Two years ago my husband got this idea that we should buy kayaks. I mean why not? We are surrounded by water and it would be a great way to spend time together while also doing something active. At first, I was skeptical. One of my few kayak experiences ended with me staring straight into a wave of the Caribbean Sea before it flipped me over and tossed me out. All I could think about was how I was going to be eaten alive by sharks or I’d drown and my body would be too heavy to carry back to the resort.
I’m a girly girl. I hate bugs and snakes and sweating. I thought kayaking was only for those crunchy people that live in cargo shorts and eat Chia seeds and consider mascara a full face of makeup.
I was also hesitant because of well the one thing that has always held me back from doing things like kayaking: my weight.
I knew that kayaks had a weight limit. I also knew that there are different sizes of kayaks that can hold various weight limits. I didn’t want to have to discuss any of these weight classes with some smug teenage sales clerk.
At the time, I was still smack dab in the middle of my weight loss journey and I was over 200 lbs. Something about being over that number has always bothered me. It makes me feel unfeminine to admit I weigh over 200 lbs. Big, strong MEN weigh 200 lbs not women.
Going shopping for a kayak meant that my biggest insecurity and my femininity would be on the table for judgment. Just like when I had to get measured for a bridesmaid dress at 15 years old. The dried up old hag that smelled like old cigarettes at the flea market mall made sure to tell me how voluptuous and thick I was for a girl my age. She had to reassure me that we would find a dress in my size . . .cause you know I was so fat back then. A big fat size 12, maybe? Ugh. Just like the clerk at Dillard’s who told me “your size is over there.” I could go on and on about the times that strangers felt the need to make my weight their number one concern. It has fucked with my brain over the years. Even when I’ve been at my smallest (which still isn’t “small” by society standards), I still see myself as the perpetual fat girl. Maybe I always will?
Break the Rules You Tell Yourself
I remember having a melt down in Dick’s Sporting Goods one night while my husband and I were shopping. I wouldn’t go “all in” and plant myself in the kayak department. I just kind of wandered around the kayak section, looking from a distance, and then went off to do my own thing….pretending I actually had anything in common with the things they sell in a sporting goods store.
I didn’t want anyone that worked there to see I was serious about actually spending a couple hundred dollars. Because my money isn’t valuable because of my weight, right? Because then they would talk to me. And I just knew the first thing they would ask is my weight….because that’s what they always ask me. That’s how they would qualify which kayak to sell me. Or worse . . .they would assume and offer me up the “kayak for husky sizes.” Is that even a thing? I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes.
After I finished making up this elaborate story in my head, my husband found me sitting in a fold up chair in the camping section with tears in my eyes. He brought me back off the ledge as he always does and reminded me that I was perfect and there’s nothing wrong with me. I realized that kayaks come in purple and the rest is history.
Yes, my kayak has a 225 lb weight limit but I was able to turn that into a positive. I was actually under that number! There was a time when I couldn’t have fit or would have been too heavy. Buying that kayak started something inside me, it gave me confidence to start facing my fears.
Read This: What Taking My Honeymoon Five Years Late Taught Me
Getting on The Water
The first time in my kayak was something I will never forget. Once I learned how to launch, paddle, turn, avoid snakes, etc, I headed out by myself into the water. I was nervous but excited. See, the thing with kayaking is you don’t have room for doubts or fears. If you panic, your body starts to move and that movement can cause you to flip over.
Once I relaxed, took a deep breath, and found the courage to actually look around, a rush of calmness took over my body. I can’t put that into words. I immediately felt at peace and one with my kayak and nature. It was a spiritual connection. I was a little being in this gigantic universe that is absolutely beautiful when you stop and actually look around. I know. How crunchy woo-woo do I sound right now? I promise I won’t start wearing cargo shorts.
Feed Your Soul
It was in that moment that I knew I had found my happy place. That right there is how you feed your soul. It wasn’t my stomach that was hungry when I binge ate all those times. . .it was my soul.
Creating an irresistible life takes courage to face your fears, the negative rules that have been holding you back all these years. My “rule” told me that I had to wait until I had the perfect body before I could enjoy a sport like kayaking.
Getting into that kayak started a love affair. Every single time I feel anxious and stressed, I swear to you it melts into the water with each paddle. I love how kayaking makes me feel. There are things out on the water that you’ll never get to experience if you stay on the shore. As I wrote that sentence, I realize how metaphorical it actually is. If you live your life “safe” on the shore you’ll miss out on so many opportunities that you didn’t even realize exist. I live for these views now.
Read This: Don’t Wait for the Perfect Forecast
Kayaking Transformed My Body Image
The more I went kayaking, the more my confidence grew. The more my confidence grew, the more things I tried outside of kayaking. I wore a bathing suit and shorts for the first time in YEARS! The hell if I was going to be hot and miserable while out on the water. I mean how ridiculous would I look? I found clothes that actually fit and flattered my body right now . . . not 40 lbs from now. Hint: Nobody but you will know the size.
Kayaking makes me feel peaceful and it also makes me feel strong. My arms may not be “perfect” but they are strong enough to paddle around and help me get in and out of my kayak without help. Kayaking was transforming my body image and confidence.
A side effect of kayaking? Well, weight loss, arm muscles, and a great tan! It keeps me off the couch away from depression & binge eating and allows me to live an active life that not only feeds my soul but keeps me physically fit.
What Are You Really Craving?
Stop and listen to your soul. What are you really craving? What fills you up with joy? Don’t take for granted how important this is to creating an irresistible life.
READY TO CREATE YOUR IRRESISTIBLE LIFE?
If you’re ready to create your irresistible life, you need to download my FREE workbook: How To Look & Feel Irresistible at Any Size There is an activity in the workbook to help you brainstorm how to live in the moment and find the activities that you love to do that feed your soul.
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Very inspiring post. I have the same body image issues and toom to hiking like you took to kayaking. I WILL start again.
Thank you, April. That’s great that hiking does that for you! You will definitely start again. Just remember how great it makes you feel and schedule a day where you can go to get back in the swing of things.
Hi Aimee, nice share. I love your pelican kayak boat. The purple color really looking nice on it.
Aimee, love the purple kayak. Looks super cool. Don’t even know where you can find it! Looks like you guys had lots of fun 🙂
Thanks! Dick’s Sporting Goods. It’s a Pelican.
So great to hear how kayaking has made such a difference in your life. It’s so nice when something you enjoy turns out to be good exercise isn’t it? Congrats on your weight loss so far.
Thank you so much!
Such a nice Kayak,
Great post, I’m sure it would inspire a lot of people.
Thanks for sharing and happy kayaking
This is what I am going through right now. I am chunky but that’s not keeping me away from nature. I am a quarter Native American I think that side has helped me to be more spiritual about the Earth. More than gardening, rock collecting and etc.
YESSS!! Nature is the best healing therapy!!