2 year surgiversary 

Today is my 2 year surgiversary. My highest weight was 292 & I got as low as 144 after all of my skin removal surgeries, but I’ve basically been maintaining 155-160 since 11 months out. Today was 157.4, which is still “overweight” according to the stupid BMI, so there’s part of my stupid brain that wants to get back to 144. But the reality is that I’m pretty happy (& my body seems content) where I am. My body fat is 23.5% (my goal was to be <25%), my RMR is 1660 (pretty much normal for my size), I exercise regularly (OTF, oh how I love you!), clothing sizes are weird but I’m comfortably wearing 8/10/M (vanity sizing still makes me crazy!), and my eating has fairly naturally fallen into the 80/20 pattern (good 80% of the time & not so good 20% of the time). I finally feel like I’ve found my new “normal”! I thought my OSW was 150, and I could probably get back below there if I wanted to start dieting again, but I’d rather focus on being healthy, fit & living my life… so screw you BMI! My new OSW is 160… if I see that number, I’m not going to panic, but I am going to pay attention & make sure that it goes no further! 
So year 1 was all about losing weight & creating new healthy habits. Year 2 was learning to maintain. Year 3 I’m going to focus on fitness! Now that I’ve found OTF (have I mentioned how much I ❤️❤️ it??), my new goal is to increase my lean mass & get down to 20% body fat. Technically, I don’t have to follow up with my surgeon anymore, but my plan is to continue seeing him & get my BF/RMR tested every 6 months. My thinking is that continuing these regular check ins with him will keep me accountable (plus I ❤️ him), & the testing will give me concrete data on how I’m progressing (& since RMR usually decreases with age, I want to make sure I stay on top of that so I can adjust accordingly). 
A typical day for me now looks like this: 

1700-2000 calories, 120+g protein and <100g carbs (primarily from fruits & veggies, with some whole grains)

Coffee with premier protein 

OTF

Greek yogurt with high protein or paleo granola

1 mile walk to work

2 hard boiled eggs with fruit

Salad with chicken or steak

Cottage cheese with whole grain crispbread

Some kind of meat/veggie meal (this week has been bell peppers stuffed with ground beef, zucchini, mushroom, cauliflower rice & cheese)

96+ oz water throughout the day
So that’s my 2 year update! I’m still considering 1 more skin removal to fix my arms & upper back, but that is 100% vanity, so I’m really not sure if it’s worth having to take 6 weeks off from OTF… but that may be part of year 3. Getting my sleeve has changed my life & I’m forever grateful! 

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2 years

I had my 2 year follow up yesterday (I’m officially 2 years on 9/15), so let’s start with the numbers. My official weight was up 3 lbs from my 1 year. I lost 2lbs of lean mass, gained 5lbs of fat & my body fat % went up from 20.9 to 23.5. My original goal for myself was to be under 25%, so I’m still good there. Honestly, considering that I didn’t really work out at all for the better part of the year (I had seriously slacked on going to the gym… and by that I mean not at all… right around my 1 year surgiversary), I can’t say the results surprised me. My resting metabolic rate has also gone down some, from 1770 to 1660. That drop is also fairly normal since my body has adjusted to it’s new smaller size & is right where the general RMR calculators predict for my age/weight/height, so no concerns there. 

So with all of this new information, I’ve decided on some new goals. In the next 6 months, I’m going to focus on trying to increase my lean mass a bit. I’m going to do this by increasing the weights I’m lifting at Orange Theory. I really haven’t been pushing myself too hard with weights, so it’s time to take it up a notch. My goal is to increase my lean mass by 2 lbs and get my body fat down to 20%. So that would mean losing about 5lbs total (7lb fat loss & 2lb lean mass gain). I think that’s a realistic and not overly aggressive goal. I’ll go do the BodPod & MedGem again in March to see how I do… plus it gives me an excuse to go see my surgeon again!

I also saw my plastic surgeon and talked about the possibility of brachioplasty and back lift. The results wouldn’t be nearly as dramatic as my other surgeries, so I really need to think about whether it’s worth it. My initial thought was that if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it now, but there’s really no rush. So while part of me wants to just do it and be done, I think it makes more sense to just wait and re-assess in 6 months. I’m just not sure… I may have to talk it through with my therapist!

So life at 2 years post op… what can I say? Life is pretty amazing… better than I imagined it could be! I feel fantastic, both physically and mentally… there’s really nothing I can’t do! When I think about my life before… I was just existing. Now, I’m finally LIVING! It’s getting harder to even remember what my life was like before… I feel like a completely different person in so many ways. But I don’t want to forget the old me, so my other big goal involves therapy. I’ve done a really good job at compartmentalizing the “before” me, so I’m going to work with my therapist on making myself whole again… no more “before” & “after”… just me! I’ve already talked to her about it, and I know it won’t be easy… but I know it will be worth it. 

So there you have it! I can’t wait to see what life has in store for me! 

It’s been a while

Wow, my last post was the day after my inner thigh lift… almost 3 months ago! I have to say that the recovery from that one was the worst. I didn’t have any major complications, but the groin incisions took a long time to heal. For some reason, my body just didn’t like the internal stitches and was constantly spitting them. Little pockets of fluid would form under the incision & then burst… and the stitch would come out. It wasn’t really painful, just uncomfortable. The worst part was that they always seemed to burst when I was wearing white shorts! I just had another one last week & I’m hoping that was the last of them!

