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Week 55 – Amsterdam – 63 Kilos AT GOAL – November 4, 2012

Taken right before surgery a year ago at 204 lbs. Not sure why I look so happy… I had lost about 19 lbs, but geez, I was still huge!

Taken this past week, at 138 lbs. I love my sleeve!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s so interesting to be starting Year 2 of MFFS: My Formerly Fat Self! Because I have kept a weekly blog faithfully every Sunday, I can now look back at exactly a year ago and see what I looked like and what I was feeling. When I read about some of the people on the forum who say they breezed right through surgery in a few days, went back to work in a week, could eat pasta and rice after a month or two, I think… wow, that WASN’T me!!!! My first few months were exciting because I could see the changes in my body, but I was tired, never knew what would upset my stomach (and a lot of stuff did), I couldn’t drink coffee or wine for several months, and at a year out I still can’t eat pasta or rice. It’s just as well, I make up for that by having coffee and cookies every day! But thinking about my life a year ago compared to today, I see a huge change in so many things (none of these are new or earth-shattering, but it’s wonderful to see what a difference a year can make in a life):

  • I’m healthier: no high cholesterol, no borderline HBP, knees and feet feel fine!
  • I exercise regularly and enjoy it. Last year I couldn’t even walk a few blocks without feeling winded or worrying about my feet or knees.
  • Last year I cringed at climbing stairs – even a few steps! And here in Amsterdam there are a lot of very steep stairways everywhere you go… now, I don’t even think about it.
  • I look much better and don’t feel as self-consciousness being back here in Europe, land of the tall and thin!
  • My marriage is better… we talk more, enjoy each other more, compliment each other more, and have more fun (and better sex!).
  • My brain has been rewired to think like a thin person (one of the best things that has happened). I now feel so much more in control of what I eat. It was one disappointment after another all those years I tried to diet and failed.
  • I can also admit (now, I couldn’t a year ago) how much denial I had been in about my weight. I guess I thought there was nothing I could do other than starve myself to lose weight, so I convinced myself that since I didn’t binge and ate pretty healthily, that this was the way my life was and I would always be fat. But I was continuing down a very destructive path.

 

Walking, biking or taking the tram is how we get around Amsterdam… cars are the minority… we love it!

After my surgery in Frankfurt, we came back to Amsterdam for a few weeks so I could recover. As long-time readers of this blog know, we then traveled for 3 or 4 months (not something I would recommend, but I wouldn’t have changed a minute of it either). Last March, we settled back into Hawaii to organize our move to Amsterdam. I find it interesting as I embark on Year 2 of my new life that we are back where it all started, this time to settle down. We bought a home, and although we will get our keys in December, our household goods won’t arrive from Hawaii until February! But in the meantime, we’re in a very nice apartment in a great location. We are out and about all the time, always walking to where we are going or walking to the tram. If you want to live an “organically” healthy life, move to a big city and ditch your car! You get a lot of exercise just going about your daily life — running errands, going to the store, going out at night — walking everywhere is great! We love this lifestyle.

 

I love that my gym has a bowl of apples as you walk out the door!

My daily routine is that I get up about 6:30 am, fix my coffee, and work on the computer for an hour or two. Then I go to the gym (about 3 blocks away). I do the treadmill for 45 minutes (I have also been trying out the elliptical machine again for about 15 minutes… but cautiously paying attention to how it affects my hip). Then every other day I will do weights for 20 minutes or the strength training machines on the opposite day. The gym has a bowl of apples right by the door, so I grab one of those and eat half of it on the way home and give the other half to my husband. I feel like the picture of good health when I am walking home after a workout eating an apple! About 9:30 I’ll have some breakfast: a egg and bacon a couple of times a week, sometimes yogurt and fruit, I’ve started having a piece of toast now and then, and on Sundays (if I weigh in at goal) we’ll splurge and have oatmeal with cream or pannekoeken (the Dutch version of pancakes, which are almost like a crepe; to be honest, they aren’t nearly as good as American pancakes, but once in a while it’s nice to have something different).

