Reacquiring the Path: Five Steps Forward; Four Steps Back

As a matter of fact, I did lose 10 pounds in 2015 only to find that eight of them returned, to my waistline by New Year’s Day 2016.  This lifelong pattern is beginning to wear me down, but I know what to do about it.

breaking surf, swells

So too, the sea swells

Yet it’s not all about the candy, cakes, and pies, it’s also just as seasonal as the tides. Would that I could blame it all on the Moon, my lack of motivation to get out and do something – anything – to recharge my circulatory system, burn a little fat and build a little muscle. As the year end holidays come around, so does our wet season, and I dislike hiking (and all the slipping and sliding) in mud. So, I sit a little more, read more, and add a pound of flesh here and there.

Motivation arrived when I stepped on the scale last Sunday. Then the first thing I did was grab my camera set off to walk down to the beach, having no idea how long it would take since I hadn’t gone for a walk/hike in nearly two months. It took only 25 minutes! Not much to see as it was merely a climb up the street, down Kawaihau Road, and across Kuhio Highway to the Eastside Path. I happened upon a lovely thicket of bougainvillea and something like Scotch Broom just before crossing Kuhio Highway.

Fresh Flowers

Fresh Flowers

Afterwards, I chose to travel north along the Eastside Pathway to see what I could see—hoping for whales because I saw none last year. But first I dropped down to sea level for some rock hopping and a look into some of the tidepools.



These rocks formed ??? years ago when lava that was still a tad hot was quenched by the sea. Afterward, salt, sand, and shells scoured away the various layers exposing black basketball-sized cores, which are slicker than a steamed-up mirror. As for the tidepools, I wish I could show you what I saw moments before I raised the camera to my face, but as you see the tidepools also provide plenty of places to hide, and hide they did (not unlike the elusive eight pounds that crept back around my waistline).

After perusing the rocks and tidepools for about an hour, a portion of it aerobic, I decided to resume my brisk walk to Kealia Beach, in search of whales. Although I enjoyed feeling the wind and watching the waves from high above the beach, there were no whales to be seen. So, I took this picture of Kealia Beach before hoofing it back home, all in all an hour of lollygagging, and two hours of serious walking/hiking, and today, one pound lighter, I’m back on the path to losing that excess weight and getting in shape for another year of trail maintenance.

Kealia Beach and the mouth of Kealia Stream.

Kealia Beach and the mouth of Kealia Stream.

5 thoughts on “Reacquiring the Path: Five Steps Forward; Four Steps Back

  1. Hawaii Planner says:

    I could have written much of this. 😉 I too lose weight in the spring/summer, and gain it all back in the fall/winter. It’s rough. I wish I had the magic solution.I enjoy working out outside, and the light & weather makes that more of a challenge in the shorter days. Also, my energy level is generally just lower. Add in holidays & festivities, and the problem compounds itself.


    • Brett says:

      Ha! I first noticed this pattern about 30 years ago. Back then it was only 5 pounds gained between Trick or Treats and Auld Lang Syne, and it miraculously shook off by Groundhog Day. Gradually, it kept taking longer to lose, and I started taking it seriously when it took until my birthday (about a pound per month) to liquidate my assets. I’ll never achieve fighting weight again, but my goal is to get healthier and stay that way. Last year the surge was prompted by an epic road trip with my sister, dining down the Pacific Coast Highway.


  2. Denise says:

    I’d like your recommendation for a good hike or two while Jim and I are there next month. We’re not in peak shape, so not too difficult?


    • Brett says:

      A good scenic hike I like is behind Banana Joe’s and Kauai Miniature Golf, the Wai Koa Loop. You can pick up a trail map when you check in at the miniature golf center, and the trailhead is directly downhill from there, off a little red dirt parking lot just beyond the Farmers Market.

      Although the full hike is about 5 miles, a few of those are just miles (not much to see most of the year unless you’re into bugs, and mud). Initially, you’ll hike through mixed deciduous forest followed by Norfolk Island Pines, and beyond that, a large Mahogany grove (no longer harvested) that is the featured highlight of the trail.

      The “loop” begins as you break out of Mahogany, and you can go right or left. Although the signs encourage you to go right, through what I would call the pointless forest, I recommend you go left to the dam. An old road drops down to a swift stream, perhaps a mile or so down on the left (the trail from the pointless forest reconnects on your right). A lesser loop takes you through old irrigation works, bridge piers for the former sugar train trestle downstream from the dam, and the last time I was there, a picnic table sat on the stream bank above the dam. That, to me, is at least as impressive as an old Mahogany grove–all lush and green with babbling brooks and rushing stream, Nenes, songbirds, and butterflies.


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