Tag Archives: Self Acceptance

Don’t Give Up

Remember, that little voice inside your head begins to lie when you force yourself out of your comfort zone. You are capable of amazing things, you just have to keep pushing yourself.

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Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness

Progress and Change

You have to change the way you think if you want to see results.

Stop telling yourself you can’t run, do circuit training or even attempt yoga. You might not be able to run a 5k right away, complete the circuit or hold all of the yoga poses without toppling over, but with practice and persistence, you will begin making great strides in less time than you think.

Stop telling yourself that eating fast food is your only option or that it’s cheaper to do so. With proper planning, eating healthy doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it can be even easier! Your body will thank you for doing it, too!

It’s up to you to change your mindset and believe that you can do these things. Once you do, anything is possible and change will be inevitable.

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Lucky vs Strong

I consider myself healthy, not skinny, and the road to getting healthy definitely made me strong!

Speaking of strong, today starts Phase 2 of P90X for me. As I expected, I didn’t see a change in my waist, hip or thigh measurements and I’m happy with where I’m at with those, so it didn’t bother me. I did however see a half inch increase in both of my biceps, and I can see nice shoulder definition which really makes me happy!

Results take strength and determination, not luck. Put your mind to it and the results will come.

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Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness

Exercise to be Fit NOT Skinny

This is the key to getting the results you really want and keeping them for the long haul.

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Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness

Fitness Mindset

Three years ago, I had a similar conversation with myself, and I haven’t looked back. Anyone can do what I have done. You just have to change the way you think!

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Filed under Fitness Inspiration, Health & Fitness

Post-Op Update

It’s been a little over 6 weeks since I had my surgery and I can’t believe how well I am healing!

A few weeks ago I was depressed, swollen and second guessing my decision to have the tummy tuck and abdominal repair. Today? I am on cloud nine and loving my results!

I have almost no restrictions on activities now. The only thing I am not allowed to do are any abdominal workouts until I hit the 5 month mark. I am currently on week three of my routine, and I opted to do ChaLEAN Extreme’s Push month, three times a week, to build up my arm strength again. I toyed with starting from month 1 of her program, but Push has always been my favorite so I figured why not?! I am definitely lifting lighter than I was pre-surgery, but I don’t mind at all and I’m sure I will  be back where I was in no time. The only parts I’ve had to skip are the push-ups since I feel too much of a pull in my core, and some of the single leg squats for the same stability reasons.

The other great thing is I no longer have to wear the compression garment and I have had zero swelling in the past two weeks. This really surprised because I read a lot of blogs and boards about tummy tucks and everyone struggled with swelling and still felt like they needed their compression garment at this point. I am by no means complaining, and hopefully I didn’t just jinx myself …that would however be my luck.

Over the past two weeks I have been filled with a new found sense of joy when it comes to my body. I no longer second guess what I am going to wear. I don’t stare at myself, nit picking the imperfections that only I would notice. It’s a feeling that is so foreign to me but feels so wonderful and rewarding. I love seeing what I truly accomplished over the past 3 years with my body. I worked damn hard to achieve this and I am FINALLY getting to see the true results.

Today, I tried on a bikini and after the initial shock and awe of seeing my very pale stomach exposed, I loved my reflection. It felt amazing to stand there in a two piece bathing suit and not want to cry my eyes out. As a matter of fact, I felt so comfortable and happy, I took this photo to share with everyone here.

Please pardon the pastiness of my complexion. If it ever stops raining here, I may be able to lay out in my yard and get a slight tan.

So…there you have it. My post-op update, the first time I have ever shared a photo of myself, in a bathing suit, for all of the internet to see, and my new found confidence, all rolled up into one neat little blog post.

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Filed under Tummy Tuck

Another Year Down

I can’t believe it’s been 3 years since I made the decision to become healthy. There are days it seems like just yesterday that I started on the path to this lifestyle, and then there are days where I can’t imagine living the way I did. The fast food runs, over sized portions and constant bonding with my couch. I cringe when I think about all of that, but without it, I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

Looking back, I’ve come a long way. I haven’t eaten McDonald’s in well over 2 years, my body craves exercise and healthy foods and then there’s the 100+ pounds I’ve lost as a result of those things. Oh and let’s not forget my recent surgery. THAT is something I never dreamed I would be doing when I started all of this. I am a completely different person than I was three years ago and I am so grateful for that. I know that I have added years to my life with the choices I have made. It’s also nice to know that I no longer have to wish I can shop in certain stores and trying on new clothes is something I enjoy doing now.

One of the things I love the most about my journey, is knowing that I have inspired so many people along the way. I am one of those people who tend to be very hard on themselves. I don’t easily give myself credit for what I accomplish, so when I receive e-mails, messages and comments from people whom I have inspired, it’s very touching. It also in turn inspires me to keep going and to be the best ME I can possibly be.

