed from my job and it makes me thing eating will fix it. Thing is, I know if I stress eat now, this binder is going to feel even worse. Hopefully when I weigh in, lets say January so I don't hate myself for water weight before and after Christmas, there will be a loss. I tried on my 10's today and there is a nice little area of fabric to grab where my apron used to hang. Not one bit of side fat, no muffin at all and my belly button is just adorbs today. I checked the back view and I know my surgeon said he did a little extra lipo work for me in the back above my booty. It looks like he took of about 4 or five inches tall worth of skin waist-wise. My butt is a little lifted, my backs of my thighs are tighter-looking, the outer sides of my thighs look tighter too, not just swelling. My hips are at about 39 right now, waist about 33. I can't wait to see what happens when the swelling goes down. I look so much better than before surgery. I would like to add that I weighed in at 188 surgery morning. Not what I wanted but looking at my last photos of my tummy, does that number mean anything? Uh, no. He said he took off 7 pounds. Ok, I'm rambling to avoid working. Gotta go. I will check on all of you later today! xoxoxo


Well, I about died working too long yesterday, probably because I set myself back by hanging out here and chatting up my sistas instead of working. I swelled up really bad above the mons (the hoohah puff area). My muscles were twitching there and I looked bruised last night but not so much today. The funny thing. I look swollen but my waist was 33 yesterday and it is 32 today. Hahahaha! I love it, love it, love it. Why is my bra getting to big? Grrr. At least the girls look bigger with my flat tummy beneath them now.

I wish I could post my husband's most recent comments about me but I respect his privacy so I won't. He sure made me feel proud though. It is so nice to lay on my side with my head propped up in my hand and chat with him and know that my abs look freaking amazing. They don't droop to the side anymore. I always wanted to be one of those women who is always ready for a picture without posing to make the gut look less obvious. This is so, so fun even though it hurts.

More before pics - about 2 weeks preop

I know, befores are not much fun once we see results but I wanted these in here for me to look back on someday.

I'm so terribly sad

I have been thinking about people who have helped me with meals and getting my son to school, etc. I have a history of not letting people get close to me. I have been hurt a lot (we all have, I know). I have become a person who just has quit wasting my time on small talk, feel that friendships are short)lived so why keep trying to make friends? We have moved a lot in the last 12 years. I find someone I connect with, then we leave. I have no family in the town we live in. My husband works too much and is tired all the time. I have been trying to call people instead of face booking or texting. I'm trying to come out of myself and be a friend to others, thinking if I am there for them, I won't seem so hardened, busy and selfish. There are people I am letting into my life lately. I have thought about this a lot. Here is why I have no solid friendships. People don't have time for anything. We have jobs, families and schedules. I cannot think of a single conversation I have had lately where the other person isn't checking their watch it trying to rush off, or having their phone ring or a kid complaining they want to go or have to pee, need to eat, etc. I gave lost hope of ever having "my person" of ever having meaningful conversations where my thoughts cannot be shared because who has time? Why ask "how are you?" Most people sincerely don't have time to talk anyway. I hate small talk. I think a lot. My heart is deep. I love out of empathy. Life has given me lots of experience in pain and coping with trials. My soul aches for a human being who has time to talk in person, will tell me how they are because I like soothing people and easing their pain. I have so much to give. I have such an empty hole in my life without close solid friendships. I'm exhausted by this surgery. I'm mentally over the edge with anxiety (well I took valium so now I'm dealing with that). I have realized that this forum is my strength right now. When I read of your victories it lifts my spirit. I wish I could see you all in person because you are all beautiful inside. I know this because you spill your dreams, worries and triumphs here and I haven't even seen most of your faces. Thank you for being part of my life at this emotionally draining time. I'm so glad to do this with all if you. I hope I can be able to work soon so I can keep my mind off of my feelings. Good night ladies. I have a giant basket of laundry needing to be folded. Thanks for reading.

2 week post-op appt today

Hey sisters! Today I got dolled up, full make up, curled my hair, wore flexees and a cute skirt and top that was flowing on top but wrapped around my flat belly. I felt gorgeous. I wanted to make today a positive day and remind hubby that my emotional rants are part of my being able to have my new body. He said I looked beautiful. :)

He took me to my appointment. The nurses gushed over how great I seemed to be doing so soon. The doc commented "Wow! You are doing great, your hair is all curled, make up and all!" That was so sweet to say. It made me feel like maybe I really am doing well. He told me some people need pain meds for a month and don't feel like an addict. Take my pills if I need them. He said my incision looks great and I appear ahead of schedule for this stage from what he normally sees. I got my belly button stitches out and the rest of my Steri strips. Good, good, good. He said my moods and crying are expected and normal and it's ok! He told me it sounds like I have it all handled.

And then....he said my drains are staying put!!! Boo! He wants to see me next Thursday and maybe they can come out then. They put out about 60 to 80 cc per side still. I guess I can rake it. He assured me I could wear a Hanes waist cincher in my street clothes and binder at home. I got the ok to wear looser panties so yay! I'm going back to cotton granny pants for working. I could probably work better in those.

I'm swollen today. I am loving that I get full so fast now but I sure have to drink a lot of water to keep swelling down.

Maybe I will post a new pic later for my 2 week update.

Gotta pee!!!! AGAIN!!!!


Well, the right one quit working two days ago. The bulb stopped collecting yesterday. I was contemplating yanking it out but I had wrapped pantiliners (very absorbent and stick to themselves) around the base. They were still catching fluid. I was going back and forth on whether to pull it. I didn't want to bug my surgeon on Sunday. The good drain put out 115 cc in the last 24 hours. This is the left drain. So...I took a shower, got out, wrapped both drain bottoms because the good one was starting to peak out if the hole. I put my panties on, then my binder and all of a sudden, the left drain, the good one, fell out of me. It landed on my foot! Well, one drain down but now I'm worried I needed it cuz it has been getting a lot of fluid. There's my excuse "Um, Dr B...sorry to bother you but my good drain fell out of me. Can I just get rid of the shitty one now????? For Pete's sake? Please?????" I'm going to totally say that when he calls me back. Tick tock tick tock....

