On any given week I am thrilled if I jump on my treadmill a few times a week for 30 minutes, do a few sit-ups and move on with my day.
So you can imagine my chagrin when I arrived at The Ranch in Malibu and quickly realized that I would be subsisting on 1,400 calories a day and hiking a minimum of 10 miles a day in the gorgeous, yet really challenging Malibu mountains.
I literally never put an incline on my treadmill, so as all of the 60-year olds flew by me chatting and laughing,I had to throw my ego off the mountain om Day One.
I found myself channeling the little engine that could. Halfway up every huge hill I encountered I found myself chanting, “I think I can, I think I can!”
Since I was ALWAYS the slowest and the last one in the group there was no embarrassment by spurring myself on outloud in that manner.
I took my daughter Amanda to The Ranch for her birthday and it was amazing having her to myself for an entire week. She flew past me just like everyone else on the hikes–but come on, she is 28 years old!
The magic I came away with from this truly special deprivation boot camp cemented my life philosophy of, “Say you can, you will. Say you can’t, and you won’t!”
I never thought I would be able to hike over 40 miles in five days (I skipped a day because it was pouring), but I did and every day that passed, I felt prouder and stronger.
Mind you I am not a rule follower and The Ranch is ALL about rules.
When I got the notice that this was a no coffee, no alcohol retreat I was worried.
Live without coffee…NO way!
So I snuck in little Starbucks instant coffee packs and had one cup a day. Now alcohol…that I was worried about.
I love my red wine, but I have to say that going a week without wine was great and now I know I can live without it, if not by choice but necessity .
All in all, the trip was amazing. The best part for me was unplugging.
There was no phone reception and spotty internet available only in the rooms. This was a true digital detox.
The Ranch is stunning in a bare bones kind of way. And the plant-based diet is truly satisfying and delicious. The food was not a stretch for me as I am a pescatarian who eats eggs so going fish-free for a week was no biggie.
I got super skinny for about 10 minutes and then came home. Pizza, wine, daily stress and a really bad cold sabotaged my willpower fairly quickly.
But I am definitely trying to be more mindful on all fronts.
I am trying to talk my husband into going with me again soon. I struggled on every hill and actually took a really bad fall that embarrassingly left me in tears and with a pretty messed up knee.
But In hindsight I loved this trip and all of the quiet lovely messages I taught myself while there.