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.
EYELIDS and EAR LOBES: I used to think I had drooping eyelids because I inherited it. Well, guess what? As it turns out, I had no eyelids because the droopiness was just fat!
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
HopingforanewCindyMay 27, 2012
Thank you for another inspiring post! You look absolutely wonderful and sounds like you are having the time of your life now! I am still trying to decide whether or not to have my surgery which is scheduled for June 7th…all the “what ifs” are kicking in. I also know I cannot continue to live or should I say not live my life this way. I have lost and gained weight so many times in my life and somehow think this will be another one of those times, we become programmed into this thinking after dieting all of our lives.
I wish you and your husband the best and you WILL be one of those gorgeous women in Amsterdam that you wrote about in one of your earlier posts when you move there.
Thanks again for taking the time to do this blog and sharing your journey.
queenofcropMay 27, 2012
Aloha Cindy…..I’m so sorry you aren’t convinced this is 100% for you, but only you can make this decision and I’m sure you will make the right one. If there is anything I can do to help, please let me know. And thank you for the vote of confidence……much appreciated.
richMay 28, 2012
Cindy ..Let me tell you if you have any doubt forget them. It has been the best thing for my wife and I. She had a VSG in October and is doing great pyhsically, mentally and emotionally. Sex for me is terrific… better than in our 20’s and we are in our late 60’s. We both eat less..have more energy…amd excersize more…all good stuff. This was done for health reasons but there are so many other side benifits its unbelievable. Its too bad a pill could not have done this but at least this has worked for us and worth every cent we paid.
Just Do it and you will have no regrets!!!!1
HopingforanewCindyJune 3, 2012
Thank you Queen of Crop and Rich…I think most people must go through this thought process before surgery and I know the decision is ultimately up to me. If I don’t have it then I continue to live like this, which I don’t want. I want to be able to enjoy life. I know what it feels like to be thin as I have lost weight off and on throughout my life. One time losing 90 lbs and keeping it off for ten years until my thyroid started acting up. I used to love being so active and participating in my own life and want that back.
Rich that is wonderful that you and your wife are doing so wonderful!!! I am sure it changes everything in your relationship and you can do things that you have always wanted to but your weight was holding you back. It sounds like the surgery has helped the both of you so much and is encouraging to hear as both my spouse and I are suppose to have the surgery too. The surgery sounds like it has given you both a new lease on life and you are doing the things you enjoy.
Doing the pre op diet has thrown me for a loop because I have no energy and wonder if this is the way it would be after surgery. Not to mention being hypothryoid and on a med for diabetes I am sure played a factor into how I was feeling. I just don’t want to feel that way after surgery but my surgeon said she would take me off from my diabetes med so hopefully my blood sugars won’t be so low.
Anyways sorry to go on with my story…it is wonderful to hear the surgery has helped you all so much. Thank you for all of your advice and words of encouragement, I appreciate it very much!
queenofcropJune 5, 2012
We’re here for you Cindy if you need us!!!!