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Turning 65 - my birthday present to me

Thursday, September 26, 2013

A milestone, a month away. 65 seems old. I do not feel old. I have this as the background on my SP page. Talk about a picture being worth a thousand words.

(In case there was any confusion, I want to be the lady on the right)

Last spring, DH turned 65. He took himself to Vegas for three weeks. I call it his March Madness madness.

I decided to take my three weeks and apply them to my health. I have been to The Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA several times. And loved it. Starting on October 27th, there is an immersion program for weight loss. Five days at one of the prettiest places on earth. We will be doing some hiking and some other fitness classes. There are yoga classes of every variety, some tai chi, chi gong, restorative, astanga and some really silly ones. I took one that had us concentrating on the three points on our foot, heel, and the ball of the foot at the bases of the large and little toes. Every few minutes she'd have us hop up and down and then back to concentrating on this triangle.

This is the view of the facility. I believe that it was once a Jesuit Monastery.

This is the view of the lake from the facility.

The main chapel is where many of the classes are held, yoga all day long. The last session I did there was with Lilias Folan. If any of you remember the PBS series from the 70's, she was the lovely lady with the calm voice and the long dark hair reaching almost to her waist. She is now over 70, much taller than she ever looked on tv. Aging and teaching how to modify one's practice with age. And recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Her long hair is now short and silver but I am sure she is as warm and loving as she was all those years ago on tv and just a few years ago when I met her in person. Sadly, she won't be ther this trip.

When I went the first time, the food was all natural and all vegetarian, most grown locally, much right on the premises. You could smell the turmeric as you drove up the hill, LOL. The last time they had caved a bit to public pressure and added organic chicken and turkey, perhaps some fish. A teeny bit of dairy. Since I am there for a weight loss immersion program, I will take their recommendations about what to eat. I'd like to go back to the vegetarian format from my first trip but will see what happens.
Ah, no coffee in the dining hall, did I mention that? We snuck in some dark chocolate cocoa beans the first time, just in case we needed them. My sister did, I did not.
And another cave, there is a coffee shop in the lobby. I will try to decaffeinate.....again.

Here is a shot from someone's blog. They photographed I guess every meal while they were there. Amazing choices. Breakfast is silent. I loved that part. There is always a 5 PM yoga class, ending with a 15 minute Savasana. Followed by great food. So very restorative. I do not know why she includes chocolate, maybe more changes than I know about.

After 5 days, I'll be leaving there, spending a few days with friends in Upstate NY, where we used to live. I think we have some Upstate NYers' on the Spies, maybe I'll stop in. I do plan on swinging by our home town and stopping here:

I have never tasted a better cider in my life. Although, it used to be better. You could watch them dump the apples into the press and follow the cider down a long tube to the front of the mill. The workers would take your jug and fill it from there. Alas, the FDA stepped in and forced them to pasteurize all cider, it is still great, just not so fresh tasting.

Now, there is a problem. They are famous for their "two day" cookies, like any cookie no matter how big would ever last two days in my possession. Amazingly enough, I can pass up these cookies. Because, they are even more famous for their cinnamon cake donuts. Okay, weight loss immersion followed by a meal of cider and a cinnamon donut? 95/5 rule? We'll see.....

From Endicott, I'll be heading to The Biggest Loser Resort Niagara. Checking in on my birthday. This program is for whole week, seven days. They are running a special with a steep discount for any returning guest. My original plan was to go to Kripalu for a few weeks, how could I pass this addition up?

Some photos:

The outdoor pool

The indoor pool

The fire pit and fitness center in the background.

The exercise classroom.

The menu for the day.

In 2009 I was in peak shape. DD and I went to the resort in Utah for a week and it was an awesome experience. (Sadly, since then, my arthritis has gotten worse, I tore my right MCL last fall and am simply not in the same shape. So I'll just have to work hard until then to get to my best possible condition so as to get the most from this experience.) We hiked for two to three hours every morning. We came back to a fitness class, lunch, a lecture session. and three more fitness classes before dinner and a lecture session. Meal plans are 1200 with fruit and salad as adders. There is enough fiber in these meals to....well, I think you get the picture. If not, here is a story.

