Thursday, May 24, 2012

What was supposed to be here

"You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it."  -Matt Damon in We Bought a Zoo

I had to keep repeating that to myself when I booked the Mr's anniversary present in Hawaii, an outrigger canoe ride.  I contacted an outdoor sports company, told them our story and asked what we could do at our weights.  He said stand up paddle or outrigger canoe.  Well the Mr has done SUP but I hadn't and my first time was NOT going to be on the ocean regardless of how "calm" it was.  I almost drown in California as a teen and I need to work my way up to being more comfortable in the ocean.  So I chose the outrigger canoe, something I've always wanted to do and I know the Mr did too.  Then I saw a picture of it:

HawaiianPaddleSports.com

Um yeah, the skinny girls barely have a few inches hip wise, I can't imagine MY big butt!  So I emailed the guy and asked how wide the seat was and he said 19".  Can you guess the next thing I did?  Yep, I measured my ass.  I sat on the carpet in the office and marked the widest part of my hips in a pair of capris.  22"  Great.  Then I went down to the cold, cement basement floor and put on a pair of "sucker pants" (compression shorts that were seriously tight) and remeasured.  19"  So I was determined to keep it secret and then I confirmed the reservation with the guy and he said we would get out of the canoe and snorkel.  I froze in terror.  Scuzi?  My immediate thought was getting my lard ass back onto the canoe without tipping it.  I said "uh I don't see me being able to lift myself up into the canoe from the middle of the water!"  He said they could bring a ladder to help with that.  "Um okay but I'm still going to tip this f**ker" is what I wanted to say.  Of course he called the second the Mr got home so I had to have him go outside while I talked to him.  When I got off the phone I motioned him back in and sat on the couch.  My eyes filled with tears and I just lost it.  I began crying uncontrollably.  He became concerned and was trying to guess what could have me so filled with terror and he was getting nervous.  He finally guessed to some degree but I think he thought the boat I was talking about was bigger and was like no biggie.  He said "unless it's a canoe or something."  I lost it and shook my head yes.  He said that was awesome, loved it and was now a little nervous about it.  So there we sat, him somewhat excited and nervous and me bawling like someone just told me I had a terminal disease.  I figured worst case scenario is I wouldn't get out of the boat to snorkel.  I spent the next 4 weeks in complete and utter terror but I was doing it for the Mr because I knew he'd love it.  He gave me a billion outs and said he would understand.  I couldn't do that to him especially now that he knew.  I was just going to have to gonad up and do it.

That's what I had written before we left for our vacation.



The worst case scenario didn't happen because that wasn't the real worst case scenario...we didn't do it.  Just before we left, I cut my thumb deep enough that a stitch or two could've been required but there wasn't enough skin to stitch it.  Yeah.  The paddle would've hit right where the cut was but that wasn't completely prohibitive.  I could've bulked up the bandages on the wound.  Then right before we left, the Mr injured his hand and he said he wasn't sure he could see being out there for 3 hours but it might be okay by then.  We had a 3 day window to cancel.  In the time we got there to the 3 day window, we saw no less than 50 outrigger canoes.  On the side of the road, in parks, on trucks, outside our window, I mean EVERYWHERE.  What became very obvious was my butt literally was not going to fit.  I was terrified.  I mentioned it to the Mr I was worried and he said to cancel it because he wasn't overly jazzed about it.  An outrigger canoe wasn't at the top of his to do list but he didn't want to disappoint me and he was now worried about how he would do in it too.  I sent the guy an email and cancelled and he was fine with it.  We were relieved too because honestly we had way too much crammed into that day including a visit with a friend that I don't know how we would've done if we did the canoe before.