New pics 15 days post

Swelling is really getting to me. I wanted to share because I had an extended tummy tuck and some of you might want to see the scar. I'm really swollen around the back.

Ok Trying to up load yesterday's pics

Oh and that drain issue....The one that remained in (the bad one that started working after the good one fell out of me) kept me up since 4 am! It was hanging out of my leg 5 inches running fluid all over me. I keep wrapping it in gauze and changing it. Well... I pulled the last few inches of it out this morning so now I have no drains. I don't look puffy. I feel a lot better. I slept most of yesterday or tried to because I was in a lot of pain yesterday. My surgeon said not to call if it comes out. Just call if I get a fever or have complications so, I will see him Thursday and hope he believes me that none of this was intentional. I complained about the drains a lot and joked about pulling them a lot. He knows I was not afraid to do it if they were ready. Hope I have no problems. Anyway hope the pics load this time.

I walked my first mile today

I am really happy so I wanted to share with all of you! It is a beautiful, crisp Fall morning out, about 40°. I dropped my son off and decided a short walk would be nice in the morning sunshine since I will be stuck working in my office all day. I ended up walking 1 mile without any problems. I even played around with sucking in my tummy muscles to support myself better and worked on my posture. It took me 30 minutes. Normally I do about an 11-minute mile but I am just thrilled I could do it, especially since my drains came out on their own before they were supposed to. I will update if I start to blow up or anything! 1 mile already! Go me! It felt so good to move.

I do believe I have a slight seroma

Well, we saw this coming, right? The drains were needed and they left me so...Yesterday was fabulous. i felt pretty good all day but worked lots of hours, more than usual. I had some pretty hard core muscle spasms around 6 pm but took Valium and reclined and went back to work at 8 pm. I woke up with a tight, tight tummy. I pushed on the lower abs to see if it looked like fluid in there. I got that waterbed effect they tell us about, where you push one side and the other side goes "blurp" and you can see the fluid elevate on the other side. It's uncomfy. I don't like wearing my binder with fluid on my abs but I feel muscle strain without the support since I sit all day. I have a PS appointment in the morning and I'm prepared to be aspirated. Hopefully this would be my only aspiration because they are two hours away and these once-a-week appointments are adding up in gas money. I wish I could just do this myself too! No joke. I guess this is why we pay so much for surgery, because we need lots of looking after when it is over. Glad I am in competent hands and that he will keep giving me pain meds if I need them. The Percocet usually doesn't get used until about 5 pm or 6 pm if the Valium and Motrin dosn't handle what my work day has done to me. I'm still using Motrin 800 mg and metaxalone (not-so-drowsy) muscle relaxer to handle sitting at my desk all day but very productive and work feels normal now. I am going to go kick back in the recliner before work starts. Hope you beautiful ladies have a great day!

PS Appt Seroma Drained

Ok so, yes there was a seroma. I had horrible muscle spasms by my belly button last night. Breathing and talking hurt. I took Valium and Percocet and stayed put until about 3 am and then I went to bed. The spasms were gone when I woke up. I wore my old jeans, bloated and all and they were baggy. I think my PS thinks I'm a pain in the ass. Most doctors do. I talk too much. He seemed unimpressed with my mile-long walk I took but too busy to waste his breath about boundaries. I don't know why I think I am superior at healing. Obviously I need him every week so I should quit thinking I need to hit milestones when everyone else does. (I don't paragraph on my phone. I can barely spell on it). So... They aspirate seromas with big ass needles! I stood, no numbing, did pop valium an hour before though. My husband got asked to leave the room. He would have fainted if he stayed. He heard them say the floor was going to get wet and was out the door. So, they put the needle I, aspirated , got air, repositioned the needle, more air, switched gauge of needle, repoke. Then the other side, got what looked like 8o or 100 cc, not sure. Then aspirated the other side. I felt the needle, like pinching and poking. I felt sore, but better. I go back for more action Tuesday if I have fluid by then. I really just wish I could do nothing for a few days. I'm cutting my work schedule. I'm not walking any more miles. Not working for long periods. I could work in bed from a laptop if I could buy a laptop but all my money but we have spent $200 in gas in three weeks and more on my undergarments for support. My son hit a growth spurt and needs pants too. I might buy a wireless keyboard and mouse and recline on the loveseat in my office, using our Tv as a giant monitor to work, nevermind. Anyway, seromas suck but if my body gets used to absorbing fluid, we can quit getting aspirated soon. Otherwise, he says I'm healing great. I will give a stellar review on him when I am healed up with no seromas. He is such a great surgeon. His nurses are very caring. I feel cared for. No regrets yet.

Thank you for the medicine ball advice for working!

Hello lovelies! I'm working today and doing rather well. I don't see any new fluid that needs aspiration again, not yet, so I hope I will just stay fluid-free in that aspect.

I read someone's post on here about using a medicine ball to stretch out. I don't recall who it was though. Anyway, I have had bad muscle spasms up close to my belly button after working my desk job each day I have worked. Today I decided to sit on my medicine ball instead of my chair. My muscles don't hurt. I bounce when I am bored. I am not able to hunch. I can do hip circles in both directions as I proofread and roll my feet from toes to heals. So far, I am feeling very content with this. I sure hope it feels this good all day. I even bounce off and on. I have been working for four hours so far. If your desk job is killing your abs, seriously try to sit on a big medicine ball. My hubby came home from work for lunch and was surprised to see me smiling instead of crying at my desk today. :) Have a great day! Hope you are all healing well or counting down and getting everything you need to cross over to the sexy side!

Hubby feels like he's cheating on me.

