Mexico Recap V.2 – Progress through Baby Steps

I can count on two hands the number of times I’ve publicly worn shorts or a short skirt, in my entire life. I’m 33. I’ve always wanted to hide behind fabric because my legs looked and felt different (not knowing then, why).

Once I received my diagnosis of Lipedema (stage 1), I understood better. Not sure what it is about lipedema that scares the living hell out of me, but it does. It’s a fear that is ever present for me, that I work to manage regularly. A cut on my calf – will that turn into cellulitis? Sprained ankle/contusion – how long will it take that deep lump/bruise to heal? Why are my legs covered in bruises and why do I bruise with the slight touch of a finger or a bump into something? Why are my legs so tender and painful? Will the added stress on my vascular system have diabetes implications in the future? Why do my legs feel so “heavy” and “thick” today? Why is the lymphatic buildup so bad right now – my insulin pump sites won’t work.

You get the idea.

I’ve worked really hard to change the way that my legs look and feel, and my mental thoughts. The last few years have been transformative in all areas and some have asked if it’s possible that I’ve put my lipedema into remission (don’t know if that’s an option?). They’ve changed shape, become lean, toned, and I’ve almost mentally arrived. Our trip to Mexico played a huge role in this. For the first time in my life, I wore nothing but shorts and skirts! And I felt completely comfortable in my own skin. For the first time, I thought, “hey! I’ve got real, visible ankles – look at all of my hard work!” Mexico was empowering for me, and it’s been many baby steps to get to this point, but here I am!

First two pics, are after flying/dehydration – they were extra puffy!

Puffiness! 2 Puffiness!

IMG_5689[1] IMG_5846[1] IMG_5742[1]

Mexico Recap V.1- Whale Sharks and Isla Mujeres

My #1 bucket list item, swimming with Whale Sharks. I’ve always been fascinated by their massive size but extremely docile nature. Seth and I planned a pre-deployment vacation earlier this year, and it was between Playa del Carmen, Mexico or Bora Bora, to do, for the most part, nothing. We chose Playa del Carmen, because each June/July Whale Sharks show up to filter feed on the rich plankton filled waters near Isla Mujeres.

We pre-booked our tour online, received confirmation and were set! It was our first tour in Mexico, so we arranged it early in our trip. We were picked up at our resort, picked up a few others along the way, and headed to Cancun Harbor. There was a group of 10 of us, 2 guides, and a captain. We proceeded far off the coast, for a little over an hour, and then all of sudden the boat came to a sudden slow, and we’d stumbled upon our first Whale Shark. Everybody got ready, in groups of two, and waited to drop off the edge of the boat into the water, to swim along with the shark and our guide. We swam with this first solo whale shark and then set off to find more!




DCIM101GOPRODCIM101GOPRODSCN0211DCIM101GOPRODSCN0215I cannot even put the experience into words. Not once, despite their massive size, did I ever feel threatened or concerned, I was just in total awe of them. Jump overboard, get your bearings, look around and then out of nowhere, here comes a 35ft, 20 ton whale shark swimming right toward you, minding its own business. When it reaches you; just keep swimming! Truly an amazing experience!!

When we finished swimming with the whale sharks, we headed to Isla Mujeres, a small island off Cancun, for some snorkeling and lunch. After snorkeling we anchored in 3ft deep water that was as clear as anything I’ve seen. They served us fresh guacamole, fresh ceviche (from fish caught that morning!) and cervezas. It was truly one of the more memorable days of my life.


Mexico Vacation Recap!

Lack of blogging = 10 day vacation in Mexico. Good excuse 🙂

Here’s a recap of our trip, and upcoming individual blog posts that I’ve laid out:

  • Swimming with Whale Sharks
  • Visiting Chichen Itza
  • Visiting Tulum
  • World Cup Soccer Games
  • Low bg (blood sugar) episode
  • The food (OMG THE FOOD)
  • Lipedema/shorts/dresses
  • Women outside the US (fun observations)

I’ve come to realize that travel is teaching me as much as schooling ever did, about life and what’s really important. Stay tuned, and thanks for still being here with me!