Italian Adventures Part 1 – A New me!!

Saturday, 2.14am. Drip. Drip. Drip. Is it raining? Did i leave the window open? No, its raining through the ceiling downstairs. Ffs. So 2 hours later & astonishingly only £80 the leaks fixed. May as well get up as I’m off holiday clothes shopping!

Yes, you heard me right, holiday. One of those things I’ve not been on for 3 and a half years. We all know why.
One of Dads last wishes was that i had an amazing holiday on him. Well, Dad, I think you would be delighted with my choice.
After much internet trawling, agency calling, brochure browsing (old school I know but I do like a picture!) i land on a gem. I didn’t want to travel for hours (i do enough of that for work) & I didn’t want to just lay around all week, so I picked a 7 night, pamper, revitalise, fitness & energise stay at Lefay resort which overlooks Lake Garda in Italy. A Country i had not yet visited. The travel Company were so helpful @healthyholidays thank you, especially Serena!I get the feeling this could be life changing…
Day 1-wow. People talk about scenic views that take their breath away. Well today my breath has my well and truly taken. I honestly cant remember in all my travels a more beautiful sight. Im checked in to the hotel am i am scheduled for 7 days of fitness, relaxation, spa treatments, posture & wellness experts to rebuild this exhausted & worn out body & mind. From the personal driver to the welcome party on arrival I can not be felt more at home, which is important when travelling alone as a girl.
The first step is an assessment with a physiotherapist. Bit of a surprise to be told to strip off (except a plastic thong!) but within minutes I am being poked and prodded to work out what they need to do. No surprises I guess, but after an hour I am told I am be given pure relaxation therapy. Mind, body & soul.  Why is it coming from a complete stranger I listen, & immediately feel the tension leaving my shoulders… a little.
 
Day 2- the science bit. I have my first meeting with the main man Dr  M.  When we say Doctor he is a doctor in Chinese medicine practices-not the dodgy high street herb mixing ones, but the proper stuff. This gentlemen is a professor, & can read me like a book.  Within 2 hours there is a plan. I like a plan. The only problem is the plan starts with me having to take a good hard look at myself mentally & physically.
Mentally first-how do I rate my life & value on a scale of 1-10. Score I gave was a 3. Why? Well, I don’t feel up to scratch. Im always trying to impress, make others happy, look and be the best I can. Looking for approval.  Do I enjoy that? Not really.
Doc then tells me a great quote that I will never forget. “If i gave you a magic wand you would make yourself thin, toned, beautiful. To be NORMAL. If a man told you after sex you were normal you would be devastated! You want to be UNIQUE be amazing. So why not in everything you do?”
After a long sob, a big hug from the Doc, i realise its time to take a deep breath, get a grip & live my life not just exist. Time to raise the score from a 3.
 
We start with a relaxation massage with heat applied to your Energy points – a practice called Moxibution.  I was nervous, as I am a bit scared of heat therapies, no idea why, but I was reassured it could be stopped at anytime. Well an hour later, I am converted. I am calm, relaxed & energised. Bizarre really, Im normally spaced after a massage but not this time. Maybe theres something in this stuff that people have practiced for centuries-you don’t see a stressed Chinese person often.. Well, sometimes!! So its off to the salt water lake and I’m left alone for half an hour with nothing but a sunset & my thoughts.
The Doc touched on a important subject to me-Diet & exercise. You all know I battle with my weight (bloody food gets in the way), & I try to keep fit. But why? To feel healthy? Id say thats 30%. The other 70% is my obsession with being a certain weight, being in proportion.
Then after a talking to by the Doc, the penny drops-it wont bloody well work for that reason. 20 years Ive been trying. the Doc smiles at me & says “Alison, you eat to live, take care of your body & the rest will follow”. He talks me through a diet for life, & it sounds good to me. It involves eating well and lots (yay!), loving what you consume & enjoying everything.  So a menu is drawn up. The results are deliciously astounding.
At dinner I ate the most delicious vegetables, fish, & a beautiful chocolate cake-yes cake. It tasted better than the real thing. Made from Cacao, i honestly couldn’t taste the difference. For once I felt full & happy, not bloated & guilty. I have the books at home for this diet from the wonderful @honestlyhealthy so there are no excuses.
So to the football. Germany v Brazil. Ive never seen anything like it, not only the football itself, but i am observing a room full of Germans remain extremely calm and soberish watching their team destroy the hopes and dreams of a footballing giant.  Not a cheer past a clap, no excessive boasting or celebrating).  Maybe theres something in that calmness stuff!
After a hilarious lesson on German swear words and me telling the Dortmund fans off for stealing Liverpool FCs football anthem, I get a lecture on what England need to do to improve (yes, really). Guess it was inevitable really!!
But then the good bit – I slept for 9 hours straight.
 
Day 3- time to exercise. I have a personal trainer today, who works me hard. But not to the extremes where I am sick. Thats what my old trainer did & it put me off. I know he meant well, but it was too much.  I felt like a failure every time i trained. Then I would just go and eat loads. A lot of money was spent for zero results.
Post the cardio and toning we then spend an hour stretching and breathing which is amazing. Ive never been one for the yoga world, but I love it! This is a Chinese version but really pushes my body into places it has not been before!! Amazeballs. After a relaxing massage & a swim, time for another fabulous feast & a cheeky glass of the best rose I have ever tasted. And I’ve tried a lot…
 
Day 4- today wasn’t meant to be tricky. It was meant to be a energetic  walk round the stunning gardens, a little massage & some reflexology with lots of pool time. All that happened, but with emotional penny dropping hard with bells on.
It started well enough with a walk round the gardens, all modelled on the principals of Chinese
Medicine elements-wood, fire, metal & water. A circle, as in life. Each one representing the stages of life. Which led to a long chat on life and death with my excellent guide. We talked about watching people die & actually how peaceful the final moments are. How calm the person passing is. Once you have watched someone take their final breaths it changes you forever-not in a bad way, it just gives you a different view on death. We are all terrified of dying of course we are, its something we can not control. Maybe its time to stop running away from it & accept it. I know I certainly have.
 
After my Post lunch swim its time for  reflexology. Now i am not a lover of foot treatments but blimey. Its not pleasant to start with, but thats only due to my tension & stress.  After a stern talking to from my therapist i knew he was right. Once i relaxed, it became a lovely experience. But it did then smack me in the stomach that most of my hang ups and stress levels are down to me & me alone. Yes, I have a busy life, pressured job, & Ive been to hell and back recently.   But only I can manage those pressures, stop being a victim & enjoy life.  Il need help from all my amazeballs friends & I am proud to say a few experts, but the rest is UP TO ME. My life, no one else’s.
So i apologise in advance if I say no to things. Or disagree with you. Or do things for ME. I don’t mean to offend, Im just being honest & straight.  I promise I will always try to do it with a smile!
 
So with my head spinning with thoughts and plans, it’s time to close several chapters & move on to the next new & exciting chapter – after a very very large Aperol Spritz & dinner…..

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