July 14, 2011

A scary first step!

loose skin after weight loss

I took a very scary first step today toward something I've been thinking about for a long time. I made a consultation appointment with a plastic surgeon for a tummy tuck.

As I've mentioned before, I have a lot of loose skin from my weight loss, and my stomach is the worst. Not only is it unsightly, it hurts when I run or do anything active (it also gets in the way of movement); I have severe back pain that has only gotten worse as I've lost weight, and I'm starting to wonder if the "apron" in front may be causing that; I get rashes and infections under the "apron" sometimes, which is extremely painful.

In this photo, you can clearly see the overhang of skin...

skin overhang under t-shirt

I have saggy skin in other areas as well--my arms, thighs, butt, boobs--but I can live with that. I don't plan on getting surgery for those areas. I'm really hoping and praying that my insurance company will pay for the tummy tuck, because if not, I definitely cannot afford it.

Anyway, my appointment is August 26, which was the soonest they could get me in. It's $134 just for the consult. I know some plastic surgeons do free consults, but my sister learned (when she got a boob job years ago) that the free consults consist of a 30 second look at you and a "Yep, you're candidate, let's schedule the surgery," where the consults that you pay for consist of a lengthy appointment where the surgeon discusses it all with you in detail.

I e-mailed my jaw surgeon, because he was my favorite doctor EVER and I really trust his opinion, and asked him to recommend a plastic surgeon. He gave me a couple of names and I checked them out. I liked one in particular who happens to be a woman.

My insurance company said that once I see the surgeon, it'll take about 4-6 weeks to hear back whether I'm approved by insurance. So I'm thinking that my surgery would be in late October. I can recover all winter and then hopefully be well enough to train for the Indy half-marathon in May.

It's so scary to think that this might actually happen!! I'm super nervous, but I will be thrilled if it all works out.

A couple of days ago, I discovered that I had not one, but TWO almost empty nut butter jars--one jar of Barney Butter and one jar of Krema natural peanut butter. So the past two mornings, I've made cold oats in a jar. I know most food bloggers do the "overnight" oats, but I never plan that far ahead. I just add chia seeds, to my mix, let it sit in the fridge for 10 minutes, and it looks like it sat overnight. Thick and creamy.

Yesterday, I used the Barney Butter jar.

empty peanut butter jar

I added the following: oats (a little more than 1/3 cup), almond milk (1/2 cup), 1 Tbsp. chia seeds, 1 tsp. maple syrup, 1 Tbsp. coconut, 1 Tbsp. raisins. See how liquidy it is? Put it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes.

cold oatmeal in a peanut butter jar

And it comes out looking like this:

cinnamon raisin overnight oats

Cold oats aren't the prettiest breakfast, but they sure do taste good! Today I used the Krema PB jar, and turned it into a "no-bake cookie" type cold oats.

chocolate peanut butter overnight oats
Oats + almond milk + cocoa powder (1 T) + maple syrup (1 tsp) + chia seeds

chocolate peanut butter oatmeal with chia seeds
After sitting for 10 minutes
I love to scrape down the sides of the jar as I eat this, because you get peanut butter (or almond butter) with every bite.

Have any of you had a tummy tuck, or other post-weight loss surgery? Any advice before I go to my consult?


  1. I had a breast reduction to help with my back pain. Ask for before and after photos. Also there should be a good list of questions available online - I printed them out for my consult and asked every single one of them. For you I would especially ask about the anesthesia because you said you have increased sensitivity to medication.

    Good luck!

