Man, I thought long and hard about this blog for a really long time.
Not this post, in particular, but this BLOG.
Like the whole sharing my life on the internet thing.
Did I want to still do it?
What happens when my kids get older?
What kind of message was I sending?

These were all questions I asked as things began to start tumbling downward last year.

I took several months off to evaluate my life, my goals, my MESSAGE to the world.
And I came up with one thing.... I wasn't sending the right message.
Maybe I was trying to, but it wasn't being received the way I wanted it to.

Whatever the case, I shut down.
I focused on me and my life and my kids and I found something I'd lost in the mix... peace.

So I thought I'd update you all on what's been going on in my life.

I am a work from home mom. I help people hit physical and financial goals, and by doing that I am blessed in return.
Big T is 6 and is in Kindergarten and I am very active in his school. I get to eat lunch with him, shop with him at his book fairs, work in his Christmas store, and be at every Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentines Day and every other classroom party.
I get to take him and pick him up from school every day and ask him how his day was. I get to do homework with him every night and take him to the park after school.
I get to be PRESENT in his life and I'm thankful for that.
He is my sensitive child. Always the good one, always good reports at school. He is courteous and caring. He loves helping me clean and cook and loves positive reinforcement.
He has a heart so big and so full of love.

Mushy is 4 and he is in pre-school. I keep him home with me 1-2 days a week, depending on my workload for the week.
I am on the phone, emails, lunches, or at school events several times a week, and I feel it is necessary for him to be on a schedule and in a learning environment.
I pick him up early on the days he is at school and we go pick up Bubba together.
I spend a lot of time with my kids, and I love being able to do so.
He is my difficult child, God love him.
He loves snuggling with me and knows my weak spots for him. He sneaks in my bed at night and snuggles up next to me. Most nights I don't even notice he's there until I wake up. He's a lover with a temper like I've never seen, and he tests me every day.
Remember how I always said he was like a Sour Patch Kid? He'd cut my hair off in my sleep and then snuggle me and tell me he loves me??
Yeah, that's still him.

My ex husband works a lot and he is very present in their lives as well. We are good friends and we co-parent as best we know how.
We don't fight, especially in front of the kids, and we still do family outings together and keep our kids first.
In the beginning that was hard, and I'm not going to lie and say it's easy all the time now, it's not.
It takes constant effort and communication, but we navigate it the best we can.

My health and fitness is still a big part of my life, but I don't obsess over it.
I know that there is more to life than having abs year round, or counting macros for every meal.
I feel more confident in myself than I have in a very long time.
And that has absolutely nothing to do with my body.
Maybe it's taken me 31 years to figure out that having the perfect physique really WON'T make all your dreams come true.
It really WON'T make everything in your life perfect.
The only thing that will fulfill you completely is love. Giving love, receiving it, and then spreading it like wildfire.
THAT is what I am focused on.
And maybe I'm a little softer in the middle because of it, and maybe a little more boring, but it feeds me.
Knowing that a life I want is within my reach and helping others achieve what THEY want, that's worth the extra fluff.

Maybe I'll get the itch to set another goal soon. I've toyed with picking up running again, solely for the purpose of seeing my kids at the finish line of a race (they've never watched me finish a race before) and showing them what their mom can do, teaching spin classes (spinning is a true passion of mine), and maybe competing again (I love the Masters class ((35 year old+ age division)) and admire those women), but for now I'm just trying to live life, enjoy my time with my kids, and focus on the many blessings I've been given.

I don't know what's to come of this blog, it's done so much for me over the years and completely changed my entire life. Some of it in good ways, and some of it in amazing ways.
I am appreciative of every one of you who have read along, cried, cheered me on, and picked me up when I've fallen over the years.

My focus has shifted and I can't help but feel like it's been the most dramatically amazing change I've made to date.


What to Expect When Getting a Breast Lift

When I got my first pair of implants in 2005 I was young and all I knew was that I wanted bigger breasts.
I ended up with size 38DD breasts, a big change from my natural 38B.
Fast forward to gaining and losing a total of 90 lbs., 2 pregnancies, and 2 breastfeeding attempts.
I say attempts, because I did the best I could with breastfeeding. Each of my kids were breastfed for about 2 months. My initial incisions were under the fold of my breasts.
Then, after losing all the weight from my second child, I decided my large breasts were no longer proportionate to my smaller body.
The shape of them didn't change much, there wasn't much sagging or anything, they were just too big.
I was starting to have a little issue where when I would lay on my back, they would fall to the sides a bit. Again, not really a huge deal, but it began to bother me.
To me, they just looked like big, natural breasts.

