I have been overweight since I was a child. I can remember on the first day of fourth grade telling a friend that I needed to go on a diet. Looking back on it, it seemed like I was so old at the time, but was merely a young child. As I got older, my weight problems have only increased. Sure there were a few times where I was actually successful at weight loss, but the success was short lived.
I love watching weight loss shows because I enjoy hearing people’s stories and seeing their transformations at the end of their journey. About two years ago, a show called “Heavy” came on, so I just had to watch it. I enjoyed the show, and being from South Carolina, I was surprised to hear that the place on the show was located there. I did my research and figured I would not be able to go there because it was not in my budget. My husband said that he could send me to Hilton Head Health www.hhhealth.com or to one of the Biggest Loser locations. I was interested, but I did not want to go because I felt it would be a waste of money since I was not mentally ready. In those two years, I have auditioned for the biggest loser, done weight loss plans, and imagined myself losing weight, all without success.
This year in January, I began working out in my home gym. I overdid it and injured myself. I was in and out of my various doctors’ offices and just still did not feel well. I got to the point where I began to feel helpless and hopeless, and I felt like I really needed a new start. I looked at H3 again and told my husband that I wanted to go because I needed somewhere that I only had to focus on myself. H3 seemed like the most attractive place, and besides, I had pictured myself there so many times. My husband and I put a plan in motion to get me to H3. When I spoke with Michele Musulin and she was so friendly and encouraging, it made me feel like I would be right at home at H3.
When it was time to go, I was excited, but nervous because three weeks seemed like a long time to be away from home. Since Michele had already sent me the schedule for the week, I had gone over it. I knew I wanted to try kayaking and I wanted to sign up for the hands-on cooking demonstrations.
During my first week, I tried the Shelter Cove kayaking, and I absolutely loved it!!! It was much easier than I thought it would be and so much fun. It was so much fun that my cell phone decided to stay permanently on the adventure. Kayaking was something I would have never felt comfortable attempting before my journey at H3. Now I know it’s something I would try away from H3. While there I also encouraged other guests to sign up for it.
While at H3 I attended most of the available lectures as well as the hands-on cooking demonstrations. I tried most of the workout classes. There was such a wide variety of workouts; there is something for everyone. Even when the classes seemed too difficult, I just wanted to push myself. At the end of each class, I was always glad that I had pushed forward to completion.
I am a person who loves good tasting food, so that was one of the more enjoyable experiences at H3. They seemed to take pride in the flavor and variety of food offered. Another thing I enjoyed was meeting all the great new people. My favorite workout was probably Wii Dance because you get a workout that is just a lot of fun. I also enjoyed the sunrise beach walks, water fitness classes, drums alive (really awesome class), kayaking, salsa dancing (I was pretty good.), cardio boxing (Thanks to Michael for encouraging me to try it.), and resistance band training.
Some of the most valuable things for me were the hands-on cooking demonstrations. I attended the Grilling, Southern Comfort, and Desserts demos. I love to cook and bake. I especially love baking for others. It would be nice to have some ideas that I’ve tried that aren’t a caloric nightmare. The classes that I took gave me some fresh new and healthy ideas to take home with me. I also gained valuable information from the cooking demos, especially the pizza class with Chef Karla. She provided lots of ideas.
When I attended the Putting It All Together class at H3 on the Friday before my departure, I left the class in tears, happy tears of course. I had been struggling with my triglycerides for a few years partly due to my insulin resistance. This was one of the numbers that I was warned would probably increase before it decreased. I was shocked to see that mine dropped a little over 50%; I was down 14 pounds and a little over 7 inches, and muscles that I had not seen in years were making an appearance. I felt so blessed in that moment just thinking about what a wonderful experience I had at H3.
When I arrived at H3, I met many great people, some with extended stays and others with short-term stays. There were so many return visitors who talked about how wonderful their previous H3 experiences had been. I originally wished that I would never have to return to H3, but not long into my stay, I realized that it would actually be a great place to return for a boost from time to time. On the day of my departure, as I sat in my car in the parking lot of the main building preparing to go home, I thought about how my stay at H3 seemed like a once in a lifetime experience because unlike some people, I don’t know if I’ll get to return. I felt bad for the people who will never get to experience H3 as I did, but I also felt blessed for the opportunity. I thought about all the changes, and I felt so grateful to all of the people that I met. All the staff was so welcoming and just seemed to care about everyone’s well-being.
Since I’ve been home I’ve made the pesto pizza, stuffed turkey burgers, super soft chocolate cake with oreo cream filling, loaded baked potato salad, and my own version of the Andouille sausage. I have been working out and tracking my food. I keep thinking about the lectures I attended at H3 such as Mindful Eating, Nutrition for Health, and Goal Setting just to name a few and incorporating some of the things I learned in them. I’m not saying that life is perfect since I got back home. I am still working 9 hour days during the week, but now I find time to work out. I try to make most of my meals healthy. I think I will always hear the “Monkey Chatter” that Lisette Cifaldi speaks of, but I pray that with the changes I am making, the “Monkey Chatter” will quiet down.
They asked me to write a testimonial which I submitted about a month ago, but it hasn’t been posted yet. People wanted to know about my experience, so I am posting what I submitted to them.
Edit from August 2019-My testimonial has of course been submitted since this post. Below are a few pictures of some of the meals prepared there.