But it did really affect both of our self esteems because this was supposed to be a reward for all of our hard work and instead it felt like same crap different trip.  We were still too fat to do something awesome.  It triggered a lot of old feelings in us and we dealt with them by keeping Snickers Dark in the black.  Way to regress eh?  So between the treatment in coach and the canoe thing, our confidence was at an all time low.  It was frightening how quickly we could revert back to feeding those emotions but when you use the excuse that you're on vacation, it's very easy to do.  We never would've done that in "real life" but I think we were just so caught off guard because we pictured this trip being much different than any other since we're at the thinnest we've ever been going to Hawaii.  (Not by TOO much but about 40 pounds or so)  I think finding out that we couldn't parasail this time as well (before we left) was kind of the beginning of feeling like "oh, so this really isn't different, we're still too fat for prime time."  We were both very sure that the weight limits were well within our limits when we checked 6 months ago but were suddenly different when we checked a month before we left.  It felt like we were being punished for the lack of perceived progress over the past year.  The body shape might be changing but body shape isn't a requirement for a zipline or flying parachute in the water, weight limits are and we were quickly reminded of that.  All of the things we still couldn't do were being thrown in our faces and we got a bit resentful.  It didn't keep us holed up in the house or anything but it  told us that if we ever want things to be different we're going to have to figure something out that we're obviously not doing.  That's what we're doing now.  I am praying that this time next year is completely different because I've got stand up paddling on the Hanalei River I would like to do.

Have you ever had a mental setback after realizing you weren't able to do something you thought you were fit enough/within the weight limits to do?

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51 comments:

  1. Yes, I've had mental setbacks when I've realized I *still* wasn't fit enough to beat my personal best or make it all the way through an exercise routine/dvd.

    It's that damn "ultimate ball" dvd in the S90D set. I made it all the way through the whole program (took me way longer than 90 days, mind you) and that dvd can STILL reduce me to tears. Who cries over a fitness ball dvd? My dumb pudding butt, that's who.

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    1. I've had my own moments where I've cried through a DVD ticked off that my body wasn't cooperating. I feel ya!

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    2. I cry through all DVDs it seems! They all move so fast sometimes and I just don't every feel like I am really that slow but I can't keep up. To the MRS: I relate so much to what you are saying. I can feel so good about what I have accomplished, but the truth is I still look to the rest of the world like I sit on the couch eating bon bons all day long. It is a constant struggle. Hugs.

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  2. Oh I feel for both you guys! It must have been deflating to have the trip not quite live up to expectations and have so many things not go your way! And I get the whole trepidation about not doing things because of the fear of your size. Believe me, I'm 60 now and spent most of my life NOT doing things because of it. And so there are lots of things that would be more difficult now because my knees, feet, etc. are in not great shape from carrying around too much weight for too long. My goal is to kayak - but I am worried about my butt fitting in a kayak and then trying to get IN or OUT of one without looking like a whale! I'm working on upper body strength but I can't squat to save my life. So I can certainly relate.

    But you know what? Put this year's disappointment behind you because NEXT year you guys are going to ROCK Hawaii when you get there. I see both stand-up paddling AND dugout canoeing in your future. And I see kayaking in mine (when I am finally able to do a push up!) too! Bravo you two!!!

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    1. Thanks Peg! I think a sit on top model kayak would work well for you. Most kayaks are a 250 lb weight limit especially if they're from rental places. (I've done extensive research on this over the past few months as we're looking into getting some) You can find 300-500 lb weight limit kayaks ranging from $350 to $600 depending on how much you want to spend. (If you're looking to buy)

      I think kayaking is a great goal and I know we'll both get there!

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  3. Such an honest and heart-wrenching post! I'm sorry your spirits have taken a tumble, but I hope you can use it as inspiration for the year ahead. This just wasn't The Year.

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    1. Thanks Cammy. Yeah it was a pretty big ego deflator but I'm hoping we can turn this around to our favor.

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  4. 19" seat...most hawaiians must not paddle an outrigger canoe! lol. I'm impressed your bum was 22" Shoot girl only 3 more and your golden! Next year for sure.

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    1. HA...22" spread not around. I think if my waist was ever 22", I'd tip over from my height! :) Better get to whittling the rump/hips!

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    2. BBL or Brazil Butt Lift will grind your hips down for sure. I know it's killing me. haha.

