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Maui vacation - what I gained, what I didn't

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I recently spent a week in Maui. What an awesome trip! And not just because it's an awesome kind of place... I mean, yes, it surely is, but, it was the way in which I was able to experience it, that made this trip extra-special. A turning-point sort of trip. A revelation, a reward. From this trip I gained courage, I gained "youth" and "adventure," I gained confidence, I gained pride, I gained a new level of optimism and energy that will drive me forward. What I did NOT gain, was WEIGHT.

So just what did I do that was ever so inspiring?

1) I hiked in a rainstorm, down a rocky slippery trail (that was more like a waterfall/creek, given the weather), in nothing but my bathing suit and Teva hiking sandals, to visit the Nakalele Blowhole. It's a short hike but the terrain is steep and difficult. The path was out of the question, as the fine soil had turned to a teflon-slick muck that defied any attempt at solid footing - the way down was to "keep to the rocks" and clamber on down. And then awhile later, back UP. The only people we met at the bottom were two 20-something guys, and I will let it be known, I KEPT UP when we all climbed up together. Now - 200 feet of elevation gain might not sound like THAT big a deal. BUT 6 months ago I could not walk up a single flight of stairs without gasping for air at the top. 6 months ago, I might have walked the level-ground to the overlook to snap a picture. Or, I might not have bothered to get out of the car.

2) Snorkelling with fins. Ok, I've snorkelled before - it's not that difficult if one knows how to float and breathe through the mouth. But the FINS, my GOSH. What's bad about the fins? Well, having to put the stupid things ON. It's really really REALLY difficult to pull on a pair of fins, when you can't get your feet near enough to your hands! Which, I honestly couldn't. I gain weight from my double-chin to my C-section scar, none of it goes to the arms or butt or thighs... which means when i'm 245#, there is a LOT of mass around the middle and it DOES get in the way and prevent simple tasks like tying shoes or snapping on fins. So, the last few times i've had the opportunity to snorkel, I have claimed "I dislike using fins! Nope, just not a fin person, me! I prefer bare feet, thanks all the same, I'll just take the mask!" Well 38 pounds of interference have left my midsection, and (while I still might not be very graceful about it), I CAN get my fins on all by myself. So "yes, I think I'll give the fins a shot this time, and see if I like them better than I remember." Oh yes, I like them better :) They allowed me to swim really quite far out into Honolua Bay, where I had a thrilling close encounter with *eleven* sea turtles. It was awesome. And possible now!!!... where it would have been beyond comprehension only a few months back.

3) Wearing my bathing suit in public. Everywhere. All day. I got a "skirtini" bottom, so it's modest enough for random wanderings-about. And so I did. And I do mean EVERYWHERE. I hiked to that blowhole. I hiked down a jungle path (in a rainstorm). I walked to the Iao Needle (in a rainstorm). All around me were other tourists trying (hopelessly) to stay dry, donning all manner of jackets and ponchos and garbage bags and hats... and there was me, IN MY BATHING SUIT. I figure there may have been some pointing and snickering, but I also noticed some nods of approval, like "heyyyy now that's actually a good idea!" (And it is - so what, you get soaked, but you towel off, pop into the car, good to go. You dry out much more quickly than you do in soggy jeans or khakis!). Practicality aside, where on earth did my body-consciousness, my modesty, my shame, go? For years now, wearing a bathing suit has entailed donning said suit, wrapping up in a giant beach towel, picking a choice moment where maybe nobody is looking before dropping towel at the last-second before scuttling into the privacy of the water. BUT NOT ANYMORE. Here I am at a couple points of interest along the Hana Highway:

I feel like I can do anything! I feel brave! I feel fit! I feel young! For so long I've felt just so... OLD. I have mistaken my lethargy as being a "normal part of the aging process; you're not 18 anymore" - I was WRONG, it has nothing to do with my age, and everything to do with my body condition. And now I know, it is CORRECTABLE. I see other blogs here on Spark of people losing weight and running 10k's or going on kayak trips etc. etc., but I didn't really think I would ever be one of THOSE "success stories." But now? Yeah. I COULD DO THAT. I just have to decide what things I want to do... and there is really nothing stopping me. Time and determination CAN and WILL take me places I had abandoned all hope of ever revisiting.

