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)

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Two Days Post Thigh Lift/Lower Body Lift Revision

What a crazy couple of weeks it has been! I have been doing a lot of traveling for personal and work reasons. During this travel, I have spent a lot of time thinking (because you have time to do that on plans and car rides) about how my life has changed in the past couple of years. I have the opportunity to do so many more things now that I’m not trapped in a 450 lb body. I feel great, I look great, and I am healthy!

At almost 450 lbs, I never would have been able to fly in a plane without buying a second seat. I never would have been able to wear nice, properly fitting clothes and heels with confidence while giving a presentation at a conference last week. I never would have been able to spend the weekend doing all kinds of fun things in a fun city – like visiting a jazz club, comedy club, and the zoo! Even if I had the physical stamina to last through these activities, the embarrassment of trying to navigate around in these situations with such a large body would have been extremely difficult.

So, two days ago (on Thursday), I went to New Jersey to have a medial thigh lift procedure and revision of my lower body lift with Dr. Capella. The surgery took about 3 hours and I was able to go home the next day – which I did, since my husband had to work on Friday. I’m happy to report that things went well and I”m doing ok.

What I find the most interesting is that I’m in some discomfort, but not really a lot of pain, to be honest. I haven’t taken a pain killer in over 12 hours and I may try to stay away from them from this point forward. I got sick this morning with terrible headaches and throwing up and I think the pain meds were just not sitting well with me!

I was disappointed to wake up and learn that I had two drains put in – that was a bummer. Dr. Capella had said I wouldn’t need them, but I guess when he got in there he saw that I had a seroma and fluid buildup left from the first surgery that apparently wasn’t noticeable during my checkups? It’s news to me too! You would think I would have noticed fluid retention, but I guess not lol. SO, he said to get the best result, he put in drains to make sure all of the fluid comes out. Annoying, but for the best I’m sure!

My incisions look like I expected them. I was surprised by how much of the lower body lift he revised though. I thought he was just taking up the sides a bit, but I’m cut almost the entire way around. Even though things are going well… ugh, I think this is IT for me! I’m tired of recovering from surgery lol.

I’ll take some pictures tomorrow to share with anyone that is interested, but beware… it’s scary looking!

Two Years & 255lbs Later…

Today I’m “celebrating” two years since I had weight loss surgery and about 2 1/2 years since I started the journey to a healthier and happier life. It’s funny to think about when I started this process, knowing I would have to go through a six month supervised diet prior to surgery, feeling like it would never happen. It felt like the six months would never end – and here I am years later wondering where the time went.

I can’t describe with words how much my life has changed for the better since this whole thing started. Every time I attend a local support group meeting, I make the joke that I would have surgery annually if I had to – like renewing a lease. While I say that as a joke, it really is the truth.

Gone are the days of being in constant physical pain – and feeling miserable. Gone are the days of worrying about breaking chairs, public ridicule, ill-fitting online order-only clothing, two seats on an airplane, social anxiety, and generally watching life pass me by as a bystander. I feel like I’m living, I feel like I’m alive.

In support group meeting, people often ask me what he toughest part has been. For me, it has never been physical… but mostly the mental and emotional changes I’ve been through in the past 2 1/2 years. The relationships you have with people can change for the better (or worse) when you make a complete overhaul in your life. What I’ve learned is that I needed to be a bit more “selfish” and make myself a priority if I wanted to get to a healthier place and that’s exactly what I’ve done. I make no apologies!

If I had to do it over, I would do almost everything the same. I’m glad I went “hardcore” and was strict with my eating habits for as long as I could go. Losing as much weight pre-op was key. I’m forever grateful that I started therapy during the supervised diet. Attending support group meetings regularly has been integral. Taking pictures along the way really helps in those times when it feels like you’ve only moved an inch, but in reality you’ve gone a mile.

The best advice I can give to anyone starting this process is for you to practice both accountability and personal responsibility. Accept that poor habits have gotten you to where you are, but turning it around is possible. Track. your. damn. food/drink. WEIGH/MEASURE EVERYTHING. Too often, I hear/read about people magically gaining weight or “stalling” in their weight loss… wondering how this is happening. If it’s happening…. you aren’t being honest with yourself about how much you are eating and drinking – plain and simple. No more excuses, no more denial. That’s the best way I can summarize!

What’s next for me? Well, I’m very excited to be finishing the plastic surgery process in just two weeks with a thigh lift and slight revision to my lower body lift – yay! In just over six weeks, I’m turn 30!! I’m very excited about it, believe it or not, because I truly feel as though I’ve gotten better with age! 🙂 I’ll be updating here and there after surgery – wish me luck! 🙂

Same outfit - two years apart!

Same outfit – two years apart!

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General Update, Plastic Surgery Progress Pics, & Round 2?

It’s been awhile sine I have updated…. mostly because there hasn’t been much to share in my journey to be a healthier and happier version of me! March was also the busiest month I think I have ever had in my entire life. I’ve put in a lot of hours at my full-time job, completed a tremendous amount of freelance work, and finally finished the graduate class I got an extension on in the Fall (fell behind because of plastic surgery as well as gallbladder removal in December!). In addition to all of this, I’ve been traveling like crazy for both personal and work-related reasons.

I think things are finally calming down now. I thought I would write a short update and post new pictures to show the progress of my plastic surgery scars. I’m really happy with how they are looking, although I will admit to not liking the scar above my ass crack from the opening I had after surgery. No big deal, really, but bothers me a little bit! I have created a password protected post to show the progress on my plastic surgery scars. If you don’t have the password and would like it, shoot me an email at flirtybythirty15@gmail.com. I promise to get better at checking this email address! 🙂

Just a couple of noteworthy things! First, I’ll be visiting Dr. Capella again on Friday for a follow-up appointment (I can’t believe it has been OVER six months since plastic surgery – where did the time go!?) During this appointment, Dr. Capella is going to talk to me about an inner thigh lift, something I have decided I want to do. I’m a little undecided about implants, but it’s something I’ll talk with him about. I won’t lie… there are certain times of the month (I’m guessing for hormonal reasons) that my breasts look much fuller and nicer than they do, say… right now. It’s moments like right now that I think, “Hmm… I wouldn’t mind some new ta-tas!” lol I don’t necessarily mind the SIZE of my breasts as much as the shape and fullness of them.

I have an idea of how much the thigh lift costs, which is why I have been doing so much freelance work. I was able to save half of the almost $20,000 cost for the first round of plastic surgery by saving, saving, saving! I financed the other half and at the time, my husband and I made a “deal” that together we would pay the cost of the financed portion of the first round of surgery and if I wanted anything else, that I would use my own freelance money for it (I keep all of my freelance money for myself… muahahaha!) I don’t want to finance the second round and I’d like to pay in cash… so I guess it will just take a little time! I’ll have to write another update after Friday’s appointment to let those who are interested know how it goes!

Also, I have less than 3 months before turning 30!!! Crazy! Obviously, when I started this blog I had a lot of goals for things I wanted to accomplish by 30. At the time, turning 30 seemed so far away and the list of things I wanted to do, see, and accomplish seemed impossible. It’s amazing how much your life can change in a few short years – for the better! Every time I go to my local support group, I tell pre-op patients that I would have this surgery over and over again…. even annually, like renewing a lease, if I had to because the experience has certainly been worth it! 🙂

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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