We interviewed the lovely #MYAGirl Charlotte to discuss the topic of Fitness and Training and how taking time off to have a cosmetic surgery procedure affects your gym routine.
Charlotte had a breast enlargement with MYA in September 2017 and is nearly 1 year post op. @charlypfit loves everything fitness, health and well-being related. She even competes in bikini body building; this year she gained a 1st place with PCA and is now 2x IFBB bikini champion in both the UK and Spain.
I'd always wanted boobs - it was that simple!
I'd always had a very petite chest, it wasn't the fact they were small, it was the fact they simply were not in proportion to the rest of my body. I muddled my way through life as a teen and young adult dressing to enhance/hide certain areas and push up bra-ing other areas but my imbalance became all too apparent when I began competing.
For 12-16 weeks at a time I'd spend countless hours in the gym, prepping meals and training towards an aesthetic goal to get on stage and have my body judged, to simply look at photos and always feel incomplete. It was an imbalance that I couldn't train, that I couldn't grow. I'm not saying I was ever marked down for not having a chest, nor do I think I've gained points for now having one, however, I simply wanted to look at the body I'd worked so hard for and feel complete. I wanted to feel confident and to feel like a woman. So, I finally made the call to MYA!
The most common question I get asked and the thing that kept me from going ahead with the procedure sooner, is how long I took off training to have my procedure. My advice is to always follow guidance from your nurse. Within a few days I was up and about going for light walks, just to keep the blood flowing (as well as keeping my sanity!) but don't underestimate the level of fatigue your body will be under. It was around 2 weeks until I was able to train lower body but I waited the recommended 6 weeks until training my upper body. It's important to remember to start off slow. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY, and build up the weight again slowly. I'm still not able to train chest in the same way as I could pre-surgery but I'm getting stronger each session!
MYA advise to refrain from physical activities for 6-8 weeks following nurse or surgeon sign off
From taking time off post surgery, I quickly learned that I train for mental reasons as much as physical reasons, and the mental struggles are something that don't really get discussed post op. Your body may not feel like your own and won't respond how you're used to it. That really got me down so it was important for me to remain sensibly active, feeling back in control and not letting myself spiral. I recommend going for walks and talking to other patients that have been through it to help with this phase of your journey, but its important to know that it does pass and patience is key.
Getting back into shape post-op
Just remember, you've had an operation so give your body time and care to recover. Fill your body with nutritious food and DON'T use the operation as an excuse to binge. Your caloric output will be lower through rest and reduced movement, so do not push your intake crazy high in binge mentality. A slight increase in calories from the correct macronutrients to support repair, and light walks until your able to get back into the gym, will mean you shouldn't end up 'out of shape' after your break and therefore you should spring right back into action!
Timing was a HUGE deal for me. The truth is, there's no perfect time for a competitor to take time out and put your body through trauma, but it's important to structure the timing so that you're not rushing back into training/prep. You can take recovery at a pace that suits you and still reach your goals without leading to a whole host of feelings around resentment and regret. I made the decision to compete in 2018, therefore meaning I had the entire of 2017 to focus on myself. Having my procedure in September 2017 meant that I was able to focus on my recovery, without going straight into Christmas and using it as an excuse to eat all the food. Then I could begin prep for my shows in February, following a full 5 months of recovery. The last thing you want is to be on a deadline, rushing your recovery and cause further unnecessary complications.
Under muscle, over muscle, tear drop, high profile, what to chose?
I get asked so often what size/shape implant etc I opted for and my advice is to speak with your surgeon and go for what suits YOUR body. Implants are measured in volume therefore a 350cc implant may look huge on a 5ft small framed girl, and tiny on a taller girl with a fuller frame.
You must decide what is best for YOU and the shape at the top of my chest was my priority, I had a very skinny chest that needed filling out so I opted for a 'high profile' implant.
Now the big question for a lot of competitors is; under or over the muscle? Over the muscle means a quicker recovery, however, this gives a very enhanced look, with the implant becoming quite apparent during lean down. Under the muscle gives a more natural finish, disguising the ridge of the implant, however a slightly longer recovery is required. I opted for partial, which means the top half of my implant sits under my muscle, disguising any ridges and giving a natural finish, and the bottom half sits out of the muscle, creating a natural looking under breast fold, rather than standing away from my body. As I began with no breast tissue or skin, it was important that the implant sat as naturally as possible, as I had no existing breast tissue to disguise. It is important to listen to your surgeons expert opinion when it comes to implant placement as he/she want to give you the best possible result for your desired look and advise you of the correct placement to achieve this.
Over time your implants will drop and fluff, falling into a more natural spacing on your body, any swelling will also reduce. This may feel like a reduction in size, however I believe it's is just the implant adjusting and sitting more naturally on your frame. Remember, when the implants are first inserted into your body, they are new and alien and then you carry them around day to day like second nature, and they become less noticeable to you as time goes on.
Has a breast Augmentation helped my confidence on and off stage?
In short YES, the truth is I've always looked at the deeper meaning of self-happiness, and I'd never guide anyone towards surgery to making themselves happy as it's important to get to the root cause. My desire to have implants wasn't deep rooted for me, it was a simple desire to be balanced and physically complete. It was aesthetic not mental. Saying that, I can honestly now say I walk around feeling like a confident woman, and presenting a full package onstage. What implants won't give you on stage is more points but what it will give you is that extra sparkle of confidence to hold your head high and stand out on stage and maybe that's all I needed to believe in myself fully and start taking those first place trophies!
I have been competing for 4 years, always placing well but never quite winning.
This year I have gained a 1st place with PCA, and now 2 x IFBB bikini champion in both the UK and Spain. The sky's the limit, and I'm so glad I made the jump and finally went ahead with my procedure!
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