Fat Girl's Journey to the Flat Side (Part 1) - Regina, SK

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I ate too much. Sure, I could blame my current...

I ate too much. Sure, I could blame my current belly situation on my son (he was 8'10, but really, people didn't even know I was pregnant til about 8 months...who am I kidding - it was the food.

I ate my way all the way up to 310 pounds, and I thought I was fine. Then I got a nasty flu that attacked my joints, and in trying to do physio/rehab, I realized I wasn't.

So I did something about it. I have lost 115 pounds all on my own. Along the way, I became a fitness instructor (teach five classes a week), but I also dislocated my hip, and so had to return to physio. This time though, I was lighter and stronger, and as she has put me through my paces for rehab, my body has transformed...my arms, my legs, my back, my shoulders (oooohhh I love my shoulders!!)...however, my belly got down to this state and hasn't budged in about a year...so surgery is my only option to get rid of what's left.

I am 5"6 and currently 195 pounds....thanks to all the physio/activity, I have more lean mass than usual (I have had my body composition done and have 140 pounds of lean mass) so my goal is to get to about 25% body fat (currently 29%) and about 180 pounds.

When I have the surgery, I will update this review from a recovery experience, but right now, leading up to the surgery, I was hoping I could take advantage of the experience of this board and get some more information from those who might be a bit bigger....although comments and feedback from everyone is appreciated!!!

So....one thing I am wondering about is how much gets taken off....(can't really find good info about that!!)...so for those with hanging aprons who ended up flat, how much was taken off? And what kinds of impacts has it had in your life....how did post op weight settle in comparison to pre op weight (after accounting for swelling of course!!), and how did clothes fit? And I guess most importantly, how did you feel? I mean, I go workout or teach, and I feel lean and strong and like I can do anything, and then I look at it and I go ugh......after the apron is gone, does the outside body match the inside body better?

I actually have two questions that have been...

I actually have two questions that have been bouncing around in my head and since I am T minus 45 days, I thought I would throw them out there....

First, because of the state of my belly, I have only EVER worn granny panties....how would I go about trying on other styles in order to determine what he should mark me in? I would think that those teeny tiny panties won't fit me in my current state, so how is a girl to know what to choose?

Second, I am divorced and I share custody of my son with my ex...my son will be with my ex for his regular parenting time for the first few days of my recovery, and then my son comes home for my parenting time and a little vacation time (since my parents will be here). If anyone has an ex, what, if anything have you told them about what you are having done????Personally, I don't really want to tell him anything, but he is my son's father, and I think he needs to know "something' in case my son asks him questions....

Any and all experience would be appreciated!

I have spent this week having really irrational...

I have spent this week having really irrational thoughts...like that I will get to my pre-op (June 13) and be told that the surgery is not happening.....I think it's cause I am now starting to get into the real planning - my parents have their plane tickets booked, I have booked my medical leave off work, I am starting to gather supplies.....I need the logical side of my brain to take over, but it seems like it's nowhere to be found!!!

Question of the week - clothing for after? Especially pants....I have four pairs of yoga capris that I work out in (wearing one in my before pictures) and they have a comfort band waist...will that be comfy enough, or do I need pants with drawstrings?

I am also debating getting a walker...I will have 24/7 help for three weeks, so there is part of me that thinks I don't need it, but then I think at 2 am, if I need to go to the bathroom, it might be nice to just go by myself and not have to wake anyone else up just to help me.....opinions about the usefulness of the walker?


Calling all exercisers!!! Question for you....

Soooo, I have been thinking about this exercise thing.....reight now I work out 6 days most weeks...three cardio, plus three metabolic (nonstop circuit) weight training sessions, plus I teach five fitness classes a week.

As my TT sx date approaches (less than a month now!!), I find myself of two minds...one part of me says to work out like crazy and get myself in the absolute best condition, and the other part of me says that going from gangbusters to absolutely nothing is going to be too hard to handle mentally, and that I should take this month and taper off a bit so that its not "such" a shock when I am stuck in a recliner and the most activity I will be doing is walking back and forth to the bathroom!!! I am thinking that if I get "used" to doing a little less now (or at least not beating myself up for missing a workout), then I won't have as hard a time when I have to do ALOT less...

So those who were fervent exercisers before the sx....exactly how hard was it to not work out? What is it like mentally to tell yourself "I am healing, I am healing..."

All thoughts and experiences appreciated!!