 

The cafe near our new home… enlarge the photo to check out the chandeliers!

We usually have lunch at home: a small salad and a couple of crackers for me, or sometimes I’ll have some soup. My favorite time is the middle of the afternoon… we will usually be out and about or we’ll simply go out and find a little cafe and have coffee and a goodie. There are a few Starbucks here, but there are many, many more places to go and just sit and have a coffee; very few have coffees to go. We laugh at all the different types of coffee names they have and still haven’t figured them all out. But let me tell you, they take their coffee seriously here! Everyone gets offered coffee. Shopping for a new bed and you get greeted with, “Coffee?” Cable guy comes to your house, he expects to be offered coffee. And when someone comes to visit, coffee AND a cookie are always on the agenda! Yes, these are my kinda people!

 

Then dinner comes and I have so little interest in dinner, which makes going out to dinner complicated. I just really want to have a glass of wine and a few crackers. But since I can’t do that, I’d like to just nibble off of my husband’s plate, but the little restaurants don’t understand that concept of sharing one entree. So I order the smallest thing I can and then he eats his and half of mine. Or we go to Chinese, Indian, or something where we can bring part of it home. Most of the time I’ll just fix fish or a meat and a vegetable at home. But I don’t eat much by the time dinner comes around; I’m not sure why… does this happen to anyone else?

 

We do eat a lot of salmon, but I really need to do a better job getting more protein in my diet!

Oh did you add up the protein in my day? Pathetic. I know I need to work on this.

So this is my life one year post-surgery. I go for my one-year checkup in Frankfurt on the 13th and I think I will get a clean bill of health. I wonder how I will feel walking back into that hospital again…

 

I’ll leave you with one more BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTO since I happen to have this same outfit with me. These two photos were taken exactly one year apart TO THE DAY…

Taken exactly one year ago today, right after surgery at 194 lbs.

Taken exactly a year to the day and 56 lbs apart!

Hoping this week is free of any natural disasters and that the power and normal lives are restored to those in the Northeast who were hit so hard by the storm. I am grateful every day for my life, and when natural disasters hit, you realize that there are some things you cannot control. To me, that says take action on the things you CAN control. If you need to make  a change in your life, find the resources to make it happen, and you may just dodge the bullet of your own internal disaster.

 

 

Tot die tijd!  (Until then)

Queen of Crop

(Click on photos to enlarge)

7 Responses
  • swizzly
    November 4, 2012

    You look great — and so much younger now. Well done! I do love living in the city and walking everywhere, with you on that one. However, my hungriest time of day is dinner time, and I can eat a lot between 6-8 pm. Probably down to the workday and the office hours. Love the cafe chandeliers!

  • Carla
    November 4, 2012

    Awesome pics, both of before/after’s and of Amsterdam. Life is good! May I ask, when you travelled after surgery, did you and the hubby travel slowly? By that I mean, did you stay in one place for several weeks at a time? Or was it more like 3 days here, 5 days there, 2 days at the next place, etc? I’ve been going back n forth on what I want to do but I’m thinking it might make more sense to travel slowly. Any thoughts or opinions based on your experience is appreciated.

    • queenofcrop
      November 5, 2012

      Hi Carla…thanks for your youtube the other day…it was fun to see you in action!

