Welcome 2018!! Last year I can honestly say was one of the worst years I have ever experienced. But, it is a shiny new year, with a little rebrand and some amazing things coming soon! Stayed tuned for some of the latest, greatest, craziest and most bizarre things going on in the world of beauty and aesthetics. Plus more diet, fitness and general masochistic abuse of my body in the name of vanity and weight loss!!!
Tag Archives: obesity
Posted in @ForemanFactor, Aesthetics, aging, Anti Ageing, anti-aging, Beauty Myth, Blogging, Botox, Breast Implants, Desperation, diet, empowerment, exercise, Fat Freezing, fat reduction, Fitness, Food, glowing skin, Hormones, Lips, loose skin, low carb, make-up, non-surgical, Nutritional Therapy, obesity, Perimenopause, Plastic surgery, Public Relations, Scar therapy, Scarring, Scars, self esteem, Weight, Weight loss, weight loss surgery, women, Wrinkles, Youth
Tags: #bbloggers #beautystuff #press #aestheticblogger #antiaging #47isthenew27 #makeup #bloggingmom #glamourgirl #londonblogger #londonmum #mommyblogs #eyebrows #beautyhasnonumber #PersonalBranding #brandi, beauty, diet, Feminism, make-up, middle age, obesity, Plastic surgery, Public Relations, weightloss, Workout
Like any busy mum I find it hard to incorporate a solid beauty routine into my already jam packed day. That’s why I appreciate products that have multiple uses. So, discovering DermaEraze Miracle Oil was an absolute boon! This little bottle of fabulousness can be used on the skin and hair. Although it is an oil, it absorbs like a lotion. So, it is the perfect primer under my make-up for my dry skin. I use it at night as a moisturiser and absorbs so quickly your skin feels soft and smooth from the first use. But, it can be used over the whole body and is particularly good for scars and stretch marks. I obviously have extensive scars over my entire body due to plastic surgery and have noticed a visible difference in the last three months of use.
Created by world renowned Skin Repair Specialist Lorena Öberg, This formulation is made from the purest Olive, Almond and Avocado oils. The healing properties of the oil make it an ideal product to use alongside aesthetic procedures such as micro-needling as it aids the skins ability to repair itself.
The Miracle Oil has done a beautiful job in keeping my hair extensions in great condition. I use it prior to straitening and any other heat treatments as it keeps my ends smooth and shiny. Again because it absorbs so well there are no issues with it causing the extensions to slip or the bonds to break down.
This is certainly a product that will remain a staple in my beauty routine.
Coming soon I will be revisiting Lorena in clinic to try her world famous DermaEraze Stretch Mark Removal Treatment. Just in time for bikini season!
Click here for more information on the DermaEraze Stretch Mark Removal Treatment.
Posted in @ForemanFactor, @melforeman, @NuYouGuru, ABS, Aesthetics, aging, Anti Ageing, anti-aging, Beauty Myth, Dermaeraze, Dermapen, exercise, Fat, fat reduction, Fitness, glowing skin, Hair Extensions, loose skin, Lorena Oberg, non-surgical, Nutritional Therapy, obesity, Plastic surgery, Public Relations, Sagging Skin, Scar therapy, Scarring, Weight loss, women, Youth
Tags: @lorenaoberg, beauty, beauty blogger, busy mum, Dermaeraze, Feminism, Hair Extensions, Lorena Oberg, make-up, middle age, Miracle Oil, obesity, Plastic surgery, Public Relations, Rest, Soft Skin, weightloss
Cellulite!! Ugh! It is not even a pretty word. A bit like moist, every time I hear it I just cringe! First of all everyone has a bit of cellulite at one point or another. But, unfortunately I have it all the time. Primarily because I spent the majority of my life morbidly obese, cellulite is the price I have to pay for my years of gluttony. Although I have lost a huge amount of weight and have had reconstructive surgery for loose skin, the cellulite in one form or another remains.
I have tried lotions, potions and various notions. Short of voodoo I have yet to find a miracle. Now I am sure you have heard of the various anti-cellulite tights and leggings. There are several companies that make them, all with very ambitious claims about “impregnated” fabric and that they sacrifice a live chicken in the factory to ensure your positive results. Ok, I made that last bit up!! But, you see where I am going. There are some very grand claims out there for what is often a very mediocre product. As some of these products are very expensive, the last thing you want is to spend £200 on what ends being a pair of lazy pants you wear on the school run.
