Taking the Next Step...- Pensacola, FL

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Hi. Kimmers25 invited me to share my story. I'm a...

Hi. Kimmers25 invited me to share my story. I'm a bit nervous to do so, but I think it'll help me clear my thoughts and anxious-ness... lol

Well it all started in 2011 when I saw a picture of myself and was utterly disgusted. I thought I was in decent shape... I mean I could run a mile no problem even more on a treadmill, did crunches, and my hubby didn't complain about my weight... BOY! Was I wearing rose colored glasses. I was a huge 165+ lbs. That's not bad if you're like 6 feet tall but I'm a shorty 4'8". Yea a small mama. I have never had a thin body. I guess I'm more of the "athletic" body shape, but after having my two kids via c-section (and not working out... my bad) I gained a lot of weight and never really lost any.

So on Mother's Day 2011 my weightloss journey began. I took working out seriously and started making time for it. I walked a lot with a few friends who kept me motivated. I even joined the Biggest Loser team challenge at work. It was great. I lost the weight slowly and kept at it. It took 2 years to lose 25-30 lbs and I've pretty much have plateaued at a solid 140 lbs.

This year (2013) my goal was to get to 130-135 lbs. Like I said I've completely plateaued. :( But I'm stronger than ever. I ran five 5K runs with my family and my 1st Half Marathon. I would have never thought I could run that far and for that long (I finished in 2hr50min slow and steady wins the race lol), but I did and I'm super proud of myself.

BUT that annoying belly flap is not going away! It had gotten smaller, but it's still there. And I was getting discouraged. That's when my hubby told me to see the doctor about my options. Needless to say, the only way for me to get rid of that darn flap is to remove it. So here I am... I'm going to get the surgery (Panniculectomy and Abdominoplasty with no Lipo). I am super nervous, anxious and excited all at the same time. My surgery is on August 23, 2013. I have a few appointments in the next few weeks. I'll be updating along the way. Hopefully, I can inspire others. I mean this step isn't just to lose the weight (granted I can't wait to see how much that annoying flap really weighs) but to see the fruits of my hard work and to finally say to myself that I AM WORTH IT!

Thank you all for your support! Reading the posts here really help me with my jitters and questions.

before pix... (sigh)

I really can't wait to take the "After" pix! But I'm happy to say that this is much smaller than it used to be.


I'm actually FREAKING OUT! This feeling has been coming in waves for the past few days. I'm okay, fine, ready. Then, I'm esctatic and overjoyed. And then there's freaking out... I'm a mess. I like to prepare prepare prepare and research research research. So naturally I found this great community to read everyone's stories (good and bad), and I'm so glad I did. I've found so many great tips for recovery and lists of what to buy prior to the surgery (BTW I love lists). It's all so wonderful.

Tonight, I read more TT stories and experiences and I was completely overwhelmed. I have seen some of the pictures which gives it all a new reality for me. I mean it put the recovery into perspective. (sigh... breath) I know that everyone recovers differently and all I can compare this to is my painful recovery post c-sections. Please tell me it's not as bad as that!!! I guess the best I can do for myself is to stay positive and to be as healthy as possible before the surgery. I know that this anxious-ness that I have will pass. Just breathe, right?

Breathe in patience. Breathe out patience. Namaste.

2 week Pre-Op

It is official! Today I had my 2 week pre-op appointment. All the paperwork was signed and the fees were paid. It is for real now. I'm so happy. I can't believe my surgery is in two weeks!!!

I went shopping to buy a few more things for the post-op recovery. Here's my shopping list for the day (all of which was on Kimmers25 list and the comments on the Forum page found here http://www.realself.com/forum/supplies-after-tummy-tuck-surgery):

at Target:
Baby Wipes
Face Wash Wipes
Palmers Coco Butter Lotion
Palmers Coco Butter Skin Therapy Oil with Vit. E
Arnicare Gel (Arnica Cream gel)
Extra Strength Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
Milk of Magnesium

at GNC
Hylands Arnica 30x

I plan on purchasing a Bromelain and Turmerc on Amazon. Hopefully it's cheaper than GNC. We don't really have a Sprouts or Trader Joes here to get the homeopathic stuff so Amazon is the next best thing. Alright I'm rambling... YEAH for two weeks!

1 week!!!!

Next week is my surgery! I've been preparing mentally and physically... well trying to physically. A few weeks ago, I got tendonitis in my foot (from overuse bc I was doing HIIT double workouts) and it had prohibited me from getting a good sweat on. I hate getting injured and having to rest, but nonetheless I had to. Rest and ice and repeat. Ugh. Because of the tendonitis I've been doing my research of low impact exercises and found some really cool workouts. I'm in love with the Tabata style excercise regime and mainly do strength and abs. Even though I'm not super sweating at least I'm doing something right? And Youtube is my best friend too. There are so many great 10 min workouts out there. Anyone wanting to get some kind of work out in surely can find one on there :)

Has anyone else feel like they need to get their exercise on prior to TT? I do just bc I want to be in the best shape possible, and by being in good shape my recovery will be better (faster maybe)... and I'll be down for a while after surgery that I feel I need to get it all in.

