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A Scale-less, Mirror-less, Computer-less Week at the Beach

Hey guys! I’m back into the swing of things after our do-as-much-laundry-as-humanly-possible week, aka the annual family beach vacation.

Every year we hit up Seaside Heights for a week. It truly feels like a second home there, so much so The Husband and I have discussed the possibility of buying a beach house one day. Not that we can afford a beach house but we dream about it every time we’re there as I Zillow my way around town.

One day.


If we win the lottery.

Then again, we don’t play the lottery so that’s probably not going to happen… but I digress.

Anyway, this year, as with most years, it was amazing.


We were blessed with perfect weather, kids who love the beach and I, well, I went without 3 things that helped me come to some conclusions.


As many of you may know I swore off the scale a few years ago and I really haven’t looked back. I can’t remember the last time I stepped foot on one and I don’t miss it or its constant reminder of what? How I need to see some magic number to be happy?

I’ve come to the conclusion I have too many other things to focus on and fill my time with like my kids, my marriage, work, my parents, bills, the state of politics in this country (UGH), my friends, my house (the damn air conditioner’s been broken for over a month now) and how I can penny pinch to afford my next trip! <– I have a gift certificate burning a hole in my pocket as we speak and I’m trying to figure out a way to take advantage of before it expires in December.

All that said, going without the scale this week was not a huge accomplishment considering I’ve been going scale-less for some time now, but it reminded me that even when faced with a week of bathing suit wearing I STILL had zero desire to see what the scale had to tell me.

Coming home I also has no inkling to step on and see “how much damage I did” as the husband likes to say. He weighed himself the day we got back. I just shook my head and said, I regret nothing — not the pizza, not the fries and definitely not the Grapefruit Crushes!


We have rented the same house for a few years now, and in one of the rooms they had one of those old fashioned full-length mirrors. Every year I’d put on my suit, look in that mirror, and pick myself apart just before heading to the beach. Not once in years passed did I look in the mirror and think, “damn I look good!” and head to the beach a confident mom.

On the contrary, the image I’d see reflected in the mirror would always bring me down. It didn’t matter how much I happen to actually weigh. It didn’t matter if I just ran 8 miles because I was training for a marathon. It didn’t even matter if I was “being good” and staying away from all the boardwalk treats.

Nothing mattered. No matter what was reflected back to me I’d find fault with it.

I’m so used feeling that way I’m not sure I even realize I still do it to myself. My weight has fluctuated 90 pounds in my lifetime. Not once, regardless of what end of the weight spectrum I’ve been on, has this not been true….

Put on bathing suit –> look in mirror –> feel unconfident 

Well, guess what… this year there was no mirror! Not one mirror in the whole beach house besides the small medicine cabinet in the bathroom, which, because of how tiny the bathroom is you can only see from the neck up.

I didn’t really think much about my lack of mirror access until Thursday. Then it hit me — I haven’t looked in a full-length mirror all week. Every morning I put on my suit, slathered on sunscreen, and headed to the beach — well, there was a lot more steps than that like… tell the kids to put on their bathing suits a million times, look for lost flip flops, pack snack bags, fight with kids about sunscreen, etc, etc, etc, but again, I digress.

Now, what I’m about to say may not only be the result of no mirror access for a week. It could also be a combination of my age and the confidence I’ve built weight lifting over the past 4-5 years. I can’t be sure. All I know is I’ve never been as confident in a bathing suit as I was this year.

And here’s the thing — I know I’m not the skinniest I’ve been. I don’t need a scale to tell me that. I’m thicker then I’ve been in some time. That’s what happens when you lift heavy weights 6 days a week and refuse to starve yourself.  I wouldn’t even describe myself as “skinny” any longer.

I’m also not fat.

What I am is confident.

And strong.

So strong I can carry a 5-year-old around like it’s nothing.


(And a pouting one at that!)

And healthy. So healthy I can outride an 11-year-old on a bike.


(This is on a break during a 10, – mile bike ride on Wednesday. We only stopped because he wanted to stop. I could have gone it all day I was having so much fun.)

And energetic. So energetic I could play paddle ball, boogie board, swim in the ocean and still ride rides like a kid — even though I turn 40 this Sunday.


(This is the best picture ever! We planned on making a face on the coaster as we knew where they take it. I just didn’t realize they all chose “sleeping, eyes-closed faces” lol)

I’ve been saying this to myself for a few years now….

My body is the result of my lifestyle.

And it’s helped me get to this last stage of long-term weight maintenance. I always wanted to lose weight to look a certain way but now I realize it’s way more important to live a certain way.

And I love the way I’m living.

It took a week of NOT looking at myself in a bathing suit to remind me of this.


This last one may not seem like that big of a deal but it’s quite a step for me.

Since starting this blog and working for myself, this is the first year I’ve gone to the beach and not logged on to my computer. I didn’t post. I didn’t write. I didn’t even check email except for a glance on my phone.

Seems silly, I know, but I’m finally learning how to shut down and log off.

Truth be told I almost booted up my laptop Thursday when I realized the whole mirror-less thing but then I was like… no, it could wait, and here I am home and writing.

Again, maybe it’s not that earth shattering but a milestone for me, for sure.

Well, there you have it, my week at the beach. I came home and immediately cooked something I missed my kitchen so much.

I’ll leave you with a few more photos from last week. These are all from my phone because I also didn’t bring my camera this year. That’s also a first!


That’s the 3 cousins riding rides.


Little Bean is finally able to go a few rounds in paddle ball!


Of course I am playing Pokémon Go and it’s a blast! I’ll write more about it in a future post.


My kids are so much fun. Annoying at times but fun as hell!

Hope you had a great week!

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About Patrick Ireland

My name is Patrick Ireland, living in the Philippines with my wife and two daughters. I have been studying the web for over a decade. Now that I am 60 years old, I am starting to apply some of the knowledge that I have gained. "Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to never stop questioning." -Einstein.

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