As a body image coach I must address this very important subject.

Your results will be whatever they will be, no matter what anyone else’s results are. You can scour the Facebook groups for before and after pictures (like I did) to see what your body might look like after surgery, but it’s important to keep your expectations low, with regards to aesthetics.

Age, weight, and how long you’ve been swollen (lymphedema) or how long you’ve been over weight with regular adipose tissue (like me) will play a role in your skin’s elasticity.

Please don’t compare yourself to others.

No matter your age, if you are significantly overweight, and have been for most of your life, your skin will likely not retract very well. Please acknowledge this and find peace with it before surgery. If your skin does better than expected, it will be a pleasant surprise.

If you struggle with emotional eating, binge eating, or eating habits that contribute to obesity, you must address these prior to surgery in order to keep your body from adding to the leftover fat cells. (There will still be plenty of them, I promise!) Liposuction is not a cure.

If you struggle with body image and find yourself obsessing over food, the scale, the size of your genes, please seek professional help. Work with a coach like me, or talk to a medical professional. Body image issues range from “common challenges” to body dysmorphic disorder. Negative body image can lead to anxiety, depression and poor quality of life so please don’t ignore or excuse these thoughts and/or behaviors—they are likely to get better on their own.

Regular exercise is a necessary. Find something you enjoy and do it- walking, yoga, swimming, hiking, weight lifting, cycling, whatever—there’s no wrong form of fitness. You just have to do something regularly.

Many women experience “regrowth”. If this happens to you, check in with yourself to make sure you’re doing the best job you can to take care of yourself and your body.

  • Experiment with your diet
  • Change up your exercise routine
  • Make sure you’re getting enough sleep
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Go see a MLD therapist
  • Have your hormones checked
  • Fight for yourself and your body

Remember, this is your body. It is solely dependent on you for its survival.

No matter what your body looks like, or how it responds to surgery, it needs you to take care of it.

Don’t give up on yourself or your body.

Find ways to appreciate, care for, and use your body in order to grow your relationship with it, no matter what size you wear or how much the number on the scale reads.

To learn more about what I do as a body image and healthy lifestyle coach, and to find more resources to help you live a happy, healthy I’mperfect Life ® check out my website at

If you have any questions or need additional support, send me an email at

Let go of perfection.

Love yourself.

Care for your body.

Create sustainable habits.

Live your best happy, healthy, Imperfect Life®!

<3 Andrea

PS: A lot of women are concerned about how to tell friends/family/employers/coworkers about lipedema and surgery, here’s my opinion…

You get to decide who you tell and what you tell them. Personally, I’m an open book. I’m pro-education and have to confidence to talk about lipedema and my experience without fear or shame. (I am an anomaly) Most women find it very difficult to talk about it, if that’s you, it’s okay. Your medical history is no one’s business except yours and your doctor’s. You do not need to tell you employer what kind of surgery you’re having, or why. You do not need to tell your nosey neighbor, your judge-y aunt, or the office gossip. If someone notices that you look smaller (have lost weight) and offers a compliment, you can simply say, “yes I have,” and “thank you.” If they ask you how, you can say I’m going to through treatment for a medical issue that affects the way my body deposits fat.”

If they’re just being nosey, they’ll like be confused and just say, “okay.” And leave at alone. If they are genuinely concerned you can choose to engage and educate or you can always say, “It’s private.” Or “I’m still learning about it, I’ll share when I know more.” Maybe follow up with, “It’s not contagious” and a laugh to ease the tension you may feel.

Take a deep breath, say what you want, offer to change the subject, or leave the conversation.

YOU get to decide what you share and who you share it with.

You do not owe anyone an explanation.




I hope you find the information in this series of posts helpful. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me.

<3 Andrea

Andrea Matthes

Body Image and Healthy Lifestyle Coach

Founder of I’mperfect Life, LLC.





All content found this website, including: text and images, were created for informational purposes only. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you read in this document.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor, go to the emergency department, or call 911 immediately. Andrea Matthes does not recommend or endorse any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned in this document. Reliance on any information provided is solely at your own risk.