I’m Not Brave…yet

I would do anything for my kids.  What parent wouldn’t?

My heart breaks for my boys when they struggle in life. When your kids are hurting you hurt. When they overcome something, you celebrate with them. When they’re in pain, you feel that pain even deeper than they do at times.

My youngest opened up to us a few weeks ago that he was sneaking extra food from his friends lunches. After eating what we packed him, he would take leftovers others didn’t want to eat. We knew something had been going on when his clothes had stopped fitting him and we were forced to move to sizes well beyond his height and age.

We had a heart breaking moment, when our baby sat in tears feeling ashamed and confused. He didn’t know what was driving him, but he felt he was doing something wrong. He was embarrassed and crushed. This was so tough for me to watch and hear.

I remember how I felt the day Jeremy (my hubby) walked into the bathroom and caught me mid-purge. I remember the shame that I felt. I remember the fear I had as I wondered what he was thinking. I remember how exposed I felt as the light switch was flipped on to something that had grown in the dark since I was 10 years old.  All of those memories resurfaced as I watched my boy sitting on the side of the bed in tears and unable to speak. I was gripped with fear. I know how God carried me into freedom. His perfect strength and the support of my family helped me but how do I now help my boy?

PAUSE . . .

Toward the end of every December, I ask God for a word for the coming year. It’s more than a theme.  It’s like a mission for the next 365 days of my life.  I take it serious. I focus on it. I push myself and trust God to lead me.

BE BRAVE

Funny thing about those two words is as I did my best to embrace them, I immediately became fearful. I prayed to God and said, “Ok God, Ill be brave. But what are you throwing my way this year that I need bravery for?”

Don’t get me wrong, bravery sounds awesome and it’s gonna look good on the t-shirt.  But we only need bravery to do scary things. So what scary things should I expect to face this year God?  My attitude was less than brave. “Sure Jesus, I’ll be brave as long as you don’t make me face anything too hard. And please don’t make me give up any of my things.”

But he reminded me of my biggest promise in 2015. I chose to live “palms up” recognizing I’m all his and nothing belongs to me.  I chose to give up control and stop possessing my own life.  My life is His. I’m anxious about 2016.  Bravery is scary!

 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers.

Philippians 4:6

BACK TO MY BOY:

And right out of the gate we had our first Nicks Family “Be Brave” moment. How do we help our baby to put down guilt and shame? How do we help him live a healthy and happy life? How do do all this without him becoming obsessed with looking down at the scale before looking up to God?  I’m not really sure but God knows and we’re all in His care.

In that moment, I did the only thing I knew how to do. I went to my quiet place and pleaded and begged God for the health of my baby. “Please God, don’t allow him to suffer in shame. Protect his spirit. Tell me what to do. Don’t let our fears affect his growth through this circumstance.”

We’ve been doing our part and trusting God to do his.  There was a time fear would have won. I would have ignored the problem or ran and hid from it.  Instead we are taking little steps to help our little guy embrace who God made him and help channel is love for food in healthier ways. He helps with dinners, he gets to choose what we make for dinner, and we get to focus on WHOLE health and not on appearance. I’ll share more as we go but for today my encouragement to you is

Be brave by taking one step each day through the circumstances that would normally scare you.

This past week, we went back to our plan. The plan start everyone of my new clients with gives freedom to my son. He doesn’t feel like he’s dieting. He actually gets to tell us what he wants to eat and he’s in charge!  We work out OR get active EVERY DAY.  We haven’t discussed pounds. We’ve talked health. We’ve talked about handling life. We’ve talked about living in the light so the stuff that scares us has to fear us! So what’s happened?

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It started with screaming and ended with tears.  The screaming came from my boy after he got out of the shower.

“Guess what?!” he yelled at me.  “I lost 4 pounds this week.” There was such pride and confidence as we celebrated his win. In that moment he shared an area where he had struggled last week.  This was a win too? My boy isn’t scared to talk to me. That’s more important than 4 pounds! It was my moment to remind him it isn’t about being perfect, its about progress and effort.

