Making Movara Memories
Our health and wellness resort is not just about weight loss, or working out. It is about making memories and our results-driven wellness program is truly changing lives! Meet a few friends of ours who have become members of the Movara family. Our program really isn’t easy mentally, physically, or emotionally but it isn’t meant to be. It is meant to push you past what you think your limits are and help you to forge a new outlook on weight loss, health, and your life.
If you have a favorite Movara memory that you would like to share we would love to hear it! Just post it under “My Memory”
During my one-week stay at Movara, I lost 11.5 pounds and it was one of the most self-esteem building events in my life. Since returning home, I continue to be motivated and I have lost an additional 22 pounds, 33.5 pounds total in just 60 days! A key factor in my success has been understanding the simple truth that calories IN must be lower than calories OUT. It doesn’t have to be a huge discrepancy every single day. If I just keep the negative differential, the pounds do come off. So simple, but so effective.
– As the weight came off I started to notice so many positive changes in my body. Here are just some of the things that I have noticed as I travel on this journey to a healthier me:
– I sleep better and awake refreshed. My wife even says my snoring has stopped!
– I am able to comfortably bend over and pick items up off the floor. As embarrassing as it is to admit it, tying my shoes is no longer a chore.
– My knees, hips and feet don’t hurt when I run, jog or hike.
– Caffeine was my life’s blood before Movara. Since dropping it from the daily regiment, my energy levels are consistent. The annoying “caffeine headaches” are a thing of the past.
– My body and stomach have adjusted to eating healthy portions, making over-eating more difficult and easier to avoid.
– I am an avid mountain biker, even with the all-time heavy load I was carrying when I arrived at Movara. When I got back home I started training again, but indoors because of the poor, wet weather here in Seattle. The indoor training bike that I ride is linked to power based measurements of performance, and my power and workout performance has seen excellent changes over the last 7 weeks. When I was finally able to hit the trails again, it was euphoric. Everything was easier. Losing the weight and slowly getting back in shape has been a game changer for my enjoyment of my favorite sport.
– I have a genetic predisposition to clot that requires me to take anticoagulation drugs. Green leafy vegetables (vitamin K) can cause wild fluctuations in the effectiveness of the drug. Since my intake of these foods has increased, I have worked closely with my physician to dial in my dosage to my new diet. This has been a challenge, but we have finally got the right dosage for this new lifestyle.
– During these visits to the clinic I have noticed a marked decrease in my blood pressure readings. Before Movara typical readings were 138/83, more recently 115/78.
The BIGGEST key to my success is simple. My wife and I are taking this journey together! The mutual support and synchronized dietary changes have been a key to success. She’s also doing great and down 20 pounds total. Additionally, having the encouragement and support of my cycling friends has been a great benefit. Finally, I know that the staff at Movara is there for me. If I plateau or have any dietary concerns, I know that I can call and get assistance and advice. My hope is that my success will continue and I will not need that support, but it is so comforting to know that support is available when I need it. I hope that my experience will inspire others and that everyone who visits Movara gets a taste for what I have enjoyed!
I came to Movara to get healthy. I had no energy and didn’t like myself. I needed a drastic change after some health scares.
After three weeks all my pants were bigger on me. I feel smaller and I’m so much stronger with endurance I never had!
Looking at the whole fitness schedule is daunting but when you take it one class it’s good. Something that I couldn’t do before I came was hike, I can hike now! I’m not afraid to hike anywhere anymore, LOVE hiking! The meals are perfectly filling. I love knowing I’m eating a balanced and healthy meal without giving up taste.
The best part of my Movara experience was the knowledge. Movara has made being healthy simple, even fun! I now have the tools I need! I feel very prepared to go home. I have the cookbooks, pantry list, my notes and the know how.
My advice to anyone reading this is, BOOK NOW! Stop thinking about it and do it! It’s the best gift you can give yourself. It’s life changing!
Read about Christine’s full experience and follow her journey on her blog http://mymissionslimpossible.com/
When I was 18, I met, at Church, a charming and successful man, who even though he was 11 years older than me, was someone I thought I wanted to be with forever. He swept me off my feet. I married him at 19, and 3 months after we wed physical violence in my marriage became a reality. I left and returned to the marriage numerous times over a 9 year period, devastated by the circumstances, but still very young and naïve, with the constant promise of better things to come and hope that he would change. When I was ready to walk away we had a son so I stayed thinking I needed to protect him. Two years later we had a daughter. I became super Mom, super wife, super everything.
