Weighty Matters

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Feeling Fit

A couple of friends and I went out on my boat today. Two out of three days on a holiday weekend with boating felt great! The wind was up a bit and the water was a lot more choppy than on Friday but we went out to my favorite snorkeling spot, hooked up to a mooring buoy and jumped in.

Never has exercise been so beautiful. With the choppy swells and the current, I got a workout snorkeling around. I thought more than once how I would never have been able to do this activity as confidently or strongly three years ago. I wouldn’t have had the breath for it, not to mention the muscle strength or endurance. Now, today, the less-than-perfect conditions didn’t keep me from enjoying the lovely, underwater view.

I’m still learning to have confidence in my body. Even though I’m much more agile on my boat and my overall balance is also better, thanks to Tai Chi, I still look to hold onto things to steady myself. I guess it’s okay to err on the side of safety, but I don’t think it’s a bad thing to test myself either. Even while I type this, I find I’m qualifying and writing words tinged with self-doubt. Old habits, or in this case old thoughts, die hard. I want those old thoughts to give up the ghost, so to speak, so I’m going to list my physical fitness positives with true statements.

I am strong.
I have stamina.
My balance is steady.
My agility is greatly improved.
My cardio-ability lets me walk/dance/swim without huffing, puffing, losing my breath, or feeling like my heart is pounding.
I move with ease.
Flexible? Yes, I am!
It bears repeating – I am strong.

As simple as it was, that little exercise really helped. I not only feel fit in body, but reminding myself of the improvements helps me feel fit in my mind and spirit, too.

Here are a few of the photos from today’s snorkeling excursion!

Beautiful fish that I believe is a blue tang.

Beautiful fish that I believe is a blue tang.

CP-0706-24 This four eye butterfly fish was a challenge to photograph but cool to see.

CP-0706-13 The grouper did its best to hide.

CP-0706-10 Nurse shark!



Knowing that I “only” need to lose another 25-30 pounds has energized me. It’s like I’d gotten weary of the journey or bored with the food plan but now I’ve perked up and am excited about hitting the homestretch. The happy feeling has stayed with me all day.

For some reason, I had trouble sleeping completely through the night but kept waking up every couple of hours. I’m not sure why since I wasn’t stressing anything in particular. Whatever the case, I finally gave up around 6:30 a.m. The wind wasn’t too bad this morning, so after feeding the dogs I went out for a seven mile ride. Came home, ate breakfast, walked the dogs and then hopping on the bike again to pedal to my Tai Chi class — slightly less than two miles each way. This was an introductory class session where we invite newcomers that might be interested in taking the class. At the tea break we share a little about the society that developed and runs this particular form and some of us shared about our personal experiences with the health benefits.

I shared my story, explaining that other than simple walking, Tai Chi was the first form of exercise that I started after weight loss surgery. Some of my classmates didn’t know the story. There were audible gasps when I said that I used to weight 386 pounds and have lost 182.

The whole class as we worked on the first four moves of the set, and then at the end of class when we did the entire 108 move set, I really enjoyed the grace and ease of my body in motion. I felt balanced, strong and flexible. After that 90 minutes of class, I hopped on the bike for my ride home, still soaring on that strong, ease of movement feeling.

All day long I’ve thought about the weight still to lose. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and start estimating how long it will take me. Sure, I’d rather lose it sooner than later, but I also don’t want to drive myself crazier than I am when it comes to obsessing about the scale number. That obsession leads to me doing dumb stuff like I did the other night.

I just need to focus on eating right and exercising. There’s a difference between staying focused and obsessing. Focusing on the healthy behavior keeps me in recovery. If I do that consistently, I don’t need to obsess. The weight will come off as it’s meant to do.

It’s also important for me to balance my emotions. Right now I’m on a high because it only recently hit me that I’m in the homestretch. I can’t maintain at this level of excitement. That also leads to obsession.

So, everything in moderation, including my emotions and my eating. I’ll get there. The end goal is no longer a far, far off impossible mark. For the first time in my life, it’s within my reach.

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