A Fuerzas

This is the journal to my journey. Recently I...

This is the journal to my journey.

Recently I heard a quote at the opening of Alicia Keys' Album titled "The Element of Freedom." It resonated so deeply with me that I had to listen to it several times before I could allow myself to let go of that little moment of Awakening. It reads:

"...And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom. This is the element of Freedom."

I love music. I find that often times for me it is...

I love music. I find that often times for me it is the best way to express myself. A ballad can extricate my feelings of melancholy more readily than any conversation. A little reggaeton can really get me pumped. Mana and Juanes will really inspire the fiery, latin passion and intensity that lies right beneath my surface.

I often find an epiphany or two in a song when I quiet myself long enough to listen to my own longing.

"Love the way you lie" was the song that finally turned on the lightbulb in my head in my first marriage. I used to feel so much pity for the women who stayed in abusive relationships. "How sad," I thought, "she doesn't know who she is, she needs to learn to love herself." I thought "I don't understand what makes you think that's ok." Then it dawned on me: "What makes YOU think that's ok?"

I had heard that song countless times before, but suddenly I realized that it was me. I wasn't being punched or kicked (yet, but eventually that was introduced as well), but I had allowed myself to be reduced to less than me. I had stayed for the greater good for nearly 12 years. Suddenly the greater good was slipping right between my fingers. The dream that I had held on to from the age of 15 had slowly, imperceptibly morphed into a nightmare.

But I digress. Fast forward and that one little line from Alicia Keys defined a former risk that yielded freedom. I want to taste freedom again.

For me, sex needs a longer name. It's beautiful. Intimacy for me is a sacrament. It is a dance between two people that should communicate more than the carnal. It should satiate your emotional, spiritual and physical wants, needs and consciousness. I have been fascinated with traditional tantric sex since I first experienced a sexual relationship. I have always felt innately that sex can be a doorway to the divine.

Everyone has hangups. My new husband is beautiful. Inside and out. He has the most beautiful body that I have ever had the pleasure of caressing with my fingertips. His face, his eyes, his ...aaah! Everything about him is delectable.

Nevertheless, he is so reserved. He is so mechanical and controlled. It's like having this stunning, healthy, glistening stallion that you are only allowed to pet in the stable. An exquisite specimen that is to be looked at and not ridden. Wow! It is frustrating. It has tried my patience, my confidence, and my willingness to abase myself in begging for that which should be freely given.

I don't think there is a man out there who receives as many compliments and loving expressions of affection as my husband. I am demonstrative to say the least. I have worshipped his body in every sense of the word.

I want him to look at me the way that I look at him. I want him to touch me with the same reverence that I touch him. I want him to want me the way that I want him.

Do I believe the surgery will change that? No.

What I do believe is that with the surgery I will be able to be fully engaged. I won't be worried about his hands wandering across the parts of my body that make me cringe. I will be more in tune with what I need to do in order to put him at ease. I will be more readily focused on his breathing, his heartbeat, his warmth, his vibrations, his movements, his taste, and all of him. Not my own hangups.

I want the surgery to give me that freedom. The freedom to take the focus off myself. I want to feel confident that my body reflects who I am.

There is nothing about my personality that is droopy. There is nothing about my character that says lax. There is nothing about who I am that is ambiguous. My character is defined by a firm resolve, an over proportionate amount of energy, resilience, passion, and an inordinate desire to stay pumped no matter what life throws my way.

I want my 'After' pictures to show the definition, firmness, energy, resilience, and pumped characteristics that make me who I am.

I want my 'After' pictures to inspire passion.

My stats Hispanic female Age: 31 Height: 5'5...

My stats
Hispanic female
Age: 31
Height: 5'5.25"
Weight: 145lbs
Oldest child:13
Youngest: 18 months

Worries: At home: My husband and I have had...


At home:
My husband and I have had to deal with issues that most couples never have to face in a lifetime, much less in 3 years. So much garbage, so little time.

All the stress and heartache that we go through as a couple means that we have to deal with it and we deal with it differently. I want to deal with it in the bedroom with my husband naked. When others try to tear you apart, for me the most comforting place is in my husband's arms and under the sheets. To just be one: in purpose, in mind, body and spirit.

He deals with things differently. Not in bed. That is tough for me. It just adds to the perpetual sense of rejection or the "mother may I...?" please get some? Why should I even have to ask?

He never has to ask.

The whole world can tell me I'm beautiful. No matter how many people tell me that I look amazing for having 6 kids, if the one man that sees me naked and at my most vulnerable does not look at me with the same admiration, all of the other compliments mean nothing.

It's gotten me down the last couple of days.

About the surgery:
I've been doubting getting the procedure done. $18,000 to spend on myself, draining the bank account, and having 6 kids to take care of, the youngest being 18 months-old, etc., etc., etc.

I have started to question the fee for the procedure. Quality hands come at a price, but it's not the same practice that I first visited 3 years ago. They're still nice, but it feels more like business now.

I don't know what position Marla was, but she's the one who answered the phone when I first called, she greeted me when I arrived and she was my patient coordinator. I could hear her smile on the phone. I'm a big sucker for customer service. I guess I was hoping for the same experience with that hefty price tag. Marla is now their P.R. person. They need more people like her in the office.

The procedure update: Marvelous Marla replied...

The procedure update:

Marvelous Marla replied to my email. She is just such a rock star. She addressed the way in which I perceived the service that I received. She wowed me again! She is so awesome. They really need more mini Marlas in the world. She said she would be there on my Pre-op visit to give me a big hug and restore that same knock-your-socks-off kind of warm fuzzies that I first experienced from Renaissance. Call me a sucker, but I find it comforting to feel that way through the efforts of the practice that will be cutting me open and bringing me within inches of my life.

It wasn't that the service was bad, it was just that the initial one blew me away. After that first visit I did not feel the need to look any further. I had found a place that felt warm and personable and familiar and safe.

More Marlas in the world please!

I'm getting more and more anxious about the...

I'm getting more and more anxious about the recovery and how long it will be before I can get back to normal.

I am not the type to spend money frivolously. I only spend money on myself when it is absolutely necessary. I have been poor my whole life, with and dignity and respect, but poor nonetheless.