Pre-op moved to June 5.....what to expect?

Yesterday my pre-op got moved up to June 5 from June 13, so I am posting this post a bit early...what should I expect at the pre-op? When I had my consult, he went over the risks and all that, so is this just going to be signing the consents and making it all official (and of course, paying the $$$)?

What have other's experiences been at the pre op?

I have more detailed questions to ask him about the recovery period, since we didn't discuss that at the initial consultation...I am asking about prescriptions, scar care/dressing changes, showering, compression garments, exercise, etc..can anyone think of anything else?


Pre-op done!! This tummy only has 14 days left to live!!!!

Pre-op was yesterday. PS went over the procedure (will do extended TT, lipo flanks and MR) and asked me to go get fitted for my CG beforehand - says it's way better than getting fitted that day...I would think so!!! The only thing I was disappointed in was not getting my prescriptions now...I would assume there must be a reason, but he doesn't issue scripts til the day of....I was hoping to avoid the post surgery run to Walmart....but I can deal with it, I guess.

Now my mind is full of getting things ready...getting my house clean, etc. Ack! Two weeks from right now I will be getting marked up!!!

One week to go!!!

This time next week, I will be in pre-op!!! Yikes!! Although I am not at all nervous, I have started doing all the "last" things before surgery - teaching my last fitness class, last physio appt, weighing in one last time (for my records - I am sure they will weigh me that morning), etc, etc and it's making it very real...so far the surgery has just been "the surgery" - out there at some future point, and now I am down to single digits in the countdown...wow!!!

I will be going this weekend to get the final set of supplies, and the kiddo and the ex are getting told this weekend too....

only an hour away......

I will be at the surgi center in an hour......so hungry!!!!!!!!!!!!! Although I suppose after surgery, food will be the last thing I want!!! Will update from the flat side....

surgery day details......

Got to the surgi center at 10.....they were waiting for me cause I was ushered right in. Got marked up, talked to the anesthesiologist, walked into the operating room. Had the best little fan blowing warm air on my feet...it was divine. I got my iv in, and he said something to me that I don't recall, cause I was off to sleep. Woke up....clock said it was 230, was told to breathe deeply. After about 10 mins, the nurse got me out of bed and walking across the room to a recliner chair. Stayed there for about an hour, then got dressed and was discharged.....I think I was out of there by 430. I had told the doc I wanted to know how much was taken off, and the nurse said he removed 4.5 pounds and 650 additional cc in lipo (pics to follow when I get back to my desktop). Started the journey home and got hit with a storm and a hour detour....made it home at 9 pm.

post op day one.....

Pain meds rock, but they kill your stomach. Spent most of the day in the recliner, got up to the bathroom a couple of times. Didn't eat much....not much of an appetite.

post op day two.....

What a difference a day makes....no pain at all today, even got up and had my hair washed and a sponge bath and took two walks up and down the hallway of my building. Not draining much fluid, left drain is less than 30 in 24 hours, right one draining a bit more. follow up appt on Monday.

first post op done.....

Left drain gone...gone..gone.....yay!!!!!! It was barely draining anything though. Post op day three and four were pretty much like day two...no pain whatsoever, so decided to stop the pain meds......then I coughed....then I sneezed.....then I screamed in agony......holy crap coughing and sneezing hurt!!!!!!!! But after about 10 mins (and some really deep breaths), I was back to my pain free self. Had to travel six hours for post op today (three there and three back), but travel was no pain either......just made my butt numb from sitting that long!!!!!! Hopefully will get on my desktop tomorrow to post pics.....

Post op pics finally!!!!

Post op day 7 - this time last week I was in surgery!!!! Couldn't figure out how to upload from my tablet, so I finally made it to my desktop to post a post op pic. I have seen some people post on here two pics in one image....what programs are used to do that? I would like to be able to do that.

I am having a love hate relationship with my drain...it's still nasty and inconvenient, but after the left one was pulled, I feel strangely comforted that there is at least something still taking the stuff out of me....the day after the left was pulled, the right one drained more, but now it's dropped down again, so I doubt it will be in much longer.

For me, renting the recliner was totally worth it, as was the shower stool, but I am glad that I didn't bother with the toilet seat riser...if I had been by myself, maybe, but since I had help, it would have been a waste of money since I only needed help the first day.