  2. I am so thrilled for you Katie. I know as a very young woman, you would like to be able to wear clothes that accentuate that beautiful, slim, new figure and not have to worry about that excess stomach skin/flab. As an old woman, I would like that too. My preference for removal, however would be my upper arms. They are just hideous. I can only wear sleeves that come to my elbow or below. When I hold up my arms, they actually look quite slim, IF I had all that excess flab hanging below them removed. I am almost certain, however, that my insurance won't cover the removal. However, I have a sore on my leg right now, (it is coming to a head, and when this happened before and it started draining, it got infected and was very sore--sorry TMI) and am going to make an appointment with a dermatologist, who also does a lot of botox etc. I may ask her opinion about the excess skin on my arms. Can't hurt to ask. Since I've had two surgeries (minor) already this year, I have hit the stop-loss on my insurance, and IF they cover your doctor visits (they have a specific rider that says they will cover nothing have to do with treatment for obesity), and they should cover this appointment, since it's for treatment of a sore, it's 100% covered. So I really want to get everything that I can taken care of this year, since until Dec. 31, it's basically FREE!
    Keep us posted on what the plastic surgeon says. You are going to look so good!!

  3. I LOVE over night oats and need to try chia seeds....where do you get yours?

  4. Linda KuilJuly 14, 2011

    Wow- that's a big step! I am not done losing weight, but I have the "jowls of a dog" (as Jon Gosselin would put it) already and tons of stretch marks from the weight and 2 babies. I know someone who did have a tummy tuck and liposuction and her reason was because she had lost a little bit of weight and just couldn't get rid of what was left. I'm not sure if I'd do it just for that, but the skin irritation and discomfort I totally get because when I was heavier I get that under my boobs. I might just have to live in compression garments!

    Good luck with everything! I got my PB 2 today! Tried the chocolate one and I will have to get used to the fact that it's so NOT sweet!

  5. I hope the consultation goes well. The tummy tuck is the only surgery I really want too - my third son was so big (almost 10 lbs) when he was born and he ripped the lower part of my stomach so badly that it looks like burn scars. That's when my stomach started folding over, and I get the same symptoms you mention (getting in the way, the rashes, etc). It's awful as well as ugly, ugh. :( I hope your insurance approves it!

  6. I really hope you get approved for your surgery - as scary as it might be, I'm sure you'll be so thankful after you get it!!

    Sucks you have to wait so long for your appt and then wait even longer to hear if its approved - I'm so impatient! lol

  7. @cherrytash1985
    I couldn't find chia seeds ANYWHERE, so I ended up buying them on Amazon for pretty cheap!

  8. AnonymousJuly 14, 2011

    I am SO looking forward to hearing what you find out in your consultation and if you are approved. I have only lost 52 lbs so far and have about 75 more to go but I have a feeling I will need a tummy tuck for the same reasons. I hope it all goes well and you get good news!

    -Jen (jennygump21)

  9. I think it will be really difficult to get insurance to cover a tummy tuck. Maybe if you got a lower body lift they might cover it.

    I am too afraid to get surgery - not to mention the cost. My stomach is really the least of my loose skin because I never had kids, I think.

  10. My daughter had a breast reduction 5 years ago when she was 16. Her breasts were so large that she couldn't run comfortably and had a very hard time finding clothing. She had chronic back pain and deep grooves in her shoulders from her bra straps. I found out after the surgery that she had been wearing 2 sports bras at the same time to try to flatten them and hold them in place. I searched for a surgeon who was a specific specialist in breast reconstruction. Her surgery went very well and recovery was fast. I know it's not the same as a tummy tuck, but it was covered under my insurance because of my daughter's physical symptoms. I'm excited for you- I think it would be wonderful for you!

  11. Wow, that's really great Katie. I hope that you can get the surgery, and I hope that your insurance company will pay for it. A tummy tuck is also a dream of mine, but I've got a little more work to do first.

  12. I've been struggling to not binge on my PB in an effort to get to the end of the jar so I can make this recipe. HAHA!

    So I haven't had a post weight loss surgery, but I will need a tummy tuck when all is said and done. 8 years ago however (before my HUGE weight gain) I did have a breast reduction. DDD to B/C. Best choice I EVER made! EVER!!! It took me finding the right doc to get insurance to cover everything, but once you find them it is worth the wait!!!

  13. I'm not sure if you are familiar with Roni's Weigh blog, but she had a tummy tuck a few years ago and has a big section on her blog about it, including photos of her recovery.


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