Today’s post comes from Beverly Dame of Lyndonville, Vermont. After staying at Green Mountain at Fox Run for a week, she wrote a letter to friends and family to explain her experience with our program. We’re sharing parts of it here to give women an idea the kind of changes that they can expect when they begin to make themselves a priority. Thanks for sharing, Beverly!
It has been almost a week since I came home from my week at Green Mountain at Fox Run. It was such a wonderful experience (life-changing, paradigm-shifting, revelatory) that I want to write about it. Women come from all over the country and the world to stay at Green Mountain. Honolulu, Hawaii; Chicago, Illinois; Alexandria, Virginia; Kingston, Ontario; Montreal, Quebec; northern Georgia; Brooklyn and Manhattan, New York; New Haven and New Canaan, Connecticut; and Croatia all had women there. Young women in their 20s and women like me in their 60s and in between. All had been dealing with food and body issues for most of their lives. Some like me were staying for one week; many for two and a few lucky ones for a month or more. What we came for was a comprehensive way of dealing with the size and shape of our bodies. Notice, I’m avoiding the use of the word “weight.”
At Green Mountain it is about mindfulness: being aware and in the moment as we confront choices about food, exercise and responses to all the stresses of daily life. The week combined classes and discussion groups with exercise opportunities. Women who are in their first week have “required” classes including: fitness soul search: the return to intrinsic movement; are you ready for change? Introduction to the behavior component and to mindfulness; the principles of mindful eating; redefining healthy eating; and understanding the emotions that lead you to eat.
I was most impressed by the time and attention the program and staff devoted to sending each one of us home with the materials and support to put all we learned into daily practice. Including the idea that as far as exercise and mindful eating goes, “Something is better than nothing,” and “there will be days.”
We identified the energizing people in our lives and the energy-drainers and talked about how to deal with them. I came up with strategies for dealing with dreaded cocktail parties. I paid for an extra session with the fitness director. We put together a weekly plan combining weight training and cardio.
I also came away with human support. There were six of us of about the same age who formed a group that I loosely dub the “Green Mountain Girls.” Sorry Ethan Allen. We’re emailing each other with support and understanding. Staff encourage us to stay in touch with questions. I’m to check in with my fitness guru at the end of the week after we return from France. She also gave me hints and suggestions for working out while traveling even if the hotel doesn’t have a gym.
Before going I would weigh myself every day; how demoralizing, depressing and defeatist. I’m working on unlearning that habit. Told myself this morning that I could get on the scale but why? I’ve been exercising every day, working on eating more slowly, and having a balanced snack in the afternoon to keep from getting too hungry. And I did well at two eating out occasions this week. All of that is really more important for my long-term health and success than a number on a scale.
How is Beverly doing today, about one month after returning home from Green Mountain?
“I’m trying to stay off the scale. Hard, hard, hard. I know there’s a lot of psychological baggage going on with wanting to weigh myself every day.
I think the hardest thing to is being in charge of my eating. I do the cooking and have been trying new healthful things (actually had bison burgers last night) but I can feel that my speed of eating has increased. Need to start putting down that fork or spoon between bites.
And my husband and I need to set a time for an evening meal. He’s a chaotic eater and I’m a dieter. Not a match made in Green Mountain heaven. Of course, tonight there is a business dinner which always is a challenge.
The one thing that is much better is that I’ve stopped beating up on myself for my size and weight. Actually, I’m finding out that there is more to life.