“Rear Pressure”

I know I write a lot about our bodies and how we feel about them. I have been reading quite a lot about the #safetyinbeauty campaign.  It has really had me thinking about the danger some of us are willing to put ourselves through for our individual perception of what beauty is.

There has been a lot in the press about the controversial and extremely dangerous butt implants.  Now, I suppose we can go on an asswitch hunt to find the originator of the desire for a bottom that is completely disproportionate to one’s figure but that seems pointless.  However, there are some high profile “stars” that have embraced this with both cheeks.  You know who I mean, not necessary to spell it out.  I am all for the celebration of curves.  However, I believe what has been created is ”Rear Pressure”. Personally and I say this as someone with some junk in the trunk, albeit a lot less junk then I used to, that I actually find this look quite unattractive.  There is a massive difference between looking healthy and looking as if you have been having some sort of ass bash with Mike Tyson.  It looks unnatural unless your body is proportioned in that way.  Now as someone with breast implants I get that I may sound hypocritical.  But, young women are risking their lives for this.  Someone very local to me was, sadly the girl who lost her life in Thailand having butt implants.

I have no desire to look like Jessica Rabbit or any variation of her, real or otherwise.  I find it hypocritical as a society that as women we have been very quick to point out all the ways that make Barbie a poor role model.  Yet we bow at the well pedicured feet of some ridiculous and impossible to emulate “real” bodies.  Personally, I think Barbie in the right context is an aspirational figure.  She has even been president!!!  Never had a reality show and has chosen not to get married and concentrate on her career as an “insert this year’s job here”

I get the desire to look like whoever the latest celeb is, I really do.  I also understand everything about the desire for plastics.  But, we as women are risking everything for something that doesn’t really exist.  What we are seeing in magazines has been photos shopped to death and are not possible to emulate.

The fact is butt implants are particularly dangerous and unless you have been naturally blessed with that type of body look ridiculous. I could just be having a crazy rant.  But, seriously peeps have a look at the #Safetyinbeauty campaign.  There are some scary things going in plastics.  If you want plastics, do it for you.  Don’t let yourself be led by rear pressure.

The Big Reviv Launch Knightbridge AKA The Day I Met the Silver Fox

fabulous

I was invited to the Launch of Reviv Wellness London on the 10th December.  Firstly, as this was my first “official” invitation to an industry Launch my excitement was beyond any type of containment. But, ever being the professional I tried as much as possible not to shriek when I arrived at the amazing Knightsbridge Clinic.

The clinic itself is just beautiful.  White and elegant but still looks like a medical facility.  As a health professional hygiene is something I notice and can often go amiss in cosmetic setting.  But, not here it was flawless.

The evening started with networking and champagne.  Lots and lots of champagne.  Well, probably the normal amount of champagne for such an event but, I may have been stalking the lovely young men carrying the bottles more than anyone else.

champers

The evening was introduced by the always amazing and gorgeous Antonia Mariconda.  As with all of Antonia’s events once inside you are instantly made to feel welcome.  She is an amazing host and a credit to the beauty industry.

and and anton

We had the opportunity to meet the London Team.  They have extensive experience in the United States market where Reviv Wellness has been extremely successful.  Their flagship location at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas sees 100’s of patients every day.  Dr Hilary Jones was there as he is their Chief Medical Advisor. There were some very tough questions from the audience and I must say the Reviv team know their stuff.  They have spent millions in researching the efficacy of the products.  Although many people’s  perception of these IV infusions are about dealing with hang overs, the majority of their patients are looking for boosts in energy and genuine solutions to the dehydration that so many of us suffer from.

I asked specifically if they felt that they should be targeting patients who have had weight loss surgery.  As a previous wls patient myself, I very much understand the constant battle to keep vitamin levels up.  Part of surgery, particularly for Gastric Bypass patients is a life time of being in a state of malnutrition and at times dangerous vitamin deficiencies.  This procedure addresses many of those issues.  In fact during the Q&A I found out they did their initial trials in the UK with the vitamin infusions on weight loss surgery patients at Spire Hospitals.  I think this in particular is worth them exploring further from a marketing point of view as there is a huge number of the population that would find these treatments a necessity rather than a luxury.  I for one can’t wait to book my treatment.

I had the opportunity to meet some of their celebrity supporters, who were as enthusiastic as I was.  The absolutely ageless Anthea Turner was lovely and is certainly a testament to healthy life style.  Sinitta’s passion for the infusions was amazing and again, like Anthea appears ageless and so tiny!  Smallest waist I have ever seen, genuinely lovely.

ma and ant

I must say having only ever seen Dr Hilary on television I must admit to being a bit star struck.  He was lovely and so knowledgeable about the infusions.  I spoke to him (I am going to call him the silver fox from now btw) at length and he is genuine and down to earth and I really felt his interest in the product.  He is very much in tune with the needs of those attending the clinic and I felt very confident following our chat that this was not just a business decision for him, but a genuine passion for health and wellbeing. He is not just there to add some celeb credibility, but because he cares about the results and health of the patients that some through the door.

me an the fox

We had the opportunity to meet the medical professionals “on the ground” that are carrying out the infusions.  Everyone is very highly trained and I would not hesitate to allow any of them to cannulate me.  The clinic is of the highest hygienic standards and in the unlikely event that someone has an adverse reaction there is a highly trained medical team on site.  I would have no reservations whatsoever in being treated at this clinic and believe me the second I can get myself booked in I am so there.