Anyway... Next week my to do list is as follows:
1. Grocery Shop
2. Prepare Freezer Meals and Freezer Packs for Smoothies
3. Scrub Down the House
4. Pamper Myself (massage or pedi)
5. Organize my Post-Op Meds, Creams etc (so that I can have it readily available by my couch where I'll be living for two weeks)
6. Take some Before pix in clothes for comparison later

What have you done the week before your surgery?

Mean People... :(

I'm only a few days until my surgery, and I'm beat down. I don't know if this is the place to put this, but this is how I'm feeling right now... today.

I didn't think that there were truly mean people out there... Sadly, there are. I try my best to shine my light and to be a positive person with positive energy who tries to be compassionate of others' situation. Granted, I'm not perfect and never will be, but I will never ever blatantly be mean to someone. We have all made mistakes and hopefully have become better because of them. Today, I allowed two mean people make me feel as small as an ant. I completely hate that feeling. It was not uplifting at all. I am mentally sad. I shouldn't allow them to get under my skin and into my energy, but unfortunately I did. It's been an ongoing battle today. Today of all days. The day I planned to finish up my to-do list. It's simply unfortunate. This is just not the feeling I was expecting this week.

I did complete my list. Now I need a bubble bath, a glass of wine (which I can't even have!!!! So I won't... but I'm so needing a glass.) and a nap. Tomorrow is a new day...

Calm. Kind. Loving.

After yesterday's GRRRRRR-ness, I woke up this morning and read the comments. Thank you so much for your support everyone! It really means a lot. After the comments, I read this on FB from the Dalai Lama...

"If someone behaves negatively towards you, it helps to remember that he or she is a human being like you and to distinguish between an action and the person who does it. If counter measures are needed to prevent someone doing harm, it's always better to do it with a calm rather than an agitated mind. If you act out of anger, the best part of your brain fails to function. Remember, compassion is not a sign of weakness."

That message spoke so loudly to my heart. They were acting out of anger and not from the best of themselves. And at times I do too. Boy when I look back at the many times I acted on anger, it saddens me and then regret sets in. Needless to say, I have worked hard to come to terms with my mistakes and have a more understanding heart. Immediately after reading and re-reading words of Dalai Lama, I wrote down my frustrations, burned them (thanks for the advice Ruby303) and simply forgave those people and sent them love. As exhausted as I am with all the drama, I still have to find the energy to send them love. That's the only way I think I can move forward with a calm, kind and loving heart.

In the past year, I have worked really hard to improve myself physically and mentally, improve my marriage and my relationships with my kids and others around me. It's been a challenging year especially with the negative energies working against me, but I think I've done okay. I won't disclose the details bc it's too private and I'm still working through it all, but I'm so blessed to have those around me who love me no matter what and will support and uplift me. I'm so not used to that. I'm used to be the one who uplifted others. I guess it's my turn to be uplifted. It's humbling.

Today, I'm going to relax, get pampered a bit with a pedi, and have lunch with a good friend. It's a new day with no mistakes in it (I think that's what Anne of Green Gables used to say). I'm going to make it a blessing. Hugs and Love everyone.


It's finally here! Tomorrow I go in for my TT. I'm super excited!!! I'm making the final preparations today... Marking Appointment this afternoon, taking final measurments and packing my bag for the hospital. Bye Bye annoying belly flap! xoxo

Post Op Day 1

Is that right? Day 1? I guess so since my surgery was yesterday. LOL all went well on the OR. I woke up to a six pack! Well not really. It felt like I did a million crunches. Whoa I was so not expecting that. The pain was moderate mainly sore abs and sensitive incision sight.

Going to the bathroom for the first was an experience. I was exhausted! Thank goodness I had nurses around to help me. I was able to get 23 hours of post op observation which allowed me to spend the night. What a blessing! Throughout the night I had lots help going to the bathroom. I slept a lot and didn't eat much. I felt hungry but got nauseous. That'll pass.

I got a bit emotional. Especially with my kids and hubs. I'm not used to them taking care of me. I got lots of hugs and kisses. They are my world.

Getting loopy. Back to bed. xoxo

Day 2

What a difference a day makes. I'm so happy to say that I have a level of a 2-3 in pain and my laps around the couch went from 2 to 4 laps. LOL I even took off my compression hose which revealed my sausage toes. The extra walking will help with the swelling. I hope. Anything is better than the hose.

I've been up since 6:00ish and I took my meds like a good girl. I only took Tylenol for the pain along with the antibiotics, arnica and bromelain. I'm still don't have much of an appetite. Liquids and crackers. My hubby made me a super yummy juice with carrots, apple, and orange. I hope to stay up and up.

Day 3

Whoa... note to self do not take Demerol at midnight. I woke up today so drowsy that I took my morning meds and went right back to sleep. I totally hate feeling that tired especially after the good day I had yesterday. It's a learning experience for sure. Woooweee. Have you ever taken a nap and then felt sluggish the rest of the day? Yea that was me this morning. Sluggish...