Being brave is scary.  But I want to grow. I want to be more who I was meant to be. Isn’t that the goal?

Growth demands the temporary release of security.

Gail Sheehy

 

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I’m Back In More Ways Than One [UPDATE]

I cried! If you know me, that isn’t uncommon, but today it was a good cry!

It has been a long while since I updated and I promise to get better about letting you all know what’s been going on. I have met some incredible people along this tummy tuck journey of mine and I know you have been waiting. Or at least I like to pretend you are on pins and needles waiting for me to post! haha

Last month, I had a follow up appointment with my doctor. If you’re wondering, it was my 5 week checkup. From the look on my doctor’s face, I knew she was thinking what I was thinking. “Woah, this girl is swollen.”

She told me I needed to wait an additional 6-8 weeks before I was cleared to workout again and to a health+fitness coach that screamed  THERE GOES MY BUSINESS! I was terrified to have to wait another 2 months before I could post a sweaty selfie or get in the trenches with my clients and work out. I left feeling a tad but defeated and learned that my body is going to take its precious time recovering. I was reminded the healing takes place internally and there were 4 levels of stitches that needed to heal before I started to see any changes externally. Honestly, her words were going in one ear and out the other and all I could focus on were those three words:  NO WORKING OUT.

In other news: I got a new garment. Its tight and I LOVE IT. My swelling has decreased so much over the past month, I contacted my doctor again with fingers crossed and begged for modified cardio. Please with cherries on top? I was shocked to get the response that I did…

Hi Lindsey,
So yes, you can step it up. However, ease yourself into Cardio. Maybe some low impact? See how you react to that and we can take it from there. I would hold off on heavy weight lifting, until you are comfortable stepping up your routine. Let us know how its going. Talk to you soon!
MUSIC to my ears! I pressed the play button on one of my favorite cardio workouts today. Thankfully there are modifications for every move in my current program. The best part of being back at it that the time off reminded me of the importance of nutrition first.  I got back to basics and guess what? I lost 10 pounds and I don’t just look skinny.  According to my hubby, I’m looking as fit as ever. After 14 years, he’s learned the right words at the right times.
Next week, my clients and I are starting our new adventure. It takes courage to make a change. When I thought about working out again, I was terrified! This year, I won’t let excuses get the best of me.  We CAN stand up to the things we fear. I learned a lot in 2015.  One of the most important things I learned about me is fear has played a major role in my life.  But not any more. This year will be about bravery.  My goal is to use the tools God’s given me along with a lot of experiences and help other women  BE BRAVE.
Are you ready to get brave? Do you need a little more courage do something you dream of?  Stick with me during this year and let’s do it together. In the words of one of the bravest men of the 90’s:
Who’s coming with me?
– Jerry Maguire
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NOTE TO SELF: YOU ARE YOUR OWN BULLY

Comparison is the thief of all joy.- Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve seen that quote about 1 million times. No matter how many times I see it or hear it, the meaning is quickly forgotten and I allow the thief back in. Comparison begins the second you turn login to Facebook and scroll your newsfeed. We have the luxury of connection with childhood friends, family from the other side of the country, business partners from across the world. It’s a gift and that can be a curse. That choice is ours!

We’re all aware of brilliant filters that erase wrinkles and blemishes. We know people post their best photo for every ten they took. We aren’t stupid enough to believe their world is perfect.  Why do we allow ourselves to be tortured by stalking all these people.  Why do we buy into the lie that says “Their lives are so much more blessed than mine.”

I played the comparison game a lot this summer. I watched people in my network who had the same starting point and timing as mine out earn me 5x over. I found myself with my toes in the sand, covered up because my girlfriends were rocking tight tushes and six packs while my body was covered by stretch marks and saggy skin. And the tipping point was when SHE (my biggest comparison pain point) hit that title that I wanted so bad BEFORE me.

