Tag Archives: beach

Weight Loss Journey Day 24

I know I am thinner. Though my tummy barely shows a tan, the exposed places do. I look good. Well, at least better. Surely the family will see the difference.

I am torn in two. So lonely for Jerry I can’t stand it. But loathe to leave this place.

Kathleen and I go exploring.

We have to climb a sea wall

adventuring corner

and slip into the ocean

adventuring coral

to reach a new, mossy rock beach.

mossy beach

We wade, feeling the freedom of an empty beach and crashing waves.

adventuring freedom

Discover coral

coral

Find seashells. (One later scurries away from us, trapped in the bathtub. We return the little creature and its home to its natural habitat. We’ve no desire to take captives.)

sea shell home

We watch the birds as they stand

bird on beach

And take flight.

bird in flight

I see my dream house. It’s even yellow.

adventuring dream house

We adventure. Walk. Swim. Burn calories.

Evening comes. We eat healthy. Enjoy a glass of wine. Watch our last sunset.

sunset on beach last

Take a stroll in the in the moonlight.

moon on beach

Not ready to let go, we watch a movie about a couple on a beach. And we pack.

Real Time Update:

Talk about a wonderful way to burn calories! We scrambled over rocks and coral, waded the ocean, shuffled through the sand–had an adventure. Once home I was determined to keep walking, and I’ve had some adventures right here in my own neighborhood .  . . but you’ll have to tune in over the next couple of months to hear about them.

What About You?

What’s your favorite way to burn calories? If you can’t be on a beach, how can you turn exercise in an adventure instead of a chore? How do you embrace nature and activity in every day life?

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Weight Loss Journey Day 23

sunset cloudsI’m feeling it. That sense that this blessed rest is almost over. Tomorrow will be our last day on the beach. We’ll be gone before the sunrise on Saturday.

Introspection takes over.

I’m tired of not getting sun on my tummy.

I’m tired of hiding next to my condo door when I want to feel the ocean on my feet while I seek the sun.

I do it.

I wrap in my towel. Drag the lounge chair and my journal to the ocean edge. Where people will walk by. People who may or may not even notice that I am there, just another sun-seeker at the beach. Another middle-aged woman in a bikini top. (The bottom swimsuit piece is still granny style. Just can’t go there all the way.)

I pull the towel away and quickly plop onto the chair letting my toes dig into the sand and delighting in the tickle of the gentle tide that laps over them. I feel the sun. I relax.

Someone walks by; I panic. I imagine they are a conservative couple who would never have a bikini top in their home, and who have read my articles. I imagine they are now appalled to see me like this . . .

But they don’t even notice me, not really. And I am angry with myself for this crazy game. I’m tired of being afraid.

I’m tired of hiding.

I sit a while longer. The sea washes over my tattoo. The one on my foot that reminds me that Jesus delights in me. The one that matches my daughter’s, connecting us as she gets engaged and prepares to connect with someone else in a new way. The one that says we delight in each other.

my cool tattoo

The one I sometimes hide.

I let it go, this angst.

Then, finally, I pick up the little blank book.

journal2

Then finally, I write.

writing

Maybe you’d like to know what. I’ll tell a little, carefully edited. Raw but not completely revealing:

“[Last Thursday] I was tired of crying alone, of hiding . . . of having no human place to undress. Years of compressing anger, the fears, the pain, have taken a toll. Sometimes it expands, too often and unbidden, to full size. And sometimes when it does I cry. I know it as raw, feeling pain—but other times it doesn’t feel like anything.

Then a car comes out of nowhere, and my body hurts. I hurt.  I rest and try to heal.

All used up.

. . .

I don’t want to be a burden. To hurt others. To ask for what can’t be given.

But I don’t want to be that little girl crying out for solace into a void where there is no one able to give it.

. . .

I want to be naked and unashamed. I don’t want to cry alone. I want to cry with arms around me. I want uncloaked intimacy of body, heart, and soul.”

And as I wrote these things I saw a little girl Paula. She watched to see how the words would be received. She heard voices of the past that kept her quiet.

And I remembered the little girl who wrote in her journal, unable to write real words sometimes, just harsh, cutting marks, bearing down so hard that for pages after her quiet explosion the writing space was ruined.

Nobody else was strong enough to be trusted. Just God and her journal.

But now that little girl looks curious. She’s watching to see if I truly unveil. She’s watching to see if there are people strong enough for all of her.

And I write more:

“I’m afraid I’m just a vapor with nothing left to give substance. I’m afraid of leaning and being leaned upon. What if relationships topple, too much vapor for leaning?

I know God is in this somewhere. I’m pretty certain I would have already crashed and shattered without hope of being put back together again if He weren’t. But right now I don’t want to be told He is holding me up. (Though I’m sure He is.)

. . .

I’m wearing a bikini top as I write. I’ve wondered why—at 47 and very overweight—I would crave the sun on my stomach, on the long unexposed part of my breasts. But I’ve begged it to come and color me bronze. I long to feel its heat in those typically hidden places.

The first few days I cowered, barely leaving the lanai, begging the sun to meet me there. Funny. I have burned shoulders and upper chest, but these places I expected to be so tender, those so long hidden, have not seemed to draw in the sun at all.

Today I did the unthinkable, dragging my chair out where people are, so hungry was I to have the hidden places touched. I think the water might reflect the sun, and I might actually show that I have been changed, there in those vulnerable parts.

There is risk. A few still walk the beach, and I am seen. I might even be noticed, though I hope not. The biggest risk of this exposure is that my vulnerable, hidden places will not only be warmed bronze, but seared.

Real Time Update:

So far no searing . . .