I was born in a third-world country.

When my parents bought a car for the first time in our life we felt like we were rich. It was a 6 year old little Fiat. Green. I remember when my dad brought it home. We always walked and used public transportation to get to and from school and wherever we needed to go. Seeing this little squared box, green little Fiat felt like Cinderella's chariot.

My sister and I would make our own Barbie clothes (Barbie used very loosely. it was a doll with Barbie's proportions made of much cheaper plastic). We made whole wardrobes using fabric scraps or banana tree leaves or toilet paper, whatever. The houses were made of shoe boxes and rocks and beans and whatever else we could engineer into an appliance or a piece of furniture with Imagination.

Going to Grandma's was freedom, outhouse and all. We would climb the mango tree and vie for the most supple fruit that we could reach. I am 31 years old and I spent 6 consecutive months in a house with no toilet. Medieval, but what an experience. The smell of kerosene lamps and the sound of mosquitoes buzzing nearby was all part of that experience.

Anyway, sidetracked. Money has never been abundant, but the lack of it rarely seemed to make me feel put out.

I have never had a massage, a pedicure, and I've never set foot in a spa. I've never been to a concert outside of a recital. I've never been on a honeymoon or to a beach since I left California.

I've been a mom since the age of 17.
I was pregnant every year for 10 years. Took a 2 year break and baked another bun.
I have nursed 71 months.

Discretionary spending is the rule.

Point and case:
My wedding ring was $35 from Kohl's! My dream ring is out of reach, so anything will suffice in its place. I almost bought a $2 ring made of paua shell that I spotted at Earthbound to change it out, but the one I have looks more like a wedding band, so I couldn't justify the purchase.

In a nutshell: $18,000 is a whole lot of money that would otherwise go to a host of other things that are pertinent or will become pertinent soon. That and the recovery period has me feeling pensive.

I'm supposed to go to my very first show ever 15 days after my surgery is scheduled. My husband bought me some Shen-Yun tickets for Valentine's Day before I had a consultation. I have been looking forward to that and I really don't want to have to cancel.

I've never been to a show.

This has been a galvanizing week. It never ceases...

This has been a galvanizing week. It never ceases to amaze me how undesirably eventful Divorce can make the life of an unassuming homemaker in St. Chuck, Missourah.

Tomorrow is the big.

Sometimes life insists on catching up with me. Experience has come with a small share of wisdom. With that nugget of wisdom I have undertaken a conscious mission to discern and surround myself with sincere people. People with heart.

People will do things that hurt me, but heart people will not do things TO hurt me. People will disappoint me, but heart people will have put forth their best effort before they do.

They are rare gems in their fields of study, in their circle of friends, in their classrooms, in their homes and wherever people are lucky enough to have their lives touched by them. I seek out heart people. I am blessed to be able to call one of those rare gems my husband.

Monday was my Pre-op visit.

It is no accident that Dr. Craig, Marla, and Tina (Dr. Craig's nurse) were invaluable in bringing a break in the clouds early in the week. I chose this practice because I found heart people here.

I was still tender from some freshly seared wounds inflicted by my familiar oppressors.

Tina was wonderful on my Pre-op visit. She took my before pictures and sat down with me for over an hour and explained every detail and answered all of my questions. She gave me my Arnica Montana (tasty little things). She and Dr. Craig patiently listened when some of my burdens fell on their lap.

Dr. Craig is awesome. He took the time to read this here humble review, and candidly admitted that after doing so he was a little worried about living up to my comments shouting his praises. Don't be.

Let me tell you ladies and gentlemen: Dr. Craig is heart people. I am trusting him with my body because I know that his effort is sincere. The result of his 5 1/2 hour surgery to take my body from what it is now to something that more closely resembles who I am on the inside will be his very best effort and that is good enough for me.

I know that if I have a reasonable request that he will do his darnedest to make it happen.

Marla was there on Monday and I got my big hug and equally warm smile. I love her!! These heart people have really shown a desire to learn who I am, what I am about and why I am doing this.

Tomorrow is the big day and I am getting nervous at the thought of being sliced and tucked. Nevertheless, I am so grateful to be in the care of a pair of hands that belong to a gem.

I will be in touch.

My Element of Freedom: From what? A couple of...

My Element of Freedom:

From what?
A couple of weeks ago I thought about this in my holy place: my shower. As the water trickled down my face and unto this body that I set out to renew I asked myself: what is it that you are seeking freedom from?

My mind flooded with ideas and thoughts and possibilities.

Images of myself standing at the end of each one of these different paths and possibilities. Why have I been standing somewhere else? In a place in life marked by reaction for so long?

I have always prided myself in being a survivor and not victim, but my veil has been slowly lifted over these past few years. How grateful I am to view myself circumspectly. What is it that has held me back? Why am I here having life happen to me vs making life happen? My desire has always been to BECOME. My best self, a little bit better everyday in any area, to be 90 years old and not feel complacent, like I know everything, to always be growing. I want to always be in the process of BECOMING. Growing.

Some people live by the motto "never try, never fail" (like Syd the Sloth off of Ice Age) haha! I love that guy, but that's not me.

Something has held me back though. An ordinary shower became a moment of self reflection and I realized that my identity as a daughter of God, the creator of all is what reverberates in everything I do. That single fact does not change with weight, age, not with anything that I do.

So it hasn't been a lack of confidence or a fear of failure. Shockingly enough and it almost took my breath away, was the realization that I fear SUCCESS, not failure.

I've had some galvanizing challenges. They have forged a mold that has made the characteristics of who I am anything, but ambiguous. Defined. Solid.

I will honestly and shamelessly admit that I like who I am. I like what I am. Maybe it's not popular and perhaps it sounds haughty, but I like me. I enjoy the conversations I have with myself, haha! My own pep talks, my own relentless refusal to allow myself to become complacent. To say that I've done enough. That's what this little but job tells its crazy twin sister "Flo, (from Finding Nemo). I know: way too much Disney!

But I feel that way about almost everyone I've met. People are awesome! Just freakin' awesome. With the seeds of divinity inside each one. I am so enthralled by seeing what each person does with that. That divine nature. I LOVE IT!! I love people, I love talking with them, learning from them, hearing their stories, and acknowledging their mark in this world.

