Goal Update

At the start of this year, I decided to make monthly goals.  I did make some progress on them, but will repeat them for February.

The first goal was to cook more food at home and make freezer meals for future use.  I did reasonably well on this.  In my post setting my January goals, I said I had made some turky chili and some chicken/bean/rice wraps in a large batch.  I had then frozen individual servings.  That was a good start, but I indicated I needed to do more.  And, didn’t do any more of that type of cooking for the rest of the month.  We did eat more at home because I decided to only eat out once on the weekend instead of twice every weekend.  That was adding too many extra calories and making it harder during the week, particularly when we sometimes needed to eat out during the week when we were out and about far from home.  By only eating out once on most weekends, it has helped to make the rest of the week easier.

The second goal was to rejoin the YMCA and start strength training again.  I did rejoin the Y, but haven’t done anything with it.  January was a terrible month on activity.  There were some reasons for some of this.  January was a rough month for us and our pets.  Our 14 1/2 year old dog died.  That was expected as something that was going to soon happen, but was still hard.  Then, our cat who was being treated for lymphoma had come out of remission and by the end of the month he was gone.  And, finally, one of our other cats (the one I showed in the Christmas tree) had to have major surgery to have all of her teeth removed (to treat gingivostomatitis).  Her recovery has gone very well, but it was all very stressful.  During this time, I really just wanted to mostly be home with my pets and didn’t have a lot of energy to think about working out.

For February, the plan is to continue on with the goals I had for January.  I will do more cooking and will actually start using the Y.

2016 in Review

2016 was an interesting year.  From a weight standpoint, on the surface, things were kind of quiet.  At my December 2015 weigh in I weighed 145.4 pounds, which was just under my Weight Watchers goal weight of 146 pounds.  At my last December 2016 weigh in, I weighed 142.8 pounds.  Not much change there. My highest Weight Watchers weigh in was 147.8 pounds just a few days before my tummy tuck/breast lift in July.  My lowest weigh ins were 142.8 pounds in both April and December.

Plastic Surgery

My plastic surgery was really the dominant event of the year.   Losing over 65 pounds has been great.  But, weight loss just exacerbated my loose skin on both my face and body.  I worked with a personal trainer for almost a year and I got stronger.  But, it didn’t do anything to repair my abdominal muscles and loose skin that I had had ever since pregnancy.  Losing weight had helped get rid of fat, but it didn’t get rid of the loose skin.  That was like an elastic band that had been stretched out and that would never return to what it had been before.

I had been thinking about surgery for years, even while I was still losing weight.  As I got smaller, I felt my tummy still looked fat.  I read on blogs and websites (I especially liked Realself) about tummy tucks and thought it might be what I needed to get rid of the loose skin and repair the abdominal muscles.   As I read on Realself, I started to read about people having facial cosmetic surgery.  I hated my turkey neck and my sagging eyelids.  Even when I was much younger, I felt my eyelids drooped.  But, I hadn’t really thought about doing anything surgically.  At some point, I realized that if I did the tummy tuck, I would still hate looking at pictures since my face didn’t really reflect how I felt about myself.  So, I decided to do facial surgery. [Read more…]

I Don’t Think About My Appearance Much Now

Since having facial plastic surgery and a mommy makeover (tummy tuck + breast list), I have found that I think about my appearance much less than I did before.  Yes, I do take more care with my appearance now when I go out.  When I would often go out with no makeup before, I now spend 5 minutes on it.  Where I used to spend 15 minutes on a special occasion getting ready to go out, I will now spend 20 minutes.  Basically, before I often felt it was no use to try to make the effort and I now I feel that it is useful.

And, I’m still in the recovery period and have some things still to be done to complete all of my plans.  I am having a small revision in November on my facial surgery (mostly fixing how my ear lobe healed and piercing my ears again and doing the final group of excisions of my cholesterol deposits).  I will addressing some things not covered by the facial surgery, such as doing a Resurfx laser treatment on my face.  And, while I am ecstatically happy with my tummy tuck, I still have a lot of swelling during the day (this should slowly abate over the next couple of months). So, yes, I still think about those things.

But, the rest of the time I don’t think about my appearance much at all.  Last night, we went out for my husband’s birthday.  Afterwards, I took a quick picture of him and he took one of me.

10-13-2016 [Read more…]

Facial Plastic Surgery Update

I thought it was time for an update since it has been 4 weeks and 1 day since surgery.  Overall, I am doing much better.  I don’t get as tired and am able to use the treadmill for light walking now.  I am still sleeping in my recliner until next Monday so I can avoid sleeping on my side.  That is challenging, but manageable.

6-7 front

6-7 left

These pictures were taken today.  The only I don’t like is that my gray is starting to show and my perm hasn’t much left to it.  I can get a new perm in 2 weeks and then color a week after that.  Really looking forward to that.