In new compression garment......feels weird

Yesterday the second drain was pulled.....didn't hurt, barely felt anything actually. So since the drain was gone, today I put on my full body garment....it feels so weird to not have the binder around my middle....the body garment is somewhat tight all over, but its not cinching me in like the binder....hopefully this weirdness feeling will pass soon.....

Two week post op pics!!!

I am actually posting two week and three week post op on the same day cause I haven't been on the computer very much the past week. Week two was pretty un eventful - once the second drain was pulled it was more about getting outside to walk and standing up straighter - still not 100%, but getting there.

Three week post op pics!!!

Lots of changes during week three - resumed driving, went back to the gym to do my walks on the treadmill (it got to almost 40 here, I wasn't heading outside in that!!!!), and went back to work.

Sitting at work for even four hours was agony...by the end I felt about three times my size. I tried it again Wednesday, but tomorrow I will be working from home where I can alternate sitting up with laying flat....luckily I have the most understanding boss in the world!!!!

The glue has started to wear down and wear off, and it takes those ugly big black scabs with it....a little freaky when it first starts cause I was used to clean bandages at dressing changes and then all of a sudden they are all black and smeared.....very freaky. So then I have to calm myself down and remind myself that it's part of the process - that it's not infected or anything, just normal wear from being up and active and three weeks post...it's not like it was going to stay forever!!!!

The good news though is that the scar underneath, at least the parts I can see so far, is very thin and white and fine.....so that makes me very happy!!!

In terms of exercise, before the surgery I had been worried about the impact of going from exercising so much to exercising so much less.....I did 30 mins on the treadmill this morning at 3 mph and I needed a 2 hour nap this afternoon to recover!!! It is crazy how tired the body gets from the recovery process!!!

I also took off my whole body garment for a day to wash and dry it and got to put my other binder back on....I never thought I would say that I liked that thing, but I actually do like the binder better than the girdle.....maybe I like it better cause the junk in my trunk is gone and it doesn't roll anymore, but I do like it better. I think I am going to alternate between wearing it a little more and this one a little less.

Four Weeks Post Op

Week four started off with part of my scar opening up....not really a big part, only about 2cm in a 48 cm scar, but still...was advised not to shower or exercise (blah!!!) until it closed (which it's still in the process of doing). Upside, strangely enough, was that I put the binder back on - loving the binder over that whole body garment!!!

I am surprised at how much of an impact this surgery has - I mean, I sit up for two hours and I am toast the rest of the day. I thought that at four weeks I would be back to more of my regular routine, but my mom thinks that I overdid it the first couple of weeks and now I just have to slow down some. (insert crying faced baby here - I don't wanna slow down!!!!! wah!!!!)

The parts of the scar that are glue free and totally closed are beyond awesome!!!! Nice thin line, very faint....my surgeon is a magician!!!

Now I definitely want to change my status to WORTH IT, but I can't figure out how??? Can anyone help?

5 weeks post op - another part opened up....

Finally I am glue and scab free and can see what my scar will look like - which isn't bad, except for the two parts that are still open....they aren't deep though (at least that is what the home care nurse says) so I am assuming they will close soon.....the no showering thing is getting pretty tiring!!!!!

I am also more than ready for the swelling to be going away....it really isn't bad - it's not like my whole body (feet or fingers) swell, but when I do too much, boy oh boy does that belly get tight.....but that first glance in the morning is oh so sweet !! (and flat, so, so, so flat!!!!)

Scar almost closed!!! Yay!!!

Interesting week this week - as I have gotten more back into my activities, my abdomen would swell above my belly button, but then it would go away when I rested. However, last Saturday, it swelled, but never went away....and not on Sunday, or Monday either. So I had it checked out by a family doc at my clinic, and he suspected it could be a hernia....I was ready to cry!!! So he sent me for an ultrasound, which I went for on Tuesday, and the radiologist thinks that it's....of all things...a fat deposit!!!


It's still actually swollen up there, but not as bad as last weekend, and I have been losing weight, so I am thinking fluid, not fat, but I will see what the PS says when I see him next week. Wouldn't that just be a kick in the pants? (or in the gut, as this case may be!!!!)

The incision is ALMOST closed.....it's totally dried up and is almost back together - one more week and I think I will FINALLY be closed and scab free.....

Post op appointment update!

Had my second post op with PS....very pleased with how the scar is coming along - wants me to start scar treatment.

He examined the swelling that I was concerned about and said it's just swelling - it's not a hernia and it's not fat. I was so happy to hear that!!!