I feel like I've gained back years of my life. Doing these activities reminded me of the earlier days of my marriage, when a good holiday always entailed some ridiculous adventure... backpacking in Denali, hiking the West Coast Trail, climbing to the top of Whatever happened to be in front of us.... I'd given up on all that. I had relegated it to my past. But now I can see it again, in my future.

I turn 48 tomorrow. And I am younger than I was last year.

It's awesome. It's epic. I couldn't be more pleased or proud of me.

Oh yeah, and I did not gain weight. How I managed to avoid *that*... might be a topic for another blog.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
CATNCAG 5/14/2014 3:54PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon for the inspiration! That's exactly the point I'm trying to get to but with Neuropathy & Plantar Fasciitis it's a bit of a challenge but I will succeed as u have!

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SMITHMTDEB 8/31/2013 11:11AM

    Now that's a good vacation!! emoticon

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223DAISY 7/21/2013 8:36AM

    Awesome! emoticon

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SPUNOUTMOM 7/11/2013 5:14PM

  I love your bathing suit it is beautiful. So are you. Where did you get the suit? Congrats on all you gained on your vacation.

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BLUEANGELLK 7/9/2013 6:59PM

    What a great trip!!! You definitely had an awesome time! I wish I could have been there with you!

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MCJULIEO 7/9/2013 3:05PM

    Sounds great!

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KHATITI 7/7/2013 2:42AM

    YOU GO GIRL!! What a spirit. I loved the bit about the beach towel - emoticon I know EXACTLY how that feels. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this lovely story. Stay strong. The angels are shining on you. emoticon

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ETERNALMINDED 7/2/2013 11:42AM

    Congratulations! Loved reading about your trip and the changes! Blessings to you on this journey to a healthier lifestyle! Julie

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SUPERSYLPH 7/2/2013 12:21AM

    Great blog and swimsuit!

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WRITERWANNAB 6/30/2013 12:24AM

    Way to go! emoticon

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ONYXASHSTORM 6/29/2013 7:06PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DARLENEW58 6/29/2013 4:15PM

  Thanks for sharing!

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LAINYC 6/29/2013 10:58AM


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RENATA144 6/26/2013 3:43PM

  You are AMAZING !!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATTISTAMPS 6/25/2013 1:32PM

    I really wish I had read your blog before I left on my Alaskan cruise! I came back with 3 pounds of things I shouldn't have eaten sitting there on my middle. But I too did some adventurous hiking - on a shore excursion rated the highest difficulty. And let me say, a 200 foot trip down to the blowhole would have been impossible for me a couple of years ago, too. This trip was multiple climbs of 325 feet and back down. heart pounding, breathing hard, but no one had to slow down for me!!! the young ones were bringing up the rear! So here's to us - and our new younger selves! We ROCK!!

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DARBYGAL 6/25/2013 10:13AM

    That's awesome! I hope you have many many more wonderful adventures! My family ride quads in the desert and I have had the same experience with my riding boots as you did with the snorkling fins.

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TLGRNT 6/25/2013 10:07AM

  Very inspirational.

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MAYBER 6/25/2013 12:16AM

    Thank you so much for sharing your vacation successes with us
It was amazing
Never plan to go there as have trouble flying over water and landing on a small island
One day at a time
Love Prayers Peace

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DEEDEE613 6/24/2013 4:00PM

    Way to go! And I love that you are enjoying life again.
Happy Birthday!
Cheers to new adventures.

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KATTREE 6/24/2013 3:58PM

    Awesome story, inspiring! I hope to be able to get in my bathing suit one day and not feel self conscious. emoticon

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TRAYDAY2013 6/24/2013 3:15PM

  This is such an encouraging story. Thanks for sharing and glad you're enjoying life again!! emoticon

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MRSRIGS1 6/24/2013 12:43PM

    What an inspiring Blog! Thank you for sharing!

