We’re pleased to share thoughts from Kristen D, who recently visited our women’s healthy weight retreat Green Mountain at Fox Run after winning the blog contest hosted by Feed Me I’m Cranky. We thought you might be interested in what she had to say about her experience.
So! I am back from my week away at the fabulous Green Mountain at Fox Run fitness/wellness facility. I learned SO much.
It took me all week to figure out what I might ask about in a one-on-one with LynnAnn, the fitness instructor with a background in physical therapy, but when I did, I was so glad. She analyzed my gait, showed me some tips for walking that will be a LOT better for my back and hips and knees.
LynnAnn also really listened when I talked about issues with my feet being numb/burning, and issues with my belly and legs. And then said “Oh!” and had me go sit on a couch so she could look at what physically happens.
“When do your feet hurt/burn the most?” she asked me. Well, this week taught me that it is very clearly when I move a lot, get my heart pumping and my blood circulating, and then sit down, especially on a hard chair (like for one of the classes we had) for 30 minutes or more. “Well,” she said, “no wonder! Your belly is sitting right on your femoral artery! Cutting off the circulation to those feet and making them burn.”
So we talked about some solutions, and one of the first things she asked was, “Have you talked to your doctor about your feet?”
“Yup, I did,” I told her. And when I told my doctor in early December that my feet were numb/burning? She checked the pulse in my feet and then said, “Don’t worry about it, just take some B vitamins.” To which the wonderful LynnAnn responded, “Are you @#$@ing kidding me?” before she could stop herself.
I also had a wonderful education in alleviating stress from Darla, the behavioral professional. What with Michael and the struggles at work, I just was not even registering how much stress we are both under, all day, every day. So I shared a lot of the stress management stuff I learned when I got home, and that was a really healing time for Michael and me.
I really did learn more about food than I was expecting to! I mean I have been on a complete tear for the past 2 months to learn about eating well, to make tasty foods that nourish me, to eat regularly and not chaotically. We’ve made huge strides in this house in all of those things!
But I truly did realize during my week of eating only what Green Mountain fed me that my digestive system is SO much happier with > 50% of my nourishment coming from veggies. And in one particularly memorable silent meal of mindful eating, I really truly realized how much of my food enjoyment comes from texture. Crunchy veggies >>> everything else, for my mouth enjoyment in eating and not just for all of the nutrient/digestive benefits. I don’t like cooked veggies, never have. They served us steamed cauliflower one night and I was all ew, gross. But I love cauliflower, raw and whipped. Texture, texture, texture.
Last but not least I was so blessed by music this week! Every moment that involved music — from the karaoke on Monday night that I so wanted to be like the best karaoke times I’ve had, (where everyone sings their heart song and supports and claps wildly for each other) which instead turned into a mocking/comedy kind of very non-musical thing…to the moment of talking about how healing community singing is to Barbara, the Program Director, and her inviting me to lead a song at the close of the week…to inviting others to help lead “Hine Mah Tov,” a beautiful Hebrew song that I learned as a slow chant…to singing along with P!nk as I dance-walked my way through a mile around the track…to laughing with a Jewish woman for whom “Hine Mah Tov” is a WAY overused children’s song, like Row, Row, Row Your Boat…to realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to get access to the staff printer in time to print out lyric sheets to practice Hine Mah Tov…to remembering the quote on the wipe-board on Tuesday of “everyone needs to row with the oars they have” and allowing that to guide me to use Row Row Row Your Boat as the closing community song because everyone knows the words…to that final moment in the closing community song of goosebumps as 15 women sang slowly, meditatively Row, row, row your boat/Gently down the stream/Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily/Life is but a dream.” What a gorgeous, truly alive moment.
What a gift this week was. Kisha, Lyndell, Beth, Agnes — I am so grateful to have met these amazing women and shared a week with them. Darla, Barbara, Marsha, LynnAnn — these women led me to open myself up to feeling better in my body, mind, spirit and heart. And I came home grateful for the week away and for the home I was coming to, the life Michael and I make together, our friends and family who make it sweeter.
And I dance as I walk now! OH! and on a link off the Green Mountain blog, I found the “Fat Lady on a Bike” blog, and I looked at her on that amazing bike and thought aha! THAT is the way to move! Joyfully, with wind in my hair and P!nk in my ears, and no impact on my feet or knees and no pressure from my belly on my legs. I am so excited and grateful! Now to save up the moolah…look, isn’t it GORGEOUS?
Want to learn more about Kristen’s stay? She invites you to speak with her on Facebook.