And speaking of swelling, this past week it really starting changing - not so much in terms of measurements, but it's not as uncomfortable, and I can move more naturally. PS told me I can start weaning off my CG!!!!! YAY!!! And he told me to start massaging the abdomen to get the swelling down.....boyfriend liked that instruction!!!!

And better yet, I can s..l..o..w..l..y resume all my activities....he kind of gve me a look when I told him I have a half marathon booked in Feb, but it's 6 months away, not six days, and I am only looking to complete it, and if I have to complete the majority of it walking, well, I guess I will do that, but since I do a run/walk internval anyway, I really can't see myself not being able to run it in six months. Any runners able to provide feedback about when you were able to resume running/training? Any complications arise when you resumed running?

9 weeks post op

Wow...running after TT is SOOOOOO not the same as running before TT....I started with 30 simple seconds, and nope....my abdomen felt like a lead weight, which then I started hunching over to guard, and running with my knees rather than my hips....so allover bad form...nope, not ready for running yet.

And, man, oh man, I paid for it too - in terms of being swollen and sore - I tried running on Tuesday and all day Wednesday I was puffed out.

Which I have to admit has me a little down.....I am still really swollen in the abdomen - and the rest of me feels so good so then I try something new and my stomach says no, not quite yet....that is very frustrating for me.

I tried running at 8 weeks 5 days post op, and wasn't ready, so now I will wait til Labour Day weekend (so I have the weekend to recover if I swell again, cause being that swollen at work was all kinds of fun...NOT!!!) at which point, I will be 10 weeks 2 days. And if I am still guarding, well, then I will wait til 12 weeks.

I am registered for the Disney Princess Half marathon in Feb in Orlando (anyone else?) so I need to be running by the beginning of Nov in order to train to even complete the half (I could come in dead last for all I care, I just want to complete it!).

I do have to admit though, that the swelling is really the only thing left - I am LOVING my shape (in and out of clothes) and the scar is great, so once this swelling goes, I will be totally set!!!

Week 10 post op

The big news this week is that I can run again!!! I tried at 8.5 weeks and it was a no go (abdomen was like I lead weight), but I tried again at 10 weeks 3 days, and success!!! No hunching over, no guarding my abs, no lead weight!!! It was great! Of course, I swelled up like a balloon for a day, but it's worth it to be able to start running again!!!!

Right now I am paper taping the scar...have to order the kelocote gel and use it for 90 days....anyone else use that?

11 weeks post op

11 weeks ago right now I was in surgery!! Hard to believe. Almost back to everything normal in my life...back to work, went back to teaching aquafit last night - went well, but couldn't demonstrate any ab moves - son is back in school, everything is back to normal except for this crazy swelling!

It's different, I can move alot more easily now, but it's still there!! ARGH!!!! And I still can't sleep on my side because of it (and I am so, so, so, so, so done with sleeping on my back already!!) and my shoulders are really starting to kick up a stink.....but I have read that lots of people have their swelling really start to subside between 10-12 weeks, so I am hoping that after next week when I am back to my full slate of teaching, and everything else is back to normal, that my body will finally catch up and release this crazy swelling....

Don't get me wrong, the overall result is still utterly fabulous and I am beyond thrilled, just annoyed with this little hanging on issue....

12 weeks post op

Swelling, swelling, swelling - it's really not bad, and its definitely different in that I can move more free and fluidly, but man, I would really, really, really like to not be 3 inches bigger at the end of the day!!!

But I did try one day this week to go without my compression garment during the day...it was good in that I wasn't uncomfortable, but I still prefer to have it on - the swelling below my belly button is very heavy feeling, so the garment provides support to that feeling, even if it doesn't really stop the swelling from occuring.

I am waiting for my scar therapy gel (kelocote) to arrive...this paper tape is for the birds!!!

13 weeks post op / 3 months

I can't hardly believe it - 13 weeks ago right now, I was on the table! Wow - time flies...according to the calendar, it's three months tomorrow (20th), but ahhh, who's counting!?! lol

I started the kelocote scar therapy - holy crap is that stuff expensive!!! But I found that using a q-tip makes it easy to put on in a layer that is light enough that it dries quickly - I don't want to waste a drop of it by putting on too much and having to wipe it off!!!

Since you have to put the kelocote on twice a day, I am not using the paper tape anymore (adhesive would destroy my skin going on and off that much), and so it is a little odd to see my scar in the open as it were, and not covered by something..hopefully I will get used to seeing it fairly soon.