I am very much a believer in finding those special treasures in places you would not normally look. I love the idea of trying something from a lesser known company as often they have something super special, but perhaps the world hasn’t discovered them yet. I met this amazing and very inspiring entrepreneur Fabia Santos at a plastic surgery conference. Her company called Yoga Compression Garments was not one I had heard of before, but her belief and dedication to her products hooked me right in. I wasn’t sure why at the time, but she was definitely someone I wanted to know better. There was the added bonus I suppose because it is a Brazilian company I thought if anyone in the world is going to know how to make your ass look good, it’s going to be them!
Over the course of researching the products what I learned was that in addition to the leggings which I will get to later, Fabia has dedicated herself to helping women going through reconstructive surgeries. She attends hospitals herself to ensure post surgical garments are fitted properly and educates medical staff on the importance of garment fitting in the healing process. I suppose this resonated with me because I have been in the position of trying to get myself into post surgery garments that in retrospect did more harm than good. One very ill-fitting corset I had following abdominoplasty I referred to as “the juicer”. The second I put it on my clothes were soaked with the excess drainage. So, the work she does is an integral part of the healing process for women that are already feeling quite vulnerable following life changing operations that are not always cosmetic. As a professional Fabia is someone who really “walks the talk”.
The leggings are called The Yoga Emana. They absorb heat from the body and return in the form of “long infrared rays”. The rays are then absorbed into the skin and stimulate circulation and cellular metabolism. The leggings contain bio-active crystals and so these properties are not lost when they are washed. Amongst the many benefits that are purported:
Increased cellular metabolism
Increased skin elasticity
Reducing the appearance of cellulite
Reduction of muscle fatigue
So, with my magic leggings in hand I was off to try them myself in hopes of conquering these beastly dimples! Putting aside that they are meant to benefit you by wearing them, as a product they are beautiful and really flattering. The instructions are that you are to wear them 12 hours a day. I must say this was easy as they go with everything and really give you a beautiful shape. They are so comfortable, yet hold everything in as well as pushing that excess junk in the trunk up perfectly.
The initial trial is meant to show results within weeks. As I have particularly bad cellulite I took before pictures over six weeks. The results were everything that was promised. There was a marked difference in the smoothness of the skin and I definitely found the dimpling in my upper thighs in particular to have reduced.
Although I was primarily trialling them in order to ascertain the anti-cellulite properties I did actually find that there was a marked difference in how my legs felt following a run when wearing them. So, there is definitely something too the claims about reducing fatigue. From day one I was able to pack more punch into a workout wearing my Emana’s. All in all the trial was extremely successful. I can’t recommend them enough. They retail for £95, which is a reasonable price for leggings that deliver the goods. They remain in my normal rotation as my go to workout wear as well as sneaking them under other garments as a much more comfortable option to your standard “suck in your gut” pants. An all around great product from a fabulous company.
Posted in @ForemanFactor, Aesthetics, aging, Anti Ageing, anti-aging, Beauty Myth, Blogging, Botox, Breast Implants, Butt Implants, Celebrity, Collagen, Desperation, diet, empowerment, exercise, Fat, fat reduction, Fitness, Food, glowing skin, Hormones, loose skin, low carb, Melissa Foreman, morbid obesity, non-surgical, Nutritional Therapy, obesity, Paul Baguley, Plastic surgery, Public Relations, Sagging Skin, self esteem, Skin care, Thin privilege, Weight, Weight loss, weight loss surgery, women, Youth
Tags: @Melforeman, @NuYouGuru, aesthetics, Aging, anti-aging, beauty, beauty blogger, Body Shaming, busy mum, Butt lift, Cellulite, curves, diet, Fabia Santos, fat, Feminism, Glowing Skin, Leggings, obesity, Plastic surgery, Reconstructive Surgery, Self Esteem, Shapewear, Twitter, weight loss surgery, weightloss, Yoga Compression Garments
I suppose there is a point in every woman’s life where they reach a certain age and realise that their arms in particular start looking a bit, well there is no polite way to put it. They start getting a bit saggy and even with muscle tone just don’t have that spring back they used to. This is a particular issue if you are carrying some extra weight or like in my case you have lost a lot of weight. There is only so much exercise can do! I was incredibly lucky that following my weight loss I was able to have an arm reduction. But, realistically this is out of range for the majority of women. However, even following surgery my arms are still something I am a bit self conscious about.
