Saturday, March 23, 2013


Sunset from our View

We just got home from Maui. I’m exhausted, nicely toasted, and pretty certain I am detoxing as I type. Just getting this far into a post is sort of an accomplishment. We took all three kids, which was a great idea when booking, especially when I saw the baby’s name with “Mr” in front of it on the itinerary. That cracked me up consistently this whole trip.

Boogie Boarding

Anyways, it went better than my worst nightmare, and on some instances, a bit worse than my perfect idea of my Hawaiian utopia. The kids got to have some experiences I would have wished I could have had as a kid, only I didn’t know they existed. They swam with turtles, got comfortable playing in the ocean, got spoiled by my parents and sister at every turn, and embedded pounds of sand into all their clothing. Even the baby thrived after a bit of an adjustment, and seemed to develop leaps ands bounds under the Maui sun. We laughed, and cried (um, there was still 3 kids there) and watched the sun sink below the mountains every night, spotted whales breaching not to far in the distance, and went for meandering walks along the ocean every morning. I snapped pictures of everyone playing, and then when I was teaching the kids how to boogie board one morning, something terribly upsetting, and awful happened.

Mike took a picture of me. In the water, in my bathing suit, partially bending over to help Belle get on her boogie board. It was appalling.

All the pre-work I had done before we left was for naught. And by pre-work I mean a little working out, a little eating better, and a LOT of self talk about how my self image was NOT going to ruin my children’s experience in Maui. I was not going to stay hidden on a lawn chair because I was afraid of exposing my ‘less than stellar’ parts on the beach, or in the water. I realized no matter what size I had even been when I landed on the beach, I was always upset with myself, wishing I looked like someone else, and actually cared enough for it to ruin parts of past vacations. I committed to swim and play, build sandcastles and throw caution to the wind by taking off that coverup. So far into this vacation I lived up to my commitment. I was in the water almost all the time, thigh deep (super flattering depth I later found out..) launching the kids on boogie boards, teaching Ben how to use his snorkel set, or running back and forth to the water for more ‘lava’ for our volcano.

Beach Bums

All until I saw that picture. I forgot myself, immediately reported to the Chocolate covered macadamia nuts, and whimpered over my fate. How unfair that I not have superhuman metabolism!! How unfair that my back sucks!! How unfair that my baby was born only 5 months ago!!

Such a sad, sad life

Then Mike came in and basically told me to sit my ass DOWN.

Yes, everyone is sooo sad for the girl on the beach who thinks she’s fat. So sad for the girl with the three happy kids playing, who up until this point, had been smiling as big as they had been, and squealing louder. How terrible it must be to have her parents and sister looking on, and a husband who thinks she’s beautiful, in paradise.


So I manned up, decided not to erase the picture, and decided I was really just having too much fun not caring. I grabbed an apple (I feel like if you do a bad thing, then a good thing, they don’t count. BUT I think my logic may be flawed) and headed back to the beach where the fun was. I also made Mike promise me that was a super unflattering angle and that I did not actually look like that on a permanent basis.

So I was back to feeling ok. I mean I wasn’t super excited, and snapping repeated selfies on the beach (I’m not going there, but you know how I feel about those…), but I was ok. This is who I am now. I’ll be where I want to be in time, so I should stop looking at the other moms in bikinis with dagger eyes for now. Then something I was completely unprepared for happened.

I was playing with Belle on the beach, making yet another volcano, when a lady who owns a condo in the unit walked by and stopped. She told me she loved my hair, I laughed and said thank you, and admitted it had been days since I had properly washed it (about 3 solid layers of ocean water + my thick, wavy hair = ACTUAL AWESOME beach hair! Yay). Anyways I was thrilled with the compliment and went back to lava making. A bit later, on her return I was small-talking with some other Edmonton people when she stopped again, and gave me some of the most amazing compliments anyone has ever given me. She explained she was a photographer, and had been watching me all week and told me I was beautiful.

I was ready for the next line, something about how for only $500 she can do pictures, but realized this was no marketing pitch, it was just a little tanned angel taking the time to pay such a lovely compliment to a perfect stranger. She went on and on, and even asked me multiple times "Do you know how beautiful you are??"  I didn’t know what I say, so I sort of just said thank you and argued she was quite wrong (and wondered if she was confusing me with my sister or someone else).

The moral here isn’t me telling you all how great someone thought I looked. The moral is that I spent WAAAAY too much time thinking I looked not just bad, but down right embarrassing so much of my life. Way thinner, I was wearing cover up after cover up, way fitter I thought I should wear shorts over my bathing suit. Now, at probably the least in shape I had ever been in my life on the beach, when I started just to relax and have fun, this happened.  All I could think was I am way too smart to act so stupid.  Am I Bar Raefli.. no.  But am I fine just the way I am.. yes. 

Obviously my next move was to find Mike in the condo and tell him. I started telling him the story, and his response?

“Yes, I know you are. But more importantly, did she say anything about me?”

Happy her mom wanted to play..

Mahalo to the owner of B5 for the life lesson.

Even Ben is into the Selfie Phenomenon

No comments:

Post a Comment