Discretion is a girl’s best friend.
Here’s one of the thing’s about The Body Retreat that you might not know if you haven’t joined us at any one of our retreats…
We value your privacy more than our publicity.
The women who choose to join us on retreat are often successful professional women, often holding high profile or public office. Women who come to The Body Retreat because it is exactly that, a retreat. It’s getting away from the pressures and demands of their public or professional lives. It is an opportunity to take off the many hats they wear and allow themselves to relax, show vulnerability, learn, grow, heal.
We recently were in conversation with a PR agency about the possibility of their supporting us to raise awareness of The Body Retreat. Time and again the conversation came back to testimonials or endorsements… time and again we explained that we don’t actively request these from our clients as we value their privacy.
Women from all walks of life choose to join us here at The Body Retreat, it may be to regain control over stress, sleep better, kick their sugar habit, rebalance energy levels, shed the weight they feel is unnecessary while others just like to have some “me ” time once a year. Whatever their reasons they are personal, private and we are privileged to be a part of their private lives.
One such woman is Elizabeth (not her real name) who sent us this email last week with her permission to share its contents.
Her “ Ten things I wish I’d known before I came on retreat” is great as it contains questions not even Julie and had thought off.
Elizabeth’s Retreat Story
When I mentioned to a friend that I was going on retreat, she couldn’t stop herself telling me the whole plot of She’ll be wearing pink pyjamas. I am not a retreat person. I’m not a group person. I am not a joiner.
I signed up (the first time) because I needed a week, any week, where someone would tell me where to be when and sooth my soul.
I found The Body Retreat and the Weight Loss week was scheduled for the time when I could take a week off work. I was terrified.
I am a fiercely independent woman. I lead, manage, plan, deliver, and all those other words that describe our success. If I don’t know how to do something, I fake it until I can learn enough to do something for real. But I was seriously disconnected with my body. I wouldn’t have been able to articulate it then, but I was ploughing all my energy into my job, my social life, and my relationships. I wasn’t looking at myself with an honest eye.
My random Google searches taking me to Body Retreat felt serendipitous.
I was drinking too much, exercising but not to a level that was pushing me, my diet was poor and my habits – deeply entrenched – were doing me a disservice. Like many women I’d grown up with parents, grandparents and great grandparents, who had managed to stretch budgets. Food was cheap and designed to fill quickly and comfortably. In 2016, food continues to be cheap and comforting but there is plenty more of it and more chemicals, additives, and flavourings to make you keep coming back for more and more.
It was incredibly hard to admit that I couldn’t do it myself.
There are blogs, apps, books, TV programmes, virtual training, personal training, gym memberships, companies who will send meals to you, all telling you how to eat, what to eat, what not to eat, and how to exercise.
I should be able to crack this myself.
I knew that fad diets were ineffective.
I did want to lose weight but I wanted to run up three flights of stairs without collapsing.
I wanted to be able to stay awake for longer.
I wanted to stop feeling so tired.
I wanted to feel like I valued myself as much as I value everything else I give my attention to.
I needed help to do that.
The Body Retreat provides that support. Juls and Julie, with calm professional respect but utter compassion, guide you to unlearn things you take for granted and learn new things that help you connect with yourself.
It is best to come to retreat on your own. You meet new, interesting women who are all on their own journeys and you have the space and distance from each other to be focussed on you and what you need.
I’ve come on four retreats now – many clients are returners. Each one I learn more.
The first one I learnt new exercises. I learnt I enjoyed boxing and I could do weights and I could walk long distances. I learnt the limits of my body but also what my body could achieve with the right support. I also learnt what I needed to immediately throw out of my fridge and cupboard.
Each retreat I build on that knowledge, and now I am able to really properly think about my relationship with food, what it means to me, and why it means what it means.
Coming to The Body Retreat is an unequivocal investment in yourself.
I can think of a dozen other things that I should or could spend the money on. There will always be a dozen things to spend the money on. It is hard to tell myself that I am worth spending that money on.
But I am worth the investment – the financial investment and the investment of time. I know that I will live longer and better and enjoy life more as a result of my time with Juls and Julie.
I am worth the space the retreat affords me and I am worth the attention that I am giving myself that I so effortlessly give to others. And it’s ok that I need some help with that.
Ten things I wish I’d known before I came to The Body Retreat
- Will I be the fattest?
All sorts of women come on Retreat and everything is adapted to suit your needs. I have sometimes been the slowest in the group, sometimes the fastest and sometimes I’ve been the biggest and sometimes I haven’t.
- Where can bigger women get kit?
Nightmare. How can bigger women exercise when they won’t sell us kit? State of Mind makes nice clothes and Marks and Spencers do a range but whatever makes you feel comfortable is fine. Tshirts and jogging bottoms will do the job.
- Will everyone know each other?
The Body Retreat gets plenty of returners so there are usually a couple in every group who might know each other or have been on the retreat before. Don’t worry though, once you’ve spent a day together, you get to know each other.
- I don’t want to hold others back.
You won’t. Julie keeps the pace flexible so you can find your own speed or strength without it interfering with anyone else.
- Do I have to be sociable?
There is some sociable times but if you want to have quiet time that’s perfectly ok too. There is no forced group bonding requirements.
- Will I be hungry?
I never am, but if you are, it’s only to learn what it is to be hungry and you’ll eat pretty soon after the grumbly tummy begins. There is the right sort of food and the right amount of food.
- Will they shout at me if I don’t want to do something?
No. You’re not a child. It’s up to you what you do.
- Will they shame me if I fail?
Absolutely not. Everything about the ethos of The Body Retreat is designed to encourage and support. No tears of failure here.
- What if I get fed up and want to go home?
You can go home, but that would be a shame having made the decision to come, found the time and the money and got yourself all psyched up.
- Do I have to come again?
No, it’s all there the first time you come. You may find you don’t take everything in the first time though. Replacing habits takes time.