Friday, November 9, 2018

Recovery Begins Here...

I posted in August about how I was going to have more reconstructive surgery.  You can read that HERE.  Well, I had that surgery this past Monday.  I am four days into recovery, and I'm feeling fairly good.  Sure, I'm in some pain, but I am following protocol, resting, and taking my medications. 

There was a slight complication, of course, since nothing I do is ever easy.  We thought the mesh on one side had failed.  It turned out the implant was leaking.  So, it's good I had decided to do this surgery!  The surgeon had talked me into a second mesh, which equals more money.  She was already planning to move the implants under the muscle (as my skin just has no elasticity, which is why the implants fell again).  So, no one was expecting to open me up and find a leaking implant.  They didn't have the size necessary on hand, so someone had to drive new implants from San Francisco to San Jose in commute traffic, while I was under anesthesia.  I also now have silicone implants instead of saline (which will eventually equal more money as well).  The whole process has been frustrating and expensive. 

So, I'm sitting here recovering, and thinking my pole life is likely over.  It hurts my body, and I want to treat these new implants with kid gloves.  I don't know yet what it means for this blog.  It has already been morphing into a blog about life in general.  I guess I have plenty of time to decide.  In the meantime, enjoy some photos of the progression of my boobies. 

Before/After 2016
Leaking implant 2018
Surviving implant 2018

Friday, October 26, 2018

Chunky Girls at it again!

Marisa and I performed ("performed") at another Twirl for a Cause event, and since I've been so quiet lately, I thought it would be nice to share.

Two things are going on here. The Chunky Girl Universe has obviously shown up to play, but our new endeavor, the Dick Pic Committee, is also in attendance.  What is the Dick Pic Committee?  Well, we are a group of friends who get together to talk about all the dick pics dudes send us on dating or other social media sites.

I love my friends. 

 Check us out, kinda dancing for dollars:

Saturday, September 1, 2018

An Entire Year of Joy

My wish is for another  fabulous year with an abundance of joy
One year ago, I deemed my 41st year to be the Year of Joy.  It was just slightly over a year ago that a break up and a bad choice in medication pushed me into a mental breakdown.  I have grown so much in the past year.  It wasn't just a year of joy.  It was a year of peace.  Love.  Self-acceptance.  It was the Year of Me.

Our time has to be divided in so many ways.  We have to work, sleep, eat.  We have responsibilities.  We don't have time for ourselves, because we have other people to take care of.  However, we can't push ourselves until we have nothing left to give.  We need to put our oxygen masks on first.

Take a deep breath.

For me, that means yoga is a priority.  I am extremely excited to be on the committee at work that brought yoga to employees two days a week at lunch.  We are adding an evening class in less than two weeks.  Between that, another lunchtime class, and my Saturday online class, I will be at five yoga classes each week.

Eating well is a priority.  Thanks to the gastric bypass, this isn't optional.  My vitamins and protein can get low so easily, and it makes it hard to function.  I've been gluten-free (mostly free) for almost a year and a half.  I have the sugar under control again.  I'm drinking my protein shake for breakfast.  I've been using a food service to make sure I get high fat/protein, gluten-free foods.  Food is fuel.  And I am making an effort to choose the right fuel for my body.

Time with my friends and family is essential.  Time with the right people.  Learning that not everyone deserves your time.  Learning not to waste precious time with people who aren't compatible with you.  Practically every Sunday afternoon, you will find me at Myers Court, hanging out with my family.  Sure, a small part is because it's fun to compete for the title of Favorite Aunty.  But I love feeling like I'm part of a community.  We can build our own tribes, of course.  My chosen tribe includes so many amazing people.  However, I do appreciate my family for loving and accepting all of my weirdness.  Also, I am so incredibly lucky to have a fantastic group of friends.  I am especially grateful to the strong women in my life.  When I was younger, groups of women usually meant catty bullshit.  That is no longer the case.  Either we've grown up or I'm just spending time with better people.

Therapy is so important.  Sometimes it feels overwhelming to make a weekly commitment, but I fully believe my therapist is part of the reason I am doing so well right now.  She doesn't just sit back and ask me how I'm feeling or what I think.  She calls me on my bullshit and helps me choose better ways to think about myself.