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  5. You are definitely not giving yourself enough credit. "Not by TOO much but about 40 pounds or so" is actually a lot. I have to give you major credit for losing as much as you've lost already. Don't let something silly like a canoe get you down.

    You know what raises my spirits when I think that I've only lost a pound or so a week? On my trip to the grocery store I stop by the meat dept and pick up a pound of ground beef. I look at it and I can see exactly how much a pound is and it's a lot. So, to say that it's just a pound or only about 40 is definitely not giving credit where it's due.

    Hugs!!!

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    1. Trust me, we don't forget how far we've come but when you've lost 200 and still have 125ish to go, 40 lbs is a blip on the radar. ;) Plus after 4 years at it, the 'wow' factor is wearing off and it's just plain irritating now. But I thank you for reminding me to appreciate each pound.

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  6. First Congrats on the loss and it IS a big deal and second I just wanted to give you a hug... I know what it feels like to lose weight and still not be able to do do stuff! HUGS

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  7. Maybe instead of looking at the things you wanted to do but just haven't gotten to yet, maybe focus on what you can do now that you couldn't do before. Think about how much more energy your probably had on this trip compared to past trips. I do understand though, I'm terrified to go to amusement parks because I don't want to do the walk of shame by getting up to a ride and then not fitting. My butt is wide and those seats are narrow. Everyday I get a little closer to not having to worry so much about it. You will be able to do the things you want to do, and you will appreciate every minute of it when it happens. The race is long and in the end it's only with yourself. Wow that was deep...must be the protein shake I had this morning.

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    1. There are a few things we were able to do like a certain hike and such but the things we wanted to do but couldn't unfortunately outweighed the things we could do. Amusement parks are another 75 lbs away for me so not this year unfortunately. I was really aiming for it this year too because it would've been 20 years since I was last able to ride at one. Sigh. That was deep, protein shakes, who knew?

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  8. I'm sorry you weren't able to do the canoe thing. :( I understand how disappointing that must have been. I get terrified every time we're about to go somewhere new (restaurant, concert, etc) because my first thought is, "Will I fit in the seat?" I spend tons of time on Google looking to see if I can find out how wide the seats are at any particular venue, even if it's just pictures. It's exhausting and depressing. Nobody should have to live like this.

    I'm still too fat to fit in most seats, but I look forward to the day I no longer have to be scared and ashamed. Your blog gives me inspiration, and I'm so happy I found Turbo Jam through your recommendations. Hopefully, by this time next year, we'll all be able to do stuff we can't do now.

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    1. Girl I SOOOO get it. That is how I LIVED. I never accepted a restaurant invite until I was able to see the inside online and if I couldn't, I said no. So trust me, I know what it's like to be at the mercy of a booth or chair with arms. But you can do this, one day you won't give a second thought to the kind of chairs a restaurant has and that is a big victory!

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  9. "The body shape might be changing but body shape isn't a requirement for a zipline or flying parachute in the water, weight limits are..."

    AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! See, this is why I literally had a meltdown (okay, I kinda did...took my page offline and everything) when you left. I know losing weight is hard for everyone, but not everyone has to deal with losing over 100-150 pounds and STILL being stopped dead in their tracks for being "too fat". They don't get that "less fat" isn't enough for us because we are STILL limited, not by our own ability (because I'm pretty sure we could crank out just about anything by now) but by the WORLD who says, "I don't care what you've lost...it isn't ENOUGH for us." Eff the world! (Okay, I wish we could, but honestly, we have to conform to it, which pisses me off, but I'll have the last laugh one day...me, you and the Mr all laughing our skinny arses off someday...that's what I've got in my head.)

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    1. I knew you would get it. There are few people who have lost as much as we have and still have a good amount to go. It can be hard to understand why we get so frustrated. But you feel like you're at that cusp of being rewarded and when multiple things spit in your face, you feel like all of your hard work has been for nothing. And yes, we WILL be laughing our skinny arses off indeed!

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  10. It always stinks to have those deflating moments--had plenty myself. I so feel your discouragement--it is such a mind game and I hate mind games! (may be why I can't seem to kick this weight). But I know you and the Mr. well enough to know you'll kick that disappointment to the curb and get the job done. Hopefully you had more ups than downs on this vacay.