Last night I had sex with hubby. It was really awesome. I don't hurt today. The way the doc lipo'd the mons area and recontoured things there makes us totally line up different and wow things are awesome. I feel like his girlfriend instead of his wife of 12 years. He just kept telling me how amazing my waist is, how cute my belly button is, how hot I look. I'm feeling pretty darn confident and happy this morning. What a fun way to add spark to your marriage! Get a better body. Usually I have a very low sex drive. I think that's over. He said he thought I was hot before but this is like, wow! Haha. I'm a lucky lady. See boys what a few thousand gets you ;)

Post op is so unpredictable

Today I feel like I am better able to work. I don't see any more seroma development since I was drained last Thursday. I woke up in so much pain in my lower abs at 7 am, even though I had woken up and took ibuprofen at 5 am. It seems like if I wake up in lots of pain, it feels better within 5 minutes of walking around the house. Have any of you noticed the same? I got up and drank a bunch of water and had a lovely morning getting my son ready for school.

I woke up flat, flat, flat today too (once I made myself get up). I see and feel hip bones. I love the way I am looking. I still cannot believe it and my scar is nearly invisible already. It hasn't even been a month. The downs following this operation are so worth the ups.

I usually start PMS-type symptoms around 8 or 10 weeks after I have my Depo-Provera shots. This is my 10-week mark. I really want to be on something else for birth control but for now I don't want to switch because I want to stay aware of what feels like normal in my tummy as I heal. I bet the pain I had today and actually last night, now that I think of it, is actually uterine cramping. Have any of you had your PMS or TOM since surgery. Was it worse cramping than normal? I don't get periods, just the cramps and mood swings.

I need to go get my Depo shot this week. They weigh me every time I go in for the shot. I have been faithful to my surgeon and the promise I made not to weigh. I am going to have a hard time not looking at the scale but will advise the nurse not to tell me the number. I guess it should be okay since I went into surgery a 10 or loose 12 and can fit into my 6's and 8's now. What's a number on the scale. My hips were 37 inches this morning. My waist is still measuring about 32. It goes up and down the most but I did get a new belly button and had upper ab lipo so maybe that is why things aren't going down there yet. My waist measures bigger than before, unless I was squeezing the tape really tight in denial before. I'm pretty sure I didn't. Haha.

Well, I should really be working right now. I don't hurt after almost 4 hours sitting at my desk on a medicine ball today. Woohooo! I just might be turning back into a normal person!

Sorry no fun pics right now. I can't get them on here from my phone or ipod and it takes 3 steps I don't have time for. I will post some with the scar probably at the one month mark.

Hope you all are feeling good today! For those of you counting down eeeeeeeee! Gosh it is worth it, even if I complained a lot above this post. LOL!

Scar pics/ Evening Swelling

I was feeling inspired to show how my tummy looks swollen after working at my desk all day. I still like it. My incision is 100% closed. I am happy with that. I expect the scar to heal nicely. I would show more of it but I am not a "show my hair" kind of person, at least if I catch it on time. The one facing the mirror was not filtered. It's just the lighting.

Pics with clothes on

I'm so happy with my body! The jeans I'm wearing in these pics are too big. These are 12's I had bought so my belly wouldn't roll as much before I had the surgery. I have no more lap belly. The compliments are rolling in from my little son and my husband. These are with no binder on and taken last night. I realized today that I have never in my whole life had good posture because my belly always made my back curve. At age 8, I was overweight and my ballet instructor had noticed a curvature in my spine which turned out to be mild kyphosis. My sacrum hasn't hurt since surgery. I don't think I have ever sat with such good posture or stood straight with proper posture in my whole life. I am so glad I had this muscle repair and Dr Brzowski fixed my life-long problems with this part of me. It has been a gift, and expensive one but still a gift.

I went to the doctor and got my Depo shot yesterday and asked if we could skip the scale. The nurse was happy to skip it for me, understanding why.

Week 4 Post-op with the PS

Hi Lovlies,
I just figured since I had my 4-wk post op scheduled today, I would update you on the advice I was given. I had to cancel my appt due to snowy roads. I spoke with the PS nurse on the phone though. She said that since I have no further fluid issues, scar is totally sealed and no complications, I am basically free right now. She advised I check back in for an appt at 6 weeks though and that would be the last followup. She said I can exercise doing whatever I can handle now. That means walking for miles, trying to jog, hiking, biking, etc. She said lifting is fine, just trust my body and do things gradually (milk jugs are still heavy for me). She said I can get my heart rate up now if I want to, walk fast, do yoga or Pilates, lunges, whatever just don't push through pain and keep a binder on. She said that whatever exercise I do, I should not do anything that causes me to be in pain the following day. Just start out very gradual, very light to start and assess what I can handle as I go. Basically I am at a point where I just listen to my body and see what happens. She also warned that the more I do, I should expect more swelling. I knew that but GOSH! How annoying. Swelling really, really sucks! I think I am going to try out my Pilates and Yoga videos and see how it goes within the next couple of days. It is snowing here so I'm going to have the hubby put my treadmill in the right position for me to use since it is very heavy and I know I can't move it yet. I won't return to the gym until December 5th or after. I halted my membership to save money while reducing my work hours. I would probably get some looks if I went back now. After 4 weeks and girl's still got booty, pecs, biceps and quads still but a perfect tummy without that roll that was there??? Whah?? I still don't even know what I weigh. It's okay. My workout clothes are too big. No, I'm not complaining. I'm going to rock those baggy compression pants. No more tugging on my shirt to cover that lap belly!

As for my husband, he thinks this is the smallest I have ever been in 12 years. He is wrong. My waist is measuring 4 inches bigger than it was at 160 and my hips are about and inch bigger than they were then. I was so droopy at that size (6), he thinks I am smaller now. He doesn't believe me. He feels like he is with a model and can't get over my cute belly button and handlebars (hips). His head cannot handle that this is his wife. He said that the mental attitude he sees in me is not the same person he used to know and he is really trying hard to figure out if it is okay to find me this totally hot and say so and also try to understand how my brain perceives my body now and how I feel mentally and emotionally about being basically a new person. He loves me that much. He feels like I am younger than I was before the surgery too. He is so confused. He had no idea I was going to look like this. I was like "I chose the best, best surgeon (Dr Brian Brzowski - total artist, brilliant genius) didn't I? I told you this guy was the one! Look what he did!" He's like "yep". LOL!

