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#44 A Maxim Model’s 200lb Weight Loss & Surgery: Dr. Barrett & Model Lily Aspen

Published on September 2nd, 2022

After losing 200lbs, Maxim & Playboy model Lily Aspen underwent a complete physical and mental makeover. She and Dr. Barrett discuss overcoming morbid obesity, the culture shock that comes with moving to the U.S. from Russia, and her literal total-body surgery.

 

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So here’s… This is just your back. This isn’t the front.

Lily Aspen:
Oh, my God.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. Everybody. We are on episode 44 of the Natural Plastic Surgeon Podcast. And today’s guest is Lily Aspen. She’s a patient of mine, and you are from Russia, but you’ve been to the U.S. For quite a bit now. And you’re a model, and you’ve gotten into the mental health industry as well. I didn’t know this when I first met you. You came to me because you lost over 200 pounds.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah, that’s true.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. And you just have this incredible story. I was like, we have to dive into this. I was like, one, I wanted to do, I wanted to do your surgery and kind of put the final pieces on all of your hard work. And I want to get into that, but you have so much else going on. You’ve been on Playboy Magazine. You’ve been on Maxim magazine. I’m just like, what have you not done? And then you’re doing squats in my office and then it’s just like, we’re working out together. And you’ve got all this other stuff going on. So, Lily, tell us about… Do you go by Lily or Lilia?

Lily Aspen:
Lily. Lily is fine. Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay, great. Tell us, what’s going on? Where, what happened? What happened in your life where you all of a sudden just turned on a switch and you’re just like this superwoman now?

Lily Aspen:
Thank you, first of all, for calling me superwoman. So of course it didn’t start like this. It’s not click. It was a part, it was a transformation. So it was a path. I was overweight since I was six years old.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Six?

Lily Aspen:
Yeah, six.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Wow.

Lily Aspen:
When I was 10, I was around like 65 kilos, I think. So it’s like around 145 pounds.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Oh, my gosh.

Lily Aspen:
And when I was in the last year of my high school, I was more than 100 kilos. So it was like 220 pounds.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
So I was overweight most time of my life. And it was not because of the trauma or not because of any, I don’t know, diseases. It was mostly because of the emotional eating. I was binge eating. All my family was overweight. So it was about the mental state.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
A lot of people talk about it. They’re like, “I’m just genetic. It’s just genetic, and I’m overweight and I can’t do anything about it.” What would you say to that?

Lily Aspen:
Of course. Of course I did say this, but then I found out that I have to different because I don’t want to be fatso kid. I don’t want to be like ugly girlfriend or whatever. And I started my war with the weight, you know? So I started doing I consciously when I was 10. I started with the diet, you know?

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay.

Lily Aspen:
And I was dieting, but it was like a rollercoaster. So you’re gaining and you’re dropping and you’re gaining more, and you’re dropping again. So I had couple of dramatic weight loss stories in my life. First, was around 70 pounds, and it was like, great. But I still thought, and I still felt like I’m overweight. I’m not like fine. I’m not fitted. I’m not beautiful, and it was inside my head. It was like mental thing. And then I gained wait again. And then I was like, okay, now that’s the time. I going to be working out. I going to be really strict with the food. I going to do this, and I’ve done it. And I was around 170 pounds, which was like pretty fine. But then I gained the weight back. And that time I was already on Instagram. And social media people are really cruel, you know?

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Oh, my goodness. Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
And when you had this dramatic favor, when you was like, fine, and you were like, “Yeah, I am a champion. I going to be the inspiration for you.” And then you just like… (sings)

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. You fall off the horse and yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. So my mental state was really well. I had to be honest. I going to be brutally honest. I had like suicidal… I was thinking about suicide. Not put in in this, but I was like, okay, that’s probably reasonable in my state. And that time I started work with the psychotherapist. It was helpful.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
How long ago was this? How old were you?

Lily Aspen:
That time was, I was 25, 26.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay. So you had gastric bypass surgery.

Lily Aspen:
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
And how old were you when this happened?

