Can a Spa Vacation Really Fix Your Life? Kinda!
If you’re anything like me, you’re telling yourself a few times a month to get your shit together.
Whether it’s to get more sleep, eat better or just relax more, life comes at you fast and some days it feels like I’m drowning in the Hudson. Many of my vacations leave me exhausted and mostly hungover. I’m still wondering how I’ve survived going to Vegas every other year.
So recently, I took a vacation that was different than the norm. I ventured off into the boonies of Texas to Deer Lake Lodge, where getting lit wasn’t on the itinerary.
Paying $800 for a three-day stay, all-inclusive besides the massage, was on the itinerary.
The tea is that Deer Lake Lodge is the turn down spot for the modish Austin and Dallas crowd to detox, lose weight, reconnect with themselves and find inner peace. Upon my arrival I was excited to retreat and relax. My life is busy, stressful and simple things like waiting in-line at FedEx for a package can drain me. To say I needed down time with other women while mentally and physically cleansing was an understatement.
This place is legitimately in the middle of nowhere. An hour from downtown Dallas and a little over two hours from Austin, driving through the gates onto the palatial grounds resembles Southfork Ranch (insert “who shot J.R.” joke here).
Horses were roaming and of course there were insects the size of my head flying around. Cause everything in Texas is bigger, right? This resort doesn’t have “rooms” but boasts individual suites and cabins with private patios, fireplaces and organic linens. Deer Lake Lodge is completely swagged out with a pool, sauna, yoga studio, detox house, nail studio, and massage rooms. There was even a room with a himalayan salt bed to get lungs so fresh and so clean.
During my 72-hour stay, I detoxed hard AF. Three times a day I took a cocktail of vitamins, sipped a liver cleansing tea, and juiced. In the evenings we were served vegetable broth soups that basically tasted like warm green juice. At night I had dreams of brunching at Balthazar and a Pizza Hut commercial that I would usually ignore, now made me drool.
A guest from Austin, who was looking to reset her metabolism after a thyroid operation, said she was contemplating driving to the closest fast food restaurant and eating until she passed out. I wanted to escape with her and go on the lam to eat tacos. Hmmmm how I missed tacos. But I stayed focused. After a long nap, she changed her mind and went to the sauna to sweat out her hunger.
Our mornings began with yoga classes and during the day we slept, swam, enjoyed spa services, and meditated. It was the first time in a long time I didn’t have a schedule, have to be anywhere or a “to-do list” to complete. It was refreshing to disconnect and even though sometimes my brain was cloudy from the detoxing, by the end of my second day I was feeling less stressed. Each day after yoga, we attended raw food classes with Sweet Mama (coolest name EVER) that taught us how to make better food choices while cooking and grocery shopping and learned to cook meals like cashew alfredo sauce and chocolate pudding made from avocados.
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For the first time, I experienced a colonic at Deer Lake. I didn’t really want to get a booty cleanse, but I heard through the years it was a great way to cleanse the body and lose a few pounds. I can honesty say as comfortable as the technician tried to make me feel, I wasn’t thrilled about it. A tube, with warm water, shoved up the rear using lube… is that TMI?
I did drop a pound or two from it which made it seem kinda worth it, but I didn’t feel any lighter or more energized.
By my third day, my hunger pangs had surpassed. I was feeling revitalized, well rested and most importantly a little thinner. I didn’t want to leave because I had achieved such peacefulness that I feared losing it the second I drove away. But, I hung on to my serenity. It’s not the same, but it’s there. I leave a few moments to myself daily to mediate and try to have the same mentality I had at Deer Lake Lodge.
I’ve also been making better food choices, including eating more organic veggies. My experience was well worth the effort; I shed a few pounds, my skin looks amazing and my sleeping habits are better. Who knew the turn down was more enlightening than the turn up?