I feel a little bit on the lower side today, a little anxious and maybe a little sad or lonely. I think it is because I didn't take any meds, knowing I was going to be driving in the snow. I hope I can catch up with not having the little boost of the better meds. I have only had 5 Percocet in the last week and maybe 5 Valium in the evenings. I am doing well on metaxalone and Motrin. The mood could be that with my cancelled appointment I have free time on my hands. I can work, do laundry and clean the house or lounge and watch Netflix until my son gets out of school. Decisions......

Hope you all feel good today! Thanks for following my story!

The line down the center of my abdomen

"To allow the vertical indentation of your linea alba to show, you need to amp up both your exercise routine and your diet"- some website. LOL! I notice this really neat indentation down the center of my abs. Apparently you have to have lots of fat loss to see it, from what the interwebz is saying. If I can see this line, I wonder if I will ever get my abs to show even better definition. I know it takes more work but just seeing this little line has me about peeing myself with excitement! Do any of you feel this way? Gosh my belly is the coolest thing right now. I love my guts!

5 Weeks Postop Tomorrow. New Pics

Hey all! I don't feel like much is changing at this point. I'm starting to feel like my normal self. I take ibuprofen as needed nothing more. I am building up my strength with yoga and bodyweight exercise as well as the treadmill. I can jog 4.5 to 5 mph for about 45 seconds before needing to walk. My diaphragm area starts to ache when I jog for now.

My scars are very dark, especially the drain holes. I think I was warned about them getting dark at this time. Not my PS but the first one I consulted with said that the scar treatments wouldn't fade my scar so much as just make it flatter and he said he didn't really think they were necessary at all until about 2 months post op. I need to see my PS in a couple of weeks and might talk to him then. I know my C section scars were very dark and faded to invisible over time. I just don't want to waste money on something that does nothing. My PS has had me leave my scar bare since the steri strips came off and it has healed very well, nice and thin. It's just dark.

One thing I noticed is I am very unhappy with my back now. The scars wrap around and I look like I need lipo above them. This is making me want to diet. I had the extended scar so I wouldn't have a muffin top due to excess skin and thought my back would be lipo'd around the scars there. I know he lipo'd the area because I had bruising between the incisions. It looks puffy above the incisions. Anyway, I have convinced myself my upper body is overweight now and that I need to do something. My back was once my favorite part of me and now I don't want my husband to see it. I just don't want to stress my body cutting calories when I am still healing the muscle repair. I am already restricting calories to compensate for not getting my hard workouts in and feeling like I've lost some muscle. I eat 1700 to 2000 per day right now and I know I have gained on that amount in the past so I'm anxious. I can't judge by how my pants fit if I am getting fatter from the ribs up. Trying to be healthy. I still have not weighed myself but I don't have any jeans that fit. They are all too big. I need to buy some size 8's. I can wear my 10's for now. My 12's fall down. That's good news.

Anyway, here are some pics. Thanks for following my rambling. Peace to you!

6 Weeks Postop

Hey everyone! I'm not posting pics today because I don't think much has changed. Physically I can tell I can handle more. I cooked Thanksgiving dinner and lifted the turkey and giant roasting pan in and out of the oven with little effort. That was over 20 pounds. I can carry multiple grocery bags at a time and push a full shopping cart full of groceries without pain in the abs. I do swell after things like that though. I was able to run for 3 minutes last week after walking 5 and then my left knee popped and locked and I've been babying that for a few days with Ibuprofen. I had some issues with that knee right before my surgery but hoped with all the rest it would heal. I have an appointment with an Ortho doc on December 18. That's a long wait but I live in a rural area so that's what I get. Today it feels better though. I wore a knee brace and went hiking through knee-deep snow in the mountains hunting for a Christmas tree. My whole body handled it very well. I felt nauseous on the trip but my stomach feels weird off and on and it was a bumpy road. I came home and took a nice nap. I was able to do some yoga and pilates tonight and did a one-minute wall sit so my abs are getting stronger and seems like my legs have not lost much strength. I have noticed that my upper back and arm definition I had from weight lifting are gone. I look soft. I quit my last gym a week ago. I'm switching to a new one where my membership is free if I work out 12 times per month so I will certainly have a free membership. I went 6 times per week before surgery. I am working on pilates and yoga, walking and biking right now. I want to see what the doc says about my knee. I think it might be a medial meniscus tear. It seems to lock when I run but within a few days of rest it gets better. I've been really hard on my body for the past few years with running and lifting heavy. The new gym I am going to is owned by physical therapists and has physical therapy machines so I'm going to change the way I train my lower body. I know having been so heavy in my past took its toll on my joints as well. My hips also lock from time to time.

Anyway, life is just about back to normal. I am wearing my compression garments for strenuous things or when I get swollen because it seems to help with swelling. My appetite comes and goes. I have had a really bad cold for about 2 weeks and the coughing hasn't hurt too bad. It has been annoying. I am just glad I didn't get sick like this in early recovery. My hubby can be a little more rough with me now and my son can squeeze me tight and it doesn't hurt. My scar looks good but I'm not putting anything on it.

I just wanted to let everyone know what my 6 weeks looks like. We all heal at different rates and seeing other people's accounts of each week has helped me understand what seems normal for certain times in recovery. I will try to keep updating by week or when something significant happens. Thanks for following my journey! Hope you all are healing well or enjoying the preparation process!

Check your surgeons drawings in the mirror!

