Day 17

Some days I try to forget that I have an autoimmune condition and I try to forget that I have non diabetic reactive hypoglycaemia and that I have just had major surgery. I probably shouldn’t have stood in the rain watching my boy play football this morning but old habits die hard.

The older my children get the more grateful I am for every moment a I have with them. It is a privilege to be able to be there and cheer for our kids. The busy days will come to an end eventually and I chose to be thankful in the middle of this busy season of life. The number of years that we get to do this, the footy games, late night pick ups, Coles runs in the middle of the night, blanket days and all of those wonderful things is limited. I wish I understood that better when I was younger but thankfully I am so very aware of it now.

So, this morning I did go and stand in the rain and watch my boy play the game he loves. I didn’t miss a moment and seeing his joy, seeing his eyes scan the boundary and smile when he saw me – well that makes it worthwhile!!!

So I came home and fell in a heap for a little while. I had to change my dressings and shower which is exhausting! But it is all done now and I just got up and made a mess of dinner. I am thankful that I will be quickly forgiven!! I have lost 3 kilos since my surgery :/ which is a complete accident but this may be my new normal as I don’t know how much skin was removed. So tonight I am going to snuggle on the lounge with my boys and Dazza’s beautiful girlfriend and breathe in the moment!

Arm before surgery
And now

Home – Day 4

Good morning Family! I was allowed to go home yesterday!! My drains were removed and I was discharged at noon! I am loving being home and have curled up in my favourite outdoor chair in a sunny place on our back deck to enjoy the feeling of warmth in the air and a beautiful cup of French Earl Grey with Tasteless in it made for me by my 11 year old son!

Yesterday was a super emotional day. I woke up from a wonderful sleep because an incredible nurse by the name of Maddi at SJOG in Geelong went out of her way to get me a recliner to sleep in last night. It meant the world to me to be able to get comfortable and she did not have to go out of her way to make my night easier like that but she did. I have to say that I had an absolutely exceptional hospital experience this time. Every staff member was wonderful but particularly Kate, Maddi and Meg – those girls just went out of their way to help me and I am so thankful.

Then something happened that has never happened to me in my entire adult life – I put a bra on and I didn’t have to tuck my side boob flap in and as soon as that happened I started to cry. I cannot even tell you how many times I have dreamed of that and I never thought it would happen. Gosh I am thankful for the transformative power of weight loss surgery, for skilled surgeons, for family and friends and most of all for the possibilities that unfold before us when we start to believe that we do matter. Have a beautiful weekend. Sending love to everyone and don’t forget to show up for your life and let nothing stop you xx

The Count Down

Well, here we go! Counting down until I am having surgery 😳😳. Last night I decided to take the pictures that I have been dreading. I sort of felt like I needed to prove to myself that I wasn’t just making a bigger deal of my skin than it actually is. Gosh self doubt can be a horrible thing. These pictures were for me. I mean this in the kindest possible way but no one else’s opinion of my skin will influence or define my thoughts on it. I care about the thoughts of those that will help me to recover post operatively but I am only influenced in this by what I believe is going to be best for my long term health. I have to live in this body and so have to know what is best for it and be responsible for the choices I make.

When I last saw my plastic surgeon a few months ago he said to me “when we do your bum and thighs ……” because they are as wrinkly as my front is …. and I know that he is coming from a place of wanting me to look as good as possible considering the years of abuse I subjected my body to via food! However, I can’t, at this point, imagine that I will reach a place in myself where I will ever want to have those areas of my body done. That is the reality. Reconstructive plastic surgery is a big deal and the recovery is hard. The more I have learned about the recovery etc the more positive I am that the higher the weight and the more weight that was lost the harder the reconstructive work may be and also the longer and more complex the recovery. So that must be accounted for!

In truth I am melted, imperfect and marred by the life I have lived. I look somewhat melted naked but I am pretty fucking glorious in this state. I am okay with how I look – I just want to be able to avoid belly button infections and skin break downs and hopefully not catch my arm skin on things!! So that seems like a fairly reasonable request to me.

Yesterday was Easter Sunday and it was a hard day. I spent most of it outside in the yard. I needed to do something different to stop myself and that seems to be a great strategy for me if I am starting to focus on unhelpful thoughts. Probably the fact that I have been sick for nearly a month has not helped much! I have been feeling quite down and that can lead to feeling a little bit lonely. Often times I tend to forget that I have autoimmune conditions and weird blood sugar dramas! I want to be able to feel like a “normal” person and will push myself to be that, until my body does what it has for the last two weeks. My tipping point is much easier to arrive at than it used to be. That frustrates me! I had antibiotics for two weeks for a condition and just when I seemed to be improving, I think I allowed stress to get on top of me again. So I am staring down the barrel of my 4th week on antibiotics with the addition of an inhaler for 6 weeks for my sinuses and a week of prednisone 😟

So instead of going to church after Easter Sunday Breakfast, I allowed my kids current feelings around that issue to be heard and even more importantly – to hold some weight. So, we sat at home – enjoying time in the back yard together.

As the afternoon went on and I got to thinking about more and more of the situations surrounding some difficulties that I have been facing, it became clearer and clearer why I have been holding back. I have always been my own harshest critic and I have realised that once again fear was probably what has been holding me back!

