Be Enough Me: I am Dreading My Trip To Italy

by Elena on July 1, 2012 in Be Enough Me,Italy

As I type I am in the air, enroute to my family vacation in Italy. It has been five years since Principessa and I have been back, and it is Rocket’s first time to Europe. It is a much different trip than we have taken in the past. Instead of camping out in Venice, to spend days on the beach in Lido, we are taking ten days to explore Tuscany and then the mountains of Cortina before eventually heading to Venice for the duration of the trip.

I am thrilled. But also? I have pit in my stomach and can honestly say that I am dreading the trip.

Yes, I said dread.

Let me explain. I was not supposed to weigh 170 lbs on this trip. I was not supposed to be sporting plus size dresses from Target on this trip. I should have packed light, knowing that I would buy new things while there…except that at this weight, in this size, buying clothes in Italy will make me cry.

I know, I sound like a brat. There are plenty of people with bigger problems, larger weights, and larger sizes. I should be thankful that I have the opportunity to take this trip, with my family, for almost a month. (And in a way, Rocket is probably quite thankful that I won’t be shopping for clothes….except that what he doesn’t realize is that when I can’t shop for clothes I shop for other things…shoes, purses…..the possibilities are endless).

But the truth is that I am programmed to feel this way. Weight has always been an issue for me with ups and downs that can rival any of the great roller coasters. And for better or worse, my friends and family in Italy tend to notice the physical things first after a long time away. It is not that they are shallow or rude….it is just how things are. My peers are beach volleyball playing types that are tall and lean. As it is I was never good at beach volleyball and was always relegated to filling the water bottles…but now? The last thing I want to do is see them on the beach. Which is sad because I love the beach in Lido. It is one of the few places in the world that feels like home.
Shopping for clothes in a country where most people are thin is not easy. Sizes run small, and the women that try as they might to be helpful, smile as if they know how I feel.

The hardest thing for me is that the last time I went, I was the thinnest (and most fit) that I had been in a long time. Friend after friend remarked on how great I looked. And I know….it is not our size that matters. But it does. Because I don’t feel good about how I look. It is not enough. Instead of enjoying the beach, I am afraid I will be cowering in my tankini, knowing that I my bathing suit style makes me stick out like a sore thumb among the other women in bikinis.

Except that this trip is more than just about me. It is about Principessa and Rocket. It is about my parents. It is about the family friends who I cannot wait to hug. They love me and in the end, even if they notice my weight, they just want to see me healthy and happy. A trip made all the more important since the last time I was there, I was making the decision to leave Principessa’s dad. I was sad and fearful. I was moody and tearful. It was such a different time in my life. I was not the me that they know. I was not the me that I know.

And in some ways, though the circumstances are vastly different and this time, the issues are certainly not as life changing… I still do not feel like me. And despite the fact that I am well intentioned and working towards getting back to a me that I can honesty say is good enough….in this moment, I am dreading walking the streets, feeling this way.

The good news is that we have almost two weeks before we hit Venice. Time in Tuscany, time spent hiking in Cortina. Time spent playing tourist, which is frankly a new role for me. Time spent exploring new places, visiting old haunts from my year of living in Florence. Time spent together. (And since I am being honest, there is a part of me that is thankful Venice is last since I typically lose weight when I am “home” in Italy because of the walking….and because…even on my worst day, Italian soil just feels like home.)

So yes, a part of me is dreading this trip.

I could apologize for having these feelings about myself. But I won’t. Because it is simply where I am, today, in this moment. Tomorrow, will be different. Tomorrow I will wake up under the Tuscan sun.

Tomorrow I will remember that none of this matters.




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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Katja of Skimbaco July 1, 2012 at 2:59 am

I know you will enjoy your trip and love being back home – but I completely get what you feel, I felt the same way about moving back to Scandinavia. I also was sure that once I start living this lifestyle here, I’d lose weight, but ha, the miracle hasn’t happened yet. Enjoy your trip!!


Elena July 1, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Thanks Katja, I appreciate that I am not alone in feeling this way. And the truth I suppose is that there is so much else in life that is more important to worry about.


Dominique@Dominqiue's Desk July 1, 2012 at 5:01 am

I understand the mix feelings that you are feeling as you prepare for your trip home. I too felt that way when we moved back to Singapore to stay. However I’m sure that you make some fantastic memories back home with your family.