I am often told "girl I need to keep you close. You always make me feel so good about myself!" It is nothing special. I just speak the compliments that everyone else is thinking, but for one reason or another choose not to verbalize.

With all of that said: I found my Achilles' heel. I have convinced myself that the reason I like me, that the only reason I like who I am is because I've had a tough life to keep me humble. Humble people are good people. I've been under the belief that humility is the reward of a hard life, and perhaps it is. However, how long do I allow myself to be acted upon before I take what I've learned and earned and utilize it? Test it? Grow it?

In an effort to always BECOME I have feared gambling my hard earned humility by the fruits of success. There are plenty of wonderful, humble, successful people. I guess I've always felt that abasing myself is the only way that I can personally hold on to the things I like about myself.

The more I said it, typed it, thought it, the more I realized that the survivor that I've always taken pride in being had a very scared, very hurt victim hiding in its shadow. Sabotaging, alienating, and perhaps creating more situations that the hurt little girl believes is all she deserves.


This is a plastic surgery review after all, right? So get to the point!

"...And the day came when the risk it took to remain tightly closed in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to bloom." This is MY element of Freedom.

I can like my reflection as much as I like who I am and remain humble. I can allow myself to feel like Aphrodite in the arms of the man whom I regard as Adonis and still be humble!

I can start to extend myself, to utilize, expand, and gain gifts and talents that will help me feel successful and confident enough that success will not rob me of humility.

This surgery is the first step in many to come in which I will embrace my potential without fear of what I would lose in the process.

Humility is a badge of honor that I treasure and will prioritize as I move forward.

So today, I was ready to rant and trash my husband...

So today, I was ready to rant and trash my husband and bemoan my life and hang out all of the frustration from my boudoir.

I was going to get it all off my chest and then close my profile, but when I logged on I had a comment waiting that forced me to pull out the better parts of me.

She said I was an inspiration. I wasn't prepared to say anything inspiring today. Recovery sucks. I feel lonely, ugly, I shaved my vagina today simply because I told myself that just because I look like Frankenstein all over doesn't mean I have to look like Chewbaka down there. Not a good day.

But once again reaching out helped me reach in to what I needed to find inside myself.

This was the reply that changed my thoughts as I wrote it:

I like you! I wanted to tell you that. I am proud of you too. Same story with the 17 year old pregnancy except I ended up with 5 in 8 years and then the sixth 4 years later when I was ready to do something other than lie on my back for entertainment!

I read your story so far. I can't wait to read more. I like the way you write. I can hear your thoughts racing and making it to print unadulterated. Honest. Open. I love that. Thanks for the compliment. Today's a tough day.

I fell off my self-pep talk horse and now I'm throwing a larger than life pity party. Whoa is me, but you know what smoking, self-pity and all that crap comes from the part of you and me that refuses to see us succeed.

I define success by joyful progression, incandescently happy purpose-driven growth.

Everyday find your many successes. You seem so good at that already. I love the way that you cheer yourself on. You go girl. Love yourself!

Our race is our own. We will never be satisfied when we measure ourself by the standard set by others that seem to have it all together.

My race is to be in some small or large measure in some area of my life, a little bit stronger, a little bit wiser, a little more humble, and (when the burdens seem heavier like today) to be a better cheerleader for myself!

You triumph no matter what the challenge is. Be aware of yourself. Check your thoughts. Someone once said:

Thoughts become words,
Words become actions,
Actions become habits,
Habits shape our character,
And our characters will dominate the outcome of our destiny.

So, my thoughts shape my destiny, but what inspires my thoughts?


Input is what you consume with all of your senses. Therein we have a choice. What you listen to, what you read, what you watch, and the people and things where that input originates.

So, more simply put:
Choose your input, choose your destiny.

What do you want to be? Figure it out and immerse yourself in all of the input that will lead you there. Identify the input that leads you to the outcomes that you don't want and change it.

My advice is only my thoughts. It's not gospel, it's nothing more than a little nugget that I learned for myself that rings true for me.

I'm cheering for you! Thanks for letting me write to you. It helped me immensely. Everything I just told you, I just told me.

I am dragging my butt out my massive pity party, thanks to you.


Now I'm picking myself up. I drove. I drove out to an overlook of Creve Couer Lake. How appropriate. Lake of the Broken Heart.

I sat here on my phone filling the screen with all of the words that I needed to speak. Fan of Disney, I apologize again, but in my favorite Disney movie: The Lion King the quote that always rings true to me in a place like this is this:

"Remember who you are"

I, "6pack", no matter what happens am now and forever the daughter of the king of kings. I have a Heavenly Father and a divine heritage.

Just as Mufasa reminded Simba: "You are my son," I close my eyes and try to hear those same words whispered to me in the breeze as I overlook this lake: "You are more than what you have become!"

Okay! So today I am very excited about my...


So today I am very excited about my healing!

I started to become proactive about generating my own happy input. I make sure I say my 10 declarations of good things that I want my body to believe.

As you can see, I changed my review from "not sure," to a firm "Yes!" Totally worth it!!!

Key points that I left out while wallowing in my own pity Woodstock:

My list of "Heart people" at Renaissance Plastic Surgery keeps on growing.

When I first met with Dr. Stefan Craig, 3 years ago, I also met with his lovely nurse, Amy.

Amy seemed as excited as a long lost friend would be to hear that I had come back and was going to get the surgery. She is so awesome!

Well, she was there on my first post-op visit on the day after surgery. She seemed so happy to see me and I was so glad to see her and to know that she remembered me 3 years later. That was so comforting being so fresh out of surgery.

The following post-op visit was yesterday. This time Tina was there. They are all so pretty!

Pulchritudinous: I feel that is the only word that can be respectfully applied to describe Dr. Craig's appearance by a happily married woman. Any other word would reveal a measure of the air of libidinous that exudes from him that is completely inappropriate for "6pack" to remark about her surgeon.

My first perinatologist was so cute and I was 17, and my first encounter with him involved a probe, a condom, and KY jelly. That was sooooo embarrassing!! Luckily my OB/Gyn was very homely. Ironically the nurses poked fun at his (I quote) "troll-like" appearance, but big heart for his patients.