My DD and took my sister to Kripalu for her 50th birthday in 2002. My DD had NEVER taken a yoga class in spite of being a Division I volleyball player at the University of GA. We were on our backs with our knees drawn into our chest and lets just say that there was some noise going on. When we left the class, DD was just all about, Mom, I had so much trouble keeping from farting when we were on our backs, how did you manage? I said to her, what part of "wind relieving pose did you not understand?"

So, after I leave here on Sunday, November 10th, I am heading back to Kripalu. Sadly, the two classes I wanted were a week apart at this time of year, but it will be interesiting to go back and forth. This second session is a digestive immersion program. We will be led by two nutritionists who are specialists in all aspects of digestive health. My reflux is simply not under any control in spite of medication. I am hoping to get some help here.

The rooms are fairly sparse (although I do believe they have glammed up a few, I have opted for a standard room with a hall bath)

So on November 15th, I head home. I'll be stopping on the way up and on the way back to SC at both my son's in NC and my sister's in DC.

I know I have internet in my room in Niagara, there is internet in the lobby at Kripalu, perhaps I'll get a feed in my room. So I will be able to stay in touch and hopefully will have the strength at the end of the day to blog as often as I can. So I will not be away from my team and the BLC23 challenge. And I'l be backing my trusty scale.


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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    -o-ow! What an amazing birthday present! Sounds like a wonderful healing and refreshing time! Can't wait to hear a full report.
    1660 days ago
  • MRSP90X
    WoW!! What a lovely and healthful way to celebrate your Birthday!! What a blessing!!
    1665 days ago
    I'm officially jealous. I want to go to a retreat. emoticon
    1665 days ago
    What a wonderful way to celebrate a milestone birthday! I have worked with "senior citizens" since 1995, and have seen the full range like the first picture. I've met some amazing 80 and 90 year olds who are so active and that's what I'm aiming for. I'm 58 1/2 right now, and the big old 60 is creeping up pretty fast but I celebrate every decade with looking at it as new opportunities and not as something depressing. The first picture also reminds me of me and my mom. She was old in her 50's because she thought she was. She had diabetes and had one heart attack. But I've known so many who did amazing things with even worse. But she just made up her mind she was old and couldn't do anything. I have fibromyalgia, but I am active and recently walked 20 miles in a Walk for the Heroes a couple of weeks ago. I love to hike. At 60, and at 65, and at 70 and so on I want to be enjoying life to the fullest. I love your way of celebrating and your mindset!
    1665 days ago
    Just take me with you! I will make it my job to cheer you on and hand you the towel when you are sweating. And by the way, never thought you are aiming for the condition of the frail lady on the left. Ha -ha.
    1665 days ago
  • FITAT50
    What a fabulous way to celebrate turning 65! I've got 7 years to plan for mine, I've always wanted to go to some sort of health retreat.

    1666 days ago
  • LINDA!
    emoticon You have a lot of look forward to. emoticon
    1666 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/26/2013 9:29:17 PM
    Wow, that all sounds so amazing! What a great birthday present for yourself. Now you've got me thinking since I'll be 65 next March!!!! Can't wait to hear all about it.

    1666 days ago
    Oh my gosh what trips you have planned, they sound fabulous, can you pack me away with you?
    1666 days ago
  • PCOH051610
    emoticon What an awesome birthday celebration you have planned out. I can't wait now to hear all about your stays at both places.
    1666 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/26/2013 7:44:51 PM
    What a great plan! I have a year and a month to go, maybe it's time for me to start planning my 65th celebration.
    1666 days ago
    Love that poster. Tried to google it but nothing came up. Would like to have it hang in my home gym. My birthday is in October and last year I took myself to The Red Mountain Resort which is in the same city in Utah as the Biggest Loser you went to. Red mountain starts out every morning with a hike that I love in the beautiful red mountains. Three different groups depending on your fitness level. Their healthy food is really good as well and I love their spa services. It's not expensive either for a health resort. You may want to try it next time. I've been there 3 times.

    Have a great time on your adventures!
    1666 days ago
    Sounds like so much fun. Please come back and blog about your experience when you're done. BTW an Early Happy Birthday!!!! emoticon
    1666 days ago
  • LUCYLU22
    emoticon WOW that sounds like an absolute fabulous birthday present to yourself! That just sounds so darn fantastic, that I want to find my own trip like this! You deserve to have a WONDERFUL time, ENJOY!!!
    1666 days ago
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