Lily Aspen:
I was 26. I was. So it was six years ago. And my recovery time was pretty challenging because I was puking the food and water all the time for three months. Three months, it was like crazy. And for more than a year, it was moderate, but still, like when I was nervous, when I was just, I don’t know, afraid, I was stressed out. I was like, ugh! And it’s not pleasant. So my mom was supporting me because before, we had no communication with her for like almost 10 years, and then I was working through our relationship with the psychotherapy, and she was working on this from her side. So she was supporting and we started communicate. And then-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Is that something that you’d recommend to people that are struggling with their weight or they’re emotional eaters, to do psychotherapy?

Lily Aspen:
I definitely, even if you go in to do some bariatric surgery or you go in to do, I don’t know, like plastic surgery, I’m totally like up to this, but you definitely have to work on your mental state.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So tell us what psychotherapy is just briefly. Just so our viewers know.

Lily Aspen:
It was more about… It was Gestalt. Now I’m into this. I have no degree, but probably I going to get it just to help with more people. I’m more into culture now. I have a degree in this. But with the psychotherapy was the behaviorist… Behavior. I don’t know the correct name.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Behavior?

Lily Aspen:
Behavior.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. I don’t know the… It’s like a behavioristic analytics of your state.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Got it.

Lily Aspen:
And the Gestalt, of course, different pro… It’s like proactive methods, like art therapy and all this stuff. So I was trying a lot, even constellations and the other like metaphoric cards.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So my understanding of psychotherapy was that they kind of deconstruct your thought processes, and it takes a long time where you’re, you’re working with somebody individually, and they deconstruct your thought processes and your childhood and everything. And then they kind of go through all that stuff and then they kind of build it back up. Is that true?

Lily Aspen:
It’s something like this. For example, you have a house which is damaged and broken. And you couldn’t just put new wallpaper and [inaudible 00:07:33]. It’s fine.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
You have to make the whole reconstruction. So in my case, it was the whole reconstruction of my personality with different type, I mean, with different tools because first, it was a couple years of psychotherapy, and we were working on my depression. We were working on my eating behavior with my binge eating. I was trying to get joy of the life, because I was overweight. And if, for example, when I was 300-plus pounds, it was really challenging for me even go downstairs and just sit into the car, you know? It was really challenging because I was like more than twice bigger. And it’s not pleasant. It’s not pleasant to be overweight. And I’m totally fine with the body positive people who is enjoying their bodies. I’m like, “You guys are happy, but I wasn’t happy.”

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. You know what? I have a tough time with that. I’ve never really struggled, but I do think that there’s a difference between being born with like a big nose versus being way overweight, like morbidly obese. I have a tough time thinking that we should really embrace that. You know? I mean, I feel like it’s unhealthy. It’s not… and it affects mood. It affects everything else. It affects cancer rates, so many bad things that can happen.

Lily Aspen:
And your hormones, too, and your mood, it’s based on your hormones.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Right. Your estrogen is crazy through the roof.

Lily Aspen:
Exactly.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. So it’s not… I mean, it’s really not healthy if you’re like crazy overweight like I was.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
So I started losing weight after the bariatric surgery with this sleeve. They cut half of my stomach.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
They had the sleeve. Okay.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. And then, it was getting better and better. And also my state of mind was getting better and better. And when I was around 200-plus pounds, I think, yeah, I move to U.S. And here in U.S., when I just-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
You fit right in. “I’ll show up to Oklahoma and Texas, and no problem,” right?

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. I think so. You know?

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
But L.A., it starts to get a little difficult to go around if you’re like that overweight.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah, exactly. Exactly. But when I just came to U.S. For the very first time, I found out that in Macy’s you have The whole Floor of the plus size clothes. for me, it was like, wow! I was like a kid in a candy store because all my life I was struggling, because in Russia, for example, I used to live in St. Petersburg. And there you have pretty limited number of the clothing stores. Just like probably in the whole shopping mall, just like two or three shops when you just could find something, not everything. Like somewhere, you could find the t-shirts. Somewhere you could find probably in the men’s section, you know? Somewhere, you could find the, I don’t know, pants probably in the men’s section, too. And also it’s more expensive than the normal size clothing. So when I just came to New York, I was like, wow. I could be like-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
That was in New York? Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. My first was to New York. Yeah. So I was like, wow. A lot of plus-size clothing brands. And I was shopping like this. And I felt so normal and it was really refreshing when…

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Let’s see, I think I have some photos here-

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Yeah. I think so.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
… of you wearing some clothes, and let me see, was this… All right, this is you. Tell us about… This is you before a Maxim cover, and then Maxim.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah, this is probably my maximum weight in the clothe. Here I’m in Morocco in Africa, yeah.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
In Morocco. I was traveling, and it was, I didn’t want to have any photos, but it was the random guy who was taking a photo and then selling it.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Oh, my gosh.