After my tummy tuck, I really had no appetite for a long time… which was great… but it’s back to normal now. Since my surgeries were so close together, I pretty much couldn’t exercise for almost 5 months, and I got really lazy about eating & let the snacking get a bit out of control. My current weight is around the same as before all of the skin removal, and even though I was all cleared for exercise at the end of June, it took seeing 160 on the scale (I was ~155 before surgery) to actually wake me up! I joined Orange Theory Fitness in late July, and I absolutely LOVE IT!! I can feel myself getting stronger and I even look forward to going! 

I have my 2 year follow up with my sleeve surgeon on 9/8, and I’ll be doing the BodPod (body composition test) & MedGem (metabolic rate test) as well. The last time I did the testing was a year ago; I weighed 155.8, 20.9% body fat, and my RMR was 1770. I’m curious to see how the numbers have changed in the last year & hope I can get rid of a few lbs between now & then… and if I don’t, I hope I’ve at least maintained my body fat %.

Almost forgot… I’m also seeing my plastic surgeon that day! It’s mostly a follow up/check in… but we’ll probably talk about whether or not I want to do something about my arms & back. The last time I saw him (in June), I told him that I wanted a few months to work out and tone up before making any decisions about more surgery. If I do decide to have one last procedure, it won’t be until probably mid-December. We’ll see…

I’m not going to promise to post before my appointments, but I will for sure post after!

Day 1

Well, today is day 1 of my last skin removal surgery recovery. I’m sore & swollen and kind of glad there’s no full length mirror here! 

My back is starting to bother me because of how I’ve been positioning myself. Since the incisions extend around my butt crease, I’ve been basically sitting &/or lying almost as curled up as I was with my tummy tuck. Not using the recliner for this one, because it doesn’t keep my legs elevated enough. So here I sit with my legs on a bolster, willing the stupid swelling to go down! 

I think that’s about all for now. 

Post op thighs

Surgery went well. It only took 4 hours instead of the 5 he originally expected. He removed 2.6lbs of skin this time. He also decided to do some lipo (surprise!) & removed ~1600 ml of fat that way. Since he put the compression garment on while I was still in the OR, I have no idea what I look like, but I’ll get my first peek on Friday when I shower. Not sure why, but I don’t have any drains this time, WOO HOO! Hopefully we don’t end up regretting that decision. 

I came home & immediately took a nap and slept through when I was supposed to take my pain meds. Needless to say, I woke up in pain! Thankfully I was able to get it back under control within an hour, and now I’ve set alarms, so that won’t happen again. 

Ok, still kind of loopy, so that’s it for now. 

Thighs

Less than 48 hours to go before my last skin removal surgery. I’m not really nervous about the surgery itself, but I’m not looking forward to the recovery. Since my surgeon has already told me that there’s about a 50% chance of issues with healing, I find myself trying to find a balance of being positive & being realistic. My recoveries from the first two were so much easier than I expected, that I kind of feel like I’m going to pay for it with this one!

But as much as I’m not looking forward to recovery… I’m REALLY looking forward to being recovered! It’s crazy to think that my days of chub rub are almost behind me! And I’ll finally be able to start building a new permanent wardrobe instead of just finding things to wear for now (because that’s what I’ve been doing for the last year & a half). And I’m going to have to get some summer clothes soon, because I’m going on vacation on July 8th, and I’ve got nothing to wear! I’ll be visiting my bestie in CT and he has a pool, so a new swimsuit is a must. I’m thinking a bikini… how crazy is that?? I’ll also be visiting my sister & her family (& my first great niece or nephew… due later this month) in NY for a few days. And I’m super excited to see the first boy I ever loved (when I was 12!). We were best friends until we were 17, but then our lives just went in very different directions. It’s been over 30 years, but we reconnected a couple of weeks ago (thank you Facebook!) & have been talking everyday since. It’s crazy in a good way. In some ways it feels like it’s been forever (because it has), but then it’s like no time has passed at all. Anyway, I’m super excited to see him again, too!

But back to shopping! I need shorts & tshirts & cute summer dresses & shoes (because my feet have shrunk, too) & a swimsuit! Thankfully, I’m getting & promotion and a fairly significant raise at work, so at least I’ll be able to pay for it all! 

And now I’m off to do some last minute stuff to get ready for surgery before going to see mom for Mother’s Day. 

Next update will be after surgery… wish me luck!

Boobs & thighs

Still super happy with my new boobies! They’re healing well overall, just one little spot near the top of my left nipple that we’re going to keep an eye on, but no real concern. Yesterday, my amazing surgeon said that if he didn’t know better (& obviously he knows because he did it!) he would think I had an augmentation/implants and not just a lift. I love that he’s so proud of himself!

And then I asked him to yank & tug (those were my exact words… totally cracked him up!) at my thighs so I could see what to expect. Not only is there a lot of skin on my upper thighs that needs to go, but there’s also some above my knees that I was hoping he could fix. The reality is that the thigh “lift” doesn’t really lift that much, so the above the knee area, while somewhat improved, may not be totally gone. He said that he expected the incision to go all the way from my knee to my groin, which will tighten things up overall. Then the other incision would run under my butt cheek (proving some much needed definition), along my panty line in the groin, and continuing up along the panty line not quite to my TT scar. So even though my legs won’t be perfect (& honestly, who’s legs are??), they will be dramatically improved! 

He was starting to worry that I wasn’t happy with what he told me to expect. Silly man! I told him that I trust him implicitly; that he does great work (duh); and then I said, “don’t fuck it up!” His response? “I’m so glad you’re my patient!”

The universe certainly smiled on me when it comes to my surgeons!

12 more days!