Wednesday, December 30, 2015


Since 95% of the population is vocally reflecting on how their year went, while also waxing poetic about all of their optimistic and unoriginal resolutions for 2016, I also find myself thinking back on the year and whether it was sufficiently awesome.  I think it was?  I didn't really accomplish much in terms of adult things like buying a house or procreating or getting a promotion, but I did fulfill my 2015 goal to watch every episode and season of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Sons of Anarchy (OK I lied, I got sidetracked after season 5 of SoA but I'll get there eventually...)  And if following through with my big plans to get skin removal surgery counts, I did that too and have been ecstatic with the results.  So yeah, it's been a decent year in my book, but keep in mind that my book is more like an issue of Us Weekly in terms of size and substance.

I'm not going to set goals for 2016 because the only thing I hate more than goals is people that fucking tell people their goals.  Just do your shit, don't tell me about it, if you know me at all you know that I only care about myself anyway and am only giving the requisite nods and "mmhmm awesome!".  But anyway, instead I'm thinking ahead to things I'm planning (or hoping) to do this year.. more as something to look forward to now that the holidays are winding down.  I'll assign a number from 1 to 10 next to each in terms of the likelihood of it actually happening (10 being the highest).

- trip to San Francisco in February (9.. flight is booked)
- some kind of international trip, ideally not North America (3.5)
- roadtrip to Mississippi with friends (6.5)
- mini thigh lift surgery (7)
- volunteer at DNC in Philly (8.5)
- trip to Oklahoma City and Dallas to visit fam and friends (5)
- trips to DC and NYC to visit friends (9.5)
- date someone over the age of 27 (4)
- finish watching Sons of Anarchy (6)

Well that's a decent start.  I don't want to get ahead of myself here so if I can do like 3 of those things that'd be solid.  

Hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and a safe and healthy or whatever New Year!  Just kidding, safe is boring, have a dangerous and exciting New Year!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Time flies when you're doing the same stuff as always

Damnit, I was so good with keeping up with this for awhile!  It has been at least a half dozen posts since I've had to start off a post with some generic throwaway comment about how bad I am at updating.  I have taken pics on several occasions, and then never get around to posting them.

This week will be 9 MONTHS since I had surgery!  Holy crap that seems long, but then it also feels like surgery was forever ago so I guess it's about the right amount of time.  Despite how dicey the first few weeks after were, life returned to normal very quickly and I've just been up to my usual tricks ever since then.  I don't really know what my usual tricks are but it sounds more interesting, doesn't it?

Things I have not done since I last posted:  juice cleanses, any cleanses, run any marathons or half marathons or even pretended I would try, lost any new weight, gotten any more elective surgical procedures, volunteered my time for a good cause, really anything to better humanity.. so I guess same old, same old.  I have been cooking a lot!  And life has been fun and positive and mostly healthy, so all in all it's been a nice little fall.

Here are a couple of recent pics including one that shows the scar, so as you can see it's about the same as before I guess?  It doesn't really bother me, but I wish the arm ones would heal faster.  I am going to ask my doctor for any other suggestions for that when I see him next week.  I'm the same weight and size as before but feel like I look a little puffier in the current pics.  Maybe it's just the angle?  Or maybe I'm just a puffy ass person?

So things are good in the surgical department.  As any loyal hair followers can see, I dyed my hair brown in October which then faded into the above light brown color and now has some highlights as I transition back to blonde.  My god my life is taking some wild rides.

I wouldn't be opposed to setting some new goals (in life? in health?) but can't really think of any that aren't stupid (i.e. cleanse) or boring (try a new vegetable!).  Since I typically like to do some kind of new outlook which is probably similar to a resolution while I simultaneously don't call it a resolution and bitch about how much I hate people that do New Years resolutions, be on the lookout for something to that effect shortly.  By saying shortly, I have irrevocably tied myself to posting again in the next 30 days.

If I don't make it before Christmas, happy holidays to everyone!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

6-month follow-up with surgeon, other things, maybe

I was reading back through some older posts including one from June when I posited that my 12ish week check-up would probably be my last.  Nope, 6+ months out still hauling down to Chadds Ford every couple months!  Despite my whininess about the early morning drive, I appreciate that the surgeon still wants to check my ass out and make sure everything looks aight.  The amount I paid before surgery is the total amount for everything including all post-op visits so it's not like he's getting paid any more for additional appointments.  I also heard that many plastic surgeons are notorious for lackluster or non-existent post-op care, so I've been pleasantly surprised at how much that has not been the case with Dr. Saunders. (I forget if I ever posted it but in the event anyone in the Philly area, or anyone period, is reading this, my doctor is/was Dr. Chris Saunders in Chadds Ford, PA and Wilmington, DE, and he has been fantastic.)

The doctor said everything looks fine and he still recommends using some kind of pressure (i.e. Spanx, compression garments) to improve results.  I started sleeping in my binder again pretty much every night a month or so ago, and if I'm not getting any it doesn't bother me at all to have it on at night, so I'll probably keep doing that.  Crap, just remembered I forgot to ask him if it's normal/fatal that I've been experiencing some weird pressure-ish tingly sensations in my arms near the elbow when I do body weight exercises like planks and push-ups.  I'll bring that up at the November appointment if my elbows don't fall off before then.

ALSO.. while there I asked him about whether I should separately schedule a consultation to discuss the possibility, prices, etc. for a thigh lift and, delightfully, he went through it with me while I was there yesterday.  More delightfully... he said that since the extra skin on my thighs is pretty much all at the very top, he would recommend just doing a mini lift/tuck with an incision at the top (as opposed to one running down my inner thighs) and some lipo on the lower parts.  That seems a lot less invasive, and he said the recovery is much easier than with the tummy tuck, and I could probably just do a week off of work.  A week!  Even if I planned for a week and a half, that'd be much more doable, especially compared to the 15 work days I ended up taking off last time.  Also, the price was a lot better than expected.  Like, I had a mental range of what I thought it might be and what I would reasonably consider paying, and what my absolute worst case but still maybe price would be.  Anyway, it was over $1,000 less than the bottom of the range I was hoping for.  So, after going back and forth about this for some time now, I would have to say I'm strongly leaning towards doing this, probably next April sometime.  And then I'm DONE.  I SWEAR.  The only other thing I was ever interested in having done with skin removal was the thighs, but couldn't do that with arms and stomach.  So I don't think this is something where I'll come back next year and be like, so maaaybe I'll get a Brazilian Butt Lift.  I mean not that I wouldn't like a nice big perky ass, but I'm done with slicing and dicing my body after this last bit of extra skin is removed.  And that's that!  

