There are so many things to catch all of you up on -- not sure where to even start.
My daughter and I spent a week in Puerto Rico (with a school tour group) and it was amazing. Spending time with her was such a treat and it was fascinating to see her reaction to the sights and sounds of another culture.
For the first time in her life she was approached by a beggar and saw homeless in the streets. She is such a kind hearted and deep soul, these events made a significant impact and I think she's still processing everything. I tried to use it as a reason to count her blessings and I think she'll do that.
We had an opportunity to snorkel in the Carribean and float with bioluminescent plankton. For a while we floated hand in hand and I hope I never ever lose that connection with her. She's at such an amazing age right now -- just coming into her own -- developing opinions and personality. As we floated with our ears in the water listening to dolphins click and watching the stars on a moonless night I couldn't help but hope the moment would never end -- that she would always be willing to hold my hand in the dark. But I know in a matter of months she will grow beyond needing her mother. I know it's the goal; make our children indepedent -- but there will be always a part of me that wants to feel of her small hand in mine.
----more on Puerto Rico later ---
The thing I love about snorkeling and am loving more and more about swimming is that size doesn't matter. A few years ago, I would have never had the guts to swim, much less snorkel, because I was under the impression I was too fat to exist.
(I can't believe I was that silly)
Once my kids started to get more active I couldn't stand the thought to being a sideline mom -- I never wanted to be the mom sitting next to the pool not wanting to get her hair wet -- or not wanting to be seen in my swimming suit. I will not be putting my life on hold not now -- not ever.
So a few years ago I conquer my fear of water and getting my head wet to snorkel for the first time. It was amazing.
When you're floating in the ocean with a snorkel mask on your face, you have to relax. You have to breathe. You have to be in balance with your surrounding. My weight didn't matter, my ability to stay calm and peaceful matters. It was incredibly freeing.
Last week, while floating in the Carribean, I had to again remind myself to relax, believe in myself and allow my body to float in the salty water. I saw amazing and beautiful fish and plant life. When I allowed my self to be free it allowed me to enjoy an experience that I would never have had.
It was, however, in contrast to how I felt the rest of the week. The humidity of Puerto Rico took a huge toll on my energy levels. On our first full day on the island, we hiked through a rain forest. I had thought that my morning walks had prepared me for the walk as it was only about a mile or so -- (at least that's what they said) --but the humidity and more of an incline than I'm used to about did me in! While I completed the hike, I kept beating myself up for being so out of shape. I didn't give myself any credit for jet lag, the humidity or the fact I hung back just a little to help a friend. From about that point on, everytime, I looked in the mirror I only saw my enlarged tummy. I only saw puffy feet -- swollen to the size they were when I was 8 months pregnant. I didn't give myself any credit for being on my feet the majority of the day, the long bus rides, the humidity or the salty food we were consuming regularly.
Before I'd left home, I was feeling pretty good about myself. My strike against obsessing about my weight was working pretty well. I bought new skorts and I'd swear they felt more comfortable than the last time I bought clothes. For some reason, while in Puerto Rico, I fell back into old patterns of obsessing about how I looked and why I looked that way.
Back at home, those feeling have subsided. I have to admit, however, that each time I enter the bathroom the scale seems to call my name. Here's what it says:
"Just step on and check in. You've been working very hard and it would be good to check in to see if you really should feel better. We won't know until we see the numbers. Just step on and find out if you are doing as well as you think."
Now why on earth do we do this to ourselves?! Why do the numbers on the scale mean anything? Why do I and countless people like me judge health on numbers on a stupid little machine instead of what's in our heart, how we feel or the choices we make each day?
When I started my strike a few weeks ago, I really thought it would be easy, but I've found its very difficult. What I do know, is that in those moments when I do allow myself to be free are some of the greatest moments. The trick, as the strike continues, it to turn those moments into minutes and minutes into hours and hours into days.
I'd really like to hear how other strikes are going -- please comment and let me know if you're struggling or thriving? (or a little bit of both)