The countdown is on. Heading into my final week here at the beautiful Hollyhock Retreat Centre on Cortes Island.

It’s near impossible to sum up the emotions and memories from my time here. I’ll forever cherish the people, animals, food, garden, ocean, lake, summer breeze and relaxed way of life here.

Today I want to share something very personal and very important with you.

It’s something I didn’t really expect or think much about before taking on this adventure.

I’ve gained weight since I arrived.

I’ve been overeating at most meals.

I’m eating more sugar than normal.

When I was dreaming about my time here before arriving, I couldn’t wait to enjoy beautiful, fresh and healthy food without having to cook or clean up myself.

Life isn’t always as we expect… as I’m sure you know already.

I was surprised at how difficult I’ve found it to hold back and not overindulge or overeat. There are pastries at breakfast, freshly baked bread at lunch, and homemade fancy deserts after dinner every night.

The temptation is everywhere.

And as I talked about in my first week’s blog post, it’s nearly impossible not to fill up your plate by the time you’ve gotten to the end of the buffet line.

As a sugar addict, I’ve found it hard. I’m not going to lie. I want you to know that I’m a real person too and I’m constantly working on my relationship with food and sugar.

I never thought I’d say this, but I’m actually excited and ready to get back into my own kitchen and to be rid of all that temptation. It’s been such a great reminder to be grateful and willing to cook my own meals.

And during all of it, I’ve been doing a pretty good job at not guilting myself about it. I know I’ll be OK. It’s just another week. I want to enjoy the special things here. I know it won’t throw me off the deep end and that when I get home I will be able to get right back on track.

It’s been such an eye-opening time and a great reminder of how when we take the time to engage in preparing our own meals we cherish them more and create fewer temptations with things that may not be the best for us.

So, what are the lessons in all of this?

  • Cook for yourself as much as possible.
  • Find times to get a break from cooking so you can regain motivation and inspiration in the kitchen.
  • Practice the art of slow and mindful eating to give your body the chance to tune in to being satisfied before being full (my biggest challenge here!).
  • Then let it all go.

Let go of the guilt if cooking is out of your control (a work in progress I admit).

Let go of the shame if you know you’re eating something that may not be the best.

Let go of the judgment of how you look or the choices you’ve made.

You’re in control of our decisions. Own them.

Love & Awareness,