When Laura Kelly looked in the mirror, she often wondered what happened to the girl she used to know.
"I knew inside I was a beautiful person," she says. "In high school, I was athletic – played all the sports. And that wasn’t me anymore."
The "me" Laura used to know didn’t worry about her weight – she didn’t have to, it was under control. But fast forward through 10 years, a marriage and two children – and Laura was no longer that 19-year- old girl.
"Life starts and you don’t have time for yourself," she says. "You eat fast food. You go to bed late."
And that lifestyle caught up to Laura when she turned 30.
"You’re not a young girl anymore – you’re going to be diabetic one day if you don’t fix this," she recalls thinking the day she decided it was time to make a change. "And you are going to be the one on the table one day waiting for your cardiologist to round. And I didn’t want that."
Unlike a lot of us who search for diet answers, Laura knew exactly what to do. She is a cardiac nurse who sees the affects of obesity every day on many of her patients.
Laura’s solution: food and exercise.
"It’s real food. I eat fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, whole grains. It’s food – it’s not difficult."
Laura dropped 118 pounds in two years. But that wasn’t the end of her weight loss journey.
"I honestly wanted to look normal. I wanted to wear a pair of pants with a belt."
But babies and all that extra weight made that next to impossible. So she enlisted the help of Alegent Health Clinic Plastic Surgeon Nagi Ayoub, M.D., who performed a sort of "mommy makeover."
"It not only changes the way she looks, the way she feels about herself and the way she views and enjoys the fruit of her hard work," Dr. Ayoub says.
Mommy makeovers are more common than you’d think. Women bothered by the wear and tear childbirth takes on the body are opting for the tummy tuck/breast lift combo. They have surgery in the morning, are home by afternoon and within weeks are on their way to a new look.
"It’s no longer a procedure for the rich and famous," Dr. Ayoub explains. "An everyday person can do this, an everyday person can afford this and an everyday person is entitled to feel the way Laura does and transform themselves to what they desire to be."
"I’m a much happier person," Laura says. "I’m proud of what I’ve done. That was just the reward for me."
And now, at 33, Laura will tell you she’s back to her old self.