Raise your hand if you have a hard time reconciling being an advocate for healthy living and undergoing cosmetic surgery. Chances are there are quite a few extended hands. Now, keep them up if you can explain that opinion other than, “it just seems like a person concerned about healthy living wouldn’t get plastic surgery.” It’s likely most hands have dropped down.
Women and men who are conscientious about maintaining healthy lifestyles that include exercise, eating a nutritious diet, and limiting stress may use cosmetic surgery as a way to look as good as they feel. Yes, it’s a cliché, but you know what they say about clichés: they’re clichés because they’re true.
The relationship between aesthetic surgery and overall health can also be motivational. People who undergo body contouring procedures such as liposuction or a tummy tuck are often motivated to make lifestyle changes that include working out and altering their diets to ensure they maintain their surgical results for as long as possible. If someone invests thousands of dollars to get a trimmer figure, maintaining that investment provides some excellent motivation.
It’s important to remember that when we talk about health, this includes much more than just physical well-being. Health encompasses mental, emotional, intellectual, and social health. With this in mind, here are 4 ways that a healthy lifestyle can complement getting cosmetic plastic surgery:
One of the primary reasons people say they get cosmetic surgery is to boost their confidence. “Among those dissatisfied with a particular physical feature and considering aesthetic surgery, undergoing surgery appears to result in positive self-reported psychological changes,” reported a study examining the psychological effects of cosmetic surgery.
Easier to Exercise
Even people who are already in fairly decent shape experience some discomfort exercising because of unwanted extra skin and fat that can put a strain on the back. Women who have had children, especially, can spend day after day at the gym and watch what they eat without undoing physical changes caused by pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Tummy tuck surgery, for example, not only creates a smoother abdomen but also can relieve stress in the lower back and reduce back pain. For many patients, this relief can be dramatic, improving overall health and well-being. With this break from the strain of your tummy pooch, many patients enjoy a healthier, more active lifestyle with greater ease.
This can occur both before and after getting plastic surgery. Plastic surgeons typically advise patients to be in the best possible health before undergoing elective surgery. Most plastic surgeons will even postpone a procedure until a patient’s body mass index (BMI) is below 30. Being overweight can complicate the surgery and recovery, so patients also set a goal to get in shape before body contouring procedures such as liposuction or tummy tuck.
That motivation doesn’t disappear after undergoing plastic surgery. In fact, most patients re-dedicate themselves to living a healthier lifestyle after seeing the transformative results produced by cosmetic surgery.
Dr. Mark Sisco, a board-certified plastic surgeon and tummy tuck specialist at NorthShore Plastic Surgery in Northbrook, says the procedure’s results can also last indefinitely for patients who maintain a healthy, steady weight after surgery. Patients may spend $10,000 or more on body contouring procedures, so the motivation to remain in shape is strong. Dr. Sisco also points out that these procedures aren’t meant to be a type of weight-loss surgery.
Liposuction, he says, “is best for people who are generally in good shape but have specific ‘trouble spots’ that are particularly resistant to diet and exercise.”
Do it For the Right Reasons
Ultimately, getting and staying healthy physically and mentally is something that can benefit both you and the people around you because you’ll likely be a more positive person. For some people, cosmetic surgery that addresses an area of the body that makes them self-conscious is part of an overall approach to healthy living. But if someone feels pressured to go under the knife, either by another person or because of cultural stereotypes, it’s unlikely the results will produce increased confidence. It’s important to think carefully about the choice and discuss your feelings with close friends and family.