I'm hating the scars on my back side. There is swelling above them. I have a funny shape in the back. The end of one side is puckering and is hard and kind of painful if I rub on it. The more clothing and panties I have tried on, the more I notice it does not go below where my jeans and panties normally sit. If I bend over it shows out the top of my pants. I don't want to layer with tank tops to cover these scars forever. I needed this type of incision to avoid a muffin top effect due to excess skin. I asked my surgeon to go as low as he could. When I mentioned that I don't like the height of my scars in the back at my first preop appointment, he asked if I looked at the drawings in the mirror prior to surgery. I didn't. I was really nervous and when I have anxiety I get really bad pain. My lower back and knee were killing me. I had a migraine going into surgery. I didn't think to ask if I could see in the mirror. I just wanted to be knocked out. I guess this makes it my fault my scars go above all of my panties and pants in the back. He said that he followed my body's natural contour and that is how he decided the scars would go there. I don't blame him. He is a wonderful doctor. I just want to warn you ladies. Don't proceed to surgery until you have approved the entire line of your incision that is drawn on you. I am stuck with this. On the upside, it gave my outer thighs a bit of a lift. I don't know if he could have achieved the same result with a lower scar. I used to like my shape from the back and now I don't. Maybe when the swelling above the incisions goes down and the bruising from lipo goes away I will like my back side but today I'm just really feeling depressed.

I see why people break up over this

Hi again. If yo read enough of these reviews, you will see it is common for people to break up before or after having abdominoplasty. If you have a lot of stress before the surgery, the added emotional roller coaster may seem like more than you can take. I think my husband is tired of being my support system. I have a problem with major depression and anxiety. I have PTSD from way back to early childhood. I am dwelling on sexual abuse I endured at the age of 4, one of the big reasons I was overweight as a child, to make myself less appealing. My stomach hurt a lot because of anxiety. I used to eat a lot to make it stop hurting but it didn't make it stop. I watched my mom and step dad have regular major physical fights. I'm having ruminating thoughts. My work is stressing me out. I'm worried about the holidays and how things will go with my older kids. I'm freaking out inside. My husband expressed to me that I am worse now than I was before having surgery. Said nothing will ever make me happy, that he will never go through another elective surgery with me again, that he feels like his wife has 15 personalities and he never knows who I am going to be from one moment to the next. This hurts. I'm healing. I'm tired. I swell over everything. I used to cope with an hour at the gym every day and can only do moderate exercise right now thanks to my knee issue. Im angry that my head feels badass and wants to sculpt this body but my knee says that I'm breaking down. I feel old and bitchy. I hate Christmas, that does not change with mood swings. I hate psychiatrists because they sucked me dry treating one of my kids for years with no change, nothing was fixed. I had years of therapy. It doesn't change these horrible emotions. I haven't drank in 5 years and I don't have a drinking problem. I quit for religious purposes. I'm craving alcohol to calm myself. I'm not feeling okay. It really hurts that my husband, my only real friend, is fed up. I can't fix me. This really is a hopeless feeling. I want my body and my mind to feel better, I would never keep my big flabby gut if given the choice to decide again. All alone. That's the feeling. That and raging pissed off at him for saying those things. Anyway, I'm not writing this to collect sympathy and pitty. I will hang in there. I know it gets better. Blah,blah, blah. I don't need prayers. I'm simply warning those of you planning your surgery that this surgery will strain you and even your strongest relationships at times. I love my husband. He would do anything for me. He is a very patient man and my way of dealing with my surgery has made him feel like his wife is gone. I told him I don't care, that feeling what I feel is enough and he will never know the pain I suffer inside. I can't explain depression to him. He doesn't understand it. Nobody who has not had it their whole life could possibly understand that a major life event can trigger major episodes of depression. Anyway...I need to start a journal so I have somewhere to throw these feelings where people won't get hurt by my thoughts and so you all don't get fed up with my rants. I hope you are all well. I will update on my PS appointment when I feel better. Talk to you soon.

Almost 8 weeks postop

Hi everyone. I'm in a happier mood today. You know, the moods go up and down. The swelling goes up and down. It's going to be ok. I saw my PS this week and he recommended Biocorneum scar treatment. I was skeptical of the product but I spent the $80 on it anyway. Ouch. I figure if I am going to bitch about the scars on my backside, I should do what I can to reduce them. Anyway, I am on day three with the scar treatment and the changes in my scar are remarkable. It is thin and looks lighter already. I am glad I went with it. I will post pics when I don't feel so swollen.

I have been exercising daily on the treadmill for about 45 minutes per day. I did 30 burpees today and 30 pushups and did some walking lunges. I feel very strong and steady today. My knee is ok as long as I don't run and I wear the brace when I walk. Every time I exercise I blow up with swelling. The swelling is more uncomfortable than it used to be and seems worse at this point but I know it comes and goes and is part of life so I just put up with it the best I can. I'm just happy to feel like I have my physical capabilities back. I'm free from compression garments. I don't miss them at all.

I hope you all are feeling well today. I hope your healing is going smoothly or your planning is keeping you excited, wherever you might be at this point. Bye for now!

11 weeks post op

Hi everyone. I haven't been feeling positive so I haven't been updating as much. My knee problem was confirmed to be a torn meniscus on an MRI a few days ago. I am on Percocet and ibuprofen 800 mg 3 x daily again. My knee is now buckling and popping when I walk. I consulted with an ortho surgeon who told me before the MRI that he suspected surgery is needed but to what extent would be determined by the MRI. I have switched ortho surgeons and will go over the MRI and discuss my options next Tuesday. Since week 4 postop when I was released to work out, my knee has gotten worse and worse. I can barely walk now. It locks and buckles when I bear weight but I can ride a recumbent bike and do leg extensions and curls on Nautilus machines so I am doing that as often as possible.

I caved in and weighed myself finally. I just couldn't handle feeling like I was fat and not seeing numbers. On surgery day I was 188. Yesterday I was 187. The surgeon had removed 7 pounds from my front and around the flanks to the back so, yeah, I have probably gained about 5 to 7 back, but it went to other areas (butt, thighs, back, arms, face) . I still go up and down with swelling. I get swelling all over. My face even swells. I wear an 8 or looser 10 which is great, right, but my thighs look huge to me and my lower back looks dimply. I am aiming to drop at least 20 pounds by my six-month appointment. I will go ahead and post some pics from before the weight loss at the 220 lb mark and pics from today. I think I need to see the pics together as a reminder. I should be so happy that I don't look like I used to. Instead, I feel fear and anxiety because I know I am just now feeling like myself again and another surgery is coming.

