Plastic Surgery – Is It For You?

It is interesting how our opinions evolve and change over the course of life.  A few short years ago I would have adamantly stated that cosmetic surgery was complete vanity and a waste of money to be pursued only by the ridiculously wealthy and perhaps a few extremely narcissistic actors and actresses.

I still believe that anyone who attempts to use plastic surgery alone to correct cosmetic issues without first addressing underlying health and fitness is asking for frustration and dissatisfaction.  Nonetheless, I do see a limited role for cosmetic surgery in specific circumstances.

For example, the middle-aged man or woman who has diligently committed to a healthy diet and exercise plan for an extended period of time and achieved their goals of excellent overall fitness, low and healthy body fat percentage, etc. but find that there are some unattractive and exercise resistant fatty deposits they just can’t quite shed, or unappealing loose skin folds or stretch marks or similar things that are affecting their self image … Well, perhaps cosmetic surgery is not a bad idea.  Even highly effective diet and exercise have their limits, at least when it comes to “body sculpting,” and this is particularly true as we get older or with those who started their journey as truly obese.

I have come to believe that when we feel better about our physical appearance and general health it contributes to increased confidence and a much better and more positive self image.  This confidence and positive self image snowballs into increased energy, improved libido, increased productivity at work, better relationships, more outgoing behaviors and much more.  For the individual who has done everything they personally can to achieve this and have indeed succeeded in becoming fit, slender and generally healthy by any reasonable standard – I see no reason they should not be encouraged to consider plastic surgery if it will help to improve their body image and feel better about themselves.

Whether this translates into classic “tummy tuck” procedures, limited liposuction for small resistant fatty deposits, face lifts or similar procedures, breast support and / or augmentation if desired, etc. If the end result is that the person looks in the mirror every morning and feels better about what they see and has a greater sense of accomplishment resulting from all their hard work – with plastic surgery being used only as a final tweaking measure to “touch things up”… Then honestly I see nothing wrong with that.

I personally have worked extremely hard for very long and am quite fit, muscular and healthy. Even so, I still see a few sagging pouches under my jaw line and a bit more around the male classic “love handles” then I feel good about. Given how hard I have worked, these little things bug me, perhaps more than they should. I really don’t think further dieting or exercise will have much meaningful impact on these areas in my case (and at my age). Also, I can clearly feel a very strong and defined “six pack” under my remaining 51 year old male’s abdominal wall fat – even as I approach total body fat of  only 15% – and I find this frustrating.

I do not know if I will elect to pursue cosmetic surgery at some point and get these things tuned up. However, I certainly understand why many people choose to do so. Again, it all comes back to self confidence and positive self image which leads to positive things in almost every other aspect of one’s life. If you have put in all the work you can and really believe you have reached your final goals and plateaud for good and that cosmetic surgery could give you that extra little push and the “beach body” you have been working towards, I say go for it.

On the other hand, reasons I think are “bad” (my opinion) to get cosmetic surgery:

  1. Don’t do it thinking it will “jump start” your journey to weight loss and fitness. If you have a fair amount of weight to lose (anything over 15 lbs) – then FIRST dig in and start eating healthy and exercising hard as is advocated all over this blog. Once you are as trim and physically fit as you can get through hard work, then consider a little tweaking, if and only if you want to.
  2. Don’t do it for anybody else. Specifically, don’t get cosmetic surgery to look better for others. If this is your motivation you have deeper problems that need to be addressed and should talk to your physician or a therapist. If you want to do it under the circumstances I outlined above after achieving your goals in weight loss and fitness, and are truly doing it for yourself, then go for it.
  3. Don’t for one minute think that liposuction, tummy tucks or face lifts can replace a good diet and exercise plan adhered to diligently over time to achieve REAL weight loss and REAL and lasting fitness and health. Nothing worthwhile is that easy. You will be wasting your money and the fat will come back anyway.

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