This is me, about six years ago on our very belated honeymoon in Disney World. It marks the second time in my life I wore a bikini. The first was when I was about ten. It was a tight hot pink and orange number, and I was on a boat with my family and our friends. I felt uncomfortable and like the thing was going to fall off the whole time. As a teen, I looked back at that picture and remembered viscerally how uncomfortable I felt. I don’t know whether I thought I looked good, or too chunky.
When I look at the above picture, taken on a waterproof crappy camera, I feel a lot. Freedom, sunshine, laughing, bliss. I also think I looked awesome. This trip to Disney happened to mark the end of my eighteen month journey at Weight Watchers. I’d lost fifty four pounds and felt terrific. I bought two different bikinis and felt so confident and happy. We have lots of pictures of us on waterslides and in wave pools and my face just glows in them all.
It is not a coincidence that the trip landed at a time when I had just hit my goal weight (11 st 10). No, I knew the trip was going to happen and I used it as a deadline.
A couple of days ago, my mom brought up the possibility of us all going to Disney next September, which happens to be seven years exactly after the above picture was taken. (How do such large chunks of time pass by?) So once again, I have a trip to Mickey’s Florida home as a deadline, though I am realistic. Last time I lost weight slowly, steadily, and very consistently. I may not have lost every week, but I never gave myself a week off. Never.
A small part of me hates myself for saying I will lose weight by Disney, when I never lost it for having a new baby. A bigger part shrugs, accepting, and says what is done is done and cannot be undone. No point in beating myself up, not when weight loss will require much courage and self love. Hard work.
Last time TMD did all our meals at home, and she often packed me healthy lunches as well. I was working so was not around food all the time. My job also required me to spend a good portion of my day walking through inner city __________, which involved dodging the crowds, speed walking, and a few particularly funky hills. This time I do all the food. I hate cooking, and often feel panic. What will I eat? When will I eat? This is why I reach for convenience foods, because they are so much easier when you are tired and cannot cook.
But it would be nice to have a new swimsuit. Red, I think. It would be nice to have more energy and less aches so I could keep up with the kids as they run around Disney in that hot, hot sun.
This last week I got some very scary news from back home. The sort of news that makes me wonder about trying, again, to figure out how we could possibly navigate the rough waters of immigration and relocation. When I got off the phone, I started eating and did not stop. I could not stop, even when I ended up unpleasantly ass sick as a result. Nothing stopped the eating until the casual mention of Disney, so I latch onto that. Seven or eight months to focus myself on something positive, while quiet worries and the realisation of time passing by try so hard to drag me under.
I have no printer, but really want to find a way to print out the original picture from this post. A few copies. So I can keep looking at it, knowing that no matter how hard it is, I KNOW I can lose this weight because I did it before. The circumstances have changed, but at the core I hope my inner strength and self belief is still there waiting for me and the possibility of a new swimsuit.