But in reality I lost it one small decision at a time. Do I eat the yummy looking eclairs or do I grab a handful of raw almonds? Do I take the stairs or the elevator? Do I park close to the door or at the end of the parking lot? Do I take the dogs for a late run or hit the water at lunch? Most of the time I make the healthy decision but not always. But instead of 'blowing it' I have just made a bad decision and start again. It has made me feel healthier, faster in the water and better about myself. Those are the pluses I was looking for, not a number on a scale...
With this has come the interesting issue of re-acclimating to the ocean. I was fully acclimated for being heavy but now I'm working again to re-acclimate and maintain that fine balance of 'swimming hard enough to remain warm and be able to go the distance.' When heavy it really wasn't an issue because I could only swim so fast towing the extra, but being lighter means I have to be in shape to find this balance. It is the endurance balanced with the speed that I'm working on. So to get a good base and speed definition it means time in the pool ruled by the clock.
But it also means both scheduling and other times sneaking out for swims in the ocean that I love. Days of gorgeous sun and cold water or days of iffy weather, a cold wind and cold water. The freedom I give up in the pool for speed and a base is harnessed in the open water. The swims are long and either liberating or isolating depending upon my mood. Neither is bad and it isn't the chore that it became after the channel.
I am at a point where I can experience the joy of swimming many days and just enjoy every day whether it be in the confines of the pool or the liberation of the ocean. I can appreciate swimming for what it brings out in me emotionally and the body I have. I'll never be 6'2", a sprinter, or even skinny, but I can be fast, healthy and loving the water and myself.