Saturday, December 29, 2007

"No Kettlebells For 4 Weeks"

That's the last thing my doctor said to me as I left the surgery center! (photo above is 3 weeks post op)

Three weeks ago on Friday, December 7th, I had abdominoplasty, in other words a "tummy tuck", "mommy makeover", or just plain, "I got my gut cut off!". Wow, what a trip! There's so much to say about these last 3 weeks and my decision to have this much I can't possibly write about it all in one post. So I'm going to break it down into 3 posts, this first one covering "The Decision", the second "The Surgery" and the third, "The Recovery". I will answer any and all questions (via comments) that I feel are relevant and helpful in a positive way.

The Decision

I have always known, since learning that this surgery was available, that I wanted to have it done.....way before KB's and my recent transformation. My desire for this surgery came after my first repair the damage from that. I had the opportunity to contemplate this surgery in my 30's, but I hadn't made up my mind that wasn't going to have more children (at the time I had my 2 boys, and thought I might want a 3rd). After that I started gaining weight, and at that point it was no longer an option I wanted to pursue.

It's always easy to think, "Oh yea, I'll just go in for some surgery!" The decision was not that easy, at least not for me. For me there were more "cons" than "pros", but there was one big "pro" that finally made me realize that it was now or never. And that "pro" was knowing that I want to get on with the rest of my life helping myself and others enjoy good health by teaching, coaching, inspiring and motivating. That became very clear this last year....and I want to hit it full force, and to do that I had to get this out of the way.

What kept me from doing it sooner were,

The Cons

First, I didn't want to take the time off from my training. Early on in my new life I was afraid that if I stopped my training I wouldn't start again, Afterall I went 10 years+ without exercising and I felt as if I was "on a roll" that I didnt' want to jepordize. I loved feeling the consistent gains in strength and conditioning.

Second, I wasn't unhappy with myself, including my body. This part was the most amazing....I was fine with how I looked, in fact I was better than fine! I love my body more now than ever in my life, extra skin and all! I didn't define myself by what my tummy looked like. I looked great in my clothes, I could wear whatever I wanted and besides, who ever saw me naked? And I didn't care anyway! I did not go into surgery to feel better about myself, I don't know anyone that feels as good about themselves as I feel about myself!

Third, timing/scheduling...never a good time. I chose December, even though it's the busiest time for my manicuring business, (that takes a back seat to KB's!), because I wanted to recover in time for January fitness rush and the February Cert hosted in my hometown, San Jose. And besides that, it's freakin freezing in our garage gym in the winter!

Fourth, the actual pain and recovery.

Fifth, cost.

And finally, Sixth, I didn't want anyone to say, "Of course she looks good, she had surgery!" I didn't want all the hard work and energy that I put into my workouts and my health to be negated by anyone thinking that it was the surgery that made me feel and look my best. I got my health and fitness back the right way....this was just a little extra skin.

Walking with my sister, Christy, a couple of weeks post op (above photo). It's the only exercise I can do for now.

2 weeks post op, still carrying alot of swelling and bloating (photo below). Although I weigh only 1/2 pound more at this point than the morning of my surgery, I felt like a sausage!

The Pros

First.....Yes, my mid section would be prettier, tighter, and flatter...who wouldn't want that? I could stop having to worry about my tops riding up during yoga class.

Second, if I was eventually going to have the surgery at some point in my life, I was never going to be I might as well do it now and enjoy it longer....and I was already as fit as I could be at this I might as well do it at my healthiest!

Third, and most important, after realizing the first 2 pros, I wanted to get on with my new lifestyle. Making health and fitness the biggest part of my life and that includes connecting with people on that level, to share feeling the miracle of reaching lifes' physical potential.

So that's how I reached my decision about the surgery. The last 3 weeks have been a rollercoatser, emotionally and physically. But all is usual (!), and it gets better and better everyday. I've not regretted my decision for one moment.

The physical pain of the surgery was not much of an issue, thanks to my good health, and I've been pretty good about accepting this time off from my training to recover. I've much more to share about this experience, and I'm excited to to that! (As well as how good my husband took care of me during this whole thing...I couldn't have done it without him!)

Life is good. Health is good. Love and support is good.

PS the picture of me balancing on the stability ball, at the computer, was taken 6 days post op!


Eileen said...

I'm delurking (Leslie sent me here) to say GOOD FOR YOU! I love your whole post about this...what a great way of putting it all.

Just got my first kettlebell a few weeks ago. LOVE it!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thanks for the postive comment. I did stumble onto your blog via Leslie, mayebe it's time to revisit?

Have you made peace with being a "blogger"? I hope so, it's a wonderful opportunity for personal growth and making personal this one!

Diane said...

I was really getting worried about you. I, along with many others I'm sure enjoy your KB workout posts and videos immensley, not that your cooking isn't wonderful as well! But I'm glad your feeling better and look forward to your posts again. Thanks for sharing and letting us know and congrats on your new tummy, nothing wrong with feeling and looking great!

