Well, we’re back from our Hawaiian holiday and I’m pleased to report it was absolutely what we needed. We were able to switch off from our normal routine, relax and come home refreshed.
We arrived in Hawaii expecting to enjoy a holiday like our honeymoon (pretty much lying on a beach or by the pool for ten days straight). But we soon found out this was not going to be that kind of holiday at all.
We both decided on arrival that we wanted to make the most of our time in Hawaii and jam in as much as we could. And we did. We went surfing, snorkelling, kayaking, hiking, swimming, aqua cycling (look it up!) and just about anything else we could think of.
Every day was packed to the fullest and it was great. Reflecting on it now I’m home, I realise this trip was one of the first times in a long time I’ve been able to spend the majority of the time not thinking about food and planning my day around it. I actually spent the holiday having too much fun to even think about food sometimes! In fact, we had to be really careful to take note of the time to ensure we were eating lunch at lunch time because it was so easy to get distracted by all the fun stuff we were doing.
One potential downside to enjoying ourselves so much was we became the worst bloggers, completely forgetting to take photos on so many occasions! But I guess the positive in this is that we were actually enjoying ourselves far too much to stop and take a photo of it. (It’s a bit of shame that so many of us today honestly wonder, “If someone has fun on the beach and there’s no one there to take a photo, did the fun really happen…?”)
I can honestly say that the majority of the holiday was ED-free. That’s not to say there weren’t struggles, but even when there were I was able to stay strong through those moments — avoiding the breakdowns that were so common over the past few years. I was also able to reduce the amount and type of exercise (compared to what I would usually do), which has been a big step forward for me. Although I was still unable to completely let go of control, I was able to stick to my plan (that Matt and I wrote prior to going away), which included less vigorous activity and more relaxed paced exercise.
Now, another positive to holidaying without obsessing over food is the chance to truly enjoy the culinary delights the destination has to offer. There are so many options in Hawaii and we want to thank you all for the amazing suggestions you gave. For the most part I was able to eat what I felt like eating, which included a variety of foods like salads, burgers, fries, cocktails, fresh seafood, bagels, pastas, ice cream, cheesecakes, brownies and so much more. Eating these types of food was unimaginable to me a year ago. There’s no way I could have wrapped my head (let alone my mouth) around all this food and it was so encouraging to see how far I’ve come.
This holiday served as a reminder to me that life is so much more than food, weight, exercise or control—it’s about living freely. And are you really in control when you’re physical state means you’re too cold to enjoy a surf in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world or too obsessed with calories to sip on a cocktail after a relaxing afternoon nap?
Life should be fluid and natural. It’s not about how disciplined and strict you can be. We should all be able to go with the flow and enjoy situations as they present themselves. This holiday reminded me of that and made me realise how close I am to full recovery.