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    1. I'd say we came out 55/45 to the good which makes you feel like you wasted your money. I'm just ready to stop having weight be an issue or a consideration for anything. It's old and I'm over it. I should probably drink some water. LOL

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  11. I'm so sorry you weren't able to do the canoe! The setbacks have got to be frustrating after how much work you've put in.

    BUT. Can you imagine if you hadn't started this journey at all? By now you could be too large to fly to Hawaii at all. You are seeing improvements to your situation with every trip you take. I have a feeling you'll be pushing the limits in Hawaii before long.

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    1. Yes, I'm very thankful we started the journey and I don't mean to sound ungrateful but when you're basically back at a weight that you were at for a good part of your adult life, you feel stuck and frustrated that weight that wasn't supposed to be there in the first place is "all" you've lost but that's a whole OTHER blog post! LOL

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  12. Hello! I just found your blog and while I've only read your latest post and the "about you" page, I'm hooked and want to read everything. You lay it out there for the world in a way I wish I could. You make me feel like somebody out there knows what I feel like. THANK YOU! My husband and I are in a similar situation and we started taking control of our lives last October. I am down 44 lbs and he is down 30. I know that's not a lot but its a huge jump start for us. I appreciate your honesty and humor. It gives me hope and support! I know way too much about crying over my size and not being able to do stuff...or just being too scared (or scared of being embarrassed)to do something. I am cheering for you from here! You go girl!! Thank you so much!!!

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    1. Hi Jodi! I've found the best way for me to help myself and others is not to lie about hard hard this is. Boy if only the rest of the weight fell off like the first 100 lbs! Congrats on your weight loss journey as well! That's so great your hubby is doing it with you!

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  13. Mrs, I do feel for you. I hate being limited by my weight. It makes me so angry, frustrated and sad mostly. However, I think you need a little kick in the pants because you WILL get there. I have no doubt about it. It didn't happen this trip, might not happen the next (but I think it will), but it will happen. You are doing so well. Sorry this trip wasn't the best for you and I have a feeling the next one will be much better. PS, love we bought a zoo. So excellent and that quote always makes me pause and think.

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    1. I have no doubt either and I thank you for your faith. But after 4 years, it's exhausting. All victories are now hollow and while I would love to change that feeling, I can't. I'll be blogging about that soon as well. It's just kind of a big bowl of suck we're dealing with right now as we continue on.

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  14. I can certainly understand the disappointment in those realizations...but I know if anyone will use this as "fuel" to feed the fire, you guys will!!! I can only imagine what your trip next year will look like and how much more you will be able to accomplish. Keep at it!!!

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    1. You know it! We've already been back at it since the day after we returned. (Boy how I wish we'd learned that lesson MANY years ago!) Next year had better be different. I don't think my self esteem can take another disappointment on that front like this one.

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  15. I definitely feel your pain...and my number one piece of advice (not that you asked for it, but it's what helps me): focus on what you can do, not on what you can't! When I start focusing on what I can't do or haven't achieved, I start to get more of that in my life. Several years ago I finally got it together and lost 55 pounds and was the lightest I'd ever been as an adult. But all I could focus on was the fact that I hadn't lost 75 pounds and so didn't reach my goal weight. And so I regained. It's really hard sometimes but now I try and focus on all that I have achieved and guess what? That motivates me!

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    1. We definitely count our blessings on the things that are easier. When you've been at it as long as we have, the joy is being sucked out of the victories. Makes some crazy things run through your head when you've already lost 200 and still have 125 to go.

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  16. I can SO understand the frustration and disappointment--and the Snickers Dark, too. It stinks to have lost so much and come so far yet find there are still limitations to what you can do because of weight. This stuff isn't easy, and it isn't for wimps. Wish I could reach out and give you a real hug; I know you and the Mr. will use this to propel you forward and next year WILL be different, but that doesn't help right now.