Tracy Reifkind said...


It's nice to know that my workouts were missed! I've missed them too...but I did get some serious cooking done! My freezer won't run out of food for quite some time!

And I'm anxious to make my KB comeback starting at a "beginners" level!

Kori Bliffert, NASM-CPT said...

GOOD FOR YOU! I feel if something makes you happy, like getting that surgery or whatever, it doesn't matter what others think! I am sure you are itchin' to get back to the bells though.

FitwithLizzie said...

I was getting a little worried too! I had hoped your workouts were just MIA because of the holidays.

You look beautiful both before and after! I am happy that you are doing well after the surgery and you feel good about you!

Aaron Friday said...

With all the time you've put in already, and all the time you're going to put in over the next decades, 4 weeks is just a blip on the radar.

You looked great before, and if tightening things up a bit makes the outside match the inside better, all the power to you. It was a good move and worth the cost. You look fantastic.

FWIW, I wasn't worried about you at all. You know what you're doing. But I am glad it worked out with no complications.

Anonymous said...

Tracy, ((hugs)), you were awesome big, awesome before surgery, and still awesome. Love, Jen

Shari Baby said...

Take care with the recovery. You look great. I've thought about doing this maybe whe I hit 40 ? I gained 60+ pounds with each pregnancy and although I am thin - have loose skin that I dislike. Hey....having a "tune up" is okay with me. Heal well

fawn said...

You look the same to me... Seriously, you look awesome, because you look happy and that is the important part! I can't wait to swing Tracy Style with you!

Diana said...

Congrats on your recovery. I take care of a lot of patients who are literally dyeing a slow and steady death DIRECTLY from being obese, you should be very proud of what you've done. You've set a great example of what can be done and now to complete yourself only tops it all off!

Happy New Year!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Nothing will make me happier than to get back to my training!

Except, maybe, taking a picture of myself similar to your new picture, a bra top!!!!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Thanks for noticing!!! But like I said...full force workouts as soon as I'm able!

Tracy Reifkind said...


I like that analogy of being a "blip on the radar". Sometimes it's hard to put in perspective.

My training will take on a different focus upon my return...pistols and pull-ups....for the upcoming level 2 cert. Maybe I can give Fawn a run for the money!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Like I mentioned, if it's something that you're seriously considering, the sooner the better! I would of done it last year if it were not for my training.

Although, like me, I'm sure that the people that love you will tell you that you don't need it!

Thanks for the well wishes.

Tracy Reifkind said...


February, right?

And I think when I go back to yoga, I'll skip Bikram for a while and start back with another that I don't have to worry about my top riding up!! lol

Tracy Reifkind said...


People are killing themselves by being obese...that's a strong statement, but true.

I can't imagine having to go through the type of surgery I just went through NOT being healthy and fit....scary!

Miss Anita said...

Congratulations on a successful and healthy outcome! Sounds like ramping up into 2008 is going to be full of all sorts of excitement for you. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

carriebk said...

Work it sister! You look frickin' amazing, inside and out! This year is going to be huge for you and I am so excited that I can be around for it. And say I knew you when lol! Your positivity is contagious

Happiness Within said...


Congratulations! I love how you share your pros and cons that you looked at prior to surgery.

I considered surgery shortly after I lost weight. I am glad that I didn't as I didn't maintain the weight loss. I know that I would consider it again as I know that it would be such a wonderful reward for the work that it takes to lose AND MAINTAIN such a significant weight loss.

So when are you posting the bikini photos? :)


Jen said...

Tracy, way to go! You look great and I know you work hard. I can also feel your pain, as far as not being able to swing the KB for a while.
As for fearing you wont get back to your workout...we wont let that happen...I'll fly out and workout with you if that's what it takes!!!
Hey take a look at
she gave you high ups in her last post!

Tracy Reifkind said...


2008 will be happier, healthier, and, especially, more prosperous...may it be for you and everyone as well!

Thanks for your comments.

Tracy Reifkind said...


Isn't life fun! Thanks for being part of mine. Happiness and positivity is contagious!

And I can say, I knew you when too!
We've both come along!

Tracy Reifkind said...


Bikini photos will cost ya.....I can only give away so much for free, LOL (kidding)

Tracy Reifkind said...


I'm closing in on my 4 weeks down...I'm sad to say, I may only be able to "sway" a KB and not "swing" for a couple more weeks.

But then,,,,freakin' watch out! I've been hearing something about a 1000 snatch challenge for time????? I'm there!

Corrine said...

This is a great blog! I have had 3 kids. With each one, I have had a harder and harder time losing the baby weight. With my youngest, I never really lost it. After lots of thinking and research, I think that a tummy tuck is a great option. tummy tuck before and after video gallery

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