Weight loss and diabetes

4:45AM. I’m wide awake. I slept almost eight solid hours enveloped in a super-plush bed in my quiet, dark room. I feel clear-headed and well rested. Still, coffee or maybe caffeine sounds good to me. Instead of reaching for my phone (there’s no cell or wifi service here), I hop out of bed, brush my teeth and throw on my hiking clothes.

6AM. It’s still dark. For breakfast, it’s a bowl of agai berry vegan yogurt with fresh blueberries and a sprinkling of homemade granola. I’m full, but not heavy full. It’s the right amount of sustenance, and I note I should probably dial back the 3-organic-egg breakfast I usually have at home. We all hop into waiting vans with our filled Camelbaks for a 20 minute drive to the base of a mountain. The sun is rising and my optimism is high.

7:15AM. I’ve hiked for an hour on flat ground and I’m barely breaking a sweat. This is easy. The terrain begins to incline. Just 10 minutes of hiking skyward and I start to huff and puff. I turn the corner and the trail just goes…up. I pull out my phone and pretend to take a photo so I can catch my breath. I can’t even muster the energy to swipe left to actually take a photo. 9:30AM. I’ve been at this for 2Vi hours and I’m drenched in sweat.

As I turn a corner, I see one of the Ranch trainers and it’s like a desert mirage. The van must surely be around the corner! As I deliriously sweat-slosh my way to her, she says the exact words I did not want to hear: “Welcome to the halfway point.” My reward is a snack of six almonds and a sprinkle of Himalayan salt (for electrolytes). When a Ranch guest gives me one of her almonds, my mouth becomes a Dyson: I inhale it. Just 2xh hours of hiking ahead. Still.

11:30AM. The first hike is over and I’m mentally and physically done. NOON. FAMISHED. Lunch today is low-carb brilliance: Soaked black beans are mixed with avocado, tomatoes, herbs and vinegar. Endive leaves act as taco shells. I’m eating for sustenance, and even though it’s low-cal, virtually zero-carb food, it’s weirdly filling. I feel whatever excess bloat and weight I’ve been carrying starting to disappear.

3PM. Massage. It’s required. And it’s not the Four Seasons Spa type of massage, with lavender oil and spa music. Instead, a technician is trained to work out all the lactic acid that’s built up in my muscles from all the exercise. So he digs deep and massages my screaming muscles.

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