“For me, it’s a bit like one of those Tui Billboards; “Before my “Te Atawhai Retreat, I was healthy and living my life to the full…….Yeah, right!!”
The thing was, I didn’t think I was doing too badly – I was going to the gym twice a week, trying to go walking and I knew what I was supposed to be eating and four to five days of the working week I was really good and then Friday would hit and then it would be the weekend and, and , and…..! And why wasn’t I losing weight? And why was I always tired? Well, it had to be because I was a busy Mum of three, juggling work and I had problems with my back and knees and, and, and…
On August the 17th, my life changed forever. That was the start of my retreat at Te Atawhai in Te Aroha. I will put my hand up and say I had tried everything, every fast fix you ever saw advertised and had come to the conclusion that eating real food and making a lifestyle change was the only way to go. That was the theory. In practice, I wasn’t doing so well. I told myself that “it’s all about the base and besides, they’re bringing booty back” but secretly knew that if I ever won Lotto, one of the first things I’d do would be to covertly organise a stomach stapling operation and some liposuction. I was also a cynic when it came to ‘Food Nazis’, loudly proclaiming there was no need to ‘cut out’ food groups. I was looking forward to the food at the retreat but thinking the no sugar, no wheat stuff was a bit over the top.
The Te Atawhai Retreat was a lightbulb moment for me. Total immersion in a healthy lifestyle allowed me to see what a truly healthy life actually looks like. For the first time I could remember, I felt great. Not ‘good’, or ‘ok’, or ‘fine’ but actually GREAT! In fact, amazing! Yes it was the food but it was more than the food, it was the whole package. The people, the treatments, the activities, the exercises.
And it hasn’t stopped there. I came away from the Te Atawhai retreat determined to change my life. I didn’t lose any weight on the retreat but having made changes, I have slowly lost nearly five kilos. Friends and family who haven’t seen me for a while remark how good I’m looking but it’s not just the weight loss. I get comments like “You’re glowing!” “Your eyes are sparkling” or (my favourite from people I hadn’t seen since this time last year!) “You look younger!” I know I have more energy, I cope better with daily life and my back and knees are not as bad with the exercises I am doing. My Personal Trainer is delighted with my progress at the gym. I am a Celebrant (weddings and funerals) and MC so I spend my working life standing in front of people. That kind of public work takes a lot of energy and I have more to give now. I also have a much wider range of outfits to wear as I am fitting into dresses I haven’t been able to wear for quite a while!
For me, it was like I was trying to run a car on the wrong type of petrol; I had hardly any oil in it and I never bothered to get regular tune ups. I just kept driving it into the ground and wondering why it kept conking out. Going to Te Atawhai was like booking into a garage for a major overhaul; they flushed out the engine, put the right type of petrol in, topped it up with oil and now, as long as I keep putting the right petrol in, topping up the oil and getting regular tune ups, the car should take me wherever I want to go!
Te Atawhai is the whole package. As a wife and mother, I felt nourished and taken care of – I didn’t pick up a dish or cup the whole time I was there! The treatments are good for the soul, the activities and the food are amazing but most inspiring of all, are the people. He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.
Thank you, Te Atawhai.
K-M, August 2016