I don’t think I told you ahead of time that “Spa Week” was actually only four days? I figured that was probably the average length of a spa week, plus it was all the time I could afford to take off from real life. Sharon asked why I wouldn’t do this in real life. That wouldn’t be possible. I took it seriously. No obligations at all, just as if I wasn’t at home. So I did not return phone calls, did not work on financial stuff (mine or my dad’s,) did not wash Noah (LOL, but its one thing I want to get done before the weather really gets cold,) and I did not work on any serious quilting projects. I had a little embroidery quilt that I did a bit of stitching on in the evenings, but that was it.
One thing I didn’t plan for in my “schedule” was blogging. It was fun to write down the events of each day, but blogging and loading pictures takes quite a bit of time. Next time I’ll just schedule that in. It was an important part of Spa Week!
So, what did I get out of Spa Week? One thing I re-learned is that exercising a lot only makes me feel better. Yes, I was sore, but that was a good sore, not the “I feel like crap” sore that I complain about sometimes. Strength training is important to me as I age. And swimming is something that REALLY fills in the gaps. I like the exercise bike at the gym. I don’t want to spend as much time every day as I did these four days, but I could add in more exercise to my ‘real life.’
The other thing I learned was that pre-planning a menu is really helpful to me. Writing down two days in a row was even helpful. Again, nothing particularly new. I do this sometimes. But really trying to make every meal/snack nutritious made a big difference in my total food intake. The calorie count was between 1300 and 1500 each day. For example, after having taco soup for lunch, I would normally want something a little sweet, and I might get a piece of sugar free chocolate (60 cal) to eat. But having a menu plan, I knew that I had an afternoon snack coming in a couple of hours, and I could wait for that.
There were a couple of times I changed the menu plan. LIke the day I scheduled a green smoothie for dinner. I like smoothies. I like the idea of smoothies. But I really like to chew my food better. So I switched the smoothie for mashed cauliflower, veggies, chicken, and a pear. Same amount of calories. And about the same nutrition! Another day, and I was not happy with this, but I learned from it. I stopped to talk to my neighbor on my way to the gym. She owns the local Curves. So after I leave, she comes out to the car and hands me a package of “skinny cow” candies that Curves is giving away. LOL. I felt just like the contestants on The Biggest Loser. I turned that package over and over, checked the stats. Decided to try one. TOO SWEET. And then I ate the rest of them. So I eliminated the afternoon snack, and that was that. I was going to the gym, so I was okay. If I had been going shopping, I might very well have been tempted to get more sugary stuff.
So sugar. Like I said at the beginning of the week, a goal was VERY MINIMAL sugar. When I analyzed what I ate for the week, I was a little surprised at how many things had a little sugar in them. Like my scones have a little sugar on top of them . Vicky’s lo-bars have chocolate chips (sugar), her red lentil and rice concoction has a tiny bit of sugar, as do her coconut cashew cookies. One day I had some Kashi cereal, and I realized after that it was lightly sweetened. But nothing had a large amount of sugar like regular cookies or cake. That is what makes me crave more and more. And also leaves me less satisfied so I need to eat more nutritious food on top of it. Again, this is not really new information to me. Rather it is a confirmation of what I already knew about food (as it relates to me.) I plan to keep this minimal sugar rule.
Wheat? Wow, that was really easy to eliminate. I had an average of 3 grain servings a day–none wheat. Usually only 1 dairy, 2-3 protein, and 5-8 fruits and veggies. That batch cooking makes it easier for me to get more veggies in. I tend to like cooked veggies better than salad. I like salad, but the way I like it tends to be a little higher in calories than cooked vegetables.
I know you all will be interested in this. I lost 2 pounds over these four days. That was not really a goal for me, as I knew that increasing my exercise, and swimming more could actually increase my weight temporarily. So that is a nice plus.
I also really liked cleaning house on Saturday and doing that batch cooking. I am going to make this a regular routine. I will try to control the batch size LOL.
I am going to give myself permission to have two days a week that concentrate more on exercise. Like I have said, ‘time’ is one of the big limiters of my exercise. So I will still be walking every day. But at least on those two days I will get to the gym and spend a longer amount of time there.
Money saved by doing spa week at home? For me about $1150! Here’s the very first link when I googled ‘spa retreat,’ $800, plus at least $100 travel money, and $250 for doggie care. Having the doggies to take care of during spa week took up time that I wouldn’t have to spend if I were at a real spa. But they also provide that nurturing element–relaxation and fun–that you wouldn’t get without them. Plus I get to sleep in my own bed at home!
I think this is enough blather for now. I have a lot of catch up stuff to do today (as well as exercise LOL) and then tomorrow I leave for my annual trip to the big Pacific International Quilt Show! I know. My life is really very difficult right now LOL.