During our summer trip to Lake Tahoe and after a tearful session with my SIL I made the choice to TRUST and BELIEVE that I am enough. Comparison feeds the insecurity and the lie we tell ourselves. It’s the lie that says, “You will never be as awesome as ______. You are not good enough. You wont succeed ENOUGH.” We do it with our appearance. We do it with our parenting. We do it in our marriages.  We do it at work.  THIS SUMMER I GOT FED UP WITH BELIEVING THAT LIE.

I was sick and tired of missing the blessing that is me and my life.  I was tired of thinking I wasn’t worth it. It was time to roll my eyes at those nasty thoughts. It was time to kick the comparison bully’s butt. I made a choice to stop being pushed around and to become the bully. When you stop feeding the lie, you start to muscle up against that bully. That’s right! YOU ARE A BULLY.

We all have desires, dreams, expectations and hopes for our lives. I realized this very important truth: My good plan is not always the best plan God has for me. I rest easy trusting His plan is so much greater than mine. I don’t want good.  I want BEST. Not your best. I want my best. I want what HIS best is for me.  And that will look different for each of us.

We are unique. I will never walk a day in your shoes and you will never walk a day in mine. How can we compare our lives to each other? We shouldn’t. We must do our part to stand up to the comparison bully. When we spend our time focusing on the good others appear to experience we miss all best things He’s trying to do in ours.

HERE’S WHAT I’VE STARTED TO DO TO GET GOD’S BEST FOR ME:

HIM FIRST: Every morning I wake up and spend my first moments with God. I focus on Him and being grateful. It sets the tone for the rest of my day and my life.  I choose to recognize all He is, all He does, and all He’s blessed His kids with.

OTHERS NEXT: Then I turn my thoughts to my family.I pray for my husband that his mind would be focused on truth. I pray for his safety and thank God for the gift that he is to me. I pray for protection for my kids. That they would be strong, and courageous lights for HIM. I ask God to lead them to good friends and help them to be the kind of kids who others can trust and count on. I turn my thoughts to my friends. Those I know and love deeply, those I’m trying to grow in relationship with, and those God will put in my life. I ask for opportunity to be a friend and blessing.

ME LAST: I’m learning last place is often the best place.  Comparison is about beating someone else.  It’s about being first.  But his desire is to be my first and for me to be last.  I’m good with that. So I pray for me. . . last. I ask for his best for me and trust He’ll take care of the rest. I pray for contentment. I ask for help with the insecurity and comparison bullies. I promise to brave in my choice to follow wherever He says.

That’s the formula to kill comparison.  Change your focus.  It’s not about figuring out how to stop looking at others. It’s about starting to look more to the one who created us all. It’s about recognizing what He has for us is greater than anything we may see in someone else’s life. Because it was created perfectly for us. That gives me confidence. That truth reminds me with His help, I can do it.

For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does.
5 The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.-Psalm 33: 4-5
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YOU ASKED FOR IT 3 WEEK UPDATE [VIDEO]

I feel like I can accomplish anything now that I have conquered being split in two. For anyone considering abdominoplasty, this is not a weight loss solution. This is war on your stomach!

Recovery is a road of ups and downs and curves that keep you from seeing what’s in store. You lose your independence more ways than you ever expected. I never thought I’d be so proud to wipe my own rear. I know my husband is grateful for this as well.

I MISS working out. It’s my therapy and what keeps me on track with my nutrition. I am still about 3-6 weeks from being cleared to get sweaty so the hubs and I decided we are going to do a 21 day cleanse. Don’t worry…with this cleanse…we get to eat like a king and queen. I’ve been asked for more video updates so I will be posting more on my youtube page, but also sharing some of our recipes along the way.

Here’s my 3-week post-op update video, and please ask your questions below in the comment section. I’ll be sure to answer them there or in my one month update next week. One month already? wow…

For now, I leave you with my 21 day recovery video update!

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My Friendsgiving Flaws

Have you ever sat around a table with you all eyes on you? What about a situation where all eyes are on you and you have nothing to say? That’s what happened last Thursday at my “Friendsgiving.” If you have no clue what that is, let me explain.