I finally got up again at 9:30am and went for walk around the backyard. The weather has been cooler here which was nice. The sun and the cool breeze was so refreshing. You know what else is so extremely refreshing? Washing you hair. OMgosh! I feel like a new woman. :)

Stats: My pain level is low. My appetite is coming back though I'm not interested in warm food. Raw and cold is what I'm eating. My meds are now Tylenol, (Demerol only as needed), Antibiotics, Arnica, Bromelain, Turmeric, Ducalax (stool softener). I'm walking more and "further" and can get up a little faster than before. And NO MORE sausage toes! YEAH.

Small blessings:
1. Ice Ice Baby! Iced my back and glutes bc they were getting sore from my posture. And if you have a Sonic nearby get their ice! It's like the best ice chips ever!

2. Sweet smelling shampoo

3. Alarm clocks for meds (almost forgot a dose)

4. Oscillating fan (loving the small breeze)

Hope you are all doing well! xoxo

Day 4

Ok. The boredom has been setting in. I knew it would happen!!!! I know I'm a busy body but dang I thought a few days of rest would be so wonderful. Nope not this mama. I ended up taking more walks bc I had nothing else to do. I mean I've read and watched tv but I can't seem to nap. What's that about!?!? Grrrr!

I'm so restless! And on top of that I'm itchy. Dude. Like I'm itchy right this moment. I've tried cleansing inside the binder with baby wipes (I'm not allowed to take it off), rubbing instead of itching and even coco butter. All with very little relief.

Boy o boy what a day of trials. Needless to say its been a very long day for me. I need to sleep. I must sleep. Tomorrow is a new day without itchiness... I hope lol

Day 5

Well today is a new day! I'm feeling much better. I've come to terms with the fact that I must take it easy and decided that each day I will...

1. Walk a little every hour that I'm awake.

2. Create something. I'm a little crafter. So cards are my thing right now.

3. Try to nap at least once.

I think those three are doable. :)

Stats: The itchies have settled a bit and I'm not nearly as restless. Hubby actually stayed home and lounged with me all day. So that was nice. I'm only on Tylenol for pain! Yippee! I'm still taking the antibiotics, arnica, bromelain, and turmeric.

And no more dulcalax! I had plenty of BMs yesterday. LOL I know that the juicing and eating clean/raw helped keep my BMs nice and easy. I had no difficulty at all. Thank goodness!

I even slept in my own bed last night. I have been sleeping on the couch since it is lower to the ground and I don't have to step up into it. But now I'm maneuvering better and can step up and slide into my bed easily. I still need my large wedge pillow to prop me up to sleep but that's not bad at all.

The binder is tight! I guess the tightness was camouflaged by the other pains that I never noticed, but it's tight! Maybe I'm swelling? Who knows. Though it feels weird when I get settled and I have the sensation of things moving around in there. Reminds me of being pregnant. Anyone else feel that?

I see the doc on Friday and hopefully get a good progress report. We will see.

Small Blessings...
1. My pedicured toes. When I'm a little hunched over to walk at least I have something cute to look at.
2. HGTV. I don't normally watch a lot of tv, but this channel is inspiring!
3. MooMoos and Night Gowns. Easy to wear, loose, comfortable and not too hot.

Have a magical day! xoxo

Post Pic with Binder and drains

Not much to see but I'm just happy to see that I'm not bulging out like before!

Day 6

I am officially solo today. My hubby went back to work, and I'm on my own. Have no fear. It's nice to have a quiet house and not worry about boring my hubby. LOL I'm still taking it easy.

After taking my morning meds, with a delicious apple and cucumber juice I bid the kids and hubby good-bye and went back to sleep for about an hour. I find that "sleeping in" makes me feel less lazy the rest of the day and well I consider it my nap. lol

I washed my hair and shaved my legs in the tub. UH-mazing! I'm still sporting the night gowns/moomoos, but decided to actually put on a little make up. Now I actually feel a little normal. :)

I can't wait to get back to exercising. At least strength exercises in my arms. But I'll wait to get cleared. I'll behave. Promise. Oh and drink a glass of wine and sex! I can't wait for those too... But... I'll wait to be cleared. I'll behave. Promise. LOL

Stats: Walking upright and a little faster though Hubby keeps telling me to "SLOW DOWN" like I'm running through the house LOL. I'm getting from laying to sitting to standing and vice versa with ease. Still taking the same meds like clockwork. Thank you alarm! I'm also eating normally though still trying to keep my choices healthy and in portion.

Small Blessings...
1. Baby Wipes. Clean clean clean
2. Coco Butter Lotion. After shaving my legs feel lovely.
3. Leftovers. Lunch is served.

I think that's it. Hope you all are doing well! Thanks for all the comments and support. You all make me smile! xoxo

1 Week Post Op

Today, I finally got to take the binder off and see what lies beneath it!!! Whoa!!!!!! Can you say bandage? There was a huge bandage band from hip across the belly to the other hip. And tape lots and lots of tape. No wonder I was so itchy!!! LOL

When they took the binder off, it felt so good. And then they took off the bandage. Man did that feel good. I was laying down so I didn't get to see everything until I got home, but what I did see was FrankenBB, little bruising, and swelling. That's why the drains are still in. I'm okay with that since I'm still pretty swollen. I'd rather it drain out.

