Sweet re­treat

‘How a health get­away gave me a new lease on life’

Good Health Choices - - Contents -

The past six months hadn’t been fun for me. I sep­a­rated from my hus­band and had to sell our house, all while main­tain­ing my part-time job and look­ing af­ter our son. It was a pretty low point in my life. When I ar­rived at Res­o­lu­tion Re­treats I didn’t know what to ex­pect; you go up this road and it feels like you’re go­ing to nowhere, then sud­denly there’s this beau­ti­ful place in front of you – quiet, with views and lux­u­ri­ous ac­com­mo­da­tion.

A com­mon goal

I was a bit wor­ried ini­tially about what the other peo­ple in our group might be like, but it turned out to be an awe­some group of about 10 of us, all from very dif­fer­ent walks of life and a range of ages. One lady was a 30-year-old flight at­ten­dant, an­other was 70-some­thing and just wanted to do some­thing spe­cial for her­self. Some wanted time out from a very stress­ful life, while oth­ers were there for weight loss when they’d found noth­ing else worked. But we were sim­i­lar in that we were a group of strangers look­ing to im­prove our health. For me, I wanted to learn ways to de-stress, as well as sim­ple tips to save me time and make life a bit eas­ier.

Each day we did a range of work­shops – ev­ery­thing from cook­ing demos to tips on meal prep, de­ci­pher­ing food la­bels and cut­ting back on sugar. I’d usu­ally go to the su­per­mar­ket and just grab yo­ghurts and muesli, but af­ter look­ing at how laden they are in pro­cessed sugar, I’ve been re­think­ing my gro­cery list. This ap­plies to lots of things you would have ev­ery day – even cer­tain condi­ments – that all add up so you of­ten don’t re­alise just how much sugar you’re hav­ing.

A key dif­fer­ence I’ve no­ticed since cut­ting down on the sweet stuff is I don’t crave it as much any­more. And of­ten when I do eat some­thing I haven’t had for a while, I think, ‘wow, that tastes so sweet’. Friends have started to com­ment on my weight loss, which hadn’t been a key fo­cus for me but I’m happy to have lost a few ki­los, es­pe­cially in the stom­ach area. I’ve also no­ticed that since mon­i­tor­ing my sugar in­take, my skin feels a lot bet­ter, with less break­outs.

Fit­ness was a key part of the re­treat too; the fo­cus was on gen­tle ex­er­cise to re­duce stress. Of­ten when you think of ex­er­cise you think ‘okay, I’ll go to the gym and do a high-in­ten­sity ses­sion, or I’ll go for a run.’ But I’ve found gen­tler things like yoga, Zumba and walk­ing seem to be a lot bet­ter for my body and mind. When you do high-in­ten­sity work­outs you’re of­ten just putting more stress on your­self, and your body is sim­ply pump­ing out cor­ti­sol.

And breathe...

It sounds crazy, but just learn­ing to breathe prop­erly was a big thing for me. We did med­i­ta­tion ev­ery morn­ing, which in­volved a sort of scan­ning though the body and telling ev­ery­thing to calm down. My mind would al­ways wan­der off and start mak­ing gro­cery lists;

I had to re­ally fo­cus on switch­ing off! Med­i­ta­tion is some­thing I in­cor­po­rate into my life a lot more now, es­pe­cially if I can’t sleep, and it’s re­ally helped with my stress lev­els.

Over­all, one of the best as­pects of the re­treat was try­ing new things, and meet­ing a whole bunch of in­spi­ra­tional women. Hear­ing the sto­ries, it makes you re­alise health goals are achiev­able; they just take time. For me, the proof is there in my­self, that lit­tle changes can make a big dif­fer­ence.

I wanted to learn ways to de-stress, as well as sim­ple tips to save me time

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