Self-care in general is a priority as well.  For me, that's massages, journaling, meditating, taking time to watch sunsets, going to the beach, watching the full moon rise at my favorite look-out spot.  It's turning the TV off and sitting in silence in my own house.  It's turning the music on and dancing around as I get ready in the morning.  It's being in tune with my mind, body and spirit, so I know exactly what I need in each moment to thrive.

I feel like a completely different person.  Softer 'round the edges.  Still loud and silly but maybe not solely for the reason of hiding my insecurities.  Less sarcastic.  I've tried to be more vulnerable and honest with people.  It feels more authentic to live like that.

In the last year, I got rid of my roommate and started fully loving being in my own house again.  I've taken trips to Pebble Beach, Disneyland, Tahoe, Monterey, Fall River Mills and Vegas (more than once).  I did a yoga retreat in San Luis Obispo.  I started a brunch committee to discuss the epidemic of online daters sending photos of their dicks to random people.  I've contemplated taking the bar and becoming an attorney.  I've realized that California may not be the place I want to retire (which says a lot coming from a California girl).  And I'm still doing random handstands and yoga poses everywhere I go.

So a year ago, I started an album on Facebook called "41: The Year of Joy."  In the past year, I've posted over 1,400 photos of people and events that brought me joy.  I wanted to share some of them here.

Thank you all for being on this journey with me.  I know I've gotten away from posting a lot about pole.  Aerial has really been causing me a lot of physical pain, so I'm taking it as a sign that it's time to take a step back and take care of myself.  Surgery is coming up in less than two months, so perhaps after the New Year, I will re-evaluate.  I have decided not to set a theme for my 42nd year.  I will, of course, continue to foster a joyful life, and I am excited about what the next year holds (two more babies are due in the family over the next six months).  But I am also learning to go with the flow and trust that the Universe will always provide me with good people and fantastic adventures.

And now, welcome to my Year of Joy (click the photo and it will take you to my flickr album).  Don't worry, it's not all 1,400 photos.  :-D

41 - The Year of Joy

Friday, August 10, 2018

Here we go again...

Almost two years ago, I had a second breast lift/augmentation.  You can read about that HERE and HERE

So those new, smaller implants also dropped like rocks.  They are uneven.  And the mesh on one side appears to have failed.  Long story short, I am having more surgery. 

That means more money.  More time off work.  More recovery.  More frustration. 

One might say, hey, maybe you should just stop having surgery!  But here's the rub.  I spent almost $45,000 in 2006 on surgeries.  $15,000 in November 2016.  And now it will be another $3,500.  I know my body wasn't going to look perfect, but for that amount of money, I'd like my nips to at least face the same direction.  It's like I'm almost to the finish line, and if I don't do it, I won't get to cross.  This will be my last attempt at getting these things fixed.  My doctor is going to move the implants and mesh under the muscle.  She is trying to talk me into switching to silicone instead of saline implants, as they apparently make a textured implant that shouldn't slide as much.  But I have this stupid ass mesh sewn into me, so why is it sliding anyway?! 

Anyway, between NCPP taking over my life in September and surgery in early November, my pole life is pretty much done for now.  The next six months will be about preparing for and then recovering from surgery.  And hopefully this is the last surgery I have to have in this life! 

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Living My Best Life

I recently started attending a women's therapy group, and last night we discussed how social media affects us.  Seeing people who portray their perfect lives (#livingmybestlife!!! under the photo of a 21-year-old girl with a perfect body in an exotic vacation destination).  I feel like I am pretty good about reminding myself that most people only put their best foot forward on social media, so I don't usually feel envious.  But then it made me think about which foot I put forward on social media. 

If you look at my social media, you'd probably think a few things:  (1) this girl drinks WAY too much; (2) this girl can't possibly work a full-time job with all these adventures; (3) this girl must hang out with her family pretty much every day; (4) this girl does yoga poses everywhere she goes.  And the truth is, I don't.  I may over-post when I'm drinking but I actually recently parted ways with a social meetup group, partially because I was starting to indulge in alcohol way too many nights in a week.  I want to drink twice a month, not five times a week.  I don't have an off button, so once I get started, it's ON.  But if I don't get started, I'm fine too.  I do work a 40-hour-a-week job.  A job I enjoy and think I'm pretty decent at.  I do make my family a priority.  Two of my brothers and their families live about 25 miles from me, and I do make Sunday afternoons my time for family.  I won't even deny number four.  I do like to do yoga poses everywhere I go.  It's fun for me.  And, yoga in general is a priority for me. 

