Friday, September 7, 2012

Comparing Visits to Two Island Prisons, Two Years Later

At Alcatraz Island with San Francisco in the background, September 2012.
Two years ago in September 2010, almost to the day, hubby and I visited Robben Island in Table Bay off Cape Town, South Africa, where legendary SA President and Nobel Peace laureate Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years (of his total 27-year imprisonment) along with many other political prisoners.

In spite of the shape I was in, I remember it as a fabulous vacation — one of the best ever — and thankfully, I didn't have to walk much. That was a good thing because of my much higher weight at the time. I'm guessing I was probably in the 250s and now I'm in the 190s.

At Robben Island, South Africa, September 2010
My husband snapped lots of pics of me in South Africa and one is to the right. I have no idea how much I weighed at the time, but believe it or not, I thought I was looking pretty good even if I was somewhat self-conscious and wanting him to shoot from the waist up only. I remember how bad my body felt at the time: sluggish, painful knees, painful feet, out-of-breath constantly. Not good. On two blood-pressure meds, one anti-inflammatory, one anti-depressant, size 24 jeans.

Last weekend, hubby and celebrated our fifth wedding anniversary in San Francisco. We did lots of walking, but what struck me was when I saw the picture taken from our tour of Alcatraz Island, where the country's worst criminals were kept.

When the Alcatraz pic was snapped, above, my muscles were sore from having walked up and down about 20 blocks of San Francisco's super steep hills the day before en route from the hotel to Fisherman's Wharf, but it was a different kind of sore. It was soreness from using my muscles in a new way going up and down the hills. A good kind of soreness.

I'm now off all my meds except for one blood pressure med and in size 14 jeans. I wasn't huffing and puffing up the walkways at Alcatraz, and didn't have to take the tram for elderly and/or disabled people to get to the top or down from "The Rock."

What a difference two years make. My journey toward better health has slowed down since my gastric sleeve surgery Dec. 27, 2011, but the progress continues.

Another notch in my belt, so to speak.


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