In April 2009, when my kids were 12 and 10 my husband came home and told me he’d been having a 3 year relationship with my best friend. He said it was over with her and he wanted to be with me. In June, 2 months later, I overheard him having a conversation on his cell phone with a co-worker and realized he was also having an affair with her, which appeared to have been going on for about a year. It was July of 2009 and I was broken. All the years of being with him. I was depressed. I had gained 50 lbs that year. I was being crowded out by his multiple affairs. The frequency of the abuse was increasing again. I was a shell of myself inside and out. I couldn’t imagine spending another day with him, let alone another week, month or year. I was unable to be super-anything anymore.
On October 1st, my husband came into our home office and went into a rage. He punched me, choked me, and threw me across the room. I finally told my children about their dad and knew it was time to leave. October 15th, 2009 I went to court and received an Emergency Protection Order (EPO) and it was put into place for one year. We walked out of the mediation room and he looked me in the eye and said, “you may have won here, but I will win in the hearts and the minds of our children!” I had no idea what that meant and carried on.
In October 2010 my ex-husband began manipulating our children. They came home saying, “Daddy says if we don’t go and live with him ALL the time he will move away to Australia and never see us again”, “Daddy says nothing ever happened between you two, you’ve made it all up, we never saw anything happen and it’s you breaking up our family when he doesn’t want to, he still loves you”, “Daddy says he’s going to kill himself”. I tried to help my kids understand, and got my lawyer involved to try to stop the manipulation. By the time the courts did anything I had lost them both. My daughter is now 15 and my son is 17, for three and a half years they have had nothing to do with me. Gifts I sent them were returned unopened, emails, letter, texts were not responded to. Anything associated with me he has been cut off: their Grandma, all my family, any friends they had from when they were young, swimming, and piano lessons with their favorite teacher.
I became depressed as I grieved their loss and gained another 70 lbs as I medicated myself with food. Finally in November of 2012, by court order, my kids were assessed and diagnosed with Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). When the ruling came down from the Doctor’s report, I wasn’t sure I wanted to live. Food became my drug of choice and I was trying to kill myself with it. If it was bad for me, I ate it, as much of it as I could. I specifically chose unhealthy, high in fat, high in sugar meals. I was numb, and it was the only thing that made me feel. I wanted to feel something, anything.
I came out of court in November emotionally, mentally, and physically broken, in no position to help my children if they came back. After 3 years of fighting for my kids, having gained 120 lbs, depressed, and grieving I had to make a decision about my future. I believed, truly believed, my kids would come back to me some day, and if and when that took place, they were going to need help coping with what happened to them. I then realized I needed to make the decision to live or die. I chose to live. I had dedicated and sacrificed my life, happiness, and health to them and it wasn’t going to be in vain. I needed to be mentally, emotionally and physically well. It was time to regroup, recharge, and reset.
In December of 2012 I decided to sell my house and quit my job. I needed the equity in my home to do what I had in mind. In June of 2013 my house was sold and the day after I quit my job. I took 3 weeks to get things in order, then I got in my car and drove to southern Utah, to Movara, for boot camp. I hadn’t intended on staying there the whole time, but after 3 days I knew everything I needed to heal was there. It was the beginning of an amazing journey back to living.
A year later I am now in the best shape of my life. I walked out of Movara as the longest guest they had ever had, 8 months and one week. April 19th, 2014 was my last day there, 100.3 lbs lighter and whole again. Part of the program at Movara is a 2 hour hike in the beautiful mountains of southern Utah every morning. Never having hiked before, I was afraid. Every step I took was slow, fatigued and encumbered.
In those 8 months I became an expert hiker and in February while still in Utah I took a 3 week break from Movara and booked a trip to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. It was extraordinarily difficult, but I summited. I made it taking the hardest of the seven routes to the top and summited during the worst winter snow storm one guide said he had seen in two decades. Less than 40 percent were able to summit that day and possibly as few as 10 percent. My mother even managed to convince my daughter to come with us and we were able to bond there. While my daughter and I have a long way to go we have finally begun to rebuild a relationship, and as that has happened my son has also started to come around. I even got a card from both of them on Mother’s Day this year.