Just saying: a homely looking doc makes it easier to be on time.

Anyways, my weekend fears were all washed away! Tina seemed so impressed by my progress! I was so happy and relieved both her and the doctor said that I was healing extremely well. Boobielicious! Oh, yeah!

My belly button stitches came out. I don't know if u can see in the pic, but my belly button had been getting a little crease in it from the way I was wearing the compression garment. Dr. Craig suggested that I moisturize EXTENSIVELY and try to be mindful of flattening out the skin around the belly button when I use a compression garment.

Doc says that I don't have to wear that post-surgical padding under my compression strap anymore. He gave me the ok to wear a Spanx type of garment.

The Tummy Tuck incision apparently looks good. I was a little worried because I made a movement over the weekend that made some of the skin look like it was poking through the wrong place.

I started wearing my skinny suit again today, instead of buying a new Spanx. I did go back to wearing one of the post-surgical pads between my skinny suit and belly. I made sure to moisturize and flatten out the skin around the belly button with the thick pad. That tiny crease seemed to melt away.

Ok, so, I got this crazy idea today: Vaseline, Saran Wrap combined with compression. It's crazy I know, but I will try it for a week.

The culture for Latinas can create a high emphasis on appearance. You cannot watch a single Novela or Soap Opera (I don't, but my family is notorious for it) without seeing at least a dozen skin bleaching, stretch mark reducing, fat melting, miracle supplement to magically transform your body with zero effort in every 60-minute show. It's like the English Channel infomercials reduced to 60 seconds played every 5 minute!

So, growing up, so many women I knew "wrapped" their bodies in Saran Wrap and oil to "melt" fat, wrapped their midsection in concoctions and elastic to produce some marvelous result.

The combination of that culture and a segment from the Tyra Banks show years ago (about her fascination for Vaseline as a miracle moisturizer) must have been the inspiration for this crazy idea.

So, I researched it a bit this afternoon. Some articles disagreed on different tips, but they all seemed to agree on these to prevent scars:
Avoid scabs,
Keep it moist,
Keep it covered,
and (for my type of scars) keep it compressed)

My stitches come out on April 26th! I am so excited to have those out. No more "hairy" nipples. Those little threads make it look and feel like hair.

I will try this technique out and update you with pictures in a week.

Thanks for reading!

AAAAAAHH!!!! I write such a long narrative, and...


I write such a long narrative, and I don't even know if anyone is still reading.

I've tried to use my picture captions for those who just want the pics and info.

The journal part is really my monologue through this journey.

My last entry was lame. It had the facts that I've tried to keep out of the narrative and only in the pics. I think it failed most miserably in what I enjoy so much about writing: genuine honesty. I wrote thinking of the reader rather than using it as what it was intended to be from the beginning: A journal of my journey. I wrote tip-toeing around a very huge elephant in my history room: ADULTERY!

Yes, that's right I said it, it's out there, but I really don't care what anyone think about it because what I've had to live with is what I think about it. That is what I will continue to live with.

I lost my virginity at the age of 13. Fell into my statistic, I suppose. Victim of child abuse and promiscuity at an early age.

He was my neighbor from across the street. He was only a couple of years older than me. We were both kids. Our relationship was clearly inappropriate and it was always hidden. There's a book for parents and kids on preventing child abuse called "No More Secrets for Me!" Secrets have been the bane of my existence. Maybe that is why I am so overly open and honest. I decided one day that the antidote to the venom of keeping everyone else's secrets was just to STOP! No more, not for me. Since I have so many other people's secrets to keep I would not keeping any of my own.

I could not be faithful to my first husband to save my life. I was 15 when we met and he was 18. It was my 3rd serious relationship at that very young age. If I was my parents I would have prosecuted.

I was married to him for 13 years. In that time I escaped into my thoughts, some of my thoughts lead to some kissing and the final thought lead to adultery.

I felt empty and I wanted to fix it and keep the marriage. These little flirtatious relationships were amusements to keep me focused on something other than the real problems in my marriage. If I could find some brief satisfaction for what I craved: intelligent conversation, maturity, integrity of character, outgoing personality, positive thinking and have a man with any of those traits find ME interesting: wow! It was my own little mental vacation.

Unfortunately those little mental escapades build up into words and then into actions. Different people have different standards for adultery. I take mine from the New Testament: "if a (woman) looketh on a (man) to lust after (him) than (she) has committed adultery already in (her) heart."

So, there have seriously only been a handful of men who have given me a physical reaction just with a look. Orgasmic tingling throughout just with a glance. One of the 5 was this guy that I saw in a parking lot one time for a split second. Never saw him again, never even spoke a word, but he is one of those five. I am not picky with men, I just am so, super charged sensory speaking that I have to be stimulated on multiple levels to ever be attracted to someone. These top 5's supercharged me instantly, just with a look.

My ex-husband wasn't even on the same list as the dude in the parking lot. When I was a teenager I would have flirtations with the top five types, the ones with real chemistry, but opted to only date the boring and safe type. It was my insecurity deep down.

So, all of this explanation is simply because I used the word PULCHRITUDINOUS in my last update when describing Dr. Craig. That's bull!! I had to look it up on the thesaurus to not betray the fact that I think he is scorching hot. To not use the words to describe him that reveal the fact that he was among those top 5. It was because I am like a recovering addict that has their habit kicked and is trying, so hard to regain credibility.

This is my journal. I don't need to convince myself. I know who I am and what I am not.

The truth is that when I went in for my consultation 3 years ago I was on my way out of my marriage. Events unfolded and it took me this long to go back.

I am a fanatic of customer service. I will go the extra mile, or pay the extra $1 to patronize businesses that treat their customers like they owe their living to them. Grateful, attentive, happy in their interactions.

I picked Dr. Craig for the reasons I said, but when he first walked into the room and I shook his mighty hand, with those long muscular fingers meant to be precise during surgery, it was electric. I chose him on credentials, but when I met him, holy cow! He was out of this world, insanely pleasing on every sensory level!!!! Woo! Blown away!

After the initial shock I don't know what was coming out of mouth, sufficeth to say, he called me the most "interesting" person that he's ever met. I thought at the time, "if he wasn't married, I would have ripped his clothes off at some point in the consultation.

