Did you know we spend more money each year taking care of our cars than we do taking care of ourselves?! 

How do you make sure your spirit, soul, and body are well cared for?

How do you fight the winter blahs and blues?!

I have the perfect winter escape… a TUNE-UP if you will. Spend a week at a tropical yoga retreat like I did this past October. This could be what you need to recharge and replenish yourself, inside and out.

My friend Jennifer and I spent a week stretching our muscles, dancing our butts off, eating healthy meals, and relaxing by the pool with the founder of Dynamic Retreats Melissa Jane Shaw.  She kicked our butts, but in a good way. 

The night we arrived at the luxurious villa, less than 15 minutes from Montego Bay, I told everyone how much I “abhor” exercise. I didn’t hold back. The last gym membership I owned was in University, I paid $500 upfront and went twice. The last treadmill I used was on a cruise ship in 2012 and the 90-year-old Bitty next to me up-staged me. I couldn’t even get off the stupid thing afterward, my legs were j.e.l.l.o.

So why did I fly all the way to Jamaica to subject myself to a week of booty-busting hell?

Besides this view…

Since turning 40, my body isn’t responding the way it used to. My joints are starting to ache, I’m gaining weight (not a pound or two… I’m talking 10-15 pounds a year) and my belly always feels bloated. Last year someone asked a friend of mine if I was pregnant… 

I knew I needed help to get started.

I needed to be somewhere without distractions. No excuses. No kids. No judgment.


At the beginning of each yoga or dance session (like Zumba, which was fun and I loved it even though I don’t look at it in the photo left), our instructor MJ would ask us to set a goal.  Each and every time I set out to beat my own inner enemy, telling me I couldn’t do this. 

On the day the photo above (right side) was taken,

  • I touched my toes for the first time in a dozen or so years!
  • I finished a 90-minute yoga session without checking the time or wanting to quit!
  • I found myself looking forward to our evening yoga class!

I won.

When we arrived, MJ had a private training session with each one of us. She had me do all sorts of things I hate, like pushups and dips, and worse of all… GULP… she took my measurements. My waist had grown 4 inches since last I checked in 2011.

By the end of the week, two yoga classes and a dance/fitness session each day, plus healthy meals & lots of water with a whole lot of relaxation and a bit of swimming… I asked MJ to take my measurements again. Her jaw dropped – I’d lost 1.5 inches around my waistline.

I won.

I loved everything about this week. The one-on-one help MJ gladly gave, the pace and patience with which we learned the positions, the extra afternoon dance classes (including an MJ choreographed dance to “What does the Fox say?”), the private driver and private chef, and the camaraderie of the 10 other ladies present were better than I could have imagined. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Oh ya… one of the side-effects of yoga… an increased libido. Hubby and I both win! 🙂

It was the Tune-Up I so desperately needed and I can’t wait to go again. 


I'm the Cool Mom of 4, Married to the Preacher Man, but at times I'm a little more Sass than Saint!

You may also like...


  1. Oh I soooo hear you with "my body isn't responding the way it used to". I was so into exercise and yoga about 4 years ago…and somehow….I just let it all go. I definitely need a swift kick in the butt when it comes to getting off it and exercising! I love how you went from "abhor" to adore! Looks like you are well and truly back at being fit after your week at this glorious retreat! Great job…and great post!

    1. Thanks Sandy, I may borrow your wording "from abhor to adore" because that's what I seriously feel. 🙂

    1. I know right?!! Never ever thought this would be something I'd be raving about. lol

  2. What a fantastic way to spoil yourself. It looks and sounds wonderful. I would love to do this one day.

    1. Thanks Brandy, when you factor in your accomodations, all meals and all the classes, MJ is giving $100 if booked before Dec 20, that is as low as $895!! Only 50% is required at the time of reservation. It's a steal of a deal really. 🙂 set it on your bucket list.

  3. Love love love yoga. My vow for 2014 is to take full advantage of the time given to me. To spend with family and with myself. A weekly yoga class will be a part of this!

    1. after yoga I feel so much better, spirit – soul – and body. it's a good goal you've set for 2014!

  4. 1.5 Inches? That's amazing. You could have fooled me, you looked like you were having so much fun all the time. Even when we were sweating buckets!

    Good times!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.