Reflections in Hawaii

A week ago I was walking the sandy beaches of Waikoloa Village, on the island of Hawaii. Today I walked the snow-covered streets of Detroit, Michigan. Last Sunday, 85 degrees, today, a bitter 21 degrees. To say that it was difficulty to come back was an understatement! If I had my way, I’d be back on my on pool lounger, drink in hand, in a split second.

My trip to Hawaii was amazing. So many fun-filled activities, beautiful scenery, and one-in-a-lifetime experiences. I was so lucky to have my husband by my side throughout. While I could go on and on about the adventures we had there, I will defer those tales for another post. Rather than reflect on my memories of Hawaii, I’ve decided to touch upon the reflections I experienced while there.

This blog is intended to share my experiences and knowledge surrounding health, fitness and nutrition. However, part of the reason I started this blog was to create personal transparency. For most of my life I have been a very personal, a ‘keep to myself’ type of individual. Friends and family will be the first to tell you that I do not readily share my thoughts and feelings. This blog is one act towards opening my book, to divulging the skeletons in my closet, to learning more about myself, being honest, and perhaps even sharing a few words that resonate with others.

I spent a lot of time reflecting while in Hawaii. I shared in a prior posting that I have been dealing with what I assume to be an intercostal muscle strain. In addition to causing me daily pain, my workouts have been greatly affected by this injury. The effect of not being able to workout at my usual intensity, the disappointment of having to deviate from my fitness competition training, and the uncertainty of whether or not I’ll be able to compete in the spring has been trying on my mental state. While in Hawaii, feelings of self-doubt, failure, body insecurity and self-esteem issues reemerged.

These are feelings I thought I had put to rest a while ago. ‘A Whole New Fit’ encompasses my new approach to treating my body much differently than I have in the past. I workout because I like feeling and looking strong, not to punish myself for eating too many calories or to lose the extra fat on my stomach. I fuel my body with plenty of healthy foods and occasional treats. I don’t starve myself or attempt to survive on rice cakes and celery sticks. I eat foods of all types, sources and nutritional composition. I lead an active lifestyle that includes exercise, but does not revolve around my next workout. My reaction to this injury, to having to modify my workouts and to taking time to rest while also indulging in daily desserts, bowls of pineapple and papaya, and mai tais proved that those feelings of insecurity, anxiety, and self-doubt have never truly gone away.

I believe that Hawaii was a good place for these feeling to remerge. Helicopter rides through the mountains, whale watching cruises, snorkeling excursions, and luaus and were great distractions from negative thoughts. Feeling down is slightly more of a challenge when you’re surrounded by such brilliance. Spending the week in a bikini or sundress forced me to reacquaint myself with my own body. Walking past the fitness facility each morning without opening the door and the anxiety this caused me allowed me to realize the effect my training has on my peace of mind.

While in Hawaii, I thought my negative thoughts would eventually consume me; that I would begin to dread the vacation of a lifetime. What actually happened was interesting. I began to learn that I hold even the smallest amount of control on how I feel, and more importantly, and the largest amount of control on how I react. Feelings that used to consume me may still arise. The difference now, as I’m learning, is that I have power to let them go.

Strive to be happy this week. I am 🙂


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