Enter Wingz! This company makes a range of “sleeves” that are worn with sleeveless clothing to give you some extra coverage when you are just not feeling sleeveless ready. I was gifted a set of white wingz to test drive and review. The concept is brilliant. I do think that the black is probably much more versatile as it is easier to match the darker sleeve. But, that is just me. I don’t tend to wear lighter colours.
The line itself has a range of styles that are really beautiful and I think are an absolute godsend for those of us who are not comfortable with showing our arms. The fabric is lightweight and ideal for the summer which can be a big girls worst nightmare. Part of the range includes a Chiffon Flare style which I think would be perfect to dress up those summer numbers instead of the old standard bolero. They fit discreetly under your bra. So, they really do end up looking like a part of your outfit.
Posted in @ForemanFactor, @melforeman, @NuYouGuru, aging, Blogging, Build a Blog Workshop, empowerment, exercise, Fat, Fitness, loose skin, morbid obesity, non-surgical, obesity, Plastic surgery, Sagging Skin, Weight, Weight loss, weight loss surgery, women, Wrinkles
Tags: @Melforeman, @NuYouGuru, Aging, anti-aging, Antonia Mariconda, ArmReduction, beauty, Bingo Wings, Body Shaming, Build a Blog, busy mum, make-up, obesity, Plastic surgery, Twitter, weight loss surgery, weightloss, Wingz
So, I was thinking this week that although I have spoken about the various journey’s I have been on to get to this point, first losing weight and then losing skin that I haven’t spoken as much about the surgery that helped me in the first place. I have had several emails asking me to expound on the specifics. So, I am doing bit of throw back to remind myself of how far I have come as well as to share with those of you that are struggling what ultimately worked for me.
In 2012 after reaching what I consider my “rock Bottom” I started looking into weight loss surgery. Up to this point I had done every possible diet, plan, pill, shot, soup, shake both medically recommended and discouraged. I always say if you want to know anything about dieting ask a fat person. They will have been there and have the t-shirt in a wide variety of sizes! I was getting older and the fat suit I had been wearing all my life was taking Its toll on my body, both physically and emotionally. Most upsetting was that I wasn’t able to be the mother I wanted to be. I was already an older mum and the weight was just making me older before my time. I wanted to be active with my twins and also to be a good example to them. Sadly, I was neither!
I began to research the various surgical options. Although the Gastric Bypass seemed to be the gold standard I did have concerns about side effects. This procedure involves the stomach being divided into a small upper pouch and a much larger lower pouch and then the small intestine is rearranged to connect to both. I had so many friends that were bypassers and many struggled with malabsorption of vitamins and nutrients. There is also the dreaded “dumping” syndrome which is basically a group of symptoms such as sweating, severe intestinal distress, heart palpitation, vomiting and diarrhoea. These issues can occur after eating certain foods and due to your plumbing being re-routed. The Gastric Sleeve was also an option on the NHS. Gastric sleeve surgery works by removing a large portion of the stomach, leaving a banana-shaped “sleeve” that connects the oesophagus to the small intestines.
Unlike the gastric bypass there is no re-plumbing going in therefore the complication rate is lower. I was open to either procedure, but it was a huge decision and I wanted to make sure I went with something I felt 100% comfortable with. This is where I think many people who complain about surgery being the “easy way” have completely the wrong idea. This is serious business and everyone choosing surgery is desperate and the fact is there is nothing easy about it.
My next step was to see my GP. He agreed I needed surgery, but because my BMI was 49.7 and not 50 I was not eligible. What was his recommendation you may ask? Go home and eat chocolate!! Seriously, that was the professional opinion I got. Well, I was desperate and did try to gain weight. But, it was as if my body was just going to refuse to cooperate just to spite ,because no matter what I did I couldn’t purposely gain weight. But, all was not lost as this time gave me an opportunity to do a bit more research. What I discovered was that there was another procedure. It was not available on the NHS, in fact not even available in the United Kingdom. It was called a Gastric Plication also known as a “Wrap”.
