I am back at one of my favorite retreats. Well, I guess at this point, it is my Favorite, back East anyway. Forget the “one of” part. Kripalu. It is a yoga retreat in the Berkshires, a short drive from Lenox, Mass. It is a former monastery that has been turned into a school for Yogis and Aruyrvedic practitioners. It is also a place for visitors looking for wellness programs, or just a little R&R. You can practice yoga here three times a day, and do this wonderful moving form they call Yoga Dance. The yoga dance is very tribal, very primal, sweat-inducing, and LOTS of fun.

I arrived after a four-hour bus drive, sat next to a cool woman who commuted back and forth between her apartment outside of Boston and the Vermont woods where she lived with the boyfriend she met on You-Tube. When you leave the highly caffeinated world of Manhattan and land anywhere bucolic, it takes awhile to adapt to the deafening din of silence. Crickets in NYC mean no one has come to your nightclub. The smells, the views, the sounds of silence can be intimidating. I walked around, made myself at home in my spartan room (happy to see that the unknown roommate with whom I was to share the room had not arrived yet). A gentle yoga class, a delicious vegetarian dinner, some quiet time in the sun room until three 20-somethings came in to gab. Even then, I wasn’t in the mindset to be the librarian and “shhhhhush” them. I just went to my little room and fell asleep.
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Shovel It InReality bites!

I am happy to say that I not only lost 50 pounds, I reached my weight-loss goal at the end of January.  In total, I lost 51 pounds.

This does not mean my life as a watcher of weight is over.  I continue to exercise my “eat properly” muscles.  With that, comes indulgences on occasion.   I realized when I reached my goal what an awesome challenge I would be facing with Maintenance.  I know how to lose weight.  I know how to gain it.  Keeping myself at a steady weight, now that is something I need to learn to do.

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Mt. Saint Helens

You know you don’t have to climb every mountain.  Or, follow every rainbow.  But, if you are trying to set yourself realistic goals, then you can probably should add ford every stream to your list: one stream at a time, anyway.

When you decide you want to make a change in your life that will really stick, keep it simple.  Don’t go getting all grandiose about it.  “I want to lose weight” is not a good goal.

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Here it comes again:  the E word.  Exercise.  The Marist Poll recently released its survey on New Years Resolutions and #3 resolution — behind lose weight and quit smoking — was I want to improve my body.  I want to work out.  But, shit, who wants to work out?  Non-steroidally speaking, that is.  It can be such a roadblock in the weight-loss formula of eat less, move more.  But, we gotta do it.

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A great way to begin any day — the calm and meditative strengthening of yoga.  I try to get at least two sessions in a week.  I think of it as covert exercise. You are so focussed on the moves and the breathing and the “moment”, it is easy to forget that you are doing wonderful things for your body.

Afterwards, I have what has become my regular breakfast — yogurt with a sprinkle of nuts. 

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