Thursday, March 8, 2012

Vacation wrap-up.

I kind of hated what I ended up wearing on vacation.  Not at the time- I was really too busy to care- but this is not the sophisticated island wardrobe I wish I could have worn.

What I wore to hike to Waimoku falls and the Oheo Gulch.

What I wore for an underwhelming sunrise on Haleakala.

Frankly, I'm not even sure what I would have wanted to wear instead of these clothes, or how glamorous it is really possible to be while hiking a slippery, muddy trail or standing in freezing pre-dawn rain. And I did not actually see anyone on either of these excursions about whom I thought, "Wow! She totally nailed it. I wish I could look that sophisticated while sweating/freezing my ass off."  Where I did see women who looked fantastic was in restaurants and I think I probably looked pretty good then too. I only packed one dress, but it was one that I love and that I generally feel pretty good in. And here we are again, back to that perennial question on this blog: Why don't I have a whole suitcase (or closet) full of stuff that I love and generally feel pretty good in?

I wore this dress to go out to dinner again. (With the addition of makeup and sandals.)

I'm increasingly concerned that the real answer to this question is that I don't usually love, or even feel pretty good about, my appearance because of my weight- not because of my clothes. I arrived home from Maui and was thrilled to discover I had managed not to gain any weight while on vacation. I'd mentally prepared myself for the fact that I might have gained a bit as I was not restricting my eating at all and I was doing a lot of lounging, it being a vacation after all. But now I've gone from being thrilled about maintaining to being bummed about not losing fast enough, in the space of just a couple of days.

Back home but wearing treasure from vacation.

I don't want to feel this way. I don't want to be this kind of person- the kind whose self esteem is tied to her weight- especially since even I, feeling as crappy as I do, can see from today's photos that I am staring to look a lot slimmer. At least when I'm wearing a black shirt dress and not a shapeless tank top or a dumpy windbreaker. And when I can  change my clothes three times before I settle on an outfit. And when I can have my picture taken close to fifty times and then pick out the two photos in which I have my stomach pulled in so much it makes my smile look strained.

I'd rather be the kind of person who can feel great about just having spent an awesome week with her amazing husband (who thinks she looks stunning pretty much all the time BTW) and was having so much fun most of the time she didn't give a damn about what she was wearing, or eating, for that matter. Why can't I be that person? Why can't I look at that top photo and focus on how happy I look, and how pretty my smile is, and not how thick my waist seems?

I'm going to try to be better. And I'm going to keep trying to create that perfect vacation wardrobe. Next challenge: A seven day Alaskan cruise with and additional weekend in Seattle. And yes, I know that I should not be complaining about my clothes, or my weight, and that rather, I should be counting my blessings that I'm lucky enough to get to go on vacation several times a year. I do know this. But somehow I can't let go of the dream of being slim and well dressed on these vacations, so I'll keep trying to reach that ideal. Hopefully with less complaining from here on out.

Today's rather bland outfit was the result of my crappy mood and my desire to wear these two new necklaces: Black pearl and silver pendant from Maui- a souvenir gift from my husband to commemorate our vacation. Mother of pearl heart pendant from Penrhyn (Cook Islands)- a souvenir gift from my father's recent vacation.


  1. I went to England once on a trip with what I thought was the perfect travel wardrobe. When I got there I discovered that I looked so out of place. At the time most people in England were wearing a lot of black. I didnt take a single article of clothing in black.. Everyone stared at me and called me a "yank". So I only looked fabulous in my mind. I decided that had to be enough.

  2. Both dresses are very flattering on you. Methinks you should give yourself attaboys for having a body that can carry you to your destination on a rigorous hike!

  3. I can totally relate to the mindset you're describing and the one you'd like to achieve. It's a struggle for me too. I'm also struggling with letting go of some of my "not favorite articles of clothing that I rarely wear"...even though I have so many other outfits that I "do" like and feel better in. I have no idea why I'm saving the more crappy stuff that doesn't look good on me anyway. I have issues. haha
    And, btw, you are looking fabulous! That black dress is extremely slimming.
    Oh, and have you checked out this blog?
    She has really great wardrobe capsules and is currently showing some traveling ideas.

  4. lovely photos. xx

  5. First and foremost, you look marvelous in both of those dresses. That photo of you in the colorful frock with a gorgeous tropical background is a keeper! And maintaining your weight on vacation is quite an accomplishment. You've definitely articulated how we all struggle, at times, with our own worst perceptions of ourselves.

    Confronting our own photos through blogging can be part of the pressure we feel, but it can also be empowering and affirming. Just keep finding the things that make you feel good and wear them like crazy! Even if it means more repetition than you'd like, that little boost to the spirit is worth it.

  6. I can completely relate to how you feel. About 8 years ago, I weighed 182. My husband and I had gone on vacation and although I thought I looked great when I looked at pictures I learned the truth. I hated everything about the way I felt about myself. I grew up being told that I was fat and ugly (kids and adults can be cruel). In reality, I was chubby as a kid, but in high school I was tiny (even though I was told otherwise). My last year of college I started gaining weight. I always wanted to be thin and never felt that I would be that person. At some point I found out that I have hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) and that it's a precursor to diabetes. This propelled me into my new life. I started actively working on myself. I worked out everyday and started eating right. I slowly lost 54lbs. I've gained back 5 in the last 7 years. Not too bad! I still have trouble with my body image, but I'm working on it. I don't know that it will ever go away, but I try.

    I think you can achieve your goal. It takes time, but you have to be patient. Good luck to you. You look fabulous! If you have any questions about what I did you can always email me.