It is half a week since we returned from our holiday. We’ve unpacked, unwound, and uploaded the photos. I decided at some point the holiday mentality of wine every evening had to stop, and food has become more filling and rewarding the last couple of days. But I was looking at my photos today and those nasty little voices started to creep in. “Look at your tummy. You didn’t get anywhere near that size 14 wetsuit!”
And then I compare the holiday of last year to the holiday of this year;
Last year I felt huge. I covered my form with baggy clothes, I refused to get into the water. My wetsuit wouldn’t get past my thighs. I spent a lot of time sitting and drinking, and watching the others run around. When we were in Bude a few weeks later last year it was that lovely time of month, and I used it as an excuse to avoid excessive movement. I was tired, and that tiredness penetrated through the whole holiday. It was the same delightful situation this time around, but fortunately I was less tired during the holiday. I refused to let it stop me getting into the water, or enjoy the walking around, and while I was probably more grumpy and tired than I like to be on a holiday, I got a good hour of body boarding in and it was only the last couple of days that exhaustion limited me more than I liked. Fortunately once home I could flake, and flake I did! Flake and moan and grumble.
Anyway, I looked at that photo on the right, and others, where I was boarding with my son, and those little voices highlighted that tummy of mine that was totally relaxed and not sucked in at all, and those little voices didn’t comment on the exercise I was getting, or the invigoration of being in the sea. Or the time spent with my youngest while he was brave enough to try body boarding for the first time. Those little voices are vain. Image and appearance is all that matters to them. Not the fun, not the memories.
I look at those photos and I know I had a good time in Dorset. Even with the limitations I felt I had, or that I set myself. I can look back fondly. Yes it was a larger me, but there was a pub with the most awesome onion rings I have ever tasted! Yes it was a larger me, but the afternoon wandering around Weymouth was lovely! And the time in Bude a few weeks later, sitting in the van near Crooklets Beach and reading Anne Rice while the menfolk hit the waves, I actually enjoyed that peace and quiet. I felt it restorative. Which reminds me, I still need to get the next book! Lasher, I think…..
The walk down to St Nectan’s Glen, standing in the pool. It was peaceful, it was calm, it was what I needed at that time.
So I didn’t hit that goal of the size 14 wetsuit this summer. But it didn’t limit my holidays, or the memories my kids will have of the awesome family holiday. We walked and explored, we sat and socialised, we braved the windy beach, we sat and watched kids play together in a playground. There was enough activity and enough rest.
Two photos, two different holidays. Both with happy memories. And really, when I look into it, my weight has had the smallest impact in affecting what those happy memories could have been and what they are. I don’t loathe last years photos, or look at myself in disgust. And I refuse to do that this year either.