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
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.
It honestly has taken me a full year to feel like a normal thin person, maybe because we have been ‘on the road’ and not settled down for more than a few months for the entire year, or maybe it just takes this long for your stomach to heal and your brain to catch up with your body. Most things taste good again; I have an eating routine that seems to work well for me (even though any nutritionist or Weight Watcher person would not approve, or even some of the diehards on the forum, for that matter). But I am at a healthy weight and have maintained that for over a month, and my blood work is good, so I’m sticking to my daily afternoon coffee and cookies, a glass of wine a few times a week and popcorn! It’s interesting to see how little I ate a year ago at this time and what I eat now; the photo on the right is a very normal lunch for me and it’s a nice size salad and crackers. I can eat in mixed company and no one would question how little I eat, and I really can eat or drink almost anything.
But I do have to pay attention because I now know I have the ability to overeat and have to consciously tell myself that I am satisfied (and not keep eating because it tastes good!). I’m eating similarly to when I was fat (which was never horrible but not perfect). The difference is that I eat about a third of the portions and I rarely eat pasta, rice or potatoes. Plus I exercise regularly. I weigh myself every single day (here comes that wagging finger from the WW lady! Always a no-no for those of you were on WW… and come on, WE ALL WERE AT SOME POINT!).
I sure didn’t feel normal a year ago when I was still in the hospital in Frankfurt, Germany, recovering from my surgery. Unlike many of my readers who have the surgery in the US or Mexico and have a 2-3 day hospital stay, mine was 8 days! And looking back it was like going through a weird dream; remember, I had very little time to prepare for my surgery. Those of you who have to wait are probably more mentally prepared than I was when I just ‘jumped in!’ Sort of like being thrown into a lake to learn to swim! (Even still, I was more excited for my future than freaked about what I was doing…) I am so grateful to have had that extra time in the hospital; I felt very well-cared for and on day 5 or 6 I developed a severe bladder infection that needed to be treated. Here I am a year later, 83 lbs lighter, but coincidentally, I have ANOTHER bladder infection!
I feel the need to tell all of you how I think I got these infections (my advance apologies to the men who read my blog). One of the reasons I do this blog is to share information because I have learned so much from other people’s blogs and posts. At the risk of TMI because it isn’t pretty, here it goes: ladies, wipe from front to back… not back to front! Believe it or not, I didn’t learn this until I was in my 30’s. But once in a while, if you have weird bowel movements (and we do after this surgery), if you’re not careful it’s easy to get the bacteria from your stools into your urethra; I think this is what happened to me. These infections are not fun; you have to go to the doctor to get antibiotics, it takes a couple of weeks for them to go away, and if they are not treated they can become a very serious infection affecting your kidneys.
IMPORTANT — I NEED YOUR HELP! I’ve been thinking about this blog and what to do with it. I still have a little bit of a story to tell and would like to continue until the first of the year (we have some fun trips to Germany, Prague and Switzerland coming up!). But I know there are so many other interesting stories out there that we can all learn from. If you are a good writer and take a lot of photos, and if you would like to send me ‘your’ story, I would love to continue this blog with stories from others. To get an idea of what I would be looking for, see my ABOUT ME page. Just leave a comment here that you’re interested and I’ll contact you. There is so little information out there that doing something like this might help others so they can see all types of people, ages, gender and how this has affected all of our lives. Looking forward to hearing from you!
The sun just came out (although it’s still a chilly 40 degrees… very cold for this Hawaiian-blooded wahine) but I’ll put one of my new coats on, throw on a scarf and boots, and brave the weather!
Tot die tijd! (Until then)
Queen of Crop
(Click on photos to enlarge)