I was finally cleared to take off the binder to shower. THANK GOD! That was the first thing I wanted to do once I got home. But I wanted to see! I almost cried when I looked in the mirror. I don't think I have ever had a flat belly and to see it pretty much flat brought tears to my eyes. I am so pleased!!! Hubby is happy too. The love in his eyes meant the world to me.

Taking a shower was... There are no words to explain. Lets just say I didn't want to get out. Once I did after a long while, the drying, redressing the FrankenBB and drain ports, and putting the binder back on was daunting task. I think I might not shower every day lol.

I'm optimistic! I love my new belly and will still be a good girl and take it easy. Now I can dream of all my clothes that will look that much better on me and all the clothes I will be buying!!! LOL

Small Blessings...
1. Grass between my toes. I'm getting grounded with the earth, sunshine in my face and breathing fresh air as I walk around my backyard with my little dog.
2. Arnica, Bromelain, and Turmeric. I truly believe that my lack I bruising is because of those supplements.
3. Soap and Water. Yes my shower was a small and big blessing.
4. My iPhone. I can keep up with all of you and take some great selfless.

Day 10

Hi lovelies! I hope you are all enjoying your 3-day weekend. I know I am. This weekend I enjoyed my hubby's work picnic, cheered Alabama at a Roll Tide party, and went on a mini grocery shopping spree. Don't worry, I was with my hubby and kids the entire time. At the picnic and football party I took it slow walking around, standing a little and sitting most of the time. And at the store, the kids pushed the cart while I turtle walked the few isles. Thank goodness I know the layout of the store. No up and down each isle. LOL

Needless to say, I did quite a bit. It was nice to be out in the sunshine, make new friends and visit with old ones. BUT even though I didn't do too much walking... I walked more than I have been and well... I was exhausted after each event. So I napped and rested. Phew!

Today, I'm taking it easy. We are homebound. R&R and I get to catch up on Game of Thrones! I finally finished Book 3 so that means I can now watch Season 3. Then start reading Book 4. What are you all reading? :)

Stats: My drainage is starting to ease up. This morning my drainage was low. #1 Drain at 5mL and #2 Drain at 20mL. And the fluid is clearing up. So I guess that's a good sign. YEAH! I'm still a little swollen, but not too bad. After reading a Q&A on swelling (I love this site!!!), it can take up to 6-12 months! So... I'll be realistic and not expect the swelling to miraculously be gone in a few weeks. LOL Oh! I'm not taking any pain meds! Yup! NO more Tylenol! YIPPPEEEEEE!!!! I am still taking Arnica, Bromelain and Turmeric. I'm starting to use an Arnica Cream on my legs... you know where your legs meet your private. I was feeling uncomfortable there and asked Hubby to take a look, and he said that I was bruised there. Hmmm.... that's when I started using the cream on it. It's pretty normal to get swelling down there. My PS calls it the Bermuda Triangle. LOL!!! Anyway, after a few days of using the cream the swelling had gone down on my legs and the discolored skin started to peel. Kinda weird but I guess that's healing for you.

Small Blessings...
1. YouTube. When I'm resting and don't want to read or watch tv, I find it fun to watch hair and make up tutorials and then trying them out. I'm a nerd.
2. Comments. I absolutely love reading your comments below. They truly uplift my spirits and warm my heart. Thank you all for your support and comments. It really really means a lot.
3. Thunder and Rain. I feel that it's God's way of cleansing us and telling us to slow down. As I watch the rain fall, I can't wait to get out there and run through it... but I'll wait to be cleared to exercise like a good girl. LOL

Happy Monday! xoxo

Side by Side Pic

It's not a "new" pic really. Just a side by side view of the results so far as of Day 7. :)

Day 12

I walked my kids to the bus stop!!!!!! This was a huge goal for me. LOL It's not too terribly far from my house... just 7 houses down, but I have been hesitant to do it until this morning. I missed walking my kids to the bus stop and visiting with all the neighbors there. My kids were really sweet at staying with me, but I think I'm walking a little faster than my turtle pace a few days ago. After I waved my kids good-bye, I walked back home (7 houses) and then around the cul de sac (another 8 houses total). It wasn't a super long walk, but hey I did it! It felt good to walk around and not just my backyard, which can be a bit boring. I took it easy just to see what my limits were. I think tomorrow morning I may walk a little farther and time myself. I want to rock it out like D37 who walks 30 mins a day! She's truly amazing!!!!

Stats: Draining is decreasing. Both are each draining 10mL and under and clearer. Yeah! My swelling even went down a little. And I mean a little. The binder was feeling a little loose last night so I opted to take my second PO shower. It's looking much better under there. I promised myself that I won't take another picture until after my appointment on Friday. So look for pix then. LOL Oh and the bruising "down South" is much much lighter too! I love Arnica!!!

