Another EuroTrip and Getting Back on Track

Just posting a quick update! As you may know from my last post, life has been a bit of a challenge. A week or so before my 31st birthday, my husband (with whom I have been together for 11 1/2 years) and I decided to separate. It has been a challenging six months, to say the least. I’m happy to report that overall, things are going well and I believe that 2017 has a lot of great stuff in store for me.

After my last post, I found an apartment and moved out. In early October, I started divorce proceedings and it will be final on January 3rd. The sale of our house should go through in the next few weeks – all of these things are a stressful process. But, I’m happy to say that we have completed this process with zero arguments, remaining friends, and without lawyers. Even though it pains my heart that our marriage didn’t work out, I am truly lucky to have met and been with a wonderful person for so many years.

One day, I was sitting in my apartment… feeling sad… and wanting to cheer myself up. So, I decided to use airline miles and hotel points from all of my business travels to take a vacation in early October. For some reason, since I was a kid I have dreamed of going to Ireland. So…. on impulse I booked a flight to London and then to Dublin and I WENT! Not only did I go on the dream vacation, but I went alone. Something I never thought I would do and sometimes still can’t believe I did! I included some pictures below of the trip! It was an incredible experience and I can’t put into words how grateful I am to have my health and so much opportunity.

Heading into the holidays, my weight is at the lowest it has been for probably about 18 months. I’m happy and proud to say that during these difficult times, I have not turned to food for comfort and I am ending the year with a lot of momentum into getting (maybe finally) to a goal weight. This morning I weighed in at 190.6 lbs. Below is a picture of me at my company’s Christmas party last week!

Thanks to everyone for your kind messages and for keeping me in your thoughts! In my next post, I’ll be sure to take updated plastic surgery scar photos. It has been 2 years and 3 months since my first round, and 1 year and 7 months since the second round. I’m guessing the scars are as faded as they will ever be!

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December 2012 vs. December 2016 – 444 lbs to 190 lbs

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Turning 31, Eurotrip, and the End of a Marriage

I say it every time I post, so here it goes again, “Wow, has it really been that long since I have posted?!”

Time goes by quickly when you’re either having fun or life becomes incredibly busy or stressful. I feel as though all of those things have been happening to me in an odd sort of combination.

To start with the good stuff, I turned 31 a couple of weeks ago. I started this blog years ago and at the time, turning 30 (where the name of the blog comes from) seemed like such a distant thing. Now, 30 has come and gone and I can say honestly overall it was a great year. I have a job that allows me to travel all over the country, meet new people, and pays me well. The frequent flyer miles and hotel points earned from these trips allowed me to take my very first trip out of the country! On my 31st birthday, I got on a plane to Dusseldorf, Germany to meet my cousin and travel partner for quite a vacation!

During our vacation, we spent a couple of days in Germany and then took a train to Amsterdam. It was a beautiful city and I was amazed by the canals. Such beautiful scenery. Perhaps my favorite part of the entire trip was touring the Anne Frank house. I read “The Diary of Anne Frank” as a kid and could never have imagined I would find myself, someday, halfway across the world touring the very space she lived for over two years in hiding.

Then, we headed to Brussels. What a beautiful city. It’s amazing to see the architecture of the old buildings. Going to another country, with a much longer history, truly is eye opening for this small-town American girl.

The sad news is that a couple of weeks before this incredible vacation, my husband and I decided to split up. We were married for five years, but together for 11 1/2 and we just couldn’t make it work anymore. It still shocks me to find myself in this situation, as I truly did think we were going to be together forever.

People will mostly likely ask, “Did the weight loss have anything to do with the split?” and to be honest, I don’t know how to answer this question. Our relationship, for a long time, has been one of deep friendship, but never really physical or romantic. For many, many years I just thought this was because I was SO heavy and never blamed him for not being attracted to me. I had assumed when I lost weight this would change. The weight came off, and nothing happened. I pushed the issue. He pushed back. I continued to push, searching for answers about his lack of interest. In the end, we determined we were better off as friends. He feels as though the romantic side of the relationship is lost and can’t be recovered. So, here I am… a newly single 31 year old professional woman trying to figure out what my future will  look like. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time.