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    1. Girl, that Snickers Dark is DANGEROUS! Thanks so much for understanding. You're right, it's not for wimps. We just have to suck it up and keep going. I've already seen the option and that sucks worse! HA! Thanks for the hug!

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  17. Those girls look so tiny! I'm sorry your tripped sucked. But it is wonderful how everyone here knows you well enough to know how much power you are going to suck right back out of this. I love your honesty and your drive. Blessings.

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    1. Oh I know. You should've seen me in this one awesome surfer girl store. I think there's a blog about that coming up. It was another self esteem killer. But we got right back to business the day after we got home and are moving forward. That reminds me, I need to chug some water! :) Thanks so much for the comment!

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  18. I am sorry you had such tough times on your trip. Since I've lost weight I am no longer over the weight limits for things, but there are other times I can't do something how I think I should be able to and I get upset. For example, I have the biggest loser cardio max dvd and I can do it all except for part of the stuff in the 10 min level 3 add on. It's a lot of upper body strength and after a while my arms just give out and I have to stop. I keep thinking I should be able to do it, and each time I am a little better, but STILL can't make it through. One day I fell on my face and then I got so pissed I just started crying and felt like a failure. I think we're so hard on ourselves and seem to think more about how far we have to rather than all we've done. There are so many htings I've always wanted to do, but haven't been able to or been scared to because of my weight. Last year when I could ride roller coasters again I was SO happy. I was TERRIFIED in line looking at the seats and thinking there was no way the seatbelts could fit around me, but they did. I was like 230 at the time. The good thing about most roller coasters is that there isn't an actual weight limit so much as a size, so depending on how you're shaped you can often fit. I am short, and most of my fat is in my belly, so if I had weighed much more I wouldn't have fit comfortably in a lot of rides. One thing I really want to do now is go rock climbing, but my upper body isn't nearly as strong as my legs. I can run for miles, but after 10 push ups my arms are shaking so bad. I also want to go horseback riding now that I feel like I could easily get up on a horse. I know that they have ladders and things to help people, but for me, I want to be able to do it myself...to just be "normal" like everyone else.

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    1. It's never easy when we feel like we've worked hard and deserve to be able to do the things we love. I have cried my way through a workout a time or two from that feeling so I know how you feel. Sounds like you have your next goal...to work on upper body and get that pick of you scaling the side of a mountain or rock wall!

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  19. That sucks beyond words, and my heart hurts for you both. I have melt downs like that, and it's so hard to explain how you feel when everyone around thinks you should be SO happy that you're SO much smaller than you used to be... It's not that easy. It probably doesn't help, but next vacay, you KNOW you're gonna get in that canoe! *HUGS*

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    1. Yes! I know you get it and I know you know it sucks too. I think it can be hard to explain to people who haven't had large amounts of weight to lose. I was this weight (or close to it) for a long time so this is very familiar and just feels like getting back to square one instead of a victory. It does help. It helps to know you understand where I'm coming from on it. (((HUGS BACK!)))

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  20. I'm sorry things didn't turn out how you anticipated. :( But you will do all this and more the next time you go--I know it! And how many things were you able to do on this trip that you hadn't been able to do on past ones? Were you able to walk longer distances without getting tired or winded? That alone is huge! Maybe it's not much consolation now, but I hope that once you've gotten over the initial disappointment, you'll be able to focus on how far you've come instead of how far you still have to go.

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    1. Looking forward to doing whatever it takes to not sink a stand up paddle board next year! :)

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  21. I've been there and it sucks but it sucks even more to let it get to you and to gain back a substantial portion of what you lost. Let the anger work for you!

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    1. Pssht, welcome to several times of my life. Been there and done that too. I put my anger into burning 1300 calories tonight. ;)

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  22. I've never had quite the same experience (unless you count being a little bit stuck in a canoe on school camp), but I have thought twice before a) getting on a horse (it seemed mean to the horse, a thought that was more or less confirmed by how cranky the horse was and how it kind of groaned and stepped sideways when I climbed on) and b) going caving. In the end, I found someone in the group who was bigger than me and made them go in front, so that if they got through the gaps then I knew that I could. What I DIDN'T consider was that if they got stuck, then I was all alone in the dark until someone rescued us...!