If you asked me three years ago if I would ever be able to do the physical things I can now, I would have said you were crazy. I am forever amazed at what my body has been able to do, how strong it can be and how much I have grown mentally. There is nothing I can’t do …as long as I get out of my own way. Ha! The mental battle of this journey has been the most difficult but most amazing aspect. It’s all about mind over matter, seeing is believing and having confidence in yourself.

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog, comments on my posts and keeps me motivated!

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Filed under Health & Fitness

Less Than One Week and Counting

Today was my pre-op appointment with the surgeon, which means my surgery is less than a week away….YIKES!

My nerves have been on edge lately as the surgery date rapidly approaches. There is excitement to finally have my muscle issues corrected and to say farewell to the excess skin that taunts me as I get dressed daily. Then there is fear. Fear of going under the knife and everything that could go wrong. I think excitement is finally starting to win out over the fear, but that is something that can flip flop at any moment. I know…way to stay positive Nikki. Sigh.

At today’s appointment, we went over everything regarding the surgery again. I got to slip into the oh so sexy, pink gown that I’m shown wearing, but this time I was also lucky enough to put on a pair of black, string, mesh-like underwear. Be jealous! …and no…there is no photo of those horrific underwear, sorry. 

Once in my lovely new attire, I was asked to stand by a blue wall so the surgeon could take my “before” photos. I had to face him, then left, the angled, then right, then angled again. This is when I mentally died a little of embarrassment.

After photos were done I had some measurements taken for the support binder I will have to wear for 2 weeks post surgery and then I was able to ditch the pink gown, hop back into my clothing and move to the next room where my vitals were taken.

The next segment of my pre-op appointment took place in the conference room where we went over all the surgery again. I was given my surgery time, we went over all of the risks, do’s and don’ts for both pre and post surgery and I was able to ask questions at this time. He also showed and explained the “pain pump” to me again. After reading things on-line, I’m very happy the surgeon I selected uses one of these and I think it’s going to make life a lot easier that first week.

Once everything was gone over and I signed all of the consent forms, we made our way up front and I was given my prescription for post surgical pain medication, appointments for post-op care and I received my “Recovery Support Program” which is a box of vitamins that I started taking tonight. In the box are the following item:

Clinical Support: Morning Formula – I have to take 3 tablets daily with breakfast or lunch, from now through 2 weeks post surgery.

Clinical Support: Evening Formula – I have to take 3 tablets daily with dinner or at bedtime, from now through 2 weeks post surgery.

Bromelin with Quercetin – 2 capsules on an empty stomach before breakfast, lunch AND dinner, for 3 days prior to surgery and continue for 7 days post surgery.

Arnica Montana 30X HPUS – The evening of surgery and for 7-14 days after, 3 tablets, under the tongue on an empty stomach before breakfast, lunch AND dinner.

*I also need to take 500mg of Vitamin C twice a day as it helps to promote healing.

As I type this, I can feel all of the pills I just swallowed sitting in my chest. This is A LOT of pills to swallow daily and I must admit, I’m not looking forward to it…however, they are supposed to help me to recover faster sooooo……

After receiving my surgical handbook and goody bag of prescriptions, appointments, pills and antiseptic cleanser, I was off to talk with the surgical nurse. She went over when and how to use the antiseptic cleaner and what I can and cannot use when prepping myself the day of surgery. She went over all of the vitamins again and made sure I received my prescription for blood work.

From there, I went to the financial office, where I left a very large chunk of money and suddenly it hit me…..I’m actually going through with this!

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Filed under Tummy Tuck

We All Have Secrets

…and I’m about to share one of mine:

“I have loose skin around my abdomen.”

There! I said it. (As embarrassing as it is to do so.)

Despite 2.5 rounds of P90X, 2 rounds of Insanity, ChaLean Extreme, running, other workouts and eating healthy, I am left with a reminder of what my body once was, in the form of sagging skin. I can’t say that I am surprised by this at all. I neglected my body for years, packed on the pounds and I also gave birth to two beautiful children. I knew my body would never be “perfect” but I did have hopes that my skin would bounce back more than it did.

A year ago when I reached that 100lb+ weight-loss milestone, I began to research tummy tucks and started to really contemplate having one done. Of course the thought of going under the knife scares the shit out of me and I don’t exactly have thousands of dollars sitting around collecting dust, so I tossed the thought into the “maybe someday” file in my brain. However, I knew if it was something I was ever going to do, I would have to prove to myself that this truly did become a lifestyle and that my old habits wouldn’t creep back up on me.