Below I included some pics of the vacation. I’m probably going to take more plastic surgery progress pics soon. In the meantime, enjoy!

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Me (left) and my cousin (right) in Dusseldorf, Germany.

 

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Collage of Brussels

Wow, it has really been 4 months? (and scar healing progress pics)

Click here if you are looking for plastic surgery progress pics. The arms and breasts are now 18 months out – the lower body revision and thigh lift are now a little over 9 months out. I am happy with how things have healed and still couldn’t recommend my surgeon, Dr. Joseph Capella and his PA, Scott, enough. His office staff was amazing as well.

On to the update!

I can’t believe it has been four months since I last gave an update. Time really does fly!

Things have been going well. I am loving my new job and all I appreciate all of the new experiences I am having. As I mentioned, the new job I started six months ago has me traveling the country almost every week and it’s exactly what I wanted. Never in my wildest dreams did I think 3 1/2 years ago that I would be getting on and off planes every week without worry of fitting into seats, seat belt extenders, strangers commenting on my size, etc. This whole process for me has been a journey I would take over and over again.

The downside to the new, fun, travel-filled life is 9 lbs. I wasn’t at a weight that I wanted to be at before I started this job and in six months I have put on 9 lbs and I know better than to act like that’s “nothing” – it is definitely something. The eating is not the part that is giving me trouble – I have kept a tight grip on my eating. It’s the alcohol. Oh, the empty liquid calories of free wine and cocktails. Very bad – and definitely sneaks up on you. You really don’t need to be drinking to excess all the time to see the scale creep up due to alcohol. Time to reel it in, big time!

I have the next two weeks working at home and then it’s off again! In this time, I’m going to catch up on work… hopefully be more active in online and real-life support groups, get to the gym, and spend time with family/friends that have felt neglected as I have been a road warrior. BUT, this time spent with them will include NO drinking lol. Time to get serious again!

Plastic Surgery Round 2 Progress Pics and a Big Day is Coming!

Plastic Surgery, Round 2, Four Weeks Post-Op

Just wanted to post some pictures and an update. Tomorrow I will be 4 weeks out from a medial thigh lift and revision of my lower body lift. Healing has been going well. I haven’t been in much pain (much to my surprise – I have heard recovery from the thigh lift can be rough) and I’m starting to feel pretty normal for the most part. A couple of random thoughts/info/suggestions:

  • I took only a week and a half off from work. This was enough but I was pretty tired when I went back. Even now I get a bit tired from time to time.
  • Purchasing a female urinal is a good idea for anyone considering surgery. I could use the toilet the entire time while recovering, but it made things easier.
  • I had to purchase new shapewear. After the first round of plastics, I declared myself to be never in need of them again and pitched all of them. Oops! The shapewear has been necessary for wearing long dresses so that the tops of my thighs don’t rub together. When you’ve got incisions, that’s uncomfortable!
  • I had very small openings at the junctions of the incisions in my groin. You could barely see them and they are already healing up well. One thing that was annoying after surgery was that I developed a leak. Some where in the groin, I was “leaking” fluid for about a week – had to wear a lot of bandages. Bummer!

I’m happy that I had the surgery and I hope I continue feeling that way. I’m trying to just wait and see how things settle, because I know as things loosen and settle… the look of the results will change a bit. Tonight when I took pictures, I’m glad I put a side to side comparison together because I was having difficulties deciding how much of a difference the lift made. I think if you look at the pic, you can see the most differences in how much smaller my legs are around the knees.