He was extremely professional. Unaware or respectfully ignoring any sense that his presence was making me babble like a two year old. "Interesting". That's polite for "three sheets to the wind!"

I left and life unfolded and although Marla followed up for a couple of months I never saw or spoke with the Doc again. That didn't stop my thoughts from drifting in that direction ever so often. HE WAS #4 on the 5 man list people! Obsessive? No, just mesmerized.

All levity aside, I met my husband a few months later and he rounded out the list.

Sure, sparks flew, electricity, chemistry, palpitations, but this time it was reciprocated!! AND he was AVAILABLE!!

Now, the top 5 were the "hot guys". The guy that would jump start the heat to begin secretions with just a look.

Until now, that guy had been someone unavailable or unaware and I had been too cynical to believe that any top five could be more than just a physical high.

My husband proved me wrong. He is everything that I never knew that I always wanted. He has the intelligent conversation, maturity, integrity of character, outgoing personality, positive thinking and it's all wrapped up in this unforgettable, physically divine, and throbbing body!!

Oh my gosh!! In my eyes: he is the object of every fantasy, of every desire, his eyes are a mile deep, the lightest shade of blue I've ever seen. Almost silver to match his hair. Hos skin is always glowing. Bronze, but moist and youthful. His arms are long and lean. His shoulders are wide, forming a virile "V" to his narrower waist. His legs are a mile long and that bronze glowing tan seems to follow him even to his veinier parts. His facial features are delectable. Luscious lips, perfect nose, his hypnotizing eyes, and his beautiful smile. I am crazy about him. There is not a moment of the day that I do not want to touch him in some way. He is the whole package wrapped in the sexiest physique that I've ever been lucky enough to lay my hands on.

My husband and I have had some enormous hurdles outside of our relationship. I hoped that once those hurdles were overcome, we could focus the attention on a less than fulfilling sex life.

It feels like a bait and switch. When we first met he was so eager for me, just as I still am for him. He was the most beautiful, sexiest, freakiest guy that I had ever been with. He is a man. Full grown. I swore off boys and their troubles when I divorced my ex.

I am intensely sexual, but only when I'm in love.

My ex wanted me and I was so repulsed by him that I ended up taking anxiety medicine just to be able to sleep in the same room as him.

I fear it's bad Karma. When I was wanted by my ex the very thought of him touching me gave me extreme anxiety.

Now, I want nothing more than to spend a measurable amount of time engaging in a communion of souls through lovemaking and it is elusive.

I have the man I always wanted, but a sex life that feels very obligatory. Not for me, I'm always ready, but I'm tired of being the initiator. Putting so much thought into a sexual experience only to have it treated as an afterthought is just breaking me. I can't communicate it effectively apparently.

When I put it all on the balance the good FAR outweighs my feelings of rejection. I have to let it go.

It drove me nuts for some time. I even wondered if he was in to guys at one point. It consumed me. It's just not going to be more than an obligatory task that he is willing to perform for the minimum accepted number of minutes. I am used to be being wanted, desired, sought after, feeling at least sexually desirable, always. It just feels unfair. He is everything that I've been waiting for and what I get feels great, but is so brief and requires so much effort to break off a piece that its just killing me.

After this surgery, and recovery if things don't improve with my added confidence, I'm letting go of what is crushing me: my libido.

My husband is a gift. He was handwraped just for me. He is the greatest man that I've ever met. His integrity is beyond words. I adore him. I NEVER even think about another man. The thought of being with anyone else EVER makes me feel a little bit queasy. While we were dating he was such a flake. Totally ambiguous as to what it is that he wanted from me. So, I made it a point to try to prove it to myself that he was a nobody. Totally replaceable. Just like every other man if ever met. So, I went out on two dates two different nights with two very attractive and successful men. I was determined to prove it to myself that there was nothing to him.

After some empty passionate kissing each date ended with a man giving me a perplexed, pleading, flushed look, and pathetic pleading for more. It also ended with a frustrated, angry, and equally confused self. I couldn't shake him from my thoughts and I wanted no one, but him.

The top 5 bliss. Multi sensory arousal and an assault on every cell in my body being etched with his name.

Now I'm up at 2am. Writing instead of writhing. I wanted to have a special night. His night. We watched sports. I had him pick out his choice of restaurant, I was happy to do whatever he wanted in hopes that I would get what I wanted.

Recovery sucks.

I miss touch. I am feverish with desire for my husband. He treats me so fragile. He's wonderful, but I want to be his woman not his patient.

I texted him a link today while he was at work. Something along the Tantric sex that has been my goal. I wanted to give him a "Lingam Massage." I sent him the link and he wouldn't even open it! So, all day, I hoped and anticipated that he might be excited for this. Nope.

So, I will give it a few more tries, but I'm done.

I feel like a lovesick puppy dog always begging to have his belly scratched. Begging. Literally. I am 31 years old and he is 46. I feel like such a loser! Obviously I'm not in the best shape, but really?

I can tell myself now that there is nothing wrong with me. I can walk away knowing that I tried everything in my power to make this work.

I will NEVER be an adulterous again. Ever. So, I have a choice on how to deal with this dilemma. I want my husband by my side. Do I keep beating a dead horse? Or do I throw in the towel to save my sanity and my marriage?

I'm just done. It's humiliating. Like a "mother-may-I?" "Please throw me a bone". I am just done. I know what I do love about my husband and he is a rare gem that I intend to treat and value as such.

I'm just going to tuck away that libido the way my tummy tuck was done: cut and discard.

Outside our bedroom, I love our marriage. That's what will be there when the afterglow is forgotten. That's what I choose to hold on to in exchange for a part of me that is probably disproportionate in big ways to the norm.

I'm good now. Not so mad. Not so sad. Not feeling so defeated. This is a choice and I will master it.

What I have is worth every effort to sustain.

Hey ladies! Is it just me or has it been hard to...

Hey ladies! Is it just me or has it been hard to get on the site lately? It's been a while and I wanted to update my review, but every time that I tried it would say something about a proxy server not working.

Anyway, it's been almost 2 weeks since I wrote any update. Thanks for all of your comments they have been a wonderful and welcomed help this past week.