Lily Aspen:
And I was like, okay, probably I going to buy it. So yeah. That’s probably the darkest time.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay. How about this one here? This is you in a bathing suit.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. So here I was… I’m in Jordan. I was traveling even when I was overweight, I was there with my mom, and I was puking the food. It was the darkest time after the bariatric surgery. So I already lost, I don’t know, probably 20 pounds, but…

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
From the bariatric, yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. But you couldn’t… Found out that it’s like this because you’re still overweight, you know?

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. How about this photo? Is this right after your surgery?

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Yeah. It’s probably a couple days after.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay. Because I can tell by those back when… I’ve actually, when I was in residency, I worked with some general surgeries, and I did those surgeries under… In residency, we did some of the gastric bypass surgeries. They’re very complicated surgeries, and that looks like yours was done laparoscopic, which is good.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Yeah, and also I had some scars after this, but it was pretty fine, but the worst part, they didn’t do just this bariatric surgery, but also they cut my… They fixed my diaphragm hernia. I had a hernia there. It’s like the normal size of the…

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Where the esophagus goes up, yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Like this and mine was like this.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yes.

Lily Aspen:
So they tried to fix it, but this sphincter there started working like crazy.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So my in-laws, they visited. I have a brother-in-law who lives in Belarus, and they visited, and people don’t say things like that. They don’t really interact.

Lily Aspen:
Never. Never.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. It’s very strange if you actually interact with a stranger on the street or even smile. That’s what I hear. I don’t know.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Yeah. So for me it was really different, and I was like, wow, that’s so cool. And I started being more into fashion because I have an option. I had an option to buy all this here and wear it there, you know? And it was really refreshing. And when I was around, and I had with my psychotherapist, I had the list of the things which I’m not doing because of the weight. So I’m overweight, so I’m not going for a date. I’m overweight, so I’m not buying clothings, I’m overweight. So I don’t want to have any photo shoots, and part of my therapy was to start doing this, you know?

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
So that was my first photo shoot. I wasn’t satisfied with this, but I was like, okay, that’s fine. That’s just the milestone. And also my photos behind the… I mean my photos in the mural, like the selfies, it was the part of this process, too. I have to accept my body. You couldn’t change something which you didn’t accept when you denying that you are overweight or you denying that you have some issues with, I don’t know, like your legs, for example. No, no, no, I’m fine. I’m fine. It doesn’t work like this. So my first photo short as a model was in Russia. It was really a really big challenge for me because it was not nude photo short, but it was like a lingerie. And I still have these photos, and people were like-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
And you had lost some weight by that point?

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. I was around 220 pounds.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay.

Lily Aspen:
Still a lot, but better than before.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
It was a milestone, too, because it was like 100… Yeah, 120 pounds less or something like this. So I was like, yeah, let’s go. And I was pretty confident that days. But then when I moved to U.S., I was… I mean, not to U.S. To L.A., Because probably if I moved to Texas or to Arizona, I going to be fine. But here I was like, oh, MY GOSH.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
we’re not beating up on Texas. Per capita, they’re one of the larger states. people are larger there and Oklahoma. I think Oklahoma’s number one and then Texas.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Yeah. But also WHEN I was traveling across the U.S., I’ve been to Florida, to… Oh, my gosh. I forgot the name of the city with all the parks.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yosemite.

Lily Aspen:
No, no, no, no. All the… I mean, theme parks.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Oh,

Lily Aspen:
Like Disney.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Disneyland?

Lily Aspen:
Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Disney.

Lily Aspen:
So I’ve been there.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Orlando.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Orlando. Exactly.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah, yeah.

