Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Caterpiilar

Hi Girls-

So, guess what?!?  It's my birthday so Happy Birthday to me!  And also to my birthday twin Lana at My New Happy!  I'm 39---wowza...my last year of my 30's!  How did this even happen?!?  I remember when I was in my teens thinking that this age seemed so far away and it was.  However, it got here so quickly.  My 20's were a blur, turning 30 was so hard, not as hard as 36 because I was officially in my "late" 30's but now I am one year shy of the big 4-0.  But hey, it is what it is...so you are going to be seeing my new hashtag #39andfeelingfine on my IG from now on in addition to my #dailyjenny2017.  I may be a horrible blogger but I've got IG down pat!


So...what to write about in celebration of my birth!  Well, I decided to go controversial.  If you've been reading here for any length of time, you know I mainly write about my friends (who are the bestest), my sister (who is also the bestest), my job sometimes, a lot of travel, food (when I actually cook), my love life including some horrific and fun stories about online dating (yep, still single though that is definitely interesting now and due a post for sure) and my last year getting to a more healthier me.  I never write about controversial things (or what I think is controversial)--politics, women's rights, abortion, religion, war, etc.  I try to keep my blog lighthearted because that's how I live my life---for the most part.  But today's post could be considered controversial by some but I'm laying it out there because 1) this is my blog 2) I want to document my process 3) it's my birthday 4) I don't want this to be a shameful experience for myself and 5) at this point in my life, if you don't like me or the decisions I make or have made, I'm ok with that.  Like really, I'm ok with it.

Well, let's get to it.  If you follow me on IG, I posted about my "weightiversary" on April 12th.  I also had written about part of my weight loss journey on here back in December but because I'm a slacker blogger I haven't written anything else about that journey or anything else in awhile.  You guys know how I am?  No surprise!  So back to my "weightiversary"---April 12th was a year to the date that I decided to take back control of my life and get serious about my health.  And I did!  I went to a medical weight loss doctor supervised clinic and lost nearly 70 lbs, a ton of inches off my waist, a huge % of body fat and was finally in control of my eating.  Don't get me wrong---I'll ALWAYS be a food addict and if you can relate to that comment, you completely understand.  It's a never ending process and I will never be able to eat the way I did before--although I'm now a little less strict on some food choices but it won't be an every day occurrence meaning I may have a cheat meal but it won't be a cheat day or cheat weekend.

So you are probably thinking...ok Jenny...where's the controversial part of your post?  Well, here goes.  I'll be honest---I really struggled with writing this.  As a matter of fact, I wrote it, deleted it, wrote it again, deleted it and here I am with the final post that I pressed "Publish" on with a shaky finger.  I even discussed it with my bestie Jess who told me to be prepared for criticism and people feeling the need to comment on my decisions.  But the main thing she told me is that it "might be empowering" and that was the kicker.  I knew I needed to write about THIS.  And that "THIS" if you are wondering is that I chose to have cosmetic surgery.   

I am now 39 and I have spent well over 25 years of my life dieting, losing weight, gaining weight...blah blah blah.  Because of this, when I finally decided that enough was enough and that it wasn't going to get any easier as I aged, my body and its elasticity didn't bounce back like it did when I was in my early 20's.  I was so very proud of my weight loss but I couldn't see that when I looked in the mirror because all I saw were saggy breasts and a tummy with extra skin and fat pockets that I couldn't do anything else about. 

Listen, I know this is where many would say "love your body as it is", "you've done so much, be happy with where you are now", "be grateful for how far you've come"...and y'all, that is ok.  Hell I probably would say that to you before all of this and still will.  And if you are a woman who has struggled with your weight and you've succeeded by reaching your goal and loved your body the way it is at that stage than I applaud you---like really applaud you.  You are amazing!  You are a rockstar!  You are gorgeous!  And you should be so proud of yourself! 

But I wasn't there.  Again, I wanted to see myself in the mirror what I felt like I saw in my mind of what a body should look like after a major weight loss like I had.  And I didn't.  So I made a decision.  And it wasn't one I had gone into lightly. 

My breast have always been a sore subject for me---they've always been big.  ALWAYS!  And after years of losing and gaining weight, they got saggy.  Like real saggy.  Like nipples pointing to my armpits when I lay down saggy.  Like double D, ain't fitting in any button up without a gaping hole in the front boobies saggy.  My party trick for my besties was that I could hang a towel under my boobs and walk around without holding it with my hands.  Yes, I know I use humor in uncomfortable situations.  But it's totally true and they'll all tell you they've seen this.  I've always wanted to have a breast reduction and even went for a consultation many years ago during one of my weight loss plans in my early 30's. 

My tummy was something new because when I've lost before I've gotten to the point where I was relatively happy with it and it looked "just ok"--especially when I was laying down.  Right ladies?  But since getting older and losing such a massive amount for my body, my tummy just didn't bounce back.  I was hoping to get away with just doing liposuction but during my first consult with my plastic surgeon, he told me that I wouldn't achieve the results I wanted with merely doing that.

