It's our annual trek North to cooler temperatures and restful bliss just gazing at the largest freshwater lake in the world. We're so lucky to live where we do. I know everyone says that! People come from all over the world to take in Lake Superior's scenic coast and I'm fortunate to live just a few hours drive from there. When we moved back to Minnesota after living out of state, I vowed to never live so far away from the lake that simply takes my breath away or at least to make sure that I made the journey to it at least once a year.
Minnesota is such a cool state, we have river bluffs and rolling hills dotted with red barns and white farmhouses in the South, lakes and pines in the center, the pristine Boundary Waters and the rugged Lake Superior coast up North. It's the Lake that calls to me, though. When summer is at it's most brutal here in the metro area, the coastline of Superior is cool and delightful. The lake averages about 42 degrees and in the summer, the breezes from the lake are like natural air conditioning. There's nothing like that first step out of the car to take in the Lake and feeling that first crisp coolness.
Vacation time means letting a few things slide. D and I are hard, focused workers. I guess he wouldn't be in the position he is at such a young age if it wasn't for this drive, so I'm very proud of him. When I owned my own business, the only time I was able to not work 24/7 was when we were far away from home. Oh, and the three days surrounding my dad's death. When I look back on this, I regret not dropping things more, but there was no one to catch it if I didn't do it. And I guess I will never regret the fact that I did everything I could financially and physically to make it fly. Not everyone can say that. No regrets is a good feeling.
Anyway, we both earn vacations. All those weekends working and all the time scrimping, saving, and sacrificing so that we can travel are so worth it. When we leave home, we leave ready to let go. And, that means, letting go of some of the strict guidelines of Weight Watchers. I do this with, mindful choices, though. When we traveled to Hawaii last Spring, I gained about a pound, but immediately lost that and much more after a week of being home. And I ate everything the Big Island had to offer. In fact, I think if you cut me then, I would have bled Macadamia nuts!
That said, it was with mindful choices that I didn't go completely overboard. We're always very active on most of our vacations, wanting to see everything, so in Hawaii, I knew I could indulge a little bit more than this upcoming vacation might allow. Daily exercise was a must there, hiking to see the lava flowing into the ocean didn't feel like a workout, but it was. Same with the rainy walk deep into the rain forest to see an amazing waterfall. It all added up to daily activity points and so I could indulge a little bit more.
So, this vacation may be more more restful, so I may have to watch what I eat a little more. Or, if I don't, I'm going to have to make the mindful choice to be more active and build some exercise into my day.
That's what this new lifestyle is all about. It's about figuring out what kind of fuel you need and how much of that fuel you need to burn to lose or maintain your weight. I'm not totally convinced that this is what the skinny chicks intrinsically know. I'm more convinced that they're blessed with those skinny genes and so, their superior attitude towards weight is just the luck of good genetics! But, for those of us fat chicks, we just need to learn how to balance our fuel needs. It's pretty much what my doc says, "Too bad for you if you can only have 900 calories a day, there is no secret to weight loss, just eat less." And, since I want to eat more and be good to my bones and heart, I work out.
So, here I am, finishing the last of the mountain of laundry that somehow created itself within the laundry chute and cleaning the house before we leave, taking a break at my keyboard. The picture, above, is from last year's journey to the Lake. And while choosing that picture, I saw a picture of myself that I hadn't looked at in a while. I was many pounds heavier and had a much heavier heart. I had just been through so much and was so unhappy with my body and with what had been done to me. I look so wounded, trying hard to smile for the camera, summoning a forced glint of happiness in my eyes. That trip was the beginning of some healing for me. I remember sitting there, looking at the lake, trying to make sense of what had happened and wondering how I had misjudged someone so close to me.
Today is a new day, this trip is a new journey. I will still take healing from the Lake, it has always provided that for me, but I am much stronger now. I am more at peace with myself, I feel stronger about my daily choices whether it be friendships or food. I feel empowered, peaceful, healing, healthier, and happy. This is a new day and a new life for me. I won't go there again.