Lily Aspen:
So I was there, and everybody, there were a lot of native Americans, and they very like the same size as me.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay. [inaudible 00:16:22]

Lily Aspen:
So it was like, yeah, I’m fine. But here in L.A., I was like, oh, my gosh, everybody’s so good-looking. A lot of people working in the industry, like in film industry or modeling or doing stuff like this. And I was like, I don’t want to be…. And also, here, it was starting from the scratch. It was the zero point because I didn’t have my background, like, oh, I’m Lily. I’m defender. I just lost this weight. I started here with the size XL, and I was like, yeah, it’s Lily. She is overweight, For example.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
so you had your surgery, and then you came to L.A., New York and L.A., And you’ve been traveling around. And at what point did you kind of get happy with your weight loss?

Lily Aspen:
to be honest, I was happy with this. I was around 200 pounds. I lived in Russia and I was like, yeah, I’m coming in.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
I feel amazing. I was, I don’t know, partying, and I didn’t do any like cool stuff about my health. Because I was like, yeah, I’m still losing some weight. I’m totally fine. It was less than I was… My weight was less than I was 13 years old.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay. Wow.

Lily Aspen:
So for me it was like, I’m amazing. I’m good.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
And you think it was a surgery or did you actually do stuff on top of that?

Lily Aspen:
That time when I was around, 200 pounds, I think, I stopped dropping weight, and the surgery results was like this…

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Maxed up.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah, I think so. But then when I moved to U.S., I found out that I’m not satisfied with my weight and with my shape anymore, with my health and with my mental health also. Because I was on antidepressant medications because of my depression, and I moved here and I had to quit, you know?

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
And like this, because I didn’t have any prescription.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Right.

Lily Aspen:
And that was really challenging. So that’s how I started meditating.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So meditation.

Lily Aspen:
So meditation, that was my first step. Also. I was like, okay, everybody’s doing yoga. Probably I have to try.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
I got into it here too because it’s just, oh, do yoga at the park. Oh, I got to Try that.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. So after that I was like, okay. Everybody is asking me to go to the hike. Probably I have to try.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Go do the hikes.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Hikes and also my ex-partner, he was nutritionist. He was like a health enthusiast, and he helped me a lot with the diet because I didn’t hear anything about, for example, like four hours, body, all this biohacking stuff, all the Keto stuff. Because like back in the day, five years ago in Russia, we didn’t have any information about this. And also good source of products. I started go to Whole Foods or Erewhon or wherever and be focused on organic foods or reading all the labels and what it’s made from. So it was like this. It was like step by step, you know? And I was like, okay, probably I have to try like vegetarian lifestyle or vegan lifestyle. Vegan was not for me, but I used to be vegetarian for three years. Then I started eating meat, but not in a crazy way.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. That’s like a whole different discussion.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Yeah, of course.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
I’ve been eating like raw organ meats. I don’t know.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. I seen it on your Instagram. So now I’m doing… because I’m like mental health advocate, for me, it’s important to have no crazy restrictions.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. I agree.

Lily Aspen:
So I could do wherever.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
So for example, before the surgery, I was on low inflammatory diet, and it was really helpful, I think, for example, and it works for me, but then I was like, okay, now I’m pretty fine with all the food. I don’t want to have any restrictions. Yeah. Now I feel like, okay, probably after the surgery, my liver was under all the medications, all the anesthesia. So probably is the good way because I started itching because of the allergy. And I didn’t have this symptom for five years and I was like, okay, probably that’s a good time for the liver cleanse. So I started be like this, but back in the days, I had no idea.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay. So, we got to 200 pounds and then you said you started meditating doing some exercise, yoga and some hiking. And what else got you to where you were before you came to see me?

Lily Aspen:
I was also working out, I was pretty active overall. I was playing around the food, and it was helping, too, for sure. And also I was working in my mental health, but at the same time, I was in the… My lowest weight was less than now, and I still had some issues. I was like, no, no, no, I’m still fat, because when you have this… Probably you don’t didn’t know or don’t know, but when you have this excess skin, I didn’t feel like I’m satisfied a hundred percent with my body. So…

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
And that’s the tough part, right?

