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.
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.
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).
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?
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…
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)