Mexico Recap V.2 – Progress through Baby Steps

I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve publicly worn shorts or a short skirt, in my entire life. I’m 33. I’ve always wanted to hide behind fabric because my legs looked and felt different (not knowing then, why).

Once I received my diagnosis of Lipedema (stage 1), I understood better. Not sure what it is about lipedema that scares the living hell out of me, but it does. It’s a fear that is ever present for me, that I work to manage regularly. A cut on my calf – will that turn into cellulitis? Sprained ankle/contusion – how long will it take that deep lump/bruise to heal? Why are my legs covered in bruises and why do I bruise with the slight touch of a finger or a bump into something? Why are my legs so tender and painful? Will the added stress on my vascular system have diabetes implications in the future? Why do my legs feel so “heavy” and “thick” today? Why is the lymphatic buildup so bad right now – my insulin pump sites won’t work.

You get the idea.

I’ve worked really hard to change the way that my legs look and feel, and my mental thoughts. The last few years have been transformative in all areas and some have asked if it’s possible that I’ve put my lipedema into remission (don’t know if that’s an option?). They’ve changed shape, become lean, toned, and I’ve almost mentally arrived. Our trip to Mexico played a huge role in this. For the first time in my life, I wore nothing but shorts and skirts! And I felt completely comfortable in my own skin. For the first time, I thought, “hey! I’ve got real, visible ankles – look at all of my hard work!” Mexico was empowering for me, and it’s been many baby steps to get to this point, but here I am!

First two pics, are after flying/dehydration – they were extra puffy!

Puffiness! 2 Puffiness!

IMG_5689[1] IMG_5846[1] IMG_5742[1]

14 thoughts on “Mexico Recap V.2 – Progress through Baby Steps

  1. As I mentioned when I was out in San Diego, I think you look absolutely fabulous! So toned, healthy and glowing! All of your hard work as definitely paid off!

  2. Your blog is an inspiration. I’ve been reading it since you posted on guest post on Six Until Me. I wish I had the willpower you have to take your health into your hands. Thanks for sharing your stories and showing the rest of us we are not alone.
    #dblogcheck

  3. I dont want to be rude, and I do agree with others here that you look great, and also commend you on your self discipline and perseverance, but I really question your lipedema diagnosis. You may have a problem retaining fluid but none of the photos you have ever posted have ever given any indication of lipedemous fat. Which is fat that cant be lost. Even the photo of your legs’ swelling’ shows the most minute amount of swelling which is normal for any air travel.
    Your legs are tiny and totally in proportion which I find very hard to believe is the result of clean eating. Ive never ever seen a case of ‘lipedema’ like yours. Years and years of compression, paleo type eating, supplements, swimming and meditation have made me incredibly healthy but have never budged the lipedemous fat on my legs or removed the pain. Dont get me wrong, I think you’re very lucky. I just question the person who gave you your diagnosis.

    • Hi Trina! Thanks for your comments. Dr. Karen Herbst diagnosed me with stage 1 lipedema in the fall of 2012, right before her departure to Arizona. I have had a lot of difficulty finding pics showing my before and after legs, because I rarely if ever let them show before, but they are drastically different now from my lifestyle changes. Perhaps, I have put it in remission (caught at just the right time??) – that’s something that I am not even sure is possible? I also have other lipedema symptoms that are with me 100% of the time, such as the pain/tenderness in my legs, the broken blood vessels/vascular issues, very easy bruising that takes a substantial amount of time to heal, and fluid in my tissues preventing my insulin pump sites from effectively working. The post of my swelling legs after flying to Mexico, while it may not appear that swollen, really were, but felt even worse and “heavy.” My body and bloodwork has changed drastically since I started clean eating over 3 years ago! I don’t think for me, it’s been luck, it’s been very challenging and difficult for me. I can post a pic of my upper thighs/butt if you want – you can see the lipedema fat there more easily.

  4. Hi Linds! I have been doing a ton of research on swelling/bloating/fluid retention that seems to increased the last couple of years. I finally saw a vascular specialist and after some tests he diagnosed me with 3 vascular veins that are not working. He didn’t seem to take my other issues seriously. I think being in shape makes it hard for people even doctors to think that there could be anything else going on. I have since been doing more research and happened up the word lipedema and found your blog. My legs swell terribly when flying, or I consume just a tad to much food and even just standing in a matter of moments you can see that they look slightly bigger. It’s so frustrating and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of information out there. Any suggestions on how you found your doctor and how you were diagnosed?

    • Hi Christine! It is frustrating! Good to have answers though so you can understand your body better! I am sure as well that I have vascular issues, but have yet to venture into that arena. I actually randomly was referred to Dr. Herbst by my endocrinologist when she was in San Diego, for something that he thought I had (Dercum’s), but didn’t, however, she knew immediately that I had lipedema…and the rest is history as they say. I’ve learned a lot since then on my own, connecting with others and experimenting with lifestyle changes. Please reach out if you have questions or I can help!! 🙂

  5. hello from italy! I need some help, I am at stage one please help me …my doc says I have to use first class of compression,do u agree?

    • Hi Fabiana – I’m not a doctor, so I couldn’t say if/what grade of compression would work the best for you and your needs. There are multiple groups on Facebook that support lipedema/lymphedema, have you looked there? I’d recommend it, a wealth of knowledge and members from all over the world! Linds

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