Ready? It’s a Thanksgiving celebration with friends. Genius right?!

I love this holiday. It has my favorites things. Food, family, and food. Our family tradition involves each person sharing one thing from past year they are extremely grateful for. Friendsgiving did not disappoint.

12274470_10153816462368623_173124918441850657_nMy sister in law made guilt-free eggs cups with a side of yogurt and berries. The table was set beautifully with turkey shaped candles! We did what we’re best at…WE TALKED. My sil(sis in law) started with a bible verse and then posed questions for the group.

The questions prompted some silly responses. “Chocolate and peanut butter. Yup! Those are foods I am thankful for.” Here are a few in case you want to pick up our tradition and spark some convo around your table this week:

  • What are you most grateful for that brings beauty to your daily life?
  • What challenging experience has ended up changing your life for the better?
  • What place do you feel most grateful for? Why?
  • What act of kindness has made the greatest difference in your life?
  • What, from this year, do you feel most grateful for?

AND THEN….the question that stumped me and caused me to sit quiet at the table.

Is there a personal limitation or flaw that you’ve come to appreciate?

Woah, hold up! Are you really asking that? Pull out the therapy couch and start the timer. “I am not sure you want to open that can today Jen.”

You might have read that question and immediately had a response. If you are like me, personal limitations can be painfully obvious. But if I answered out loud I was admitting to something everyone else already saw in me and would probably confirm. That would have been hard. I know these things about myself but it will hurt if they know them too. I actually thought of several limitations, but I wasn’t sure I had accepted them yet. I sat silent, and took a pass.

I left Friendsgiving needing to reflect. I turned the radio off as I drove home and thought, “Why do I have such a hard time accepting my flaws?”

My mind immediately went back to my childhood. HEAR ME: I had a beautiful life. My parents both loved God and loved me and my sister unconditionally.  Life was good. But I’ve learned that every childhood comes with some sort of adult baggage.

We had more good days than bad. But the bad days involved a lot of screaming. That screaming affected me more than I realized. I am not a yeller. I do not like disorder or chaos. When the screaming between my sister and mom began, I retreated to my bedroom to hide. I cleaned and organized my room. I stared into my fish tank. I did whatever I could do to escape the craziness on the other side of the door. I couldn’t fix it, so I mentally and physically hid from it. When our family was attempting to work through it, I refused to share my feelings.  I chose to ignore those moments hoping that meant they never happened.

Some of those screaming matches would occur on the way to church. It was amazing how inside the 4 doors of our Ford Taurus it was a war zone and yet the minute we stepped out and walked into church our faces were all smiles. An outsider would look at our family and wish for what they thought we were. I knew the secret. We were not perfect.

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I learned something at a young age I carried with me into adulthood.  It’s okay to be imperfect.  Just don’t let anyone know. What they don’t know, wont hurt. Our family actually worked out those issues together. Years of counseling did help. But I clung to the need to hide my problems. I remember leaving a local therapist at 9 years old and hiding under my sweatshirt so no one would recognize me. I was ashamed of my family’s dysfunction. If no one knew, it never existed. DING FREAKING DING.

That 20 minute drive from my SIL’s house allowed for this aha moment and I was finally able to answer the question I passed on earlier. My flaw? I’m a hider. I run from conflict and I have a really hard time embracing my imperfections. BUT GOD IS FAITHFUL.

So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new- 2 Corinthians 5:17

I have hope because I can grow from my sin, accept my flaws and become a new, better, version of me. Did he say perfect? No! I can release the expectation of perfection and walk with imperfect confidence. How have I learned to accept this flaw?

I decided a few years ago that I would live my life out loud and on line. I’m learning the “social media me,” is a few steps ahead of the “face to face me.” I have the opposite problem that most folks complain of when they talk about social media posting.  I share the good, the bad, and a lot of what I find is ugly in me. I’m all about sharing and showing my imperfections ( I do believe in great filters and apps that help smooth some of my pimples and wrinkles.-hey, I am a work in progress). But as I learned at Friendsgiving, my face-to-face me isn’t willing to share it all with those closest to me.