My sister and I have been really into hiking lately and trying to find places to hike in PA and NJ, where life is a bit flatter than in other parts of the country.  We went hiking in Valley Forge on Saturday and it was beautiful and amazing and between that and 2 softball games that morning, I'm pretty sure I still can't feel my legs and arms.  What else?  I made the most Allison possible recipe last night which is to say it combined several of my favorite things in the world into one delicious, fall-ish, comforty dish:  Pumpkin Alfredo Tortellini Skillet.  So damn good.  I'm very obviously a pumpkin whore, and tortellini is my jam, so when I saw that recipe I knew it had to come to life.  Tomorrow night I'm making orange chicken (I have a few recipes for this, not sure which I'll use but all basically variations of the same thing.. you just don't bread/fry the chicken so it's still really tasty but light) with Cauliflower Fried "Rice".  Then I'm staying in the Jerz with the fam from Friday til Monday or whenever the Pope leaves town and I can actually make it back to Philly again.

I guess that's about it for this fascinating week of my life.  If we're lucky I'll be able to launch into some new surgery talk in a few months and keep this bitch going a bit longer!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Is a pumpkin cleanse a thing?

UGH I have let way too much time go by with 2 juice cleanse posts hanging out there as my last written word.  Don't worry, no more of that nonsense.  Unfortunately I do not have a whole lot else to wax poetic about because nothing really inspires me the way pureed kale does, apparently.

It's mid-September so despite it still being hot and stupidly summerish outside, I've hit the pumpkin shit up full force.  As with every year, my first pumpkin spice latte of the year (PSL, if you will.. I swear to god I don't say that unless I'm trying to be ironic) reminded me that I don't really like "PSLs" but I still predictably adore every other pumpkin infused item that comes my way.  It's become such a cliche to love that stuff, but I really actually do because it's delicious.  And I really actually love boots and leggings and tights and scarves and oversized sweaters and leaves and all the other basic ass fall stuff that I could fill up an Instagram account with.

I've been eating moderately healthy as usual, which is generally to say I eat pretty healthily 5ish days a week and questionably the other 2, which are sometimes but not always the weekend.  So weight-wise I continue to maintain roughly the same weight for... 3 years now?  With a fun dip earlier this year after surgery.  Those few weeks when I couldn't eat were so svelte.  Since it has officially been over 6 months now, here are some pics that really show no change from the last few months, but no news is good news, which doesn't entirely apply to this situation but you get the gist.  

At this point it probably doesn't make much sense to continually post half-nudes when surgery was so long ago but in case anyone was wondering if there have been any changes or my skin exploded into a fiery mess or anything else weird, the answer is not really.  I will try to take some more scar pics soon but I feel like there haven't been many changes on that front either.  I wish they would fade a bit faster but I also wish my student loans would pay themselves so wishing is a pretty pointless endeavor.

Anyway that's that for now.  I'm still cooking a lot, working out, showing up for work on a regular basis, etc. so not much new to report.  If I ever magically manage to shed another 15 pounds I'll document exactly how I did it in 40 lengthy and self-absorbed posts but otherwise it'll probably just be these sporadic ramblings for the foreseeable future.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Juice cleanse part II - the riveting finale

OK, here's the rest of it went, and then I promise to never talk about juicing or cleansing EVER AGAIN EVER.

Day 2.  I've made it past the first day.  That's a win, yes?  I had planned to go to the gym this morning since I usually work out on Thursday mornings.  The cleanse gurus (I feel crazy just saying words like this) say to work out if you feel up to it but take it easy, and I'm certainly not feeling like I need to burn any extra calories.  But since it was only 1 day in at this point, I figured I'd give it a go.  Ended up feeling totally fine, and for the first time ever in the history of me working out in the a.m. (which is not my cup of tea) I actually felt energized afterward.  I think I was mostly excited I didn't die and wasn't chewing on my towel.

I tried blending juice 1, Morning Glory, with a packet of Truvia and about a tsp of PB2 to improve the flavor but no dice, still tasted like shit.  It was a little easier to chug though since I knew going in that it was going to suck.  I drank 3/4 of it in 4 giant chugs, then decided to have 1/4 cup of scrambled egg whites.  Egg whites are on the approved list and it was just enough to make it feel less likely that I'd pass out during my court hearing this morning.  Success!  Mood is about an 8.5 out of 10, life is surprisingly good for living on liquids.  

Same feelings about Spicy Pome Granate as yesterday.. tasty, a fun little switch-up with the cayenne, not doing much for my hunger.  My coworker just came back with a burger and fries from Five Guys and I can smell it wafting over from her office.  My other coworker also offered me some M&Ms and I started reaching for some forgetting about this cleanse and then I probably looked like I was having a seizure when I violently whipped my hand back when I remembered.  Ahh M&Ms, I see you.  Mood declining.

I started having my first headache of this experience around 11:30.  I've only had one (small) cup of joe today so after Spicy Pome I'm going to have some iced coffee and hope that helps. 

4 pm update.. I had some coffee, had my lunch juice which I drank like 85% of but then was just like, no mas.  Headache went away and came back.  Now I'm drinking my 4th juice, Acai Blend.  I'm losing steam quickly and feeling a bit out of it, not light-headed, just like I'm not really functioning at peak levels.  Definitely hungry and a little nauseated from the hunger.  I think my pee smells weird, in case you were wondering.  Mood score in steady decline since this morning.  Probably down to a 6/10 but at least I'm more than halfway through this charade.

Day 2 ended... somewhat lethargically.  When I got home I put on PJs and laid in bed watching TV for awhile, tired and not feeling fantastic.  At 7 I drank my dinner juice which was good (PB & Jus.. peanut butter, banana, strawberries) and guzzled it quickly.  I was definitely feeling pretty low energy at that point, not really hungry, just kind of blah, and incredibly glad there was only one day left.  I was debating not getting out of bed again and skipping the last juice of the day, but finally made my way downstairs to make sure I was still able to move and socialized with my roommate for a bit.  She was eating delicious looking spaghetti and meatballs and I sucked down 1/2 of my X-treme Greens juice, then decided to have another 1/4 cup of egg whites so I at least got something savory that I could chew, for all of 30 seconds or so.  I felt decent but sleepy, and I went upstairs and crashed.

Felt a bit better this morning on day 3.  It helped knowing it was the LAST DAY.  I also decided to cheat a bit today.  I couldn't do another Morning Glory without contemplating suicide, so I decided to make one of my usual green smoothies and have half for breakfast and half for lunch (in lieu of Sweet Spin, better than MG but still pretty unexciting).  I felt weirdly guilty about straying but the calories are comparable and I'm still getting spinach and banana, just adding some dairy (ff milk and greek yogurt, which also means more protein, which can't be bad right??)  Anyway I think that helped my mood a lot today and I definitely felt a bit more satisfied after breakfast, though my stomach was rumbling when it came time for Spicy Pome at 11.

I put the other half of my smoothie in the freezer when I got into work and now at 2:05 I'm still waiting for it to thaw a bit.  Surprisingly not that hungry though which is nice and unexpected since Spicy Pome isn't overly filling.  After yesterday afternoon/evening's slow downhill slide, I've been feeling good so far today.  

