Week 23 of 52 – Hilo – March 25, 2012 – 157 lbs

Feeling healthy and enjoying nature in Hilo at Rainbow Falls

Some people may have left their heart in San Francisco, but exactly 5 months ago today I left 85% of my stomach in Frankfurt, Germany. Now here I am in Hilo, Hawaii, half way around the world and I don’t want it back!!!

For the most part, at 5 months post-op, I feel great!  I know what I can eat and can’t eat (but always learning too).  My husband came up with a new acronym when he sees a certain look on my face after a meal:  OBTM (One Bite Too Many….I need to listen to my stomach and not eat that one last bite that will make me feel uncomfortable).  I never feel deprived, my energy level is back, and I’m happy with how my weight loss is progressing (note: I am back on the 1 lb a week loss again even though I have worked out every day; but I’m happy with that and if it continues until I reach goal; then how good is that?).  I love the compliments but try to quickly diffuse the conversation when people comment on my weight because I still feel a bit weird about it.  It’s funny, some people who haven’t seen me for a while, or maybe they feel funny about commenting on my weight loss will say “You look great!  Love your new hair cut!” 

Week 22 of 52 – Hilo – March 18, 2012 – 158 lbs

Beautiful Hilo Bay with snow-capped Mauna Kea in the background

Aloha all from sweet little Hilo town on the Big Island!  This is where we lived for 10 years before embarking on our ‘year of travel’ this past 13 months.  So now after being in large world-class cities like Seattle, Vancouver, Boston, Zurich, and Amsterdam, we have come full circle and are back in this historic little town of 30,000 people on the East side of the Big Island (also know as the island of Hawaii).


We are only here for 3-5 months; long enough to sort through our belongings and make the move back to Amsterdam.  We’ve rented a two bedroom condo overlooking Hilo Bay (the little building you see in the middle on the far side of the bay is where we are currently living).  We can walk into town AND it has a gym! And I give the gym all the credit for me losing not 1 BUT 2 lbs this week!  It’s taken me 4 months post-surgery but I am finally exercising regularly.  I used the treadmill for 30 minutes (today I did a mile in just under 17 minutes!) and every other day I do weight lifting and my stretch bands.  It’s making a difference in my energy level as well.  And I have to say, wearing sleeveless things again is a great motivator to get my flabby arms toned up; I look like I have ‘flaps’ on my upper arms!

Week 21 of 52 – Waikiki – March 11, 2012 – 160 lbs

Diamond Head crater in the background over looking Waikiki Beach


Aloha again from the island of Oahu; I have four pieces of very exciting news for Week 22!!



#1:  For the first time in 25 years I weigh less than my husband!  My husband has never had a weight problem, but he has also managed his weight over the years.  He runs regularly and if he gains 2,3 or 5 lbs he immediately cuts back until he loses it so it doesn’t get out of hand.  People think he’s naturally thin; and I guess he is; but he loves to eat, loves sweets and if he didn’t watch it, he would have gained those 5 lbs a year just like I did and would have had a weight problem right along with me.  I really admire how he just ‘nips it in the bud’ before it gets out of hand.  But today, we both got on the scale and even though I’m only 5’3″ and he’s 6′, and I lost only one more pound this week, it still felt great to finally weigh less than him (and I only weigh one pound less…!).


My husband and me on the Diamond Head hike

#2: We hiked Diamond Head crater this week and it I felt great going up and down; passing lots of people along the way, not feeling out of breath, and I made it to the top in about 25 minutes!  Diamond Head is an extinct volcano near Waikiki; it’s only about a two mile hike, but it’s steep and climbs 560 feet from the crater floor to the top.  Then once you get to the top, you get to climb 72 stairs to the viewing area.  It was a wonderful hike and it sure felt good….I did this same hike a couple of years ago with a friend and I did OK, but I remember having to stop a couple of times along the way.

Photo taken on the Diamond Head walk July 2010

Photo taken on the Diamond Head walk March 2012












I use a little soy sauce dish to put my daily pills in and keep them on the counter to remind me to take them!

#3: Anyone who is 3 or 4 months or less post-op will love this one! For a month after my surgery, the thought of taking a pill, even a tiny pill, made me shudder.  I would get them out, put them in my cute little soy sauce dish on the counter, cut them if possible and then throughout the day ‘visit’ with them until I finally was able to get the nerve to choke them down one at a time.  I ordered the chewable vitamins and although I didn’t like them, at least it was easier than swallowing a pill.  As time went on, things got easier; I could take the small ones one at a time, then two at a time.

Now, at 4.5 months post op, I can take my entire plethora of supplements and pills in one gulp!  (I don’t take all of them at once as I do some in the morning, some at night, but I could!  So I’m here to tell all of you, that whatever the  restriction was (swelling?) it does go away!  I can also drink water and other things without any problems.

Week 20 of 52 – Honolulu – March 4, 2012 – 161 lbs

Hanauma Bay is a popular place for snorkeling… and of course very picturesque!

ALOHA FROM HONOLULU!!!  We got back to Hawaii after our 13 month absence last Thursday and got situated in our condo where we will be for the next week.  It’s so nice to be in a place with stuff we OWN!!!  After a year of living in furnished places (and most were very nice) it feels good to be in a place that we can call our own.  Even though it’s an executive rental and rented to, well, an executive,  he has another house on the North Shore so he let us rent it back to him for the 10 days we’re here.


It’s been a busy few days; we went to the wedding (and I wore my new strapless dress and I felt great!).  We also went to see a favorite Bluegrass band called The Saloon Pilots play Friday night in Kailua; they did NOT disappoint.  My husband is a big fan and has missed that type of music while we were in Europe.  But here was my big aha!  I had a little salad, and a couple of bites of steak for dinner.  But I decided to have a margarita and drank half of it over the course of a couple of hours.  When I got back to record what I ate I was shocked that a half of a margarita was 270 calories!!!  WHOA……so this is how people gain their weight back with a sleeve; it isn’t stretching the stomach, it’s eating very high calorie / low volume food.  OK, then, I’ve had my last margarita for a while……and it shows me how important it is to track my food right now.  If I wasn’t tracking it, I would never have known I had the highest calorie day since I was sleeved.  (about 1300 calories that day).


Back to ‘cropping’ me out of photos again; next to Dr. Ito I had to!

So, the first day back, I went to the doctor because I am 4 months post op and was supposed to have my blood work done at 3 months….but since I was traveling, no could do.  I made an appointment with a new doctor (Dr. Jennifer Ito)   and saw her for the first time on Friday. WOW!  What a WONDERFUL experience!  The first thing I (or anyone!) would notice about her is that she’s incredibly beautiful.  But beyond her physical beauty, she has this amazing gift of making you feel like you are the most important thing in the world to her at that moment; and although you know she’s crazy busy she didn’t make me feel rushed at all.  She spent a long time with me asking me lots of questions; and it turns out she has other patients who have had WLS, so she seemed very familiar with the process and after care.  I’ll have a call with her this week to go over my blood work, but I was SO happy to have found her.  She loves her work and it shows.


I’ve been reading the forum quite a bit this past couple of weeks and I have to just say what an incredible resource it is.  At 4 months post op, you can start to feel a little cocky; you’ve been through the roughest part and now you’re almost healed and you think you know everything.  WRONG!  I learn so much every time I go on there and I so appreciate the responses I see to questions.