So it’s time for me to catch up with me. Running and hiding from the things that are imperfect can no longer be a part of my character.

What about you? Are you aware of your flaws and limitations? I think you are. Are you hiding like I have been? DON’T.  It holds you back from becoming the perfectly imperfect you. We are unique and beautiful, flaws and all.

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Why I Have No Friends

Okay I do have a lot of great friends.  But read on and see if you relate…

Do you have your ride or die girls? As of a few years ago, my answer was no. My sister-in-law is an author, talented speaker and one of my favorite bloggers (JEN JONES DIRECT).

My SIL and me matching on vacation. Yup, we planned it.
My SIL and me matching on vacation. Yup, we planned it.

About seven years ago, I sat in a room packed full of pink carpets, leopard decor and women all looking to connect with other women. I don’t remember a lot about that night but I do remember Jen taking off her dangly earrings because they were clinking on the hands free mic AND talking on how she couldn’t to be without her “Go-To Girls.”

The truth about me: I am a homebody. No I didn’t say “Homeboy” although I love a good gangster flick. I prefer coffee and a movie in my sweats to tight jeans and an uncomfortable night out on the town. I do much of that with my hubby and boys. However,  if I was asked if I had good girlfriends I would reply “Sure I do!” Just look at my Facebook and all the fun adventures I’ve had with different groups of ladies over the years.  Proof is always in the posts. Right? #sarcasm

The question we all have to answer: When you hit rock bottom and you feel like your world is crumbling around you, do you have your “go-to girls” who surround you, listen to you,  and, most important, pray for you?  When tragedy strikes your home, are your girlfriends the first to show up with meals and flowers asking what they can do for you and your family?  When good things happen, are your girls the first to celebrate with you?  When it’s decision time, do you have listening ears and pots of coffee?

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I sat in a girlfriend slump and wondered, “If my husband died tragically and I was stripped of my world here on earth, who would my go-to girls be?” I was slapped in the face with a harsh reality. I didn’t have any real ride or die girls of my own.

When our oldest started school, he struggled to have friends.  My husband would say something to him every morning as they walked to first grade.

If you want good friends you have to be a good friend.

That has been my problem I haven’t done my part to be a good friend.  I listened to Jeremy repeat this mantra every day and I never realized the same applied to me. What took me so long?

Stubbornness and selfishness. There. I admitted it. These two win a lot of battles in my heart and mind. I want people to come to me but I don’t want them to take up my family’s time or my own. What? Who says that out loud on a blog? This girl. I am aware of these qualities I have and realized they were getting me nowhere in the friendship department fast!

Yesterday morning, I got a BIG FAT SIGN. I subscribe to email devotionals and yesterday’s asked if I had an accountability partner. My first response was “Yes!” I have my #fitfam ladies who won’t let me be caught with a milkshake unless we burned 1000 calories before hand. However, fitness accountability wasn’t the point here. Do I have a woman I share my failures, my weakness, my successes and deep longings with? Not really.

In the private fitness groups I organize each month, I partner women up with each other for accountability. They need someone to call them out if they don’t share that sweaty selfie or miss the daily check-in. We are just more likely to succeed together. We need someone who we will lift up and who we don’t want to let down. These women start and finish stronger together. How could I be so ignorant to think that I didn’t also need that in my social and spiritual life?

I decided to pray for a spiritual accountability partner. A woman who will love me for me and is willing to call “BS” when she see’s it. Someone who is pursuing her relationship with Jesus with passion like I want to. Someone with wisdom or who will at least pray for it with me when I’m faced with decisions. Someone I’ll commit to doing the same for. I need my go to girl.

I have incredible ladies in my life. I have a circle of women who would drop anything to be at my side if I was standing in quick sand. I’m grateful for all of them. But God’s given me a desire for deeper friendships. And I’m willing to do my part.