All in all day 3 was pretty decent, especially compared to day 2.  I went home and tried my dinner juice, "Matcha Chia" (almond milk, apple, mango, cinnamon, matcha, chia seeds).  I don't really know what matcha is but I know I will not be pursuing more of it.  Def the worst of the 3 dinner juices.  It was drinkable but at this point in the cleanse I wanted something palatable, so I end up tossing the rest and having egg whites and watermelon for dinner. I had half my Xtreme Greens, some more watermelon, then called it a night.  Or, called it a cleanse.  This shit is finally over!!!

The after-cleanse phase was totally fine.  I thought I would feel weaker on Saturday but I went to the gym and did a short run and body sculpt class and felt totally good to go.  My first meal in the post cleanse era was an underwhelming and overprocessed Lean Cuisine breakfast sandwich but it hit the spot and I was happy to be back to chewing.  I cooked and baked a TON over the weekend.. lots of healthy but delicious food.  It was a good way to ease back into eating again.

So, all-in-all, it wasn't the worst experience of my life.  Days 1 and 3 and about 1/2 of day 2 were fine, albeit boring.  The second half of day 2 was rough.  I guess if I had any qualms it's that it's a lot of money and I only enjoyed about half of the juices.  The Morning Glory juice they give you every morning as your first juice was gross enough to dissuade me from doing it again unless I could sub that one out.  It's not that I think the juices were bad quality, maybe just not my cup of tea.  If I ever even considered doing anything like this again (which really, why? I don't need to purify my body with liquid kale) I would be more inclined to just make my own shit and mix in more egg whites for protein.  Looking at the nutritional content of what I was consuming each day, it's just not a balanced diet whatsoever.  Lots of sugar, almost no protein.. a good amount of fiber at least.  But really, I could find better ways to make my body feel healthier in a more balanced manner.  I was down a few pounds on top of the previous loss on Saturday morning but I don't count on that staying off.  I didn't really do it for weight loss, more just to get my brain to focus on something, which I guess it did for a few days.  But I did it and it's over and I actually felt really good after.  Whether that is mental or a byproduct of the cleanse, who knows, but I wouldn't consider this experiment a terrible thing overall! 


Thursday, August 27, 2015

That time I did a cleanse...

Alright so, I have a massive confession to make, and that confession will also take up this entire post, and will be stupid long, so if you're looking ahead for something less idiotic, give up now.  I am doing a juice cleanse. As we speak. I'm judging myself as much as you are right now for partaking in this hippy vegan yoga bullshit, don't you worry. When I hear people dropping catchphrases such as "detox!", "recharge!", jumpstarting my diet!" and "getting rid of the toxins!" (like what are you eating normally, battery acid?), I'm always the first person in line to tell them they're dumb as rocks and then beat them in the face with a shoe.

But then of course one fateful night a few weeks ago, after my birthday/birthday week and days on end of subsisting on cake, beer and candy, I was feeling bloated and sorry for myself and magically decided I should embrace the thing I always told everyone else to stay the fuck away from because it's pointless and unhealthy: a massively overpriced and undercaloried juice cleanse. I impulsively purchased a 3-day cleanse on Groupon (from Jus by Julie... their tagline is "A Healthy Obsession".. which part of foregoing chewing and happiness for 3 days inspires obsession, I do not know).  $120 for 3 days including shipping, 6 juices per day, so that's not quite $7 per juice... either the price of kale has skyrocketed or they're printing money up in Jus-town. So anyway once that purchase was made, my cheapass was like, well now you've gotta go through with this shit. The only upside was that it would finally give me something to blog about other than that stupid surgery I keep yapping about.

I decided based on my gym schedule and what days I could probably most benefit from a lack of food, I'd do Wed/Thurs/Fri. Due to random commitments and plans I had to go to where whipping out a bottle of beet juice would be frowned upon, and working around their delivery schedule, I had to wait like 2.5 weeks from then to actually do the damn thing. For the record, they say you can order whenever and freeze the juices for up to 3 weeks for added flexibility, I was just too dumb and lazy to figure out thawing. So, I ordered it, then decided to actually stop being a fatass and eat healthy, so as it turned out I ate beautifully and nutritiously in the 2 weeks leading up to this cleanse, thereby negating the entire purpose of the cleanse. Thus, when the giant cooler-box of colorful liquid showed up at my office a couple weeks later, I was already like "fuck this shit, can I go back in time and un-order this, sincerely, Allison." I should have actually sent that email.

Wow, so many emotions and we haven't even started yet! The day before I actually started going through a spectrum of crazy thoughts that should be reserved for people about to go off to war, or battling terminal illness, not whiny basic bitches with a pornographic obsession for carbs. But alas, on Tuesday morning (1 day BC/Before Cleanse) I bounded out of bed and downstairs excited to make breakfast, then started getting legit sad thinking about how the following morning I would wake up and have nothing but a bottle of "Morning Glory" green crap waiting for me. Like 24 hours before the cleanse and I'm already getting preemptively depressed. Similarly, I spent most of that day bitching to the 3 friends I told I was doing the cleanse (the small handful that I figured would be less judgmental than I am about such things) how angsty I was about being stripped of my food and livelihood. Then, after I got home from the gym and planned to eat a sizable dinner as it would be the last solid food I'd get for the foreseeable future, I mostly lost my appetite. I mean not like real person loss of appetite, basically I still ate like 450 calories, but not the feast I was planning for and ended up a little light on my calories. So, just to reiterate, I was such a worked up nutjob about future non-eating that I inadvertently did more of it. Rough fucking start.

And it began. Quick background, you can have the following while cleansing: coffee (thank you baby jesus) with stevia (oh); green tea (nope); raw or steamed veggie greens (I'd rather just starve) and egg whites. Egg whites at least gave me hope, so I boiled a few eggs to keep at work if I needed to start gnawing on some whites, though out of stubbornness I intended to try to wait til at least day 2 for this. Sugar free gum is also a go so at least I'd have something to chew on other than munching  my fingers off to prevent me from going online and ordering a juice cleanse ever again.

Day 1
Upside is I got to sleep in an extra 25 minutes during the time I normally spend making and eating breakfast and reading Us Weekly.  Downside is I slept like crap and woke up tired and starving, not the power combo I was hoping for going into this thing. I made my coffee (black with stevia, not terrible) but waited til I got to work to dive in to the wonderful world of juicing.  OH and it was also weigh-in day, plus I wanted a before/after so I could at least see how many pounds of temporary water weight I violently shoved out of my digestive system.  Don't you fucking know I was down 2.6 pounds, a combination of actually having a good week and also being a few hundo calories below my target the night before.  The day you start a juice cleanse is not the day for an artificially dramatic loss.

