New Year-New Jen | Weight Loss Journey
………I swear I haven’t fallen off the edge of the earth! Between shoots, editing, holiday shopping, all things Christmas AND a little secret I’ve been hiding…… it’s been a little crazy of here.
*GULP* I’m about to share something with you guys that’s a little personal….Ok- A LOT personal but now that the holidays are over and we are all focusing on our goal for 2018, I’ve got a big hairy scary goal that I’ve been working on and it has nothing to do with photography but everything to do with myself….New Year, New Me!
Many of you know how roughly 5 years ago, I had set out on a health journey to drop some pounds- A LOT of pounds. I was
very overweight obese (according to the BMI chart) due to a combination of health issues (thyroid issues/hashimotos, PCOS), medicines and an unhealthy lifestyle. I set out to change that and blogged about my journey along the way. Some of you joined in with me, others gave me the encouragement I needed from behind their keyboard and a select few snickered from the sidelines. Those of you who cheered me on, will never really know how much that meant to me.
The entire reason I had decided to make a life change was because we were thinking of having another baby and I knew it would be difficult, given my health situation, to conceive or carry a pregnancy healthy to full term. I set a goal and I hit it with the grand prize being my son Levi….who is now a year and a half! WHAT?! Between then and now, my weight has fluctuated but for the most part, I have kept off close to 80lbs thru diet and exercise AND a pregnancy over the course of the past 5 years. I have been overjoyed with my results, my ability to not have to catch my breath if I’m walking up a set of stairs and being able to fit into smaller clothes, the ability to walk into any store and know that something will fit me directly off the racks….but what I have been left with UNDER those clothes has been bothering me ever since. Sure, I’m REALLY good at hiding it, but after working so hard to try to feel good in my own skin to only still hate it….well it isn’t a great feeling. I feel like my body doesn’t match up with all the hard work I had put in.
I’ve always been very transparent, I’ve shared my lows and my highs during my journey…the weight loss, the weight gain, the plateaus, the positive and negatives of the entire process so I thought it would only be fair to be transparent about the next big thing I have planned. I think I’ve held off for a while because I was afraid that my friends or family wouldn’t mirror the excitement I had for my next step….but I’m throwing in the towel- I don’t care….not anymore. Over the past year or so, I have had several consultations with plastic surgeons seeking professional opinions and have finally decided that it’s time to get skin removal surgery. My date is January 2nd. New Year..New Me. I’m excited and scared shitless. The surgery date was scheduled a little faster than I had anticipated but it works out for the best considering this is my slow season.
During my consultations, I found out that I have quite a sever muscle separation from pregnancy/c-sections (and life) that will need to be fixed. He assured me that no matter how much exercise I would do or had done, nothing would repair it without surgery. As a matter of fact, he explained that in some cases doing exercises like sit ups or planks could make it appear worse! After hearing that I wanted to cry….because if you knew how hard I had tried and never saw results- it felt like relief that I wasn’t going crazy. During surgery, I will have my muscles repaired, skin removed and lifted so that I will match the hard work I had put in. If the surgeons speculations are correct, he will be removing close to 8-9lbs of access skin left behind. BYE FELICIA! Greg has been by my side the entire process and even asked his own set of questions during the appointments-some of which I had to laugh at. I joked with him that I am a plastic surgeon in Photoshop with the liquify tool! HAHA! I keed, I keed…
I will be out of commission and in LOTS of pain for the first several weeks of January. I’ve cleared my schedule during that time and nurse Greg will be taking care of me. Although, I will be laid up in a recliner for several weeks, I may be a little slower at getting back to emails and phone calls. If you know me well, I love what I do and it will take me lots of pain killers to keep me away…but I’m also the first to admit when I need to take a break and focus on healing. I’ll be back to shooting in no time and have lots of stuff lined up in February.
I plan to share with you my journey (the good, bad and ugly) and have set up an Instagram account specifically for the behinds the scenes stuff… so if you want to follow along, you can find me at the link below… and if you don’t-no worries, it won’t be showing up on my personal IG.
I officially have 3 Instagram Accounts….lord help me! haha!
My personal/behind the scenes of my real life: www.instagram.com/jenmcken
My business /lots of pretty professional photos: www.instagram.com/jenmckenphotography
My weight loss/journey to getting healthier (where I keep it real): www.instagram.com/jenmckenunscripted
I’ll see you on “the flat side” as they say in all the forums! I know this is going to be a humbling experience and I’m putting it all out there but I have a great support system and when everything is said and done, I know I will feel amazing….it’s all going to be worth it, I just know it! I’m trying to be brave by posting about it because if I’m being honest, if it wasn’t for other people doing the same, I’m not sure I would have made so many new friends or found out LOTS of stuff while doing my research. I know lots of people who don’t want to open up about and keep it a secret..but that’s just not how I roll.
One thing I will say is….I’m so damn proud of myself. I did this……all.by.myself. I changed the quality of my life thru good old diet and exercise BUT this next step I can’t do alone.
So there ya have it, the cat is out of the bag. January 2nd, I will be undergoing a tummy tuck from somewhere similar to Luxurgery NYC, muscle repair and thigh lift. New Year….New Jen! I can’t wait to see what 2018 is going to bring to be both professionally and personally! <3 Below is an image of me in my "fancy" gown waiting for the consult with the surgeon. I'm smiling, but I'm practically pooping my pants from nervousness. #OperationGettingLessFat
I have come so far!
If you’re interested in reading some of the older blogs about my weight loss journey, I’ll link them below:
Big Macs, Whoppers and Diet Coke
Bye Bye 50 Pounds
What No One Tells You
Silver Sneakers, Halloween Shopping and the “Secret Code” | Weight Loss Journey
I will lose 100 pounds!
You Are The Sum of Every Choice You Make
It Was Bound To Happen
Seat belts, Swimmies and Oreos