God gave us women incredible gifts. We can empower one another. Friendship is a two way street. We (starting with me) need to put down the insecurities, the stubbornness, and the selfishness that so often infects “girl friend” circles and take the advice Cameron’s dad gave him in first grade.  We need to be good friends and we will make good friends. That’s my commitment.

Here’s my favorite girl quote:

Girls compete with each other. Women empower one another.

 

 

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YOU ASKED FOR IT: MY TUMMY TUCK UPDATE [Part 3]

FREEDOM!

Just like I found my #fitfam on Instagram, I have also found the TTC(tummy tuck community). It is so nice to be in the recovery trenches with these folks. We celebrate the little things.  Things I’ve taken for granted since I was TWO!

  • Walking to the bathroom without assistance
  • Wiping your own rear post potty time!
  • Standing up a little taller everyday
  • Weaning (off the pain meds that is)
  • The sensation of touch (The feeling around my stomach has been gone for a week)
  • and this one is what I am praising Jesus for…The tubectomy:  Removal of drainage tubes!

I cannot tell you how amazing it is to “drop my drawers” and pull them on up without having to manouver them around the drains. My hubby says he hasn’t seen me that excited about taking my pants off for almost 14 years. These are the Jr.High boy moments I get out of the nearly 40 year old child living in my house who I refer to as my husband. Wouldn’t trade him for the world.

I had my one week post operative appointment. The tape over my incision was removed and I got to see my hip to hip wound. I say wound, because it is not yet a scar. It is healing very well. The moment of truth really for me was the belly button stitch removal. Since full feeling hasn’t come back to my midsection, it didn’t hurt one bit. I told my Jeremy it was the perfect opportunity for a belly piercing. He gently reminded me that I am 35. He’s good at bringing me back to the real world. Ha.

Ok back to my appointment. I am excited about my belly button. I actually haven’t seen my button really since I was  pregnant with son #2 almost 10 years ago. This might be an odd thing to be excited about, but I really love it. Some of you asked it was actually my belly button or do they “make a new one.” It’s all me baby!

During surgery they actually cut my button away from the skin, pull new skin down and cut a new hole. The belly button is brought up through the hole and stitched into place. Dr. Edween went the extra mile. My original belly button had a hole from a piercing I had in it during my twenties. She showed me today a spot down at the incision and said, “There is that hole from your piercing I fixed. It should heal up just fine.” Do you know how strange it is to look that far down south and see the place where my button used to lie?

Many of you also asked how many pounds of skin was removed. Missed the pics? You can check this past post:Recovery pictures

Dr. Edween said she would find out in the records for me and get back on that one. I sure am curious myself! The most she could ever remember was about 8 pounds!

I am still VERY swollen. I feel like “guy #4” in those evolution of man posters. Dr. Edween reassured me it was normal because she pulled extra tight for me. Im not willing to split my stiches, so I will walk bent over for as long as it takes. Plus she told my hubby to massage my back for me. I am liking her more and more. He’s not.

Next appointment? Next month. Jeremy and I were warned not to jump back into working out just yet. can workout whenever he wants but he’s supporting me in my progression back.  That’s what he says.  I call it an excuse.  Honestly though, we have our plan of attack. We are focusing our energy on our nutrition and everything we are putting into our bodies. I cannot wait! If you missed the info on our healthy for the holidays, you can check it out here —>HEALTHY HOLIDAY

I’ll continue to keep you updated on the recovery, the appearance, and all the rest!

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YOU ASKED FOR IT – MY TUMMY TUCK UPDATE [PART 2]

I am so thankful for all of the encouraging messages, texts and emails I’ve been getting here and throughout all of social media.  Thank you so much.  As you know, I love touchy feely things.  So today I thought I’d do 2 things:

First some FAQs.  I want to answer all your questions so let’s start there:

1 THE PAIN – There is definitely pain.  I wouldn’t describe it as child birth pain but it hurts.  It’s more of an internal ache or burn.  The doctor did a great job of numbing the rest of me.  And of course it’s a chore to make it to the bathroom or get back into bed. I can’t stand up straight for about two weeks and I have to sleep in a “v” position.