I am back to teaching full time, and have started a half marathon training program with a new physiotherapist....wow does actvity ever make me swell!!! But then as it goes away, I feel so good!

I still can't feel most of my belly and can't demonstrate any ab moves in my classes, which has me a little bummed, but the fact that I can't show anything only goes to show how strong I was before the surgery, and if I was there once, I will get there again....I am going back to my previous physiotherapist (one for running, one for weights - my poor insurance!!!) tomorrow to re-start my strength training, so I think that should help move matters along!

This will be my last weekly post - I am going to drop down to monthly posts from here to a year out.

Way more back to normal now...but still swollen.....

Completely back to all my activities, but I am still swollen about 2 inches more at the end of the day than at the start, so I am still (STILL!!!!) in my compression garment during the day, but am slowly weaning myself off of it in the evenings and on weekends (except for exercise, cause that still makes me swell like crazy!).

Scar therapy is okay - it's annoying to have to put it on every morning, but my scar is very flat, and there are parts of it that are very white, but there are still parts of it that are very red, so I will keep up with the scar therapy for awhile yet!

I had to replace pretty much my whole wardrobe of bottoms, cause none of my pants fit, and I actually now wear a size 12....which down from a size 30/32 at my highest weight is pretty spectacular to me!!! Some fits and cuts are still better at 14, and I had to buy the odd size 16, but being able to shop in regular stores is SUCH a great feeling!!!

I have started back doing some core work, but as I still can't feel most of my abdomen, I can't do crunches yet (no cues), but I love looking at the flatness in the mirror when I do squats or lunges.

Next week I have a consultation appointment for my arms, cause now that I have had the tummy done, these arms have to go!!!

Five months/22 weeks today!

It's still amazing how long it is taking me to get back into some things, but lots of stuff is finally returning to normal - I can get in the car the right way (one leg at a time, rather than having to sit bum first then swing both legs around) and I can get in and out of bed or up and down off the couch without thinking about my core...I am getting back to being able to hop up and do things.

In terms of results, through taking my measurements, I have lost another half inch off my waist - in a year, that's 22 pounds, 6 inches off the waist and 4 off the hips...so that's not too shabby!

I am ramping up the running - it took awhile to be able to do it post op, but once I could do it, it came back very quickly. I have also been doing a core rebuilding program that my phsyio designed, but am amazed that I still can't do crunches (the lack of feeling in my abs means I have no cues), but I try to do one or two every workout, and am slowly able to feel more and more. I am about to add weights back in to my workout as well, especially upper body.

I am very slowly breaking up with my compression garment. I can be out of it when I am around the house, and out and about (like on the weekend), but until this week, I was still wearing it to work everyday because of the swelling, and I am still wearing it for running and teaching, but on easy workout days where I only do a walk and my core, I don't wear it, and it's been okay - still swell, but not to a point where it's uncomfortable. My plan is to be out of it completely for work by the end of Nov, then tackle not wearing it for teaching in Dec, and then while I am off on Christmas holidays and able to be home and rest for two weeks, I am going to tackle having it off while running....will update next month on how that goes!

I had a consult to have my arms done, so prepping for that will be my next adventure!!!

6 months post op - first six months healing - next six months refining

Operation getting rid of the garment is in full swing - I don't need it for work or just being around the house or out and about (like on weekends), for walking workouts, for weight workouts, and just last night, I was able to finally ditch it for teaching my fitness classes - now I just have to ditch it for running (cause I still swell sooooo bad when I run - evidence in picture three - the side evening shot), but since I have the next two weeks off for Christmas holidays - ditching it during running is my goal!!!

The scale is showing a bit of a gain - not as high as pre surgery weight, but still higher than I would like, so I am also taking my two weeks off to reset my eating habits - just got a bit too lax with the increase in activity - need to get back in control again.

The feeling is starting to come back across my abdomen - that same feeling when you have a cavity filled and they freeze your mouth - just across my whole abdomen - very weird, but kinda cool!

Scar therapy sucks - no other way to put it - it's working beautifully, as the scar is really whitening up, but holy crap is it inconvenient to put that stuff on every morning!!!

Now that I am mostly healed, my plan for the next six months is to drop my body fat a bit more, gain some muscle, complete a half marathon, and actually be able to do ab work - still can't really do ab work cause I can't feel what I am doing - very odd sensation...will update periodically.
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