Small Blessings...
1. QT with my Yorkie. She's been so sweet while I recover. It's funny how animals just know things. I love it when she lays next to me on the couch and I can rub her little belly. She makes me happy everyday.
2. Small Tasks. I've made a list of small tasks to do while I recover. They aren't much, but when I complete one, I feel like I've at least accomplished something and not feel so darn lazy. LOL (My small tasks are things like balance the checkbook, make a grocery list in order of the grocery store aisles for my hubby, write thank you cards, make birthday cards, organize the junk drawers etc).
3. Premade Freezer Meals. OMgosh! They are wonderful! Thank goodness I prepared them pre-surgery. The first PO week, we didn't eat much of them bc hubby was cooking, and when I looked in the freezer and pantry to make my grocery list, I almost freaked out!!!! Where was the food?!?!?!?!???? Then, I remembered..."Oh yea premade meals. DUH!" So that means we need to eat them. Yes easy meals for the rest of the week! (and then some)

Happy Hump Day! xoxo

I Couldn't Help Myself

Well I just couldn't!!!! I ran out of dresses that I felt comfortable walking outside in. So I had to dig out my "fat" pants. They had gotten big on me before the surgery, but I kept them bc they were so comfy. And they covered my drains without looking lumpy (BTW I pinned the drains on my hips to kind of hide them). The next issue was to find a shirt that would be loose too. And here it is!!! I was so STOKED!!!

Wait there's more!!! I walked a half a mile in 18:42. Slow and careful. It felt so good to walk!!!!

No small blessings today just Great BIG ones!!!! Have a magical day!!! xoxo

2 Weeks Post Op

Bye bye Drains!!!!!!!! YEAH! I am so glad to be rid of those darn drains. Granted I know they had a purpose but now I can wear clothes! Getting the drains removed was a little uncomfortable. It was like someone was pinching me for 20 seconds. After my PS removed the drains, I couldn't believe how long those things were! It was like "WHOA those things were inside my belly area! NO way!" Yea it was that cool.
PS informed me that there might be some draining that will occur from where the tubes where and said to keep gauze on it and then apply antibacterial ointment once the draining stopped. He even removed a few staples.

I'm still not cleared to exercise. Though I knew that already. BUT I can have a glass of wine! Hooray!!!!! And I was advised to get a girdle or shapewear. So guess who's going to buy some this weekend and will be driving herself! This girl right here! YES!

Stats: Drains gone. Still swelling but I'm optimistic that it will eventually go away. Wearing presurgery exercise clothes (I haven't tried on anything just yet). I can drive and have wine just not together LOL and I'm down to 133 lbs! I'm officially in my goal window of 130-135 lbs. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

Small Blessings...
1. Neighbors. They have all been so wonderful! Whenever I have an appointment, they always offer to watch the kids. No questions asked.
2. Binder. It's a love/hate thing. It can be really bothersome to wear it... BUT when I'm really uncomfortable, I just need to tighten it and all is better.
3. MapMyRun. Even though I'm not technically running, I can set my settings to walk and it will time me and track my distance. Such a great tool.

Enjoy your weekend! xoxo


I actually ventured outside of my house on my own! I can't believe it!!! It was exhilarating! Awwwwww..... Now don't get me wrong, I have been out and about with my hubby and kids, but this time I was solo. YES!!! It was seriously the best Mama Vacay ever! I got to shop at Target without feeling rushed and without the whining from the kids (and hubby lol). I even got a little "dolled up," wore a dress that I purchsed pre-surgery that was just a little smaller than I liked, and felt fabulous in it! LOL oh the little things...

STATS: I'm still walking about 20 minutes a day. Though today, walking through Target while pushing a cart was enough for me. I think I can still walk my normal 20 minutes, but I don't want to push it. See. I'm being a good girl and patiently waiting to get cleared from the PS. Well some days I'm patient. :)

Swelling is there and is more prominant on my right side. I'm hoping it will go down soon. The swelling is keeping me from walking past 20 minutes bc it starts to feel a little uncomfortable. To help it along naturally and gently, I'm doing a few things. First, I'm still taking Arnica, Bromelain and Turmeric hopefully that keep working it's magic. Then, I'm also applying Arnica Cream on my belly (not on incision or stitches) just for more magic. Now I'm adding lemon water and lots of it to help cleanse along with self lymphatic massage. My MIL is a massage therapist and told me that as long as I'm gentle, only opening "ports," and drinking plently of water, I should be okay. I found this YouTube video if you want to see how to do it. It's pretty good and easy to follow.

This may sound silly, but I'm a firm believer of energy and to keep my energy positive and happy I've been sage smudging myself and my house. It just helps me be aware of all the wonderful blessings around me, keeps me focused on those blessings and not let those negative energies that are out there invade my light shining little bubble.

