The way that we look and how people perceive us has a large influence on many of the decisions that we make in our lives. Our weight is important to us and we often do (or not do) things in our life based on our body weight at that moment in time. If we are overweight and this is effecting the decisions we make, what can we do about it?
In the last ten years or so years the demand for health holidays has risen dramatically. Awaken Holidays now have many health retreats available in Europe, Asia and Australia. We have a great relationship with the businesses that provide the health holidays on Awaken Holidays, so we asked one of them if they would be kind enough to tell us their thoughts about weight loss. We also asked them about their very own special holistic weight loss health retreats that they provide in the Murcian region of Spain.
Awaken Holidays: Hi Viv. Would you like to tell our readers how long have you been running weight loss retreats?
Viv Wharton: Our Holistic Weight Loss Courses have been running in Spain for four years now. We called the course ‘WeighLess4life’. It is a 28 day weight loss program that begins with a one week holiday at our retreat centre in Murcia. This health holiday introduces the guest to the very special weight loss course. Once the weight loss vacation is over the participant is given full support when they return home to continue the weight loss program. With our help and the skills they learned on the retreat they are able to make the course part of their daily lives.
AH: What prompted you to create your own weight loss program?
VW: Many years ago I was inspired to get involved in the weight loss industry. At the time I was working as a teacher of exercise and dance, both of which disciplines have huge benefits to our health, but I had become aware that many people couldn’t, or wouldn’t, attend the exercise classes because of issues with their weight. They often felt uncomfortable exercising in front of others therefore they didn’t want to be in a class situation. In almost all cases they felt that they that had a poor body image.
AH: What were the classes like?
VW: The classes were pretty big and I ran them in a large sports centre. One of the classes I ran consisted of around 60 to 70 members. I would jump up on to the stage and take them through their exercise routines, which I loved doing, but this was followed by the weighing-in time. This section was a total nightmare for me. The dieters would queue up to be weighed but unless they had had a substantial drop in weight there would be a lot of grief.
AH: If the students hadn’t lost weight, how would they feel?
VW: On many occasions, students might have remained the same weight, or even put on weight. At these times there might have been tears, the stamping of feet and angry, sad and downright depressed faces. Almost always my weighing scales were accused of being wrong. They would ask me when I last got the scales calibrated, or they would come out with a bunch of excuses such as it was my birthday or that the diet doesn’t work. The excuses were never ending. In most cases the failed dieters would no longer come to the classes and I would worry about them. I really disliked every moment of those weighing-in sessions.
AH: Did you learn anything from teaching these classes?
VW: Yes. One of the things I noticed was that people were deeply psychologically affected by their issues with dieting. The truth is that many didn’t even need to lose weight. Their issues were not related to their weight but they were based on their desire to have the ‘right’ body.
AH: Before our interview commenced you told me that you too struggled with losing weight and that you suffered with health issues. What did you take from these experiences?
VW: I have experienced a lot in my years that have helped me on the path I am today. Along with my own experiences, I have been on counseling courses, sports nutrition courses and the self-study of nutrition for my own benefit after I was diagnosed with cancer and a further diagnosis of Osteoporosis. I learned much about what works regarding long term weight loss. The first thing that I got rid of was the scales! In came the tape measure, which I feel is a much more effective way of monitoring how the body is improving. I have put much more focus on health issues and eating healthy, natural foods. Often in weight loss programs the focus is on food, and it is important to encourage changing eating habits BUT for me the most important thing of all is exercise – that’s the part when most people fail because it is hard work, but it’s what really works!
AH: I agree… Exercise is the hardest area for many people to cope with. What do you suggest to those trying to lose weight but struggling with exercise?
VW: I think it’s true to say that most of us would like a quick and easy answer to this question, but there isn’t one. It is simple – It takes discipline. You need to plan to fit exercise sessions in, and you must have commitment to change. This is where our WeighLess4life retreats come in. The participants have the chance to be at a relaxing retreat, fully focussed and completely nurtured. It is a great opportunity to look at all their issues in a relaxing environment. We give guests the motivation and insights they need to gain a better understanding of what foods suit their body. We discuss what exercises are best for them, and they will learn how relaxation promotes better health. Due to this, a natural weight loss ensues and a better, healthier mind-set is born.
AH: What are your thoughts on dieting?
VW: It is my belief that fad diets and yo-yo dieting doesn’t work in the long term. I often meet people that have attempted to lose weight for a long time and they have not been successful. They need to accept that they are not going to have the same body they had when they were in their teens or twenties. It is our job to convince them that they could look really good with a different body shape, and to get this a healthier diet and exercise is the way. A way to make them feel better – physically and mentally.
AH: How does the Weighless4life course fit in?
VW: On our weight loss course, participants will notice that they will be in better shape and have a slimmer waist in their initial week’s stay at the retreat. This is due to the Pilates core work exercises that they will enjoy, and the healthy food they will eat. All exercise programs are tailored specifically to the guest and the tasty meals will keep hunger at bay. We also find that those who attend comment that their spirits are lifted whilst they enjoy the relaxing environment. In addition to this, each person has a great Weighless4life plan to go away with, including full continued support from us.
AH: Could you please sum up for us your weight loss courses in Spain?
VW: Okay… The Weighless4life Weight Loss Course – No unreasonable goal setting. No pressure. Simply an easy, calm and peaceful look at how to improve your health and body shape for life.
AH: Thank you for taking the time to talk to me. Your weight loss retreats in Spain look excellent.
VW: Thank you. It’s been a pleasure chatting to you!
You can find these 28 day weight loss courses with 7 day retreat in Spain on Awaken Holidays here: Diet, Detox and Weight Loss Retreats in Spain
The Weighless4life Weight Loss Course has been created and is run by Viv Wharton – Qualified Pilates and Yoga instructor, and Weight Loss Adviser. Weighless4life courses are available at various times around the year and in December and January there is a seasonal discount.
Article written by Paul of Awaken Holidays