Resurrection Part Two

So, here I am, having agreed to be on the telly!! I saw Mr Baguley and he said through several procedures he felt he could make me “normal”. I know there are a million versions of normal out there. But, in my eyes I looked like a circus freak. I think for most people, seeing what was hiding under my clothes after losing 12 stone, they would be shocked. I looked like a melted candle, certainly not like a woman in any sense of the word.
So, following the private consultation I would find out what would actually be done on camera! Another trip to York and lots of “takes” later, I learned that I would need a tummy tuck, thigh lift, arm reduction (bingo wings removal) and breast uplift/implants. It was a lot but, I had faith it would be the start of something great. The Bagster was and is my hero. There was never a time I had any doubts about his skills or the promises he made to “fix” me.
In between the surgery I would be filmed running and doing my normal routine. On a cold September morning I had a camera man, sound man and his assistant along with a host of producers and directors in my house filming my daily routine. It was daunting, but I soon got used to having them around. They filmed my daily routines. Obviously, the show being called “My Naked Secret”, you can imagine what it was like. Mostly me in my pants talking about the intense hatred I had about my body. But, soon enough I was on my way to York for the first surgery.
The surgeries would take place over two stages. The first was my arms and boobs. I checked into The Nuffield, York and with bated breath and a film crew, I had the first part of the surgeries. I woke up from the anaesthetic feeling like there was an elephant sitting on my chest. But, ultimately was beyond excited! I stayed in hospital for three days. The difficulty in being in York meant that I would have no visitors and other then my lovely nurses not much interaction with the outside world. It was ok though. I think the underlying excitement of the journey I had embarked on was overwhelming enough to compensate for the loneliness I felt without my family being with me.  Once the healing started and I saw the results I knew it had been worth it.  I had perky and perfect boobs and for the first time in my life felt totally at ease wearing sleeveless tops.  The transformation was incredible!
I went home and tried my best to heal quickly as my next stage was not far off. The whole experience was surreal. I suppose the fact I was having all of this cosmetic surgery in public made it particularly strange. The experience was not going to be just my own. I would be sharing it with millions of people. I felt a sense of responsibility to be particular careful with my eating. I wanted to others to look to my story as one of hope. Make no mistake I have been incredibly lucky and I know that. But, I hoped I could show others what was possible.
So, as Christmas was approaching I was gearing up for the second stage. There was not much filming in the interim. It was all about preparing for the “big one”. As I again checked into the hospital I was under no illusion about what was about to happen. This was the stage that would be the most difficult. Mr Baguley had said I was the worst case he had ever seen and my thighs in particular would be very difficult to operate on as they were a total train wreck.  There were a laundry list of risks: Infection, bleeding, Asymmetry, blood clots.  Well, you get it!  It was serious.  But, you know what?  The risks were worth taking and I had every confidence in my surgeon.

But, again it was all a leap of faith…

The Masquerader!!

I do love a mask!! So when I was given a couple from Beauty Mask Ltd I was very excited. The first one I road tested was the Luxury Q10 Caviar Nourishing Mask. After opening the pack the first noticeable thing is the amount of liquid the cloth masks are encased in. It is lovely!! The cloth mask itself is quite a genius design. There are two parts, one for the face and one for the neck. They both have bits that hook around the ears to keep them in place. I love this idea! I usually fight with these kinds of masks because it is very rare I get the chance to have a lie down, so I am forever pushing them back into place after the inevitable call of a child the second I try to relax with the mask on. This design allowed me to carry on with my usual headless chicken duties whilst having a lovely beauty treatment, which is a serious rarity for me. The mask itself feels amazing! I saved the remaining liquid from the pack and used it over my hands and feet. This is a gorgeous product! My skin felt so soft after taking it off and my neck which admittedly gets neglected quite a lot felt tighter. Since the Caviar I have tried the Bio Cellulose Apple Stem Cell mask. It was beautiful and like the Caviar, left my skin lovely and soft. Between the convenient design and luxurious feel of the liquid these are definitely something I would love to use again!

How do you un “slap” a face?

As someone who wears a ridiculous amount of make-up it is really important to find a product that does a thorough job. I find most products do a good job, but, not great. Mostly what I find is that they are good for either eye make-up or foundation, but not necessarily both. The ones that can manage my drag queen grade foundation burn my eyes. The ones that take care of my eyes are generally not strong enough to thoroughly clean my skin. Being a super busy Mum I need products that do the whole job.
I was asked to review a product called Exuviance Gentle Cleansing Crème. The packaging is simple and elegant. It looks like a quality product, but obviously the proof is the circus clown make up pudding that is my face. The first thing I noticed about the product is it really creamy. It feels like a moisturiser rather than a cleanser. As a result I was a bit sceptical as to whether it could handle the task. I used it over my eyes and face. It felt fine around my eyes and didn’t burn. I have semi-permanent lashes and am always very careful in between fills not to use anything too harsh that will cause me to lose lashes. This Cleansing Crème was very gentle and did not interfere with my lashes which was test one. I gently rubbed it over my face and found it felt very much like a lotion. But, when I rinsed there was not a sign of make-up left. I was actually quite shocked. Anyone who has ever witnessed my make-up regime can attest to the fact that my make-up is seriously weather proof. The fact that this product got my make-up off in one application is amazing. I normally wash my face and use a baby wipe for the remains. This time it was not necessary. Not only was my face clean, my skin felt soft and not stripped of its natural oils. I would definitely recommend this product!!

