Weighty Matters

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Things Learned on Vacation

on August 23, 2012

After a long day of travel, I got home about an hour ago and wanted to check in and say hello.  I had a wonderful vacation with family and friends.   I relaxed a lot in the warmth and camaraderie, celebrated some NSVs, and either learned or was reminded about some real truths.  I also went on a fabulous whale watching trip and will post some photos as soon as I download them to the computer.

I’m really tired so if my writing is a little disjointed, please forgive me.  I thought it was important to get my thoughts out rather than delay.

As far as the NSVs, I talked about a couple of them in the previous post — the easy buckling of the airplane seat belt and the XL size T-shirt.  I swear, those accomplishments make me grin whenever I think of them.  I had another one yesterday when I went into the pool at the house we rented.  Okay, it wasn’t so much when I went into the pool but when it was time to get out.  I was able to pull myself up the ladder without the slightest bit of trouble.  I also didn’t feel like I might possibly break the ladder with my excess weight.   It clearly could hold me and that alone relieves a bunch of stress.

It seems like every day, or every time that I do some sort of physical activity, I reinforce my new attitude about movement and exercise.  I’ve thought of myself as lazy for so long, that this is somewhat of a wonder.  On Tuesday, the whale watching company wanted us to buy our tickets on site a couple of hours before the 10:30 a.m. departure.  I got up early and was there by 8:15.  The ticket seller gave me directions into town where I could enjoy breakfast.  In the past, I definitely would have taken my car to drive, but I immediately decided to go by foot.  Barnstable Village is a charming place and I enjoyed a brisk 20 minute walk to a little diner.  I ate a small meal that fit my food plan, drank some tea, and then walked back to the boat — another 20 minutes.  Along the way I kept thinking about how I’m not a lazy ass any longer and was truly happy to have done 40 minutes of exercise.

I never made it to a Zumba class.  Other activities interfered with the timing, but I did walk at least once each day.  While my exercise regime might not have been as intense as I’ve been doing at home, I at least moved.

Our accommodations are comfortable, but very simple and we like it this way.  We spent a lot of time relaxing out on the lawn in conversation.  I don’t think I mentioned that it’s quite a large group of us that gathers.  We had more than 70 people around on the weekend, but even after Sunday, there were 20 to 30 of us around.  This makes for a lot of great talking, group food prep, and fun.  The outdoor chairs are green plastic-resin.  For years I have not trusted these things to hold up under my weight, particularly because they’ve weathered some.  For our annual book discussion or any other outdoor relaxation, I’ve always brought out one of the sturdier wooden chairs.  Not this year.  Not only didn’t I fear that the plastic legs would break, but my butt actually fit on the seat!

Foodwise, I’m going to be rigorously honest and admit that I wasn’t great.  I wasn’t awful either, but I definitely ate too many carbs.  In thinking about this today I realized that it was probably a taste of what my life will be like when I’m on a maintenance plan.   Tonight, I’m encouraged by my mindset.  Starting tomorrow morning, I’m back on the losing plan that emphasizes protein first.  This is a huge improvement over previous “diets” where once I veered off, I rarely got myself back together.

For those of you who check out weather reports, there’s a tropical storm heading toward the Keys that could be a hurricane.  In planning my preparations, I realized another benefit to bariatric surgery.  It’s a lot easier to lay in storm provisions!  If worse comes to worse and we lose power, I can get by with some parmalait milk that I could mix up into protein shakes, some cheese wedges that don’t need to be refrigerated, fresh fruit, peanut butter, and fresh water.   I have a backup power system that runs my fridge and microwave, so I’d only be limited to the above if the power outage extended for several days.  Still, it’s good to know that things could be so simple, particularly if we get any storms this season that require a resident evacuation.  For this storm, I fully expect that I can safely stay put!

Some might wonder why it’s so important and helpful for me to note and share about all these things.  All I can say is that doing so reinforces the positive effects of my progress.  It matters that I really focus on and celebrate the accomplishments, realizations and NSVs.  I don’t ever want to take these things for granted or get lacksadaisical about the improvements in my life.  These are things on which to build and steeping myself in the joy inspires me to stay on track and keep moving forward.


7 responses to “Things Learned on Vacation

  1. Marti91257 says:

    While I don’t respond to everything I want to respond to (almost everything you write moves me on some level), I just wanted to drop a note and say, “YAY, MARY!!!”

  2. pinkpelican says:

    Congratulations on all your wonderful experiences! sometimes I think it’s the odd little things … like fitting in the plastic chairs, I SO get that!; not having to worry about weight capacity of chairs & ladders, etc. … that are the most vivid examples of success.

    I don’t think I ever realized that so many of those little things were LIMITATIONS, CONSTRAINTS, on my life, until they disappeared. They were just part of daily life. When they started to disappear, I started to realize how much they walled in the parameters of my life. Not individually, but taken together, they created an obstacle course that made life so much more irritating & difficult, with no functional benefit to getting through the obstacles.

    As those obstacles are slowly disappearing, I feel so much freer. Each little thing that dissipates is a gift. A tiny bit of stress & anxiety removed. Another bit of clutter removed from the perimeter of life. A slightly easier path to walk, & more visibility achieved to find new opportunities.

    I love my increasingly good health. I love being in such good shape. I absolutely adore the idea of new fashion opportunities. But it’s those amazing little NSVs I keep tripping over that truly spark wonder, because they are the things that show me what life can truly be.

    Hugs to you, and many more NSVs in your future!

    • Mary Stella says:

      I remember several years ago when I discovered a company that made things specifically for overweight people. It was, for a time, a lifesaver, because I could find beach chairs, step stools and personal hygiene tools that made life in this bodysize easier. One of the catalogs arrived yesterday. I’m thrilled to put it right in the recycling bin and will call to get myself removed from their mailing list!

      You’re so right that each obstacle that goes away relieves stress and anxiety. Oh how much we’ve carried around along with our excess weight.

  3. Hope says:

    Sounds like a great yearly vacation is now even better. Yay!

  4. Susanne says:

    It’s important to marvel at that which is us 🙂


  5. forestjane says:

    Your notes and sharing also are helping me make up my mind if I want to do something like this too. 😉

    • Mary Stella says:


      It’s a big decision to be sure. If you have any questions or concerns that you aren’t quite comfortable posting here, please feel free to email me at Mary @ Mary-Stella dot com. (no spaces in actual email addy).

      A great resource for me is obesityhelp dot com. Great forums for each type of bariatric surgery and lots of supportive people.

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