Anyway, 8:20 a.m., first juice of the day... Morning Glory.  16 fluid ounces of "romaine, kale, spinach, apple, celery, banana, strawberry".  I went in thinking I wouldn't mind the green juices since I do green smoothies a lot and foolishly thought that was the same.  NOT SO.  My usual smoothies are sweet and taste like PB and banana and smiles.  This thing tasted like the inside of a sweaty hat.  I was legit plugging my nose, chugging as much of it as I could handle, then chasing with water.  BLEH.  I really thought the hard part of this would be hunger from lack of food, not that the juices would be so hard to get down.  The other juices seem more promising but now I'm worried.  I can't do 5 more like that.  The bright side is that it took my about 40 minutes to get through it, so if I have an iced coffee in a little bit the next course will be here before I know it.  Of course, if that one sucks, maybe that's not a good thing.  Current rating of how I feel about this godforsaken juice cleanse:  1/10

Round Dos.  11:15 a.m.. Spicy Pome Granate.  This one is master cleanse type shit, consisting of pomegranate, lemon, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper.  This is much better, though less substantial.  It's thin and not chunky like that last bastard MG, and although the backslap of cayenne at the end of each sip is a bit odd, I don't mind it.  It kind of feels fiery and fun, like it's waking me up.  Oh also, I had an iced coffee with stevia (and fine, a splash of milk) around 10:15, but I feel like so far I'm doing OK.  Between feeling a little nauseated and my lack of excitement for upcoming juices, I don't feel particularly hungry so that's a plus.  Mostly I'm a little mentally sad about not having any real meals to look forward to until Saturday more than anything else.  And my asshole friend keeps sending me pictures of cheesesteaks.  But this spicy pome is taking awhile to drink and quite lovely so it's a good experience.  Current mood:  Up to a 5/10, I feel better and less moody overall.

On to #3.  Almost 2 pm, later than I expected to last until for my "lunch" juice, but I went to Target at 1 and have not been too hungry, surprisingly.  This feels like a make or break juice because if I have another like the first one, I'm going to hate this shit forever.  Verdict is... not bad.  It's green, but this one is spinach, kale, pineapple, banana, mango.  I'd say the pineapple shines through the most though it's not quite as sweet and just slightly off.  And it has chunks in it, which I know it's supposed to because fiber and stuff, but every now and then it feels like I'm drinking hair.  But the taste is tolerable, I'm not chasing it with water, so that's a win. It must be the romaine and celery in the Morning Glory that is tanking it for me.  I miss the thought of food as before, but I'm not hungry, for now.  The taste of that one was just eh but it was easy to drink and the fact that I don't feel hungry or bitchy is a big plus.  Mood:  OK, we're up to a 6.5/10 because I'm not as miserable as expected thus far.

Drink 4 at 4:15.  I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised how not hard it has been to make it from one juice to the next without wanting to claw my eyes out.  I am a frequent eater, especially during work days, so the timing/number of juices mostly line up with the frequency of my normal meals and snacks but, of course, these are not normal meals and snacks, they're just bottled salad.  This drink is... Chia Berry.  Strawberries, chia seeds, lemon, pomegranate.  I'm cool with this one.  It's sweet and fruity, it has seeds (obviously) floating around but they're not bothersome.  I don't like this one as much as the Spicy Pome (my favorite so far) but it's in second place.  This one also feels more substantial so I'm hoping it holds me over til "dinner" (ugh, my life..) without too much dramz.  I did see some cookies in the kitchen and briefly debated having one them remembered oh right I'm cleansing.  That has happened a few times, the mental letdown, but honestly not terrible.  Current mood: 7.5/10.  

Time for dinner!  Hahaha just kidding, no dinner bitch, you get more juice.  At 7 I get my Choco-Nana which is chocolate, banana and strawberry.  And it is divine, but I drank it in what feels like 2 seconds.  I would probably prefer just chocolate and banana without the strawberry joining the party, but still very good.  I have one more to go and I'm not starving, though I was before drinking this one.  Mood:  8/10

Last one.. X-Treme Greens, 9 p.m.  Based on my experience with Morning Glory I had been fearing this one but like Sweet Spin it doesn't contain celery or romaine, and has lime, pineapple, orange and hemp seeds to go with kale and spinach.  Turns out to be quite delicious and tastes sweet and citrusy.  Fine way to end the evening.

OK it's now Thursday but I better go ahead and post this shit because it is out of control long.  And I still have 2 more days of tedious play-by-play on a review no one asked me to write because I need a life.  But anyway, my feelings after day 1:  surprisingly feeling aight, not hungry for the most part, not lightheaded, at times even chipper.  I'm not entirely sure I buy into the BS of cleansing highs but either way I am just glad I don't want to commit mass murder or anything so far.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

An update in the life and history of my vegetable consumption

I have always been quite clear about my disdain for veggies.  Sorry but they’re gross.  Or that’s been my primary life outlook for many years at least.  The upside is that you can still totally lose weight and do so in a relatively healthy-ish and semi-nutritionally balanced manner even with such loathings.  I decided early on that forcing broccoli down my throat in the name of weight loss was not going to cut it long term, so I was better off just eating what I liked, in moderation, and maybe over time I’d slowly learn to like some other stuff.

The veggies I liked in 2009:
- corn
- potatoes
- carrots

I don’t even count corn or potatoes towards my F & V servings now and really shouldn’t have then.  They have their merits of course, and at the time it was like, OK well it’s a step up from eating a container of butter or something.  Well I guess I never did that, but it is entirely possible that I counted McDonald’s French fries as a F/V serving at least once.  Other things I counted towards the F/V intake- tomato sauce; edamame; cherry pie filling; maybe popcorn.  I don’t remember.  I did eat some fruit at least, though I eat more of it now.  All in all, the veggie struggle was real as fuck.  The blog name “I Don’t Do Salad” was no misnomer, folks, I really did hate that shit, and still do in some regards. 

Anyway, I still don’t care much for lettuce, or raw tomatoes, onions aren’t my favorite, fuck celery and cucumbers.  But you know, I’ve gotten a lot better.  I go through a bag or 2 of baby spinach or arugula every week, I put onions and tomatoes and peppers in most of my entrees (I like them cooked, still don’t care for them raw).  I am all up in the winter squashes… butternut, spaghetti, pumpkin, I eat those on the reg.  I guess they’re technically fruit but whatever.  I don’t mind zucchini and sometimes eat zoodles, and I’ve become quite fond of cauliflower in many different forms.  I don’t adore broccoli but I have found myself eating it raw or cooked with some decent frequency.  With some of these, it’s an ongoing effort to add these foods to my diet and meals, whereas others I actually enjoy.  Either way, I have come a long way in my emotions towards vegetables. 

I’m sure the veggie lovers of the world are like, who cares you dumbass, do you think you deserve a medal for tonguing some spinach?  Well, maybe, is someone giving out medals?  But in an effort to try to think of positive changes I’ve made in my life aside from just the weight loss, I wanted to pat myself on the back for being less of a child and actually eating some greenery.  If only my child-self – who refused to eat anything at Thanksgiving other than mashed potatoes and eventually frozen pizza when my family decided to give up trying, because turkey and sweet potatoes and vegetables were gross – could see me now!  

Monday, August 17, 2015

Summer would be a terrible time for plastic surgery.