I was happy I had become a runner and I don't think I will run for exercise again. The ortho said he saw arthritic changes, some osteoporosis (yes, porosis) and little cushioning in the joint. He advised that I alter my workouts to accommodate my "degenerative changes". I went from feeling young and sexy and ready to work out to old and disabled and scared of getting fat, but sure as heck not about to stop taking care of myself and going to the gym. I have just had to change the way I do things. If I sound negative, it's alright. I'm real. I'm not here for a good read or entertainment or to encourage, just to tell about my personal journey. My son is bugging me for food so I'm trying to be quick too.

Anyway, my abs feel pretty strong. I could deadlift 80 pounds last week without much effort (well on a good knee day, before it all went to hell). My upper body weight lifting is good. I was doing 150 lb leg presses before the last pop that happened, when I stood on my tiptoes to get something from a cupboard, that left my knee useless. I can do yoga and pilates core work without pain. I wear normal clothes. This is my 11 weeks. The ab part feels great. Now if I could get my knee fixed, I could get on with my life.

Hope all is well with everyone. I will update again soon. Thanks for reading.

Exercise tip

Hi again! I have been doing a yoga/pilates video called "Pilates/Yoga for AnyBody" It has a warm up, strengthening and flexibility chapters. It is excellent. The instructor is calm and encouraging. It has helped me to strengthen my core and ease back stiffness. The flexibility section is helping me keep my hamstrings and quads stretched and this helps my knee to feel less stiff, when I do it. Yoga is a great way to connect with yourself and show love for yourself mentally and physically. The breathing part is helpful for people like me who get anxious and forget to breathe. I started my day with this video and went to the gym after. I feel really good today. I feel calm and excited about what I can do despite my knee injury. The video is about $5 on Amazon. Some of the core work is difficult at 4 to 6 weeks but at the 8 week mark, I could complete the whole video. Anyway, it's helpful to me so, of course, I wanted to share it with you. Please share your favorite workout DVDs with me. What's fun or feels good at home? Thanks!

Ending the 12th week postop. Update on the knee.

Hey lovelies! I am happy today so I figured I would update. I have been at the gym every day and watching my calories. I'm now 4 pounds below my pre-surgery weight. My muscles feel tighter and I am liking my shape. I cannot believe this is my body. Honestly I am just proud of me getting back into my old gym habits and transforming myself into the best I can be. I think the sweating and weight training has helped me a lot in the past couple of weeks. I already see big changes. I bought some new jeans. Trying on jeans is a blast now! To sit in jeans and have the zipper part scrunch is so weird! If I could find tops I like, that would be wonderful too.

I went to my orthopedic surgeon appointment. I have a posterior horn meniscus tear and I need surgery to scrape off the torn cartilage since it is an area that can't repair with suturing because it doesn't get blood flow. The loose cartilage is what causes the locking knee. It goes back and forth between awful pain and stiffness and feeling like an almost normal knee. Today I can walk perfectly normal so the cartilage must not be all up in the joint screwing things up today. I've been doing an uphill elliptical on the highest resistance for a 30 min to an hour and same with a stationary bike, hill intervals 30 min to an hour. When I'm sore, I do the yoga video to stretch out. I got the okay to continue this and do my weight training too, just no squats, leg presses, lunges, jumping, zumba, running, etc. I've been at the gym every day. I am going to put the surgery off for a while for financial reasons. Meanwhile, dropping about 20 pounds will take some stress of the knee so that is what is driving me right now.

The pics I posted are after breakfast. I don't feel swollen today. The swelling is happening less often now. After the gym I get a little puffy but that goes away in a few hours.

I hope you all find some encouragement if you are in the healing phases. You will feel pretty close to normal in a short period of time. These 12 weeks have flown by. I can't wait to see how much more I can improve. It is great to feel like I am actually able to achieve the body I want now since the belly is cleaned up. Before surgery, it felt like I was working but would always look fat because of my abs. I'm very proud of my posture now. I don't have lower back pain anymore. It feels great to stand up tall and not worry about my shirt not covering my lower gut. I just realized yesterday that I had not seen my chiropractor since October. I was seeing him once per month. That says something.

Anyway, enough about how fabulous this feels. If you are planning your surgery, best wishes and I am so thrilled for you. If you are healing, keep your chin up. It really does keep getting better.


I don't need a revision geez! Someone put that in my comments about themselves. I'm getting private messages on a revision. Not my comment. All is fine.

3.5 months postop

Hey everyone! I'm lying here with a bulge of swelling along my whole tummy scar. I wanted to pop in to say that I still have tightness and even muscle spasms in my upper abs near the sternum, usually at night. It sometimes feels like it's tugging when I lie on my side. I wake up with my skin feeling flat but pulling really tight still, at least until I walk around for a bit. Workouts are pretty much back to normal but with lots of core work or battle ropes my muscles spazz. I'm having my knee surgery next Friday but after my tummy tuck, that has to be a breeze. I just look forward to being able to use a treadmill again. For now I do everything but the treadmill, and pull-ups, I definitely don't do pull-ups! Haha. Anyway, I'm getting used to seeing a flat profile instead of a lumpy bulge in my tummy reflection. I'm enjoying riding an exercise without a big belly roll bouncing off my thighs. It's starting to feel normal. I hope this inspires anyone counting the days till transformation. I hope the rest of you are healing well and rocking your new look! I'll update later when I have more to say.