I have been wanting a smaller implant for a long time. I knew that with a smaller implant, though, I'd have to have a lift. The reason you need a lift with a smaller implant is that when you take a big implant out, you will need a big implant to fill up that tissue, OR a lift with a smaller implant to remove the excess skin.
And the whole reason for getting them redone was because I wanted them SMALLER. It would not have been possible without a lift.
You can't just go in and put a smaller implant in when you've had a big implant there for 10 years.

My previous implants were 550 cc saline implants. Silicone was not a choice back then, unless you were allergic to saline.
On my 5'6, then 155 lb. frame, the 550 cc took me to a full DD.

Over the years I wasn't able to wear certain tops, I had to wear very supportive sports bras, etc.
Now, on my 5'6, 135 lb. frame, I went with a 390 cc silicone implant for a cup size of a C (hopefully; I will know for sure when they settle and aren't so swollen).

My doctor that I chose is a very respectable doctor in the Dallas area. He is triple board certified and I have seen his work, first hand, and have been very impressed with it. It is NOT the original doctor I went to back in 2005 for my breast aug, as I heard ONE bad story about him over the years and that solidified my decision not to go to him for future procedures.
If you're looking for a good doctor, ask around! Word of mouth is mostly how these doctors get their clients!
Then set up a consultation and meet with the doctor. Feeling comfortable and confident with your doctor is important!

The cost of the procedure can vary depending on several things. I had a mastopexy with new silicone implants put in. My doctor had to do a bit of reconstruction because I had previous implants, so it was a bit more invasive. He had to break up the capsule around the old implant, which makes for a more painful recovery.
It was an option for me to keep the same implants, and solely do a lift (which would have brought me down a full cup size) and to solely do a lift with no implant (which would have brought me down to a small B). Neither of those were what I wanted, so I stuck with a new, smaller implant.
For a lift with a breast implant, expect to pay around $7,000-$12,000. It all depends on the doctor, area, etc. Most doctors give a discount for cash payments as well. And extra tip: these prices ARE negotiable in most cases.

If you have small children, you will NEED HELP!
I had my surgery done on a Friday morning and I had help all weekend with them. They stayed with family members and their father, but came to "visit" me. I could not mother the first 2 days. Not even a little bit. I am very thankful I have family and a supportive ex husband to help me out.
I also had help with ME all weekend. You do not want to be left alone for the first 2-3 days.
You won't be able to pick up your kids for 6 weeks. My youngest is almost 4, so I can get away with this. If he were any younger, I'm not sure I'd be able to hack it.
The kids know mommy had surgery and they have to be very careful with her and help her out. PS- this is a great way to see what big helpers they are. My oldest offered to cook dinner until I was better. He's 6. :)
You will need help with the little things, like sitting and standing, and getting dressed.
Having someone there to help you, cook for you, help with showers etc. will take a lot of pressure off of you and allow you to rest and heal.

Does it hurt?
YES. I recall my first breast augmentation being very bearable. It just felt like someone was sitting on my chest. I had minimal pain. Of course, that was 10 years ago, and it was a much less invasive procedure. And I've had two babies since then, so I may have the tendency to forget how painful things are when the outcome is so good (i.e., having children :P)
The pain this time, has been worse.
That is to be expected, as it is a more invasive surgery.
You will be given pain medication to help relieve the pain. The day of surgery, I was taking 2 pain pills every 4 hours. The pain was pretty brutal.
The second day I spread it out to 2 pain pills every 6 hours. The third day, I began taking 1 pain pill every 4 hours.
So every day I'm able to manage the pain a bit better. I've also been drinking my Oasis, in place of my Spark. I'm finding that has been helping a lot.
And I really don't think I'd be able to sleep at night without adding in my SleepWorks.
My pain is about a 2 on a scale of 1-10 when I'm laying down (propped up!), but when I get up to stand, I begin to feel the tightness and pressure and my pain goes up to about a 6-7 for the first 2 days.
I recommend getting up slowly. Anytime I got up too quickly, I felt like I was going to throw up.
FYI- the pain medication will cause constipation. I was drinking a lot of fiber to try and keep things moving post-op.

I haven't been very hungry since the procedure. I have had a few pieces of toast, a banana, some chicken soup, but mostly I just try to eat something when it's time to take another pain pill.
I am very thirsty, however and have been drinking a ton of water.
I was just advised to not eat anything spicy or heavy for 24 hours after surgery (incase that was to come up, it would have hurt).
Other than that, I have no food restrictions.
My sister brought me taco soup, my mom brought me mashed potatoes and chicken and dumpling soup, etc.