Lily Aspen:
Of course.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Because there’s no other diet an exercise that can actually now get rid of that extra skin.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. And my skin was normal. I didn’t… Was wrapping around all this like excess skin. I was working on this. I was doing a lot of massages. I was doing a lot of treatments, but it still was there. And I was like, okay, I have to work on this. And I was working on this, not surgically, but mentally. I was like, okay, I have to accept my body. So I started doing more photo shoots. It was a part of the work. Because when you’re on a set, even if your photographer using the Photoshop for the [inaudible 00:22:32] of the photos, you are working on a set and it’s like 10, 20 people around you, you know? And I was like, okay, that’s the challenge. The first photo shoots was like, ah.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
That must be very intimidating.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. And I was, I wasn’t satisfied with, for example, my inner thighs, and I still have these photos, and I was like, oh, that’s a concern. So, but then my friend of mine, she just done a surgery, and it was like a 360 lipo sculpting. And I was like, ugh, I feel wrong about this, but I have no idea why. And I started talking to her, and she was like, “Lily, you couldn’t just understand me. Just listen to me. It’s not because I’m not satisfied with my body or I hate my body or I don’t love my body. It’s just because I could, and I could be different. And it’s not because I don’t accept myself.” And I was like, oh, my gosh, that’s interesting.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
It is.

Lily Aspen:
And if I have no limitation, for example, with the food, and I think that everything is possible, so it’s possible. And then I found out that deep inside, it was like a deep meditative process with the healer from China.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Oh, cool.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. I love…

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
You got really deep. You actually got a healer from China. That’s cool.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. It’s an English-speaking guy, but…

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. But I was working out a lot that time, and it was an advice from my coach. And he was like, “Do you have any concerns?” And I was like, deep inside, I don’t feel like right about how my body looks. And it’s not just about the muscles or about the toned body. I just couldn’t get to this point because I have a lot of excess skin. And I started thinking about it, and I started doing like all the researches, and I had a couple consultations with the different surgeons. And then I found out you, and I was like, oh, my gosh, it feels so right, because-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
What is it about me that made it feel right?

Lily Aspen:
It’s all about your approach. It’s about the nature of plastic surgery, because I didn’t want the crazy boobs, or you didn’t do any liposection for me. So it was not about this, too-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So that way, yeah. So let’s talk about where your surgery, so we just did your surgery in December.

Lily Aspen:
Mm-hmm.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
And it’s…

Lily Aspen:
Late December.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. I know. And it’s like, it’s already March, and you look so good. It’s amazing. But let’s tell the listeners what we had. Okay. So I believe we had a a tummy tech, but I think we went all the way around.

Lily Aspen:
It was 360 body lift.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah, we did an entire 360 body lift. We did breast augmentation. We did a breast lift with that as well to take care of the extra skin and to get them up and perky. We did an arm lift, and we did a thigh lift, which is a lot of incision, a lot of surgery.

Lily Aspen:
That’s true.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
It doesn’t get any bigger than that. And a lot of times I actually don’t do that many areas of surgery. I mean, we did every part of your body, as you can think of, and you were like, “I want to do it all.” And I’m like, “Okay, you’re healthy. You’re motivated.” It was like, because normally I would just do like the circumferential and maybe the arms. I would never try to do all of these areas, or circumferential and then maybe the breasts. And then we come back and do the arms and legs later just for safety reasons, but…

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. But you know, in my case I was like, probably the second operation wouldn’t happen, because I did know that the recovery time could be challenging. And I going to be brutally honest for my case, like first 16 days, because it was like a lot.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
16?

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. 16 days was… I mean, because we’ve done a lot, you know?

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yes, I know.

Lily Aspen:
I was pretty fine with the… For example, my arms and my boobs, it was like fine.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay.

Lily Aspen:
And I was using my arms to help me to move my body from the day zero, and I was fine with this. But with the circumferential, because it was a huge incision. You are lying on your back, and you couldn’t move your body.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Right.

Lily Aspen:
I mean-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Did you ever see the pictures of all the skin that we removed?

Lily Aspen:
No. Never. Yeah. You have to show me.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. I need to show you. You know what? Nijan, can you print out a picture? It’ll be in her 4D. And it should be a surgery photo of all the skin. We laid it out on the floor.