2 RECOVERY TIME – The complete recovery will take anywhere from 6 weeks to 3 months.  I’ll get my drainage tubes pulled next Wednesday and can start standing up straight a week later.  I should get to lay this bed down straight within the month!

3 MY DOCTOR – So many of you have asked who I went to see.  Dr. Edween is amazing!  I felt safe, secure, and cared for.  She’s been featured on E entertainment in a number of shows.  She’s one of the best in the biz!  I was so grateful my good friend recommended her to me.  If you’re considering this for you, you need to check her out.

4 WHAT AM I GOING TO DO DURING RECOVERY? – You all know me so well.  So many of you have asked “How will you make it without your workouts?”  I’m actually really excited about this next several weeks.  The holidays are coming and they are historically difficult for people.  So I’m going to use my time to focus on helping other people.

As you know, I only did this after getting my nutrition on track.  I was so excited when Dr. Edween told me no liposuction would be needed because she could tell I was in great physical shape!  I want that for women EVERYWHERE!

So here’s my plan:

I’m going to spend my next 6-8 weeks helping other women with the most important things that led to this perk. The first was my self-confidence.  The second was my health and nutrition.  I need a little time to get back on my feet but I’m launching a special holiday nutrition group for small group of women looking to commit to getting healthier and feeling more confident BEFORE the year’s end.

If that type of group speaks to you, I would love to chat and see if what I’m planning is a fit for you!

Healthy Holdiay (1)

THE PHOTOS: Okay here you go.

The photos below are from the last couple of days. You’ll notice to drainage tubes, gauze stuffed into the belly.  Most of these were taken on day two post op.  In the near future, you’ll get some of my tubeless updates.  Please don’t hesitate to ask me anything!

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YOU ASKED FOR IT – MY TUMMY TUCK UPDATE [PART 1]

I did it! Well technically the doctor did it.  But I laid there so that’s something right!?

I had a few moments just before they injected the final dose of “lights out” meds when I asked myself, “What if I just didn’t go through with it? Is that an option?” Fear does crazy things to your mind. But fear wasn’t about to stop my belly from its well deserved fresh start.

What kept me from backing out and running out of the operating room? I have trained myself to go toe to toe with fear. It’s like a bully. When you stand up to a bully, most of the time the bully backs down.  My natural instinct, when faced with fear is to choose flight over fight.  But I’ve learned that when it comes to that bully, fighting is the better option.

That’s exactly what I did. I fought off fear. The past few years, I worked my butt off to lose weight. I owned my health and fitness and was in the best shape of my life. I became a #Girlboss. I earned the title of Elite Coach in my organization and finished 2014 as # 50 out of 300,000 peers.  John Acuff said something in his book Start:Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average and Do Work That Matters that really spoke to me:

You will work harder at something you love than at something you like. You will work harder than you have ever worked when you start chasing a dream. You will hustle and grind and sweat and push and pull. You will get up earlier and go to bed later. But that’s okay.”

I am proud of the work I put in. I discovered a new love for me, a healthy confidence and I am insanely driven to continue to pursue my passion for people and health. The hustle was worth it.  Because of God’s blessing and the hard work, I was able to swipe my debit card at a plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills without a feeling of guilt or worry. I earned this. I was worthy of this change. Regardless of what others may think or say, fear of judgement was knocked out by the truth of who I am know. And with that, and some really good anesthetic, I dozed off to la la land and the surgery began.

THE OPERATION

I don’t have a ton of pics of surgery day but we’ll start here:

I checked in for surgery at this well known medical facility and thought for sure I would see a celebrity or two. The room was quiet. Just me and my mom. The nurse took me back and left me to take one more pregnancy test and change into my surgery outfit.

Dr Edween office

She should have never left me alone, cause I took the moment for a few snapshots. As you can see, I was in the bathroom. If you know me, you know bathroom selfies are a favorite this girl.