Small Blessings...
1. Sage. This plant has a magical cleansing spirit. Whenever I fell a funk coming on I simply burn it and start smudging.
2. Other Reviews. You are all truly amazing people! I love reading your stories! I've learned a lot from each one I've read.
3. Making Bento Lunches. Totally random I know... This is the third year of me making lunches for my kids and I absolutely love the Bento idea. I love how everything has it's little place all neat and packaged up. And I get to be creative with them.... yup I'm nerd. LOL (I'll post a few of my creations just to brag. hahaha)

Happy Healing! xoxo

Whoa... hello swelling

eeeeeeehhhhhh...... now I know what everyone was writing about. Whoa. Swelling. Yea. Ummm.... yea. Not cool not cool at all. I was all feeling like I was getting used to the PO swelling and then BAM! I was tight as a drum. And round. It was so uncomfortable I had to lay down and just rest. Ok so here's what happened...

Remember that cute little dress I wore yesterday? Well under that was shapewear. Mind you I thought the shapewear was nice and snug. So I went around all day wearing that and then in the evening after dinner I felt like Madam Blueberry. At first I thought it was gas from dinner and then I took off the shapewear and revealed the round belly. It was a sight to see! LOL I lathered it with Arnica Cream, put on the trusty binder and laid down on my back. I did some lymph massage to open up the ports and hoped to get the swelling down. Then I just slept. When I woke this morning the swelling was back down to "normal" (or what I was used to).

Today, I'm sporting the binder, walked 30 minutes (1.34 miles YEAH!) and wore pre-surgery jeans. They didn't feel too bad or tight. It was nice to wear something other than my dresses and workout clothes. This evening, I fill a little "bloated" and I know that I'm probably swelling up again. But I'm staying optimistic that this too shall pass.

Small Blessings...
1. There's this little note my daughter wrote me on a sticky. It says, "I love you have a good day kiss kiss hug hug wuve Emma." It makes me smile every time I read it.
2. "Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me." This line was the first FB post I read this morning. As I read it, I cried. It brought me back to my childhood where I used to sing this on a daily basis. This simple song is such a wonderful and loving reminder to be at peace with yourself, God and others. I've been singing it out loud and in my head all day. And when I'm feeling even the slightest hint of negative energy, I start belting it out and all is well again. :)

Sweet Dreams, friends! xoxo

3 Weeks Post Op

Three weeks post op! I can't believe it!!!! I went to see my PS yesterday and finally got to see my incision. :) I was a bit nervous to see the scar but it wasn't that bad. PS said that I was healing nicely and removed any stitches that were left. He also told me that it really was okay to wear shapewear or girdle, but when I told him that I felt more comfortable in the binder he said that was fine too. "Whatever is comfortable and gives you support" is what he said. Then he told me that I will see him in 6 weeks, moisturize the incisions (I'm using coco butter and oil), don't gain weight and I can gradually go back to my normal activity. No specifics just gradually return. Ehhhhhhh....ok lol I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and listen to my body.

I searched RS Q&A on exercise and my plan is this...

1. Continue to walk but for longer time which will also increase the distance
2. Add a few low impact 10 min workouts and light weights (especially for my arms)
3. Get back to running even if I have to start over with a walk/run (again doing this slowly and listening to my body)

Stats: I'm still wearing the binder daily. The one I got from the hospital finally went to shreds and I ordered this one (ITA-MED Unisex Elastic Abdominal Binder 9" Wide) on amazon. I love it!!! It's not as bulky, fairly priced and I got a medium! Always a plus when it's a smaller size. LOL I'm walking daily too. I started at 30 minutes and have been walking 1.62 miles. Today, I walked 2.47 miles in 47 minutes. Yeah baby!!! It felt so amazing! I almost started running when one of my favorite running songs came on, but I quickly checked myself and laughed. I so can't wait to be eating up miles on the pavement.

Small Blessings...
1. Laughter. Watching my kids play with friends in my hood and laughing with neighbors makes me happy. I truly feel uplifted.
2. Compliments. I don't mean to be vain or a braggart but I love when people say that I look great! To be honest, I feel great! I'm more confident, love my body more and all around happy with me. Being on the flat side helped me to be great.

See you later beautiful friends! xoxo

Going the Distance...

I just walked a 5K!!! Well not an official 5K race/run but in my neighborhood doing laps until I went 3.1 miles. OMgosh! I feel fantastic!!!!! Prior to surgery, I was running a minimum of 3 miles and to finally get the miles under my feet it felt so good! Just to see my limits, I slowly jogged short distances alternating walking for the last mile. Umm... not bad. I can feel the tingly belly when I jogged. But I'm guessing it's everything waking up in there. LOL! I'm still going to continue to walk and add a little bit of jogging. Hopefully by October I'll be running. We'll see.

Yesterday, I went shopping. Eeeeeeee!!!!!!! This weekend my hubby has a semi-formal-cocktail-dress type of dinner for work, and the last fancy dress I owned was huge on me...so I had to go shopping. I wore my new binder and set out to my favorite thrift and resale stores. I just love shopping at those stores, finding cool stuff, and paying pennies. Let's just say... I was dancing around in the dressing room while I was trying on my finds. I was having so much fun! I remember dreading the dressing room and now I'm so in love with my mini fashion show in there. LOL Before I looked pregos in dresses. Now the belly is flatter and my boobs look bigger (fully noted by hubby lol). Here's a pic of the two that I just love love LOVE!

