Next month is my first surgiversary! This month my family went on our annual trip to the Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. I can not even tell you how different this trip was compared to my previous ones... I was almost brought to tears several times. First, let me show you some pictures from our trip in January 2012 This is actually after I lost 25 pounds pre-op.
I smiled in those pictures only because I knew that these would be my last pre-operative pictures of me in a swim suit. I didn't want to look at them much then, but I kept them because I knew I would want to compare them to pictures I could take a year later. Here are the ones from this year.
OK, so the visible difference is huge. But that's not even the big change.
It started when I we first got there and my sons wanted to do the Flow Rider - a simulated surfing experience. Surprisingly, I wanted to try to do it, too. This year I didn't care that I would be the focus of attention as I tried and then wiped out (everybody wipes out). It's funny when people wipe out, people laugh - and last year I couldn't have handled that. This year, I went for it. And yes, I wiped out, but I didn't feel like people were laughing at the obese mom who flipped off the board, they just laughed at the mom who flipped off the board like everyone else. And that difference felt huge. I laughed, too! I felt like a different person. And after I flipped off I jumped right back on and performed tricks the lifeguard/ teacher showed me. Here's a sample...
Letting go of the board with one hand to grab my foot - oooooo!
Letting go with both hands to pose... aaaaahhhh!
On this one I actually not only got up on my knees, I was able to sit up without balancing on my hands! For this I got applause from the crowd and the guards. Applause! I'm such a ham... I loved it!
But here's the thing - I loved trying something new and showing off, but they weren't the moments that got me so emotional. It was when I didn't have to worry about whether I could fit in the inner tube. And when a guard asked me to sit in front of my son in a raft because the heavier person sits in front - and I got to smile and say "Actually, he's heavier". Like the moment I realized I don't need to read the weight limits for the rides anymore! And when I realized that I had so much more energy this year that I had ridden on more slides (and climbed more stairs) in one hour than I had in an entire day last year. Last year I spent most of the time watching, and taking pictures of everyone else. This time, I participated. And I asked other people to take pictures sometimes, so I could be in them! I could cross floating lilypad bridge by swinging arm over arm (think monkey bars made out of rope) with ease - I even got competitive and beat the person on the other one.
My planning for eating was thrown off by a mistake with the reservation - apparently my mistake. According to them, the room that we've stayed in the last two years with the full kitchen is not the African Queen Suite, but the Combination Suite. OK, it just so happens that I've requested the African Queen Suite the last two years and been given the Combination Suite? Whatever, I know what to ask for next year. The problem was that with no full kitchen, a lot of my meal planning was thrown off. My husband stepped in and helped (especially the first night, when I was planning on making a big pasta dinner for everyone else). After giving up on making pasta in the coffee pot, he figured out how to cook it in the small microwave in little paper bowl - in about 10 batches, that took over an hour! Most of my own meals I could adjust to cooking in the microwave, but it made me really glad I had packed some Quest protein bars as a backup. All that obsessive planning came in handy!
It was a great three day vacation, and this has been a great first year as a post-op. I can't wait for my 1 year post-op appointment next month!