Another year has gone by and today is the 1st day of 2020! I’m officially 15 days post-op from my abdominoplasty and about 4.5 years post op from my first
I can’t believe it’ll be 5 years since I was first diagnosed with Lipedema in the fall of this year. That diagnosis changed everything. It explained why I tried so hard dieting with absolutely zero results, why the fat kept growing and why I hurt so much. It also explained why I “outgrew” my english riding boots and my thighs started to become so big when I was 16-18.
Looking forward to today, I’m 43 liters of diseased fat lighter and I’m trying to patiently wait to see what the result will be after having the 3kg of skin and fat removed from my stomach. I do know that I started out with a 52 inch waist and even swollen, I’m at 48 inches right now. So I’m really excited to see where I end up.
Since 2010 I have become an avid weight lifter (decided if I was destined to be fat, I might as well be strong) but as each bit of fat came off my body, fitness became so much easier than before. I started to regain my range of motion and things that were impossible before, like walking lunges, suddenly started not only became possible, but easier.
Since my first liposuction procedure back in February 2016, I have literally climbed mountains and it didn’t hurt as much as it used to. I cycled hundreds of kilometers and even picked up
kayaking. I can wear inline skates again, I’ve started dancing at industrial ebm concerts and plan on picking up ballroom dancing later this year (2020).
I no longer bruise like before my liposuctions, I can tolerate pressure on my limbs a lot more than before. Before the liposuction, a ‘relaxation’ massage was incredibly
painful and I always thought that they were working out knots. I thought that was how a massage was supposed to feel like. Today I hate relaxation massages because they don’t work out knots and I intimately know what the pain of a MT working on a knot or trigger point and I secretly love that pain. Sure, there’s some things that I still can’t tolerate like a heavily weighted bar on my thighs for hip thrusts or the type of calf raise machine where there are free plates and the weight rests on your thighs. I suspect it’s probably something left over from the lipedema but that’s ok because I’ve had to learn limitations.
I think that’s one of the things Lipedema has taught me the most. It’s taught me to listen to my body and there are things that will either have to be modified (like squats or getting something to put my feet on when I bench press because the stretch was too much) or accept that I can’t do at all. Sometimes it sucks, but it’s made me a better person this way. It’s also forced me to be a strong person. You kind of have to be to go through all of the surgeries I have so far. Trust me, when I was a kid I wasn’t saying I wanted to grow up to be a fat blob and deflate myself by 8 liposuctions and a few skin removal surgeries.
Honesty though, I know I’ve come quite a ways but Lipedema awareness has come quite a ways too. When I started this blog after being diagnosed back in October 2015
there was very little information on the internet and what was there were just copies of the same information. There was also very little to no information about what it was like to go through liposuction as well as very few surgeons around the world doing it. There was pretty much just 1 surgeon in the USA and a handful here in Europe that anyone knew of. However, thanks to the internet and communities that are on Facebook, word started to get out and now there are a lot more lipedema resources. There’s also far more surgeons since info has been shared about who’s working on it and where.
Last year WHO finally recognized both Lipedema and Lymphedema and insurances in the USA are begrudgingly paying for surgeries after tons of appeals or threats from lawyers. There’s also a lot more research finally being done by different universities and fellowships about lipedema.
So things are looking up. Both for me and for other women who are in this situation. Lets just hope in another 5 years there’s very few ladies who are having to dig deep in their own pockets to pay for surgery or who have to skip it completely because they can’t afford it.