“Gastric Plication is a purely restrictive operation similar to Vertical Sleeve Gastric Resection, just without the need for division and removal of major stomach part.
It is a bariatric procedure that brings the benefits of food restriction while reducing the potential complications associated with a permanent implant (gastric band) and with staple line (leak and bleeding in Sleeve gastric resection).
The significant reduction of stomach capacity immediately after the operation allows intake of fluids only in small amounts, which is caused by surgical narrowing of lumen together with postoperative swelling of inverted gastric wall. The weight loss is usually quick within the first months. As the inner ridge of plicated stomach wall lose the swelling and further diminishes by involution the capacity of the stomach slightly increases. Currently studies show very promising 3-years results in significant and lasting weight loss similar to Sleeve gastric resection, and significantly greater than the Gastric Band. Also the loss of feelings of hunger is similar to the Sleeve.”
Obviously, as a mum to young children I was worried about the complications involved in any surgery as well as the down time. As I researched more about it the Wrap seemed like the perfect solution. The stumbling block was that it would need to be paid for privately. The cost at the time was £4500 with travel. (The prices since 2012 have decreased significantly) I had been huge my whole life and my mum had a front row seat though all of my years of depression and humiliation. She told me later how helpless she felt that she wasn’t able to help me when I was younger. So, my lovely mum agreed to pay for my surgery. Although this was the greatest news I could have had, the process was still daunting. I would have to fly to the Czech Republic on my own to have surgery. I worried about language barriers and what an Eastern European hospital would be like. But, I was more desperate than ever.
I researched the surgeon who would be performing the operation. Dr Cierny was a world renowned expert in bariatrics and had performed over a 1000 of these procedures. The plan was put in place! I said goodbye to my babies and was off to the airport for my flight. I couldn’t have been more nervous! I arrived in Czech and it seemed a world away from England. I arrived in the hospital and was introduced to the most amazing surgeon in Dr Cierny. One of the first lessons I had in Czech health care was the differences in the way doctors worked within their teams. To be honest when I saw Dr Cierny I thought he must have been a porter because he was filling the paper towel dispenser in the clinic room and was wearing a white uniform. The medics is Czech have a completely different air about themselves than the ones I was used to. It is very much a team where everyone is equal. He spoke English and was truly sympathetic to my situation. He explained the operation to me in detail. But, said before we could proceed I would need an extensive pre-op in order to make sure I was healthy enough to proceed. What happened next was the most extensive medical examination I have ever had. Once it was over Dr Cierny came to my hospital room and gave me a big hug with the great news that I would be having my life changing surgery the following morning. The medical team was amazing! The hospital was by far the cleanest I had ever been in. The morning of my surgery the jolliest anaesthetist came to see me and run through what was about to happen. I suppose I should have been scared, but all I could think about was that my new life was about to start. There was never a moment that I was lonely or worried. As part of the package there is someone with you that travels from England for the duration of your stay. They are there to make sure you have everything you need and can translate should any communication issues arrive. Currently the sweetest person, Katerina accompanies patients to Czech. She is originally from the Czech Republic so is the perfect person to follow you through this journey.
As I was put under the last image I was saw was Dr Cierny reassuring me that everything was going to be okay. Although I had only met him 24 hours before I believed and trusted him completely. When I woke up Dr Cierny’s smiling face was the first thing I saw. He leaned in and said “you have a tiny tummy now”. Those words were the magical and exciting thing I had ever heard.
Immediately after surgery some patients may experience vomiting as a result of the stimulation of the vegus nerve during surgery. It is a common issue that resolves itself in the first couple of days. However, I did not have a single episode and other then minor pain from the incisions I was walking around the ward within a few hours of the procedure high on a combination of pain relief and pure excitement!
