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15 months Post-Op – Amsterdam – 61 kilos – January 2013

Beautiful Vondelpark in the snow.

Beautiful Vondelpark in the snow.

HELLO EVERYONE! I wrote my last weekly post at the end of 2012 and then was amazed at how many new readers signed up for my blog when I announced I was no longer going to write weekly. So I thought I would pop in at the end of each month with an update on post-op sleeve life, which is a lot different than life the first year after surgery. I’ve really enjoyed the first real winter here in Amsterdam (and first real winter in all my 59 years!)… the snow has been beautiful and I’ve managed to learn how to dress to stay warm.

But as I start the new year in a new country and a new climate, this is how I’m affected by my post-surgery life:

  • My ‘New’ Normal
  • Breast lift is on the horizon
  • Looking for interesting stories
Our lunch every day is a salad...this is lunch in our new house with no furniture yet...note the cut out on the floor where the baby grand piano will go!

Our lunch every day is a salad… this is lunch in our new house with very little furniture yet!

MY NEW NORMAL: I have to say that, for me anyway, it really took a year, maybe even 14 months, to feel fully healed from the surgery. I can’t say that I truly enjoyed eating much for the first year, but it didn’t bother me, either, because the trade-off was so huge. Now, 15 months post-op, I have a pretty good routine down. There isn’t anything I can’t eat; even pasta and rice are fine. When I do have either, it’s just a few bites and I’m satisfied. I never thought I would ‘crave’ protein, but I can tell when I need it. I eat an egg for breakfast 2-3 times a week, often with a piece of toast and a couple pieces of bacon. Other days, I just have some yogurt with a little granola on top or some cheese and a cracker. I always eat a half an apple on my way home from the gym. But of course every morning starts off with coffee and cream!

Homemade cookies from Vienna sent by a couchsurfer friend! YUM!

Homemade cookies from Vienna sent by a couchsurfer friend. YUM!

Lunch is always a small salad with two rice crackers. Dinner always a little protein with vegetables. And I still have my afternoon coffee and some sweet goodie — I notice sometimes it’s more than one cookie and I have to really watch it or I’ll eat too much — and I even have a sweet after dinner sometimes.

I have to laugh because all those years when I was really heavy I counted calories or points and read labels on everything — and I failed miserably at any diet. Now here I am living in a country that doesn’t require nutritional labels (and even if they did, I couldn’t read them in Dutch!) but now I’m thin! It’s actually really nice because I don’t obsess about what I eat, it just comes naturally. I know I can overeat but I usually don’t because it’s manageable now instead of overwhelming.

I weigh myself every morning… another no-no in the traditional world of trying to lose weight. I would like to lose a little more weight but I think it will happen organically once the weather gets nice and I am walking and biking more. I still go to the gym about 4X a week but I don’t want to push myself too much there because, when I do, it affects my hip. No one suspects anything when we go to dinner with friends, and that’s really nice. I eat like a normal small person.

BREAST LIFT HERE I COME! Never in my life did I think I would have breast surgery… especially implants! I really did understand how women with small breasts would want to have nicer ones, but mine were always big and dense and even though I was fat, they weren’t bad.

This is one of the rooms in the plastic surgeons office...too bad the chandelier doesn't show in the photo!

This is one of the rooms in the plastic surgeon’s office… too bad the chandelier doesn’t show in the photo!

After losing 85 lbs, it’s a completely different story. UGH! I finally have a thin (if not firm) body and I have these two appendages hanging down to my knees… so off I went to the plastic surgeon. His office looked like a ballroom in Vienna — very fancy, high ceilings with crown moldings and chandeliers. I figured there was NO way I could afford this…

First he examined my breasts. Things are so different here in Europe… I’m sitting on one side of his desk telling him my story and he’s nodding and then says, “Well, take off your top and let me have a look!” So just sitting there at his desk I take my top off and he comes around and starts doing his thing… no nurse, no paper robe, just “take your top off”! I was thinking that most men would envy him his career choice!

Then I found out that the cost is only 5400 Euros; you spend one night in the hospital and six weeks wearing a sport bra… sign me up! I need to do a little more research on the product, etc. But I’m hoping after we move into the new house and get settled I’d like to have it done… maybe in May. Stay tuned!

In front of Krankenhaus Sachsenhausen..the hospital where I had my surgery-photo taken at my one year check up.