Stats: 3.1 miles!!! Yeah Baby!!! Wearing the binder, but will be alternating with shapewear during the day and binder at night. I'll let you know how that goes. Happy. Positive. Energetic. And I'll be going back to work next week! (Only three days but it's still something)

Small Blessings...
1. Walking Buddies. Most days I walk alone. But there are days when someone walks with me. It's fun to walk with a buddy. Conversation is good. The pace is a little faster. And time flies.
2. Pictures. They truly do speak a thousand words. To see where I started and where I am now makes me proud to be me.

Have a wonderful day! xoxo

4.5 Week Update

Hey all! It's been a while and there's so much to tell you! Where to start!?!?!! Well I'm officially passed my 4 week marker and was cleared by my PS to work. Good thing bc I already scheduled 3 days. Man did it feel good to get back to work. I'm pretty much on my feet all day so I wore my trusty binder during the first and second day. Today was day 3 and I wore shape wear. To be honest both felt they were the same support-wise. And I wasn't swollen at the end of the day which is a major plus. I was a bit worried that I would swell up, but I didn't. :)

With the alternating of shape wear during the day and binder at night was good. No swelling there either. But for the past two nights, I was a little itchy and felt that I should allow some air flow on my belly and back. So... I slept without any support or CG. I was trying it out and upon waking the next morning there wasn't any swelling. Yes!!!

I'm still getting 3 miles in. Though for the past three days of working I haven't been able to walk. Don't worry I'll be back at it tomorrow. I do have to say that I have been walk/running. Super yeah!!!! Dang it's so nice to run!!!

Small Blessings...
1. New black wedges. I absolutely love these shoes! Feeling confident in my clothes truly makes me feel unstoppable.
2. Music. A happy song can change your mood. Enjoy it.

Smile!!! xoxo

I love pretty panties!

Yes, I said it.... I love pretty panties. Before my underwear were merely cotton Hanes undies. Like granny style undies. You couldn't even categorize them as panties. They were undies. Granted, they are super affordable and are comfy, but before the surgery I they simply rolled down below the flap so I really didn't need anything cute and fancy. Honestly, underwear weren't a priority.

NOW.... well LOL I have to admit I'm having the most fun shopping for pretty panties. And yes they are real panties not the cotton ones in a package. I just love my new panties! They supercharge my confidence. I can't wait to not have to wear the binder or shapewear and just flaunt the panties. That day will come :)

Stats: I'm hitting the road and getting my 3 miles. I've been running the first mile in like 12-13 minutes and then doing the next 2 miles with a walk/run interval. My muscles are loving the run. I thought for sure that I'd be sore, but nope! My belly isn't all tingly either. :) I'm also taking a rest day inbetween run days. I'm trying to behave... really I am. LOL

Swelling is truly minimal. That is except for those days I have a hefty delicious dinner. Even with work, I'm not swelling. And the shapewear/binder during the day and pretty much nothing at bed is glorious!!

Small Blessings...
1. My Scale. Hahahaha! I used to have a love/hate relationship with that thing! Now I'm so happy to see it and it telling me that I'm clearly below my plateau of 140lbs and am pretty much 132-135lbs. Happy Happy!
2. Little Bastards. That is my drink of choice. It's wine, sprite and frozen fruit. So refreshing and when you had a rough day it really takes the edge off.

6 Week Update

I am officially back to "normal activity" (as my PS said at my last appointment). I'm working and still run/walking. I can pretty much run 2.5 miles with 0.5 miles of walking intermittently. Woooo! I can tell that my legs are loving it.

I still get that tingly feeling in my belly every once in a while. It's pretty random. Sometimes I get tingly while running or walking or just laying about. But it's not as strong of a sensation as it was before. I do have a numb spot between my belly button and my ribs. I wonder when that will go away. Hmmm... The incision is fading... FINALLY! I'm using the Palmers Skin Therapy Oil along with Cocoa Butter. I smell yummy all the time. LOL

Small Blessings...
1. Little Smiling Faces. Seeing the happiness and love on the faces of the kids (mine and others in my hood) truly makes my day.
2. Happy Mail. The other day, I got a card in the mail from a dear friend. It was filled with love and warmth that refocused my energy to all of my blessings big and small...

Happy Hump Day! xoxo

6 Week Photos

Pre-surgery and 6 week PostOp

more 6 week Photos


14 Week Update

I can't believe how time flies! It's been a long while since my last post. I have not forgotten all of you! Ever since I started back to work, it's been crazy. I was given the complete go ahead to exercise from my PS. And boy did I! I started back with the Jillian Michaels 30 day shred. I didn't want to go all out with Insanity so this workout is great for easing back into exercising. I started to amp up my running too. I want to increase my mileage. So far I can run a solid 6 miles... though it takes me over an hour, I'm happy with it. A mile is a mile.