There’s some confusion about how I’m doing this blog, especially with people who started following the blog after this post released, so check it out if the timing stuff confuses you. Basically, the heart of today’s blog is about what happened on the 23rd day of my weight loss journey even though today I’m at something like day 87. The real time updates talk about my present struggles/success, but in less detail. I hope getting both perspectives help!

And about yesterday’s real time update–I did get it together to return to exercise, and I’m researching plateaus and praying about how to approach this one.

What About You?

Have you hidden? Come out of hiding? Been seared . . . or healed?

Weight Loss Journey Day 22

the beach walkingIf I were home today would be my “weigh in and tell BENew what my pounds and inches are” day.

But I’m not home.

Maybe the extra week before I weigh again will show some real results. I’m starting to feel different. I look in the mirror and my eyes aren’t so sure, but in my heart I KNOW I am different even if the mirror doesn’t SHOW it.

I can’t believe I can walk the whole beach like this. I’ve come so far from the woman who spent all those hours on the couch or in bed this summer. We see lots of cool stuff as we walk.

Today’s expedition included a small shark

shark closer

And a weird stump that sprayed ocean water as the waves rolled over it. I wish I were an artist and could paint it.

walking 2

I’m still doing nothing. Not reading, writing, or even watching movies. We sit on the lanai and talk for hours. We walk the beach or swim at the pool.

I lay in the sun in my bikini top.

Bikini top. Still weirded out by buying one and even more by wearing one. It isn’t about showing something off. With my weight and stretch marks that isn’t even possible. It’s about something . . . more. About not hiding. About not holding back because I fear what people think. About being brave enough to do something differently than I did yesterday–or even for most of my life.

So I expose this previously unexposed part of me to the sun, longing for it’s warmth, wanting to be kissed brown even as I fear I will scorch.

I keep cutting back on sunscreen because I’m not even tanning on my tummy, much less burning.

As so passes another day at the beach.

It’s peaceful as night falls here.

palm tree and dusk

We eat healthy

food florida

And watch the sunset as we do.

sunset and bird

The birds lift their wings to freedom, and I long to follow.

Real Time Update:

The brave thing of this week wasn’t buying clothes but giving them away–three garbage bags of three different sizes. It’s even braver to do so since I’m frustrated by that plateau I mentioned yesterday. But I will NOT return to 190 pounds. Or 183 Or 180. And I will NOT give up on losing another chunk of weight.

Though to be honest I’ve avoided exercise today. It is self-sabotage, this grumpy-I’m-not-going-to-do-it-if-I’m-not-going-to-see-results-attitude. I’m not giving into it long term. But for today . . . I’m nursing my emotion as I try to decide whose advice to follow: eat more, not less, for a short time; add more intensity to exercise; change up exercise patterns; drink more water; eat less; get more fiber; reduce carbs.

It’s overwhelming.

But I WON’T give up. Just taking today to process (okay, and to feel sorry for myself, although it’s not making me want to eat, it’s making it hard to force myself to eat.) And when I quit feeling so mad I’ll pray about this, make a decision, and keep on keepin’ on.

What About You?

What would be a freedom choice in your life? How do you process disappointment? Or make good choices when you get conflicting advice?

Weight Loss Journey Day 19

seagulls

Flocks of seagulls had to part as we walked

Grocery shopping with Kathleen was enlightening. Honestly, things have been so tight financially since the parent company for my husband’s business stopped production that grocery shopping at home has been  . . . interesting. Thankfully, there is often chicken or turkey and berries and yogurt at the discount place I often frequent, but it’s strange, too, not finding ingredients I want for specific dishes and not wanting to pay full price at the regular store. (I’m learning improvisation.) It’s also hard to resist packaged food that is high in calorie and low in nutrition, but VERY CHEAP, especially with three teenage boys with hollow legs eating non-stop and consuming huge quantities of groceries. (Thankfully, Jerry recently decided to work for Life Force, the company that chose me as a beta tester for BeNew. We believe this to be a viable option to replace the income we lost.)

walking the beach foot

barefoot in the sand

But I’m in Florida now, a guest of my friend and her husband. We shopped healthy. Very little carbs. Eggs, chicken, salad stuff, and fruit. I learned a lot watching her make choices. So much of weight loss and healthy eating starts at the grocery store. That seems obvious, but . . .

Now this is the way to exercise—walking a gorgeous white-sand beach with the waves lapping next to me. Love the sand squishing between my toes! The seagulls block our path and flutter into the air as we push into their flocks, so close I can feel the whoosh as the birds take to flight. We leisurely walked 5 miles while we got caught up on each other’s lives.

FIVE miles!!?!

It’s easier at sea level, and we didn’t push anything. We stopped halfway through to sit and watch the waves, but still! Who would have thought two months ago when I spent a good portion of my day in bed that I would walk five miles????

Thanks to all that walking, I was 328 calories BELOW 1200, which is good since I was 500 OVER yesterday. I’ve heard that you shouldn’t dip below 1,000, though, because your body thinks it is starving and holds onto the fat instead of releasing it. (I should probably research to substantiate that.)

So far I don’t feel like reading or journaling or doing anything but walk the beach, rest, talk to Kathleen, and lie in the sun. I thought I’d process all the trauma of the last many months, but I just don’t want to do anything.

Real Time Update:

I’m learning to shop healthier and eating lots more salad since learning from my friend Kathleen’s shopping habit two months ago. She probably won’t believe this, but I’m actually eating raw spinach for most of my salads now. (Something she tried to talk me into in Florida!)

Tomorrow’s post gets a little weird (at least for me) so uh . . . well, we’ll see what you think.

What About You?

How do you balance the need for healthy foods and your budgetary restrictions (if you have any). Do you agree that weight loss and healthy eating begins at the grocery store? What helps you make healthy c choices when you shop? What do you do to unwind? How do you process hard times?