Waipio Valley: one of THE MOST picturesque places in the world, it also boasts the steepest road in the United States at a 25% grade, so the best way to get to the valley is to hike down, and we did just that yesterday! We always try to celebrate our birthdays by doing something outdoors, so we celebrated my husband’s special day with a 3-1/2 hour hike in this very special place. Waipio is known to be a spiritual place where many Hawaiian ancestors are buried and it is home to a very few dedicated Hawaiian farmers who still harvest the taro plant (poi, the staple of the Hawaiian diet, is made from this plant). One my favorite songs in the world is very revered here in the islands and is about a waterfall in Waipio called Hi’ilawe. Click HERE to the hear the version they used for the movie The Descendants (which we loved by the way; as people who live here we thought it was very realistic).
I’ve done well this week getting most of my protein in, exercising regularly for an hour a day, not to mention a 3-1/2 mile hike down and up the steepest road in the US, and I still just lost one lb! This last 10-15 lbs is hanging on for dear life!!!! Maybe it’s the fat that’s been there the longest and it’s determined not to go! I may have to give up my beloved treat every day to get to my goal, but I hope not….
So, as I was giving my body a total head-to-toe workout on the hike, I decided that I wanted to talk about how this surgery has affected my body (on the outside anyway) from HEAD TO TOE at 7 months out. So here it goes (please keep in mind, everyone is different, so this is just MY experience):
HAIR: I can’t say I’m thrilled with my hair but I am grateful it’s not noticeable by anyone but me. First of all, I haven’t dyed it since a month before surgery (last September) and there is gray creeping in around the front. My suggestion to all of you who are post-op is to dye it before your surgery so you won’t have to worry about it for a while. Also, right at 4 months on the nose, my hair starting falling out. Pretty bad for about 10 days, but since then, I just notice strands in the tub and sink where I never did before. I think I’ve lost about 30% of what I had, but again, only I notice it, and most of my hair loss is right around my temples so I really have to work at hiding that. I started taking Biotin about 3 months out, but I think people should start earlier (it’s a teeny pill you put under your tongue so you can start taking it right away). I have also gone to washing my hair every 3 days with a Biotin shampoo instead of two, and that helps. I thought about extensions but my hair dresser nixed it as it’s too stressful on your hair.
I even lost weight in my ear lobes!!! Seriously, who would have thought you could lose weight in your ear lobes? But I have… I just had my second hole re-done (what a deal…. $25 at Walmart – includes the earrings!). And my lobes are not nearly as thick as they used to be.
It’s so funny how you notice things you would never have thought of before!
FACE and NECK and SHOULDERS: Probably the single most noticeable feature in my weight loss is in my face and neck. OMG, what a difference! I need to do a ‘happy dance’ on this one! This happened very early on; my face slimmed down and I lost an entire neck; in fact, I lost 2.5 inches from my neck and who knows what happened that second chin I was carrying around for such a long time? I’m happy that the skin on my face isn’t sagging, but my neck is a little wrinkly, but hey, I’m getting old too! I do remember looking in the mirror last year about this time and being distressed that my face looked so bloated. (OK, so did the rest of my body, but you can’t hide your face behind clothes….). The other thing I’ve noticed, which was a big surprise….is that I can feel and see my collarbone! It’s like a new body part I’ve discovered! And my shoulders don’t slump anymore; I can carry a shoulder strap and it stays on my shoulder. I had never realized that having extra weight rounded my shoulders instead of made them square, I just thought it was how I was built. OH! The things you learn!
BOOBS: Yikes…..I’ll spare you the photo, but just picture two deflated balloons and that will give you and idea of what I’m dealing with here! The worst physical side effect so far…..I love the way my tops fit; they don’t look half bad in a bra (now size 36C!) and I feel quite good in sexy lingerie…..as long as I don’t remove it (LOL)! I have NO idea what to do about this; I don’t think exercise is going to win over gravity at this point……I may look into surgery if they get too weird, but for now; I’ll just live with it.
UPPER ARMS: Jiggly, jiggly, jiggly and wrinkly. I am faithfully doing strength training with weights every other day and I think they are a nano-milimeter-teeny-weeny better. But they still have the bat wing thing going on. Good thing we’re moving from Hawaii for most of the year; I don’t think sleeveless things are going to be in my future much!
TUMMY AND SCARS: WARNING: UGLY PHOTO AHEAD!!!! At the risk of posting too many Thumbs Down icons, I have to say this is another area that isn’t very exciting. First, my stomach still distends more than I think it should at this weight (but my mom’s did as well and she was 103 lbs!). But my scars make me feel like Frankenstein’s bride! Not that I plan on wearing a lot of bikinis, but I do hope they’ll go away. I use an oil on them every day, but they are still really noticeable (even the top scar still shows where my bandage was! Does anyone else have this?). Any suggestions on scar fading would be appreciated….I’ve heard most don’t work and you just have to wait a couple of years.
VAGINA:Don’t read this if you think it’s too personal, but hey, it’s a body part and in my opinion, it’s an important one! This is an area that I think some women are in complete denial about, but I wasn’t, I was just clueless! I was so focused on why my clothes didn’t fit, and why I looked so bad, and couldn’t move, that I never even realized how much fat had accumulated down there! I don’t have the odor or the discharge that I had before, it isn’t sweaty down there any more and sex is so much more fun for both of us!!! So this area gets a full THUMBS UP!!!
HIP, KNEES AND FEET: These things get a good big Thumbs up and a small Thumbs down. My mobility issues with my hip, knees and feet were a big factor in my decision to have this surgery because I was getting to the point where I literally couldn’t walk! You can’t live in Amsterdam if you can’t move around by walking, biking or running for a tram….all while you are among some of the healthiest people in the world. Now that I am 73 lbs lighter, I can do all these things easily; BUT, I still have to baby one knee a little bit and my hip still hurts a little. My feet are great. I don’t want to have surgery so I’m doing everything else I can (including acupuncture!) to figure this out. All in all though, I am 90% better than I was!
So even though I have a number of Thumbs Down on this blog, how do I REALLY feel? If you have been reading my blog, you know the answer is a complete TWO THUMBS UP!!!! Sagging boobs and jiggly arms are a small price to pay for all the wonderful other things you get from this, and I’ve only talked about external body parts without even talking about internal organs and diseases!
We’re off to Maui next week, so stay tuned for all of you who enjoy hearing about the islands…..our hats go off and our hearts go out to all the soldiers and their families who are in our military or who have lost a loved one, especially if they have lost that loved one in a war. It’s Memorial Day weekend and a reminder to spend as many precious moments as we can with those we love.
A hui hou,
Queen of Crop