So I decided to get really clear about my why for this surgery and what I am planning to do after it is over. This enabled me to give myself a kick in the pants because I needed one!!

1. I want to be free of skin related issues going into the future.

2. I want to be able to avoid pain when exercising.

3. I want to be able to look better in clothes rather than always bulgy and bumpy.

4. I want to remove my excuses.

So with all of that in mind I decided that I needed some new pics – here they are. 18 months post ETT with Muscle Repair, mons lift, breast lift, breast reduction and fat transfer.

What is planned for my revision surgery is FDL revision of my Tummy tuck, extended arm lift dealing with side boob skin and fat transfer.

On The Table

Motivation Monday! If you haven’t danced like a crazy girl in a pink wig on a table top and don’t have a rainbow wall and a disco ball in your dining room have you really lived ?? 🤣

You know, this isolation business is hard but for me, it’s the safest thing for me to do. That kick arse, beyond terrified of failing – but still brave enough to do it anyway, tired of being downtrodden, bigger version of me went through far too much to be here in this moment, for me to waste even a single day! I lived a shell of a life for the best part of two decades and I used my size to sideline myself from the fun, the crazy, the silly and the things that I wanted to do! It is hard right now but don’t let our current circumstances suck every bit of joy out of life. You are worth celebrating right now! You have breath in your lungs! You have the power to decide to make the very best of today. I may feel heart broken and I might be struggling but I will not let those things rob me of the joy of living in the moment. Life is full of mountain tops and valley experiences and if you are in a valley – well get on the damn table with me and let hope fill you up. Better days ARE coming xx

6 Months Post Plastics

WTF Wednesday – I am coming up on being 6 months post my first plastic surgery. I am honestly very much in two minds about doing it again. I need revision – That isn’t me saying it, although it was obvious straight after my first surgery that I wasn’t as I hoped I would be, that is my surgical team saying I require revision as I am often asked about my excess skin and truthfully I believe that the amount I had and have is typical for someone that has lost as much weight as I have and is now as light as I am – With the other factors like my age and the fact that I have 5 children.

When I look at things objectively I know that I need to go ahead with my revision surgery – for the sake of my skin as I age – this is because I am still prone to skin infections and skin tears but I still have misgivings. It was not a straight forward recovery for me and I have not shared everything on here because quite honestly I had PTSD resurface and still dislike talking about certain aspects of what I experienced.

My surgeons explained to me that in someone that has lost as much weight as I have, the skin is damaged and will likely sag again requiring revision. Thankfully this is not as invasive as the massive muscle repair and clean out of previous scar tissue and old seromas that happened the first time around.

I do love living life without the skin apron and I love my lifted mons but I hate the loose upper abdominal skin and the fact that it still manages to pull and rip! My side boobs are to be dealt with in the revision surgery as are my arms. I don’t hate my flappy arm bits but the side boob makes it impossible to wear correctly fitting bras and I wear compression to hold it in every day.

I think it’s fairly incredible the difference that 6 months had made – I still swell from time to time but for the most part it’s hard to explain the difference that not having the apron has made to my life in terms of how much less daily pain I experience.

So what did I have done? I had ETT with mons lift and corset muscle repair (my thighs lifted quite a lot from this part of the procedure)

Breast Lift, Breast reduction with fat transfer.

My surgery was completed by Misters Ian Holten and Raf Acosta from Australian Skin Face Body in Geelong.

Worth it

While we were visiting with family I spent a lot of time lounging around in the sun and enjoying gloriously warm summer day. My excess skin is still there – it is still a reality and it is what remains from my years of self abuse with food. I am never going to have a perfect body – whatever that is – I actually don’t care that I will never have tight skin. I am a happily marred roadmap of imperfections and I love that about me. I don’t want to be anything other than the best me that I can be and right now – this is it! Self love and acceptance shouldn’t be based on when you reach a certain milestone – self love is knowing that you are loved, valuable and worth it so every other thing that you reach for in the journey to better yourself comes from that. I’m not waiting to be loveable or worth it – I already am! I was when I was over 95 kilos heavier too. Wherever you are at on the journey – please know that you are worth it. Well that’s what I believe anyway xx

Flappage Be Gone

Tomorrow is the day! Oh my word – the nerves abound. I feel anxious in ways that I didn’t think were possible. My ole mate, the wibbly wobbly excess tummy skin is about to be removed AND my breasts shall be gravity defying chin pillows! I am quietly hopeful, expectant, excited and ready for the next step.

This moment has been 16 months in the making, but honestly it has been coming for years. I actually wondered if I would ever get to this point. When I was finding it impossible to curb my bad eating habits I wondered if I would even live to see my 40’s – and yet here we are! I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to have had weight loss surgery. I am grateful to my husband, children, extended family, friends, church family, school community and the the Gastric Sleeve and Bypass Support Australia page on facebook for the encouragement, love and kindness that I have been shown on the journey.

I am also grateful for the negative parts of my journey, I am thankful for the struggles because they have taught me lessons that I will never forget and that I am a kinder, less judgemental, more compassionate and humble person for having experienced. It has not been easy, and the price paid has been steep – but the comeback is going to be outstanding.

New Body Loading in 3, 2, 1 ……………………………………………………………………………………………………