Exit 3…to me


Well, I promised “Reveal Photos” and I wanted to be sure to deliver!  (be sure to check out the before from the previous post- Exit 1- to see the transformation)

It has been 2 months exactly since my surgery.  I have no regrets and I am so happy with my results.  I still have a lot of swelling and soreness.  I just had a talk with my doc and he said I can expect that for about another 4 months.

To some reading that, it may seem like too much.  And that is a personal decision for each person to make.  I can tell you that it is a price I am willing to pay.  It is a necessary to have the results I have been craving for years now.

Exit 3 really is the ramp to myself.  The journey is long and the road is sometimes winding, but the destination is like coming home.



On the Path- Exit 1

Lately, I have been seeing my life as a huge super highway with many turns, exits and paths.  Each a different component of me and my life.  Some are straight and concise.  You know these roads too, I am sure.  Those things we don’t have to think too hard on.  Those aspects that just sort of go along at their own pace and that pace is perfect for us. These roads for me are my marriage, my husband and my kiddos.  I know the direction I am going in my life where they are concerned and I am happy for it all.  Other roads are bumpy and have their share of hills.  I think these roads keep us on our feet and force us off of autopilot so we can actually live.  These roads are my creativity.  While the work itself is always on that aforementioned road, the work following is sometimes difficult for me.  The attention of tours, events, promotions.  I still haven’t become totally confident in those situations.  Probably, in part, to the last group of roads…  And THAT road friends and followers, are those  that were under construction many moons ago but seem to have been forgotten. Roads with so many potholes and accidents waiting to happen we are scared to even look at the exit markers.  Trouble is, when we neglect these roads, the ones that need the most work and attention…they don’t go away.  They get worse.  And eventually, we have to take a ride and decide what we are going to do.  How we are going to repair that which has been damaged for so long?

And so, I am going to share with you my trip on the reckless road.  I do this with an anxious heart I must confess because I am feeling cracked open writing this series (I will break this up into three posts).  I hope you all will receive it with the sincerity and compassion with which I am writing it.


Exit 1.  It was a cold place for sure.  No warmth there.  Bitter some would say.  It was where I encountered and stored my horrific self esteem.  I have addressed this in the past on this blog.  I must tell you it is a very real thing that I did not believe or understand until I experienced it.

I have 4 children.  My body reflected as much.  Truth be told, my body reflected that I had delivered 4 grown lineman from an NFL team.  There was so much extra weight.  With each pregnancy, more weight compiled onto more weight.  I did fad diets, I did healthy diets, I worked out, I ate out- I did it all.  It seemed I was a hamster on that proverbial wheel going nowhere.  But unlike the hamster, I wasn’t in ignorant bliss doing so.  I was slowly developing a crippling relationship with myself.  One that was going to be debilitating if I kept on that wheel.

It started off small.  Those conversations with myself that I would have (I know we all do it- or I am the only one and I am crazy so you can just click out of this post now).  I would get out of the shower and I would say little things to myself.

“Gosh, you got to do something about this weight”

“Hmm, I think you look bigger than last month”

“Ugh, junk in the trunk”

These were light comments I made to myself.  And once I was dried, dressed and out the door, the thoughts were gone as well.  Until my next shower.  But that was doable, right?  Because most of our day is not in the shower.  I could manage.

But the weight kept coming.  And the conversations?  They grew more harsh.

“Surely your husband sees what a mess you are”

“You look so gross”

“What happened to you”

And these conversations lasted longer. Not just in the bathroom, but maybe all morning until my day was in full swing.

And fast forward to most recently, when these self pep talks were really turning into self verbal assaults.  And I don’t need to type here what I was telling myself, let it just be known I was not showing myself kindness.  And dear ones, if you are unable to be kind to yourself, it is IMPOSSIBLE to be kind to others.  So this should tell you how bad a path I had come upon.

These conversations were now happening throughout the day.  Most of the day, all days.

And so I decided I was taking back this head of mine.  These thoughts were over and this path?  It was getting an overhaul.  So was I, as it turned out.  I just wasn’t aware of it yet.

I went to consult with a plastic surgeon about my stomach.  Having the last 3 ten pound babies a year apart from each other on top of the hysterectomy had left my stomach a mess.  SO much extra skin and excess everything.  I wanted to consult a professional and get their feedback and input.  My doctor examined me.  True story, I had tears welling up when I was standing in front of him and his nurses.  It was such a vulnerable moment.  I was ashamed, frustrated, just open.

My doctor assured me he would be able to make things right. He said that no matter what I did on my own, the skin was never going to go away,  I had gone to the right place.  He was going to help me.

I cried to my husband.  I couldn’t believe that the thing that had caused me such angst and misery was able to be fixed.  I couldn’t believe my husband was so supportive.  It was a huge thing to ask for and he never hesitated.  I can’t ever thank him enough.

My doctor told me I had severe diastasis recti and that he would be able to repair it when he performed a full tummy tuck and liposuction.  I was finally going to get the successful nudge I needed to make this exit on my life highway a scenic view and not a dreaded eyesore.