KeAnne July 1, 2012 at 8:08 am

I felt the same way about our recent beach vacation and dreaded the thought of appearing in a bathing suit because dieting and exercise had taken a major backseat to all the other craziness going on. Thankfully, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. For what it’s worth, I saw you at Type-A last weekend and thought you looked great!


Elena July 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Thank you so much for saying that….now that I am here, I am trying very hard to focus on the family time and the exploring. And buying a new pink purse and a great pair of sandals helps too :)


By Word of Mouth Musings July 1, 2012 at 9:35 am

oh sweet heart … how I cried reading your words. We all seem to be at crossroads, planning our futures and setting goals – and yet, still being so very hard on ourselves.
Enjoy, walk, explore and love your family …
They love you, and I am sure admire you for all you have been through and how you have risen to meet each challenge.
My life is richer for knowing you, you inspire me.


Elena July 1, 2012 at 12:58 pm

Oh my lovely friend….the feeling is mutual. Your friendship, kindness,and support mean so much to me.


Kenya G. Johnson July 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

Hello Ciao Mom, I have to admit in your opening paragraph I folded my arms and said so what’s the problem. But that’s women speak – you know how we can judge one another. However, I completely understand. I remember when my husband and I were stationed in Okinawa, I felt like a hippo (and I was REALLY small then). I’m not what you would call tall but the Japanese where short and petite, so needless to say shopping out in town would make me cry. There was no mail ordering and I had to settle for stuff from the PX that I might see someone else wearing. ANYWAY, that’s off track. Hopefully no one will hurt your feelings and if they do you will have a great comeback and will enjoy your trip as you should. After all, it’s ITALY and you are seeing friends and family ;-)


a.eye July 1, 2012 at 12:05 pm

I know that it is easier said than done, but be sure to enjoy your time and not think too much about your appearance. Like you said, you may lose some of the weight due to the walkability of the area, but even if you don’t, your family love you and your friends will be very happy to see you again.


Elena July 1, 2012 at 12:56 pm

You are so right. And the good news is that so far so good. Two days in, we have explored, relaxed, and had great food….I have had a moment here or there, but if nothing else because I don’t want my daughter to pick up on my insecurities, I am really trying to just be me.


a.eye July 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm

So glad!!


angela July 1, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Oh my friend :( I know the body image issues. I absolutely do.

Try to remember though that there are other, amazing things your friends and family will be able to focus on during this trip. I am sure you will be glowing and enthused about the new career path you’re taking, and that happiness and light is what people will be thrilled to see in you.

We are always, always hardest on ourselves. xo


jodifur July 2, 2012 at 8:14 am

I’m so sorry you feel this way. That’s a sucky way to feel. I don’t think your weight defines who you are as a person. And I think you are gorgeous.


Alexandra July 2, 2012 at 10:01 am

HOnesty is so important.

It’s how we work through things.

Examine how we can change things. Brainstorm on why and if we can possibly come up with a different plan.

I know you’ll have a good time, but I understand the mixed feelings.

I feel that way when I go away by myself.

Happy once I”m there, but the days before…help me.


Jack @ TheJackB July 2, 2012 at 11:43 am

It happens to all of us. I recently got together with a bunch of friends from college and it took all of five minutes to see that I am the only one who has been eating.

We were hanging out at the pool and I couldn’t help but notice that while their faces and hairlines have changed nothing else has.

Me? Well when I flex I see the cuts that used to be in my stomach but you can’t walk around like that without looking ridiculous. It made me self conscious and I never was that guy.

Sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and…


Katie O July 2, 2012 at 2:28 pm

I remember that first trip you took when we were writing curriculum together over the computer…and how emotional of a time it was. I am SO proud of you, and you are such a beautiful inspiration. I’m so glad you get to go back this summer with your beautiful family. Isn’t it amazing how body image issues can get in the way of all the blessings around us? We’re at the beach this week, too, and, looking around me at my little family and the great friends with us, I let go, got rid of the cover up, and just enjoyed the beach in my suit. Are my thighs bigger than I wish they were? Sure. Are there skinny people all around me? Yup. But, at the end of the day, I’m going to have more fun getting outside of my own head and enjoying the moment I’m in. XO, lady.


Jana @jana0926 July 8, 2012 at 9:25 am

Oh, you are beautiful inside and out. I hope you’re having a wonderful trip! Hope when you’re back you’ll join us for SOC Sunday at my place now!


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