Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wednesday Weigh In

Well since I have been out of town and now sick I haven't had a chance to weigh in for two weeks. I have had no idea if I have maintained or gained. I am going to weigh in tonight and will post an update.

Update: Gain for two weeks 1 lb.

This leads me to tell you about the amazing time I had a couple of weeks ago with some very good friends. We have been planning this vacation for almost nine months - which was perfect since it took me that long to save up my money to go! We had talked about finding a place that was much more than just a spa. All three of us have been to several spas through out the world and besides the decor/location they are pretty much the same. We wanted more - something that could give us an experience. With some research we found Miraval Health Spa Resort. And a little more digging we found a great rate during their off season - which btw is not to bad in September, 90's were the highest temps with it cooling down in the evenings.

So what lured us to this resort? Well it did help that Oprah herself had gone to Miraval and raved about it. But really it was Miraval mantra: Life in Balance. Who wouldn't like a little more balance in their lives?? Plus they had pre-planned experiences to help you find this balance. Some of it was a little 'new-agey' for me but there were other activities that suited me just fine.

We arrived on Thursday and picked up by the resort at the Tucson airport - it was about a 40 minute drive to Miraval. We were given some water and a canvas tote bag that had the weeks schedule in it and details of our stay. Once at the resort we had individual customer service reps that greeted us checked us in and gave us a tour of the facilities. After I unpacked and did a little decompressing in my room, I read the resort literature: The "i" in Miraval is me, the spa's goal is to relax me, make me feel cared for and thus able to see things more clearly and be better prepared for life's challenges. I couldn't be more ready for the this weekend.

First on the order of business is getting something to eat - of course! This is what I was most nervous about. Were they going to feed us enough?? LOL! For lunch you can order specials off the menu or you can go to the buffet. Now I am not one for buffets, but I also didn't want to starve. This was probably the best buffet I have ever seen. Healthy but OH so good...fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, salads, homemade tortillas, freshly made soup, vegetarian chili and more! There was something for everyone, even if you are diabetic, celiac, vegetarian, vegan, it was all there. So relieved that I wasn't going to starve.

Dinner is off the menu - there is a first course and second course. Each entree on the menu has the nutrional facts listed below the description and you can order as many as you like. The best part is that they are serving you a TRUE serving size. My steak could fit easily in the palm of my hand. And because it was prepared so well and the quality was so good - it was really all you needed. If only we could all employ a full time chef to cook this way...

I am going to tell you about some of my favorite classes:

Changing Your Metabolism. This was an eye opener class - some of it is repetitive but it is always good to hear over and over again. It was good to jump start me on the weekend to eat better and excercise OR at least make a mental note about it. The alarming number is if you wear a peodometer and do up to 10,000 steps (which is recommended minimum) you burn ONLY 500 calories! Here are some other tips that she mentioned:

    * eat something before exercise and after
    * VERY important to eat breakfast, then a snack, Lunch, snack, the dinner (but not late)
    * Regular exercise - Five mile run in under an one hour
    * Healthy eating plan - develop one now, do not wait until after menopause

After this class I made an appointment to have my Optimal Fitness Diagnostic taken. Let's really find out how bad it is!

Mindful Stress Mastery. Mindful and Mindfullness is something that you hear and see a great deal of at Miraval. Stress reduction - our teacher started out how most of us react mindlessly instead of responding consciously to challenging situations. Angry, worry, tense, BLAME (this is a big one nowadays) is MINDLESS. Does not accomplish anything - we need to really understand how we react to our stress in order to reduce it. Mindfullness is being aware, but not reacting and accepting our moment to moment experience. The two practices that she taught us were Mindful Breathing, something that we should all do five to 20 minutes daily. The second practice was Mindful Relaxation, three to five times per week for 15 to 30 minutes. In a separate post I will talk about ways I try to stay centered in the midst of everyday life.

Sunset Photography Walk. This was a fun class and I was able to play around with the new Canon Rebel XSI. One notable difference is the menu screen - much larger and easier to navigate. Most of my shots were taken in this three hour class.

Every morning my day started out with morning meditation followed by yoga. I also took an abs & glutes class and Body Conditioning. Both of these classes inspired me to buy some resistance bands that can easily travel with me. I was also able to sneak a little poolside time to take a short nap or read. I ended up finishing three books Friday Night Knitting Club, Nanny Diaries and Water For Elephants.

One class that I didn't have a chance to do was the Equine Experience. I found out towards the end of my visit that it really doesn't have anything to do with learning to ride horses! From other guests I had heard this was an amazing experience.

As for my favorite spa treatments:
Ayurveda Abhyanga 50 minutes
Hammam for 80 minutes

Serenity now.


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