As you have read here, over the past year I have had struggles with nutrition as well as my workouts, but thankfully never at the same time. Despite these struggles, I have never gained more than 8lbs and I have always dropped it as soon as I felt I gained it. (Yes, I can totally feel when my weight shifts now…it’s weird, but I can call the number on the scale before I even step on it). My measurements have even stayed consistent over the past year which really made me happy and brought the thought of a tummy tuck back to the front of my mind again.

A few weeks ago I had a discussion with my husband about how upset this extra skin made me. How frustrating it was to look in the mirror and not be able to see past it despite all of the hard work I have done over these 3 years. I broke down into tears, which is something I hate to do, but this is something that I’m really embarrassed about. (You have no idea how hard it is to even type this blog right now). For the first time, he saw the pain I felt and we discussed going for consultations to see how much it would be to have the tummy tuck done and to find out if I was even a candidate for it.

Yesterday, I went for a consultation with a plastic surgeon who came highly recommended by the doctor I used to work for. I studied photos of his work and looked at patient reviews  on-line for the 2 weeks leading up to this appointment. The anxiety I had going into that office was unreal but I womaned-up, put on the pink paper gown they left for me and stood before the surgeon to have all of my imperfections examined. After the exam, we sat in a conference room and discussed the procedure in detail. He answered all of my questions, gave me all of the information I would need to make a decision and he then walked me down to the hall to another office where the financial portion of the consultation would be handled. I sat there nervously as I prepared myself for number anxiety. This portion of the consultation should really come with a shot of Patron or Jack Daniels…a person needs something to take the edge off when a tiny piece of paper with a large number is about to be presented to them. The woman entered the room with said piece of paper and there was an extra digit before the coma that I wasn’t quite prepared for. At this point some smelling salts would have also been nice to revive me and bring me back to present time so I could have heard her going over “payment policies”.  I managed to smile even though I was discouraged by the price and I left the office when she was done, with some information on financing in case I needed that as an option...uh yeah! Last time I checked the money tree in my backyard hadn’t sprouted yet.

I called my husband after the appointment and almost immediately lost it. I felt all of my hope for ridding myself of the “old me” slipping away after seeing the price tag on the procedure and he quickly calmed me down. He talked me off the ledge and said all of the things I needed to hear. Another phone call to my mother and I was feeling better again. There were a few more wishy washy moments that evening but after the three of us sat down over dinner, went through all of my options and scenarios, it was decided that I earned this procedure.

Yes, you heard me correctly. I decided to go ahead with the tummy tuck and this morning, I called the office and made the appointment to say farewell to the last remaining reminder of the “old me”. In three short weeks, it will be nothing more than a very painful incision on my abdomen….Dammit! I wasn’t supposed to think about that now.

I know this is not going to be an easy road, but they say anything in life worth having, isn’t easy. Heck, the past 3 years of my life weren’t easy either, but with hard work and dedication, I proved that I wanted it bad enough to get it.

So there you have it…the big secret I’ve been hiding is out on the web for everyone to read…and I feel a slight sense of relief now that I’ve shared it.

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Have you had a tummy tuck? If so, please share your recovery tips with me.


Filed under Tummy Tuck

What I Wore {Shopping & A Wedding}

Yesterday I took a shopping trip up to Target. I’ve been there a few times over the past 2 weeks and I’ve found myself drawn to the spring dresses they have on the racks. While there, I grabbed the Jason Wu dress I have on in the photo below, along with a few other spring dresses, a shirt and a bathing suit (GASP!).

I’ve noticed that I am finally used to grabbing the proper size from the rack for myself. I used to always grab a larger size and I think that as I become more comfortable in my new skin, the reality of my actual size is setting in.

This is me in the fitting with the Jason Wu dress on. As cute as it was, it didn’t fit right and this was the ONLY one left.

After my shopping trip at Target, I had a wedding to get ready for. I always hate getting for weddings, especially when I am unsure of the type of place it is. I knew it was a casual event but I never want to go somewhere and be overdressed or under dressed. I am a fan of blending in with the crowd since I don’t handle attention well. After trying on multiple options, this is what I decided to go with:

Teal Dress: Old Navy (Last year), Zebra sweater: Charlotte Russe (Last Year), Shoes: Madden Girl

Close up of sweater and dress

Close-up of my shoes…which are heels…nothing crazy, but they are heels.
(I also love that the weather is warming up and my tattoo can see the light of day again.) 

I have to admit, I’ve had fun putting more effort into getting dressed. I’ve even had fun trying things on…including the bathing suit which was a pleasant surprise. Tapping into a new side of myself is proving to be enjoyable, and I look forward to making more strides in self acceptance.

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Filed under Fashion, House/Fashion/Beauty