From beginning to end my stay in hospital was four days. When possible Body Clinique will send patients over in groups. So, I had a handful of amazing surgery buddies to laugh with each night whilst we watched old episodes of Benidorm and chatted about how we ended up here. Following surgery I was on a liquid diet initially as my body healed. It takes around 4-6 weeks to start having regular solid foods. The first meal I had following surgery was a cup of beef stock, I can still remember how full I felt after literally half a glass. In fact, I think following the procedure this was the first time I felt truly full. The feeling of hunger was a similar sensation. My whole life I stuffed myself to the point of bursting and as a result I can’t say that I was ever truly hungry the way I was after surgery. Hunger actually felt good, it felt like control and promise! On day four it was time for me and “tiny tum” to say goodbye to Breclav Hospital and hello to out new life. In the months that followed the weight dropped off. I worked incredibly and for the first time in my life I was enjoying exercise and relishing my new regime. Over 18 months following surgery I lost 12 stone and everything about my life changed. I felt confident and light. I know it seems a funny thing to say, but literally the feeling of being light on my feet was indescribable. But, it isn’t easy, Dr Cierny had told me before surgery he could only fix my stomach. My head was up to me and it is a battle. But, the weight loss is such a gift and ultimately is a big responsibility. I still have food demons and I assume always will. I very much feel like an alcoholic. I will always be a food junkie on some level. But, surgery will continue to help me keep it under “wrap”.
For more information about having weight loss surgery with Dr Cierny contact http://www.bodyclinique.co.uk/
Tags: @NuYouGuru, Aging, anti-aging, beauty, beauty blogger, Body Clinique, Body Shaming, busy mum, diet, Dr Cierny, fitness, gastric bypass, gastric plication, gastric sleeve, gastric wrap, morbid obesity, obesity, weight, weight loss surgery
So, you know I am all about the experimental when it comes to losing weight. I believe I can safely say I have tried most treatments and am open to anything and everything. So, when a lovely Mum Dianne from my morning school run offered me the opportunity to try her It Works Body wraps I was all in!
Dianne does the treatments in her home. The atmosphere is far removed from your average salon. But, it’s a really refreshing change from a bustling salon! She makes you feel instantly at ease and more than knows her stuff. The It Works wrap is intended to help you lose those stubborn pockets of fat that plague your summer wardrobe like wasps at a picnic, total nuisance! The claim according to the It Works! website, the body wrap is a “contouring product that can tighten, tone, and firm any area of the body, excellent for getting rid of stubborn extra inches on stomach, waist, buttocks, thighs and upper arms.” Ok I am sold! Dianne is “wrapping” herself as well as another mum Chelsea. So, it’s a bit of a pamper party. Dianne can do the wraps as a single treatment, however a series is recommended to get the best results. The result was impressive and the difference in all of us was quite dramatic.
So, Dianne applies the cloth infused with botanical based formula, which once applied feels a bit like deep heat on the skin. It isn’t unpleasant. It feels quite nice actually. Once the wrap is applied you relax on the treatment bed for an hour whilst Di gives you an even more relaxing facial. Like I said this girl is the business! You could not feel more pampered! She even re-applies my make-up after the facial so I don’t have to face public transport with a naked face! The great thing is that Dianne creates an atmosphere that is pure pampering. The results were amazing. But, the afternoon of beauty and the gorgeous smoothie she makes whilst you wait for your wrap to do its thing more than surpasses any expectations I had of the day. The results following were brilliant and all three of us had a dramatic change. Di has a myriad of beauty talent and is definitely someone I will be seeing again.
For more information or to book a treatment with the lovely and talented Dianne Cross, you can find her here: http://www.toneupwithdi.myitworks.com/
The last couple of months have been a time of perspective. I know there are those much worse off than myself and I of course acknowledge that I have many, many blessings to be grateful for. However, it has been a really stressful time! I feel like I have been to hell and back. Like most times of great stress and pressure my oldest friend, nemesis and major opportunist, food crept in. I was doing really well at keeping him at bay. I have found that for me the best way to stay on the wagon is to eliminate all of the crap from my site and surround myself with only the good stuff. Out of sight out of mind eh? But, sadly as much as I hate to admit it, I am human. Once the door was open, that was it! I had a good two months of food debauchery. Humiliating and deeply depressing, but it happened and I needed to move on. No time to cry into a Big Mac! If I learned anything about being fat it was that I never, ever want to go back there!
