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