My husband and I went to Shen-Yun and it was what I needed to jump start my physical movement. I had to walk some way because they did not have same day valet. I was 16 days post-op. My husband was great. He offered to drop me off in the front and pick me up, but I wanted to walk with him. The show was not something he would ever pick to go see. Ever, but he was very sweet about it. He just wanted to make sure that I had a good time. Yesterday I returned the favor, but more about that in a second.

That weekend I cleaned the whole house and rearranged every drawer with the kids and reorganized the closets. Two weeks of mommy downtime, with Hubby doing laundry, the kids folding it and putting it away made for a shortage of socks which lead to the laundry tornado that I became.

The following week I cooked 4 out of 5 nights and the family was thrilled. That 5th evening I had my stitches taken out out of my breasts. Only one of the stitches hurt coming out. It was on my left breast. Ouch!

That was 22 days post op. I started walking on the treadmill that morning. 20 mins at 1.5-2 speed.

By day 25 I could stand to my full height without any discomfort. Week 4 marked the end of my Vaseline/Saran Wrap covered days! They are over! It served its purpose. Doc is pleased with the rate of my healing. He and Amy (his nurse) got a real hoot at the sight of my Saran wrapped cleavage! But hey, it worked at helping my scars heal. Anytime the incisions itched I would rub them in small circular motions, breaking up the collagen. Having the Vaseline there made it convenient to perform the scar massage anytime.

I switched from my uncomfortable skinny suit to a pair of SlimCognito Spanx, I ditched the surgical foam pads, and started using coconut oil.

Happy news! Dr. Craig is one of the founding members of the Renaissance Plastic Surgery and R Medical Spa (skin care Nirvanna!). I received the happy surprise of two certificates for complimentary facials at the R. The envelope sat unopened for a while. I never realized it came in the mail. So, my best girlfriend and I will be pampered as a gift for my patronage.

Susan Stone is my patient coordinator this time and she is wonderful. Both her and Marla popped in to say hello at my last appointment. I just love that place!

RealSelf rocks! I started this journal as a way...

RealSelf rocks!

I started this journal as a way to keep a record of my "element of freedom". A record of my emotional, physical and spiritual growth. For me, growth IS success. It is the evolutionary means that keeps me steadfast toward increasing my potential. Progress measured by my own progress and only I can gauge that for myself. If I am serious about my potential, this was my thought when I began, "I will need a record of it."

I have been at odds with something that was my anchor for a long time. Not only was it my anchor, but it was the one thing that brought me joy and rest in my last marriage. It was a place where I could go to feel solace, purpose, and adjust my perspective. It was my only truth for a long time. It was a place where my divine nature was the only thing that mattered. That place brought me closest to my maker and it built me up fundamentally.

I lost everything in my divorce, but losing that place, that thing, that source of energy and regeneration has left me feeling vulnerable. In my efforts to regain what was lost, to be restored to my place in that sanctuary, I have been met with the ugly, fallen, and human side of it. The principle, the core of that source remains the same, and true, but the delivery of that energy has become something that I want nothing to do with now because the delivery is dark and it does not edify.

Does the end really justify the means? To me it does not. There is no end, but the journey to me. I cannot arrive at any end and dismiss the journey there. The 'how' and 'why' are the two things that I focus on relentlessly. Part of that circumspect mentality that makes me so complicated. I want to do the right thing for the right reasons, or not do it at all. The all or nothing mentality is the reason why I cannot do lukewarm.

So, in the absence of my one-time refuge I've turned to myself and started this journal for the snapshot of who I am and what I need to tweak. Now, I started out by saying 'RealSelf rocks!' This is why: I don't feel so forsaken anymore. No matter where my journey has lead me, I have felt the love of my Heavenly Father through real angels of flesh and blood in a kind word, a tolerant look, a tender gesture, and a simple acknowledgment.

I started this journal for record-keeping, but I have found so much more! More of what I needed to hear and in each of the comments that I have received I find more heart-people, more divine intervention, more blessings.

I have found that when things inspire me to do good and when they edify me, build me up like a skyscraper they are a gift and if I keep heading in that direction internally I will be rewarded with more of it. Faith when I can only see 10 ft in front of me. I have found a portion of that source here in your comments. I am grateful for it.

I never really expected anyone to read this. I am long-winded and I try to keep the picture captions with the relevant information that any casual reader would be interested in. I am grateful for each of you. I truly do feel edified by each one of you and your comments.

I still hope to someday return again to that place that brought so much light before, but until I can return there whole-heartedly and feel that it reflects what it teaches, I will search and seek that light in its teachings on my ow. In the meantime, I have this place, right here, right now. I have a record of these comments that are have been shared that strengthen me and remind me of truths that I can so easily forget.

That's why RealSelf rocks: because of you.

In other news, things are back on the up and up with my sublime husband.

Since my last post I shut it down.

The day that I had my stitches taken out my husband met me at the doctor's office. We went to Costco afterward. We were standing in front of the customer service desk and I looked at him as I always do with that hopelessly twitter-patted look on my face and then I got on my tip-toes and kissed him as I whispered "I am so in love with you!" The lady at the counter was so impressed with how giddy I was around him, I told her that he still gives me butterflies in my stomach and that he is the most wonderful man I've ever met. She asked how long we had been married and shared how refreshing it was to hear someone speak so well of their husband. She said that she was divorced and the way her girlfriends spoke of their husbands left her without the hope or desire to remarry. I am consistently guilty of gushing about my husband to any innocent bystander willing to listen.

I was giddy about him and had been since the day I met him. I even asked the lady at Costco: When is this supposed to wear off? When does he stop taking my breath away when he walks in the room, when does my heart stop racing at the thought of his touch? I thought this was only supposed to be temporary, but I had been on this love delirium with this beautiful man from the start.

Needless to say, for someone who is used to being unaffected by something that was supposed to only exist in Hallmark cards, these feelings for my husband and their spontaneous manifestation are a source of frustration and a feeling of pathetic vulnerability when they aren't reciprocated.

It was almost as if I jinxed myself when I asked when this feeling was supposed to ebb. The following week it was completely gone. 15 total minutes of sex in 15 days over two encounters made me throw in the towel.