This is the big thing everyone wants to know about.
I have a full anchor scar on both breasts.
Yes, they cut off your nipple and sew it back on. It is supposed to fade and not be visible over time.
Many of the lifts I've seen you can't even see a scar.
If I could give you one piece of advice, DON'T STARE AT THEM. The scars I mean. Every time I stare at my scars I start getting light headed and nauseous.  It messes with your head. It looks like it hurts, so you start thinking you're hurting.
Be warned: they will look bad. The scars are raised at first and you'll wonder "what have I done to myself?"
I'm still trying to stay on the up and up and not focus too much on the scars.
The size, from what I can tell so far, I'll be very happy with.

full anchor scar
I didn't wait until after I had kids to have my initial breast augmentation. I wish I would have. But I was young and stubborn. I don't know if my augmentation had anything to do with my difficulties breastfeeding or not. My incisions were under the fold of the breast, so the nipple was not affected at that time. However, after my first procedure I did lose feeling in both nipples.
If you are wondering wether or not to proceed with surgery before having children, I would recommend waiting. Everyone's situation is different, but if breastfeeding is important to you, I would hold off on getting a lift until after having kids.

The morning of the procedure I had to be at the facility at 7am. They hooked me up, took my blood pressure, and put the leg circulation things on me and took me into a waiting area. When the Dr. came in to mark on me, I sat up in bed. He marked on me for what felt like forever. I started to feel like I was going to faint, so I had to lay down for a few minutes.
Thinking about the procedure, having not eaten or drank anything from the night before, and the nausea patch wasn't a good combination. I went pale white and began sweating.
My Dr. said it was normal and happens quite frequently.
They started the IV on me, and I met with the anesthesiologist. He then started me on something and I said goodbye to my loved ones.
The last thing I remember was being rolled into the OR.

I will not be able to work out for 4-6 weeks.
I plan on resuming minimal cardio and light work when I feel up to it, as long as it's cleared by my doctor.

I hope I have helped answer all your questions. I know it's still a bit early, but so far, I'm very happy with my results!


I'm Happy

I'm happy.
And I'm healthy.
And while I may not have a rockin' 6 pack and a I'm a little softer in the middle, I've found a balance.

I did not compete at the Independence Day Classic, and I don't plan to compete at all this year.
I am actually having surgery in October (smaller breast implants and a lift) so needless to say, I will not be ready for the stage this year.
I have been very open with the fact that I got breast implants when I was young, and open to the fact that I've wanted them smaller as I felt I overdid it initially.

I'm also not really in that mindset at the moment.

When I started this blog 7 years ago I LOVED being able to help women. It was what kept me going and it felt like it was my calling. Nothing made me happier than helping other women, like me, know that they could do things that they were afraid of.
That, as cheesy as it sounds; if I could do it, so could they!
Somewhere along the way, my journey became less about that and more about obtaining perfection in my eyes.
And I'm not saying it's a bad thing to strive for goals and want to continually better yourself. IT'S NOT. I'm a firm believer in setting goals and working your butt off to get there.

But I lost sight of what TRULY made my happy.
Helping others.

THAT'S what I'm focused on right now.

My journey will be ever-evolving and ever-changing, but will always be moving forward.
I'm not giving up on my health and goals.
My focus has just shifted.

I am done with oversharing and bombarding you all with multiple selfies and progress pictures.
Don't get that twisted, I am NOT done with setting and achieving goals for myself.
I'm just focusing on what made me TRULY happy in the beginning.... helping people.
Being completely selfless and pouring my heart into others.
THAT'S the kind of thing I want to be a part of. THOSE are the kind of people I want to surround myself with.

Winning that trip to Cabo from AdvoCare was the best thing that could have happened to me.
It made me realize that a GIVING heart is a HAPPY heart.
I would not be where I am today without that opportunity, meeting the people I did, and without AdvoCare.

I learned how to make a living off of this blog, but the amount of sharing I had to do to keep up with that, I am no longer comfortable with.
My kids deserve better than that, and my personal life is no one's business.

I'm not really going anywhere, and when the time comes that I'm done with this blog, you will be the first to know. You can keep up with me on Facebook. But please keep in mind, I do not and will not, EVER, put up with bullies, hate or slander on that page (or ANYWHERE). So let's follow the golden rule and treat others as you'd want to be treated.

All of that to say, I want to thank you for following along with me through all these years.
Thank you for your support and love and I can only hope I've been some small source of motivation for you. That maybe something I've said or done has stuck with you, or made you believe YOU CAN.
Because I'm here to tell you, THERE IS NOTHING YOU CAN'T DO. :)