For further information about the individual infusions: http://revivme.com/hydromax/

Finding Me…

I was reading an article about the impact of plastic surgery on patient’s families.  It is one of those things you consider, but I suppose at the time the desperation for results overtake anything else.  I knew my body change would have an effect on my children, particularly my daughter.  I tried to protect her from this as much as I could, but mummy being covered in bandages from head to toe is a bit difficult to hide.  At this point I predict a teenage girl asking for implants because “mummy has them, so why can’t I”.  I am not sure how I will deal with that, luckily I have quite a few years to come up with an answer.

meand pip

But, the last thing I want is for her to feel like there is anything wrong with her body. She is only five and is already way too aware of body issues.  The reality of this hit me the other day when in the course of a conversation she mentioned someone we knew needed a doctor.  I questioned what she was talking about.  She said Mrs X needed to see mummies doctor because her skin was hanging under her arms.  I had an arm reduction, so this has normalised the procedure in her eyes.  Thank goodness she brought it to me before telling some poor woman she needed her bingo wings removed.  But, it got me thinking about how I can rationalise the clearly mixed messages I must be sending.  I try as much as I can to build her self-esteem and talk about being beautiful as she is.  But, I worry I have set a bad example.  What I have said about my surgery was that my skin made me poorly and it hurt.  But, everyone is beautiful in their own way.  Am I a hypocrite? Can I send the right messages or is my credibility in this area gone?  It is so hard; the last thing I want is for her to grow up as I did feeling there was something wrong with me.  I want high self-esteem and for her to feel invincible.

I allowed my weight and self-esteem issues keep me from doing so much.  In fact now I feel like I am having an epic mid-life crisis.  Loving my new confidence, but, hating the fact that at 44, something’s are just not possible to re-live.  I can’t get back the dances, proms, and parties I missed out on.  I am trying to find a way to recreate the youth I feel I was cheated out of.  Can I do this?  Maybe?

me

No Free Ride…

Weight is difficult thing. We exercise, we starve, detox, stuff ourselves with cabbage and ketones, and the big one one! We surgically alter our anatomy to restrict the food we can eat. The one thing we don’t do is fix our brains. I am now two and a half years post op a Gastric Plication. A relatively new procedure that is done through keyhole surgery. The surgeon folds the stomach into itself and sutures it to give you an anatomically smaller stomach.

It is an amazing procedure that allowed me to lose 12 stone in around 18 months. But, two years on I still struggle with my brain. My brain that wants to binge, my brain that can’t cope with stress and wants to eat, in the same way a junky needs a fix. I struggle, it’s painful and dark and so lonely. Eating disorders are a funny thing. As a thin person everyone is anxious to offer help. If you are big, the offer of help involves more criticism of the lifestyle you are perceived to be living rather than actual psychological help.

The NHS recently released some stats about the amount of people eligible for weight loss surgery. It is nothing short of astounding. The costs on the surface, astromical.  However, In the long run the investment would save money in the treatment of obesity related conditions over a life time. However, re-routing ones anatomy is not going to change their brain. You can’t roll out a program to band every overweight person in the country without working on their head first. It just won’t work. No magic wands, no fairy dust. Just hard work and exercise to maximize the tool. That’s right TOOL. Nobody can do this for you, no matter how much surgery you have.

But, I digress what this really is about is the mind scramble that happens with weight loss. It creeps up on you sometimes. I thought I had it all together and under control. But, actually was fooling myself. Support post weight loss is so important. Old habits are hard to break and as smug as living within “thin privilege” is, it is a harsh mistress and easily lost. I think to a certain degree, having a back ground in psychology I have managed to identify my failings and as painful as they are am working on trying to keep myself on the wagon. But, it is a dark pain and many many tears later and a couple of big macs later I don’t feel any more normal than I did at 350 pounds. I suppose the concept of normal is one of those things that I am doomed to have come and go. I love the feeling of looking and being treated as a “normal”. Inside there is nothing normal about my relationship with food. In fact for the most part I sit on the cusp of an eating disorder on a daily basis. I, for all intents and purpose am a junkie.

  • Food
  • Laxatives
  • Starvation
  • Self Hatred

 

I struggle with all of these issues at one time or another. The lure of transfer addiction is strong. A bit like the old cartoon pie aromas drawing the obligitory cartoon character toward the pie cooling on the windowsill. This is why the brain work is so very important. Slip ups are not the end of the world. But, when they happen, they make me feel like a failure. Why is that? Why should I feel the need to devalue all my success because of a bad meal. But, I suppose this is the power of food. Don’t think that I am ungrateful for the body I now have. I certainly am not. I just wish the lure of this demon wasn’t so strong.