When my father died I got a little money and thought that maybe a retreat or “fat farm” might be good for me, but when I started pricing them out the cost was unbelievable. One such place was going to cost in the range of $40K US for approximately 12 weeks, not including airfare, incidentals and the like. Given that one has access to personal trainers, life coaches, massage therapists and calorie controlled meals I suppose one could make the case that for what you get it’s a fair price, but it’s also a prohibitive price for most of us. I put the idea of a weight loss vacation out of my mind for a few years and then spurred on by the experience of a fellow blogger, I started thinking that maybe I could have a similar experience if I created my own personal “fat camp”. I considered the services that I would need like a massage therapist, a life coach, a personal trainer, a pool, a gym and I started to design a two week program that would mimic the programs I had read about. The problem with my plan was that I was going to be spending a lot of time running around to the gym, and back and forth to appointments, plus the more I thought about it I realized two things. One, being at home meant that I would be tempted to maintain the status quo and two, that two weeks didn’t seem long enough to make sustainable changes.
When I was in Florida this May I was in the pool or the ocean daily, often several times a day, and I paid attention to my portion sizes. I wasn’t dieting and I certainly wasn’t going without, but I wanted to avoid that overfull feeling that makes me sluggish and uncomfortable. At the end of the two weeks I felt good, my clothes felt a little looser and I realized that Florida was the best place for my personal boot camp. I had access to the pool, several walking destinations with a trolley service that could bring me home if I got too tired, a few pieces of exercise equipment in the clubhouse and a clean slate in the kitchen since I don’t keep any food in the place when I’m not there. I decided that a month in Florida would be great, two would be better and that I would design a calendar of activities including swimming, walking and exercise DVD’s, and maybe even finding a local yoga studio to keep me motivated and help me meet some like minded people in the area. Then I had to figure out to make it happen. I looked at my finances and figured that it would take me a year to save up two months salary in order to take a leave from work. I was disappointed that it would take that long and worried that I would lose the momentum that had started in May and then in a flash of genius I remembered that I was in the process of renegotiating my mortgage and that without too much effort I could borrow a little money effectively from myself. I am naturally risk adverse and my top priority is paying down my mortgage so that I can eventually be completely debt free, but I am investing in a long and healthy future and that is by far the most important investment I can ever make.
The next step was making a solid plan for the two months with small goals and larger goals and a daily check list of activities that increase in intensity or frequency with each week. My therapist helped me with this and helped me keep my goals challenging, but also manageable. Each day starts with swimming, followed by walking and then when the sun is highest I will retreat to do some writing. Then more swimming, some yoga and early to bed. There is time for fun in the schedule, it’s not that rigid, but I do have tasks to accomplish each day. I’ve also decided that I will actually only stay in Florida for six weeks and that that last two weeks of my leave will be back at home working to increase the activity in my 9-5 life. This is perhaps the biggest adventure of my adult life, at least so far, and it starts on Tuesday.
– I am cleaning like a madwoman. It’s always nice to come home to a clean house after a vacation, but I really don’t want to be distracted or stressed by clutter upon my return. I’ve been working on decluttering for a while, but this last month I’ve really been putting on the push. My guest room is now empty, save some boxes in the cupboard that I need to go through, I’ve completely rearranged my bedroom and got rid of some shelving that was just taking up room, and in the past month of so I have thrown out nearly 50 bags of garbage, plus recycling and sizable donations to the Goodwill. I can think of a lot of things I’d rather do than clean my house, but I’m really enjoying and benefiting from the changes.
– I met with my blood pressure specialist a couple of weeks ago and after months of testing and poking and prodding it turns out that the biggest culprit in my high blood pressure is my weight. It’s not like I didn’t know losing some weight would help, but knowing that it is the main culprit definitely ups the ante and underlines the need for something
– After all my planning the one thing that hadn’t occurred to me was that I might get lonely. I will be checking out a social site meetup.com. It sounds like a dating site to me, but I have been assured it’s a place to find like minded people who want to go out and do various activities like hiking, walking, eating out and the like.
– I’m also going to be checking out a site called myfitnesspal.com. It was recommended by a friend and I thought I would see what it has to offer. Hopefully it is more than just an elaborate calorie counter.
– I’m excited and a little nervous. Just the way one should be when she starts an adventure!
– the Goddess