Now let me talk about that...my surgeon.  HE IS AMAZING!  This whole process was very scary for me.  I have never had any type of surgery EVER.  I've never been under anesthesia.  I've never had a major injury.  I've never even stayed a night in the hospital.  But finding the right surgeon for you is so important.  And I am so fortunate that I didn't have to look very far because he had actually done a mommy makeover for a friend of mine a couple of years ago and I went with her to a couple of her follow up appointments and actually saw the end results of his work.  Two years later, she still looks amazing!  But if you are considering any type of cosmetic surgery and don't know anyone who has personally had it done, I strongly urge you to do your homework.  Lots of homework, lots of consult interviews, etc.  Don't just go with the cheapest because you're wanting to save a few bucks.  This is your body we are talking about here and there's probably a reason it's inexpensive---I mean would you really choose a cosmetic surgeon if they had a Groupon?!?  No offense groupon...I really like the towels I got :) 

So...you're probably wondering what did I have done right?  I've been building it up so much over the last 10 paragraphs.  Come on Jenny, right?!?   I'm actually laughing as I write this because now I'm one of "those" people who have had "work" done.  But yes, it's true.  I am one of those people now.  I had a breast reduction and lift (no implants), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and liposuction.  Yes, it sounds like a lot because it was a lot!  A whole lot!  And it hurt!  It hurt a lot!  Like hell actually--the worst pain I've had in my entire life--especially the first few days!  I had to be completely dependent on friends and family for the first week because I couldn't be left alone due to of all the pain meds and a drain that was hanging out of my tummy.  And when I say dependent, I mean completely dependent.  Y'all, I know you've heard me say that my sister is the best but for reals, she is THE BEST and did more for me in the first five days after my surgery than imaginable--even emptying out my drain and wiping my ass and helping me shower (and other worse stuff that I can't even bring myself to share with y'all).  And to best friend Lizzie who stayed with me for 4 days and took care of me to give my poor sis a break from me (you know you are at a new level of friendship when they actually put your panties on for you because you can't bend down).  And to my best friend Jess who stayed with me and brought me food.  And to my best friend Jenna who sat with me.  And to my best friend Pamela who gave me the bestest care package before my surgery, brought me my first meal of my favorite chicken and dumplings that she makes and let me cry on her shoulder the day before because I was scared to death (and also was in my recovery room and made sure to document all the crazy things I said when I was coming out of anesthesia).  Oh and it hurt the second week too!  Still a lot but not as bad as the first!  It hurt the third week too--not as bad as the second week but still hurt!  I had a scare with a possible blood clot.  I had to sleep in a recliner for 3 weeks.  I had to wear compression garments for a month which I've now been moved up to the ever so sexy Spanx to continue my recovery.  I had to stop taking birth control 2 weeks before my surgery and 2 weeks after my surgery which means I had my period amidst this whole process---damn you mother nature!  And I still have swelling almost a month into the process (I had it all done on 4/17).  And I will still have swelling for another couple of months!  I had to give up alcohol because of the medication--y'all know I love my booze.  My belly button looked gross for a long time--because it's essentially a new belly button--think new born baby umbilical cord.  And I have scars on my breasts.  And I have a scar from hip bone to hip bone where they cut me from my tummy tuck.  I wasn't quite prepared for the pain (mostly because I've never had surgery and didn't really know my threshold) but I was prepared for the scars because I watched too many YouTube videos (which BTW, I totally don't recommend you do if you are considering this).  However, because my surgeon is ABSOLUTELY AMAZING at his craft, my scarring is going to be very minimal and I am certain that next year at this time, I won't even be able to see it.  It was done that well.

Again, why did I tell you all this?  Because this was MY decision.  And MY decision is not the right decision for everyone.  And if you don't agree with MY decision, that is ok.  Really, it's ok.  But I have absolutely no regrets at all.  NONE!  Not one bit!  I look at my body and am absolutely amazed at what modern medicine and surgery can do.  I love my breasts and if you are a close friend of mine I probably have shown them to you (I hear that's pretty common).  I love my new tummy and the results that I'm getting even with the swelling I still have.  It will only get better.  I love that I can put on a bathing suit and not want to hide or crop out my tummy from pictures.  I love that I can wear a bikini at 39--which I'm sure is a fashion faux pas but screw it.  I love that I can love my body (which is still not perfect and will never be because let's face it I'm still a girl and that's how we are) but I love it and I am not ashamed of that.  I'm also not ashamed of how I got there.  Because I am not forgetting that for a year I worked harder than I have ever worked before to lose weight, gain control of my eating and get healthy.  I worked out nearly every day of the week and gave up bread for goodness sake!  Having this surgery was merely the icing on the cake (or the stevia coating on the protein bar lol)! 

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  Obviously now I am very open about this process.  Also, if you are looking for a surgeon Hunstad/Kortesis is definitely who I would recommend (even if you are not from the Charlotte area).  Dr. Kortesis was my surgeon and I can't say enough about him!  He's also on IG (drbillkortesis). 

What's with the title you may say?  Well, I'm 39---and this Caterpillar (notice I didn't say Ugly Duckling or anything of that sort because I did love me before, I just wanted a little upgrade) has now turned into a Butterfly and I'm flying into this last year of my 30's like nobodies business.  So in honor of my 39th birthday, I am posting my first ever bikini picture--like ever!  You know why...because I can!

And if you made it this far, bless your heart!  Thank you is all I can say!  I do have some great blogs planned---about things much less controversial and fun.  I just need a good swift kick in the pants to get my blogging juices going again.