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CANDACEMM 6/24/2013 12:26PM

    Way to Go!!!!

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    emoticon on keeping your weight on your vacation - that is very challenging

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BHEALTHY4ME1 6/24/2013 12:27AM

  emoticon on your awesome vacation & your great attitude. I feel the same way you do - I am getting younger every year !

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ILIKETOZUMBA 6/23/2013 10:57PM

    That's so fantastic!! Congratulations to you!! And I love the bathing suit, it looks awesome on you. :)

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PEAWINKLE 6/23/2013 6:06PM

    Happy Birthday and congratulation on all your successes! emoticon emoticon

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PASCAL921 6/23/2013 1:11PM

  What a wonderful vacation, thank you for sharing.

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222NICHOLE 6/23/2013 12:36AM

    Sounds like a lot of fun! I love your attitude. Nothing is impossible if we put our minds to it. You are awesome! Keep doing what you're doing!

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BIGBROTHER323 6/22/2013 9:06PM

    I am SOOOO happy for you! You are doing yourself right! BTW, I think you just inspried a blog!

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MDIMAURO6 6/22/2013 9:04PM

    I am so happy for you and what great fun your vaca sounds like!! emoticon emoticon

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RUTHDEN1 6/22/2013 8:46PM

    You go Girl!!!! emoticon

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MAUVEBEAR3 6/22/2013 8:03PM

    The smile and joy on your face says it all!! Loved your blog! emoticon

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7DWORPS 6/22/2013 6:03PM

    LOVED this blog!!!!! You are wonderful and I wish you many more adventures!!


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RUSSNGUS 6/22/2013 2:33PM

    So, very inspiring. Love your attitude about wearing your swimsuit. You a beautiful woman. I too go swimming when for years I would not swim because of my size. Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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MOZEY13 6/22/2013 1:06PM

  Very inspiring. You did it girl and there is lots more waiting for you to accomplish. emoticon

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OHMEMEME 6/22/2013 10:19AM

    Awesome! It takes people who have traveled a similar path to really appreciate that "inner" experience of weight loss. I so do! Congrats and I can sincerely say, "I am proud of your accomplishments!" Keep up the lifestyle that supports your health, body image, and well- being. Keep Sparking...! emoticon

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SCOUTMOM715 6/22/2013 9:56AM

    emoticon Love this blog!!

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LEANMEAN2 6/22/2013 7:32AM

    Thanks for sharing. This is inspirational.

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HORSE22 6/22/2013 2:16AM

    Very inspirational story! Thanks for sharing, and Happy Birthday. Your attitude will support you for many more successes. Congratulations. emoticon

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MARIFLOWER 6/21/2013 10:28PM

  Way to go! This is the right attitude and one we all need to have.

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SMARGED 6/21/2013 9:53PM

    Loved this blog! And emoticon on your wonderful weight loss! You are an inspiration!

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BABY77A 6/21/2013 9:42PM


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MANILUS 6/21/2013 9:25PM

    What a wonderful beginning to the rest of your life! Glad you are living it up!!! Hope you had a good birthday!

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RUNNERRACHEL 6/21/2013 8:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/21/2013 8:10:30 PM

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JMAHNKEN 6/21/2013 7:41PM

    Happy Birthday! And Congrats, that is just awsome!

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BEAUTIFUL_REINA 6/21/2013 7:30PM

    What a GREAT blog!!! You rock!

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ANDYLIN90 6/21/2013 7:10PM

    I so identify with you about the true when there's extra in the middle which is exactly where my weight goes too. You look beautiful, confident and so in charge in your bathing suit which you not only wore in Hawaii, but now is posted for the world to see. CONGRATULATIONS, you are a STAR!

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4KWALK 6/21/2013 6:56PM

    You are all right. What a proud woman you should be. What an inspiration. Thank you for sharing and inspiring.

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COACHPENNY 6/21/2013 6:09PM

    "I turn 48 tomorrow. And I am younger than I was last year."

LOVE THAT!!!! emoticon

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