Life After A Different Kind of Weight Loss Retreat: Dealing with Questions

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We are pleased to introduce a new series by Lauren Romano, a recent participant, on what happens after Green Mountain and making the journey to a healthy weight work at home. In this post, Lauren talks about the disconnect so many of us experience when it comes to doing things “right.” But in truth, there is no “right” that applies to everyone. It’s about experimenting, and finding what works for you, which often involves steps backwards as well as forwards.  Lauren has found that perfectionism doesn’t work  and that social support is important for continuing on the path toward optimal health.

Awash in the Green Mountain Glow

Life After A Weight Loss Retreat - Lauren Romano

Lauren Romano

I walked out of women’s weight loss retreat Green Mountain at Fox Run after four weeks living and eating their way with all the tools I could carry – cookbooks, a hopeful, positive outlook, and a big purple FitBall.

I was awash in the Green Mountain glow. Ready to eat right and put my needs first. The stresses of real life would be easier to handle with all I now know about myself and the many ways I have learned to deal with them. I had my canned explanations prepared for anyone who asked about the new approach I had adopted…

  • “I can eat whatever I want.”
  • “It’s not a diet.”
  • “It’s about feeling better.”
  • “I feel great.”

But Then The Weight Loss Questions Started…

“Can I ask how much you lost?” interested party No. 1 asked.
“No, you can’t,” was my reply.

“Do… do they weigh you?” stuttered interested party No. 2.
“Well, they do if you want them to,” I wavered. “I didn’t want to know,” I lied.

Why was it so hard? It had only been a few hours and I had my responses ready to go.

“I felt great.”

“This is a lifestyle change and, and…”

I couldn’t remember. I just kept talking and over explaining. All the things we ate and didn’t eat and the exercise we did and how I avoided snowshoeing because it was just too cold.

“But I did a lot of other things…”

“I was very active, a lot more active than I had been before I went,” I just kept explaining.

I Didn’t Owe Anyone An Explanation

This was the opposite of what I was planning to do. I knew I didn’t owe anyone an explanation. I was just supposed to focus on how good I felt. And I did feel good. Although I felt a lot better a few hours before.

As each day home passed, I felt the Green Mountain glow washing away. I was working out, but not like I did there. I was eating vegetables, but not as much as I did there. I was listening to my hunger cues, but not the way I was there. I wasn’t journaling. I knew I should be. I hadn’t meditated. That probably would have helped.

Reaching Out To Friends From the Weight Loss Retreat

The weekend had passed and Monday was almost gone. I was feeling further and further away from everything I had learned at Green Mountain. I decided to reconnect and check in with some of the new friends I had made. I sent an email out West and a text message across the Atlantic. We were all in different stages of our Green Mountain aftercare but it was so helpful to get their replies. Everyone was finding their way a little differently.

I didn’t ask for suggestions on how to stay positive and mindful, but just talking to them helped me to focus. It was a small break, where I didn’t have to explain it. They were there with me, so they got it. And none of us was doing everything perfectly, but it was okay.


Read More: Perfectionism: Its Joys and Perils >>

Want to know more? Leave a question for me in the comments.

7 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Samantha says:

    Hey lauren, Thanks for sharing. Can’t believe we’ve been back for four weeks already. Felt really strong and positive the first two weeks and then things started to slow down but I try my best to stay focused. Thank God I have a really great support system. It was really helpful that I sent the “what is support” form to my family before I got home. The weather has been brutal but as soon as it gets warmer, I would love to meet, go for a walk and have a green mountain truffle. Take care. Samantha

    • Lauren says:

      Hi Samantha, I can’t believe it’s been a month already. Feels like we just left. Spring is coming, I am willing it. We will get together when it arrives. Talk soon, Lauren

  • Jane Cline says:

    I know a big lifestyle change takes daily practice. Not easy. It’s putting the tools & insights to work. Everyday.

  • barb says:

    thank you for starting this series. I was at Green Mountain and entire year ago, for 2 weeks, and also have not been able to keep up what I learned or affirmed there. But, I am still in touch with 2 people I met there by facebook and that does help. I still get the GM newsletter and that helps. I learn from links and suggestions…eg I learned about Mara Glatzel courses online from a GM link and have taken one on self care that was in keeping with GM philosophy. I plan to take another. I try not to feel guilt that I am still not cooking, despite 2 private cooking classes at GM..I’ve realized that cooking just isn’t my thing. I would love to go back to GM and have told many people about it. Maybe someday I can go as a vollunteer host for a month. Remember what you learned”something is better than nothing”, and go gentle with baby steps. a shift in thinking and feeling is difficult outside the cocoon. I look forward to following your series. namaste,Barb

  • Cindy says:

    Great post, Lauren, I look forward to following this series. You’re right, Barb, GMFR isn’t the real world –you’ll never emulate what you did here exactly and you don’t have to to be successful. We talk about allot of good stuff when you’re here, but so much of the magic is in the doing. We’re all still in the midst of breaking old thought patterns and behaviors, so our reactions to our thinking is so key — at some point very soon, you’ll actually prefer your newly adopted behaviors. You just have to behave it till you make it!

  • Hi Lauren, thanks for sharing. I also experienced the same questions from “interested parties” who are really looking for the quick ” fix”. I have been to GMFR three separate times to complete the program and have adopted the practice of doing something for me each morning. When the chaos of life unfolds throughout the day I remember that I did something for myself and it brings a more peaceful approach to situations and my eating habits. I look forward to reading more of your posts.

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