But the bigger theme is, I look like I'm happy all the time.  Summer has been awesome, so I'm spending time at the pool, and I have a decent tan.  I'm hitting up the movies.  I'm hanging out with friends.  I go to nerd conventions and drag shows.  I have been to a couple of concerts.  I go to pole and lyra classes.  I'm doing yoga three to four times a week.  I've made it out of town a couple of times (less than I'd like, but I'm trying to stay on a budget).  I apparently hang out with celebrities.  I started a freakin' brunch club to discuss all the dick pics we get from online dating.  There is always a reason to have a smile on my face. 

In 2012/2013, I was having a really rough time.  I hated my job and commute.  I was unhappy in my relationship.  I had gained a lot of weight and I was uncomfortable.  I was facing foot surgery.  And I unleashed my rage on Facebook.  I ranted probably every day (Facebook memories reminds me often).  I was miserable.  And probably miserable to be around.  In recent years, I've tried to be more positive.  It's not to put out a fake social media front.  I just think people don't want to hear you complain constantly.  At some point, if you're complaining non-stop, you have to take responsibility for your life and make some changes.  So I did that. 

So I see these posts on social media, people exclaiming that they are living their best life.  They are on amazing vacations, or going to exclusive clubs, hashtagging their day spa experience so they can get more likes and followers.  It's not real life.  You don't know if they went into crazy debt to afford that stuff.  Or if her husband constantly gives her flowers because he feels bad for cheating.  Or how, after that oh-so-adorable family photo was taken, a fight started and no one spoke to each other the rest of the day.  Social media is a literal snapshot of the face we want someone to see in that single moment.  But it's not real life. 

You've seen my theme lately.  You can read my posts about Eager Anticipation or Living an Exuberant Life.  They apply here.  Sure, it is completely awesome that you went to Greece.  I imagine it is pretty fun to drive a $100,000 car.  But that doesn't make my life.  My life is made by me every single day.  And yes, I mostly only share the good stuff on social media, but it doesn't mean I don't have bad days.  Sometimes I'm self-conscious about being chubby.  I face anxiety and depression (although not as much as I used to).  The adorable kids in my photos do sometimes throw tantrums and cry.  I have tried to keep on top of my budget and spending so I can continue to live without a roommate in the crazy San Francisco Bay Area, which causes me stress because I love to shop and travel.  I get my feelings hurt if someone I'm dating rejects me.  I let myself feel, then I pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on down the road.  If my social media posts make anyone feel less than, I apologize.  I would never purposely put out a fake side of me to make people think my life is only awesome.  But I also don't want to overwhelm anyone with my dark thoughts. 

So, yeah, my life isn't perfect but I am living my best life.  And I continue to be excited about the path I am on.  Thanks for coming along with me!

Here's me living my best social media life:

Friday, July 27, 2018

Operation Upside Down: The Final Chapter

It has officially been one year since I started Operation Upside Down.  You can read the latest update HERE.  (For the fun of it, you can also read the most recent flexibility update HERE.)

I am thoroughly enjoying Janet's movement class.  I really love finding new and different ways to move.  I'm not super fluid or sexy or able to dance amazingly.  So its nice to be presented with ways to move that I can actually do.  I will be in her class this week, however, I am then going to be in a Wednesday night women's group for five weeks.  Then it's September and NCPP prep will take over my life.  Then I have surgery in November, which will require a minimum of three months off (I'll do an update about that soon).  So, its not going to leave me much time for pole/dance/lyra/movement, or any upside down stuff in general.  Lunchtime yoga will continue, of course, until surgery.  So that will be my saving grace.

Therefore, this will be my final Operation Upside Down update (unless something amazing happens).  You can always keep an eye on my Confessions fan page on Facebook.  I regularly post videos and photos there. 

Thank you for coming on this upside down journey with me!  I am excited for the next chapter.  I will share more with you soon!