As I shed each one of those pounds that I had gained through the traumatic experiences that occurred, I not only found myself again after 25 years of being in an abusive marriage and the subsequent loss of my children, but I became an athlete. I’m within 10 lbs of my weight goal for the first time in 7 years. I climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and it brought my children back.
I started running while I was at Movara and I ran my first half marathon when a group of guests roped me into the Snow Canyon Half Marathon 5 days before the race. I was very slow, and could barely walk the whole week after but I managed to run the whole distance. I’m now on a quest to run a half Marathon on each of the 7 continents by February and be inducted into the Seven Continents Club. Less than 300 women have been inducted into the Club since its inception and I’m anxious to be the next one.
I would absolutely sell my house and make the same sacrifice to come to Movara again. I got my life back!
Hope, prayer, faith and sweat bring about miracles
I am from Southern California, the land of skinny and beautiful people. No one in my family was overweight, although my father struggled with it at times. I was overweight as a child and it just got worse and worse. I had been on every diet, had gastric bypass surgery 15 years ago, and nothing was keeping the weight off. I spent many years in school (2 master’s degrees, and later a medical degree) and worked constantly, so taking care of me was never a top priority. I was diagnosed with a progressive lung disease at the age of 42 and was told that the average life expectancy was 15-17 years. The scary news hit me with a dual reaction: 1. I could give up, do whatever I wanted (travel, not work, and eat) or 2. Hope that I beat the averages, get as healthy as I could, and enjoy the longest healthiest life I could.
So weighing in at over 350lbs (not my highest weight which was over 400lbs before the bypass), I decided to come to Movara. I had researched options, read the testimonials, reviewed the programs and philosophies, and decided that Movara would be a good fit, I booked 6 months. It was the best decision I ever made. Not everyone needs to be here that long, but it sure helps to live day in and day out in a fitness conscious, healthy food way knowing that you can survive and thrive. The program and people at Movara are really amazing. The kindness, understanding, lack of judgment, support, general love, and acceptance made all the difference in the world. It was everything I expected and more.
When I arrived I was in the worst shape I had ever been in. I was severally anemic and was recovering from surgery. It was tough. I could not walk a mile, stretch, nor do any core work without thinking I was going to die. I kept going. At some point I realized I could do more than I thought, I was not the slowest person in the slowest group anymore, and I could touch my toes and grab my own leg during stretch class. Walking became easier. My knees hurt less. My back was getting stronger. I could walk miles and not feel wiped out the rest of the day. So daily life just got easier and easier, and over the past year the improvements continued. I now walk a minimum of 5 miles a day. I spend at least 2 hours a day exercising, (by choice) as I have the time and now the inclination. I never could, nor would I go to a gym before my experience at Movara, but now I do not hesitate, and I am taking pilates, working with a personal trainer, and playing tennis again.
There are so many valuable lessons that I take away from Movara. Yes the world judges us because of our weight, yet we are all our own worst judges and enemies. I am worth the effort of finding balance, finding time to exercise, and making good food choices. My mindset went from thinking that this was an issue of will power and finding the “right diet” to knowing it is about putting myself first, with thought and time, and making choices toward health and fitness because I am worth it and will feel better than anything will taste. And this has proven itself over and over again in the months since I have left Movara. It helps me to remember that I CAN have anything I want. Yet, I choose to have what is good for me. That you “lose weight in the kitchen and get fit in the gym” and I cannot exercise away poor nutrition. The choices about what I put in my mouth say more about me on the inside than what I am eating. It is not about a “diet” but about healthy choices and doing the best I can in the moment. It truly is about progress rather than perfection. I have incorporated all of this into my life, and so far so good. I continued to lose weight after I left, and continue to return for tune ups and accountability to myself.
The knowledge and understanding about weight management as well as all the amazing wonderful people who come to the resort time and time again are the best part of the whole experience. The staff and facilities are amazing, but it is the people who are here, sharing in the struggle, sharing their stories, cheering you on, understanding when you think you cannot do one more thing, that truly make Movara an amazing and unique environment. The fact that the educational portion of the program is outstanding is just that much of an added bonus.
If you’re thinking about coming to the resort I would ask myself these questions: Am I doing this for myself? Am I sick and tired of feeling sick and tired? Am I ready to learn more about myself than I ever thought? If the answer to these questions is yes, pick up the phone and book. It is truly life changing, even if you are here for “just” a week.