Six months postop with before and after photos

Hello everyone! I have been waiting to add my 6-month postop tummy tuck update. It has been a short 6 months filled with trials and emotions. I have been working on trying to keep weight off. I had a medial meniscectomy on my left knee 2 months ago and was told my knees are 10 years older than I and that arthritis was evident during surgery. I have had to change my workouts accordingly and can still do quite a bit but I used to enjoy running off my calories and things have toned down. My lower body weight lifting has halted and been replaced by other exercises. I am capable of adapting and grateful to have other workouts to do to help with weight loss or maintenance. This doesn't mean I haven't struggled with emotional eating. I have gained and lost 5 pounds many times since my tummy tuck and recently got back up to 189, up 8 pounds from 181 (after the surgeon took off 7 pounds). My blood pressure is also up, maybe from stress. Nobody is taking that seriously yet. I think 146/100 is high but apparently not high enough to do much about. I'm not a victim. I ate too many sweets and didn't count my calories as strictly as I should have.
Also, due to wearing a smaller jeans size, I fooled myself into thinking I wasn't really getting fat. I have distortion in my thinking. I can look at myself as being very obese and get severely depressed and then two hours look in the mirror and like what I see and wonder why I was being so hard on myself. I feel thin in my head. In my mind, I look like I did about 20 pounds ago. Then I see a photo and think I look fat and this causes me to doubt my own feelings and thoughts. It makes me feel like I have faulty perception. I have my before and after photos from my surgeon. I saw him today for an appointment. I almost fell apart in front of the nurse before I saw Dr B. She wanted me to put the ugly paper panties on for my after shots (I have recently begun hiding from cameras again). I told her I gained weight and that I was embarrassed. She was really sweet and we chatted for a few minutes. I had my after shots taken. She talked to me about how helpful a therapist might be. Thank you Amanda. I really needed to just vent today.
This is when I decided I can't do this alone anymore. I have gotten to where I don't want to be seen in public. I don't want my husband to touch my tummy or look at me. I obsess on how fat I think my arms, legs and back are ALL DAY LONG. There is not one minute I am not thinking about this and feeling out of control. I can't do this anymore. I scheduled a therapy appointment. I am getting help before I gain all my weight back. I need to get to the root of this and stop eating my feelings. I need to grapple with this obvious body dysmorphia issue with the help of a professional. If you go through these feelings, I hope you will also get help. It isn't fair to your family that you devote more time to self-loathing than to them. It isn't fair to you that you are wasting your life hating your body. Let's stop. Let's find someone who can teach us what to do.
So, with this new bravery and a plan in hand, I have decided that I want to show you my before and after photos. No crafty camera angles. Someone in Tummy Tuck Land is like me and needs to see they are not alone. Not all of us can post photos of our little size 3 jeans. I have never and will never be a 3. I'm not writing this for anyone who is a size 2 or 3 and proud and successful. I am thrilled for you. I just can't relate to you and we are on a different journey. I'm not putting you down either. This is about me. I know there are women here who would love my after results. I know I would too if I could control my eating and get to 170 pounds. My knees need it and my mind needs it. I can't help but feel like a failure after paying $9000 and allowing myself to gain weight. I am glad my belly doesn't sit in my lap anymore. I will admit that. I do like not having tummy rolls.
I'm not going to point out what I don't like. Just here is what a tummy tuck body looks like after 6 months with a few extra pounds. Here is my scar. Here is my belly button. None of us have bodies that are alike. I'm not concerned if anyone in RS doesn't like it. You don't live in it. This girl needs a tan, I admit it.
I had to get out of Real Self for a while because I was so upset that I had my flat tummy and couldn't wear tank tops and bikinis because I can't afford a boob job and my husband doesn't support that goal. I got really jealous of everyone who had nice boobs to go with their tummy. I was annoyed that I spent so much money and now have to work ridiculous hours for putting the debt on our family, with this surgery and knee surgery so close together. Then I was annoyed that even if my husband was cool with it, we can't afford for me to have breast augmentation anyway.
Ok, so now that I have filled you in on the mental side of my last 6 months, I will tell you about the physical healing side. If can plank for a long time. I can side plank and do push ups and all kinds of things. I have a strong core. However, if I lift my arms above my head, I am still really, really tight. I can't hang to do a pull up. It feels like I will rip. My surgeon assured me today that I won't rip and that in 6 more months, I might feel better doing that. I sit up straight at my desk. This is probably because I don't have rolls in the front and the muscle repair probably has helped my posture. Due to really tight skin, I still have to remind myself not to slouch while standing. Salty foods still make me swell up. Large meals make my abs hurt. I asked my surgeon about the pain below my ribs and he said it feels like a fatty nodule on the right from the fat layer and muscle layer healing. He wasn't surprised I still have pain and swelling in that area. Totally normal at 6 months. If I get constipated, I hurt up under my ribs so I just avoid getting constipated. Greek yogurt and lots of water seem to do the trick for that.
For exercise, I do upper body weight training, exercise ball moves like wall squats and hammy curls and various resistance machines. I use bikes, ellipticals and the stair climber at the gym. I can hike at a steep incline t 3.5 mph on a treamill and fast walk at 3.8 8 weeks postop knee surgery. I work out about 5 days a week now. There isn't much I can't do. My abs can handle quite a bit but I get swollen and sore if I overwork them.
I go back to Dr B in 6 months. I will turn 40 right before that appointment. I know how I want to look in six months and I hope I will be able to achieve that. I hope I have better thinking habits in place by then too.
Thanks for reading my updates and keeping in touch. I wish you all the best in your own journeys.
Much love

7 Months Postoperative and Feeling Grateful

Hi everyone! I made it to the 7-month postop mark. Things are good. Still really tight but able to handle more stress on my abs. I'm trying to treat my body well and not be so critical of myself. I've talked things out with a counselor and it has helped me straighten that out a little. I have a lot to be proud of. My results from surgery were good and I do have the ability to transform however I like now with the hanging belly gone. I'm not powerless. It's all about choices. So, with that said, I want to share some pictures I am happy about. I did have some weight gain but it isn't so much I can't get it off in a few months with effort. Either way, I am better off than where I started. Hope you all are doing well in recovery. I'm still following many of you.

8 months postop - And so excited!!!!

Hey dear friends! I made it to 8 months postop and feel awesome. I'm loving the shorts and tank tops in this summer weather. I wear sundresses without caring if they cling to my abdomen because the abdomen is tight and flat. I don't look much different from my last update so no pics for now.

I have great news! For anyone who has read my profile or comments, there has been much whining about not having boobies or having a my husband's support for getting them. Well, things have changed. He couldn't figure out what to get me for my 40th birthday and says he knows I want a boob job soooo badly that he wants me to go ahead and get boobies as a gift for my 40th birthday. I knew he was a keeper. :) Anyway the money is all set up. The consultation date is in a few weeks. I'm very, very stoked and this means that someday a bikini will feel amazing.