Even though, I know I am still in the healing phase I am happy with the results thus far.

On a daily basis, it is hard to see the changes in swelling, but the changes can be seen when I compare prior pictures:

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In the above pictures, the one on the top left was on my birthday in April.  The top right was 2 weeks after surgery, bottom left was 3 weeks, and bottom right was today.

Looking at them together I can really see the difference from before surgery and the difference between 2 weeks ago and today.

I am happy with the results at this point, but may need a couple of small revisions at 6 months.  The attachment of my left ear may need a slight revision.  Also, my right brow was really low and had a lot of excess skin.  It could not all be removed without making the scar too long past the end of the eye.  It is possible that as the swelling goes down and the scar flattens that it will be OK.  But, it may possibly need to have some more skin excised at about 6 months.  I’m OK with that if need be and will just wait to see how the healing goes.

I still have the excision of cholesterol deposits to complete and some of that will likely be worked on when I have my tummy tuck and breast lift in late July.  And, of course, I’ll have that whole big surgery and recovery to go through.

Right now, even at the stage of healing I am at, I am very happy I did this.  The hardest thing for me has been adjusting to my eyes.  That is the thing that is different from how I have ever looked in my life.  For example, I love that I don’t have a sagging turkey neck now.  But, I remember when I didn’t have one when I was younger and thinner and hadn’t lost as much weight.  And, just the general facial lifting is something that isn’t startling to me because I remember when my jowls didn’t sag and so on.

But, the eyes are different.  I really had several issues with my eyes.  First, I had lots of excess skin.  That was something that just got worse and worse the more weight I lost.  And, I don’t miss that skin being gone.  I also had cholesterol deposits on my upper eyelids and underneath my eyes.  Those showed up less than 10 years ago, so I remember not having them (and look forward to when they will all be gone).

But, there were things that I didn’t like my eyes ever.  Even when young, if my eyes were open the upper lid where I put my eye shadow couldn’t be seen.  My eyes were always hooded and I didn’t like it.  One of the things that I found out when I had my consultations was that my outer brows were low which didn’t help.  My doctor told me that a temporal brow lift (this lifts the brown only on the ends — not the middle brow which I didn’t need) could help.  But, he also said some people don’t like it because it can change how the eye looks.  I decided to go ahead and have the temporal brow lift along with the quad blepharoplasty.

I know understand better what he meant.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my new eyes even knowing they still have a lot of healing to do and even if I have to have a small revision later.  But, my eyes look different from how they have ever looked at any time in my life.  Between the brow lift and the blepharoplasty on upper and lower lids, my eyes are not just rejuvenated to what they were at some earlier time.  They look different from how they have ever looked in my life.  I am still learning how to put on makeup for eyes where the upper lid can be seen when my eyes are open. (Note the last couple of years, you could see my lids because of loss of facial volume and eyes hollowing out but that wasn’t a very appealing look).

The interesting thing for me is that when I see myself in the mirror I do not yet recognize those eyes as “my” eyes.  I mean, yes, I realize that looking at my face as a whole I am recognizable as myself.  But, when I look in the mirror, my eyes still seem foreign to me, like they belong to someone else.  I like them better than my old eyes, of course, but it is definitely an adjustment in getting used to this being how I look now.

Oh, one more pic, since I don’t want to just compare pictures with makeup.  The picture on the left was a few weeks before surgery with no makeup.  The one on the right was today with no makeup.
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In this pic on the right you can really see how I still have the cholesterol deposits remain under my eyes (and there are a couple on my lids as well).  But, that will eventually be taken care of.

June Weigh In

I did go to my Weight Watchers meeting today for my first weigh in since surgery.  As I’ve mentioned, I currently have myself set on maintenance.  Adequate nutrition during healing is important and this is not the time to try to lose more weight.  I ended up weighing in at 145.4 pounds, down .8 pounds from last month.

I was happy with the weigh in.  The first week after surgery I ate very little, just wasn’t hungry and only ate as necessary to take medication and to try to get some calories and protein in.  The next two weeks I ate a lot more and actually blew through all my points.  Despite that, I lost weight during those weeks.  I spoke with my doctor and basically chalked this up to the body metabolism increasing in order to do more healing.  So, I had no negative effects (weightwise) from eating so many calories.

This last week was more like an almost normal week.  Since last Monday I have been able to use the treadmill to walk and I have slowly done that (very slowly) and have gotten to where I do about 30 minutes usually divided into 2 sections.  Before this week, my activity was really low since I wasn’t supposed to do much activity.  I am still not supposed to do anything other than walking or light exercise bike for several more weeks.  I’ve also been told that even if I feel good I shouldn’t do things like heavy cleaning or anything that would cause any straining.  That might cause bleeding and increase swelling. [Read more…]