There is no nightie, no lotion, no scent, no flavor, no amount of time in front of the mirror prepping that would make my touch, my looks, my kiss, my comments and compliments, nor any effort earn reciprocation even to the smallest degree.

So, I shut it down.

Over the next week, I focused on building up my sundae. Communication, doing the things that he enjoyed doing with him, working together, and speaking his love language.

I silenced my love language. My language communicates love in a stroke of the arm while passing, a squeeze of the booty when he least expects it, massaging his back while he's doing the dishes, his legs when he's standing in front of me and I'm sitting down. It's communicated when I stroke his hair and give him goosebumps any chance I get; when I kiss him anytime that either one of us re-enters the same room as the other.

I absolutely agree that lovemaking begins outside the bedroom. I make love to him with each look and each touch. The foreplay is all of the things that are slightly inconvenient that I take the time to do because it lets him know that I care. I am totally on board with that.

But what happens when the sun has scorched everything that it beams down on? What hap

What happens in a drought? All you can think about...

What happens in a drought? All you can think about is WATER!! The longer the drought, the hotter the sun, the less appeal that anything other than water retains my interest. No other liquid can satiate what that rare elixir does quench. By the time I get a taste enough to wet my lips I am parched and its become such a tease that I'd rather dehydrate than wet my lips and remain thirsty. "Keep your flippin' water and shove it!"

So, that was my attitude for the past week. I will just dehydrate, but as I said before, I don't do lukewarm. How can I have the sundae with big scoops of ice cream communication without communicating my hurt, my feelings of rejection and my need!? Suddenly that cherry on top and its absence began to melt away the communication. I got more chocolate syrup laughter, but no cherry sex and no ice cream communication.

I shut it down. When he passed by me, I resisted the urge to touch him because the price of rejection was not worth it. I resisted the urge to kiss him because I couldn't stand the thought of parting my lips only to be pecked away. I stopped stroking his hair when he put his head on my lap because I couldn't stand the thought of giving him goosebumps when he wasn't returning the favor.

He lost his purring kitten. If sex was so trivial, why did the absence of daylong lovemaking on my part seem to cause him such distress?

All of those feelings of fear of rejection and hurt made it easy to replace any giddiness with cool indifference. He could tell I was different. He expressed his frustration at not being able to spend anytime together away from the kids. He dwells on problems, but will arrive at a solution only after a sufficient amount of sulking. Not me.

I focused on building up other aspects of our marriage. I mentioned before that I returned the favor for Shen-Yun. So, I cut his sulking short and I got club seat tickets to go see the St. Louis Blues in the NHL Playoffs. He's been wanting to take me to a game for years. I purchased the tickets and got a sitter for the following night. Game 2 of the first round: Blues vs Kings. A little splurge, but I think he deserves it.

I took a shower, took the pics that I posted, and took the preschool kids and headed to the mall without a drop of make up. My husband was at work and I wanted to have a surprise for him when he got home. I looked everywhere for NHL apparel. Slim pickings. As I walked around the mall with 3 kids in tow, I noticed that this 30-something working at the AT&T booth kept shooting these very conspicuous looks my way. I avoided making eye contact after I realized the nature of the looks.

I came home and laid out the new Blues Jersey and baseball cap on the bed. At that point I just got this overwhelming feeling of loss. I texted my husband and told him to get someone else to go to the game with him. I just could not keep pumping hot air.

When he came home we had a really good conversation and it gave me an opportunity to be honest about everything I had been holding back all week. I told him about the AT&T guy checking me out. Seeing someone look at me like that was shocking to me. Pure disbelief, truly. The lack of reciprocation has been devastating for my confidence. If there is anyone who is going to bite their bottom lip and shake their head when they see me walk by and undress me with their eyes it should be my husband! Getting that kind of attention from a complete stranger makes my husband's indifference so much more hurtful. At that point my husband realized that this issue is not trivial. He pulled me close and told me how beautiful he thinks I am and how much he loves me. All of the drama with the exes and the constant instability that it has wrecked in our lives has taken its toll on his ability to cope. He said he has simply sunk inside himself and shut me out.

We deal with things differently, but we share the things of most importance: our love, our family, our loyalty, our devotion for each other, and our sincere desire to serve one another.

He will be more aware of kissing me with his lips parted and lingering for a second before he pulls away.

I will stop questioning his feelings toward me. It's not fair to measure another's expression of love and disqualify it as such based on my own.

I need to grow up and improve on many fronts, but I need to be true to who I am. Everyone has had different life experiences, everyone has different bodies with different chemistry and composition, all of those factors and many others affect NEEDS.

I have to be true to me. I need to have a healthy sex life. It is a need for me. I don't do lukewarm. I don't like to be ok. I like being uncomfortable with complacency. It pushes me to be more. More than I have been, more of the best parts of me, and more of what I value in myself and others.

I need to follow my own advice and be more aware of my thoughts.

I want to do everything like I mean it. I made love to my husband after our talk. We had a blast at the game, he looked so handsome in his jersey. The Blues won and it was a great night.

I want this. I want to be in love with my husband always. I want to want him. I want to walk in my bedroom and see him standing there in his sweat pants and t-shirt, grab him by the back of his hair and firmly pull him toward me without fear of what he will or won't do. The best place for me is right in between his arms.

I whole-heartedly agree with Newbodyforme's recipe for a great marriage. I just have to figure out that everyone has different ice cream flavors to communicate about. My flavor is passion. It has to be in everything I do or I become a muted version of myself. There is nothing about me that is muted. I noticed over the past weeks that as I tried to curve (in hindsight I call it repress) my love language, I got lost. I was no longer me.

Each moment with those I love is a gift and I want to make the most of each one. I want to hold nothing back. Based on my husband's kicked dog slump while I was holding back, giving him the frigid wife that I thought he wanted, I realized that my flame burns to sustain him too.

Poor guy! I think the frigid wife episode scared the crud out of him and into becoming more demonstrative regarding his feelings.

I love life. It's an awesome journey! What a humbling feeling to take that journey at long last with my best friend. I love him most fervently.

I'm good. Kirsty just started a "Part 2" because I...

I'm good. Kirsty just started a "Part 2" because I ran out of room. I can still get comments here, but I will be updating in pt 2 instead. Sorry for the misunderstanding.