Hope you all are enjoying the summer months, for those of you in a warm climate. I'll update again later in the year!

Appointment is booked for breast augmentation

My breast augmentation surgery will by August 7th. That was fast. I haven't had my consultation yet but it's on July 7th thanks to this site, I am going into it knowing what brand, shape and texture I want to discuss. I am trying to decide if I want to start a separate review for the BA. Having an identifying tattoo and a husband who finds it very important he is the only one viewing my bare breasts would keep the boobs covered up in a review. Anyway, I'm pretty excited and still in disbelief I will finally get to have boobs I can feel proud of.

I went to a party last night where I met several ladies. I wore a cute form fitting dress. I arrived late so I was feeling nervous knowing the other guests already new each other and I was the odd one. They were really beautiful women and many had the mommy tummy. I caught one of them staring at my tummy and pulling on her shirt. It reminded me how nice it feels to stand up straight and not worry if my bulge is sticking out. I am one lucky woman! I finally caught someone admiring the flatness and I have to say, it felt fabulous. Later we were discussing a pregnant woman one of them had seen in a bikini and they were all agreeing that they would never show their stretched out mommy bellies in a bikini especially now. I had nothing to add. I don't have a mom tummy to complain about and I could totally rock a bikini, especially once I get my new rack.

This is the first time I have been in a group of women like this since my surgery. It's really funny that I ever complained about my shape or that I had gained a few pounds postoperatively. My tummy tuck totally freed me of the insecurity I used to have while choosing what to wear. I feel confident, instead of frumpy and ashamed, when I meet people. This is what the flat side feels like. I'm totally embracing this feeling and this new me. It feels really amazing, now that I quit picking on myself. LOL!

Hope you all are well! Thanks for reading. :)

Oh my Gosh I am itching like hell!

Hello dear friends,

It has been 9 months since my TT. I am just popping in to say I am having the worst issue with itching all around my scar and all over my tummy and my back by the scar line. I am gaining sensation in my abs. It feels more like a dragging tug when my husband runs his finger down the center. I notice that when I work my abs really hard that the skin gets very puffy. I still feel like my skin is being pulled really really tight in the lower abs. Overall, I am so happy I did it. It seems like I am still shrinking as my shorts and jeans fit better and better.

My gym routine is pretty much back to normal with the exception of the knee not being 100%. My lumbar spine has some disc issues going on too so I don't squat or deadlift much anymore. If I do, I can't walk for about a week. Squats on a machine with 80 lbs is it. I go much lighter at the gym and make sure I do yoga stretching after to keep loosened up. Ifocus on core and supporting my posture. If I raise my hand above my head, it still feels like my upper abs are tearing because I am sooo soooo tight. That's great though, love that.

I am really excited right now as I am 17 days away from getting my breast augmentation. I can't even believe it! I have another review going for that. I'm struggling with implant size right now because having been flat most of my life, trying on boobs felt weird. It's going to be an adjustment but a very happy one. It looks like my husband will be working out of state for much of the recovery so he will miss the ugly part where they need to settle. That's okay cuz I know he will want to play with them and they will hurt!

Anyway, that's all for now. Hope you are all well and feeling beautiful, healthy and sexy! More later!

Boobies tomorrow

Yep, I get my new boobs tomorrow! Finally I can make them match my tummy, tight and pretty. I'm so stoked!!

10 months post op

All is well. Just wanted to update the TT crowd with a photo of my recent look. I'm 9 days postop breast augmentation. Lots of swelling came with that from about the hips up. My waist swelled up to about 6 inches more from the BA and I'm still a little swollen. I know it'll continue to shrink down in time. I had Lipo to the lateral chest and it looks like Dr b got rid of the bra roll as under my armpits is flat and my upper back looks better too, still bruised. There is no side squish in a sports bra now. I feel balanced. I was self conscious in public when my breasts were riding higher but today they look pretty natural. I might have liked bigger but I'm content. Liking the whole picture right now. Hope all my TT friends are well.

From the moment I called to schedule a consultation all the way up to recovery from surgery, I was treated with respect and kindness. His staff are all well trained and experienced. They patiently answered all of my questions. I never felt like just another tummy tuck. I felt like my feelings and my health were important to everyone involved in the process. Kelly is the nurse who handles scheduling of surgeries and financial issues. She was comforting and professional. When I met Dr Brzowski for a consultation he did an overall assessment and asked what my goals were. He immediately knew what to do and where. He had a video monitor he drew on to illustrate each of my options and explained the outcome and recovery for each option. He didn't try to sell me other services, didn't suggest a mommy makeover since I was already doing a tummy tuck. He only addressed what I came in for. I felt at ease with him. He is very intelligent and great with using analogies to get his point across. He treated my husband like his feelings were important as well. Each encounter I have had with Dr Brzowski, he was always smiling and friendly. Even when very busy, he made me feel like I was his only patient. He never left the exam room until he knew every question was answered. His work is amazing. I can hardly see my scar. Everything is very tight, just as he said it would be. He was friendly when I called him with minor issues outside of office hours. His nurse Amanda is very sweet and knowledgeable . Teri, my recovery nurse, made me feel so comfortable and safe waking up from surgery. She is very sweet and I know most patients probably don't remember her due to anesthesia but I will not forget her. She does a nice job and deserves credit. Dr Brzowski operates in his own surgery center so that saves on costs and also reduces chance of getting an infection from a crowded hospital. I have nothing bad to say about my entire experience. The only thing I didn't like is the 2-hour drive to get to his office but it was worth it.

5 out of 5 stars Overall rating
5 out of 5 stars Doctor's bedside manner
5 out of 5 stars Answered my questions
5 out of 5 stars After care follow-up
5 out of 5 stars Time spent with me
5 out of 5 stars Phone or email responsiveness
5 out of 5 stars Staff professionalism & courtesy
5 out of 5 stars Payment process
5 out of 5 stars Wait times
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