Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Atlantis: Plus-Sized Paradise

As I am preparing for Kilimanjaro, I am feeling stronger, leaner and more adventurous.

When it came time for my husband and I to book our first family vacation with our 3-year-old daughter, we decided on Atlantis in the Bahamas. It seemed like the right mix of fun and relaxation for our vacation-starved family.

I was excited about the trip but harbored a trepidation that I think a lot of people who are overweight or obese do.... Even though I have been working harder over the past few months, I am still very much a plus-sized adventurer, especially around my hips. I worried that I'd get stuck down the water slides, sink the intertubes, or I would have to sit out the dolphin experience simply because I couldn't squeeze my rear into the wetsuit. Of course, there was the annoying anxiety of walking around in a bathing suit for four days.

My first move was to pick out swimming gear that I could feel comfortable playing in. For me, that was a pair ofLane Bryant swim shorts (because seriously, why should men be the only ones who get to cover their thighs with active swimming gear?) to go along with a cute swimming top.

I made a deal that I would just do the best I could, and if I had to sit something out, at least I'd be doing it on Paradise Island with sand between my toes.

The Atlantis was everything I hoped it would be -- and more. It was luxurious, fun and the swankiest place I've ever been (I usually spend my days off sweating up a mountain). I never once felt uncomfortable in my own skin.

When I first arrived at the Atlantis, I let my husband do all the crazy stuff (aka Leap of Faith and Abyss straight-down water slides). Each day I got a little braver. It started with me taking my first-ever water slide -- a tiny little one my daughter did before me. Whoosh. Down I went to the pool below.

It was a vacation for a lot of firsts -- such as my first time hanging out with a dolphin (while wearing a wet suit that fit). I don't remember ever saying I said whee, wahoo and yippeee so much in one week.

My husband nudged me into trying the Serpent Slide, an intertube ride that swirls through darkness before emering into a slow journey through the (glass-enclosed) shark tank. I laughed and shrieked my way through the Current, an intertube "river" ride that includes rapids, with an optional trip down the Falls.

I seriously don't remember saying whee, wahoo and yippee so much in a four-day period.

I should mention the Atlantis had lots of healthy eating choices (such as egg white omlettes as part of the OMG breakfast buffet at SeaGrapes) to stay somewhat on track (minus the frozen drinks of course). There was also a fitness center, though walking between the Beach Tower and Royal Tower was a nice hike, to keep up activity between the lounging.

I finished my day with a lovely morning beach walk truly felt I was on the path to a life full of more adventures.

1 comment:

Jaden Kale said...

Thank you so much for posting this! I was just invited by a friend's family to accompany them to Atlantis in December (They've decided to pay for everything except food, drinks and any souvenirs). I'm overweight and I was worried about the wetsuits, the waterpark and the fact that I'm horribly self-conscious about how I look in general. I've been unsure about whether I could do any of these things, especially the wetsuits for the sake of snorkeling and, most importantly, the Dolphin experience. I wanted to be a marine biologist when I lived out East. I was all ready to study whales and cephalopods as my focus, and then I moved away from the sea and ended up in an artistic field instead: graphic design, creating logos and such, and have been working with t-shirt sites online. But I'm always drawn towards the sea. That specific experience will fill a void I've had for so long. Thank you for telling your experience. I can't wait to go now, and I hope you reach your goal! You've actually gave me some hope about working harder to lose the weight I'm challenged with, myself! I'm definitely going to pop in and see how you're doing!