I understand that my filters not as dense as most...

I understand that my filters not as dense as most people. I get it.

RealSelf still rocks!

It's an awesome place for support and understanding and encouragement. I'm glad I found it.

I'm sorry for hurting anyone's feelings with my words. I wish you would have set me a private message and let me know what I had done and I would have personally requested that my story be removed. It hurt that I expressed something very deep and personal and exposed vulnerability to have it read by someone who took the impersonal path to have it censored.

But it helped. I misused this forum because I did not understand its limits. I apologize for that. I understand the limits now and am grateful for what the initial part helped me to understand.

I need to write. It helps me and maybe it really does help some. I am not so pretentious to believe that I have anything extraordinary or inspired to share. I simply shared myself. If it helped anyone, I am humbled, but it helped me.

This experience has helped me to journal and understand the importance of journaling. Maybe those words will help my kids and their kids someday if I leave them a record.

Thanks for taking the time to read. I am honored and humbled by the time that you have taken to do so. Thank you.

This is the end of this journal.

5-week PO visit today. I had a concern about...

5-week PO visit today.

I had a concern about my upper abdomen, but my wrestless worries were laid to rest.

Took pictures. Follow up in a month.

6 Weeks Post-Op

The ends of my TT incision line are healing better than I expected.

I have been massaging the raised areas nightly with firm circular motions.

It is still tender on the ends of the scar, but its getting more and more comfortable. I still have some numbness on my upper left thigh, through the hip.

I had a fantastic day with my very great friend on my 6-week milestone. We went to watch "The Great Gatsby." I liked it sooo much! I was surprised that I enjoyed it as much as I did. I'm normally NOT a chick flick kind of girl. Pride and Prejudice is the exception to the rule. I could watch that movie over and over and enjoy every minute of it. I normally stick to the action/adventure genre. If I'm going to pay to watch something on the big screen, I want it to be something that will be difficult to replicate in my home theater. Chick flicks typically are not. Typically a DVD will suffice to take in the experience (storyline, soundtrack, and general target emotions).

Not so with "The Great Gatsby." I would go back and watch it in 3D! Not what I expected. Definitely a Blu-ray/3D combo purchase when it is available. It was just amazing! Totally took me by surprise. It was so visually rich and it felt like a constantly moving roller coaster for the senses.

Anyways, good movie. After the movie we had a soup and salad lunch. Still basking in the comfort of some well-deserved girl time, we headed over to the R Medical Spa armed with my 2 complimentary facials: A token of appreciation for my patronage from Renaissance Plastic Surgery. It was wonderful! As I've written before, salon/spa experiences have eluded me all of my life. This was a real treat.

When you walk in you're enveloped in the glow of natural light filtering in through the windows on your left. The air had a warm and woodsy aroma that was subtle and delightful and transported your senses upon arrival. A waterfall filled the room with the gentle sounds of moving water. The scents and sounds, the muted light and absence of harsh lighting; the beautiful furnishings and the friendly staff seemed to melt away the hustle and bustle of the life outside those doors.

Our esthetician was Stephanie. She was truly phenomenal. She did both of our facials back to back. 30 minutes each!! It was awesome! She started out by having me wash my hands and then she smoothed some lotion over them just before she had me dip them twice into the warm and soothing paraffin wax. She then wrapped each hand a cocoon of a plastic baggy and then a super soft terry cloth mitt. She dimmed the lights and then reclined my chair, so that I was laying down. Then she pulled out the softest, most comfy blanket and draped it on me.

For the next 20 minutes my face was pampered with cleansing, exfoliating, revitalizing, toning and moisturizing. While the cool tingly mask did its thing on my skin, Stephanie revealed my newly soft hands from their moisture cocoon and proceeded to massage them into an R&R bliss! It was awesome!

That is the reason I am a huge fan of customer service. I had an experience I would have never had otherwise, simply because my plastic surgeon and his wonderful staff felt I deserved it. Top notch, world class care: Priceless. For anything else there's AMEX, MasterCard, Visa, checks and cash.

Facial hair on a man makes me weak at the knees!

It's been 19 months since my surgery. Went in for a check up today because I thought that I hurt myself lifting a lawnmower onto the bed of a truck. Doc says everything seems fine. Took pictures. I've gained a few pounds, but I'm happy with my body. I love my curves.

I was a little worried to see the Doc and make him feel like I ruined his work. He was good. Damn good...errrh... supportive and professional, I mean.

If I had to do it all over again, I would probably not pick a surgeon that turns me on. Just saying. As I've stated before, it is so rare for me to find someone that I am attracted to. My husband has me wrapped around his finger so well that I NEVER even give anone a second look, but today... that's a different story.

I felt like my heart was going to beat right out of my chest. I am so glad that they don't check vitals at the follow up appointments. The facial hair just works.

19 months post op. 10lb gain since preop

I'm a big girl... Now

There is something that I have learned about myself:

My measure of success is GROWTH. My ability to expand as a person, even when my progress may seem diminutive, is the thing that brings me the most satisfaction. I am happiest when I am evolving.

I saw Dr. Craig on Friday, November 13th for my yearly check-up. I was very pleased with myself. I've lost 10lbs and gained 5% lean muscle mass since my last appointment.

The surgery was the beginning. A jumpstart. I've challenged myself to become more.

I feel more empowered today than ever before. If all of life's mysteries would suddenly unfold and every answer were to satiate its question the key to my nirvana would still elude me. The only mystery that I must master to achieve bliss is me.

There is something sobering about being the only person from whom I cannot retreat, I cannot abscond, and whom I must not evade. That obvious truth compels me to become the expert on me. I strive to know what drives me, to discern my core elements, to circumspectly identify the 'why's' of my actions and the feelings behind them. I am finding that as I become more efficient at executing those objectives, the moments of bliss become more abiding.

When I know 'Me' I engineer the components that surround me into the edifice of my happiness.

"I'm a big girl...Now:" There is growth in knowing who I am and that knowledge will make the rest of my journey a little less lonely.
Saint Louis Plastic Surgeon

He's professional and his staff is equally amazing. They listen, they accommodate and they are sincerely caring.

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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