What's really interesting is that after the surgery, I have become super confident in my appearance as well as in myself.... but... now I see all the things that I now want to work on like my flabby tris or the small pooch. Does anyone else feel this way? I mean... I don't want to be vain and I'm happy with my belly, but there's improvements... hmm... interesting.

Anyway... Thanksgiving was wonderful. I was able to spend it with my family. My hubs and I tried to be good. And I mean tried... really we tried... We ran twice over the holiday (including a family 5K on Thanksgiving morning)... but man the food. OY and then it's your mom's cooking at that. Nothing says home like mom's cooking. LOL Needless to say... we ate happily. I only truly gained 2-3 lbs, but hey... that'll be gone after I hit the pavement with a run. :)

I hope all of you enjoyed your holiday!

Small Blessings...
1. Pantry full of food. We literally scraped the bottom of the barrel before the holiday and came home to no food. So shopping for groceries today made me smile.
2. Hugs from family. If you need to supercharge your batteries, a hug from a family member is all you need. (especially from little ones)
3. Naps. I don't normally take them, but when I do.... awwww glorious!



Alright. It's been about 4 months post surgery. I'm feeling great and loving life! Here are my measurements...

PreOp/4 months PostOp
140 lbs weight 135lbs
43.25" Hip 40.75"
41" Belly Button 39"
36" Below Boobs 35"
12-14 Pant Size 10

I'm very pleased!!! I still have a little belly fat that I'm working on, but it's not like the jiggly belly flap from before. :)

Small Blessings...
1. Volunteering.
2. Online Shopping. I don't think I could have finished Christmas shopping without it.


2014 Here we come!

Phew! This year's holiday season flew by! I can't believe it's almost 2014. Whoa. Crazy. The past few weeks has been eat-ventful. LOL I truly tried to be good this holiday season, but little neighbor food fairies kept coming over with goodies!!!! Needless to say, my belly didn't like me so much. I was completely bloated or stuffed. I would say stuffed to the brim. Literally. My belly was soooooooo tight! Even with my few days of running last week, I wasn't able to get my bowels to move. Unfortunately, I had to use Milk of Magnesia. :( I really don't like using stuff to help my BMs but I had to this time.

My running has been put on hold a little... I'm not sure what I did, but my lower back on the left has been hurting. I've tried everything. Rest. Epsom Salt baths. Heat. Ice. Stretches. Massage. Compression. No Compression. It's been ongoing. I've even tried sleeping without a pillow and on my back or with a pillow on my side. Nothing. My next step is the Chiropractor. ??? Anyone have any tips? Last night my kids wanted to do a family "sleepover" in the living room. So I slept on the couch with the kids when I woke up... I wasn't in my usual pain. Interesting. I don't know. I think I'll try sleeping on the couch again to see if that's the ticket. Who knows. Suggestions anyone?

Anyway... I've been thinking about resolutions. And you know what.... not one is about losing weight. For once I'm not totally depressed about my size and am setting more realistic goals that will allow me to live and truly enjoy life.

In 2014 I would like...
1. to be completely unplugged at 7pm daily (hubby's threats of throwing my iphone into the garbage disposal is starting to settle in)
2. to allow my kids more "say" in what they do... (whether they want or don't want to play sports or participate in extra activities)
3. to meditate 15-20 minutes daily
4. to tone my arms (lol no more flabby triceps)
5. to run at a faster pace (anything close to 11min/mi would be fantastic)

What are your resolutions for 2014?

Today's Small Blessings...
1. Stale cookies that had to go in the trash. Now I won't eat them!
2. Cucumber, Lime, Lemon, Mint Water. It's the after Christmas drink. Now I don't feel too guilty. lol

Busy Bee

I've been super busy!!! After the holidays I thought things would calm down. Pffffff!!! That was a lie! Life just kept on pushing along.

I wish I would have kept in touch for the past three weeks. So that you can be a part of my newest journey. So since that didn't happen I'll catch you all up! LOL. OK so I three weeks ago I started the newest beachbody program called the 21Day Fix. OMgosh!!!! I absolutely love it!! Not only are the 30 minute daily workouts amazing, but this program actually helps with the eating part!!! I'm terrible at the eating. I mean I was eating healthy but not shedding anything. This plan contains clean eating and food you don't have to spend a fortune on. Brilliant!!! After the three weeks if lost 4.5 inches and lost 8 lbs along with toning up my arms and legs. Love it!!! I did this with a support group that made me feel just as encouraged as I did here. I'm truly a blessed woman.

This all made me think... Hmmmm. I've gone through a long weightless journey and I have more to go. I love motivating others in their journeys as well as sharing experiences. So why not become a beachbody coach? Am I crazy!?!?!!! Thoughts?
Pensacola Plastic Surgeon

Dr. T Ortega is a man of few words. But who needs words when he has loads of experience. 40 to be exact. He won't make small talk or fluff anything. He is straight and to the point. If you need that extra TLC you won't get it from him. I didn't mind it bc he answered all my questions and I had full faith in him. He's the best of the best here in Pensacola.

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