As usual, I really hate the month of August.  It's kind of like February, the last(ish) month of one of the more extreme seasons and I'm over it and ready for the next one.   The world doesn't need another basic bitch spewing excitement over her love for the upcoming fall season, but suffice it to say I could spew for days.  Aside from boots and pumpkin spice lattes, I'm just bored of the heat and bored of the summer and bored of summer clothes, and based on this list of complaints, my life is clearly too hard.

I was going to post surgery update pics at the 6 month mark (which really, at this point who cares, but indulge me) but it's been a minute since I've posted anything so figured I'd do like a 5-month and change pictorial update to demonstrate how things basically look the same (OK so I might be up about 6 pounds, sue me) and it's hard to really say if there has been much progress with the scars.  If I was better at lighting and taking pictures I might be able to get a better idea of scar progression but I'm not so I can't.  These are from yesterday, 5 months and 5 days tummy tuck and arm lift, a clear indication that I need more things to do on a Sunday.


Good old scar view.   The left side remains much thinner and lighter than the right side which the doctor reopened.

Just me taking selfies like an asshole.  But I'm so tan.

I think my results have pretty much leveled off at this point which is good/normal, and I only rarely experience noticeable swelling around the incision.  Per my doctor's instructions, I have been trying to wear and arm wraps and some kind of compression garment around my stomach (sometimes the velcro thing I lived in for the first month, sometimes just Spanx-type of stuff) more often.  He said it will improve the results and the speed of scar healing.  It's hard when it's 95 and humid and wearing an extra layer of crap, or wearing long sleeves to cover the arm wraps, is massively undesirable, so I'm somewhat spotty with this, but to try to at least where those fuckers to bed.

I really need to get my act together with eating healthily because I'm the heaviest I've been since before surgery, or was as of last Wednesday at least.  I've been having a good week but I need to string like, 2 or 3 or 6 good weeks together.  Most of my habits are good but the things I do badly, like make poor choices when I go out, continue to unravel the good.  In an effort to save money, but also to eat/drink more healthily, I'm trying to really limit going out to eat and ideally not drink more than one night per week.  

Here are this week's dinners:
One Pan Mexican Quinoa with Cashew Sour Cream
Bubble Up Breakfast Casserole
Slow Cooker Buffalo Pulled Pork ... kind of a variation of this but with less butter, and I'll probably have it in soft tacos.
Falafel Burgers with a baked sweet potato

I don't mean this is a subtle-brag kind of way (though I do love to brag), but it's kind of hard for me to change my habits when most of what I do is actually pretty good.  Like every single week, even the bad ones, I meal plan and cook and make healthy dinners and go to the gym.  But then I have those 2 or 3 nights a week that are extra bad that undo the good from the other days.  Of course, the obvious solution to changing my habits is to just like, not have 2-3 bad nights a week or just be less bad, or just shut the fuck up about it because I've been saying the same thing for years now and clearly not doing anything about it.  So, I'm not sure what my solution is, but I'm always trying!!  Maybe I will check in here more frequently instead of just when I want to post periodic surgery updates and pictures, because that certainly can't hurt right?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July Check-In

The other day I was reading Us Weekly's "hot bodies" issue which they seem to push out about once every other month, more frequently in summer of course, where they focus on various celebs in slutty beach attire and include quotes from them with tips on how they look so bangin and skinny.  I can never decide which is worse.. the ones that are like "I get exercise by chasing my kids around and I try to make small changes here and there!" or the ones that acknowledge reality and cop to their vegan, gluten-free, food-free diets followed by 4 hours of deep sea pilates.  Like, the latter is really depressing because we all know (well, I know) that I'm way too lazy, unmotivated and undisciplined to do a fraction of what is required to look that good, but on the other hand when Chrissy Teigen is like, "I love dessert!!" I'm like bitch, you don't even know what dessert is, I'll take your 1/2 cup of frozen grapes and trade you a deep fried waffle sundae and then we'll talk.

Anyway, I'm not complaining.. those people put the work in for those bodies so if they are willing to forego pizza and happiness then they should get the results.  On the other hand... actually I don't remember what the other hand was, I guess all that to say I'm lazy and not very good at not eating so I will never be skinny, the end.

So, I continue to truck along daydreaming about being svelter (really just another 12 pounds would be delightful) while hating the process to get there.  This seems like somewhat of a first world problem.  In an effort to preserve a morsel of perspective, I've been trying to think more about things I've begun to take for granted that I couldn't a few years back when I was at/near my heaviest.  I was sitting in the waiting room at the dentist earlier today and the rows of seats with armrest dividers made me think back to doctor's appointments in 2008 when I'd survey the waiting room chairs and debate where to sit and wonder how tightly wedged my hips and ass would be.  At the time, it had become one of those things (like flying, and sitting in beach chairs) that would always cause a moment of panic and made my life a bit more stressful.  These are the things that you cannot really understand unless you've been substantially overweight.

Sorry, that shit got deep yeah?  I figured I'd add a few thoughts that were a bit less useless and whiny since most of my posts here lately are somewhat useless and whiny.  To provide some more use, I've been really digging some new recipes lately so here are some recommendations:  

Gimme Some Oven White Enchilada Casserole
Walnut Grape & Blue Cheese Quinoa Salad
Emily Bites Chicken and Chorizo Salsa Skillet

Also, I made slow cooker sweet potato chili on Monday and have finally gotten down an ingredient combination for it that I love.  I browned a pound of hot Italian turkey sausage links (out of the casings, broken up while cooking) with 1/2 an onion, diced, and threw that into the slow cooker with a can of Rotel, 2 diced sweet potatoes, an 8 oz can of tomato sauce, a can of drained and rinsed cannellini beans, 2/3 cup water, some cumin, chili powder, a bit of cayenne, and a pinch of brown sugar, and it really hit the spot.  

Alright since I provided some good food, I'll end with a picture of me in a new maxi dress (under $25, Old Navy ballllller) showing off my arms and tan.  I know, I know, sunscreen, etc.  Sorry that I can't not make a stupid face when taking a mirror selfie but a) I was sending it to my sister in need of outfit advice and I wasn't going to stand there posing (oh wait, I am standing there posing) and b) it's my blog so I'll do whatever the fuck I want. 

By way of a very quick surgery update.. everything is good, healing is good, wishing my arm scars would heal faster so I just ordered some silicon scar sheets and will update on how those pan out.  Otherwise all good!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Pointless mid-June check-in

I've pledged to be more mindful of my beer consumption, as I seem to do a few times a year every year.  I hate seeming like an overgrown college burn-out that continually wakes up in a hungover stupor questioning her life decisions- really, my life hasn't devolved to that level just yet.  All the same, I know I would feel better if I would just grow the fuck up and drink like a responsible person which means eating actual meals beforehand and remembering that 9% beer will knock me on my ass and to drink slowly.

