Making Full Recovery After Surgery

In a few days it will be five full months since my Breast Lift and Augmentation Surgery. I feel GREAT! I’ve gained 3.5 pounds of muscle since my last body fat test in May just before surgery. The hydro test shows 5 lbs, but apparently 1.5 of that is the implants. I’ve been able to do so many things that it hasn’t been too much of an issue to be limited with exercises. I spent the last months really focused on building strength, and I think that has benefited me greatly.

I had a follow-up appointment the other day and was given the green light to start doing push ups scaled, so I’ll start of with girly-on-my-knees push ups. Last week I tried pull ups with a band, as well as jumping pull ups, and they felt great. So, I’ll be starting to do those scaled as well. Yesterday I had to demonstrate Toes to Bar, and those felt pretty good as well though I wouldn’t feel comfortable stringing them together and going all out with them just yet. I’m super excited to be getting back to my pre-surgery self, but I’m not in a hurry to go all out just yet. I want to be smart and take my time to be sure I’m fully recovered.

When the doctor initially said that it could take 6 months to a year I thought he was kind of crazy and that he just didn’t like exercise, or maybe he just doesn’t know how awesome CrossFitters are (ha ha). However, even though I feel fantastic there are little indicators that my body is still healing. At times my incisions are still sore, there are places that still feel sore/bruised when I press on them, and there is still slight inflammation especially on my left side. It makes sense really, that part of my body was basically completely re-constructed… skin cut out, muscle cut and forced to stretch, fat cells sucked out, etc. That is a lot of trauma and isn’t something that just heals like a cut would in a few days.

It has been difficult though, knowing what to do for recovery. My doctor is awesome, but he wouldn’t give me many specifics for getting back to CrossFitting. His instructions were quite vague… “Lower body only, no push ups or pull ups”. Unfortunately, there are way more exercises I do than he realizes, and there just isn’t any good information online about what to do after breast surgery. So, I made my own plan and my focus during recovery was to get my mobility back and try to maintain muscle mass and some upper body strength. I only did what was comfortable, and tried to allow and assist the softening of my chest muscles by working on my upper body mobility and movement without heavy weights. Everything upper body began with a PVC pipe, and pressing less than full range of motion. I feel like my custom plan worked fantastically well. I may even publish a book about it so that other women have something specific they can do, rather than trying to guess.

Besides my workouts, I continued to follow my Eat To perform plan. I’ve gained a few pounds of fat since July but it was intentional, as I was trying to gain back muscle lost during the first part of my recovery so for a few weeks I was eating well over my normal macros. I am now back to my usual macros, and can slowly see the excess fat coming back off while keeping my newfound muscle mass.

Although I’ve been set back slightly by the surgery, I don’t regret it a bit. It has been totally worth it. I feel amazing, I love my body, and I have learned so much about myself, my nutrition, and how to recover intelligently! I believe I now have even more knowledge that will allow me to better help people through a recovery phase. I’m excited for what is to come!

If you are planning to have a breast lift or augmentation, you can find help with recovery here: Rebuild Your Body

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