The Big Day

There is a big day coming for me! I started this blog over 2 1/2 years ago and as you can see, the name is Flirty by Thirty. I remember picking that name because I had recently attended a birthday party for a relative with the theme of “Flirty Thirty” where the birthday girl was turning 30 and we were all supposed to buy her lingerie as a gift. I remember the sadness I felt when thinking about how I couldn’t wear cute and flirty things, and how lingerie would never be in the cards for me. I desperately wanted to be happy, healthy, and to feel beautiful. All of those things were the goal when I started writing about my decision to have a VSG.

Well, I’m happy to say that my birthday is very soon!!! I’m turning 30 on Saturday and to be honest, I can’t believe the day has come. When I started this blog and thought about turning 30, it just seemed so far away. What I wanted to achieve seemed impossible, and I doubted my ability to ever be in the place that I am now. I’m so glad I worked hard and kept with it. I can’t even begin to describe how worth it everything has been, but I’ll write more about that Saturday….

Click here to view progress pictures from Round 1 – 9 Months, Round 2 – , Week 4

(Please email me at flirtybythirty15@gmail.com if you need the password)

Struggles with Determining “Goal” and Body Fat Percentage Testing

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted because there really hasn’t been much to say! Life has been pretty busy with full-time work, consulting work, school work, and trying to remain as active as possible. The dark, cold, and snowy Pennsylvania winter days have been pretty depressing to say the least! I really wanted to learn how to ski this winter, so that I would have some kind of outdoor activity to do; however, I made a deal with myself that I would not do so until I caught up on my graduate course from the fall that I got an extension on due to both plastic surgery and gallbladder removal surgery in the Fall. Nope, haven’t finished yet lol!

As far as plastic surgery recovery goes, everything is a-okay! My scars are healing, getting lighter in some places, but still pretty noticeable overall. I’m really hoping the arm scars get a bit lighter before the summer, but to be honest… I’m not sure that it would stop me from wearing something sleeveless, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see! The gallbladder surgery went well, nothing fun to report there. I haven’t had any issues with not having my gallbladder anymore, so I say good riddance!

On another note, I have had mixed feelings about my “goal” weight for quite some time now, to be honest. My original weight goal when I started this process was to be in a “normal” BMI range and for my height of 5’9.5″ that would put my weight at about 172-174 lbs, depending on the chart I have looked at online. Currently, my BMI ranges between 26.9 to 27.7, still in the overweight category.

I’m conflicted, because my goal is to be in optimum health and be a “normal” weight, but I’m just not sure I have the dedication to get down another 11-15 lbs. You would think after losing 260ish, it would be no big deal… but as most people know, the closer you get to a normal weight, the harder it becomes. I have achieved many things physically, I feel as though I look good for my weight, and I can fit into clothing from any store. So, why doesn’t that feel good enough? Honestly, I’m not sure I would ever be satisfied, even if I were at a “normal” weight…. yet I don’t want to fall back on making that some kind of “excuse” for not achieving something. It’s a weird mental place to be in for me.

But, on a positive note – a year ago, I did a BodPod body fat percentage test – long before I had plastic surgery. I believe, at the time, that I was around 200 lbs and my body fat percentage turned out to be 36.5%. I was pretty disappointed in that number at the time; however, I knew I had a long way to go so I shouldn’t have been surprised!

A couple of weeks ago, I repeated the test and was very surprised by the results. My weight has been bouncing between 185-190 lbs since things settled from plastic surgery, with my desired weight coming in at 185-187. According to the BodPod results, I have 132.7 lbs of lean muscle mass, which at my weight that day of 189.5, left me at 29.9% body fat. I was very surprised by this number because it does put me at the very top of the “acceptable” range for body fat%. So, now I’ve been asking myself – should this number be my goal? Should it be “good enough” that I am in an acceptable body fat % range, despite being “overweight” with my BMI?

Just something I’ve been thinking about. Do I think I need to lose more weight? No! But, part of me would still like to… so I remain undecided. The good news is that I’ve been maintaining well and I feel great. I’ve included some updated “before and after” pictures – very exciting! I cut my head out of the shiftless ones because I looked like a hot mess…. though it didn’t seem to bother me in the before pictures – yikes!!

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