So, I'm a couple weeks into that mission and feeling pretty good though there is room for improvement.  The beginning of summer is a strange mix of wanting both more and less social plans.  I like doing things but then constantly feel like I'm spending too much, going out to eat too much, drinking too much, etc.  On the other hand, those things are all fun so maybe I shouldn't complain and should just deal with the occasional hangovers and just existing 10-15 pounds above what I might like to be in a perfect world.  I feel like I have this moral dilemma pretty frequently and it always ends with me taking the lazy and more gluttonous road.

What else?  I've started occasionally working out in the morning which I swore I'd never do.  My major beef with morning workouts is, duh, getting up earlier because who the fuck wants to do that?  However, I realized that my usual morning routine is so stupidly long (usually 90ish minutes) that I have been able to rework it and only have to get up 10 minutes earlier to get to the gym, then just do my makeup while driving (safe) and chalk my hair up as a loss for the day (like it isn't anyway half the time).  I definitely don't feel refreshed or empowered or like I'm overflowing with energy and ready to take on the day like some of these other morning workout freakshows claim, but at least it gets it out of the way early.  I mostly just do it when I've got shit to do in the evenings, like flag football.  Otherwise, I'll probably continue to procrastinate til the evenings.

Had my 12ish week appointment with the surgeon, all was good, in and out.  I'll see him again in mid-July, but there's really nothing new going on there.  I guess that's a no news is good things kinda thing, because it means life is normal and I don't have any restrictions or weird things I have to do anymore.  Last night was the first night back at my usual Monday kickboxing class which is only relevant because that is the class where I first decided I needed to have my arms cut off, or cut down at least.  It was nice being back at the scene of the crime and not have my arms flapping in the wind as I punched.  

It's also crazy/fucked up how much I seek out pool-going opportunities so I can wear bikinis.  It's like I know I only have a limited window before some other part of my body begins to massively deteriorate or I gain 48 pounds, and I need to get all the bikini-wearing in now.  I really want to add a horribly obnoxious YOLO meme but I'll resist the urge.  So that's that, life is good, eating is decent and could be better, working out is back to normal, etc. etc.  

Thursday, June 4, 2015

12 Weeks Post-Op, and it's June, and Scar Pics

Yesterday was twelve weeks post-surgery, and I have what will likely be my last post-op check-up with the doctor next Monday.  I really can’t imagine needing to see him for anything at this point since the only surgery-related stuff I’m still doing is putting bio-oil on the incisions to help the scars fade.  The stomach incision doesn’t bother me at all since it’s so low down and not visible in anything, but I’ll probably ask if there is anything else I can do for the arms.  I was at a class at the gym on Monday and got stuck in the very front, and during overhead tricep extensions I was like, OH RIGHT, I have bigass scars snaking up my upper arms that the world can see from this position.  That said though, they don’t bother me and I don’t regret the surgery at ALL because my arms (pythons?) look really good and feel really good, and when my arms are in pretty much any other position, the scars aren’t visible, or are barely so.  But for the curious among you, here’s what they look like:

Pretty funky, yeah?

Working out has been good, normal, haven’t started leaking guts out of any incision or orifice.  I’ve been slow to up my running because I’m lazy and not all that ambitious but I’m almost back to 4 miles, and could probably do it if I actually had any willingness to push myself.  I was nervous about lifting at first but that has been totally 100% fine.  So basically, I’m just pretending I never had surgery, other than the 3-4 minutes I still spend checking myself out in the mirror every morning.  It’s horrifically vain but when you’ve never had a flat stomach in your adult life (or really, adolescent life either) and then a magical doctor is like, “TADA! Here you go!” you revert back to 13 year old-caliber narcissism trapped in a 31 year old’s body. 

I’m still doing MFP and have basically leveled out weight-wise the last few weeks after some extreme ups and downs.  I’m not as low as my lowest but about 7 pounds lower than what I was before surgery so that is OK with me I think.  I’ve been tracking like a beast but could be making better decisions, particularly on the weekends and particularly on the drinking front, so that’s my goal for June.  

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stuff and more stuff, none of which is really groundbreaking

Damnit I’m so bad at remembering to post the minute I stop having exciting updates.   I guess I’ll have to get my thighs done just to keep this bad boy going.

I made my triumphant return to the group fitness scene last night at kickboxing.  It was good to finally do something other than run on the treadmill because that shit gets boring real quick.  I ended up being 2 minutes late which was probably for the best because I had to just jump in and go rather than spend 5 minutes fretting about if I’d be able to do things.  I had been worried about burpees and push-ups and how they’d feel on my arms but they were surprisingly fine.  My push-ups are pretty sad looking from being out of practice (not that they were anything to write home about before) but the motions themselves didn’t cause any issue.  Punching on the bags was the only thing that felt weird, and really only on my left side, so I will probably scale that back a little, but otherwise I think I’m back to normal with exercise.

Let’s be real though, no one really gives a fuck about the intricacies of my evening at the gym, and anyone reading (i.e. the 3 people that inadvertently stumbled onto my blog while googling salad recipes) wants the same thing I want out of a blog.. pictures.  I don't have any good food porn to share so you'll have to just look at me instead.  Nothing has changed recently but naturally I still haven’t gotten tired of staring at myself in the mirror every single morning admiring my surgeon’s handiwork and photographing it so that when I’m 75 I can look back on that glorious year when I had a flat stomach.  I also have some recent arm pics, including a comparison of the old and new arm while doing the signature “arm on hip because it’s skinnier that way” maneuver.  The first side pic (right side) is kind of misleadingly narrow based on the angle that I always seem to take pics from that side, as you can tell by the way the mirror narrows.  But you get the gist.

And just a friendly reminder of my arms and stomach before- 

So, I remain very happy with the decision to get this stuff done.  And just to throw in some stuff that isn't about surgery, I tried an awesome new recipe this week- Chicken & Chorizo Salsa Skillet.  I highly recommend.  I'm also making another Emily Bites favorite tomorrow night, Sausage Tortellini Skillet.  And last night I made tuna and chick pea noodle casserole which is a weird combination but I once saw a vegan version using chick peas instead of tuna and I was like, WHY NOT BOTH???  So that was also delicious.  I just used this classic version and added a can of chick peas.  I still eat and drink irresponsibly on the weekends, but my meal-planning during the week remains reliable at least!

And finally, I have zero idea of my goal weight and don't even really care at this point, so I guess that's good?  While micro-examining my body like a weirdo, I decided the only thing I really don't care for are my thighs, and I've already laid out the surgery possibility for that.  I know I could/should/wouldn't kill me to lose a few more pounds, and I'd like to and am theoretically trying to, but I've been maintaining my post-surgery weight pretty well so far (minus a giant 9 pound swelling nightmare post-Vegas) so I don't know if I should just stop stressing about it and keep tracking and see where shit takes me.  That's the plan for now at least!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Vegas, arm scars and scorching sunburn

Vegas was a real good time, albeit chaotic due to the Mayweather-Pacquaio fight.  It was the first time I went long stretches of time without wearing the arm wraps or a compression garment or binder on my stomach, and I lived to tell about it so that's good.  I am still wearing those things most of the time, esp. when sleeping and at work, and will probably keep doing so until it becomes warm enough that I want to be able to wear short sleeves more often, but figure I'm far enough out that I can go without when fashion dictates.