Lily Aspen:
You know it’s-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
And I hope we have it in the chart because it was-

Lily Aspen:
It’s crazy because for me it was first I’ve seen, because I have this trait that I have to dig inside. I was looking for the surgeon and I was looking… I mean, I was watching, I don’t know, probably 200 hours of the videos.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Oh, my gosh.

Lily Aspen:
Of your podcast. Yeah. So I-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Of my stuff or just in general?

Lily Aspen:
I watched all your stuff about the same operations, not about the, for example, like breast implementation of different patients, but about the 360, about tummy tuck, all the rules and restrictions and recommendations. So I was like this, and also the other surgeons from different countries, from Dubai, for example, from Texas. So I just wanted to be into it because it’s my body. And I’m really concerned about this. So yeah. So I was watching a lot of stuff, so I was pretty informed that it’s going to be challenging.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So okay. So you knew it was going to be challenging. I don’t think I have any videos about the amount of surgery that you had done. I have done some massive weight loss. I have a lot of massive weight loss patients. And normally I break it up, but tell us about your recovery. So all these things, your arms, your legs, your whole midsection, your breasts, what happened when you woke up? Like how did you feel when you woke up?

Lily Aspen:
Oh, my gosh. Yeah. So when I woke up, I was pretty fine when anesthesia still was there. But when we just… First five days. I was in aura recovery.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
The aftercare. Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Aftercare. Yeah. So when I just got there and they tried to move my body from the cart to the bed, I mean, that’s the time of my life I would never, ever repeat.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
It’s definitely not a commercial for this. Yeah. I know.

Lily Aspen:
I’m so sorry. But, guys, you have to be familiar that I’ve done a lot, you know?

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
And I think we even injected long-acting pain medication for you, too. And did anything help you?

Lily Aspen:
Probably it’s because my body is intolerant to the pain medication. And I was thinking about it and I was trying to analyze, because when I was overweight, I had some hernias in my lower back.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Okay. I got, I’ve got the picture.

Lily Aspen:
Oh, my God.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Is that all we have? Okay. All right.

Lily Aspen:
Wow.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
All right. Hold on. I want to wait for all of it. Okay.

Lily Aspen:
Oh, my goodness.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So this is just your back. This isn’t the front.

Lily Aspen:
Oh, my God. That’s crazy.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah, and then, all right, so this is the back skin that we took off. And then this is us combining all the skin together. So just for reference, this is 15 centimeters, right down here.

Lily Aspen:
Wow.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
That’s a ruler. So, and all this skin is kind of scrunched up. So we got your arm skin.

Lily Aspen:
Oh, my God.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
We got your back skin. This is your tummy skin and your hip. And I don’t think this has the thighs on it. Doesn’t have the thighs on it, so right arm, left arm.

Lily Aspen:
Okay.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So it’s missing the thighs, but…

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Hello.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
There you go.

Lily Aspen:
Now I’ve seen it, because I was pretty open about my surgery on my Instagram and everybody, I was trying to explain people that it’s not like someone ha just cut, I don’t know, like cut half of your skin and just stitch. It’s more complicated.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
It is.

Lily Aspen:
It’s like a lot of layers, and it’s like pull in. It’s [inaudible 00:30:48].

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Right. It’s got to match your body. And when you take skin from so many different areas at the same time, it’s got to all line up and make sense. And so that’s why there’s no textbook for these kind of operation. That’s why we spend so much time in markings. We spend so much time that you were actually passing out. Yeah. We were so nervous.

Lily Aspen:
That’s true.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
And we were doing squats to try to get the blood flowing back to your [inaudible 00:31:09].

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. And then I was on IV before.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Finally, yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Before it started. So yeah. And also because I was aware I was going on. It’s probably was challenging for my brain to, like you’re going to be on the surgery. First of all, you’re not controlling your body and your mind for like five, six hours.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Exactly.

Lily Aspen:
And I was like, okay, I’m fine with this. But then I found out that it’s going to be a recovery. So it was mentally challenging for me. So probably, to be honest, I’m pretty open about it also, because I know that for me, it was easier to accept because if I going to woke up and found out that I couldn’t move my body and it’s crazy painful, it’s going to be even worse.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Ah. Yeah. And I’m glad it worked out and you made it through that difficult recovery. I don’t sugarcoat this one at all, but how do you feel about your body now?

