This is it. Today is our last day of living in Hawaii; we most likely won’t be back for quite some time. We’ve lived here for the last 11 years and tonight we head off into the sunset and board a flight that will take us exactly half-way ’round the world to our new home in The Netherlands. All week people have been asking us if we’re excited, and the honest truth is yes, but nervous as well about making such a huge, life-changing decision… HMMM, sounds a little like weight loss surgery! That turned out well, so we’re hoping this does too!
Moving to a foreign country is a big decision. It’s taken us 6 months to downsize, organize, throw out, give away, sell or pass on to family half of our accumulated items. In one way it feels great to be so organized and streamlined and in other ways, it’s sad to see things that mean a lot to you go away. Like anyone who moves to another country, I’ve been going through everything I own and making a decision on whether or not it makes sense to ship it 9,000 miles t the other side of the world. But unlike most people, I have also had to go through every item of clothing I had and make a decision on each item. In the past year, I’ve gotten a whole new wardrobe and have given away or donated most all of my old clothes. But there are some things I just can’t seem to part with; some I’ve been able to have tailored and others I’m keeping for a while. It’s been many months of making a hundred decisions every day for items that only mean something to me, no one else.
We played a bit this week: had a good hike up Diamond Head. I was walking behind a couple who had a 3-year old child on the shoulders of the man; I said hello and then asked them how much their little boy weighed. Turns out he weighed 28 lbs, which means when I first did this hike years ago at over 200 lbs I was carrying the equivalent of THREE LITTLE BOYS!!!
One of the items on my bucket list was to go swimming at Waikiki this week. Almost 12 years living in Hawaii and I’ve been in the ocean about 5 times… pathetic isn’t it? I’m afraid of the ocean but love swimming, so I went to the most protected part of popular Waikiki Beach (probably meant for little kids!). It has a cement breakwater so there’s no surf or undertow and it’s only about 4 feet deep. I had a great time and felt just fine in my strapless swimsuit instead of feeling like a beached whale!
I wanted to thank everyone for the great comments, feedback and notes of congratulations that came in last week on my blog. Many people asked if I will be continuing my blog after a year, and the answer is yes and no. Even though I am on Week 50, I’ll continue through to the beginning of November which will officially be one year after my surgery, and I may blog from time to time if I feel I have something of value to offer. There’s so little information out there on the Vertical Sleeve that for me, I read whatever I can to help educate me. I’m still learning all the time and am happy to share. I’ve had a great time writing it; it’s so interesting to go back and see how things progressed month after month and I have been inspired by the stories I hear from my readers. And since I have had such great success with this surgery it gives me an opportunity to possibly help others when they are in the process of deciding if this is right for them. The honest truth is we so rarely read anything that isn’t positive from sleevers outside the odd complication now and then.
One thing I will share with you now: I was looking at some photos taken of me last December, 2 months after surgery. I weighed about 175 lbs and I felt so thin at the time. Now here I am at 141 lbs (stayed the same as last week) and I often feel fat and flabby. I’ve reached my goal weight and yet I want to lose another 5-10 lbs because I can tell I need to. Logically I understand it. At 175 I was 50 lbs less than my highest weight and I hadn’t seen that number in 25 years; it was new and exciting! Now my mind and my body have adjusted to that of a thinner person and I am much more aware of a 1-2 lb. gain or loss than I ever was as a heavy person. Ten lbs to a 200+ lb person is less than 5% of their body weight; at 140 it’s 14%, so any gain or loss has a bigger impact when you are of a normal weight. (And let’s face it, when we were heavy and gained a lb or two, we would just roll our eyes, say WTF, be depressed and go eat some chocolate.) Now, if I gain a lb or two, it gets my attention! So as your body changes, your mind becomes more finely tuned as well.
Well no matter how thin I get, one thing I know is I’ll never be tall, and where I’m going, they’re all tall! I’ll miss all the short Asian people here in Hawaii; in fact our condo is in Chinatown so at almost 5’4″ I’m not looking up at very many people here. But in 48 hours we’ll be in the land of thin, beautiful TALL Dutch women; at least I’m going back 82 lbs less, and knees, feet and a hip that works this time… so I’ll just need to buy me some cool boots with a high heel and hold my head up as high as I can as I walk or bike those cobblestone streets along the canals!
This is the last post that I will sign with A HUI HOU, the Hawaiian saying for UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN; next week, I’ll sign off from Amsterdam!
A HUI HOU,
QUEEN OF CROP
AndreaSeptember 30, 2012
Congratulations again on your phenomenal achievement! I’m down only 60 lbs and although I have another 20 or so to go, I feel and look better then I have in years. Please continue to blog weekly when you arrive in Amsterdam. I love your posts and – never having been to Amsterdam – I’m really looking forward to hearing about your adjustment to living in a city as opposed to the big island. We vacation in HI every summer, so I know what life is like in paradise. I am guessing that Amsterdam is a beautiful place to live otherwise you would’ve chosen someplace else. So please keep up your blog. I’m sure you have amassed a lot of followers :-)).
Best of luck to you and your husband. You are such a cute couple.
Karen AllisonSeptember 30, 2012
Alison HaySeptember 30, 2012
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your blog and as a 5′ 2″ scot whose starting weight was similar to yours (I am now 5 months post-vsg) I have also gained a lot from following you.
I wholeheartedly wish you well in Amsterdam and am hopeful that you will continue to blog. I understand that you are sort of at the end of your weightloss journey and just want to get on with living life but you have a gift for this medium and I for one would love to hear how you adjust to living in Amsterdam aside from weightloss. It’s like reading a regular article in a quality magazine:)
Safe journey and I look forward to hearing the continuing adventures of Queen of Crop…
CarlaSeptember 30, 2012
Many blessings to you as you move into your next phase in life! I’m excited for you!
I know this blog was meant to chronicle your first year after VSG. But I do hope you continue to blog about life in Amsterdam and your travels. It’s such an interesting journey. But if you find you’re too busy living to be blogging, well I for one ain’t mad at ya! ;-D
Safe travels, and a hui hou to you!!