Loving the Skin I’m (finally) In

Loving the Skin I’m (finally) In

If people don’t come out and ask it, they are usually thinking it . . . “You’ve lost 120 pounds?! Was there extra skin?”

Yes, yes there was. As much as I loved shedding 120 pounds and living a #100YearBody lifestyle, I hated the saggy, baggy unsavory empty skin pocket left behind. People offered all sorts of advice about toning. But, trust me on this, the empty bag of skin left behind from the drop was not tone-able. And it needed to go. Goodbye little kanagroo pouch; you won’t be missed.

When I hit my 100 lb milestone last year, I began looking into my options for addressing the excess skin. I sunk my #nogginchops in and did my homework. My assistant and I spent several weeks reading reviews, calling around, looking for the right answers when we weren’t even aware of what the right questions were. I am not sure there are appropriate words in the dictionary to convey the “ick” in this industry. Navigating the abyss of dangers, smoke screens, half truths and apparently unnecessary-to-disclose tidbits was nothing short of scary. I still shudder at the thought of how closely I came to landing in the wrong hands. Doc One wouldn’t touch me because I don’t eat meat. He said that I wouldn’t take in enough protein to heal. I told him I’d consume any amounts of protein (via plants, nuts, beans) that he deemed necessary and suggested that he just monitor me for compliance before operating. “Darlin you go get back on the real McCoy for 90 days, come on back and we’ll chat again.”. Explaining to a freaking physician how clueless he is about nutrition isn’t my jam. On I went to Doc Two, who just didn’t feel like a good fit. Nothing terribly off here, just not for me. Option three was the area’s most popular and least expensive option. My guess is you know the business I am referring to but for decency sake, I am not going to blast them by name because they were kind. My first cause for concern was the price. Why on earth can they do it for so much less than what some of the others quoted? As I was doing my research, I discovered the answer and there’s NOT A PRAYER that I would let them touch me or any of my weight loss clients. HOLY HECK, did you know that plastic surgeons don’t have to be board certified in plastic surgery in order to operate on us? YIKES! This guy apparently has some sort of certifications from a “board” but I am certain that they’re not awarded to him by one of the 32 specialty medical boards in existence. With all the legislation around disclosure, I can’t believe this one has gone unscathed. So here’s the deal; because it’s considered “cosmetic” (even though it’s as big a surgery as any other) the surgeon only needs a general medical license! If you’re thinking “oh my goodness, does that mean that my dentist could do breast implants or a tummy tuck?” YES! The answer is yes. They have every authority to, though of course most wouldn’t. I don’t want my dentist working on my tummy any more than I want my surgeon working on my teeth; no thanks! Can a non-plastic-surgery-board-certified surgeon be a complete genius? Sure, it’s possible, but gambling with my body isn’t going to happen. I’ll take Plastic Surgery Board certified AND an artist with a high level of give-a-rip, thank you very much! I was at the point of considering heading to a metropolitan city to get the surgery taken care of. A few weeks into the search, I was traveling to the annual NAWBO convention with a dear friend. On the flight, I shared my woes and trepidations about the tummy tuck that I was after and she insisted that I meet a friend of hers.

Enter Dr. Chad Wheeler, an amazing magician of a, body transformation, man. The man knows his stuff and also happens to know that the necessary protein intake can come from plants. Our consultation felt medical and professional, praise the lord! Not only did I feel comfortable with him, but  I scheduled the surgery on the spot, for three months out, which was just short of a year from my 100 lb milestone. I was really excited about it and didn’t panic one bit. Until he took a sharpie to my body two days before the procedure. I thought “holy heck, you’re going to cut WHERE?!!! AND WHERE?!”…I almost ran, but standing in front of the mirror, baggy skin marked up with cut lines…I knew I was ready for the pouch to go away, and I pressed on.

Billie Gaura front before2Billie Gaura back after

The day before the big day, my Rainmaker crew assured me that everything would be on point while I was away for two weeks, they had everything lined up like a well oiled machine. My angel of a hubby had everything packed and ready to go at home, and there was no turning back.

Go time; the arrival of May 8th! The big day was here! I recall the anesthesiologist asking me for my verbal consent to put me under. “Are you sure you’re ready”? What is this?! A freaking Windows program?! Don’t ask me sh** like that! I am scared out of my gord, just do it already! I woke up 5.5 hours later, with 6.2lbs less of skin, and apparently time had stood still for me, mentally. I don’t recall this, but my hubby and the doctor giggled as they told me that I woke up yelling “are we going to f**king do this, or what?!”. Nice, Billie. Really classy.

6.2 pounds of excess skin taking up so much mass is hard to imagine. #Yuck! I’m almost a month out from my surgery and, I’m telling you, I feel as though I’m a peacock whose plumage had been bound all these years and have now been released. 114 lbs of weight loss and another 6 lbs removed surgically. Finally, I am comfy in my body in a way I didn’t know was possible. Billie Gaura front after

As I write these words I’m blinking through tears… but this time it’s for utmost gratitude for a new lease on life and a entire new trajectory for me and for my family and all of the generations that will continue on from this point forward (and the bikinis and lingerie I NEVER thought I would be able to wear with pride, ** squeal! **). It’s a crescendo of emotions as I reflect on the history of my family and their battle with the bulge (and my own struggles and discomforts in a body I despised) and the new family legacy now sprouting through this journey, one that will carry on for all the generations to come, one of #100YearBodies and confidence and rocking bikinis and ANYTHING else they so desire.

As I stood at the end of my dock last weekend IN A BIKINI I had always believed was for someone else, (anyone other than ME!), it was hard to believe that this new person, in this new, healthy, dare I even say sexy, body is ME?! To feel good, look good, know that I’m golden from the inside out, and to be free from the encasement of shame and all of the fog that comes with the negative interpersonal dialogue. Sigh. This part of the physical transformation is complete. What a ride! My favorite part of this journey is discovering that I have a calling to help others that are walking in the shoes I was wearing a mere #10minutesago

Rainmaker Creative will always be my baby and my first love, without question. With that in mind, I’ve hired a full time second Transformation Coach to help me take on more weight loss clients, as the demand is overflowing and it’s more than I can keep up with on my own. I look forward to introducing you to her in the coming weeks! With completely badass people working with me in both companies, things are working out beautifully! The niche of this new enterprise will be aimed at people who are clinically obese and genuinely ready for a full transformation, physically and emotionally. We may expand into more general markets as we grow but for now, that’s what we have capacity for and it’s the journey that both of us know all too well. The pain, the hurt, the nasty self-loathing, the not being able to believe that we could possibly be one of #thosebeautifulgirls. We’re working diligently on getting the structure in place, and we’ll keep you updated! Thank you so much for following along and for being awesome enough to make me feel like sharing this story with all it’s transparency was safe. I love you guys. <3

6 thoughts on “Loving the Skin I’m (finally) In

  1. I am so proud of you and how you have made these life changes. You have a new heart with Jesus and a new awesome body. Lovely from the inside out!

  2. Billie,
    Transparency is one of my watch words and I’m so proud of what you’ve accomplished and how you are sharing it with others to empower them. Diet has long time and nutrition and I don’t mean dieting I mean what people put in their mouth has been a hot button with me. I always tell people you are accountable for everything that happens to your body and its true. It’s so exciting to follow your journey as you take on making a huge difference in people’s lives. Thank you for sharing, for stepping out to help empower others to make better choices. Love you girl

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