Lily Aspen:
Also for me, for example, boobs was not my concern first. But then I was like, okay, if I’m doing like almost everything, I don’t want to have like the botched body, you know? Like for example, you have amazing stomach, but then your boobs are not matching.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Right.

Lily Aspen:
And that’s why I decided to do like everything. And now of course, when I just felt my arms with no excess skin, I was like, wow. Probably my arms was the most impressive part of my body for me, because I have like pretty strong muscles, you know? And I was working out a lot.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. And that’s limiting, too, when you wear clothing and stuff, it’s like, you can’t hide your arms very easily. You can hide your abdomen and you can hide your breasts, but you can’t hide the arms.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. That’s true. And also when I found out that I have no binder, I was like, oh, my gosh, that’s why stomach? Like, wow. Oh my goodness. And the belly button, like all my photos on Instagram was like, “Oh, my gosh, your belly button is amazing.” I was like, that’s like…

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
I spent a lot. It’s the bare belly button.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Yeah. It’s your work for sure. And your staff said that you usually spend at least like one hour to fix it. [inaudible 00:33:24] Yeah. And it looks really cool. I mean, literally.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Thank you. But, Lily, we are we’re short on time, but I just want to know kind of how this has kind of impacted with the kind of… We want to kind of summarize here and how this has kind of impacted like your career now? Because we’re three months out from surgery, and you’ve already sent me some amazing forest photos.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. So I think that now it’s going to be… Now I feel like I’m totally completed my transformation. Mentally, physically and all the…

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Nice.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. So probably that’s it, you know? I don’t feel like I going to be, I don’t know, I already been on like five magazine covers. It was like Playboy, Marie Claire, Maxim Magazine. So it’s not like this.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. Check.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah, check. But I feel like, wow, now I could be on a beach, and that’s it, you know? [inaudible 00:34:26] I don’t need to cover it with this special bathing suits, because of course I was like, okay, I don’t want to see the slouches or some excess skin. And finally I have my muscles.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yep.

Lily Aspen:
And I could see this. And also I’m more motivated to do all the sports, to get my stamina back.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
And to get my flexibility back.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Absolutely.

Lily Aspen:
So that’s like this.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Good. And if you had any advice for someone out there who’s lost a lot of weight-

Lily Aspen:
Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
… what would you tell them?

Lily Aspen:
If you are going to lose, if you already lost weight or if you want to lose weight, it’s important to work on your mental health too, for sure. It’s going to be really helpful. So the results going to last with you and you not gaining weight because of your binge eating and all this stuff. It’s also good for your health, and I recommend it to wait a little before doing the massive surgery.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
So you recommend people to lose the weight, but just give yourself some time and be stable for a little while. Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. At least probably six months.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Six months.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Probably six months.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Six months.

Lily Aspen:
Year. I don’t know. I mean, it’s up to them, of course, but don’t be in the rush, because probably you’re going to lose even more. Because I was thinking about the surgery when I was 200 pounds, but look at me now.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah. And I have people that do surgery kind of like a stepping-stone and so forth. And so that is something that can be done. But I agree with you want to try to get to your goal weight as much as possible.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Because now I feel like, okay, I’m in my optimal health. I am in my perfect body. Not perfect, but it’s my body. So for me, it’s perfect.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
You are perfect.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Thank you. So I feel like really good, like mentally, physically and all the aspects. So I think that’s the goal, to be healthier, not just beautiful, not just sexy, not just attractive, but being healthier.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Well rounded.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah, being like overall with all your aspects.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Wonderful. Lily, that’s all the time we have. So I want to thank you for being on the show and thank you for sharing your amazing story. You’ve got such great photos. Keep up the good work. I mean, I feel like we have to have you back on the show again for another episode-

Lily Aspen:
Yeah, sure, we could discuss it like-

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
… year from now to see how it’s kind of panned out. It’s only been, what, three months? Is that right?

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Yeah. Like three months.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Yeah.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah.

Dr. Daniel Barrett:
Got it. All right. Wonderful. Thank you.

Lily Aspen:
Yeah. Thank you.

 

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