These are a few of my favourite things…

First of all I will tell you all that part 2 of Resurrection will be up at the weekend.  However, following my post about the amazing workshop I went to I have to brag about a couple of stand out products I received in the Build a Blog Workshop goody bag.

Obviously, I was overwhelmed by the beautiful bottles of lotions, potions and all sorts of notions I received.  To be honest there are still things I have not had a chance to try yet.  I feel truly spoiled!  But, I need to give some special shout outs to a couple of things that have become staples in my daily skin routines.

First of all, the discovery of the Resurf.a.stick.  It has an absolutely genius design.  It looks a bit like a deodorant stick, a solid creamy stick that encases millions of gentle bits of exfoliating crystals.  Basically, you wet the stick and roll it over your skin for one to two minutes, then rinse.  It leaves you with beautiful baby soft skin.  I have found it very useful in awkward places like arm pits before having a spray tan as well.  As a very busy mum of five year old twins I always appreciate a short cut. As I almost never get a chance to have a salon facial I absolutely love this product!!!

The next treasure I discovered in my bag of fab was the Dermaeraze Miracle Oil.  Again as a busy working Mum I appreciate products that are versatile and have more than one use.  This little beauty can be used on skin and hair.  I use it on my skin under make up and as my night time moisturiser.  I have quite extensive scars as a result of the many plastic surgeries I have had.  So, I am using it on my scars as well.  (watch this space for results)  The Miracle Oil makes an amazing once a week treatment as well putting on my ends before blow drying.  I love it!!  It absorbs instantly so I don’t look like I fell in a vat of olive oil and it feels beautiful on my skin and hair.

Both of these are definitely well and truly a part of my beauty regime!!

Journey into Blogging and Branding!!

I had started blogging a little over a year ago.  But, for reasons I wrote about in another post I had to stop.  I attended Antonia Mariconda, “The Cosmedic Coach” Build a Blog Workshop in hopes it would help me resurrect my fledgling blog.

As a follower of Antonia, I knew it would be fabulous and certainly be a lovely day out.  But, it was so much more than that.  The venue was amazing!  I was welcomed into the Workshop and felt instantly at home with the other attendees.  I go to workshops regularly and find they are often over formal and stuffy.  This was the complete opposite.  There were opportunities for questions throughout and everyone was made to feel important whether they were a seasoned pro or just starting out.   It was not just about telling you how, it was about the encouragement and support.  I think we all left feeling like we could do anything.  The positivity and genuine support I felt from Antonia helped me not only understand the mechanics of being successful.  But, I left feeling spiritually uplifted by the positive energy that she and her colleagues exuded.

I had not been much of a Twitter user prior to the workshop so was a bit sceptical.   I had an account, but only a few followers and had pretty much given up on it.  I mean who wants to know about my mundane coming and goings anyway, right?  However, because I trust the advice Antonia was giving I applied it and have been overwhelmed with how my following has increased as well as the interest in my story and opinion.  I will be first in the door for the next workshop focusing on Twitter as I predict an explosion!

Now, lets talk about the Goody Bag!!!  I don’t know how else to describe it other than it was like being handed a bag of “fabulous”,  If you believe fabulous is a tangible thing you can hold in your hand (which I clearly do).  Every single thing was amazing.  It is now a good couple of weeks since the workshop and I still have not tried everything.  But, it’s not about the “stuff” ultimately.  What I took away from the day cannot be carried around in a bag.

Resurrection Part 1

So, here we go again. I have missed you!! Let me explain. Last year just as everything was getting very meaty here, something beyond crazy happened. A friend from Facebook who I confided in about how unhappy I was in my horrible melted body gave me information that would change my life. You see after all the weight loss following 30 plus years of super obesity had taken it’s toll on my whole body. To the outsider I probably looked slim and trim. But, within my clothes was a horrible secret. My body looked as if someone had deflated a fat person. Hanging horrible skin that looked almost supernatural is what I saw. In my eyes, I was a monster, truly something for a medical journal for students to study about the horrible punishment of allowing my body to become so obese. I felt my skin was my prison, my crime being gluttony. I know this may seem over dramatic, but the truth was I knew what I was doing to myself all those years. I felt out of control, food was my friend and arch nemesis.
But, I digress; my lovely friend told me there was a television program casting people who had an embarrassing problem that only surgery could fix. She encouraged me to apply; it seemed like the Golden Ticket!! Surely, I would not be lucky enough to be chosen?? I spoke to a producer who invited me to Birmingham for a “test filming”. I had to take all my clothes off and be filmed whilst they interviewed me. It was awful as even alone I was rarely without some sort of protective layer to hide the shame of my sagging skin. But, the promise of a Golden Ticket was too much. I did it!! My interview would be cut down, edited and sent to The Discovery Channel to see what they thought. About a week later I heard! They loved me! What this meant is that I would be invited to the next stage. The consultation with the surgeon! Everything was moving so fast and due to the nature of the media I was asked not to disclose too much information about what was happening until the programme was actually aired. This was a nightmare for someone like me. I am an open book and love a bit of social media!!
As I sat on the train from London to York I felt like I was in a bubble. Could I really be so lucky? Would the surgeon think I was “fixable”? Mr Paul Baguley, the man who would ultimately change my life greeted me. He was amazing and made me feel like a princess. He said I was the worst case he’d ever seen. But, through extreme plastic surgery, felt he could help me. But, could he?