I was a bit self-conscious - or maybe that's not the word, maybe aware is what I'm looking for? - of the arm scars since I was in strapless or sleeveless dresses all weekend.  You can see the bottom half-inch or so of the scar on each side by the elbow when my arms are by my sides, and I realized you can (obviously) see the whole scar pretty well if I put my hands above my head like to put my hair up, or when I'm dancing like a basic bitch.  I need to remember to take an updated picture later when I have the wraps off.  I generally don't find the scars too bad and they are a necessary evil with this surgery, but I think this weekend was the first time I remembered they're there.  The stomach incision, on the other hand, is totally covered by underwear or bathing suits or whatever else.

And speaking of, I DID IT, I wore not one but two bikinis for the first time really ever.  I had a couple of cropped tankinis when I was 18 or 19 that had more stomach exposure, 
and as a kid I had some basic kid-caliber 2-pieces, but still not like, full on.. so I feel like I'm going through some delayed development shit wearing my first real bikini at the age of 31.  I also did a shit job of applying sunscreen and missed various bits of my body including my entire chest, so I got a pretty funky burn, but all in all I was just happy to be able to rock my shit at the pool and not really feel self-conscious, at least no more than that usual quick moment of anxiety when you first strip your clothes off and you're not sure if you have a boob hanging out.  Anyway, here's a pic because, of course I took pics because I'm a vapid narcissist:

Like that red splotch under my belly button?  Apparently that area is crazy sensitive to sun.

I guess from here I'll mostly be winding down the surgery posts as there won't be too many updates, other than maybe just an occasional scar pic to show how they're healing.  I'm still doing MFP and even tracked my shit all weekend although it wasn't exactly a pinnacle of nutrition.  I'm hoping to eventually resume some other exercise in addition to running in the next few weeks.  So, life is pretty much back to normal at this point!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I'm a normal person again!

I’m now so many days post-op that when I refer to it in days I want to slap myself like when people talk about their baby being 32 months old.  But sometimes I hate saying “I’m 6.14159 weeks out…”  But so anyway, today is the 7 week mark exactly so that’s easy math.

More important than the weeks, I can do everything a normal person can do again basically!  I had an appointment with the doc last Saturday and don’t have to see him again until June, so that means he is OK setting me into the wild on my own to do things and trust that I won’t die, start seizing, exploding or pop anything, etc.  He said I could start working out again, lay out in the sun, and basically whatever the fuck I want, or something close to that.  He said to keep wearing some kind of compression on my stomach and arms because the more/longer I do it, the better the results tend to be, but left when and how I do that up to me.  So, I ordered some Spanx-y type stuff that is less bulky than my fug Velcro binder, and figure I will still wear something on my stomach and arms most of the time, but may start to reduce it a bit.

I also went back to the gym Monday and yesterday and I lived to talk about it!  Monday was pretty awful.  It actually wasn’t awful in that I expected everything to feel messed up, and like my body parts were going to fall off or my incisions would burst open, but surgery-wise I felt fine and totally normal.  But my lungs started burning for oxygen very shortly in and I only got through 13 minutes before I had to stop and walk, although I did do another 6 minutes after that and it felt better and less murderous.  Yesterday I did 23 minutes, walked for 3, then 4 more, and I didn’t really feel that close to death any of the time.  I did go a little bit slower than normal but all in all, I feel like eventually I will be back to some kind of acceptable physical condition.

And, I’m going to Vegas this weekend and bought bikinis to wear in PUBLIC and I’m not nervous about it.  What is this shit?!  We’ll see how it goes.  There is still a pretty noticeable difference in swelling from morning to evening, especially after I work out, but it’s not that bad compared to horror stories I’ve heard.  Or to the swelling abomination I was experiencing in weeks 2-3.  I’m actually really glad I took 90 million pictures constantly because yesterday I was looking back on pics from the last 7 weeks and it’s crazy to see how much the results have changed and morphed as my body has recovered and the swelling has subsided.  I even put together a collage that probably took more time than it should have but it’s helpful all the same.  You can see how bad the swelling got in the 3rd picture and then how it finally chilled the fuck out a little after that, which is when the doctor opened me up to wash all the nasty out.  I’m not sure how much more it will continue to change from here, but I’m really happy with the results as they are so if it stays as is, it was SO worth it.  This just reminded me that I need to post more arm pictures soon.

I had my second recorded weigh-in today and was down 3 pounds from last week which is confusing and will not survive Vegas, but it was 5 pounds lower than my lowest ever which I saw for 5 minutes in February 2013, so the number was like, SHIT, is this happening?  I had a decent week but drank a lot on Saturday so I’m not really sure why I’m down so much, but I expect to see it back up a bit next week.  Will try to post again soon!

Friday, April 24, 2015

6+ Weeks Post-Surgery, My Fitness Pal, that's about it

I passed the 6 week post-op mark on Wednesday and have my next follow-up appointment with the doc tomorrow.  I still can’t probably fairly characterize myself as 6 weeks out since I’m still a bit more limited than others at this point due to the second procedure 3 weeks ago, but I’m feeling pretty damn awesome.  No setbacks at all since my last post or since the drain came back out.  I can sleep on both sides or even lay on my stomach which I couldn't do before.  I can walk around and reach stuff and be up and about and on my feet for major stretches of time and not want to die.  I can bone (you’re welcome for that).  I can eat normally.  I’m back to normal at work and can do court appearances.  And aside from not wearing a lot of short-sleeved stuff most of the time because I’m mostly still wearing my arm wraps, I can wear all of my normal clothes even over the binder.  I remember thinking not all that long ago that I would never feel back to normal again, and yet normal just kind of snuck up on me!

I’m going to ask the doctor a bunch of random questions tomorrow about my next steps from here.  Mostly I want to see if I’m cleared to start working out, though I’ll take that slow and ease into things like running and lifting, even if he gives me the go-ahead.  I've been able to start putting bio oil on my arm incisions (helps the scars fade) for the past 2 weeks so hopefully I can start doing the same on my stomach now.  I think I have to wear the arm wraps for another week or 2 (though they’re just to protect the incision and not for compression at this point, so sometimes I take them off when I want to rock the bare guns) and will be wearing the binder or some kind of compression garment around my stomach at least part-time for awhile still.  Everyone says the binder is hard to part with because it helps control the swelling and your stomach just feels naked without it.  It’s true!  It feels weird to not have that tight Velcro bitch on.  Even though recently I got gum all over it which is a long stupid story in itself but suffice it to say it now looks like someone died in that thing.  Luckily I just have normal swelling now, usually worse at night.  It will probably get bad when I start working out more intensely.  But even at its worst it doesn't feel bothersome and it still looks good.  And I still get excited every morning to see it looking all flat and shit.