In front of Krankenhaus Sachsenhausen, the hospital where I had my surgery. Photo taken at my one-year check-up.

DO YOU HAVE AN INTERESTING STORY? I would love to share it. At this point, I have a pretty big following, so you would be reaching lots of people, many who are still deciding if this is right for them. There are so many people out there who are going through this or considering it, and everyone has taken a different road to get to this decision. If you have an interesting story that might inspire someone else (I would love to share a story from a guy’s perspective!) let me know. I was thinking about something along the lines of my ABOUT ME page… something that recaps where you were, how far you have gone on this, and where you are today, even if you haven’t reached your goal. Before and After photos are always welcome. Send a note to

Hope the new year is starting off healthy and happy for each and every one of you. We have some fun adventures coming up this year — one is a bike and barge trip through France. That trip along with our move to Amsterdam would have been much more difficult had I not had this surgery… something I will always be so grateful for in my life.

I’ll make another post in about a month… in the meantime, would love to post about someone else!

Tot ziens!

Queen of Crop

Click on photos to enlarge

5 Responses
  • swizzly
    January 26, 2013

    Oh my husband would DIE to go on a barge/bike trip. Do you have a link for the tour company? I was wondering about your salad dressing — can you get that kind in Amsterdam or did you bring it from the US with you? Good luck with the breast lift, that sounds pretty cool actually. My doctors here are always just asking me to get naked right then and there too — I’m still not used to it even though I expect it by now. 😀

  • Stephanie
    March 3, 2013

    I just want to tell you how much I’ve enjoyed your weekly blog. Normally, I’m not a “commenter,” as my thoughts are usually private. I wanted you to know how much your posts have inspired my weight loss journey. Like you, I research over a year for an answer to my weight dilemma. I found VSG, verticalsleevetalk, and your blog at the same time. I looked forward to my Sunday notifications of a new blog post. You, along with the VSG community, inspired my decision to muster up enough courage to trust the process. To date, its been the best decision. As of this month, I am one year post op. Thank you for your courage to make your journey public. Although I never commented, your blog has been a source of weekly inspiration (and much envy of your various fabulous locales)! Thank you!

    • queenofcrop
      March 5, 2013

      Hello Stephanie! Thank you for writing…it’s always such a gift to get an comment like yours; so even though you normally don’t respond, I want you to know how much I appreciate that I might have had some impact on inspiring you. I love hearing success stories and to date, I have not heard one person regret getting sleeved. How lucky we are!

  • Fiona Duncan
    March 6, 2013

    THANK YOU for writing this blog and for your candid honesty.
    I relate so much, I am 54 yrs old, started at 220lbs, 5ft 0inches short and have had increasing pain in my feet and knees these last few years. My epiphany has been the birth of my first grandchild and the sad realisation that I simply find getting down on the floor (and particularly getting back up!) extremely difficult. I don’t feel confident handling a growing, wriggling toddler.
    I have been in denial about the impact of my weight for years, especially playing the “but I don’t drink, don’t smoke and eat healthily” card. It was a delusion which has finally been faced head on and I had surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago.
    I was terrified of the surgery, mainly because it felt somehow “wrong” to mutilate a healthy organ (my stomach), but I kept in mind the consequences for me of NOT doing this.
    I am so glad I went ahead, I know there are no certainties about the future, but I really believe this is my chance to protect my future.
    Like you I have only told a few close friends and immediate family and also relate to your discomfort about concealing this information. i don’t know yet whether i will “come out”, for now this feels the “safe” option.
    Thank you again for sharing your journey, I have found it interesting and so honest (and you seem like a woman I can really relate to).
    I wish you and your husband the very best in your new home in Amsterdam

    • queenofcrop
      March 6, 2013

      Hello Fiona!

      Dank u wel for your nice comments on my blog and congratulations on having the surgery…in time you will be more comfortable with your decision; and will also probably realize even deeper the denial we all got ourselves into.

      This coming year will be a lot of fun for you…new discoveries every day with your body, your mind, your spirit, your out look, your whole life! I wish I would have done this at 54….but 58 worked too!

      Keep me posted, good luck, remember you will have a few days where you will feel very tired and probably throw up a few times….but those are much fewer than all the positive things you will experience!

      Tot zo!


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