Beauty, Boobs, and Bikini Shoots

2 1/2 months since my last post.. WOW!  2 thoughts hit me as I write this:
First and foremost .. I missed writing and I missed you.  If you are still with me and reading this.. Thank You!
Secondly.. it is difficult to get back in the groove.  The thoughts in my head are swirling but hard to corral.. and difficult to know where to start.

I will begin with an explanation of what’s been going on for the last few months..

I set a fitness goal of doing a bikini shoot on 4/25/15.  The challenge of this was two-fold:

One.. was mentally embracing my body enough, flaws and all, boldly and confidently posing for photos, and donning a bikini for some of those shots.

Photo Shoot with Ariel Perez April 2015

Two.. was handing full control of the preparation for this shoot over to my trainer, Paul Peterson.  I made an agreement that Paul would have full control, from 1/12/15 to 4/25/15, over my diet and my training.  Let me tell you a couple of things about my personality.  I am an only child.  I will work to get my way when I feel strongly about something.  Therefore, this process did not occur without whining and attempts at negotiation.  Ultimately, however, I can proudly say.. I did it.  Almost 14 weeks and I stood up to that challenge and.. I. Did. It.  I am not special.  What this tells me is that each and every single one of us who has a goal.. also has the ability to find a way to make it happen.

I have much more to share about this topic and am committed to writing more often and sharing this experience with you.  I have had my challenges, set-backs, and successes in my personal life, in my education, and my career but this is one I cherish dearly and welcome the opportunity to do again.

A sneak preview:
September 2012, my leanest as an adult. The goal for the shoot.. get leaner but have more muscle.

Now the bikini shoot is over.  I am the oldest I have ever been and I am in the best shape I have ever been.  Yet, there is something “physically” that I purposefully neglected for fear of how I would handle the set-back.  This fitness journey.. this transformation has been vital part of the person I have become.  It is what I do.. it is what I love.  It may seem superficial on the surface but the time in the gym.. my eating habits.. and my promotion of this lifestyle is what I adore. It is my passion.. and it is a part of my life that reaches far beyond physical.

For over 5 years now.. my life has involved going to the gym and pushing myself at a minimum of 3 days a week.

For over 4 years now, I eat a certain way and if ever I slip, I don’t slip far or for long.  I am quickly reminded that I feel more vibrant and healthy and, therefore, I bring a better Maribeth to all aspects of life when I fuel myself properly.

For 2 years now, I have purposefully set out on a journey to better my whole self.  I have become more self aware.. I know my flaws.. I know the areas in which I could be a better person and I work to improve.  While I do so, I have learned that perfection in humans doesn’t exist.. nor should it.  I strive to show myself and others compassion in our humanness.  We are all valuable and worthy of love no matter our quirks or imperfections.

Which happens to bring me right to the topic of boobies and beauty.  And you may wonder.. just how in the hell does that correlate? 🙂

Boobies!
When I graduated pharmacy school, I had a boob job.  Oh.. yes, I sure did!  And those babies aren’t meant to last forever.  Decades later as I have lost weight, I knew there are problems with them.  They can be sore and without the added tissue/fat, they just felt wrong.. there were lumps and folds and bubbles.. I knew this and I ignored it.  The greatest surprise was when I saw the pictures from the first photo shoot I did in September 2012 and could actually see “the fold”.

Yet.. I procrastinated.  I learned to dress around these problems and to “mask” the imperfections.  Hell, overall they still look pretty good.. they were certainly still perky. lol 🙂  And.. dammit I didn’t want to have to go through the 4-6 weeks of recovery.  I do not trust myself to not fall back into the habits of the “old Maribeth”.  I have grown to like the new self that emerged over these years and I am scared to lose her.

Well.. last Friday, I bit the bullet and finally went to have this addressed.  Folks, there are many areas in which I wish to excel; but being known as the worse case of ruptured implants that a well known cosmetic surgeon, who specializes in complex cases, is not one of them.  I am under no health risk, the surgery went well, and I am healing exactly as expected.

What the surgeon said to me and what my brain translated.. is a lesson in beauty that I will carry with me as I continue on this journey to be the best person I can be.

My breasts, even with said imperfections were still essentially attractive on the outside.. what the surgeon found when he got a look on the inside was totally different however..what he saw was much uglier.  He found a mess that had been ignored for much too long.. because on the surface it still looked okay. We all have seen things that look good on the outside but are ugly on the inside and that, my friends, were my breasts and is also exactly the kind of person I never want to be.

So on this “Transformation Tuesday”, as a person who uses many pictures to show and promote a fit lifestyle, I don’t want my message blurred that a physical transformation is the definition of beauty.  Beauty is found in the fantastic benefits such as confidence and a belief in oneself that comes with seeking and making positive healthy life changes.  I am a believer that a fit, healthy lifestyle is a gateway to a more meaningful life.. one filled with opportunities and abundance.. one that opens doors that were perceived closed previously.

As I begin my recovery, I know my body will change over the next month as I heal.  I am not without fear.. for this will be the longest I’ve gone without my place of solace, the gym.  Yes, I get scared. I am superficial enough to enjoy the physical benefits of fitness and worry too that some people will not find me as appealing during this change. Those are my demons that happen to surface during these times.  What I have to hold onto now are all the lessons that I have learned during this journey.  The Maribeth that has emerged hasn’t been just because she became thinner and looks different.. but it came with believing I was capable and I was strong.  This allowed me to seek other positive changes such as writing and chasing the dream of making a difference in this world.  In my physical downtime, I hold onto that last yet most important phase of this evolution.. the phase of emerging as a person who has the desire to be her best self and strives to be a person of value, compassion, kindness, encouragement, open-mindedness, and positivity.  That capability exists no matter the shape my body takes.

  2 comments for “Beauty, Boobs, and Bikini Shoots

  1. TK
    May 19, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I am so happy you are sharing your story! Many people can learn from this!
    Thanks for letting other people know that even though the appearances can look “good,” the insides can still be falling apart.

    I can’t wait for you to come back to the gym! You are missed!

    • May 19, 2015 at 9:55 pm

      Thank you, Taylor! Loved your fun post tonight! I could certainly relate. 😊
      Miss you and the gym! I’ll be back! (In my best Arnold voice.)

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