Blogger and author Shauna Reid is back to tell you about her last week at Green Mountain. She can’t believe it’s already at an end, she told us. Find out what she got out of our Pathway Program for binge and emotional eating, and the practical tools she took home.
Catch up on her recap of Weeks 1 and 2:
What Our Wellness Retreat is Really Like | Week 1
How We Eat, Move, and Live at Our Wellness Retreat Program | Week 2
The Power of Pathway: Knowing Why
In the Pathway Program, I was able to really dive deep into the whys and wherefores of emotional and binge eating behavior.
The group therapy sessions were powerful. I’ve always been secretive and ashamed about my binge behaviours, convinced that no one “behaved as badly” as me. But after hearing the others’ stories and feeling so much compassion for them, I’ve been able to look at my own situation with more compassion.
I was nervous about the individual therapy sessions. I didn’t think I had anything to talk about! But every day at Green Mountain has brought another “a ha” moment (or emotional meltdown!), so talking them through was been beyond helpful.
I’ve learned practical tools to “reverse engineer” an episode of emotional overeating or binging and pinpoint the thoughts, feelings and underlying needs that led up to it. There’s an awareness there now, instead of that hopeless “why did I do that!?” feeling. I’ve made a list of my known triggers and stress points so I can start to be more mindful in future. Above all, Pathway helped me understand that there were very good reasons for engaging in these eating behaviours. It’s not that I was crazy or had no willpower. Binges were serving a purpose—whether it’s to calm, soothe, distract, or an attempt to feel safe, or a habit, or a combination of all.
While the regular Green Mountain program empowered me to move, eat and live in healthier ways, Pathway focused like a laser beam on the very specific behaviours that I’ve been struggling with for decades, and I’d thoroughly recommend it if bingeing is your struggle too.
I Don’t Wanna Go Home!
Part of me wants to chain myself to one of the rocking chairs in the Okemo Room and refuse to leave. I love it here. I love my Green Mountain pals and our little routines and in-jokes. I love the exercise and the classes and the fresh-air excursions and the twenty different options at the breakfast yogurt bar. And how will I cope without having that neat little timetable to plan out my week? (I will even miss doing my laundry. Oh my goodness, those washing machines are so fast; you could probably fit a family of four’s laundry in one load. They don’t seem to make them like that in the UK!)
But part of me is eager to get home and start making changes. Simple, slow and sustainable ones, of course! The classes have been good for getting me prepared for re-entry to real life. I’ve gone to the “Sustain The Change” class every Friday to make sure it sinks into my brain that I cannot expect to recreate the “Green Mountain Bubble” (as well call it) at home. That is a recipe for disappointment.
I’m confident that I’m going home with a good game plan. I’ve been keeping a little “Things To Tweak At Home” list on my phone over the past three weeks, just so the ideas don’t fall out of my head. With sustainability in mind, I’ve picked two habits to work on during my first two weeks, and I can build up from there.
So at the end of Week 3 I’m feeling organized, hopeful, and quietly fired up. But also already pining for a place and experience that I haven’t even left yet!
How to Know if You Need a Stay at GMFR
It’s a huge deal to step out of your everyday life for a week or more, just to focus on yourself, especially if you have a big family and/or work commitments. But if you have the privilege of being able to do that, and you’ve struggled with your eating issues for a very long time, it can be so powerful to have an immersive, in-person experience. With the luxury of time and space, and the absence of everyday stresses taken away, it’s amazing how thick and fast those a-ha insights can come. Combine that with expert staff, practical tools and fellow participants who deeply get it, it’s a safe space to dive deep.
GMFR is a great place to visit if you’ve been on the diet treadmill for a long time and know deep down in your bones that it’s not getting you anywhere. If you’re feeling stuck or hopeless or plain fed up… but you’re also willing to be open to new ideas… then Green Mountain could rock your world.
It can be so hard to let go of the myth of a quick fix or a miracle solution. After all, it’s the promise we’ve been sold all our lives. But I’m starting to see that there’s life on the other side. There’s a real joy and deep satisfaction to be found in treating ourselves kindly—feeding our bodies, moving in a way that feels good, living more mindfully—in the bodies that we have right now. Dieting never gave me that feeling, not for any longer than few fleeting moments anyway.
Top 5 Highlights From Week 3
- My final Pathway therapy session. It felt good to talk through my nerves about going home and figure out my gentle plan of approach.
- Dance Fusion class with Bibi. We got to bring out our inner divas and get a great workout.
- Green Mountain Olympics Scavenger Hunt. Bibi cooked up this class to celebrate the Winter Olympics. The clues sent us running all over the Green Mountain lodge so much fun and I got a medal at the end!
- The “Circle of Influence” class. In a surprisingly honest and hilarious hour, we talked about how to nurture our support networks back home.
- Yoga On The Fitball. My last Green Mountain fitness class! It started to rain during Savasana and the sound of it drumming on the studio roof was so deeply relaxing. I couldn’t help getting teary as a montage of the past three weeks played in my mind. So many memories and so much learned.
If you want to find clarity in your eating habits and you’re ready to shift your focus from weight to health, we invite you to experience the program at Green Mountain at Fox Run, where we’ve been changing the way women think about food, fitness, and living for over 45 years.
Bio: Shauna Reid is an Aussie freelance writer, author and blogger living in Scotland. She writes about her life, travels and wellness journey at shaunareid.com. You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.