I know this route is not one everyone can do or may even agree with.  I  can say I knew this was right the moment I began speaking with the doctor.

I had already investigated and interviewed several doctors.   The one I chose was the Chief of Plastic Surgery and also taught at Johns Hopkins.  I recommend that if any of you out there decide to go this direction, you do the same- meet and interview docs.

It was also important for me that my plastic surgeon performed the surgery in a hospital and not a surgical “suite”.  This is a personal preference and one that proved to be smart later on.

So, it was settled.  I was going through with plastic surgery.  My surgery was scheduled for 07/01.  The first day of the month.  The first day to me.  I was so excited!

Tune in to the next installment of this amazing journey.

But first- my before photo…


(notice the excess skin and the fact that the weakened stomach muscles push out skin even further…)- also note the black bikini was purchased for photos.




Capsule Wardrobe? I think so!

I know the upcoming book is the latest buzz here and BELIEVE ME, I am so unimaginably excited for that but I wanted to take a break from that briefly to tell you all something else big I have been pondering.

About a year ago, I heard of someone online who created a “capsule wardrobe” with 37 pieces of clothing for each season.  I distinctly remember thinking, “That is a great idea!  Take a minimalist approach and make getting dressed each day easy-peasy.”.

For any of you who are not aware of what a capsule wardrobe is, let me enlighten you.  A capsule wardrobe is when one has limited number of ‘classic’ essentials that all tie together to create nearly endless outfit combinations. As I mentioned above, the particular organizer I came across had the magic number of 37 (including coats, purses and shoes) articles of clothing.  Undergarments and work out clothes don’t count.  You have a capsule wardrobe for each season which would leave someone with a max of 148 articles of clothing for the whole year.  Not a lot.   Believe me.

I have had about 12 months since I came upon that little gold nugget on the world wide web.  Where am I now all that time later?  Inundated with clothes that are too big, clothes that are too small and clothes that I haven’t worn since Bush was president!  While not the first Bush it is still a long freaking time ago!   I have been hoarding these clothes and I have also been adding to the pile.  As a matter of fact, I seemed to do a complete 180 from what it was I was so intrigued by last year.  I went the complete opposite of minimalist and now have a walk-in and 2 full dressers filled.  And I mean FILLED with clothes.  People, I have 39 cardigans.  I went through a brief (but huge) LuLaRoe legging surge – I shudder to even tell you the number.  But since we are all friends here, I can tell you- 28 pair of LulaRoe leggings.  If you are familiar with this brand, you will know, they go with NOTHING.  They are wild prints in wild colors.  Not conducive AT ALL to capsule wardrobing.

So I got to thinking again about capsule wardrobes and came to this realization that I had gone so far in the opposite direction that I had to ask myself why.  Really ask myself.  The get into your own head and entertain no bullshit kind of self-talk.  I think I came up with a few valid answers to this situation.

  1. Still being unhappy with where my body is physically after all these kids and all this unhealthy eating, shopping is NO FUN.  Heck, even getting dressed isn’t fun.  As a result, I kind of rush through it and buy, buy, buy without taking the time to buy what will look good.
  2. This is a big one, I keep telling myself that I don’t want to buy anymore clothes until I am where I want to be weight-wise.  That is great in theory but detrimental for me and I will tell you why.  Yes, on paper it makes sense not to spend money when you have every intention to lose weight.  However, when someone gets dressed each day and truly doesn’t like what they see or how their clothes feel, it kind of keeps them in a dark place.  And as a result, they neglect their journey to health and hot mama living.
  3. The LulaRoe.  I think I can describe that pretty simply.  One, they are comfortable as ALL GET OUT.  Seriously.  Totally like butter.  Number two, they are so colorful and the prints are so fun.  But not 28 pair fun.  I think that was almost a way to (subconsciously?) distract people from how I was feeling about my looks?  How could I possibly feel bad or sad when my pants were screaming vibrant joy?  I think one pair is good for my capsule wardrobe.  Check eBay for some hot sales on these leggings worn only once.  🙂

So I have decided that I will be purging the bulk of my wardrobe and will be creating this capsule wardrobe for myself.  Today.  The body I have today.  I will focus on building a beautiful and complimentary wardrobe.  I believe completely that by beginning my capsule wardrobe today, it will help me get to the body I want tomorrow.  I need to feel good about the body I have right now.  I mean, people still see me, right?  Shouldn’t they see the best version of myself I can put together?  More importantly, shouldn’t my husband and children?  I want them to be proud of me.  Proud to call me theirs.

I am doing this and I am going to be documenting this and I hope you all will find it fun and perhaps even inspiring. I want to go to my closet and be confident that whatever I choose; goes together, looks great on me and makes my family nod and say, “That’s right, she’s with us!”

First round of business- a serious purge deadline.  And I have done it.  I have requested that Purple Heart make a Pickup on 02/11.  I am going to be donating clothes, shoes, bags, etc.  This is gonna be so nuts but so exhilarating as well!  Hope you follow on the journey!