I am not vain. I had very little self-confidence. I have never been proud of my body, happy with how I look and felt like I was worth it. Which makes this whole thing that much harder. I continue to work on myself. I am learning to love me, my body and have self-confidence, everyday. It is sad that it has taken me this long(29 years!) to figure it out, but I have worked my tail off the past 19 months and I'm not about to shrug it off as a "I could do/be better". I am in the best shape of my life. I am smaller than I was in High School(!). And I haven't given up. I have found ME again. Which was the goal from the beginning.
Welcome Back, Amanda. Welcome Back!
It's not even a welcome back, really. It's a HI! You've finally arrived! I am not the same person I was, even a year ago. I have learned a lot about myself. I have learned to love the things I didn't (my butt, for one) and simply say "there is always room for impovement" on others(my legs and arms). There is a love/hate relationship with my body, but I learn something new about it everyday and I am more than happy with ME now.
A year ago, I swallowed my fear(a shot of tequila-shhh! don't tell my doc!) and had complete abdominoplasty with major muscle repair(thanks boys!). Best decision of my life. Seriously. I had gone back and forth for three years with wether or not I was going to do it. But the one thing I was adamant about was losing the weight I gained with the shorts and toning as much as I could BEFORE doing it. And I did. SO. Ten months after sucking it up and getting my life back, I went under the knife and got a new stomach. Okay, not really. But I did fix the one thing that was keeping me from realizing how far I had come.
And now, it gets a little ugly. And by ugly, I mean graphic. And gross. And disgusting. And ugly.
(I told you. I want to vomit myself.)
(my belleh buttown looks gnarly, right?!)
(that protruding at the top is my stomach. Sexy right? And the bruising? Oh yeah, hawt!)
(The lack of eating from being intubated has made my cheeks sink in. Sexah!)
Two Weeks Post Op:
(holy swollen batman! This was awful!)
Three Weeks Post Op:
(Oh yeah, that belly button. Gag.)
(I don't have anything, but HOLY PALE BATMAN!)
(I should have probably cleaned the mirror before taking this...)
Seven Weeks Post Op:
Weeks Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen:
(First bikini, in YEARS!)
(Brown skinned momma)
(those jeans, yeah. I had to get rid of them because they were too big)
(count them. one. two. three. four. five. six. Six. Bwa ha ha.)
Twelve Months(AKA: The fastest year EVER):
(I'd like to thank my husband, for cutting his hair and not clearing off the counter before hand. Awesome.)
Recovery wasn't easy, but it wasn't hard. I'd like to thank Roni, for posting about her own tuck and what to expect, because it was nice to have something and someone to read about that went through it.
I lost 5lbs with the surgery and have lost another 10lbs since. I recommit everyday to keep this body and I work hard. The hardest thing about recovery was getting used to my new body. The first trip to the pool was hard. I was scared, self conscious and worried about judgement. But it wasn't them I needed to be worried about, it was ME.
I had a dark few months after surgery. Dealing with me, my own head, emotions and learning a lot. The one thing I kept going back to was WHY I FELT SO BAD ABOUT LOVING MY OWN BODY?! A body I worked SO DAMN HARD FOR. I did this. Yes, I had surgery. But the surgery didn't "fix" me, the surgery fixed the muscle damage and took something away I worked hard to remove, but wasn't going anywhere. I DID THIS. I owned it. And once I did, It was like there was a whole new world opened up to me. I LOVED ME. I LOVE ME. This is MY body, I worked for it and I earned it! No one will ever take that away from me.
I've heard people say things(I cheated etc), but be rest assured, I in no way, cheated. Like I said, people who know me, know why I did this. And I do it again in a heartbeat!