I recorded my weight for the first time on Wednesday so that will be my new baseline weight I guess going forward.  It was down 10 pounds from my last weigh-in and 9 pounds from the morning of surgery, and is 2 pounds lower than the lowest ever which I hit for 5 minutes in February 2013.  So that’s coo.  I’m trying to be aware of the fact that in the month leading up to surgery, I was struggling a bit with my eating and on the highest end of my usual weight fluctuations, so I don’t want to think of the surgery as a free pass or a cure-all for any poor eating I was previously having.  I switched to My Fitness Pal right before surgery so that I could track my protein and sodium more effectively, but it turns out I like it so much that I think I might cancel my WW membership after 800 years.  I haven’t tracked on WW since before surgery and while I think both are equally effective programs/tools, I like the layout and function of MFP better and it’s also free and doesn't have major technical issues every 5 minutes like WW does.  It just feels weird to officially end my WW tenure.  But, I can always go back to it and I've been a much more diligent tracker on MFP than I had been on WW for quite awhile now, so I think it’s been a good transition for the time being.

I’ll post some new pics soon and hopefully update after tomorrow’s appointment.  Fingers crossed that the doctor is like, yeah girl, lookin good, do thefuq you want!  Or something like that.  I don't know if I should tell him I'm going to Vegas next Friday because I don't want him to yell at me.  And I might just inquire gently about getting my thighs done and see what that is all about, but that’s a different story for a different year.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Past the one month mark, KILLIN IT

So, the new drain came out at my appointment on Friday morning.  I had mixed feelings about that because of course I wanted that nasty sack of death out of my body, but it was also what helped me go from feeling like shit to being a functional human being again.  So, I was feeling pretty paranoid on Friday about how my body would adjust, and then Friday night the paranoia got worse when I noticed my body noticeably more swollen than it was that morning.  When I first heard of the concept of swelling after surgery I pictured something like bloating, like that blah stuffed feeling after a big meal, but it’s totally its own beast that I can’t really describe. The stomach feels hard and the skin feels pulled tight and it’s just an odd feeling. I should also add, my concerns weren’t aesthetic- I know that swelling is temporary and doesn’t reflect how I’ll look later.  Swelling is also totally normal but given how my body reacted to it the last time, I was mildly panicking that it was the beginning of the end.  Again.

Then I woke up on Saturday and it was exactly the day I needed to have and which totally validated my decision to have surgery.  Two weeks ago I was like, FUCK SURGERY.  Saturday I was like, should I get my tits done?!  I felt amazing and energetic, the swelling had gone down, and I was thrilled with how things looked when I took off my binder to shower. Here are some updated pics from Saturday morning. Aside from being very pleased with the shape, I can't believe how nice the left side of my incision looks (the right side is where he re-opened it to put the drain back in, so that will take a bit longer to heal). The random marks/discoloration are from the tape holding the gauze on which is a total bitch to get off, but I think all of the bruising is totally gone.

(Please don't judge the fugly underwear.  I had my mom get me some of the biggest ugliest underoos she could find, like legit grocery store 3-pack of Hanes briefs, to wear when I had the drains in.  OK fine, judge me anyway, I do too.)

I was already happy with how things looked but then had to press my luck further by weighing myself and was really excited to see that I was down almost 10 pounds from the morning of surgery. Some of that is probably from the skin removed and some of that is probably the result of not being able to overeat (and not going out to eat/drink for a month) so it may go back up a little bit now that I can actually eat and binge drink again, which I completely expect. I know I should avoid the scale for another couple of weeks since that money will fluctuate, but it still felt good to see. THEN, I decided to try on my normal jeans over my binder to see how that would go. I had tried on a pair of work pants a size bigger than my normal about 10-11 days after surgery and between the binder and the swelling, they were snug. Last week I was able to get back into normal work clothes, and then on Saturday my normal jeans were a little loose even with the binder on, so that felt amazing.

Anyway, I definitely went out and enjoyed myself way more than I have in a long time this weekend (i.e. drank all day and blacked out around 10 pm) so I’m pretty exhausted from that, but otherwise feeling very good and very excited about things.  Let’s hope it stays that way!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Day 29.. Holy shit it's almost been a month

I can’t believe it’s been almost a month.  Partly because it doesn't seem like that long ago but partly because in some ways I feel more limited and gimpy than I would have expected at this juncture.  But truthfully, I've been feeling so much better this week, even working full days all week, that it feels like things are good and hopefully will continue to get better.

Really my biggest limitation at this point is having a drain in.  It makes it kind of annoying to dress around because I need to wear a baggy/long enough shirt to cover it, though I could probably try more creative options for concealing it if I was so inclined.  I have my next follow-up with the doctor tomorrow morning and I’m hoping it comes out then, but if it’s still draining more than he wants, I have no problem with him taking a more conservative approach and leaving it in a few more days and avoiding a repeat of the last debacle.  It’ll just make my weekend wear a bit more challenging!  I’m planning to finally go out and socialize and see people and have a few-ish beers this weekend, and I’m doing that drain or no drain.

Anyway, in most other ways life is back to normal.  I've worn real work pants to work twice this week as opposed to just wearing leggings forever.  I've worn a baggier pair of crops in my current size and I’m currently wearing a pair of regular dress pants in a size up, but both have fit fine over my binder and the pants today have some extra room to give.  I imagine without the binder I’d be able to wear my normal stuff just fine, and probably could even with, but I want to be comfortable.  I’ve got enough layers on as it is. 

My curiosity also finally got the best of me on Sunday afternoon and I decided to weigh myself.  I’m glad I did it later in the day, after brunch, so that my expectations would be low and I really had no idea whatsoever what to expect.  I was down 7 pounds from the morning of surgery, but who knows if I will end up higher, lower, or right about that when all is said and done.  I was hoping/trying to wait 6 weeks before weighing myself so I’ll probably try to get to that point, or close to it, before weighing again because my body is doing so many weird things right now that it seems kind of pointless anyway.

I think my appetite is basically back to normal.  I’m still eating more boring meals but mostly because I have been trying to ease back into cooking since I’m a bit more tired at the end of the day, but I’m pretty close to normal.  I've also been sleeping well, and haven’t had any breathing/coughing issues since he drained the excess fluid to relieve the swelling.  I still feel like I’m several weeks away from any major working out.  I’ll probably start by walking on the treadmill or outside in another week or two, but running or lifting seems really difficult to fathom right now, so I’m not going to rush into that until I’m feeling good.  All in all, very few complaints!  Here are some pictures from Sunday.. a little bit of swelling but not too much, the hunchback is really sexy though.  Don’t look if the drains - or incision, or my existence generally - gross you out.

Going into surgery, I thought about the possibility of getting my thighs done sometime next year.  Then after the recent complications I was like, fuck this shit, no more elective surgery ever.  Now that I seem to be through the worst of it, I'm kind of like, well maaaaybeeeee.  And maybe a butt lift.  OK fine no that's too much.  Is it?  I'll revisit in a few.