Time for drastic measures! I had met Jane Michell at The Anti-Ageing Show and had chatted about Jane Plan. Jane spoke to me about her past weight issues and I learned that she once had a weight problem and that experience had spurred her on to train in nutrition and start her company to help others that were struggling with their weight. The plan works as a total meal replacement, including all of your snacks. The only items you supplement are fresh vegetables and fruit if needed. It is a fully balanced plan that takes all the guesswork out of dieting. Jane is your personal chef for the duration of the plan! Tired and stressed out, how could I possibly resist. This seemed the perfect way to get back on track.
I had chosen the box that had a variety of meals. However, they cater to your specific dietary needs. Prior to my meals being sent I had a comprehensive phone consultation that covered any specific preferences or intolerances I may have had. I received my box of meals the following day. One of the things that was particularly convenient was the meals do not require refrigeration. So, it was easy to pop a meal in my bag for lunch. In fact I ended up keeping my lunches in my desk for extra convenience.
I started Jane Plan on a Monday and although optimistic I did have concerns about pre-packaged food. My concerns quickly went out the window when I had the most lush toffee cereal for breakfast. I had the majority of cereals with almond milk. The porridges I prefer to make with plain water. As someone who normally skips breakfast I had to really push myself into a routine. But, the breakfasts were so nice it was fairly easy to get used to. Although all of the breakfasts were grain based, the varieties of flavours were such that it never became boring.
The lunches were a mixture of cold and hot lunches. There was a variety of soups including Pea and Wiltshire Ham, Potato Leak, Carrot and Coriander, Tomato Basil, and Broccoli Cheese name a few. The soups were all very thick and perfectly seasoned. The portions were a good size and very filling, in fact not at all what I was expecting in a “diet” soup. Food for me is more than just about eating. It is the whole experience of how it feels and the depths of flavours as they mingle together. I suppose this is part of my problem, I love it too much. But, the Jane Plan in taking the guess work away from portion control makes the process of keeping myself in check much easier, as left to my own devices I could easily dive into a pool of the pea and ham soup and eat my way out.
The cold lunch options were equally as nice as the soups. In addition to being healthy those clever chefs have managed to make them taste freshly made. The Moroccan Salad with Wild Salmon was absolutely beautiful. The big chunks of salmon were tender and well-seasoned. The other options were equally as lush. The Tuna Pasta and Cous Cous were two of my other favourites. But, again there was not a single dud in the selection.
So, let’s talk dinner, so many yummy choices! There were spicy creamy curries, beautiful meaty and veggie lasagne’s, meatballs, casseroles, cassoulet, chilli and ratatouille. All of the meals were unique and delicious. There was not a single meal I found boring. The portions were all a decent size and consisted of a complete meal other than salad or other fresh produce you may want to add as a side.
The nice thing for me as a genuine food addict is that each meal was portioned perfectly, so there was no possibility of overeating. You have your three meals done and dusted once gone that is it for the day. Jane has thought of everything though and there was a lovely selection of snacks to choose from each day. They ranged from oat cakes which were often my choice if I wanted a snack in the afternoon to sweeter biscuits that I tended to have in the evening. They were all wrapped separately which like the other meals was a great idea as having a box of loose biscuits is just too tempting. The care that has been put into the plan is obvious and based on the flavours; it is obvious Jane is someone who enjoys food.
The plan fits perfectly into a busy lifestyle and was not a struggle to stick to. In particular I could see Jane being my go to girl after a holiday of excess. It is the perfect way to throw your big booty back on the horse. There are even nutritionists you can access for the duration of the plan if you are struggling or have any other questions. So, Jane has all the bases covered.
For me I felt the plan really got my focus back. I lost a stone over the month, which is amazing! But, more importantly than the weight loss is the structure she helped me get back. There is nothing worse than the feeling that I have lost control. I know there are those who don’t understand the psychology behind all this. But, I am very much an addict! I don’t say this to take away the responsibility. I am 100% responsible for my past obesity. However, I do falter at times and I do not ever want to back to where I was. I am incredibly lucky to have people like Jane around me to kick my big ass back in line.
For more information and to benefit from a great discount off of Your first box click here http://www.janeplan.com/ and add the voucher code AB618AE when prompted.