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loss holidays section
Chocolate and Olives ...
loss and dieting usually come before heading off for sunshine holidays
in beautiful places serving good food, but why not try them as part
of the holiday itself? On holiday you have time for yourself, time
to think and consider how you eat and why you eat, and time to pamper
yourself and truly relax. Try a weight loss retreat to kick start
a change in your eating patterns and get off the dieting rollercoaster.
The account that follows is one persons reflections on such a retreat
in Italy, with Beyond Chocolate.
... a participant's account!
I didn't know what to expect when I signed up for the Beyond Chocolate
Retreat in Ostuni, Puglia but it sounded promising. Beyond Chocolate
run workshops for women who want to stop dieting and lose weight
for good by developing a healthy relationship with food and your
body. After 15 years of being on all sorts of diets and obsessing
over calories and dress sizes, my friend, who recommended the Retreat
to me, enthused about her new approach to weight loss as she tucked
into a cappuccino tiramisu with gusto at the restaurant. The idea
of mixing a pampering holiday with a workshop which would rule out
dieting for ever was irresistible.
I was picked up at the airport and driven through
narrow roads weaving through century-old, twisted olive groves to
the Masseria La Rascina, a perfectly restored 15th century farmhouse
surrounded by olive and almond trees, the dark green of the leaves
standing out against the bright red earth and low white walls. I
was shown to my gorgeous apartment with its vaulted ceilings, brightly
painted terracotta tiles and its own patio to unpack and settle
evening at dinner I met the other nine women with whom I would be
sharing this adventure. The atmosphere was warm and chatty and Sophie,
founder of Beyond Chocolate and retreat leader, explained how she
had decided to run a retreat in Ostuni after thirty years of holidaying
here. She said she couldn't think of a more perfect place and frankly,
after having tasted the chef's incredible meal, neither could I.
We were given a programme for the week: workshop sessions in the
morning or afternoon, sometimes in the evening; optional visits
to tourist attractions, wine and olive oil tasting and daily yoga
and beauty treatments. I couldn't wait to start.
The next day I decided to try out the morning yoga
session. It took place on the terrazzo and left me feeling refreshed,
revived and ready to face whatever was waiting. Sessions were fun
and thought provoking and incredibly practical. Beyond Chocolate
is not a quick fix, it is about doing things differently and changing
certain beliefs we have about food and our body.
Beyond Chocolate is based on a set of ten simple principles.
Each session is structured around a specific theme and throughout
the week we looked at why, when and how we eat, why diets don't
work, how to eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full
and how to really enjoy food. We looked at body image and exercise
and how to nourish ourselves without turning to food. Over the week,
Sophie helped us to identify all those habits we had built up over
the years: depriving ourselves through relentless dieting, turning
to food for comfort, eating in social situations and gave us an
alternative approach which we put into practice there and then.
Meals were fabulous. The mother-daughter team in the
kitchen turned out meal after perfect meal with enticing smells
and good humoured laughter wafting from the kitchen throughout the
day. We also went out for dinner twice to fabulous restaurants.
was also plenty of time to relax by the pool with a good book from
the Beyond Chocolate library. I took walks in the beautiful countryside
I also discovered the delights of Thai Yoga Massage, which Gareth,
our yoga teacher, is an expert in.
I came back to London a week later, excited and enthusiastic
about my new approach to food and weight, with a whole host of tools
at my disposal, knowing I'll never have to diet again. And I know
that I will have continued guidance as I integrate these changes
into my daily life with the evening support sessions that Sophie
runs in London. I also discovered a truly beautiful region of Italy
which I look forward to going back to over and over again.
Text © travel-quest
Chocolate Retreats offer women-only weight loss retreats
among the breathtaking olive groves of Puglia in Italy; looking
at diet from a physical, intellectual and emotional perspective
as well as offering beauty treatments, cultural activities
and great cuisine!
For alternative weight loss and dieting retreats
and workshops take a look at our weight
loss holidays section.