Hilton Head Health is the perfect solo getaway

Sometimes a girl just needs to get away and concentrate on herself. Sometimes a girl just needs a reset, an opportunity to learn about herself, and an opportunity to be better.

A health getaway is something I never would have considered. To me, it screams SPA!!! Don’t get me wrong – I love to be pampered and there’s nothing better than a massage. But a week of spa-ing seems over-indulgent to this former Pittsburgher. I’m a little too down-to-earth and way to frugal to treat myself to a week of luxury. So I needed something more wellness, less luxe.

Hilton Head Health offered both, and the combination was as good as sea salt and caramel. Except they didn’t offer any of those there, and quite frankly, you wouldn’t want them to. This getaway is about reminding yourself of healthy practices. It’s about realizing that health never falls into one category. It’s holistic. It involves what and how much you put in your mouth, how and when you get physical activity, where your mind is at any given time, and how necessary it is to quiet both your body and your mind.

For four days I delved into all of this. I thought about how routine my exercise had gotten and vowed to do completely different workouts while I was there. So I did the following: a beach walk, beach yoga, aqua aerobics, cardio boxing, circuit training, and nightly bike rides. None of these workouts were as hardcore as what I do at home, but they felt fantastic. And I still felt muscles I don’t use, a pleasant sort of soreness that felt terrific.

I also educated myself. I watched two chefs convert traditionally high-fat meals into light ones with simple ingredient substitutions. I took a class on meditation and learned how important it is to empty your mind and take control of it, rather than letting it run away with you. I sat in a Rethinking Drinking class and wondered if I really need a second cocktail every.single.time. Each class was entirely non-judgmental and purely helpful, and each gave me takeaways.

And I ate. The portions seemed small in comparison to what we Americans regularly eat, but they were perfect, in the end. I wasn’t hungry, nor was I bloated, over-full, and feeling guilty. I felt great! I felt…just right.

After the four days, I came home and weighed myself for the first time in a week. I had lost a couple pounds without much effort at all. But the best part was that I put into practice what I had learned, and in the next week, I lost a couple more pounds. And really, truly, I don’t care that much about the weight loss. I care that I feel SO much better. I care that I’ve been reminded to take care of myself, to focus on my health, and to keep moving.

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