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Who comes on retreat? Are You Suitable?

Another packed out retreat, but it was a lot more nerve racking this time.

Why?  I’ll get to that in a second, but I was delighted to welcome 10 guests out to Lanzarote for our 7th Mind & Body retreat. I can’t believe we have run 7 successfully now. It’s been 3 years since our first one. Put together on a whim and a prayer.

We had 7 newcomers to our retreat and 3 returning guests (80% of our guests return for another retreat). I didn’t know 5 of the guests which can be a challenge, as it’s nearly impossible to tell how the different personalities will gel. To add to it, this was the first time we had a new chef and new assistant to help produce the same results and the unique experience we pride ourselves in delivering.

So I was the only constant, the pressure was on to guide everyone through the week including the new team members. Thankfully our processes and systems are pretty good and team members are well drilled on their rolls long before we fly out to prepare. Plus, I was confident that our choices in new team members was a really positive one, that they were extremely competent and would gel and work positively together. And they did, which made my job far easier, so a big shout out to Ciara Fennessy from Ciara’s Kitchen and Hazel Johnson our mother hen.

Our guests consisted of a car dealer and his wife, a marketing executive, a stay at home mum, a managing director, a doctor, a property investor, a dental surgeon and his wife a  surgery manager, a journalist and tv personality, an air hostess and a celebrity chef.

What could possibly go wrong..?

The one factor that gives our guests from all these different back grounds, an immediate relatability, is their desire to make positive changes to their lives. That can be a physical, mental or spiritual change, or just wanting a holistic approach to their health, they trust in us and we pride ourselves in delivering.

It’s always important to treat everyone a little differently, as some guests need a little more nurturing, others just like to get on with it. I’ve learned over the 20 years of being in the fitness industry, that different personalities can all gel well, provided there are strict guidelines to adhere to, time lines met, there’s a clear person in charge, and to make sure there is very little cause for people to be upset.

My job is to knit it all together and be the one that keeps things running smoothly, from ensuring meals are ready and in the right portions, to leaving on time for excursions, to delivering life coaching modules to a high level of sensitivity and decorum.  Along with that, class difficulty levels are correctly correlated with the different fitness levels, any injuries managed and ultimately that everyone is enjoying themselves, phew, it ain’t no holiday, it’s hard work, very hard work, but I certainly can’t complain getting to work in a sunny, intriguing country like Lanzarote, helping people make positive changes to their lives…it’s something that floats my boat, and even more so when people make the changes permanent.

Our first sit down meal together, I set the tone with some ground rules regarding do’s and don’ts while on retreat i.e. have an open mind, be on time, work hard, keep phones in your room, jump out of your comfort zone etc. We break down barriers and give a general overview of how the week will run. It’s always fascinating to hear our guests reasons for joining us on retreat and what they would like to get out of the retreat. The second thing that I love seeing is the starting point for our guests changing from closed postures, grey faces, the bloated and inflamed bodies then in contrast on departure, the open improved postures, the colour back in their faces, noticeably leaner bodies and less inflamed midsections.

The physical results of our 7th retreat was as follows.

✅Over 5 stones lost between 12. Chef and Assistant included.

✅Over 38 inches lost from waist and hip measurements of 12 people.

✅All 12 people assessed reported being less bloated and lethargic

✅Energy levels increased

✅Improved Sleep

✅Improved mood and outlook

As most of our guests commented on our final day, (especially Michael who lost 9.5lbs), was despite the astonishing results, not one of the guests had ever been hungry once and having eaten burgers, ice pops, chocolate biscuits, profiteroles, home-made snickers bars, potato wedges, pizza, chocolate orange balls through-out the week, they couldn’t fathom how this had happened. It’s very much a science and research backed eating plan that is geared towards stripping back our guests diets and cutting out inflammatory foods. Simple!

Our days are designed to encourage rest, elicit change, through questioning our thoughts and facilitating a different approach that may not have been used before, through providing an environment where we help our guests move forward through clarity and clear direction.

A new excursion we incorporated into our week long retreat which went down really well, was our private boat charter. We chartered our boat from Play Blanca port and motored over to Papagayo beach where we anchored 100m off it and went for swims, snorkels and had the option to paddle board, kayak and even fish! Unfortunately it was a little breezy so we stuck to swimming and snorkelling and sunning ourselves on the foredeck. A really enjoyable couple of hours out on the water, and a great addition to our usual excursions.

On our final day, I delivered the module of Complete Goal Setting™, this sets the mood for our guests to jet off home with a clear set of short, medium and long term goals and a clear path and specific action steps to achieve them. I firmly believe, clarity reduces stress and having a plan reduces overwhelm and having your plan of action written down, means, it’s more likely to happen, and the final rule is, start the process or first step of your long term goal before you leave the place you set it.

Want to join us in March and make some big changes to your life? (9th-16th March 2020).

Fill out an application form here

and lets’ see if it’s a good fit for you or your loved one.  And yes, we do offer retreat present vouchers for Christmas.

Yours in fitness

Damian

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