      We did both…we traveled for 14 months:

      3 months in Seattle
      6 weeks traveling by car from Seattle through Canada and the northern part of the US to Boston (2-3 nights in a place)
      1 month in Boston
      2 weeks in Switzerland (in one place)
      3 months in Amsterdam in two different places
      1 week in Frankfurt (for my surgery)
      3 weeks back in Amsterdam to recover in one place
      6 weeks traveling by train to Germany, Italy, Prague; usually 3-4 nights in each place
      2 weeks in Switzerland
      6 weeks traveling by car back from Boston to California going the southern route-2 to 3 nights in each place
      3 weeks in Seattle in one place
      4 months in Hawaii in one place

      The hardest part was the first 6 weeks traveling after surgery (highlighted in red). We had breakfast every morning at the hotel, but all I could eat was a few bites of yogurt and sometimes an egg. Finding something to eat for lunch and dinner was really tough in Italy, Germany and Prague because they are all small individually owned restaurants, no TGIF, Applebees, or something casual where they wouldn’t care if you shared a meal or had a cup of soup. But you’re at the point now where you can have more choices. I would just suggest always carrying a protein bar and water with you because you just never know where you will find those outside the US. I always carried a little container of protein powder too because it was the only way I could get any protein unless I ate an egg or some cheese.

      So the answer is, if you can do a little of both; stay in one place for a while and then travel for a while, I think that’s the best way. Good luck and of course, let us know if you make it to Amsterdam!

      Q of C

  • Andrea
    November 5, 2012

    I agree-you look years younger. I took a picture with my friends on Thanksgiving Day last year and couldn’t believe how heavy I looked in the picture. I always blamed the camera angle! Less than a year later I’m down 62 lbs and I look so much better. I have a lot of trouble with acid reflux if I drink coffee – so that’s been banished from my diet and has been replaced with peach tea. I still only manage to get in about 5 bites of food per sitting but I’m completely fine with that. Being thin and shopping for pretty clothes far outweighs my desire to eat cake. It looks like you’re thoroughly enjoying your new city. Congrats on your new home 🙂

    • queenofcrop
      November 5, 2012

      Many thanks Andrea and congratulations on your own success…so sorry to hear about the coffee….I could handle not being able to eat almost anything but if I couldn’t have coffee I would have to say that would make me sad….so once again I’m grateful. I do miss pasta and rice but as you said, small price to pay! And yes, I used to blame those dam camera angles too!!!

      Thanks again for reading my blog and your comments.

  • Brenda
    November 5, 2012

    I know I have talked to you in the past about the weight loss surgery and that I had to put on hold because my husband was unemployed for six months. He is now working since August and I’m going forward with the surgery. Looking back on it I don’t think I couldn’t have done the surgery anyway with the stress of him not working. I don’t think I could have concentrated on me. I have a few test that need to be done and I will be a first time grandmother at the end of March so the doctor says he thinks a Feb. date will give me time to feel good before the baby comes.I am nervous about the changes I’m used to, like I have a a really hard time not drinking with a meal and that is something I’ve heard from others that you shouldn’t do. I know that must seem silly knowing the outcome is so much better. I’m really excited first just to lose some weight in my face. I look at your before and after pictures and you look fantastic and that is huge motivation!!!! Thank you for your blog.

    • queenofcrop
      November 8, 2012

      HI Brenda!

      Of course I remember you…..I am so happy you have written again and that’s great news about your husband working again.

      As far as being nervous, I can understand; it’s perfectly normal. It takes a little getting used to not drinking with meals but it only lasts a little while. I think I started drinking with my meals at about 4 or 5 months; and now I have wine with dinner at least 2 or 3 X a week and the other nights just some water. You still don’t drink much because there isn’t enough room. One of my eating problems before the surgery is that I would pick at food while I was cooking (I’m sure I ‘picked’ 500 calories worth before I even sat down!). Can’t do that anymore because if I eat anything at all an hour before we eat, I simply cannot eat any dinner. So it’s a built in fool-proof way of not eating too much. It isn’t perfect by any means, but it’s close! I think a year from now you’ll be so happy because you will have the energy to keep up with your new grand baby.

      If there is anything else that concerns you, let me know. For me, I think I have just crossed the line into normal eating and it’s been a year. So it takes a little time, but the journey is also a lot of fun!

      Keep me posted!

      Queen of Crop

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