    I'm sorry it didn't work out on this trip but it sounds like you guys head to Hawai'i semi-regularly, and you have something quite tangible to aim for now. I'm finding that numbers on the scale don't mean so much anymore as what that number actually means in real life. Keep chipping away and you'll get there one day :)

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    1. Oh man, that stinks! I always look at a map to see if it includes a phrase like "fat man's squeeze" and then it's like "nope, not even gonna risk it." If you'd told me 4 years ago I'd only be 2/3 there, I'd have probably made up an excuse not to start.

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  23. Back in 2008, I went to Myrtle Beach with my husband(then my boyfriend). He was super excited and wanted to go parasailing. I didn't want to go b/c I am very scared of heights, and I couldn't swim. He paid for me to go, and I had the option to parasail or not. I had asked if there was a weight limit, and they said no. The guy told me there was just a wind requirement. We did it together, but I couldn't help but notice how I couldn't fasten the bottom clip on my life jacket. I looked so grotesquely huge in those photos, and I couldn't enjoy myself. I don't know if it's something I'd ever do again although I think about it from time to time. At that time I was about 313 pounds, and now I am much heavier. I definitely wouldn't attempt it at this weight.

    I'm sorry things didn't go as planned on your trip to Hawaii. I hope that next year is much different for you too. I've heard things about people's body trying to adjust to massive weight losses, kind of like being in a maintenance phase for a while before it starts back up losing weight again. I don't know how true that is, but I've definitely wondered if that's what you've been going through.

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    1. Isn't it always nice to have pictures to remind you of an uncomfortable event like that? *groan* I've got a few myself. I hope my adjustment period is over. I'm sick and tired of this crap. I think we may be on to something but it'll take a few weeks to see if it's consistent with my theory.

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  24. Believe it or not, we smaller people have the same issues of having come so far and still have what looks (to us) like a long way to go. Admittedly, following your story makes me put it in perspective, but I still find it sucky that some seating is too close for me even if I do fit in it, that my own fears keep me from doing things that I probably could physically do but don't dare try, that I still think of myself as fat even when I can see that I'm not AS fat, and that I've been at this for almost two years and have yet to shed more than 45 lbs. If I look at it that way, I get discouraged too. But if I brag on those 45 lbs instead, I feel a whole lot better. Yes, your story is bigger in every way...more to lose, more lost, longer doing it and more things that still won't work. But it's a matter of degree, not inability to understand at all. Just sayin'. Jeez, that sounds like I'm scolding you, but really I'm not, just trying to say yes I do understand.

    Now I have to tell you about the non-happening parasailing that DH and I were scheduled for while on a Mexican Riviera cruise that stopped in Matzatlan. When we got there, they took one look at DH and said, not enough wind--not now, not ever. He said I should go, but to tell the truth, I was happy for the excuse not to, as I'm terrified, not of heights but of falling from them. ;) So we sailed a catamaran around the bay instead.

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  25. The timing of this was good for me because I'm experiencing that on a few levels. First, my husband is currently out kayaking down the river while I am at home because not only can I not fit at all in a kayak, but my strength/balance is so weak that I couldn't navigate very well once I was in it. As for a few others, the water park is still off limits to me (except for the lazy river, but trying to get my big tookus into the round donut hole without flipping out of it has not been mastered yet. And baseball games in the summer for local teams is iffy at best because the seats are still very tight for me. I HATE summer weather as it is, but it's even worse trying to find clothes that cover me (elbow length sleeves anyone? so hard to find!), while trying to enjoy outdoor activities feeling like a big ol' whale.

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  26. I'm so frustrated for both of you! You've come SO INCREDIBLY FAR, you absolutely deserve to do all the fun things you want to do! But I know that there WILL come a day when you will do anything and everything you want to do, and it will be worth all the hard work you've put into your weight loss.

    Now I want to measure the width of my butt... ;)

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