“Hit me. Go on, hit me.” I know he’s a heavyweight champ and to him my punches feel like being hit by a fly but still I am afraid to lump Andy one. We’re bopping and diving around the gym, I’m wearing his gloves and when he approaches in a fake attack I giggle nervously and cower away. We try again. I practise my punches into mid air and when he comes towards me again I am ready to aim. Sweat drips into my eyes and blinds my vision, I can’t remove it with the giant boxing gloves on. I prepare my next punch, aim for Andy’s hand with all my strength – and land him one square in the face. Oops.
I’m half way through the MindBodyReformer week long programme and the reformation has clearly started. My weight has dropped 2 pounds in 2 days and for one whole hour I meditated without a care in the world or an iphone in my hand. Hotel guests have commented on how bright and sparkly I am looking and have enquired how they can get a piece of the action too.
Aside from being set in a stunning luxury resort on the Carribean’s Spice Island, the MindBodyReformer is a tailored programme for each individual, focusing on their diet, exercise and mental wellbeing. My day starts with the delivery at 7am of a fresh fruit and vegetable smoothie. At 8am I take a yoga class in the most breath-taking setting imaginable. After that I have 3 hours of 1 on 1o sessions with Andy, a former Grenadian boxing champ, broken up by swimming, relaxing and eating breaks.
Andy designed the exercise programme specifically to my needs and ability. I didn’t come here to get worked so hard for a week that I collapse back home in agony. Andy builds a programme therefore that contains elements I can take home with me – for me this is just the start of a healthier lifestyle.
Our sessions combine yoga, pilates, dance and boxing and literally fly by. After working on the inner core with ‘the stretch’ on the first day, we moved onto abs the next day and then my favourite part – the boxing. As a teenager the only exercise I would do religiously was Billy Blanks Taebo videos. It turns out Andy is a huge fan too and many of his class moves are the same. I pick them up easily, although keeping them up is harder than it was in my youth! Andy continues to encourage and motivate me through every class. He makes me repeat the things I can do, then sneakily makes it harder when I’m not noticing – he says I can do more when I don’t think about it beforehand – he is totally right.
I take my lunch everyday in the resort Deli. Here I do not need to be supervised as every choice on the menu is a healthy one – the greek salad is my favoured option. The Deli also has a list of delicious health smoothies along with their health benefits. I try the top one on the first day – the Mind Opener – thinking I shall work my way down the list. Made of papaya, ginger and lemon, the drink is divine and I ‘ve ordered it everyday since.
In the afternoons I can take my pick from the resorts activities; tennis, archery, fencing, snorkelling, cycling, gym classes – the list seems almost endless. Some days I swim and one day I ride – with near disastrous consequences – I never was good with bikes and hills!
The afternoon is also spa time. My treatment timetable was set before I arrived according to what activities I would be doing with Andy. My Balinese and Thai massages were with the same petite lady from Bali who shows surprising strength during massage. The spa facilities are huge here, bursting with talented staff as all guest receive one treatment per day. These treatments aren’t the same as mine though, mine are special, and when my Thai massage takes place outside near the Relaxation Pavilion it feels especially so.
Having a cellulite treatment was unusual. I laid on my side whilst the lady went to work with a fat busting mixture that she kneaded into my thighs. Then my whole body was covered in a green coffee mixture, wrapped up in clingfilm and towels and left to simmer for 20 minutes. Apart from feeling slightly soiled by the damp patches that gathered around my bum the whole thing was surprisingly comfortable, aided immensely by a superb head massage whilst I was lying there. After rinsing in the shower I was then moisturised and I can definitely feel a difference in the problem thigh areas since.
For dinner I have dishes which I preselcted earlier in the week from Andy’s meal plan. I tend to start with a pear, sultana and walnut salad then have white meat and vegetables for the main course. Every meal has been superb; all fresh local ingredients beautifully presented. Some evenings I dine alone if I am feeling unsociable but other times I have been invited to join other guests or I can sit with the ‘solos’ – a table hosted by the resort for all the guests travelling alone.
The atmosphere of the whole resort is so serene and friendly, I felt relaxed from the moment I arrived. The guests are a complete mixture of couples, old and young, friends, mother and daughter and solos likes myself. With only 100 rooms the place has an intimate feel, you start to recognise faces very quickly and make friends easily. You can be as active or non-active as you like, whilst there are all sorts of activities and classes on offer you are not made to feel bad if you want to relax on a lounger all afternoon instead. Afterall you are on holiday; an amazing holiday.