Nothing is more cliche than the expression, ‘Time flies!’ But there are no truer words because it seems that in a blink of an eye, months and years can pass in a flash. It’s been a year since my tummy tuck surgery and it feels like it happened just mere weeks ago. I recently went down to Miami for my one year check up with Dr. Daniel Careaga of Careaga Plastic Surgery and it was just as successful as the surgery.
For those of you that are new to my blog, I had an abdominoplasty to correct a severe diastasis recti from my pregnancies a year ago. A diastasis is when the abdominal wall muscles separate and it looks like you have a large bulge, a portruding belly that basically looks like you’re constantly six months pregnant (in my case). Most diastasis heal on their own, but mine was pretty big, so exercise would only make it worse and it wasn’t going to heal on its own, so after years of having it, I wanted to have it fixed. I did it for myself- no one else. I had consultations with four different surgeons, all amazing, but I ultimately decided on Dr. Daniel Careaga, who is known for his flawless tummy tuck technique and belly button placement. After our consult, I immediately booked my surgery. I felt confident, reassured, and I liked his bedside manner.
It was one of the best decisions of my life.
I’ve been so vocal and transparent with my experience in hopes that I could help any other woman out there that has been contemplating the surgery, or had/has questions, and I was happy answer countless questions from the actual procedure to the recovery. I can tell you, a year later, I never felt better! I am so happy I decided to go ahead with the procedure. My scar has significantly lightened and has healed beautifully. There are areas that are still numb, but that’s expected and as time goes on, sensation will come back to the area, but there is no pain. The muscles feel great too. I exercise without any issue, and I don’t cramp up while doing abdominal exercises. I feel like I have baby muscles each time I use them!
I’ve been so used to having the bulge, that when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror, I do a double take! lol. Im not even lying! It blows my mind. I want to make something very clear. I’m someone who has always been body positive and happy with my body. I love how my body has transformed from being an underweight, skinny teen, to a woman who’s had two children. My body has been through its fair share of changes, including a breast reduction. Because I made the choice to fix something I was not happy with, does not, in any way, diminish what I feel is being body positive. I think its a very grey area when it comes to discussing body positivity or accepting the body you have, because I do. On the flip side, if I make a choice to enhance, or improve upon something because I want to and I’m doing it for myself, it doesn’t mean I don’t love my body. It means the complete opposite. I was in a position where I had the opportunity to correct my diastasis and I absolutely did it. I don’t regret it one bit and I love my body even more. I think it’s important that we don’t shame women for choosing to undergo any procedure whether needed or not.
Clothes wise, I was surprised that there were things in my closet that no longer fit me in terms of pants, shorts and skirts. My bulge took up a lot of waist/hip space and normally I had to go up a size bigger in certain pieces because of that. So after the surgery, I tried on a bunch of things to see if they still fit or not. Many didn’t, so I donated them. It definitely took some time to get used to my new, flat belly, but boy did I love it! I still felt 100% me. I call it Kathy 2.0. lol. Even with the bulging belly, I took the faux pregnancy compliments in stride and didn’t care, and I wore clothes that showed it because why not? But it definitely got to a point where I wanted to correct it and I did it when it felt right for ME. I talked to Coco and the kids about it. Not to ask permission, but to share with them my decision to go ahead with this and keep them in the loop and they were beyond supportive.
As I wrap up my post, I’ll leave you with this. If you’re thinking about a tummy tuck, do your research. Make sure you look into the surgeons. Ask questions. Book a consult and talk to other patients. Exercise. Eat healthy and set up ‘your recovery team’ thats going to help you while you recover after surgery because you will need a good week to 10 days. Yes, you’ll have jitters and anxiety and question yourself time and time again, but when its all said and done, I promise you, you’ll be happy you did it!