Week 54 – Amsterdam – 63 kilos AT GOAL – October 28, 2012

We love walking in this city, but nighttime is just magical!

It’s cold here in Amsterdam! Coming from Hawaii it’s going to take me a bit to get used to this and it’s not even winter yet! I have only bought 3 new pieces of clothing since I’ve been here: two coats and a thermal undershirt! Right now, I’m liking wearing real clothes again and I have always loved scarves around my neck so no real complaints, just need to get used to it. My husband and I love walking around this city, especially in the evening; the architecture, the lights and the ambiance are continual reminders why we chose Amsterdam as our new home.

I am in the first week of my second year post-surgery. I’m starting to feel like a normal person, as if my body has finally morphed into the person I always thought I was! I was lucky (or just stupid) that I never believed my weight got in the way of whatever I felt I could do, but now I know better. Let’s face it, no

Your kitty might not care if you’re really heavy, but everyone else does.

matter how competent we are, when you are really heavy it gets in the way of career advancement, relationship opportunities, having deeper relationships with others, AND yourself. The only one who truly does not care even a little tiny bit is your cat! Even if your loved ones tell you they love you no matter what size you are (and they do!) it doesn’t mean they aren’t concerned for your well-being and future health.

Week 53 – Amsterdam – ONE YEAR SURGIVERSARY! – 63 kilos – At Goal – October 21, 2012

Taken at Vondelpark on my daily walk… it’s nice to experience autumn after 10 years in Hawaii!

It was exactly a year ago this week that we left Amsterdam for Frankfurt after deciding that the only way I would ever get my weight problem solved is to go the route of weight loss surgery. I was going through a million different emotions this time last year. My marriage was going through a weird time… we were talking more than we ever had in 24+ years of being together; it was good but awful at the same time. I was having this huge internal conflict with myself because my personality always projected a lot of confidence; if you put me in a room with a lot of people, I would always be one of the more social people there. I liked being the leader, boss, ‘traffic director’ in most situations. But being in Europe where people are tall and thin and fit, not to mention fascinating and multilingual, my normal self-confidence took a total nose-dive as I limped along on my bad knees, feet and hip! I didn’t want to go places, I just wanted to stay in, sit in a corner and not be noticed for the first time in my life. But we were finally retired! We were traveling for a year and I was in Europe! We were seeing friends!  How could I not be happy?

My inner conflict about my life is gone! I love my life! (especially after my spa day!)

So I fought with myself: I loved my life. Wait, no, I hated my life! One moment I felt like the luckiest person in the world, the next I was having a pity party for myself. So, it was time to say “enough already!!!!” I signed on the dotted line, had the surgery, and now, I love my life ALL THE TIME.

Yesterday I celebrated my 59th birthday and for the first time in my entire life I ate some birthday cake without feeling guilty and had my first birthday as a thin person. (It still feels weird to say that!) My husband gave me the most amazing gift: a hamam massage! Long-time readers will remember I did this once before in Berlin last November… well today, I am going to try to explain in detail just how heavenly this is.

Week 52 – ONE YEAR! – Amsterdam – 63 kilos – October 14, 2012

Two passport photos, the left one taken in Oct 2011, the right one in Oct 2012!

Wow, Week 52. A year ago I started writing this blog and have faithfully written it every Sunday.

In the past year I have been in 7 different countries, lived in 9 different places, lost 83 lbs, reached my goal weight, and have been living a new, healthier life. WHAT A YEAR!!!

Two passport photos taken EXACTLY ONE YEAR APART, one last October, one last week... need I even say more???

When I started this blog last year I didn’t know what to expect. Unlike many people I have met on the forum, I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about weight loss surgery before I had it. In 4 weeks, I went from learning about WLS, thinking I would get the band, changing to the Vertical Sleeve, reading the forum every day, to having the surgery and then BOOM! My life changed week by week after that. I was self-pay so there were no pre-approvals needed. I paid the money and off I went!

Is it any wonder we want to live here? One of the many canals of Amsterdam.

It all started here in Amsterdam exactly a year ago, and although I wasn’t at my highest weight of 223 lbs, I might as well have been; I was 203 lbs and the fattest person in the room everywhere we went. Worse, my hips, knees and feet hurt all the time, which doesn’t work well in a city of tall, thin beautiful people and a place where you walk, bike or run to catch the tram. Then there were the pity parties of wondering why I was so fat when I was eating like all these thin healthy-looking people??? I was happy to be on a European adventure but conflicted at the same time.

Feeling much better about myself this time around in beautiful Amsterdam!

Fast forward one year. After being ‘sleeved’ in Germany on October 25, 5 days after my 58th birthday,  we then spent a couple of months traveling through Europe, then to the US mainland traveling there for another couple of months, then back to Hawaii for the last 6 months. Now here we have relocated to the Netherlands… but this time, I can MOVE!!! We walk or bike everywhere. It’s great because I can tell already that being here is going to help me keep my weight off; I even lost another lb. this week! What a difference this surgery has made in my life. Now when I see a steep flight of stairs? No problem! We walk to dinner, to shop, to anywhere… and it’s FINE; it feels great to walk at a nice clip and even in shoes with heels that look good (read: not ugly tennis shoes!). The best part is my self-confidence is strong again and my husband is happier to have me so much healthier as well. I’ll never be tall, but at least I’m not the big self-concious blob I was last year.

Week 51 – Amsterdam – 64 kilos – October 7, 2012

Beautiful canals and bikes everywhere!

Goedemorgen from Holland! Last Sunday we left Hawaii and spent the next 2 days traveling to our new home in Amsterdam, landing here on Tuesday morning. We had two long flights, a long layover and a hiccup on this end getting into our apartment, but after an afternoon nap and dinner with a friend, we were pretty much on the European time zone by Wednesday. I’m not sure my stomach was in agreement with that, but my brain was doing OK.

Toasting our first night in town with our Dutch friend Frank!

I’m so surprised I didn’t gain any weight this week because all I did on the trip over was snack; I felt I was snacking or drinking coffee all the time. And of course I haven’t exercised once yet and I can really feel it. (It feels good that I am eager to get back out there in a routine!) Actually, I’m feeling like a fat person again… could be the tall, gorgeous Dutch women (this sure messed with my mind last year!) or it could be just that I am so much more aware of my body and what I’m capable of doing to it, good and bad!

So here we are in the land of kilos, grams, liters, kilometers, Celsius, the euro and a foreign language! I put my weight in kilos at the top because that’s the standard here and I need to get used to it (it converts to 141 lbs). It’s not a difficult conversion: take your weight in lbs. and divide it by 2.2. I’m thinking that a personal long-term goal for me would be 59 kilos or 132 lbs. I like the sound of being under 60 kilos, but also I am now seeing that indeed, I really should lose a little more weight and that seems like the right number.