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I tucked myself into my warm bed and the process began. Blood pressure, temp, and a chat with my anesthesiologist were all followed by the pre-op markup (sorry no pics allowed). Dr. Edween and I laughed a lot as she drew purple lines all over my stomach. I felt like the chalk board for a pre-school drawing project. When the doodle was complete it was nighty night time.

And what happened next?  Well that’s my next post.  For today let me encourage you to fight for your dream.  No, a tummy tuck wasn’t the goal.  But it was a perk for chasing the other dreams in my life.  What are you chasing?  Will you fight off fear or will you run from it and leave your dreams in the dust too.

 

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I’VE GOT A GUT FEELING

I am terrified. There. I said it. After wanting this for so long, and after stalking so many Youtube.com abdominoplasty (fancy word for tum-tum-tuck) recovery videos, I am finally here.  It’s my mommymakeover-eve. The day before I go under the knife. Here’s the deal.  I’m scared.  That fear in my gut isn’t of the operation though. I’m not worried about making it through the surgery alive.  But I’m scared.

Yesterday, after church, I sat my boys down separately to explain why I’m going to Los Angeles today. My oldest thinks it’s hilarious that I am coming home with a new belly button. My youngest is such my “cuddle bear.” He just wants me to come home as soon as possible.  Then there was the real heart to heart talk with the hubby. We spent time chatting about the type of woman I would want him to marry (you know, if this is what will end it all). You might think I’m crazy.  You probably think I’m dramatic.  He sure does.  But he loves me just the way I am.  But I was serious. I didn’t leave anything undone or unsaid.  We found ourselves laughing uncontrollably. It was probably because even I knew I was being kinda corny.

Want to know the difference between guys and girls?  There I was sharing my heart AND giving him permission to remarry if the somebody cut the wrong cord and his response was, “I’ll definitely have to find someone to marry or at least watch the kids while I’m at work.”  This is my life.  My heart exposed to the world and his mind on the constant hunt for the next joke. I love every minute.

My mom flew in from Washington to help me during recovery yesterday. That was Jeremy’s idea because he recognizes he has no bedside manner. We shopped and stocked our fridge full of food. I snuggled my boys to death and I think I am ready. Today I’ll be at my pre-opp appointment and then out on the town in Beverly Hills with my mom.

So what am I afraid of? I’m not afraid of taking my last breathe on earth.   what is it that I have been so anxious about for the past week? I trust my doctor, she is incredible. I trust my anesthesiologist and Lord knows I could use the rest so that part will be great. It’s not the important things that fill me with fear. I worry about the silly things. How will I get from the car to my hotel room tomorrow after surgery? Will I be able to sleep? How bad will the pain actually be? Will I act like those crazy people who get their wisdom teeth pulled and are so high on drugs? Will Jeremy get a hold of the video and post it?

I AM A BABY.

On a scale of 1-10, the typical flu gets me to about 8.  I have birthed two children via C-section so abdominal surgery isn’t new to me. I’ve been kicked and cut in the gut twice before.  The difference is I won’t be hooked up to morphine for days and won’t have nurses to care for me in a hospital room. Not to mention, I chose this pain.  So I’m also fearful, once again of others’ judgements.

I’m scared but excited. I am Anxious but hopeful. I am Curious and concerned about the outcome. I”m Completely freaked by the unknown. I’m terrified for the recovery. More than my stomach is being stretched here.  My bravery is being put to the test.  BUT…

I’ve got a gut feeling about this (get it).  So tomorrow I’ll put fear aside and look at my doctor straight in her eyes.  And as that milky white sleeping drug enters my vein I’ll make sure she knows I’m confident.  I’ll do my best  to stay awake long enough for her to hear me ask . . .

“Can you snap a selfie for me during the surgery and maybe one or two post op since I’ll be asleep.”

Hey, you have not if you ask not. I also told my mom to snap pics of my recovery hours to document and share with you all. So I guess Ill see you on the flip side? Please say a prayer for me tomorrow morning if you think about it. I could use all I can get! PEACE OUT

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