Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Meeting Travel Challenges Successfully

I just returned from a 4 day trip to Kansas City to attend a family funeral.  I was nervous about the trip and tried my best to pack all the shake powder and soup I would need, as well as a blender bottle and a large empty water bottle.  I didn't know how I was going to get my shakes and waters in, and how I was going to explain myself to people.

The plane trip gave me some exciting NSV's (non-scale victories).  For the first time in many years, and LOTS of travel, I was able to feel comfortable in my airplane seat (achieving another Milestone!)  I didn't need a seat belt extender and actually had a little room between my hips and the arm rests.  This is a really big deal for me because I'm pear-shaped and all of the junk in my trunk was a source of embarrassment whenever I traveled.  On the last leg of the trip, I was packed in with two other travelers, and was saying a silent prayer of thanks that I didn't need to feel like a burden to the person sitting next to me.  My body parts were within my seat area.  What a relief and sense of satisfaction.  It's strange posting a picture, but I couldn't help snapping a discreet photo to mark the milestone.

Displaying photo.JPG

The second very nice moment came when three of my siblings saw me for the first time.  They were flabbergasted!  And I have to admit that this was the first time that I could see my own progress - in my face, shape and clothes.  The appearance changes just weren't that noticeable to me before -- I have just enjoyed feeling healthier.  But seeing things through their eyes, I DO look so much leaner and healthier.

Now for the challenges.

The first evening, we were invited to dinner at a cousin's house.  I didn't know her very well, so this felt extremely stressful to me.  But when we arrived, I passed on wine and appetizers, and explained that I was on a medically prescribed diet and wouldn't be eating, just visiting.  She was super gracious and the rest of the evening went very smoothly.

After dinner, we were all sharing pictures of our families on our iphones  - through Apple TV.  They then got to see the heavier me, and I think this helped them to understand why I was on this journey. My discomfort about this part of my travels turned out to be short lived.  I learned that declining food didn't make the evening awkward (past the initial explanation), and everyone was just too busy catching up and getting reacquainted to notice that I wasn't eating.  I had to decline one other dinner when we went to a restaurant, but I ordered a bowl of hot water and made myself some chicken broth.  No problem.

Also for the trip, I packed some workout clothes because our hotel had a small gym.  My sister and I went down one morning, and I did 20 brisk minutes.  Later that day, I learned that another cousin taught a Restorative Yoga class, and she invited a bunch of family members to take the class.  I was worried.  This was my first time trying Yoga.  I can't tell you how special it was.  My cousin is a peaceful, gentle soul, and her calm supportive approach to the class made me feel perfectly capable.  I had been very reluctant to try Yoga due to my size and extreme inflexibility, but this type of Yoga is really wonderful, and I highly recommend it no matter what size you are.  This is the second time the I've tried something new (see Jumping for Valentines) and realized that I never needed to wait to be thinner to try these enjoyable activities.  I could have done them from the start.  So what else am I not doing that I can try right now?  I'll have to think about it.

Although the occasion of my visit was very sad and touching, being forced into this challenging situation taught me that I can get through this phase of my health quest, and that I do have the resolve to make it, and learn from it.


Unknown said...

I hope you're super proud of yourself! You've done so well! You faced all those challenges wonderfully! Congratulations! I'm so glad you got the chance to see your progress through others' eyes.

It's often these sad times that bring family even closer together. I'm glad so many positives came out of your trip.

Congratulations again! I'm incredibly happy for you!! :-D

happyinca said...

Thank you so much Caitlin!!

Kathy said...

I'm so thrilled for you that you could see your own progress, especially with those before pictures. Kudos also for your willingness to bring your blender and other essentials for travel away from home. You're a superstar in my book!!

happyinca said...

Thank you so much Kathy! Your support and kind words mean a lot to me. We are on this incredible journey together.