They all become a part of our family and people we truly care about so this year, we have made the decision to share some of their stories with you and this week, we kick it off.
At the start of the year, we had a lady come and spend a week with us and to share her story, we’re just going to call her Lucy.
After a particularly difficult year – in fact, a few years – Lucy had spend a lot of time looking after her Mom and Sister, both of whom struggled with health challenges.
She arrived at the Retreat, tired and exhausted and despite being a fairly active person, a few injuries (and aches and pains as a result of all the stress) meant that she had been unable to do some of the things she used to enjoy before.
A previous visit to another Health Retreat in the past left her unwell given it’s approach to “dieting” and what to do. As a result, she was extremely hesitant to do any juicing. We assured her that our daily menu’s catered for people who had had such experiences in the past and knowing that she was able to make choices, as well as see what was in each juice gave her piece of mind that she wasn’t forced to do anything.
As a result of her stressful situation at home, like many people, a glass of wine or 2 at night helped her switch off and wind down and despite helping her sleep at first, it had started to have a negative effect, leaving her tired in the morning after a restless night’s sleep.
It’s a common challenge we see people facing in this day and age – social events often come with a few glass of wine or a couple of G&T’s. The weekend arrives and we go out for a meal and drinks with friends. And for us, it’s even something that we have had a challenge with in the past.
On Sunday morning, when breakfast was being served, Lucy hadn’t surfaced yet however, a few minutes later she walked in with a look of surprise on her face.
For the first time, in as long as she could remember, she had slept almost 12 hours, saying “Well, I don’t normally sleep well when I am in strange places so maybe it was just being tired from travelling” however, she still couldn’t believe it herself.
As the week went by, we (as a team, as well as the other guests) started to notice a few changes. Lucy was smiling more. There was a sparkle in her eyes and despite her aches and pains, she took part in a variety of classes.
One of our suggestions to her was to take a gentle stroll each day on her own – just to look around, have a little bit of peace and quiet and think about a few things. A knew injury led her to being uncertain about some of the walks so the suggestion to do part of the walk with the group and then the slowly return on her own was warmly received and helped re-assure her.
However, one thing we see every week at the Retreat is how the groups of strangers become close friends and constant encourager’s and supporter’s of each other. As a result, and to her surprise, Lucy was able to complete just about every walk and saw that, with a little support, she was able to do more than she had allowed herself to.
One of her former passions was Yoga. It brought her a lot of peace and serenity amidst the stress and challenges she was facing at home but back problems led her to not being able to take part in the classes she loved.
On our Program, we like to mix things up a little bit, having different Yoga teachers with different approaches as well as having some of our trainers do stretch classes instead. For her, the stretching made a big difference as some of them combined using foam rollers with a few pilates moves thrown in. Add in a massage with one of our therapists, her back pain slowly started to lessen and by the end of the week, she knew she had things that she could now do.
To go into her experience in full detail would take up a lot of space however, her story really has inspired us as a team.
She slept, on average, 11 hours a night for the whole week and realized that watching TV for bed at home had had a significant impact on her sleeping patterns.
Taking part in our new MindFit Sessions, and applying it to her own situations, she understood how emotions created as a result of stress led to “challenging” eating (and drinking) patterns and identified at a glance, simple things that she could implement at home.
And as for exercise, well, she found a passion that she hadn’t even realized, or thought about before owing to her physical challenges.
Rebounding was where she really came to life, not that she hadn’t in other areas, but to see the smile on her face and the laughter and singing (despite her concerns) was a joy to see. Most people believe that rebounding is a challenge for people with back and knee pain, however, when done with a little support and in the right way, it is a low impact exercise that doesn’t actually affect you in the way that many people thing.
She did some research and found a rebounding class less than 10 minutes away from her home and while she was with us, signed up to go and try one out when she got back.
Another exercise that she fell in love with was our boxing class and she found that it was a great way for her to relieve stress as well as workout.
All in all for her, as she said herself, it was a “life changing” week. Juicing had now become an option for her and yes, she did complete 3 days of juicing as a result of being able to choose for herself.
She realized that (and even though it is obvious to all of us) taking time out for herself was not selfish and was, in fact, necessary for her to be able to support her family more. Many people, ourselves included, are there for others to help and support them, yet so often, we forget to apply that same help and support to ourselves.
During our final MindFit Session, she created her own Five Ways that she was going to work on when she got home and one of her personal declarations was “the rest of my life starts today, right here with me.” She made decisions and plans to pursue things she had put aside – her creativity (she painted us the most amazing picture which she gifted to one of the other guests), her passion for photography and a decision to start studying a subject she had always wanted to do.
And ! As a result of experiencing that impact of a few glasses of wine was having on her, along with the rest of the group, they all made the decision to complete Dry January. And she made a commitment to herself that, every day she didn’t have a drink, she would put 10.00 into her “Return to D-Toxd Fund.”
Sometimes, the most obvious things in life we take for granted. We all know that time out for ourselves is important but sometimes, one day flows into the next and then it flows into a week and before we know a month has passed and another year piles up where we say “well, I must really take care of myself” and the roundabout continues. It takes taking a break from everything to look at life in a different way and put things into a new perspective.
Thank you Lucy for coming to stay with us and reminding (and inspiring) us to take time out – your journey was very special to see.